We want to do everything we possibly can to make our little loved ones happy and safe. With so many other things to think of at bed time we want to be safe in the knowledge that we have done everything we can to make sure we all get a good night sleep!
When swamped with feeding, winding, changing your clothes covered in second hand milk, cuddling and what feels like a million nappies to change before bed time, the last thing you want is to be worried that your baby isn't safe in what they are sleeping in. After all, most of us get little to no sleep as it is with a new baby so worrying on top of that certainly wont help.
A sleeping bag can be a much safer, easier option then a duvet or blanket but it is important you choose the correct tog and correct fit for your little one.
The first step:
The first step to choosing the right sleeping bag is to know the temperature of the room which the baby will be sleeping in, this will determine which tog you will need.
It can be tempting in the winter to want to bundle them up because its -2 outside but the reality is that it’s usually much warmer inside and too many layers can mean your baby might over heat.
Babies cannot kick off clothes or covers when they get too hot like adults and they cannot regulate their own temperature, so it’s really important to make sure they are comfortable and safe.
A comfortable room temperature should be around 18 degrees or between 16-20 degrees Celsius. There are lots of different types of room thermometer available and its a personal preference as to which type you choose. We would reccomend looking at reviews before buying.
Choosing the Tog rating:
Once you know the temperature of the room you can choose a suitable tog sleeping bag based on what the baby will likely be wearing underneath. If you are buying a new sleeping bag, this information should be available on the label but if you are unsure, it’s a good idea to double check any information. Don’t be tempted to buy a cheaper manufacturer that doesn’t provide a tog rating on the label.
Here we have a simple to follow guide for choosing the right sleeping bag for your personal circumstances from Emmas Diary:
- Room under 14 degrees: Use a 3.5 tog, with a cotton bodysuit and sleepsuit. It is unlikely you will ever use a tog of this thickness unless you are in a very cold climate or sleeping outside.
- Room under 16 degrees: Use a 2.5 tog bag with a cotton bodysuit and sleepsuit.
- Room at 17-21 degrees: Use a 2.5 tog with a cotton bodysuit.
- Room at 22 to 25 degrees: Use a lightweight 1.5 tog with a cotton bodysuit.
- Room above 25 degrees: Use a 0.5 tog sheet or muslin bag and a short-sleeved bodysuit. These are ideal for very hot weather and summer holidays abroad.
Choosing the right size:
It might be tempting to buy a size up to make it last, but in this instance it’s really important to find the perfect fit. Too big could mean your baby is not safe and could wriggle down under the material. Here is a simple guide to follow to help you choose the right size:
- The arm holes should be snug enough, so your baby cannot get their hands inside the bag. Sleeping bags for smaller babies have additional poppers to help the bag fit.
- The neck holes should not be so big that your baby’s head could slip down inside the bag but should be a comfortable size.
- Openings should have smooth seams with sharp edges, zips or any attachments that could be hazardous.
Other factors to consider:
Once you have found the right tog and size sleeping bag, you may want to consider other factors, it’s advised that you should not choose a bag with arms or a hood as there is a risk of overheating. Select a bag with a long base zip that allows a nappy change without baby being removed.
Check your baby isn’t too hot by touching their chest or back rather than their hands, although it might be a little worrying to touch an icy hand, it is their main body with their vital organs which are what you need to be looking out for. A pair of scratch mitts can help keep little fingers warmer but its perfectly normal to have cold hands or cheeks.
This is the same principle if their hands seem way too hot, or they feel damp or clammy it could be the case that they are wearing too many layers. Again, check the chest and back to get a better reading of their body temperature. If they feel too warm, take off a layer to cool them down.
Here you can find lots more information and advice from the NHS on helping your baby to sleep. And, How to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
Do your research:
Research the product online for safety reviews, websites like Which? have good reputable advice, looking at safety issues of lots of different products including some sleeping bags they have tested.
Look for impartial advice or reviews on safety rather than customer reviews as these are not about bag safety.
For additional peace of mind, we would advise only getting a sleeping bag that conforms to British Safety Standards.
This is often presented in the form of a code on a safety label, such as: EN 15781:2018. which has now replaced BS 8510:2009.
This code essentially means that the product has passed rigorous safety checks to ensure that the baby sleeping bag is made by a reputable manufacturer who has adhered to the highest quality of safety standards *
Consider the material:
Cotton is a good choice as it’s a natural material that lets the skin breathe, we love organic cotton even more, it has far less chemicals throughout the entire production process. A good option for anyone including those with very sensitive skin.
Making it fun:
A sleeping bag can be a really fun accessory as well as a practical one. There are lots of different designs to choose from so once you know which size and tog rating you need the pattern choice is up to you. See here for our current range of organic sleeping bags and matching sleepsuits.
We hope you have found this information helpful in making the best choice for you and your baby.
Rainbow Nation Clothing.