Updated Sept 2020
For our family, the sleep sack holds a very important role. My daughter, Remy, used hers until nearly 3 years old - even though technically the AAP said she'd be fine using a regular blanket at that ages. And I plan to keep my son in one until the same age.
Why do we stick with sleep sacks for so long?
At the beginning - it was for safety purposes: it kept Remy warm (and safe) at night, without worry of blanket suffocation or strangulation (yes, that is sadly a very real risk). One Dutch study (c.1998
) found that sleep sacks may decrease the risk of SIDS by up to 65% compared to regular blankets or PJs alone.
But it also provides so much more.
- It provides them comfort - Remy pulled it close to her face and smelled and snuggled it each night. Mikey likes to chew on the tab. (A reason why we keep using it, even in hot climates).
- It stays on them, even when they roll back and forth through their crib at night, and keeps them cozy. (Baby sleep experts say children are not typically able to keep a blanket on them at night until closer to 3 years old, and this stat held true for Remy - who requested to keep wearing her sack months after we moved her to a big girl bed.)
- It's part of their sleep routine and signals bed time for them (which is an awesome trick when you're flying or on the go and need to force a nap, just pop that sleep sack on and bam! - the eyelids start to droop.)
- And most importantly at the toddler age: it keeps them in the crib.
I cannot tell you how many friends had a kid who became expertly mobile and decided they wanted to shirk the confines of their crib and roam the home. So they decided 'it's time for a toddler bed'. And then they dealt with a babe who was constantly trying to now escape NOT the crib, but their ROOM!
A wearable blanket
keeps my kids in their crib at night (Remy never tried to unzip hers, but if your kid is on the genius track- check out our tips
for keeping that sleep sack on at night.)
(Note: if Remy escaped her room to cuddle me, and slept at night like a deadbody, like I do, I'd welcome her with open arms out of that crib. Unfortunately this is not the case. She sleeps like a frickin ninja and kicks and moves around constantly, resulting a terrible night of sleep for both of us. In short - she is not a good bed sharer and as such I do what I can to keep her in her crib/bed at night.)
Long live the sleep sack!