It's no secret that much of what moms and dads do during a baby's first several months is to try to figure out how to help their baby sleep at normal times and for longer stretches. A survey from Owlet Baby Care found that nearly half of all parents with children six months or younger get just one to three hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. As hard as it can be to experience more sleeplessness than you've probably ever known in your life, this is developmentally normal for your baby. But that doesn't mean there aren't ways to help. What's important to understand as you're trying to help your baby sleep better is what is safe and what's not - and it can be hard to know. Today we're talking about weighted blankets your baby can safely wear and why this is an excellent go-to option for better sleep for your little one.
When it comes to understanding what is safe for your baby, we know you want the research to back it up. We will give you all the details on what makes a weighted sack such a benefit for your baby's sleep as well as information provided by credible sources to show that they are safe.
What a Wearable Blanket is and Why They Are Safer Than Blankets
Weighted sacks are a unique type of baby sleeping bag that we'll cover in depth shortly. But first, we want to talk about what a wearable blanket is and why it's the safest option to keep your baby cozy and secure while they sleep.
First, what is a wearable blanket?
Sometimes referred to as baby sleeping bags or a sleep sack, it’s like a type of clothing that doubles a blanket. They almost always zip on to stay in place. They will never cover your baby’s nose or mouth if the proper size is used, because they are being worn instead of loose. Some wearable blankets also double as a swaddle (which can be used for babies not yet rolling over.)
“Sleep sacks” were first developed by Bill Schmid under the Halo brand. He was looking for a safe sleeping alternative to loose blankets in the crib after his daughter, Haley, died of SIDS, in 1991. He felt it was his mission to do anything he could to help reduce the number of SIDS deaths. Around this time, the "Back to Sleep" campaign began, which educated parents that putting babies to sleep on their backs was the safest way for them to sleep. This is why you'll see Halo sleep sacks printed with the words, "Back is Best."
Wearable blankets have only gotten more and more popular since then. But parents still want the facts - are they safe? Yes! Healthychildren.org states, "If you are worried about your baby getting cold, you can use infant sleep clothing, such as a wearable blanket." They warn that other than the wearable blanket, your baby's crib should be free of any other soft objects, crib crib bumpers or loose bedding.
So, why are wearable blankets okay when normal blankets aren't?
The American Academy of Pediatrics cautions that any loose bedding, pillows, and even stuffed animals pose hazards to infants because of the suffocation risk. Wearable blankets, alternatively, zip on and stay on. As long as it fits properly, there is no way that it can cover a baby's face. That's why wearable blankets are safe and loose (or free) blankets are not.
The fact is that you want your baby to be warm and comfortable all year long. But blankets just aren't a safe option to use when your baby isn't supervised. That's why a wearable blanket is what you'll want for your little one instead. We even lined up our favorites on this list here!
Remember how I said those wearable blankets have come a long way since the first one made? You can now get a weighted one that is completely safe. Let’s find out what makes it unique!
The Difference Between a Plain Wearable Blanket and Weighted Sack
Though wearable blankets have been in use by parents for nearly 30 years, weighted sacks are a recent addition to the wearable blanket market. Wearable blankets definitely offer advantages in helping your baby sleep by keeping them warm and comfortable, but innovators are always looking for better product design. That’s what happened here.
What kind of advantage does a weighted sack give?
According to Dreamland Baby, maker of the first and only all evenly distributed weighted sack, benefits for your baby include:
- its gentle weight feels like a parent's hug
- weight increases serotonin (the "happy" chemical!) and melatonin to relax your baby and induce sleep (exactly as weighted blankets do for adults)
- increases relaxation
- decreases cortisol levels to reduce your baby's stress as they prepare to sleep
- can help calm down distracted babies while breastfeeding
The design for Dreamland Baby came about when creator Tara Williams (a mom of four) was desperate for sleep. Her six-month-old son was still waking up every 1.5 hours. One night she placed him under a heavy throw and saw an instant calm come over his face. Immediately she knew he needed a weighted blanket.
Her mother-in-law sewed the first prototype and after putting her son into the weighted sack, he went from waking up every 1.5 hours to sleeping through the night! His sleep improvement was so immediate Tara knew she could help other exhausted parents achieve similar sleep success.
Though not all babies will see this kind of sleep stretches success the very first night, many parents are seeing incredible sleep results within the first week while using Dreamland Baby.
