Safe Sleep Tips: The Sleep Sack

baby sleep sack - gift of sleep

If you’ve spent any time on my blog or my Facebook page, you’ll know that I’m a proponent of the sleep sack. And while you might find it strange to be talking about this as the summer heats up, but think about it—do you sleep without any covers? I didn’t think so. The sleep sack is a safe way to make your baby comfortable when they sleep.

Safe sleep guidelines

The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) provides safe sleep guidelines aimed at preventing injury or harm to infants. In addition to laying your little one down on their back for naps and bedtime, AAP recommends providing a firm surface for sleep, without any loose objects, bedding, or other articles; this is where a baby sleep sack comes into play.

Swaddle versus sleep sack

Not to be confused with a swaddle, a baby sleep sack is similar to a wearable sleeping bag for your little one. A swaddle—or baby burrito—wraps your baby, holding their arms in place and providing a reassuring pressure. Babies have a strong startle reflex, so loud noises can make them jump or flail their arms when sleeping.

While noise typically won’t wake a sleeping baby, the flailing arms will. Swaddles are excellent baby sleep and are generally safe for ages up to three months. Once your baby becomes mobile and begins rolling, it’s time to ditch the swaddle as they can quickly become entangled. In reality, swaddles are only useful for a short time. While swaddles help keep babies from waking as a result of reflexive movements, swaddles can cause mobile babies to awaken as they fight against the cloth restraints.

Sleep sacks are also known as wearable blankets. Instead of having loose bedding in your baby’s crib, their bedding is worn, allowing movement of arms and legs. And, when the sack is the correct size, it keeps your infant safe from suffocation.

Wearable blanket styles

Much like the difference between cotton sheets and flannel or microfleece sheets, baby sleep sacks come in a range of materials to suit the time of year and temperature in the home. Remember, babies are safest when their sleeping environment is cool, which is why wearable blankets come in handy.

You can buy sleep sacks in fabrics ranging from linen to cotton and fleece. Wearable blankets are typically sleeveless, focusing on keeping your little one’s core and legs warm, and keeping their head and arms uncovered.

But what about sleep training toddlers? Sleep sacks come in a full range of sizes, up into and through the toddler years. Wearable blankets for toddlers are outfitted with foot holes, enabling them to move around without trapping their legs.

If you’ve tried swaddling your baby and it’s not helping soothe your little one, call me. I’ve helped many Philadelphia area families develop sleep routines for infants through preschoolers. Call me today for a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation.

Staying Sane With Kids During Quarantine

baby girl sleep at home

If you are one of the many families finding themselves at home more than usual during the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve likely had your share of ups and downs over the months. While many families have enjoyed the additional family time, cabin fever is taking its toll. Here are some tips for staying sane with kids during quarantine. (more…)

Sleep Regression: Disrupted Sleep During Quarantine

baby sleeping on a blanket

2020 was off to a great start. Your baby was a napping and sleeping rockstar, and all was well. And then a global pandemic forced people indoors, shuttered from the outside world, many furloughed or even fired from their jobs. If your baby’s suffered from a sleep regression, you’re not alone. While a milestone may not be to blame, a dramatic shift in your family’s routine or heightened stress and anxiety can be the culprit. (more…)

This Is the Best Age to Transition from Co-Sleeping

co-sleeping-parent

If you’re stumbling upon this blog from an internet search, you’re likely a co-sleeping parent. And odds are that you’ve encountered an obstacle with co-sleeping. If this is the case, then I’ll tell you now that there is no “best age” to transition from co-sleeping. Instead, the timing is more about when it’s no longer working for your family.

Every family is different

As a certified pediatric sleep consultant, my job is to help those families who reach out to me. So, if co-sleeping works for you, you more than likely don’t need my services. However, if it’s not working, I can help.

Because every baby is different, there’s really no best age to transition from co-sleeping — it’s really more situational. While I am not an advocate for bed-sharing, I trust parents to make the decision that’s right for their family. However, the basics of the Sleep Sense program require that I follow the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) recommendations regarding safe sleep practices. The AAP advises against sharing the same sleeping surface with babies and advocate for room-sharing as a safer alternative. (more…)

Sleep Coach for Baby: Gift of Sleep on Good Day Philadelphia

baby boy

The news of a Fox 29 producer having a baby provided the perfect segway for your own sleep coach for baby to be featured in a sleep segment! I was honored to be invited to Good Day Philadelphia to discuss how to sleep train a baby, but don’t be mislead by the segment’s title — “Techniques for Establishing a Sleep Routine with a Newborn.”

Newborns not doing anything wrong

As I shared with Fox 29’s Mike Jerrick and Alex Holley, in response to Mike’s question, “What’s the number one thing we do wrong when it comes to getting kids to sleep,” newborns aren’t necessarily doing anything wrong.

With a newborn, there’s really nothing wrong. You just do what you need to do to get the baby to sleep. And as the baby grows older, they have the capability to go to sleep independently, usually by about four months. When this doesn’t happen, Philadelphia-area parents hire me to teach them how to sleep train a baby. (more…)

Infant Sleep Training: Is It Safe?

baby sleeping on crib

The first thing you’ll notice about the title of this post is that it specifically states infant sleep training. Now, if you were to ask me if newborn sleep training was safe, I’d respond by stating that newborns just need to be and grow, and not to worry about sleep training. However, the age in question pertains to infants, so the short answer is yes, infant sleep training is safe. Let’s take a look.

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How to Sleep Train Your Baby: Is the Pacifier Bad?

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As a pediatric sleep consultant in Philadelphia’s Main Line, the most common question I get — whether in-person or via email — is an obvious one: how to sleep train your baby. What many people don’t realize is that the answer varies depending on the variables, which include everything from the baby to the nursery setup. Today I’m tackling a common sleep training question: is the pacifier bad?

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Sleep Training Your Toddler with a Trusted Sleep Coach for Baby in Philadelphia: 18 to 24-Month Sleep Regression

two year old sleep regression

You’ve been blessed with a good sleeper from the start, but suddenly your little one is fighting daytime naps and waking in the night. What is going on? You’re likely experiencing the dreaded 18 to 24-month sleep regression. Don’t worry, you’re in good company. As your trusted sleep coach for baby in Philadelphia, I will help you get everyone back on track in no time. Let’s talk about sleep training your toddler during a sleep regression.

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When Should You Hire a Sleep Coach for Your Baby?

baby sleeping

Ahh, the early days of parenting. Perhaps you’re in that period when your newborn is adjusting to day and night, or you have a hungry baby who wakes every hour or so. No matter the cause, you are desperate for sleep and looking for help. If you’re wondering when the right time is to hire a sleep coach for your baby, this is the blog for you.

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