I absolutely love a sleep sack to keep my little guy warm and cozy while he sleeps! We made the switch to a sleep sack around 12 weeks after a slow transition out of the swaddle. There are SO many sleep sacks (and all other baby products) on the market and it can be overwhelming trying to find the right one. I had two sleep sacks on my registry, both of which I received and neither of which I use- whoops! I just didn’t know what would be important to me when I was choosing them. They seemed like good options, and for some babies they might but after trying a large variety of sleep sacks I feel like I know the main things to look for when choosing the right one for you.
A Perfect Fit
So I know when buying baby products, it often makes sense to buy things they can grow into. It’s ok if things are a little too big because they’ll fit eventually. This is NOT true with sleep sacks. You absolutely need a good fit. You want the arm and neck holes to fit well and not be too loose. If they’re too loose the fabric could bunch up around baby’s nose and mouth creating a safety hazard. I didn’t think of this and picked out 2 sleep sacks that ended up being too big for my son when I wanted to start using them. So when choosing a sleep sack pay close attention to the weight/height guidelines of the sizes to get one that will actually work for you. Luckily, many sleep sacks run long so you can get some good use out of it even as your baby grows.
**Need to check to see if the sleep sack fits well? First, arm holes should be snug enough that baby can’t slip inside the sack. Next, if you pull the fabric at the neck up to their nose/mouth area and it trays there rather than falling back into place at their chest, it is too loose (aka too big).
All fabrics are not created equal! The type of fabric you prefer will of course depend on your baby. Do they run warm or cool? Do they have sensitive skin? Are they super wiggly when they sleep? I had a cotton sleep sack that just did not feel soft enough for my little one. We tried a fleece one that ended up feeling way too toasty warm for our guy who runs hot when he sleeps. And still a third one was more of a stretchy spandex type material and I thought it would be great! It felt breathable and very soft but the stretchiness of the material always had my little guy’s feet all tangled up which didn’t seem comfortable.
Finally we tried one that was a bamboo fabric. It is butter soft, breathable but still warm and seems so comfy! I especially love ones that have the quilted fabric which gives the sleep sack a comfier feel to me.
I didn’t know what this was as a new mom and I wish I had! Essentially, it is a rating system for baby clothing/sleep products to help you understand how heavy or lightweight they are. Different TOG’s are designed to be for different temperatures but the gist is that a .5 TOG is going to be the lightest weight (ie good for very warm environments) and 3.5 is going to be the heaviest weight (ie good for very cold environments). It’s not super complicated but is key to buying the correct sleep sack.
I have found that a 1.0 TOG in that cozy quilted bamboo that I mentioned is perfect for the majority of the sleep environments my son is in. This TOG is designed for about 69-73 degree ambient temperatures. All three of the sleep sacks I use regularly are in this TOG. On a few nights where the temp in his rom was dipping a little lower (about 67), I just put him in some warmer jammies and still used this same TOG. The right TOG for you may be different depending on your home and your baby but a 1.0 is a good place to start if you’re not sure. If you find your baby’s chest/back feel cold then you may need a higher TOG and if their chest/back is extra warm or sweaty you may need the lighter option.
This is not something I considered when still pregnant and looking at sleep sacks. But there are a few things I love abut my current sleep sacks that when buy any new ones in the future I will be sure to look for again.
- A good zipper. I like a double zipper that is on the side (rather than the front) and goes all the way around! This makes it so much easier to do a nighttime diaper change with as little disruption as possible. And I feel like it keep the zipper more out of the way for baby.
- Adjustable Straps. I mentioned that sleep sacks can run long to help give them more life but I especially love the sacks I have with strap adjustments on the shoulders. They are just little snaps that let you make the sack a little bigger or smaller. This, combined with good length in the sack will give you plenty of life out of one sleep sack size.
So it’s no surprise when you read all of my must haves that my son’s most used sleep sacks are the two he has from Caden Lane!