As many of my clients will attest to, I am a huge fan of the sleep sack as a safe way to blanket your baby from around the age of 3 months to the time she’s ready to transition to the toddler bed. Here’s why…
Usually around the 3rd month of age, babies are past the Moro (or startle) Reflex stage and ready for more range of motion. You may even notice that your baby will begin to fight against the swaddle to get more comfortable and end up waking themselves up. This is the perfect time to transition your baby to a sleep sack, or wearable blanket.
I use the Bitta Kidda sleep sack with my children because it helps facilitate self-soothing skills with a built in lovie attached to the chest. Self-soothing skills are the basic ability to recover quickly from stressful situation for a little one such as feeling overtired or cranky. What we want to do is offer our little ones some tools to help set them up for sleep success.
Many parents don’t feel comfortable with adding a transitional object, such as a lovie or blanket, to their child’s crib until their baby is older, but transitional objects can be a great tool for self-soothing. What I love about the Bitta Kidda sleep sack is that it has two perfectly positioned little lovies attached to the front of it so that there’s no loose blankets in the crib. Your baby can find these easily in the middle of the night while transitioning from one sleep cycle to the next. And that is what helps them consolidate sleep! Less fragmented sleep helps your baby feel more rested.
Beyond being a safe alternative to a blanket for your little one, a sleep sack can also be an integral part of your nap and bedtime routines to let your little one know that sleep is near. For both of my children and for many of my clients, we build it in as one of the last steps of the routines and it is still part of my daughter’s bedtime routine and she is 20 months old now.
Helps Keep Your Baby in the Crib Longer
The sleep sack can also be a valuable tool for keeping your baby happily sleeping in the crib until she’s ready to transition to the toddler bed. I have found that the ideal age to transition to a toddler bed is around 2 ½ – 3 years of age. I don’t recommend transitioning before 2 ½ because I have found that children just are not cognitively ready to understand that there are consequences to behavior, and I just find that it tends not to go very well. However, some babies may try climbing out of their crib well before this age. A sleep sack can help by making it more difficult for your little one to try climbing out of the crib, as her legs will be covered with the blanket from the sleep sack.
I honestly could go on forever about all the different reasons why I love the sleep sack. If I have to choose the number one reason why I love them so much, I would say it’s the piece of mind that it gives me knowing my baby is sleeping safely in her crib surrounded by a blanket that cannot come off.
To healthy sleep,
Certified Infant & Toddler Sleep Consultant