Are Sleep Sacks Safe For Babies Who Can Roll Over? – The Bedding Planet

Are Sleep Sacks Safe For Babies Who Can Roll Over?


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Experts prefer sleep sacks over swaddle blankets, especially for babies who are starting to show signs of movement. This is because sleep sacks reduce the risk of suffocation and entrapment that can happen with swaddles. But are sleep sacks safe for babies who can roll over?

Babies who can roll over can safely use sleep sacks. Sleep sacks allow free movement of arms, legs, and hips, allowing the babies to roll over safely.

You see, while swaddling is great for keeping your baby warm, it does not allow for free movement in the legs. Babies need to kick their legs as part of healthy hip development. Swaddling, especially if done tightly, can cause a long-term hip problem called hip dysplasia, affecting the baby’s mobility for a long time. 

Alternatively, some may argue that a blanket offers more freedom than sleep sacks. But the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends avoiding loose bedding, like blankets, until your baby is at least one year old. Blankets increase the risk of suffocation and strangulation, especially for babies who can roll over. So it is apparent that sleep sacks are the safest option for babies who can roll over.

What Are Baby Sleep Sacks? 

Baby sleep sacks are essentially sleeping bags for babies. Sleep slacks are commonly referred to as a wearable blanket because you can zip in your baby’s legs and torso while leaving their arms free.

By keeping the arms free, sleep sacks allow your child to safely practice rolling over without the risk of getting trapped by excess fabric with their face down.

Sleep sacks come in different sizes, so they can work for babies from birth to at least 2 years of age. They are also made from different fabrics so you can choose the most suitable one for your baby.

Is It Common For Babies To Roll Over In Sleep?

Rolling over is a normal part of development for babies. It is actually used as a milestone marker to check for healthy development in babies. So as soon as they can, it is common to see babies rolling over in their sleep.

Like adults, babies will want to roll over and change their sleeping positions so they can get more comfortable. And there is no need to reposition the baby if they turn in their sleep; they will do that for themselves. They may wake themselves as they learn to roll over, but that is also normal. 

At Which Age Does Babies Start to Roll Over?

Many babies try to roll over from the age of 2 months, and by 4 months old, most babies can roll from their stomachs to their backs. By 6 months, babies should start rolling both ways, from their stomachs to their backs and backs to their stomachs.

As babies learn to roll over, especially while sleeping, it is not necessary to keep repositioning them. Instead, you only need to ensure that there is no loose bedding around them that could suffocate or entrap them while they sleep.

Are There Any Risks Using Sleep Sacks?

Sleep sacks are safe for your baby as long as you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. After all, they are not one-size-fits-all. There are sleep sacks for different ages, weights, and heights.

They also come in different fabrics suitable for different weather conditions; some are even weighted to mimic the human hand. So you should consider these varieties when choosing your baby’s sleep sack.

However, there are some sleep sacks that you should avoid due to their design. For instance, sleep sacks with sleeves are highly discouraged because they can limit your baby’s movement if they get trapped in a dangerous position.

There are also sleep sacks that keep the baby’s arms in the sack, like with a swaddle. These kinds of sacks are dangerous for babies starting to roll over because they can get trapped, increasing the risk of suffocation and even SIDS.

Can Sleep Sacks Increase The Risk of SIDS?

Sleep sacks will not increase the risk of SIDS. In fact, studies show that sleep sacks are a safe option and protect babies against SIDS. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the inexplicable death of an apparently healthy baby under the age of 1 that usually occurs in their sleep.

Among the CDC recommendations for preventing SIDS is keeping soft, loose bedding like blankets out of the baby’s sleeping area. Sleep sacks eliminate the need for loose beddings, keeping your baby warm and safe while they sleep.

Can Sleep Sacks Increase The Risk of Suffocation?

No, sleep sacks cannot increase the risk of suffocation. 

Accidental suffocation in babies can happen when something like a blanket ends up on their faces, limiting their breathing. It can also happen if babies get trapped in a position that limits their breathing, like on their stomachs with their faces on the mattress. If your baby is rolling over, accidental suffocation can happen if there is loose bedding in their sleeping area that can cover their faces or inhibit their movement.

