Friday, 2 September 2011

Sleep sacs v blankets

                                                              FABLER Sleeping bag, blue Length: 85 cm

I know,I know!  I am putting off blogging about buggies, cots and car seats. I have a load to write on these areas but each item requires a lot of consideration,discussion etc. Choosing a cot with a bad back, short arms, no arms, arthritic arms etc is not a simple "Go out and get this brand" so bear with me, when my son gives me a straight two hours I will tackle these areas.

Today is a short blog on sleeping bags for baby versus cot blankets.

Sleeping bags are sold as a replacement to blankets,top sheets etc. They keep a baby covered up so there is no kicking off covers and thus keeping your baby at a constant temperature. The sleeping bags are fastened around the baby in such a way that the child is not going to suddenly slip under their cover, this can happen with cot blankets. You also do not need cot bumpers with the bags as they are sold as keeping your child's legs safely inside the bag and not flaying freely to get stuck between cot bars.

There are 2 tog ratings on these sleeping sacks, 2.5tog is more for a winter room, then there is a summer tog at 1.0 tog. You do need two sleep sacs really as you will need one for winter and one for hotter days.

With blankets you can layer up depending on the weather, there are loads of lovely designs with matching bumpers and nursery decor around.There are no zips on blankets which may make life easier for some, although if you have no or little reach trying to get a blanket to lie across your child can be tricky. Equally with a sleep bag you have to be able to manipulate your child into the sack where as with blankets you just need to lug your child to its cot and pop blankets over him.

The baby will likely need cot bumpers if you go with the blanket option,especially if they wiggle a lot because they can end up getting their legs or arms stuck through the bars. I feel a little scared about blankets being pulled up onto the babies face but that is maybe me being over worried. Also babies can not regulate their temperature so if they kick of their blankets they may wake up and need re covering, this is not an issue with a sleeping bag as it stays put.

A word of warning,some sleep sacs have poppers, avoid these like the plague if you have limited dexterity or strength in fingers! Different bags have different size zips or zips in different places on the sack so look around and try them out. Remember you can post a strip of ribbon through the hole in the zip to make an easier target area for your hands or mouth. I would personally recommend bags with a central zip and no poppers on the shoulders, for example the IKEA bag as seen above. There are lovely Hungry Catterpillar bags in Sainsburys, I so wish I didn't struggle with poppers because they are lovely but the difficulties are that the zip is on the side of the bag which makes putting my son in it even more difficult and requires even more lugging him around,where as a central zip I can open the bag, pull it wide open and stick him in the middle then pop his arms easily through the holes. Still however boring his sleep bags may be they are practical and he still chucks milk all over them or dribble!

TKMAX is fab for sleeping bags,go and check them out, they have a big variety to choose from. I actually brought a lovely winter one today which is dark blue velvet with big robots all over it and a central zip. I am sure my son will model it for you soon.

One final thing, I have brought an absolutely lovely and really well made bag from slumber sac, my only difficulty with it is that you pop the baby in and then have to try and join the zip up from the top of the bag like you would join the zip on a coat, this is really fiddly and difficult when your baby is thrashing about! I since have realized I need to look for a bag where the zip starts at the bottom and pulls simply up as there is no joining of the zip required.  A tip for buying a bag online, the ones with a central zip that pulls bottom tend to have a little bar of fabric go across the top, see picture below. This bar is closed via a popper but we just leave it open.

Check out this mad design bellow, you can get less crazy looking bags but it is cute! I have chosen this image as it highlights a sack that I suspect zips from bottom up.

Side zip bag example:

BARNSLIG Sleeping bag, light turquoise Length: 75 cm

Gorgeous slumber sac bag which we liked so much we struggled with the top down zip for a good few months:

My one standing theme throughout this blog is if you are a parent with a bad back, limited strength or limb movement etc then always go and try out every thing to do with babies. I know it is time consuming, embarrassing and bewildering but I am trying to at least let you know what is available and it is always up to you as a parent to go and try. I feel like a university lecturer, I have only just began!

The joys of being a parent, out goes worrying about cosmetics, hair and fashion, in comes worrying about EVERYTHING to do with your child :o)


  1. I had no idea that there were so many different types of sleep bags! I assumed they all worked in the same way.

    Thanks for your recommendations, I've got a much better idea what I should be looking for now.

  2. I was very pleased to find this site. I definitely enjoyed reading every little bit of it and I have it bookmarked to check out new stuff posted regularly.


  3. Thanks both, you have no idea how much is out there for babies until in the situation and then bang you feel overwhelmed especially when disabled and you only have so much shopping power energy in you. I always feel TKMax have great choices so find your nearest largest outlet and take a look there. I can not recommend Internet shopping for sleep sacs it is vital you look because they all have different mechanisms for doing them up and some are tougher than others. I would look in Boots as well as they have a fair number and if feeling flush so do John Lewis.