Baby Serenity UK

02/06/2020

Infant Sleep Bags

What is a baby or infant sleep bag?

A baby or infant sleep bag is also known as a sleeping bag. I will use the word infant for this blog as I prefer to use a wrap for newborns and younger babies. Once your baby is starting to roll which can vary from baby to baby, I advise that you stop using the wrap and start using a sleep bag.  Generally speaking, babies can roll from front to back at around 5 to 6 months of age and usually from back to front a little later at around 6 to 7 months. This is all dependent on your baby's developmental stage which is affected by things such as prematurity or congenital conditions. Rolling can happen before 5 months of age so is something to be prepared for!

Basically speaking, a baby's sleep bag could be defined as a wearable blanket. There are many benefits of these sleep bags and they can enhance the quality and amount of sleep your infant has.

  • Sleep bags are a good idea for infants as they ensure that the infant maintains a constant temperature. The sleep bag will not fall off them like blankets do. so they will not get cold. But, it works the other way too and can decrease the risk of overheating
  • There is no need to use a top sheet or blanket when using a sleep bag
  • A benefit of a sleep bag is that your infant can move around freely and kick his legs around. If a baby is wrapped and starting to roll, there is a potential that he may roll onto his stomach and get stuck. As his arms are inside the wrap he may struggle to move out of this position.This poses a SIDS risk
  • Arm openings should be snug enough so that your infant is not able to get his hands inside the bag. Neck openings should also not be too big that your infant could potentially slip inside the hole
  • Natural, breathable fibres such as merino are excellent for temperature regulation. These materials are not TOG rated as they adjust to the temperature
  • Sleep bags can be a positive sleep association. It is a good idea to use the sleep bag for all sleeps and to implement a familiar routine at nap and bed times. For example, dinner (if on solids), bath and massage, get changed into sleepsuit and have a feed (either breast or bottle) and then  put the sleep bag on. This can then be followed by some quiet time with a story and cuddles. This order sometimes needs to be changed around, depending on the individual needs of the infant. Positive sleep associations can really help both parents or caregivers prepare their infant for sleep
  • Sleep bags need to conform to the British standards BS 8510:2009

What TOG do I need to use?

One of the factors affecting the TOG to be used is the temperature in the infant's bedroom (parents room if still sharing a room). Recommendations are that the room temperature is maintained around 16 degrees celsius and 20 degrees celsius. With this in mind, different times of the year, will require the need to use a lighter or warmer sleep bag or remove or add some clothing. You may find in the winter months, your infant requires a 2.5 TOG with a vest and sleep suit, whereas in the warmer months, he may just wear a vest with a lighter TOG bag.

Also, bear in mind that when your infant is unwell, you may need to adjust what he is wearing and the bag he is using. 

 

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