By design, sleep sacks reduce the risk of suffocation and prevent it altogether. They eliminate the need for loose bedding and keep your baby’s arms free to move themselves into a safer position where they can breathe freely.

At Which Ages Is It Safe To Use A Sleep Sack?

Napping with Dad

Many parents prefer to swaddle their newborns because it mimics the womb and helps soothe the baby to sleep. However, recently revised sleep safety guides recommend that babies that show signs of trying to roll over should no longer use swaddled.

Babies can start trying to roll over anywhere from 2 to 4 months, so this would be the ideal time to switch to sleep sacks. It is important to note that there are sleeping sacks for newborns, should you prefer them over swaddles.

Once your child passes the age of 1 year, you can decide whether you want to continue with the sleep sacks or not. Children tend to kick off their covers, so some parents may choose to continue with sleep sacks appropriate for their child’s height and weight. Alternatively, you could introduce blankets or dress your child in such a way that they are warm even without a blanket.


The Safest and Best Sleep Sacks on The Market

Best Overall Baby Sleep Sack

One of the safest and best sleep sacks on the market is the Burt’s Bees Baby Wearable Blanket. It is made from 100% organic cotton that is gentle on your baby’s skin and is extra-long to allow free movement for your baby.

The zipper closure opens from the bottom for easy diaper changes and has an interior guard to protect your baby’s delicate skin.

There is also a snap cover to keep your baby’s fingers away from the zipper pull. You can choose the light (0.5 TOG) or medium-weight (1.5 TOG) sleep sacks to match your baby’s needs.

You can learn more about this sleep sack over at Amazon here.

Best Runner-Up Baby Sleep Sack

Another top-quality sleep sack is the Hudson Baby Sleep Sack, made from 100% plush and cozy polyester fabric that is plush and gentle on your baby’s skin.

This machine-washable sleep sack has a relaxed fit that allows free movement for the baby’s legs and body. It also has a new, improved zipper and pull cover for added safety.

In addition, there are sleep sacks for different age ranges that you can choose from the Hudson Baby brand.

You can learn more about this sleep sack over at Amazon here.

Best Weighted Baby Sleep Sack

The Nest Bean Zen Sack is an excellent option if you prefer a weighted option. Made from 100% cotton, this sleep sack can fit all babies, from newborns to 2-year-olds.

It has a 2-way zipper system that allows for easy diaper changes and adjustable shoulder snaps that grow with the baby. 

The Nest Bean Zen Sack is lightly weighted on the center of the chest to simulate your hand on your baby, so they feel safe and sleep for longer.

If your child is a stomach sleeper, you can flip the sack over to bring the weighted center to the back for that feeling of safety. It is machine washable and has a TOG rating of 0.5, making it the perfect sleep sack year-round.

You can learn more about this sleep sack over at Amazon here.


Related Questions

When Can a Baby Start to Use Regular Blankets?

The AAP recommends keeping regular blankets away from a baby’s sleeping area for at least the first 12 months. After your child turns 1, you may start using blankets, but with some limitations:

Size

The size of the blanket should be comparable to your baby. Larger blankets have a higher risk of causing accidental suffocation if your child gets trapped in them. As such, you should choose a smaller blanket that your child can free move in without getting trapped.

Fabric

Thick blankets may be warm, but they are not breathable. Therefore, it is important to consider breathable fabrics while choosing your baby’s blanket, just in case it ends up on their face as they sleep. Weighted blankets are also discouraged as it can be difficult for babies to get out from under them.

Design

Some blankets have extra frills like long ribbons or strings that can wrap around a child’s neck, causing accidental strangulation. These kinds of blankets may work for playtime but are not safe for sleeping.

Transitioning to a blanket from a sleep sack can wait until the child is much older, as there are sleep sacks for older children. But if you want to start using blankets, remember to consider these three factors in choosing the safest blanket for your child.

Niklas Lampi

My name is Niklas and I'm the author and content operator at The Bedding Planet. I've always had a big interest in bedding and more specifically sleep. If I find something that makes me sleep better, whether that's a lifestyle change or a better bedding environment, I'm ready to share it with the world!

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