Baby sleeping bags have quickly become a parenting must to help create the perfect sleeping environment for your little one with the hope of helping your little one have a better night sleep, and you as a parent in return!
Essentially a baby sleeping bag is a wearable blanket designed to create a safer sleeping environment for your baby or toddler. The benefits of using a sleeping bag tend to speak for themselves, here are a few of the main benefits;
- They prevent your little one from kicking off their covers in the night which can become a suffocation risk.
- They ensure your baby stays at a constant and suitable temperature throughout the night.
- Your little wiggler can move around in the bag and kick their legs all they wish without any associated risks.
- No additional covers are required like blankets or duvets. This helps prevent little legs or arms from getting tangled in excess covers
For all these reasons and more, it is no wonder sleeping bags are increasing in popularity and becoming the answer for many parents worried about safe sleep. However, some recent reports have claimed that some of the sleeping bags on the market have some safety concerns and have not been fully safety tested. So how do you know which one is the right sleeping bag for your little one, and more importantly, is it safe?
We want to make shopping simpler and worry free, so we have bought together all the key points to look for, and what to watch out for, when shopping for a baby sleeping bag to help you sleep easy knowing your little one is nodding off in a safe sleeping bag.
A TOG rating is important to help you pick the correct level of thickness for your little one’s sleeping bag to help them stay at a safe and comfortable temperature all night long. Put simply, the higher the TOG, the more warmth the sleeping bag will retain, the lower the tog the less heat it will retain.
Why is a TOG rating so important? Unlike adults, little ones can't regulate their own temperature yet. So if they are placed in a sleeping bag that is too thin they will become chilly, or if the sleeping bag is too thick they can overheat. Overheating is believed to be a common cause of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
The TOG rating of your little ones sleeping bag should correspond with the temperature of the room your baby is sleeping in. Research has shown some sleeping bags on the market don’t have TOG information on their packaging or labels. Choose one that has clear TOG ratings so you can pick the right one for the temperature of their sleeping environment.
Or opt for a sleeping bag made from temperature regulating natural fibres such as Merino wool which has the unique ability to keep your little one cool when it is hot and warm when it is cold. This means Merino wool covers a range of TOG ratings making these perfect sleeping for all year round use and takes the stress out of worrying about TOG ratings.
Below is a useful guide of suitable TOG rating for the room temperature.
24°c or higher = 0.2 TOG
20°c -24°c = 1 TOG
14°c -20°c = 2.5 TOG
Below 16°c =3.5 TOG
The ideal temperature of your little ones sleeping environment should be around 16°c to 20°c. A baby thermometer can be useful to check the bedroom temperature to help you pick the right TOG sleeping bag.
Sleeping bags made from 100% natural fibres will be the safest choice for reducing the risk of overheating. Whilst it isn’t necessarily unsafe to use a sleeping bag with synthetic fibres, natural fibres go a long way in creating a much more breathable environment allowing for greater temperature control than synthetic alternatives. Try opting for natural fibres such as organic cotton or bamboo which can all help reduce the risk of overheating.
We also highly recommend choosing sleeping bags made from Merino wool such as the Merino Kids Go Go bags which are always our top choice. Merino wool is a wonder fibre and one of the safest fibres to dress your child in. It has so many benefits that makes it perfect for creating the ideal sleeping environment for your little one. Such as; unique temperature regulating properties, it is naturally breathable, naturally antibacterial and super soft.
The shape and design of a sleeping bag is also a key element to it’s safety levels. A safe sleeping bag should have shoulder straps with open and close fastenings such as poppers. Some also have poppers under the armpits to help keep the fit nice and snug, these are typically used on sleeping bags for smaller babies. Features such as this help secure the sleeping bag in the correct place on your little one and prevents their little heads from slipping inside of the sleeping bag as they sleep.
It is also important to check that the neck opening is the right size for the age of your child to ensure baby’s head cannot slip down inside the bag. It’s really important to ensure that your baby’s head is not able to pass through the neck fitting when the bag is properly done up. Those sleeping bags that don’t have shoulder straps or have a neck opening that is too big for the child’s head, can cause an overheating or suffocation risk to your little one if their head was to slip inside.