Parents who’ve used the Dreamland Baby weighted sack with their little ones describe it as a "miracle worker" that helps their babies fall asleep calmly and quickly and allows them to sleep for longer stretches at a time.
Mom Isha J. writes,
“We absolutely love it! My 5-month-old baby is sleeping through the night EVERY SINGLE night and naps are longer- only thing I’ve done different is started using the weighted sack! This Dreamland Dream Weight Sack is our best friend & I don’t think I could ever live without it, only thing is I wish we had found it sooner!”
There is a weighted swaddle option, too!
Most parents swaddle their young infants because of the calming womb-like environment they provide. So those with new babies will appreciate that the design of the Small Dreamland Baby Weighted Sack, which best fits babies between 0 and 6 months, has a removable swaddle wing. What's great about the weighted swaddle is that babies will transition much more easily from swaddle to sleep sack by maintaining the weighted feeling they've been comforted by since birth. Dreamland Baby is indicated for infants 8 pounds and up.
Not only has Dreamland Baby made a product that helps babies (and in turn whole families) sleep better, but the company has also made safety a top priority.
How We Know Our Weighted Swaddles and Weighted Sacks are Safe
In this article, we've confirmed that wearable blankets are a safe way for your baby to sleep providing you follow the other guidelines of safe sleep outlined by the AAP (such as putting your baby to sleep on their back, on a firm surface, without other soft bedding in the crib).
We've also described how advantageous a weighted sack such as the one offered by Dreamland Baby can be for your little one.
Weighted Sack Safety: trust you are giving your baby both the best and safest way to sleep
Dreamland Baby is committed to providing products that are 100% safe for your baby. Here are several points we’d like to address to give you comfort in knowing that you’re only giving your baby the best.
1. The Dreamland Baby Weighted Sack is Safe; Loose Weighted Blankets Are Not
You’ve probably heard that loose weighted blankets aren’t safe for babies, and that is completely true!!
We want to emphasize that Dreamland Baby is NOT a loose weighted blanket, it is a weighted sack your baby can safely wear. It has a similar design of a typical wearable blanket for a baby in that it zips and will not cover your baby’s nose or mouth. The product follows the recommended weighted blanket safety guidelines of never having a weight of more than 10% of your baby’s body weight.
Though weighted blankets are NOT safe for babies or toddlers under 2 years of age as they pose a suffocation risk, our weighted sack from Dreamland Baby is completely safe and will help your baby sleep better.
2. Proper Sizing Utilizes Less Than 10% of Your Baby’s Body Weight
Dreamland Baby Weighted Sacks have a two-way zip function and are made from 100% soft, natural cotton. The front portion is designed with weighted quilting, with the weight coming from tightly sewn inner beads that are safe, non-recycled, non-toxic. The weight is evenly distributed across the entire front of the sack (with no weighted component on the back) to offer the perfect balance for safety and improved sleep.
The Dreamland Baby Weighted Sack is backed by doctors and research to demonstrate its safe use for babies ages 0 - 22 months, 8 pounds and up.
Not sure what size to choose? Check the size guide below. Our [rpducts fit true-to-size. We do not recommend sizing up. Every weighted sack provides ample room for kicking and healthy hip development.
Here is the size guide for Dreamland Baby:
- This size includes a detachable swaddle wing (to be removed once baby shows signs of rolling)
- Perfect for your baby who is learning to sleep in longer stretches for both naps and nighttime sleep
- Toddlers need great sleep, too! Help them sleep soundly with the only all-over weighted sleep sack for toddlers.
Choosing the right size means you’re giving your baby the safest option.
Using the size guide as a starting point, you’ll want to know how much your baby weighs. You should not move up to the next size until your child has reached the minimum weight recommendation. So even if your baby is already 6 months, if they are not yet 15 pounds, you should keep them in the 0 - 6-month size until they do reach that weight. Please reach out if you are ever unsure about sizing.
3. Dreamland Baby is also safe if your baby can roll over!
Though we always recommend that you place your baby to sleep on their back, babies will start to roll as early as 3-4 months of age.
As your baby starts showing signs of rolling over, you'll want to move your baby out of the weighted swaddle and into the weighted wearable blanket. Luckily, Dreamland Baby's 0 - 6 month size has a removable swaddle wing you can take off!
