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Swaddles and sleep bags might seem like more of an “infant must-have.” However, you might be surprised to learn that sleep sacks for toddlers are a popular product among many parents!
While many types of wearable blankets are geared toward newborns and young infants, some of the best sleep sacks on the market are still great options for older toddlers who aren’t quite ready for a loose blanket yet.
I speak from experience when I say it took me forever to feel comfortable giving our kids regular bedding!
So, if you’re like me and want to utilize the safety and comfort of sleep sacks for a little longer, check out the information below to learn more about why they’re a good idea and which ones you should buy!
What is a Sleeper Sack, a.k.a. a Wearable Blanket?
In a world overrun with adorable baby blankets and other soft bedding products for little ones, it can seem surprising that the experts don’t recommend these items.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warns that loose bedding can cause suffocation and lead to a higher risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome.) No matter how cute and cozy these bedding products might seem, they’re not conducive to a safe sleeping environment.
So, what do you do to keep your toddler warm and comfortable throughout the night?
Buy them a sleep sack, of course! Sleep sacks are essentially a wearable blanket for your little ones.
While many babies prefer the close feeling of being swaddled at first, this is no longer a safe option when they start rolling. That’s when you can transition them into sleeper sacks.
Sleep sacks are worn over traditional pajamas or infant onesies for added warmth. Since they’re zipped up, the chances of the blanket portion becoming a safety hazard are minimal.
Do Toddlers Still Need to Use a Sleep Sack?
Per the AAP, once a child reaches 12 months old, they can safely use a blanket. That said, not every parent will agree. If your little one passes their first birthday and you don’t feel ready to give them loose bedding pillows, and toys while they sleep, don’t.
Do whatever makes you feel comfortable regarding your toddler’s sleeping environment. No set of guidelines can account for every unique situation. If you like the safety of continuing to use sleeper sacks once your child is a toddler, you should!
When Should You Stop Using Them?
There’s no right or wrong time to stop using toddler sleep sacks. As a general rule, if you and your child feel okay with using them, go ahead and continue. The only fundamental guideline to stopping the use of wearable blankets is when your little one outgrows them.
Should a Walker Stop Using Sleep Sacks?
Not if you don’t want them to! Many companies have created special footed sleeper sacks that provide better mobility for your kiddos.
Remember, though, that one of the perks of using a traditional infant sleep bag is that it makes it harder for little ones to climb out of their cribs. You could miss out on this benefit by switching to a sleep sack for walkers.
Bedding vs. Sleep Sacks in a Toddler Bed
The transition to a toddler bed is not always easy. I seem to remember a fair amount of anxiety in my home around this time.
You might ask yourself whether you’re ready to switch to normal bedding once they leave the crib. Well, as long as they’re past the 12-month marker, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t.
However, if you’d prefer to keep them in their sleep sack a little longer, that’s fine, too.
After all, this is such a big change; why not let them continue using a wearable blanket for a little longer if that’s what they’re used to? That way, you’re only dealing with one major transition at a time.
Important Things to Consider When Shopping for Sleep Sacks
When you search for a wearable blanket, you’ll probably notice that many toddler and baby sleep sacks have similar designs.
While there are similarities, this doesn’t mean all sleeper sacks are identical. To help start your shopping trip, why not make a checklist of features you’re looking for? Use the following topics to help you figure it out.
Snaps or zippers, long sleeves or short, there are different stylistic options you’ll want to think about before picking a sleep sack for toddlers. Fortunately, there’s no right or wrong option where these things are concerned. It comes down to what you and your child prefer.
Once your little one crosses into the realm of walking, you’ll need to make an important decision about their sleep sack – how much mobility do you want to offer them?
While traditional sleep sacks make it harder for them to crawl out of cribs, they’re also nearly impossible for your toddler to walk around in.
If you’re planning on letting your child hang out in their wearable blanket during waking hours, a footed sleep bag for walkers might be the better option.
3. TOG Rating
A TOG rating (Thermal Overall Grade) is a number that describes the warmth of a particular garment. Since overheating is a potential risk with swaddles and sleep sacks, you’ll want to pay close attention to this measurement.
The following is a standard breakdown of TOG ratings for toddler wearable blankets:
- 0.25 = Ideal for warmer rooms with temperatures over 80 degrees.
- 0.50 = Ideal for rooms that range between 75 degrees and 81 degrees
- 1.0 = Ideal for rooms that range between 69 degrees and 74 degrees (Also happens to be the perfect temperature for nurseries!)
- 2.5 = Ideal for rooms that are between 61 degrees and 68 degrees
4. Access for Easy Diaper Changes
When it’s time for a late-night diaper change, the last thing you want to deal with is stripping your baby down. Not only will you have a kid who’s upset about a dirty diaper, but they usually don’t like when you start peeling off layers either.
Instead, look for sleep sacks that offer convenient access to your little one’s diapers.
Be on the lookout for design features such as snaps on the bottom, two-way zippers, or fold-down flaps.
When it comes to weight, we’re not talking about how many pounds your baby weighs (though that plays a factor, too!). Some wearable blankets include a weighted design – much like a weighted blanket we adults would use.
Before getting too interested in this type of product, however, you should know that the AAP does not recommend weighted sleep sacks.
