Blankets can be problematic for babies. Not only can they kick them down, exposing themselves to potentially chilly temperatures, but they can also prove dangerous if your child manages to cover their face, obstructing their airway. A sleep sack makes a great alternative, keeping your baby comfy, cozy, and most of all, safe. They are suitable for newborns through the toddler years.
What is a Sleep Sack?
Sleep sacks are essentially what they sound like. You may think of them as a baby sleeping bag or even a type of wearable blanket. But before you grab the first sleep sack you see, know that they come with different TOG ratings, so you will want to choose the right one for your needs.
A sleep sack can serve multiple purposes, but the main one is to keep your baby warm. They help to regulate baby’s temperature and by doing so may help them sleep better and more comfortably.
What Is a TOG Rating?
The TOG rating is a unit of measurement that originated in Britain. It stands for Thermal Overall Grade and is used to determine the thermal insulation of a product. It may be used for clothes, often for baby sleepwear. This is important because you want your baby to be warm, without the risk of overheating.
When you consider the temperature of your baby’s nursery in combination with the TOG value of their clothes, you can better ensure that they are kept at an appropriate temperature, neither too cold nor too hot.
It’s important to remember that TOG values stack. If your baby is wearing an outfit with a TOG of 1 and then you add a sleep sack also with a rating of 1, you now have an effective TOG of 2.
How to Pick The Right TOG of Sleep Sack For Your Baby
Choosing the right TOG of sleep sack will depend on the ambient temperature of the room where baby sleeps. The sleep sack may come in different materials, with organic cotton and Merino wool being top choices.
Rooms at 24°C
- 0.5 TOG sleep sack, paired with a short sleeve top, or just a diaper depending on how high the temperature rises
Rooms at 21-23°C
- 0.5 TOG sleep sack with a short or long sleeve top and pants
- 1.0 TOG sleep sack with short sleeve top
Rooms at 19-21°C
- 1.0 TOG sleep sack with a short or long sleeve top and pants
- 1.5 TOG sleep sack with long sleeve top, or short sleeve top and pants
- 2.0 TOG sleep sack with short or long sleeve top
- 2.5 TOG sleep sack with short or long sleeve top
Rooms at 17-19°C
- 1.5 TOG sleep sack with two long sleeve tops and pants
- 2.0 TOG sleep sack with one or two long sleeve tops and pants
- 2.5 TOG sleep sack with long sleeve top and pants
Rooms at 15-17°C
- 2.5 TOG sleep sack with two long sleeve tops and pants
- 3.5 TOG sleep sack with long sleeve top, pants if needed
Rooms at 15°C or Below
- 3.5 TOG sleep sack with one or two long sleeve shirts and pants. Another layer may be needed if the temperature dips far too low
Keep in mind that these are simply guidelines. Babies are individuals and their needs can and do vary according to their metabolism, current state, and even their preferences. References to “tops” can mean an actual shirt, a body suit, or a onesie. If you find that your little one has cold arms but is otherwise warm enough, you may choose a lighter sleep sack and dress them with long sleeves.
Knowing If Your Baby Is Too Hot or Too Cold
If your little one is too hot, they may become restless and irritable. They may develop a fever, or in the most extreme cases even suffer heat stroke. To know if they are at a good temperature, check the nape of the neck to see if it is sweaty or cold. Your baby may also have flushed cheeks or appear to be sweating if they are too hot or may breathe rapidly.If they are overheated, remove one layer at a time and dab their skin with cool water. They should cool quickly but if not, call your pediatrician.
Conversely, if your baby is too cold, they may become less responsive. If they feel cool and are acting lethargic or are unresponsive, contact your pediatrician.
Sleep sacks are a great way to keep your child comfortable and help them regulate their temperature once you understand the TOG rating and how to dress them for the temperature.