Searching for the Best Sleeping Bag for Your Baby? Top 5 Things to Look For
Despite what some first think, baby sleeping bags are not actually designed for outdoor camping. Instead, they’re a staple part of every child’s wardrobe and a logical step up from the swaddle. These baby sleeping bags, also known as sleep bags, wearable blankets or Zipadee-Zips (as we call them), offer amazing benefits for helping your little one feel cozy, comfy and warm when they sleep.
To help you choose the best sleeping bag for your baby, we’ve outlined some of the major benefits and characteristics that these baby sleeping products come with, as well as some of the most important things to look for when browsing different products on the market.
What Are Baby Sleeping Bags?
Baby sleeping bags are basically wearable blankets functioning as a one piece outfit that encloses most of your baby's body while allowing for significant movement of the limbs. They either come with armholes and neck openings, or integrate wearable sleeves that encase your baby’s body. These items are more like clothes than a traditional adult sleeping bag and are “worn” by babies.
Baby Sleeping Bags are basically wearable blankets functioning as a one piece outfit that encloses most of your baby's body, while allowing for significant movement of the limbs.
Benefits of Baby Sleeping Bags
Baby sleeping bags come with a number of benefits for parents and children including:
- They stop babies kicking off their swaddles and other covers, preventing them from getting cold at night and providing a level of restrictive comfort
- They prevent your child getting tangled up blankets and sheets, reducing the chance of suffocation
- They help babies retain a steady temperature throughout the whole night
- Your baby can still enjoy flexibility and movement of their limbs without you needing to untuck them from their swaddles
- They reduce the chance of the Moro reflex kicking in due to babies being startled
- They are a great transitional product that helps your child to progress from the swaddle stage when they start rolling over but still enjoy the womb-like comfort of their sleeping clothes
- They reduce the amount you need to wash bed sheets as you child will be enclosed inside the sleeping bag
- They look ridiculously adorable on almost any child
Type and Fit
The size, fabric type, tog rating, zip position and more can vary depending on the specific baby sleeping bag product you choose to buy. When searching online for the best baby sleeping bag for your baby, you’ll find a range of different options at varying price ranges. Some will come with sleeves or arm holes worked into the design for greater movement, while others will enclose the whole upper half and arms of the baby within the garment. There’s no right choice necessarily, but one thing you absolutely have to get right is the size and fit.
Parents instinctively look for clothes that are slightly bigger so that their children can grow into them. However, baby sleeping bags should fit perfectly as soon as you buy them, otherwise you risk buying something that isn’t 100% safe at the time of purchase. With a sleeping bag that is too big, your little one could slide about inside it, or slip down inside the neck.
Baby sleeping bags are measured by age and are often available in sizes 0-6 months, 6-18 months and 18-36 months. However, at Sleeping Baby, we let parents choose their baby sleeping bag based on weight and length guidelines.
18” - 26”
25” - 29”
29” - 33”
33” - 37”
37” - 42”
If you wish, you can use a baby sleeping bag as soon as your child is born, although most parents choose to wait until their baby is a few weeks old or before moving on from the swaddle. This is because younger babies tend to enjoy the secure and restrictive feeling of the swaddle first, before moving onto something that offers a bit more room and flexibility. Baby sleeping bags like the Zipadee-Zip are therefore a good next step in your child’s development.
Baby sleeping bags should fit just right as soon as you buy them, otherwise you risk buying something that isn’t 100% safe at the time of purchase.
Temperature — Making Sure Your Baby’s Sleeping Bag Doesn’t Make Them Too Hot!
Most baby sleeping bags are made with either cotton or synthetics, like polyester. And some use the European TOG rating system to show you how warm the sleeping bag is and what season they are suitable for. Basically, the higher the TOG, the warmer the sleeping bag will be.
Unlike quilts and duvets, baby sleeping bags have a much lower tog rating and most won’t go over 3.5. This is normal as sleeping bags will naturally retain heat and in warmer climates or when dressing your little one during summer, you shouldn’t allow your child to get too hot inside their garments.
If you don’t see a tog rating on your baby sleeping bag, don’t panic! It is just a way to understand how different clothes might be appropriate to different temperatures and general common sense will tell you how hot or cold a particular baby clothing item will make your child.
A number of external factors also determine how hot your child will be. These include how many undergarments and layers your child is wearing and the temperature of your child’s bedroom. You should consider all of these things together when planning what your child should wear at night and making sure they don’t get too hot (or cold), not just the material used or TOG rating of individual items.
For more information on what clothes to buy at the different stages of your child’s development, take a look at our blog: What Should My Baby Wear to Sleep? — The Right Products for the Right Time
Best Room Temperature for Baby Sleeping Bags
The ideal room temperature for your infant when sleeping is between 16°C and 20°C. And most baby sleeping bags will be made to function within this range. However if you live in a colder or warmer climate, simply adjust the level of clothing your baby is wearing inside the baby sleeping bag as the warmth of the bag will vary enormously with what clothing your little one is wearing.