The idea of a weighted sleep sack might seem appealing, but it’s best to avoid this option for your little one’s safety.
Finding the Right Wearable Blanket for Your Child
With so many types of sleep sacks for toddlers on the market, it doesn’t surprise me when parents aren’t sure which kind to buy.
We’re breaking down our favorite options in every category, from fleece wearable blankets to muslin sleeper sacks.
1. The Best Overall Sleep Sack: Kyte Baby Sleep Bag
If you’re looking for the cream of the crop, one of our favorite sleep sacks for toddlers is the Kyte Baby Sleep Bag!
This wearable blanket comes in several colors and sizes, and it’s also available with various TOG ratings, ranging from 0.5 to 2.5. The exterior fabric is a buttery soft bamboo rayon blended with spandex, while the interior lining is a luxurious polyester.
It also has a J-shaped double zipper for added convenience during diaper changes. It’s no wonder this product has earned more than 6,400 reviews!
2. The Most Popular Walker Sleep Sack: Kyte Baby Walker
Kyte Baby gets this award, too! Their sleep bag for walkers offers all the amazing design elements found with their traditional sleeper, plus it has comfy ankle cuffs for improved mobility.
One of my favorite things about this sleep sack is that it works for big kids, too. Kyte Baby offers sizes up to 4T.
3. The Top Winter Wearable Blanket: RestCloud Winter Sleep Bag with Feet
When you live in colder climates, finding a sleep sack for toddlers that will keep them warm during the chilliest nights of the year is crucial.
That’s where the RestCloud Sleep Bag for Walkers comes in!
With a 2.5 TOG rating, this wearable blanket is warm enough for room temperatures as low as 61 degrees.
It’s also made from gorgeous organic cotton that’s lightweight and breathable while keeping your child comfy in cold weather.
4. Our Favorite Summer Sleep Sack: HALO Sleep Sack 0.5
HALO Sleep Sack offers some of our favorite wearable blankets for toddlers and babies. When it comes to the summer months, however, their 0.5 TOG Rated sleeper is one of the best.
This top-rated product, which is available on Amazon, is made from high-quality organic cotton that’s breathable, gentle, and safe.
HALO’s sleepsacks have also received certification from the International Hip Dysplasia Institute for their hip-healthy sleep sacks and swaddles.
5. The #1 Muslin Sleeper Sack: MooMoo Baby Muslin Sleeper
Muslin is a personal favorite material of mine for baby and toddler-related products. Sleep sacks are no exception.
One of the reasons I love muslin is that it’s great for babies with sensitive skin. As the mom of two girls who suffer from eczema, this was a major advantage in our home. It also has natural moisture-wicking properties and is highly breathable, making it the ideal option for warm climates.
The MooMoo Baby Muslin Sleeper Sack is a fantastic option for toddlers.
It’s made from a blend of bamboo cotton and traditional cotton, making it the soft, cozy wearable blanket you dream of.
6. The Best Organic Cotton Sleep Sack: Beekeeper Wearable Blanket
Whether you’re searching for a baby sleep sack or one for toddlers, Burt’s Bees baby line has some of the best organic cotton options. Their Beekeeper Wearable Blanket is no exception.
Please note, however, that while this sleep sack can fit older infants, it’s primarily for little ones under 18 months old.
If you’d like a larger organic cotton sleeper, Molis & Co. has a great wearable blanket that will fit until your child is around 36 months.
7. Our Top Pick for a Fleece Wearable Blanket: Baby Deedee’s Sleep Nest
With snap shoulders and a two-way zipper, the Baby Deedee’s Sleep Nest is the perfect fleece sleep sack for toddlers.
It provides a cozy fit that will give your little one the warmth and security they want and need from a wearable blanket.
8. The Leading Wool Sleep Sack: Woolino 4-Season Sleep Bag
Made from luxurious merino wool, the Woolino sleep sack with feet is the perfect choice for any new parents who want a wool sleep sack for their little one.
Something that many of us don’t realize about wool is that it has a natural ability to help regulate body temperature. This is a fantastic benefit to parents worried about their babies overheating.
This sleeper also has feet for increased mobility and a convenient zipper at the bottom for simple nighttime diaper changes.
Do What Feels Right to Your Family When Shopping for Toddler Sleep Sacks
Deciding whether you’re ready to make the leap to loose bedding after your child’s first birthday is a personal choice. Don’t feel pressured to make a change just because the experts say it’s okay too, though.
If you’d rather continue using toddler sleep sacks until your child is a little older, that’s absolutely fine.
You certainly won’t be alone!
Make a decision that suits the needs of you and your baby. If that choice is wearable blankets (aka sleep sacks for toddlers), you’ll have plenty of outstanding products to pick from.
Do you think you’ll use sleep sacks for toddlers or switch to traditional bedding?
Kristen Bergeron is a freelance writer from Florida. In addition to writing, she is a wife, mother of two beautiful girls, Hadley and Scarlett, and a part-time photographer. After overcoming infertility and having two successful IVF cycles, she’s made it a personal goal to help educate men and women on the realities of fertility struggles. She is passionate about supporting fellow women who are trying to navigate the complicated world of conception, pregnancy, and learning to be the best mothers we can be.