Can You Swaddle Under A Sleep Sack?

Understand whether or not you should swaddle under a sleep sack.

So little sleep, so many questions! When it comes to dressing your baby for bed so that they’re safe and comfortable, keep reading for some FAQs about sleep sacks, swaddles and more! 


Can you swaddle under a sleep sack?

Sleep is such an important part of our health and wellness and when you’re a new parent, sleep becomes a priority not just for your baby, but for everyone who sleeps under the same roof. While swaddling, when done properly, provides so many benefits for your newborn – mimics life inside the womb, promotes safe sleep, can reduce the risks of SIDS – it’s best done while your infant is considered newborn through about 8 weeks. At that point, a lot of parents love transitioning to a sleep sack, which provides many of the same benefits as swaddling.

If you’re curious how to use a swaddle sack, the Dreamland Baby gently weighted Dream Swaddle makes for a great option as it’s both a swaddle and a sleep sack. The easy-to-use, built-in swaddle band makes swaddling easy and comfortable for both you and your baby. It can be worn three ways, both arms in, one arm in, or both arms out, to effortlessly adapt to your baby's changing sleep habits.


What is the safety protocol for sleep sacks?

Sleep sacks are also known as a baby sleeping bag and as a wearable blanket. Since it’s never safe for babies under one year to sleep with a blanket, a sleep sack is the safest way for your baby to catch their Zzz’s. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that “bare is best” meaning that all infants and children under one year use a sleep space (crib, bassinet, co-sleeper) that is free of soft objects such as toys, stuffed animals, pillows, blankets and other loose bedding, which can increase the risk of suffocation. This is also true of swaddling. It is generally safe for infants to sleep in a sleep sack once they start to roll over. This ensures that they can push themselves up when they start to roll over on their own, usually between 2-4 months. Babies should not wear sleep sacks with swaddle attachments or wraps once they start to roll over on their own.

It’s important to note that whether you use a sleep sack or a swaddle, that the safest position for baby is always on his back, for naps and nighttime, until they’re at least 12 months old.


Why is the purpose of sleep sacks?

Parents are really divided on whether to use the swaddle or sleep sack for their newborn since either is a great option. If you’re wondering how to use sleep sack for your newborn, it’s pretty simple. Considered a sleeping bag for your baby, sleep sacks ensure that your infant will sleep safely by eliminating the need for anything extra in his crib, per the AAP’s guidelines for safe sleep. That means no blankets, no toys, just baby in his crib, bassinet or co-sleeper, in nothing but his wearable blanket. Sleep sacks also help regulate your infant’s body temperature which keeps him from being too cold, too hot, and makes their sleep just right, similar to what it was like inside the womb. 

The good news is, some babies love their sleep sacks and want them well into toddlerhood and they’re usually available in larger sizes to accommodate your growing child.


When is it safe for a baby to use a sleep sack?

Can newborns use sleep sacks? Absolutely!  But first comes the swaddle, usually. If that’s the case and your baby doesn’t seem to like the swaddle anymore, it’s possible they’ve outgrown it. Once your baby is able to roll over on their own, they typically no longer like the swaddle as it may restrict their movement. While every baby is different and starts to roll over at different times, this milestone is usually reached between 2-4 months old.  By then it’s a great idea to a sleep sack. Also known as a wearable blanket, a sleep sack can give you the peace of mind that your baby is safe in their sleep space as a sleep sack helps regulate their temperature and requires nothing extra in baby’s crib.


What is the purpose of swaddling?

A swaddle is a large blanket, typically made of light material, that is used to wrap up - or swaddle - your baby nice and tight (like a burrito!). This is meant to sooth your newborn infant as they adjust to life outside the womb. That tight feeling of swaddling is meant to mimic life inside the womb and helps baby feel comfortable, safe and secure. Swaddling is typically done from birth to around three months.


At what age do babies use swaddles?

Most babies are swaddled when they’re still at the hospital, before they’re even taken home. That’s because newborns love a nice, tight, swaddle that makes them feel like a little baby burrito. The snug feeling of swaddling can help newborns feel safe and soothed, almost as if they're back in the womb. Once they start rolling over on their own – usually at around 2-4 months, it’s a good idea to transition to a sleep sack as that offers many of the same benefits of swaddling while keeping baby safe.


How should you dress your baby in a sleep sack?

Putting your baby in a onesie or even pajamas underneath their sleep sack depends on the temperature, and either is more than okay to do. Babies, like adults, sleep better when they’re cool as opposed to too warm, so keep this in mind when dressing your baby for bed. Similarly, if it’s cold outside but your heat is on overnight, consider this when putting baby down for for bed. Same goes for summer when your air conditioning may be blasting. You won’t want to “overdress” your baby in any weather so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on him to determine his comfort level overall.

In terms of comfort and style, consider our Dream Pajamas! They are comfy, cute and designed to pair perfectly with our sleep swaddles and sacks. You’ll love the premium 100% cotton, sweet designs and colors, too!

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