Style and Design
Baby sleeping bags come in many charming patterns and styles. Whether you prefer understated and neutral or bizarre and fun, it’s really up to you what you choose to dress your child in. Below are just a few considerations that can help inform your decision about the best baby sleeping bag for baby.
We’ve talked before about how color can influence a range of human psychological functions, like creativity, productivity, and mood. And while choosing a specific color probably won’t be doing any damage to your little one, it’s understandable that you might pay attention to how the color choices of your baby’s clothes nursery and newborn items might impact their development.
For a more detailed breakdown of different colors and how they might influence your baby take a look at our blog: From Baby Onesies to Baby's Swaddle Transition Suits - Does Color Matter?
When choosing baby clothing items like baby sleeping bags, another thing to remember is how easy (or difficult) certain items will be to clean when they get dirty or stained. Some spills and splurges are simply unavoidable with a newborn, so rather than buying perfect white clothing items and praying for the best, it’s wiser to choose items which won’t emphasise unfortunate stains too much.
You can do this by choosing colors that are slightly darker or patterns with shapes and images that are more close together, leaving less blank space to showcase stains.
Browse Our Full Collection of Zipadee-Zip Colors and Patterns!
If you like things to be just perfect, including how your baby’s clothes match with their other outfits and overall nursery design scheme, you might be paying closer attention to the designs you choose. Also, as baby sleeping bags are worn more than other items like rompers or vests before needing a wash, picking a design you actually like is important as you’ll be seeing it more.
We recommend choosing timeless classic colors and designs that have versatility when it comes to matching your child’s wardrobe and room. This can include gray, beige or soft pastel colors, or predictable patterns like stars or animal prints.
As baby sleeping bags are worn more than other items like rompers or vests before needing a wash, picking a design you actually like is important as you’ll be seeing it more.
Comfort - Checking Your Baby’s Sleeping Bag Is As Cozy as It Should Be!
The sleeping bag naturally keeps your baby's face clear, whilst keeping their body warm, cozy and comfortable. While doing this, it also prevents your baby from being able to kick off any loose blankets or sheets, reducing the chance of their sleep being disturbed at night or your little one’s face being covered. If your baby sleep bag isn't able to do this, it’s not really doing it’s job.
One of the best ways to get a sense of how comfortable sleeping bags actually are is to read testimonials and reviews from other parents. While your child might have their own preferences about what is and isn't comfortable, these sources should help you to avoid any products that might be particularly uncomfortable. Some common red flags to avoid are descriptions like ‘itchy’, ‘too hot’, or ‘loose’.
Is My Child Ready to Leave the Swaddle?
Sometimes it's hard to judge when your child is ready to leave the swaddle, but some common signs are when they start to kick off their swaddle sheets, or when they begin rolling over. At this point, you can either remove the swaddle completely and hope your child can cope, or swaddle transition them gradually with the help of another clothing item like the baby sleeping bag that offers similar comfort and restriction, but a bit more freedom of movement. There’s no right or wrong. As long as your little one is happy and comfortable when sleeping, that’s the important thing.
Want to See Some Zipadee-Zip Reviews from Real Parents? Take a Look at Our Testimonials Page!
It goes without saying that you should choose a sleeping bag that is machine washable and quick drying. This is especially important if you don’t have a large collection of replacement clothes to rely on when something spills or your child throws up.
Equally, baby sleepsuits that can be removed easily will help you when making quick changes. So look for how the sleeping bag fastens, including any zips and clips. If they look difficult or complicated to work with, you might want to look elsewhere. No one wants a cumbersome attachment getting in the way of your midnight change when you realize your child has wet themselves!
Also, in your search for the best sleeping bag for baby, be careful about choosing products with extra accessories attached to them like fancy buttons or ribbons. While these additions might look great, they could cause your child discomfort or present a potential hazard if they become detached or loosened while your little one moves around in their sleep.
Baby sleepsuits that can be removed easily will help you when making quick changes. So look for how the sleeping bag fastens, including any zips and clips.
Don’t spend all your budget on one amazing baby sleeping bag! We recommend you invest in at least 2 sleeping bags for your baby or toddler. This is particularly important in winter, when items take longer to dry and you could find yourself short of your essential baby clothes.
For some other great tips and advice for buying baby clothes, check out our blog: The Ultimate Guide to Buying Baby Clothes Online.
Choosing the Best Sleeping Bag for Baby - Final Considerations
Finally, the best baby sleeping bag for baby depends on them being used properly and safely. A few important things to keep in mind are:
- Watch for overheating– no matter how perfect your room’s temperature seems, always be mindful that infants are highly sensitive. We recommend regularly watching for signs of overheating and checking how the temperature in the room might change quickly because of the weather or time of day.
- Choose the right size – you may have to buy a few different sets of baby sleeping bags as your child grows during their early months, but it’s worth it to prevent them from being too restricted by their clothing, or from them slipping down into the bag, if it’s too big.
- Keep it simple – some sleeping bags have accessories like hoods, but it’s better to keep things simple when it comes to the design of your baby sleeping products. Anything that is unnecessary or could increase the risk of SIDS is better avoided for the sake of safety.
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