Guide: When to stop using sleep sacks?

November 15 2022
Guide: When to stop using sleep sacks?

Sleep sacks for babies and newborn sleep sacks, which are also called wearable blankets and sleep bags, are perfect allies for helping your little one fall to sleep—and stay asleep! 

Many parents, however, often ask questions like: “When is it the right time to stop using baby sleep sacks?”, “What age should my baby stop wearing a sleep sack?”, or “How long do babies use sleep sacks?” Even some wonder if toddler sleep bags, also known as toddler sleeping bags, can assist older infants get a restful sleep.

In this article, we explore when parents should consider starting and stopping using a baby sleep sack for their children. Keep in mind, though, every baby is different as is every sleep behavior, routine, and needs. The following are meant to be guidelines so that you can decide the right time to start and stop relying on both newborn and baby sleep sacks for a restful nap or night of Zzz’s.

When to start using a baby sleep sack

Ideally, baby sleep sacks should be initiated as soon as your newborn begins sleeping at home in either a crib in your bedroom or their own nursery. 

Typically, when you use a sleep sack each time your baby naps and sleeps, a routine is installed ; your baby will positively associate the sleep sack with comfort, coziness and calm. Whether sleeping at home, when traveling or somewhere else, such as at a babysitter’s, grandparents’ homes, or elsewhere, a baby sleep sack lets your child know it is time to sleep.

Sleep sack manufacturers provide a wide range of sleep sack sizes, such as 0-6, 6-18, 18-36. This allows your baby to transition to larger sizes if they love sleeping in their sleep bag.

When to stop using a baby sleep sack

When should you stop using a sleep sack for babies or newborns? The answer is, unfortunately, not as cut and dry as most parents would like it to be. Here are our top tips to determine when it is right to stop using a sleep sack.

One sure-fire way to know when to stop using a baby sleep sack is when it no longer fits and bigger sizes are not available. 

Newborn and baby sleep sacks allow freedom of movement as they are designed to be somewhat baggy so as not to restrict movement. However, as infants grow, they start to move around much more, as they want to crawl, get up and even start their first steps. 

For rambunctious kids, you’ll probably notice some agitation if they’re ready to sleep in just pjs! Nevertheless, you may decide to keep the sleep sack a little longer to foster a more restful sleep. If your baby still sleeps peacefully and doesn’t move around too much, they are still fine with using the sleep sack for a while still. On the other hand, if you feel them no longer as comfortable as they were used to while using the sleep sack originally, that they now take longer to fall asleep, that they wriggle more than usual, maybe they are ready for their transitional bedding. 

The most important thing to consider is there is no reason from a safety or child development perspective to rush your child if they enjoy sleeping in their sleep bag. Every child is different; they are the best gauge as to when they are ready to give up their sleep sack.

How to transition out of sleep sack

As strongly recommended by experts and pediatricians, your baby’s crib should be free of loose items, like flat sheets, blankets, quilts, pillows, bumpers, stuffed animals and toys.

Until your baby is at least 12 months old and ideally up to 18 months, only baby sleeping bags should be used to avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Between 12 and 18 months, there is still a risk that your baby could become tangled up in a loose item and/or suffocate. 

In order to transition your child from using sleep sacks, start by purchasing the right bedding as well as a few cozy blankets. These blankets should be gently introduced to your baby as their new blanket (make it exciting!). You could also opt for only a top sheet, for warmer sleepers, or both a top sheet and blanket. Make sure your baby is familiarized with how to pull it on and off easily. They must have the motor skills to remove the blanket themselves if it interferes with their breathing or if they feel entangled.

If you are still concerned about your baby getting entangled in loose blankets or sheets, simply dress them in warmer pajamas or  sleepers and keep on using a sleep sack for safety. It will make their sleep more peaceful and yours too.

Perlimpinpin sleep sacks and sleeping products for babies

In order to make the right choices for your baby here are simple tips to consider depending on baby growing stages.

New born baby (approximately 0 to two months)

A swaddle blanket can be used  to replicate the safe cocoon of mom's belly until your baby becomes more active and starts moving around. A great product for this period is also available: the newborn sleep sack. It has the features of the regular sleep sack while offering the ability to swaddle without the technique that can sometimes seem a bit complex.

One month old baby but starts to move and tries to roll over on their belly

Now it's time to take baby out of the swaddle blanket and to introduce  the regular sleeveless sleep sack. It will allow a nice transition from the feeling of safety that swaddling offers while answering the need for security that this more active phase needs by avoiding loose blankets.

Three month old baby to at least 18 months

As it was already introduced early on, this must-have accessory to a safe baby's nighttime routine is now something you and baby won't want to do without. Baby will recognize this sign of the beginning of the routine and associate it with all the benefits that rest brings.

18 to approximately 36 months

Now it's the baby's choice! They may prefer to use the sleep sack only or add a blanket of their choice that they  will love to drag around like their favorite blankie. If you’d like to experiment with the blankets, there are several options depending on the season and the temperature of the room. If the sleep sack is still the main accessory for sleep, then you'll probably want to add pajamas underneath to offer  the temperature needed to keep your baby comfortable.

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