Best baby sleep sacks and why you need one
When I thought about what topic to write on for my first post, it made sense to start at the beginning of bringing baby home and my biggest struggle as a parent to date – baby sleep. This topic was more mysterious to me than childbirth itself and I had no idea how little I knew before bringing home my sweet little peanut. It only took a few months for me to realize all those nights I spent reading up on (and worrying about) the process of birth should have been spent learning everything I could about baby sleep. I would have been better prepared for the next year of my life.
What ended up happening is that after weeks of sleepless nights, through bloodshot eyes, I started reading everything I could find on newborn sleep. I needed help! What I found was that I was missing two important things – a sleep sack or swaddle and white noise. It was Jilly Blankenship, from Baby Sleep Made Simple, that clued me in to all the wonderful things we as parents can do to help our babies sleep better! While this post is only going to cover baby sleep slacks and swaddles, I’ll be sharing more soon. If you are really struggling with helping your baby sleep well, I encourage you to visit Jilly’s website here.
So why do you need a baby sleep sack?
The number one thing you can do to help your baby sleep better is a baby sleep sack or swaddle. There is a reason the nurse swaddles your baby in the hospital and teaches you how to do it too, or tries to teach you. While some of you may become masters of this baby burrito method, I never did. Using a swaddle blanket was not in my wheel house. I could never get it tight enough and my peanut always wiggled out. But, as I would learn sleep sacks are critical to good sleep for our little ones. Think about those last few months in the womb. Our little ones are very cozy and happy being in a tight small space. They get used to having their limbs all tucked in right next to their body, and being warm! Then all of a sudden they are born and have all this extra space. It’s frightening to say the least. They also have a startle reflex called the Moro reflex. This causes a baby to make a sudden jerking movement that will inevitable wake them up when their hand ends up hitting their face.
I needed technology to help me out with some Velcro and zippers. The wonders of how we have advanced from the time of our parents and grandparents! I went through a lot of sleep sacks and swaddles to figure out what worked for me. So, before you spend a hundred dollars on sleep sacks, I wanted to share what worked for my little one.
My favorite sleep sack by age:
Birth to 6 months (or when your baby starts to roll over)
The SwaddleMe Original Swaddle, size 0 – 3 months was the perfect swaddle for me as a new parent. It was easy to use and kept my little peanut snuggled up tight. It’s great that this pack comes with 3, so you always have a clean one ready for those middle of the night blow outs. These lasted until my baby started rolling over around 5 months. They are the only swaddle you need until your child is ready to move on to a sleep sack.
6 months to 12 months
Finding our first sleep sack proved the biggest challenge of all, and where we wasted the most money! Transitioning from a swaddle to a sleep sack was rough. My baby was so used to having arms tucked in tight that letting them loose was a struggle. I tried some sleep sacks just for transition, but none of them worked. After spending almost $70 I just went cold turkey from swaddling to sleep sack. And after the adjustment period, the Halo Sleepsack Wearable Blanket was just right. It was light enough while it was still warm, but still great with layers under it for cooler winter nights.
(Side note: I live where “real” winter doesn’t happen, so if you experience temperatures below 32, you may need a warmer version of the Halo with a higher TOG rating)
We made sure our baby was out of a swaddle before moving to a crib and once able to roll over. As I mentioned transitioning out of the swaddle was difficult for us. The method that finally worked best was to let one arm stay out of the swaddle for about a week, then both arms out with the tight middle still tucked around the torso for another week. The most important thing is that you do transition your baby out of a swaddle as soon as they can roll over or when you move them to a crib in another room, whichever comes first.
I encourage you to read more about baby sleep safety here.
We are still in a crib over here and still loving our second Halo Sleepsack! Not only does it keep baby warm, but as an anxious momma I’m not ready to give my little one loose blankets just yet. Until we move to a toddler bed we are happy dreaming away in our sleepsack.