Baby sleep sack: the key to better baby sleep

baby sleep sack

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Before my son was born, I had never heard of a baby sleep sack. I was sure I’d be a Master Swaddler. I read about all of the benefits of swaddling. I knew it could help my son sleep longer and more soundly. I practiced swaddling with square blankets and stuffed bears.

And then, my beautiful, wiggly son was born. In reality, I didn’t have the bandwidth to become a swaddle expert on my wiggling newborn. I couldn’t get them tight enough that it helped at all. I had a fleece HALO sleep sack, but my son was born during a heat wave in May, and it was much too hot for him to wear it. One night, days after he was born, my mom and I had been awake for hours trying to console my newborn. Finally, we turned on our AC, wrapped him in the HALO sleep sack, and placed him in the pack n play. I swear he instantly fell asleep. Instantly. It was real-life magic. From then on, I’ve been sold on the baby sleep sack.

Three years later and my son is still wearing a sleep sack. Though it looks a little different than the newborn ones, it serves the same purpose– to help my kiddo sleep better. Here are my favorite ones to date.

Table of Contents

Best baby sleep sacks-- before they're rolling

This was the reality of my swaddling. I quickly opted for a sleep sack that was easy to use, and led to better sleep for my baby (and me).

These one-step pre-assembled swaddles helped my son sleep much longer, which meant I could sleep much longer, which made everything better.

Before babies are rolling, it is safe to wrap up their arms so they sleep more soundly. As soon as they can roll, it’s no longer safe (but you can still use sleep blankets! Read more below).

newborn halo swaddle
The HALO Sleep Sack helped me so much-- it is now my go-to gift for baby showers. It settled my newborn down instantly.

 HALO also has a cotton one— my son could wiggle out of this one, but maybe you’ll have better luck .

Perfect for cold weather. Toys and games that allow them to work their muscles, grow their brains, and practice independence.

Great for wiggly newborns. It was hot when my son was born, even though he was born in May. However, he slept best in this fleece sleep sack. So, we cranked the AC just so it was cool enough for him to need it. He couldn’t wiggle out of the thicker material.

Can easily be used with hands in or out. Some babies prefer their arms to be in and some out– you just don’t know until you meet them.

Magic Mom Hack

You can easily adjust the HALO sleep sacks with “wings” to just wrap around their torso once your baby starts rolling, if it still fits.

This one ran small in my opinion, so it didn’t fit for long, but I was grateful for the time it did fit.

Weighted front section. It has a super cool weighted bean bag on the chest of it, which mimics the closeness to mom.

Wraps high around shoulders. My son slept best when his arms and shoulders were also in the swaddle, so this one was perfect.

Wiggle-proof. Since this one is all one piece, even the wiggliest of wiggly babies can’t bust out of this one.

Great for babies who don’t like to be completely wrapped up. Some newborns do better when in a swaddle blanket but don’t want to be so restricted.

Promotes self-soothing. This design allows babies to move their hands to their face without breaking free of the swaddle.

Some parents swear by these– and I’ve seen them in action when I was an infant teacher. These Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuits are weighted, which can help a baby sleep more soundly.

Weighted sleep suit. Known to help babies sleep more soundly.

For infants 3-6 months old who are not rolling. The Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit can be worn when a baby is 12 pounds and 3 months old (check out their sizing guide here). However, they are no longer safe to use once a baby is rolling over. My son started rolling at 2.5 months old so we never got to use these ourselves. I recommend waiting to purchase this until your kiddo hits the recommended size limit.

Best baby sleep sacks-- after they are rolling

Baby sleep sack on belly
Once babies can roll over, they need to have their arms free. A sleep sack can make sure they are still warm and safe while they sleep.

Once babies can roll over, it is no longer safe to restrict their arms in a swaddle. But, it’s also unsafe for babies to have blankets in their cribs until they are at least one year of age. So, as soon as they can roll you can transition them to a baby sleeping bag.

Dual-use. Can be used before your little one is rolling. Then, once they learn how to roll, simply zip off the wings and– viola– their arms can come out.

Design perfect for babies who need a safe blanket and no longer need to be swaddled. These come in many sizes– from preemie through 36 pounds (though in my experience, the upper weight limit of this brand isn’t quite accurate).

Short sleeve. Sleeveless design to prevent babies from overheating.

Perfect for warm weather. Muslin cloth is incredibly lightweight and breathable. This sleep sack has all of the benefits of the HALO brand and also the added benefit of being great in warm weather.

Forget sleeping like a baby. I want to sleep like my husband.

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Once your kiddo is walking, they can still use sleep sacks to help improve the quality of their sleep (no more rolling out from under the blankets!). Check out my comprehensive post on toddler sleep sacks here.

toddler sleep sack
Sleep sacks can help older children (2+ year olds) stay comfortable while they sleep. And this way, they can't kick off their blankets.

Sleep sacks were a lifesaver for me. As a result, they are my go-to gifts for baby showers. I hope they can help you find your magic, too! Baby sleep can be so hard. Please know you’re not alone.

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