Remember that the weight is gentle (10% or less of baby's body weight), so movement is unrestricted. Your baby will still be able to roll, sit, or stand, anything baby can do in a non weighted sleep sack.
4. Prior to its release, safety testing and a clinical trial demonstrating safety were completed by Dreamland Baby.
As an absolute top priority of the company, it was important to ensure they were only delivering a product that was 100% safe for babies to sleep in.
Here is specific safety information you should know:
Dreamland Baby has exceeded all United States Consumer Product Safety Commission standards plus additional optional testing.
- Dreamland Baby Weighted Swaddle is acknowledged by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute as a “hip-healthy” product when used as directed.
- We source natural and toxic-free materials for ultimate comfort and safety.
- Our weighted sack for babies was designed in partnership with Pediatricians, Pediatric Pulmonologists, Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) nurses and Certified Sleep Consultants.
- A clinical study by the National Association of Neonatal Nurses reported the gentle pressure from weighted blankets are not only safe for infants, but also significantly increased calm feelings which resulted in infants staying asleep longer.
- According to this study, the “deep touch pressure” offered by weighted blankets “gives subjects the feelings of safety, relaxation and comfort.” This study explores the safety and therapeutic effects, with the majority of respondents reporting lower anxiety. (This goes for babies, too!)
- With a TOG rating of 0.6, each sack can be used year-round in both warm and cool climates. Read more here.
- All products are rigorously tested with both required and non-required testing. Visit our Safety Page to see all of the testing procedures that have been performed.
To even further prove the safety of the Dreamland Baby Weighted Sack, we reached out to a chiropractic physician to get her seal of approval.
A Chiropractor Gives Her Safety Seal of Approval Of Dreamland Baby
We know how much your baby’s safety matters to you and that you only want the best and safest products.
That’s why we’ve teamed up with Dr. Sarah Mitchell of Helping Babies Sleep. Here she describes the benefits of using the Dreamland Baby weighted sack as well as how you can feel confident you are putting your baby in a safe garment for naps and nighttime sleep. Through the years, Dr. Mitchell has helped hundreds of families teach their babies to sleep.
Some of the key points Chiropractor Dr. Sarah Mitchell describes include:
- Wearable blankets are approved and suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics to help your baby sleep in a crib.
- Weighted blankets help calm fussy babies and induce sleep per a study done in the NICU in Cincinnati, Ohio (but weighted blankets aren't a safe option for crib sleep)
- Dreamland Baby has taken the safety of a wearable blanket and the sleep-inducing benefits of a weighted blanket and combined them to make a safe weighted sack
- Provides sensory input to relax babies into sleep and is especially helpful for babies who struggle to sleep or are used to being held to fall asleep
- The optional swaddle found on the Dreamland Baby is helpful for newborn babies up to the time they begin to roll on their own
- The weighted sack is made with all-natural, non-toxic fibers including the food-grade poly pellet beads within the front of the sack that give it its weight.
How to Move to Safer Sleep Practices with a Weighted Sack
As parents ourselves, we know firsthand how exhausting those first months with a new baby can be. Sometimes this leads parents into using unsafe sleep practices; willing to do almost anything to help their baby sleep better so everyone in the home can get the rest they need. Sometimes our sleep-deprived brains can convince ourselves that a risky practice really isn’t that big of a deal when they’re actually things you should never be doing.
The goal of Dreamland Baby is to help eliminate those unsafe sleeping practices while still getting your baby the sleep he or she needs.
Common unsafe practices you should eliminate as soon as possible:
- Don’t Co-Sleep - Bed sharing is common among new parents with babies, and it often happens unintentionally because everyone is just oh so tired. But it is not safe and should be avoided. In fact, the AAP does not condone bed-sharing due to its SIDS risk.
- Don’t Use Sleep Positioners - Wedges, mats, or anti-roll type pillows are not a safe place for your baby to sleep. Just because something is available for sale doesn’t mean it’s safe and we suggest you do your research before using any of these. The FDA warns that sleep positioners can cause suffocation.
- Don’t Let Your Baby Fall Asleep on Soft Surfaces - It can be difficult not to doze off with your little one beside you on the couch, but you really need to be careful. If you find yourself getting sleepy, put your baby down to sleep on their back on a firm mattress in a crib or bassinet free of blankets. You can find a great list of safe crib mattresses here.
