The transition out of a swaddle and into a sleep sack can be as hard on parents as it is on infants. Cue the middle of the night Amazon panic purchase in the hopes you’ve finally found “the one” that will get your night owl to snooze longer than a two-hour stretch, ugh. Speaking of which, here’s all the free stuff from Amazon you can get if you are in midnight purchase mode.
Because babies under a year old should never have blankets, a sleep sack—which is essentially a wearable blanket—is the next best thing and a great sleep cue for your little one, according to baby and toddler sleep expert, Carolynne Harvey, founder of Dream Baby Sleep.
“Zipping your baby into a sleep sack lets them know that it’s time to snooze and keeps them warm and cozy in a safe way,” she says. While choosing the best baby sleep sacks is certainly a personal choice, there are a few factors you’ll want to consider before adding to cart.
- Fit: Just like clothing, sleep sacks come in a variety of sizes (0-6M, 6-12M, etc.) “The most important thing is to make sure it fits,” says Harvey. “You don’t want loose fabric, especially around your baby’s neck and chest.” A large size range is another added perk. “If you find a sleep sack that works great for your child, they can wear it up to age two and even beyond,” notes Harvey! “It’s no fun when you and your baby fall in love with a sleep product that they then size out of a few months later.” Amen.
- Warmth: The ideal temperature for your baby’s room should be between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit. “If you know your child’s room runs on the colder side of that, you may want a thicker sleep sack; if it’s on the warmer side, you may want a thinner one,” says Harvey. Also, consider what your baby is typically dressed in underneath. Sleep sacks with lower TOGs can be a great investment for summer, whereas you may want a higher TOG sack for the colder months.
- Fabric: While Harvey prefers natural fabrics like wool, cotton, muslin and bamboo over synthetic ones, there’s really no right or wrong answer here. “The best way to choose a fabric would be to note whether your baby has sensitive skin and how your house generally runs (hot or cold). The sleep sack doesn’t really make direct contact with your baby’s skin though, so don’t stress about this too much!”
- Design: Safety first! The American Academy of Pediatrics warns against weighted sleep sacks. “They can restrict a baby’s movement, and should not be used,” cautions Harvey. Other design features to consider are softness and ease of use, especially for those middle-of-the-night wakings—two-way zippers, FTW!
The best baby sleep sacks 2023
HALO Sleepsack 100% Cotton Muslin Wearable Blanket
With over 6,000 rave reviews and an impressive 4.8-star average on Amazon, it’s no surprise HALO, the OG of sleep sacks, gets our vote for best overall—the brand’s cult-fave and award-winning wearable blankets are also the leading choice of hospitals nationwide, which means parents can trust their babe is safe and snug at bedtime.
Parents will appreciate that it comes in sizes starting from birth all the way up to two years, so if your little loves it there’s no tough transition out—just size up. Did we mention it’s super roomy too, promoting proper hip development? The lightweight, 100% cotton muslin fabric is super soft, gentle on babe’s skin and great for warmer climates or families who just don’t like to crank the AC all night.
- Made of lightweight 100% cotton muslin for breathability + to keep your little one cool
- Inverted zipper for easy diaper changes
- Hip-healthy design
- Tons of colors and prints to choose from
- #1 choice of hospitals
- Very reasonably priced
- Some parents report issues with the zipper
- 0.5 TOG rating so may not be warm enough if you keep your house super cold