How to find the perfect sleeping bag for your baby to keep them at the right temperature at night
As a new parent, you may find that you worry about your baby - and that’s completely normal. Most of us have, at some time or another, hung over the crib to make sure our little one is sleeping soundly and is neither too hot nor too cold.
Baby sleeping bags were invented for just this purpose – to keep your baby at just the right temperature when they are sleeping, no matter how warm or cool the room is.
Why buy a baby sleeping bag?
Sleeping bags are a great alternative to sheets and blankets. Not only do you know exactly how warm the bag is, they are also easy to use and prevent overheating, a major factor in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Read more information on baby sleep safety and cot death from The Lullaby Trust here.
What TOG sleeping bag do I need?
Baby sleeping bags come in a range of TOG ratings – that’s an indication of how warm they are – to suit different times of the year.
2.5 TOG - the warmest bag, perfect for winter
1 TOG – a good all-rounder, this is perfect for spring and autumn
0.5 TOG – this is all you need for warmer summer days
Under the bag your baby should wear a nappy and a long-sleeved top, such as a thin cotton vest top. You can add another layer if it’s getting colder. When you buy the bag, check what additional clothing the manufacturer suggests.
Get the size right
Make sure the sleeping bag fits your baby properly. The top part, around the chest and shoulders, should fit snugly and your child’s head should not be able to fit through the neck opening. The arm holes should also be snug. Many bags have adjustable openings to help you get a good fit and to enable the bag to grow with your child. The bottom part of the bag should go down well past your baby’s feet and have plenty of leg-kicking room.
Make sure you invest in a room thermometer for the nursery like this one or buy a baby monitor such as this model that displays the temperature as one of its functions. You’ll always know how warm the room is, and therefore the best bag to put your baby in.
The best bags
When buying, look for additional features such as bags that grow with your baby, clever opening to help with night time nappy changes, cute designs that match your décor and soft interior linings. Most of the brands listed here have bags in several TOG ratings, so once you love a brand, you can stock up on bags for all seasons. Hypoallergenic and sustainable fabrics are a bonus.
Weight: 0.5, 1.5 and 2.5 TOG
Sizes: this bag fits from 4kgs to 2 years
This clever bag is designed to be used from your baby’s early days right up to their second birthday, making it great value for money. The fitted neck and armholes make for a snug fit, with no danger of it slipping over your baby’s head and the organic cotton and bamboo fabric is soft against your little one’s skin. The fabric is both breathable and regulates temperature, so that your little one is always at the right temperature for both sleep safety and a good night’s sleep. There’s even a pushchair belt opening, meaning you can pop the bag on if you’re out past baby’s bedtime, then simply transfer them into their cot without waking them. The zip opens both ends for easy nappy changes and the shoulders have popper openings for ease of dressing. It can be machine washed at 300C.
Weight: ergoBaby offers three weights; light, which is similar to a 0.5 TOG, mid-weight which is like a 1 TOG and cosy which equates to a 2.5 Tog bag,
Sizes: 0-6 months
A great, machine washable bag to use when transitioning from swaddling, this comes in lots of sweet patterns and is made from super soft 100% cotton, that makes it ideal to use against your baby’s delicate skin. The bag unzips from the bottom when you want to change your little one and it fits snugly around the shoulders and chest. It has adjustable shoulder fastenings so that you can lengthen them as your baby gets bigger and there’s a belt slit that allows you to strap your little one into a pushchair or car seat when wearing the bag. This makes it good for travelling with your baby.
Weight: 1 or 2.5 TOG
Sizes: 0-6, 6-18 months
This lovely organic UK-based brand has made mattresses, bedding and furniture for a number of years and now you can also add their organic sleeping bags to your baby’s nursery. They are made from a blend of luxury organic linen and cotton and are shaped to fit your child snugly on the top, with adjustable poppers under the arm. The shoulders open for easy dressing and the side zip opens all the way down for quick and easy changes in the night. The bag is both machine washable and can be tumble dried.
