As many (if not all) of my clients will attest to, I am a huge fan of the sleep sack as a safe way to blanket your baby for their entire first year.
The Baby Sleep Sack – Swaddling
When a baby is first born, swaddling is recommended to help your child reach a peaceful slumber. The reason why is that newborns begin life with a pretty strong Moro or startle reflex. If you have ever witnessed an unswaddled newborn begin to fall asleep you often will notice that just as they are about to drift under their arms and sometimes entire body will suddenly jump.
That’s the Moro reflex and it’s causes the baby to feel like he or she are falling. And usually ends with them waking up and crying. To combat this, swaddling is a great recommendation and it reminds newborns of the womb. But usually by about 3 months of age, a baby is past the Moro reflex stage and ready to have a bit more range of motion. Actually, in many cases, babies will begin to fight against the swaddle to get more comfortable and end up waking themselves up. And we definitely don’t want that to happen. Enter the baby sleep sack.
Beyond being a safe alternative to a blanket for your little one a baby sleep sack can also be a great part of your nap and bedtime routines to let your little one know that sleep is near. For both of my daughters and for many of my clients, we build it in as one of the last steps of the routines and it is still part of my youngest daughter’s bedtime routine and she will be 2 years old in a month.
And while we are on the topic of bedtime routines, here is a sample of a great bedtime routine for a baby’s first year:
- Nursing or bottle feeding
- Baby Sleep Sack
- Song and kisses goodnight
- Bed (night night…sleep tight)
Over the past 2 decades, the medical community has really campaigned for babies to be put to sleep on their back via “Back to Sleep” and I think it is fantastic. This campaign is printed on every Halo Sleep Sack and some hospitals are beginning to use sleep sacks or the baby sleep sack/swaddle hybrid in the nursery rather than the traditional swaddling blanket. I am so happy to see this because even at the newborn stage, babies can break free of their swaddle (especially if it is not done properly) and quite possibly have their face become covered by the swaddling blanket.
This happened to me when my oldest daughter was first born (and hated to be swaddled from the get go I might add) and I nearly had a heart attack. Yes, a bit over dramatic, but I was an anxiety filled first time mom and we all remember how panicked we can get over anything at that stage. From that moment on she was in a sleep sack and I never looked back.
They come in sizes ranging from Newborn up to XXL (18 – 24 months) as well as many options for patterns. I also love that they come in different cloth types (cotton, fleece and velboa) to accommodate all sleeping climates. During the winter, I would put my daughters in a long sleeved t-shirt and the fleece sleep sack for bed and during the early days before my babies were sleeping through the night the fact that it zippered from the top down allowed for easy and quick middle of the night diaper changes.
I honestly could go on forever about all the different reasons why I love the sleep sack, but in closing, I will say that knowing my littlest one is sleeping safely in her crib surrounded by a blanket that cannot come off. Well, that gives me piece of mind.