How To Use a Newborn Baby Sleep Sack

There are so many benefits to using a sleep sack when it comes to your newborn baby. They help regulate baby’s body temperature creating a comfortable night (or naptime) sleep. A sleep sack also eliminates the need for extra blankets in their crib, co-sleeper, or bassinet, which according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), helps keep baby’s sleep-space safe, and greatly reduces the risk of suffocation. This is why in the sleep sack vs. blanket debate, the sleep sack is the clear winner! But if you’re wondering when, why and how to use a newborn sleep sack and want to learn more about sleep sack safety, keep reading for some FAQs about why sleep sacks work and how to use a baby sleep sack so that everyone gets a better – and safer – night’s sleep!

What should I know when using a baby sleep sack?

Sleep sacks work because they are essentially a wearable blanket that keeps your infant safe, warm, and comfortable.  Sleep sacks are good for newborns through toddlerhood, although every baby is different. Using your sleep sack for nighttime and naptime also helps establish a pattern and becomes a familiar “sleep time” routine.

How to use a sleep sack for newborns?

Sleep sacks can be used starting at birth however most parents feel that swaddling is a better option for their newborn. Swaddling is meant to mimic life inside the womb and is a familiar feeling for your newborn to be wrapped up tight and snuggly.  That said, sleep sacks are a great and easy option for new parents who are intimidated by swaddling techniques.

The Dreamland Baby Weighted Sleep Swaddle was designed in collaboration with pediatricians, NICU nurses and Certified Sleep consultants. It has a fully integrated, inner swaddle band for security and comfort. It is designed to help your baby feel calm, fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. The gentle weight naturally reduces stress and increases relaxation through deep-pressure stimulation to give your baby feelings of security and comfort. It also has a two-way zipper for easy diaper changes which comes in handy for those frequent, middle of the night changes!

How to use a sleep sack for infants?

Sleep sacks help ensure that your infant will sleep safely by eliminating the need for anything extra in his crib. 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!

How long can a baby be in a sleep sack?

Some babies love their sleep sacks and want them well into toddlerhood! It’s a personal choice, for sure, but once baby starts to crawl and explore their surroundings, or becomes an escape artist, it may be time to retire it. When sleep “training,” it’s a good idea to change baby into play clothes when waking up from a nap or night time slumber as this helps to establish sleep cues that will help your baby understand when it’s time for play or sleep!

Where should a baby sleep with a sleep sack?

The safest place for baby to sleep is in a crib, bassinet or co-sleeper. Baby should always be put to sleep on their back – never their tummy! – and always on a firm surface. Remember, “bare is best” when it comes to infant sleep so there should be nothing in her sleep space other than the mattress, tight fitting top sheet, and baby in her sleep sack.

When should I put my baby in its sleep sack?

Baby can be put in her sleep sack for nighttime and naptime. This helps establish a pattern and becomes a familiar “sleep time” routine.

What should my baby wear under a sleep sack?

When it comes to dressing baby, the general rule of thumb is to put them in one extra layer than what you might be comfortable in. Same goes for sleep-time. Because sleep sacks help to regulate baby’s body temperature, a lightweight onesie should do the trick when it comes to what baby should wear underneath his sleep sack. In the winter months, a long sleeve onesie may be preferred.

Keep in mind that while your baby’s hands may feel cold at night, that’s not an accurate measure of his temperature. It’s best to check his back or tummy and adjust accordingly, if needed. You can also keep baby’s hands warm in the sleep sack if it has a swaddle component. The Dreamland Baby Weighted Sleep Sack has a detachable swaddle wing, and also has a two-way zipper for easy diaper changes – a total win-win!

What is the best age to use a sleep sack?

While sleep sacks can be used starting at birth, most parents feel that swaddling is a better option for their newborn. Swaddling is meant to mimic life inside the womb where baby has lived so snuggly for the past nine months. It’s that wrapped, tight feeling that helps baby feel comfortable and familiar as she gets used to life outside the womb. 

Once baby shows signs of rolling (it varies but can start as early as 8 weeks), it’s a good idea to transition from swaddle to sleep sack to avoid serious risks of suffocation. If you’re curious about how to use a sleep sack swaddle, the Dreamland Baby weighted sleep sack has a detachable swaddle wing that helps make the transition that much easier.

Where can I get the best sleep sack for my baby?

