Parents will do almost anything to help their baby sleep. 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. 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 sack (or weighted wearable blanket) safety and why this is an excellent go-to option for better (and safe!) 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 while they sleep.
First, what is a wearable blanket? Sometimes referred to as baby sleeping bags or a sleeping 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 face if the proper size is used. 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 blankets 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 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 blankets aren't.
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 Typical 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 warmer and more comfortable, but innovators are always looking for better product design. That’s what happened here. Tara Williams of Dreamland Baby saw a need for a wearable blanket with a weighted component. She quickly realized the advantage it could off to help babies sleep even better.
What kind of advantage does a weighted sack give? According to Dreamland Baby, maker of the first and only all over-weighted sleep 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 this weighted sack came about when creator Tara Williams was desperate for sleep when her six-month-old was still waking up every one and a half hours. One night she placed her son under a heavy throw blanket as he laid next to her on the couch. She saw an instant calm come over him. After getting the first prototype made and putting her son into the weighted sack, he slept for 12 hours straight! She knew immediately that this was something that could help all babies sleep better.
Moms who have 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.
Mothers who swaddle their young infants will also appreciate that the design of the smallest Dreamland Baby Weighted Sack allows for a removable swaddle option. What's great about this is that babies will transition much more easily from swaddle to sleep sack by maintaining the weighted feeling they've been comforted by all along.
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 Sack is Safe
So far we've confirmed that wearable blankets are a safe way for your baby to sleep providing you follow other guidelines outlined by the AAP (such as putting your baby to sleep on their back.) We've also described how advantageous a weighted sack such as the one offered by Dreamland Baby can be for you little one. Let's now talk weighted sack safety so you can trust you are giving your baby both the best and safest way to sleep.
Dreamland Baby is committed to only 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.
The Dreamland Baby Weighted Sack is Safe; 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 weighted blanket, however. Instead, it has a similar design of a typical wearable blanket for a baby in that it zips and will not cover your baby’s face. The weight follows the safe guidelines of never having a weight of more than 10% of your baby’s body weight.
Weighted blankets are NOT safe for babies as they pose a suffocation risk; our weighted sack from Dreamland Baby is completely safe and will help your baby sleep better.
Proper Sizing Utilizes Less Than 10% of Your Baby’s Body Weight
Dreamland Baby Weighted Sacks 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 food-grade, safe, and non-toxic.
The Dreamland Baby Weighted Sack is backed by doctors and research to demonstrate its safe use for babies ages 0 - 22 months. Not sure what size to choose? The rule of thumb for a safe weighted sack is that it is never more than 10% of your child’s body weight. Here is the size guide for Dreamland Baby:
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.
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, so there is no restricted movement. Your baby will still be able to roll, sit, or stand in the Dreamland weighted sack!
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 the 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, 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!)
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 Moms ourselves, we know firsthand how exhausting those first months with a new baby can be. Sometimes this leads parents into using unsafe practices because they’d 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 particular unsafe practice really isn’t that big of a deal.
The goal of Dreamland Baby is to help eliminate those unsafe sleeping practices while still getting your baby the sleep he or she needs. Here are some common unsafe practices we suggest eliminating 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 in a crib or bassinet free of blankets.
- 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.
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 sack offers safety as well as more advantages over a typical wearable blanket to help your baby sleep.
If you have further questions regarding the safety of the Dreamland Baby Weighted Sack, please visit our Safety page!