Baby Sleeping Bags – FAQ's
If you're currently in the midst of kitting out your new baby's nursery, you're probably spending a lot of time walking through department stores or gazing at online catalogues. If this is the case, you've no doubt seen a few baby sleeping bags, and may be wondering how to choose your baby's bedding.
Most nursery and baby stores now offer each bedding design in sleeping bag form as well as the traditional cot blanket. Although blankets and sheets are still safe to use, there is a slight risk of babies wriggling under the covers in the night.
Baby Sleeping Bags and SIDS
It is claimed that baby sleeping bags can reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by preventing overheating. Not much research has been done to investigate the claim that sleeping bags prevent overheating, but the products are becoming increasingly popular amongst new parents.
Babies are wriggly little things, and baby sleeping bags were designed to stop babies accidentally covering their heads during sleepy wriggles. Another benefit to sleeping bags is that they prevent babies from kicking off the covers in the night. Sudden temperature changes can disturb a baby's sleep. It could also be said, however, that by preventing this freedom, some babies may become too hot in their sleep and wake as a result.
Choosing The Right Sleeping Bag
Baby sleeping bags are measured by age, and it is important not to place a baby in an oversized sleeping bag. If the sleeping bag is too big, the baby may be able to wriggle further into the bag and end up trapped inside. You can buy baby sleeping bags for newborn babies, although most parents choose to wait until their baby is a few weeks old before moving on from blankets. Younger babies like to feel secure and tucked in, so many prefer blankets. By the time your baby is around six weeks old, he should be ready to try a sleeping bag.
How Do I Know Which Tog To Use?
You should have a couple of tog options in your baby's size, as this will ensure you are placing your baby in the correct sleeping bag for the temperature. The togs you need will depend upon your local climate as well as the season. Always check the temperature of the room your baby sleeps in, as this will help you to select the correct tog for the room. Always refer to the following guide:
- 24 degrees celsius or more – 0.5 tog
- 21 – 23 degrees celsius – 1 tog
- 18 – 20 degrees celsius – 2.5 tog
- 16 – 17 degrees celsius – 2.5 tog plus one blanket
Keep a room thermometer in the nursery at all times, and always check the temperature before choosing which sleeping bag to use each night. You can keep track of your baby's temperature during the night by placing a hand on his tummy. If his tummy feels hot to the touch, he needs a lower tog. Do not try to gage the temperature by touching his hands or feet because it is normal for these to be much cooler.
Safe Usage Of Sleeping Bags
The safety of sleeping bags depends on them being used properly. You should take care to avoid:
- Overheating – you should never use a quilt or duvet to cover a baby in a sleeping bag, because the baby would be put at risk of overheating
- Badly fitting sleeping bags – it is important to ensure you buy the correct size of sleeping bag to prevent your baby from slipping down into the bag during the night
- Hoods – some sleeping bags have hoods attached, these should be avoided because they are thought to increase the risk of SIDS