When it comes to most things baby-related, the options are a-plenty! There are lots of sleep sacks on the market with different kinds of fabrics, colors and styles.

While every baby is different, the Dreamland Baby weighted sleep sacks work for infants who like the sensation of feeling touched. Weighted sleep sacks are good for baby because they help them feel secure and “held” - like a hug - which can also help calm a fussy baby.

Keep in mind, weighted sleep sacks are considered safe as long as the weight of the sleep sack is no more than 10% of your baby’s body weight. So a 10-pound baby should wear a sleep sack weighing no more than one pound. A 20- pound baby should wear a sleep sack no more than 2 pounds, and so on. As your child grows older, there is some wiggle room by about a pound or two, so always read the manufacturer’s instructions, and when in doubt about anything baby related, consult with your pediatrician.

Are sleep sacks good for sleep training?

Generally speaking, when your little one is between four and six months old, they are ready to start sleep training, but as with everything related to your baby, you know her best! So trust your instincts, speak with your pediatrician, and understand that every baby has their own timeline. That said, establishing sleep routines early on, ie: bath, bottle (or boob!), bed… will help when it comes time for baby to learn to sleep on her own. Similarly, what baby wears to bed also signals that it’s time for sleep, and a sleep sack can certainly be part of the training routine!

Can a baby sleep on its stomach in a sleep sack?

Whether she’s wearing a swaddle, pajamas, or even a sleep sack, your baby should always, always, always be put to sleep on her back. This will greatly reduce the risk of SIDS and adheres to the American Academy of Pediatric “Safe to Sleep” guidelines. The chances of SIDS appear to be greatest between 1-4 months, and greatly seem to decline by the 1-year mark. So until then, please put baby to sleep on her back for all sleep, always.

Not until baby can roll onto her tummy, and then roll back to her back on her own, is stomach sleep generally considered to be okay. If this is an ongoing concern or proving to be difficult, please talk to your pediatrician.

What if the baby rolls over in a sleep sack?

When it comes to sleep safety, baby must always start out on her back. If she is starting to roll onto her tummy after being placed on her back, that may be okay once she hits the 12-month mark. If it’s in the earlier months, however, roll her onto her back again.  This will help to reduce the risks of SIDS.

How do I know if the baby is too hot in the sleep sack?

Sleep sacks help to regulate baby’s body temperature, but if your baby’s back or tummy feels sweaty, consider removing a layer of clothing underneath the sack. Keep in mind the weather and TOG rating of the sleep sack. TOG stands for Thermal Overall Grade and it measures the heat of a particular product. A high TOG rating (let’s say 3.5) means it can be used for cold weather and cool nights, while a low TOG rating (around 0.2) means it is best used in warmer temperatures. Use these as guidelines when dressing your little one for sleep.

How do I know if the baby is too cold in the sleep sack?

Sleep sacks help regulate your baby’s body temperature but if you’re concerned she may be cold, check her back or tummy. They should feel warm, not cool and not sweaty. Her hands and feet may feel cool, but that is fairly typical. If you’re at all concerned, check manufacturer’s instructions and/or the label on the sleep sack to ensure that you’re using it properly. As a rule of thumb, most manufacturers and pediatricians suggest dressing baby in one more layer of clothing than you may be comfortable in. So if you’re wearing pajamas to sleep, consider dressing baby in a onesie and pajamas.

How do you make sure a sleep sack is safe for a baby to sleep in?

Sleep sacks help regulate your infant’s body temperature which keeps them from being too cold, too hot, and makes their sleep just right! A sleep sack also eliminates the need for extra blankets in their crib, co-sleeper, or bassinet, which according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), helps keep baby’s sleep-space as safe as possible.

What are the benefits of a sleep sack for newborns?

There are plenty of benefits using a sleep sack for newborns. The Dreamland Baby sleep sacks are made from 100% natural, soft cotton, and provide room for baby to kick and move her legs. It can be used starting at 8lbs through toddlerhood.

The gentle weight naturally reduces stress and increases relaxation through deep-pressure stimulation to give baby feelings of security and comfort - like a hug! They are designed to help baby feel calm, fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. This deep-touch pressure can help soothe anxiety and encourage calming sleep.  We also have a two-way zipper for easy diaper changes making middle of the night changes easy, so everyone gets back to sleep faster.

Dream Weighted Sleep Swaddle, 0-6 months