Guest contribution written by: Kelley Thompson founder of Serenity Sleepers
Your little one has worn a sleep sack since the day they transitioned out of the swaddle. They love it, recognizing it as a positive sleep cue, but you’re stuck wondering:
“When do babies stop wearing sleep sacks?”
The simple answer: When it’s no longer working for your child. My professional opinion, as a certified sleep consultant: when they transition to the toddler bed around 3+ years old!
We’ve heard it more times than we can count: 12 months of age is when you should transition your little one out of a sleep sack to sleeping with a blanket; however, there is no set age that you have to stop using a sleep sack and the benefits of continuing to use a sleep sack are numerous!
Can my toddler sleep with a blanket after their first birthday?
Babies and toddlers are active sleepers, meaning they move around a lot in their sleep. Blankets often get kicked off or lost in the corner when given to toddlers. Sleep sacks are wearable blankets that help keep your child's temperature regulated while they sleep. A key factor in helping your toddler sleep well, is making sure they are dressed appropriately for sleep times.
Ideal temperature is 68-72 degrees 𝗕𝗨𝗧 you need to also factor in where you live and the normal for your household. A good rule of thumb is to go by your own internal temperature. What are you comfortable wearing in your home? Do you tend to get hot or cold easily?
For example, as the weather is warming up now, I often sleep in a t-shirt + shorts under sheets + mid-weight comforter. I dress my youngest similarly in that he wears a onsie and a 0.8 tog sleep sack.
Many parents overdress their little ones out of fear of them being cold but often overdressing can cause more sleep issues, as babies become fussy, unsettled, and hot. Check your baby's chest or neck to feel how comfortable they feel: ✅ if they are warm (sweaty), remove a layer ✅ if they are cool, add a layer (be it a onsie, a thicker sleep sack, etc.)
My baby is walking. Should I transition from the sleep sack to a blanket?
The acquisition of new motor skills bring about a new realm of new challenges, often including the worry about your little one climbing out the crib. Our goal is to keep our little ones in the crib until as close as 3 years old as possible so they fully understand the concept "stay in the bed".
Sleep sacks prevent our littles from becoming escape artist by making it difficult to swing their legs over the top of the crib railing. Sleep sacks play an important role in keeping our toddlers safe. If you’re looking for a sleep sack that your little one can walk around in, we absolutely love the Dreamsuit, which is a sleep bag with legs!