- Don’t Let Your Baby Sleep Unsupervised in a Carrier, Sling, Car Seat or Stroller. Of course, we know there will be times that this can’t be avoided. But it should only occur when you are awake and can keep a close eye on your little one.
To replace these practices we recommend instead using a Dreamland Baby Weighted Sack which has been proven to help babies sleep better and for longer stretches. The weight of the sack mimics a hug from a loved one while reducing stress and increasing feelings of calm, making it the safe alternative to all of the unsafe practices listed above.
One additional point to address is that you need to move your baby out of a swaddle once they show signs of rolling over.
Parents often swaddle their babies for too long because they see that their babies sleep so well in them. But swaddling a baby who rolls over can be dangerous, which we explain in our article, “The 3 Signs it’s Time to Stop Swaddling Your Baby.” Newborns will benefit from using the weighted sack with swaddle wing as they can easily transition to just the sack when it’s developmentally time.
Dreamland Baby is a Safe and Beneficial Choice in Wearable Blankets
We know that safety is the number one priority of parents when they are making decisions about what products to use with the little people in their lives who they love more than anything. We also know that sleeping is what allows your baby to thrive and grow, while good sleep for parents is also vital.
With Dreamland Baby, you can be confident that the weighted swaddle and weighted sacks are completely safe. They also offer significant benefits to comfort and relax your baby so everyone can sleep better.
Are Weighted Sleep Sacks Safe? - Baby Weighted Sleep Sack Safety FAQs
Babies are indubitably a blessing but these little bundles come with plenty of challenges.
One of the main issues that parents of newborns and babies have to deal with is the lack of sleep.
Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot you can do to get a baby to sleep more soundly, but it can be very frustrating nonetheless. That being said, there is one innovative and safe solution that’s gaining traction in parenting communities: using a weighted sleep sack.
While this can be a great idea, some parents are left wondering: Are weighted sleep sacks safe? The short answer to this is “yes.” Keep reading to find out more about weighted sleep sack safety, the difference between wearable blankets and weighted sacks, how weighted sleep sacks work, and general sleep tips for babies recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Are weighted sleep sacks safe?
A sleep sack is a type of blanket that’s like a sleeping bag for babies. They’re generally made of soft materials and have armholes and a zipper in the front to allow parents to safely close the sack.
A sleep sack gives babies the warmth and comfort of a traditional blanket without putting them at risk of suffocation since they’re wearing it and it cannot cover their nose or mouth.
In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics says that “Infant sleep clothing is preferable to blankets and other coverings to keep the infant warm. A large percentage of infants who die of SIDS are found with their head covered by bedding. Therefore, no pillows, sheets, blankets, or any other items that could obstruct infant breathing or cause overheating should be in the bed.”
Infant sleep clothing refers to sleep sacks, so the AAP views sleep sacks as a safe sleeping option.
Weighted sleep sacks are a novel idea as they contain weighted beads inside which give babies the feeling of being gently hugged. Additionally, the evenly distributed weight can help increase relaxation and reduce stress. This, in turn, can help them sleep more soundly.
Dreamland Baby specifically created this innovative product so that it takes into consideration the AAP’s recommendations, is completely safe, and can help your baby sleep better.
Are sleep sacks safe for newborns?
Not only are sleep sacks totally safe for newborns, they’re recommended as long as your baby is wearing the appropriate size. There’s no shortage of brands that make sleep sacks for tiny babies. Is a sleep sack safe for baby? Rest assured that sleep sacks are also totally safe for babies.
Are weighted sleep sacks safe for newborns?
Weighted sleep sacks are safe for newborns, infants and babies with a minimum weight of 8 pounds. In fact, they offer a unique deep-pressure stimulation so they feel security and comfort and, ideally, sleep longer and more deeply.
Are weighted sleep sacks safe for babies?
Babies can also use a weighted sleep sack to help them sleep longer, and there is a specific sack for babies weighing 15 pounds and more. These were designed specifically to provide parents with a safe product with the potential to help babies sleep better.
Before going to bed at night, parents using these options should ensure that their baby is sleep sack safe.
