During the baby’s first few months, parents are often concerned about helping their baby sleep at normal times and for longer periods. A parent desires their baby sleeps for more than a few hours each night. When your child is restless and no one in the house is sleeping, you might wonder how you might help them.
Sleep experts point to weighted blankets as an effective method of improving sleep in older children and adults. However, it’s not a good idea to cover your baby at night with a blanket. Therefore, I will talk today about weighted sacks for babies and why they are a great way to help your infant sleep better. Weighted sacks are a safe alternative for babies who deeply enjoy falling asleep in their parents’ arms and prefer to sleep in a sling. In this article, we’ll explore all about weighted sleep sacks.
This article will detail weighted sacks, a type of baby sleeping bag that’s different from others. As a type of clothing that doubles as a blanket, baby sleeping bags or sleep sacks are like clothing for babies.
Sleep sacks in general usually have a zipper at the top to keep them in place. Since they are worn instead of being loose, they will not cover your baby’s nose or mouth when the proper size is used. Yet the question is, specifically, what a weighted sleep sack does?
Weighted sleep sacks help regulate your baby’s body temperature, preventing them from becoming too cold or too hot while sleeping and making their sleep more comfortable. Furthermore, a sleep sack prevents babies from using extra blankets in their crib, co-sleeper, or bassinet, ensuring their sleeping space is safe. Sleepsacks that are heavier can give the feeling of holding a hand on the baby and helping them relax. The feeling of security and warmth helps them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Weighted sleep sacks provide one of the greatest benefits in that they can gently push down on your baby without hurting them. This feeling is very similar to a parent cuddling their baby. It makes babies feel more comfortable and more at ease, which, in turn, helps them to fall fast asleep!
One of the main benefits of a weighted sleep sack is that it releases serotonin in the brain (also called the happiness hormone). Additionally, they raise melatonin levels, which improve your baby’s sense of relaxation and happiness.
Though this point is closely related to the one above, we think it is worth mentioning. A weighted sleep sack has been proven to reduce cortisol levels in the body, making your baby more relaxed and more likely to fall asleep.
When your baby gets fussy at dinnertime, you may be happy to hear that your weighted sleep sack can also be used to breastfeed. Simply place your baby in the sleep sack when it’s time to eat, and the weight will assist with calmness.
Weighted sleep sacks are usually made of soft materials and feature armholes and zippers so they can be closed safely. With a sleep sack, babies have the comfort and warmth of a traditional blanket without being at risk of suffocating since they’re wearing it and it cannot cover their noses or mouths.
Most infants who die of SIDS have their heads down under bedding. Therefore, there should not be any pillows, sheets, blankets, or anything else that could obstruct the infant’s breathing or cause overheating in the bed. Sleep sacks are infant sleep clothing, and the AAP views them as safe sleep options.
Among sleep sacks and swaddles, sleep sacks are typically more useful for parents. The reason is that swaddles become unsafe once an infant begins to roll over, usually around four months.
Weighted sleep sacks on the other hand, sleep sacks can be worn until 24 months of age and sometimes even into toddlerhood. The exact time depends on the baby. Your child will most likely start to test these newly found skills in their bed as they roll over, crawl, and pull up. It is also difficult and unsafe for your little one to get out of a sleep sack if they can leave their crib or bed on their own.
Once this happens, you may want to consider transitioning off the sleep sack. At this point, a swaddle or wearable blanket is no longer the discussion, but whether a loose blanket is appropriate for your child. Ideally, you should wait at least one year before using a loose blanket on your infant, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Newborns, infants, and babies weighing 8 pounds or less can safely use weighted sleep sacks. Their deep-pressure stimulation allows them to feel secure and comfortable, and, ideally, they can sleep longer and deeper.
Between 18-and 24 months, a blanket or comfort object can usually be used to soothe the baby to sleep. Be sure that your child can remove the blanket if necessary if it covers their face. Keep in mind that weighted blankets for kids should not cover the head and should be worn below the shoulders. Make sure the sleep sack is made of 100 percent cotton. They comply with AAP safety regulations and allow babies to freely kick and move their legs.
Although weighted sleep sacks don’t have strong scientific evidence, the topic hasn’t been well studied. Babies and toddlers who have sensory processing issues may find that using a weighted sleep sack reduces their anxiety levels.
Sleep sacks with weighted beads are a novel idea since they give babies the impression of being gently embraced. Moreover, the evenly distributed weight helps decrease stress and promote relaxation. They can, therefore, sleep better at night.
Ultimately, it’s the parents’ choice which sleeps sack they choose for their babies. Whether you use a swaddle, use a sleeping bag, use a weighted bag, or do nothing is entirely up to you. No matter what you own, parents should follow the AAP’s sleep tips to ensure their babies are safe and sound.
Mike is one of the lead editors at Weighted Living and the author of this article. He's become fascinated with weighted products (a bit too much we think) and loves to see all the different ways they can improve our loves. He's written quite a few weighted product guides as well.
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