When our boy was four months old, he started wriggling in his swaddle blanket. We could see that he was trying to roll over to find a comfortable sleeping position. We knew we had to find another alternative to wrap him while still allowing him to roll.
The sleep sack was our solution. We were cautious. Safety was our primary concern because we do not want any possible Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDs) situation. Here are our findings and experience.
Sleep sacks provide the best safe sleep for babies because you do not need to worry about loose cloth covering their faces. Sleep sacks are safer than blankets or duvets when used and fitted correctly. Babies are tuck snug around the chest, ensuring safe and good sleep while still having room to move or roll around.
Let’s go into more details to help you choose the right sleep sack.
How to choose the right sleep sack
There are so many products out there today that I found it overwhelming to choose the right one. Some looked cute and attractive, but we found out that they are dangerous for our baby. After a lot of research and testing, we finally got a good sleep sack for our baby, and this is how we picked ours.
1. Choose a sleep sack suitable for your room temperature
Choose a sleep sack material that is suitable for your climate or the temperature of the room. The best room temperature for a baby to be comfortable is around 60.8°F to 68°F (16°C to 20°C ).
If you’re visiting a hot and humid country, you will want to use light cotton materials such as muslin blankets because they are more lightweight and breathable for the baby. If you’re in a place with a winter climate, you might want to go with heavier materials like fleece or wool.
Before you buy a sleep sack, check the TOG indicator. A TOG tells you how warm the material will keep your baby. Make sure you get the TOG that will keep your baby at just the right temperature. Here’s a guide on choosing a sleep sack with a suitable TOG.
|TOG||Suitable Room Temperature|
|0.2 TOG||For temperatures of 75.2°F (24°C) or higher|
|1 TOG||For temperatures between 68°F (20°C) to 75.2°F (24°C)|
|2.5 TOG||For temperatures between 57.2°F (14°C) to 68°F (20°C)|
|3.5 TOG||For temperatures below 60.8°F (16°C)|
Buy a sleep sack with a suitable TOG value to avoid overheating issues when wrapping your baby in a sleep sack. Your baby will wear pajamas or other clothing, and it will add another layer inside the sleep sack, so make sure that the clothing is not too warm to avoid overheating issues. If you plan to use a sleep sack, wearing light inner clothing is a better choice.
2. Don’t buy sleep sacks with loose materials
Avoid buying sleep sacks with materials that tend to have loose threads. If it has long labels, cut it off. Check inside the sleep sack to see if there is any fluffy stuff such as cotton because your baby could pull them out. These cotton-like furs can become a choking hazard if they put it into their mouth.
Check out this video. It will give you an idea of what types of sleep sacks to avoid.
Most sleep sack comes with a zipper. They are convenient for putting your baby inside or changing their diapers. Zippers are practical, especially when you need to change diapers while your baby is asleep. A good sleep sack comes with a 2-way-zipper. Check the zippers. Ensure that they are sturdy and do not fall off easily. It should be securely fastened and allows easy movement when zipping.
I personally like Halo’s sleep sack. The zipper is inverted and top-down, so my baby can’t pull or play with it. Because I can open the zipper from the bottom, I don’t need to take him out of the sleep sack to change his diapers. Just open the zip below the waist and change the diaper.
It doesn’t have unnecessary cloth around, so my baby’s cod is entirely free of objects that can cover his face, with no buttons for him to pull out. It has shoulders so my baby can’t slip beneath it while wearing it. It is also designed to be healthy for your baby’s hip as it has quite a bit of room at the sack.
Whichever sleep sack you choose, I recommend that you skip any embellishments or decorative stick-on objects on the sleep sack because these items can come off when pulled and become a choking hazard.
3. Choose the correct neck and shoulder opening
This is an area that is crucial for the sleep sack. The size of the neck opening should have a good snug fit with your baby. It should not be too broad that your baby may be at risk of slipping into the sleep sack. It should fit good and snug over your baby’s chest.
You also do not want it to slip off the shoulders. Shoulder openings must be wide enough for your baby to move their arms. But not too big that their arms get wrapped up, preventing them from using their arms. If the shoulder straps are Velcro, they should be adjusted accordingly. Otherwise, snap-on buttons are excellent and convenient.
Most sleep sack comes with measurements. Different brands have different measures. But it is best to test them yourself for fit. Here are two simple steps to try:
- Give the collar area a quick pull. Make sure it does not slip upwards and cover the baby’s face. The collar opening should be wide enough not to choke the baby and loose enough to allow the baby to turn their head without friction. Another way to check is to see if you can insert 2 fingers in between the neck area.
- It’s best to have extra legroom or length at the bottom. The extra length would give your baby some space to move without disturbing his sleep too much. Allow enough room for the legs and hip to move freely. While you may buy most of your baby clothing 1 or 2 sizes bigger, this is not advisable in the case of the sleep sack.
4. Choose between a sleeved and sleeveless sleep sack
Sleep sack comes with or without sleeves. Both types will allow your baby to have the same level of freedom. I prefer the sleeveless ones because it allows my baby to sleep better when the weather is hot. If the weather is cold, you can put on some sleeved clothes for him, this way you can have both the sleeved and sleeveless options available.
5. Do not buy sleep sacks with hoods
This is a big NO for a sleep sack. Hoods mean having cloth that can flop over and cover your baby’s face. When your baby turns its head sideways, the hood could cover a large surface of his face and risking suffocation.
When to swaddle your baby and when you should stop doing it
When your baby is 0 to 4 months old, they cannot turn and roll around. And at this age, it’s common for babies to want to feel safe and secure by being wrapped tightly. Swaddling your baby at this stage is a great idea to let them sleep soundly. This Halo Sleepsack is an excellent option because it is sleeveless and comes with wings to swaddle your baby easily and securely.
Babies typically start rolling when they are four months old, but some can begin as early as two months. Some babies only begin rolling at six months or skip rolling completely. Either way, when your baby is starting to roll over or sit up, stop swaddling them. They will need their hands to help them lift their heads, and it can become dangerous if they managed to roll over while being wrapped.
At this point, your baby could have outgrown this newborn sleep sack, and it can be a good idea to get the one I recommended earlier.
Why I choose Halo sleepsacks
I did some background checks on Halo and found that they were invented in 1991 by Bill Schmid, the founder of HALO®. This invention came when Bill lost his first child to SIDs. He didn’t want others to experience the same tragedy he did.
Halo’s sleep sack comes with the embroidery ‘Back is best’ to remind parents of babies’ best sleeping position. This brand has become the number 1 choice for over 1,700 hospitals in America. Their Sleep sack complies with the mandatory requirements by the CPSC Standard for Flammability of Clothing and Textiles under the Flammable Fabrics Act.
Their sleep sacks are designed in cotton, cotton muslin, micro-fleece, and other fabrics with various TOG values. They have enough designs to fit a wide range of temperatures. You can pair them by adjusting the clothing you put on your baby underneath. These fabrics are also chemical-free.
I always feel that it’s essential to know what we’re buying, especially for our babies. So I hope that this little research can give you a better idea about the Halo brand if you’re going to buy it.