It’s more important than ever to have your baby sleep on her back with her feet at the bottom of the crib to keep the sleep sack safe for baby. The sack should be loose-fitting enough that it does not constrict any part of her body but tight enough that no excess fabric can get near the baby’s mouth and nose.
Many sleep sacks are designed to keep babies warm, which is great during colder months, but if parents are using a weighted sleep sack for sleep in hotter months, it is important to ensure that your baby doesn’t overheat by dressing her in light, breathable clothing.
Are weighted blankets safe for infants?
Weighted blankets are not safe for infants because regular blankets are not safe for infants; they are a suffocation hazard. Weighted blankets are even more dangerous as their added weight would make it harder for infants to pull the blanket away from their mouth and nose.
Are weighted blankets good for babies?
The answer to that question is “no.”
Along the same lines, babies should not use weighted blankets because they run the risk of getting trapped under them.
Weighted blankets are suitable for children aged 3 and up or who weigh 30 pounds or more. At this age, kids are able to remove the blanket themselves.
While weighted sleep sacks are safe for babies and were created specifically with babies in mind, weighted blankets are not. Babies should not sleep with blankets of any kind, including weighted ones, for safety reasons.
Wearable blankets vs. weighted sacks
Traditional sleep sacks have been growing in popularity over the last decade. Traditional sacks and weighted sacks are aesthetically similar, including having a closed bottom and zip up front. Both also offer swaddle options, for younger babies, and models with no arms so that babies don’t feel overly restricted.
The most significant difference is that weighted sleep sacks have tiny beads in the fabric meant to add weight to the wearable blanket.
Similar to traditional sacks, weighted ones also allow your baby’s arms to be free, which lets them explore their environment, doesn’t suppress the involuntary arm movements common among infants, and leaves their arms free to push themselves up if they manage to roll over.
Do weighted sleep sacks work?
Weighted sleep sacks are designed specifically to help babies and children sleep better. The gentle weight helps increase serotonin and melatonin, while at the same time decreasing cortisol.
They also help reduce the moro reflex, the automatic reflex all babies have but which often jolts them awake when they’re sleeping.
AAP-approved sleep sacks
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not have an official stance on any brand of sleep sack, but does support their use, saying, “Keep soft objects, loose bedding, or any objects that could increase the risk of entrapment, suffocation, or strangulation out of the baby's sleep area... If you are worried about your baby getting cold, you can use infant sleep clothing, such as a wearable blanket. In general, your baby should be dressed with only one layer more than you are wearing.”
They also recommend that parents stop swaddling as soon as their baby shows any signs of rolling over, making a sleep sack a viable choice. They also warn against potential overheating, which means that any sleep sack used would have to be breathable, and babies should be dressed in temperature-appropriate clothing.
Sleep sacks should always be purchased from a reputable company that uses quality materials that are durable and safe for a baby’s skin.
Safe sleep tips for newborns and babies
It’s worth highlighting the most important sleep tips for babies. Whether you ultimately decide to use a weighted sleep sack or not, these AAP recommendations are essential for the safety of all infants.
- The baby’s sleeping area should be clear of all objects, including but not limited to blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals.
- Babies should always be placed on their backs when sleeping, even during nap times.
- Babies should never sleep on a couch or chair, nor should they sleep on an adult who is on a couch or chair.
- The crib should stay in the parent’s room for the entire first year of the baby’s life.
- Babies should always sleep in their crib; co-sleeping is discouraged in the first year due to the risk of suffocation.
- The crib mattress should be firm.
- Babies should always be dressed appropriately for their environment. Clothes should keep them warm, but not too warm, and all fabrics, including clothes and sleep sacks, should be unrestricted but not loose enough that loose fabric could pose a suffocation risk.
The parents’ choice
Ultimately, the choices parents make for their babies are their own. Whether you decide to swaddle, use a sleep sack, use a weighted sack or use nothing at all is entirely up to you and you must do what you feel comfortable with. As long as parents follow the AAP’s sleep tips, your baby should sleep safe and sound.
That being said, especially for parents struggling to help their babies rest properly, a weighted sleep sack is a safe option for your child. They can be an excellent tool to help your child stay comfortable, secure and sleeping.
The information provided on this website is not intended nor is implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If your baby has a pre-existing medical condition or you have other safety concerns seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider.
If you have further questions regarding the safety of the Dreamland Baby Weighted Sack, please visit our Safety page.