Weight: 0.5, 1 and 2.5 TOG
Sizes: 0-6, 6-18 months
One of the best features of this cosy sleeping bag is the semi-circular front zip that means you can open it up and change your baby’s nappy easily and simply. It also has side fastenings and double poppers on the shoulders to keep it firmly in place, plus adjustable side poppers for a great fit no matter what your baby’s size is. The fabric is super soft Oeko-Tex 100 certified cotton and it can be machine washed and thrown in the tumble drier.
Weight: 1 and 2.5 TOG
Sizes: 0-3, 6-18 months
Brought to you by the makers of the lovely Ewan The Dream Sheep is the latest in their line of great sleep products for babies, this ‘sheeping bag.’ It has a long zip that opens up along the whole of the bottom of the bag to ensure night changes are less disruptive for your baby. The neck opening is snug and complies with the newest safety standards for sleeping bags and the bag is ‘hip healthy’ and allows your little one to lie with their legs in a natural frog leg position. The bag is made from soft 100% cotton and is machine washable and can be put in the tumble dryer too.
Weight: 1, 2.5 TOG
Sizes: 6-18, 18-36 months
Gro was one of the very first sleeping bags on the market and they still offer great sleep products at good prices. They are made from machine washable, extra soft bamboo fabric with recycled wadding and a lining called Aloekind, which is cotton infused with aloe vera that has naturally skin-soothing properties. They are well fitted on the chest and shoulders for safety and comfort and have a generous leg section to allow for those kicking little legs to move freely. The zip opens along the side and then under the bottom of the bag to allow for quick and easy nappy changes.
Weight: 1.5 TOG
Sizes: 0-3, 3-6, 6-9 months
For young babies, a sleeved sleeping bag can be great if you’re at all unsure about what your baby should wear under the bag. It comes in a lovely, soft quilted cotton and fits snugly on the arms and body, while the lower part widens out to accommodate your baby’s legs, no matter what position your baby likes to lie in. The close fitting bodice and sleeves may help reduce your baby’s startle reflex, keeping them asleep longer and the zip opens from the bottom to make changing your little one simple. It’s also machine washable.
Weight: 1 TOG
Sizes: 0-3, 3-6, 6-12 months
This super soft jersey bag is made from a GOTS-certified breathable organic cotton and bamboo and is suitable for loose swaddling when the poppers on the armholes are fastened. It has a slim fit through the body, with plenty of hip and leg room and the zip fastening runs all the way from the neck to the bottom of the bag and can be undone from either end, making it easy to change your baby’s nappy at night. The bag is endorsed by the National Eczema Association as a skin-friendly bag and it is easy to care for, with a gentle cold wash.
Weight: 1 TOG
Sizes: 3-6 months
If you’ve swaddled your baby from birth or used one of Love To Dream’s swaddle bags, you’ll need something to help your baby transition from having their arms inside the swaddle to having them free. This is the perfect transition, as you can put your baby inside the bag with their arms up, a very natural and comfortable position for babies that helps reduce the startle reflex, then take off the arm pouches when your baby is a little older, can roll over and needs more freedom of movement. The two-way zip means that nappies can be changed effortlessly and the bag is hip-healthy. It can be washed and dried in the machine.
Weight: 2.5 TOG
Sizes: 3-9, 9-18 months
This award-winning bag comes with detachable sleeves that allow you to use this in several seasons without having to buy more bags. They can be used for room temperatures between 14 to 220C, making them versatile and they come in plenty of pretty prints that will suit any nursery décor. They have mesh panels to allow for ventilation, ensuring your baby does not get too hot and they have a hypoallergenic, sustainable filling and the outer, machine washable and dryable fabric contains Dupont Sorona, made from 37% plant-based ingredients and is Oeko-Tex 100 Class 1 Certified, a measure for organic fabrics.