When it comes to sleepwear – there seems to be a lot on the market claiming to solve all my baby sleep issues. Frankly, it isn’t all a bunch of boohockey (props to anyone who knew that word from “Friends”). Safe sleepwear is important for young children, specifically the safe part.
But I find all the swaddles, sleep sacks and magic suits do more than just keep our kids warm at night – they offer a sense of routine, comfort, and for my kid’s – keeps their legs from getting stuck between crib slats during a tossy-turny night, and keeps their ability to climb out of the crib in the middle of the night… low.
From infancy, we used swaddles with our children. We grew into magic sleepsuits and sleep sacks. A quick rundown of some of the options you should consider:
A Secure Sleep Sack or Swaddles
There different sleep-wearing mechanisms you can/should consider for different stages of your baby’s life.
First, there is the original swaddle situation. You’ll learn how to swaddle, if you don’t know already, at your newborn classes or from the nurses at the hospital. There are also plenty of YouTube videos if you forget or need some more explicit direction on strategies to keep those little hands from escape the cocoon. For swaddles, there are both muslin blankets and more stiff cotton blankets. For newborns, I find the cotton, stiff blankets (like the ones at the hospital) are best at keeping your baby wrapped tightly.
The More Useful Swaddles
Then come the super-duper inventive and helpful velcro swaddles. Once my babes could fit into these wraps, I tossed aside every other muslin and regular cotton swaddle I had and strictly used only swaddles with velcro. We even had a few to make sure no one was left without this tool due to a laundry load.
The velcro swaddle is just genius, helpful, easy, and works fast.
The secondary velcro swaddle is the option that allows your child to have both their hands free (but still feel wrapped and secure at the body) or to be used as a traditional swaddle. I really like this product a lot for the transitional stage of weaning out of the swaddle, but also found I could basically do the same thing with my original velcro swaddles by just using the product lower on my baby’s torso.
The Sleep Sack
The sleep sack is the sleeping apparatus I find the most useful for the long term. We started using sleep sacks with my second child at just 3 months, and we still use them for my toddler to this day (yes they sell them in huge toddler sizes).
Why? Sleep sacks are sleep options for keeping baby warm at night as loose blankets or clothing is not safe for little ones. The reason we still use a sleep sack for my toddler, even though his crib is now full of favorite stuffed animals and cozy blankets is… well… it prevents him from escaping his crib. And I am all for keeping him there during sleep time. Sleep sacks also prevent my kids from accidentally getting their legs stuck between the crib slats while sleeping.
Lastly, there are the ‘creative’ sleep wearing solutions like the Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit, the Nested Bean Zen sack, and the Zipadee Swaddle Transition Suits.
Honestly, I can’t totally vouch for any of these though I know plenty of other people who swear by each of them specifically for different reasons. We have both the Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit (“banana astronaut baby suit”) and the swaddle transition suits – but – really my firstborn was a horrible sleeper until we did some serious sleep training and my second one was a great sleeper (with some different sleep practices in place). I can’t say either of these products did much or didn’t do much – every baby is so different it is really hard to tell and truthfully, I think it comes down to both personality and sleeps training or independent sleep practices implemented early on in their life. HOWEVER, some people really swear by the Magic Suit so if you are having a hard time, give it a try! We sure did!!
We find that utilizing sleep sacks for the long-haul has given our children a sense of bedtime routine and ‘creature comfort’. Bath, teeth pushing, pajamas and sleep sacks for book time.
Even on the warm nights, they wear light jammies with a cozy sleep sack. In the morning it can even be difficult to convince either of them to come out of their warm cocoons!