weighted sleep sack

When to Stop Using a Sleep Sack?

How do you determine when to stop using a sleep sack for your child?

I recommend using a sleep sack for as long as your child will tolerate it! Typically, this is until around age 3 when they express that they no longer want to wear it.

The only case when you absolutely must stop using a sleep sack is when your child moves from their crib to a bed. Read more about when to transition to a toddler bed here. 

At that point, it becomes a safety hazard to wear a sleep sack, and they will have a better chance of understanding how to replace a blanket anyway.

Sleep sacks are one of the easiest ways to promote good sleep for your child. 

Number One: It keeps your child warm throughout the night without you needing to constantly replace their blanket. They’ll stay warm and cozy all night which helps them stay asleep…all night.

Number Two: Sleep sacks serve as a cue to your child’s brain that it’s time for sleep. When you put that sleep sack on as part of the naptime and bedtime routine consistently, your child will instantly recognize that as a sign that it’s time to sleep.

Number Three: It will keep them in their crib longer. Sleep sacks make it very difficult for your toddler to climb out of their crib, which is something we definitely don’t want happening.

Now, that we’ve established that sleep sacks are awesome, here’s what to look for when purchasing a sleep sack:

Keep it simple. There are lots of products out there marketed toward babies who are transitioning out of the swaddle and claim they will help baby sleep. Things like the Merlin Sleep Suit are fine if you feel you need them. But a big BUT here is that they can only be used until the baby shows signs of rolling. Which is why we needed it in the first place right?  My advice – keep it simple and get a regular zipper sleep sack.

Material. There are basically three types of sleep sack materials: Cotton, fleece, or muslin. I personally love a cotton sleep sack for all seasons. I dress baby according to the season, or how I’m dressing for bed, then throw cotton a sleep sack on.

Take a look below at my favorite sleep sacks.

For Newborns: The Halo Sleep Sack Swaddle is the best in my opinion. You can use the swaddle until 8-10 weeks and then transition to the sleep sack by leaving the arms out. They still get that wrap around their belly to feel secure.

For Infants and Toddlers: The Halo Cotton Sleep Sack is great to use from the time you transition to the sleep sack, all the way until age 2-3. They come in sizes S-XL.

The Zipadee Zip is great for kiddos that like having their hands contained.

For Preschoolers: The Halo Big Kids Sleep Sack has leg holes so that your child can walk while wearing it and can get in and out of bed.

Are weighted sleep sacks safe? 

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently updated its stance on using a weighted sleep sack with infants. Their reasoning is that while we don’t have evidence that weighted swaddles and sleep sacks are unsafe, there is not enough evidence to suggest that they are safe either.

There are a variety of weighted products sold in the U.S. that claim to help infants sleep better. While that might be the case, (there are no studies on this either), the question becomes at what cost?

Funke Afolabi-Brown, M.D., a pediatric pulmonologist and sleep medicine physician and a member of BabyCenter’s Medical Advisory Board says that “babies’ chest walls are softer than adults, and they often take smaller and faster breaths. “A weighted blanket or swaddle may restrict their ability to breathe effectively, which could be quite dangerous. We need more studies on these types of products to see if they actually impact sleep duration if they’re safe for sleep, and, if so, what weight is appropriate.”

Until we know more, it’s best not to use a weighted sleep sack for now. Instead, opt for a sleep sack without the weight.

Found a sleep sack that you love? Drop it in the comments!

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