A safe sleeping bag should also state what age or height the sleeping bag is designed for to help you pick one that is suitable for your little one’s stage. This will help reassure you that it isn’t too big and loose that they could wiggle inside the sleeping bag, and also not too small in case it restricts their movements or air flow. If the sleeping bag does not state the age or height it is designed for, we do not advise purchasing this sleeping bag.
We are seeing an increasing amount of sleeping bags that are putting more focus on the look and design of their sleeping bags over the function and safety. For example, some are having hoods or sleeves incorporated into their designs or buttons for the benefit of the aesthetic. These extra features will all increase the potential safety risks and create a possible unsafe environment for your little one to sleep in. Hoods or envelope openings can increase the risk of your little one overheating or the hood could cover their face in the night.
Extra accessories such as buttons or tassels can easily come loose, come off or your little one might end up sucking on them. If these were to come loose they could become a choking hazard. Instead look for sleeping bags with safe fastenings of only zippers or poppers, with a smooth seam. Some sleeping bags use Velcro to fasten their sleeping bags, we tend to advise against these as it can have scratchy sharp edges and after regular use, can easily become detached.
British Safety Standards
Look out for the British safety standard of BS 8510:2009 or the more recent BS EN 16781:2018 on the sleeping bags label or packaging for extra peace of mind. It is worth bearing in mind that this standard is not mandatory, however any reputable manufacture or brand of sleeping bags should adhere to it to create the safest and highest quality of sleeping bags.
Every sleeping bag should also come with clear and important safety information and instructions on the safest practice and care for the sleeping bag.
Our Top Picks
Merino Kids Go Go Sleeping Bags
Our number 1 choice! Merino Kids create really clever sleeping bags using the wonder fibre Merino wool. Merino wool has some amazing benefits and features that makes it the ideal material to create the perfect sleeping environment for young children. Merino is one of the safest fibres for your child to wear as it keeps them at the right temperature. Being highly breatheable, Merino has a unique ability to create a micro environment over and around the skin. In both cold and warm conditions, it controls and maintains an ideal temperature around the skin and releases excess moisture away from the body, keeping your child dry and warm without the risk of overheating. The breathability and temperature regulating properties of these sleeping bags ensure young children and babies are perfectly adapted to their sleeping environments all night long. The Merino Kids sleeping bags also come in sizing categories to ensure a better fit, with poppers for easy adjustments plus there are no entrapment or strangulation hazards. All their sleeping bags are made from super soft 100% natural and renewable materials. What's not to love!?
The Little Green Sheep Sleeping Bag
This Little Green Sheep sleeping bag is a great option at a great price. It’s brilliant value for money, but doesn’t lack any of the key safety features or quality. It has all the important TOG ratings clearly stated and made from 100% organic cotton which will help with breathability. It is also categorised in sizing to help you get the perfect fit, with the addition of shoulder and adjustable underarm poppers to help with sizing. It’s also brilliant to see all the important safety information and care instructions clearly stated.
SnuzPouch Sleeping Bags
SnuzPouch sleeping bags tick all of the boxes. Their range has varying TOG ratings to suit different room temperatures so you can get the right one easily, as well as a range of sizes for each stage with the addition of poppers too. And the instructions came complete with all of the vital safety information. We love the addition of the clever front nappy change zip which gives you quick and easy access without having to disturb your sleepy little one or having to fully undress them. For safety reasons, the nappy change zip sits at the bottom of the sleeping bag when not in use so it is out of reach of your little one as they sleep. Plus a nice cherry on the top is it’s all made with super soft OEKO-TEX 100 certified cotton.
ErgoPouch Swaddle Bag
ErgoPouch sleeping bags are perfect for newborns. Their unique design is focused around giving your little one the secure and comforting feeling of being swaddled, but taking away any of the fuss or confusion for parents. The simple zip design keeps your baby snug and feeling securely swaddled, without the need for complicated wrapping. Plus, the amazing 2-in-1 design has poppers on the armholes that converts the swaddle bag into the perfect sleeping bag once when your little one is ready. It is also a really safe choice with clear TOG ratings, made from natural breathable fibres, safe and covered zips as well as a suitable sized neck hole.