What to look for
in a baby sleeping bag
Our guide to Sleeping Bags – from birth to pre-school
Why use a baby sleeping bag and what are the benefits?
Baby sleeping bags, also know as wearable blankets or sleep sacks, are a safe alternative to top sheets and blankets.
A sleeping bag which is designed to fit correctly will eliminate the risk of entanglement and suffocation. Health care professionals globally advise that a baby’s sleeping area should be free from bedding, bumpers, pods or nests, soft materials, or stuffed animals. The safest option for your baby is to be placed in their cot with only what they are wearing.
A good quality baby sleeping bag made with breathable materials, will ensure your little one will stay at a constant temperature throughout the night. With your baby feeling snug and warm, they are less likely to fight going to sleep and will sleep for longer.
A baby sleeping bag should be bell-shaped, allowing leg movement and promoting healthy hip development.
When your baby moves and rolls in their sleep, the sleep sack will not be kicked off like blankets. This helps you avoid your baby getting cold or waking frequently. Babies can be easily taken out of their cot to soothe or feed without having to take the sleeping bag off. Your baby will stay warm and snug and won't be disturbed by sheets and blankets being undone.A well designed sleeping bag will allow easy access for transferring, dressing and nappy / diaper changes.
Infant sleeping bags form an essential part in your baby's bedtime or nap routine. They create a sense of security and promote a peaceful sleep for your little one. Your baby will associate their sleeping bag with a restful night’s sleep.
When to start using a baby sleeping bag?
When choosing a baby sleeping bag, it is important to choose one that lists the weight and length of your baby. Standard sizing, typically 0-6, 6-18 and 18-36 months, can be dangerous and too big for your baby. It is important not to place your baby in an oversized sleeping bag. If the sleeping bag is too big, your baby may wriggle down into the bag and end up trapped.
When buying a sleeping bag for a newborn, choose one that can be used as a swaddle. ergoPouch offers a 2-in-1 Cocoon Swaddle Bag which can convert to an arms-out sleeping bag if your baby does not like to be swaddled, or as soon as your baby shows signs of rolling.
How should a baby sleeping bag fit?
Baby sleeping bags should fit comfortably and securely around your baby's chest, shoulders and neck but ensure you can always fit 2 fingers between your baby’s neck and the material. Also be sure to choose a sleeping bag or swaddle that is made of stretchy, breathable material which allows for full chest expansion.
Always choose a baby sleeping bag appropriate for your baby's size and weight. For all ergoPouch sleeping bags, please refer to our size guide here.
What to look for when buying a baby sleeping bag?
A baby sleeping bag is an essential asset to have in your baby's nursery and is likely to be used more than once daily. For this reason we encourage having more than one sleeping bag so that you always have a spare when the other is in the wash.
There are various options available in our market, but when choosing a sleeping bag try and buy the best quality for what you can afford. Also ensure you choose an option which is safety tested to comply to international safety standards.
Look for a baby sleeping bag made with natural fabric such as organic cotton, bamboo or merino. Not only are natural fabrics eco friendly, they are excellent at breathing, drawing moisture away and regulating your baby's temperature.
Naturally there are different benefits to each type of fabric, so choose which one best complies to your needs and budget. Also consider your baby's skin, especially if they suffer from a skin allergy such as eczema.
For more information on which material is best for sensitive skin, click here.
Our Checklist of what to look for
• Ensure there is a zipper guard around where the zipper travels and ends so as to protect your baby’s skin from the zip.
• Opt for a baby sleeping bag that is bell-shaped to allow your little one to kick and wriggle about, promoting healthy hip development.
• Consider functionality and ease of use. A sleeping bag that zips all the way down is easier for dressing, transferring a sleeping baby and changing a nappy.
• Choose a baby sleeping bag that is appropriate for the season. Baby sleeping bags should come with different TOG ratings (measurement of warmth). For warmer weather, you will want a lower tog rating (0.2 – 1.0) and for colder weather opt for a baby sleeping bag with a higher tog rating. (2.5 - 3.5) Typically, a 1.0 TOG is a good starting point and most parents find that they can use this sleeping bag year round. If the weather cools down you can choose to layer up underneath with our ergoPouch layers. It is however best to have a variety of sleeping bags in different TOGs. For more information on TOG ratings, click here.
• Consider how much time and energy you want to put in to looking after your baby sleeping bag. Some sleeping bags require a lot more work to maintain in regards to washing and drying. New parents with little ones on the go are already exhausted and time is limited, so take this into consideration when choosing which type of fabric the sleeping bag is made out of.
• Make sure the baby sleeping bag you purchase complies with international safety standards. Sleeping bags that doesn’t conform to these standards can pose serious risks to your baby’s safety.
What to avoid when buying a baby sleeping bag?
Now that we’ve covered what you need to look for in a baby sleeping bag, it is important to note what you need to avoid in a baby sleeping bag:
Avoid purchasing cheap and poor quality sleeping bags. Your baby sleeping bags will be used a lot and need to last. Poorly made sleeping bags are less likely to stand the test of time and can be dangerous if fastenings become faulty. Not to mention, faulty fastenings can be extremely frustrating for an exhausted parent.
Avoid sleeping bags made with polyester or fleece. Synthetic materials such as polyester do not breathe, nor draw moisture away from your baby's body. Your baby is at a much higher risk of overheating which can be fatal. If your baby becomes sweaty and the temperature then drops, you baby will get suddenly cold. Polyester is also notoriously bad for little ones with skin allergies or sensitive skin. Polyester can easily cause a flare up in eczema. Read more about polyester here.
Avoid sleeping bags with padded sleeves and hoods. Padded sleeves and hoods can cause your sleeping baby to overheat. Overheating is a risk factor for SIDS. For more information on SIDS click here.
Avoid sleeping bags with velcro attachments. Not only is velcro extremely noisy in the dead of night, (you'd want to keep your baby asleep if you can) velcro can end up sticking to the mattress and other items.
Do not purchase a baby sleeping bag that has loose ties, string pulls or ribbons. These can be extremely hazardous and a risk factor for SIDS.
Be weary of incorrect TOG ratings. Make sure the company your are purchasing from conforms to international safety tests and be sure to use our temperature guide on choosing the correct TOG rating for the relevant season.