What is a baby sleeping bag?
A baby sleeping bag, just like an adult sleeping bag, is used for sleeping. The baby version of a sleeping bag is a bit different: it has armholes or sleeves and fits around the upper body fairly closely to the body of your baby. This prevents your child from turning in the sleeping bag itself. Furthermore, the baby sleeping bag flares out wide, so that your little one's legs have enough room to move.
Why a baby sleeping bag?
Sleeping in a baby sleeping bag is a safe and comfortable way to sleep for your little one. In the first weeks, a sheet and blanket are also fine, but as soon as your child becomes more mobile, he can move his entire bed while sleeping. Before you know it you will find him upside down at the foot end.
This can lead to less practical and unsafe situations. Your baby may crawl under the blanket, which can lead to breathing difficulties. Not a nice idea! A sleeping bag for your baby has a number of advantages over a sheet and blanket:
- Your baby cannot end up with his head under the bedding, which prevents breathing problems.
- Your baby is less likely to roll over from the back to the stomach, which is safe because of the risk of SIDS in the prone position.
- Your child cannot toss and turn and get cold as a result.
- Is your little one a scrambler? A sleeping bag makes it less easy for him to climb out of bed. This way you prevent a nasty fall.
When is your baby allowed in a sleeping bag?
In principle, your baby can sleep in a sleeping bag from birth. So you can safely put him in a sleeping bag when you think he will benefit from it, because he 'walks' through his entire bed or keeps kicking the blankets away. Make sure that you buy the right size when purchasing a baby sleeping bag.
The importance of the right size
A good size baby sleeping bag is very important for your little active person. If the size is too large, your child can sink into the sleeping bag, especially if the neck opening and the armholes are too large. You will still get the same effect as if he were to end up under a blanket. A sleeping bag that is too small is also not nice, because it limits the room for movement for the legs and is not comfortable.
Check for the right size: Can't get the sleeping bag over your baby’s head without opening the zipper (you'll notice soon enough, so don’t try this at home!)? Then the main opening is the right size. Can you also get about 2 fingers between the armholes and can the arms not easily go back into the sleeve without opening the sleeping bag? Then you’re good to go. Check!
Temperature and a sleeping bag for your babyIt is good to pay attention to which sleeping bag you use in which season. But the temperature in the nursery determines your choice. A good temperature for your baby's room is between 16 and 18 degrees. In the first 6-8 weeks, it can even be a bit warmer, around 20 degrees. You can check if your baby is not too hot or too cold by feeling the neck. If this feels pleasantly warm and not clammy, then you’ve got the right temperature.
The TOG Value (Thermal Overall Grade) is a measure that indicates to what extent a product retains body heat. This value is nice to know because retaining too much body heat can lead to heat build-up. Ideally, a summer sleeping bag has a TOG of 0.3-1.0 and a winter sleeping bag a TOG of 2.5-3.0.
Tips for using a baby sleeping bag
There are a number of things to keep in mind when you choose a baby sleeping bag.
- Wash the sleeping bag regularly. Just as you wash the bedding regularly, it is also hygienic to wash the baby sleeping bag regularly. Make sure you have 2, then one is always clean and dry.
- Sleeping bag check. Check the baby sleeping bag regularly for loose stitching, loose threads can pinch your child's little fingers. With nylon stitching you have to be extra aware of this.
- Other bedding. When using a baby sleeping bag, other bedding such as a sheet or blanket is often unnecessary and too warm. You could still combine a thin sleeping bag with a sheet, but make the sheet short and tight.
- No sleeping bag strap. Since July 2004, sleeping bag straps have been withdrawn from the market by the Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, because babies became entangled in them. A sleeping bag strap to secure your child in bed is therefore dangerous. If you still want to limit your restless baby in its movement, then rather choose a safe swaddling method.
- Sleepwear. Adjust your little one's sleeping clothes to the temperature and combine it with his sleeping bag. If it is very cold, use a slightly warmer pajama and romper under his sleeping bag. If it is not too bad, thin pajamas or even just a romper can be enough.