Regardless of whether you’re a new mom or you’ve recently gained a new addition to your little family and are looking for a way to make sure that you and your baby are getting your eight hours of sleep - then you might currently be considering introducing a weighted sleep sack into your bedtime routine.
Just think about it: it’s the middle of the night and you want nothing more than to cuddle down into your bed and drift off to sleep, but your little one is restless and, between a dummy and a bottle - nothing seems to be working, leaving you to question what you can do to make sure that your baby gets better quality sleep.
This is where weighted sleep sacks come into the mix. Even though there are plenty of sleep experts that suggest that a weighted sleep sack is a safe and baby-friendly alternative to a weighted blanket, there are still plenty of parents that question whether or not they’re safe, and we’re here to help you get to the bottom of that question for good. Read on.
So, what are weighted sleep sacks?
Otherwise referred to as a “baby sleeping bag” or a “sleep wrap” a weighted sleeping sack is a type of baby clothing that doubles up as a sleeping blanket. For this reason, they are designed to swaddle a baby and usually will contain a zip that will allow mom or dad to be able to zip the sack safely into place, so that their baby can sleep peacefully to remain at optimum comfort. To give you complete peace of mind, weighted sleep sacks are never designed to cover your baby’s mouth or nose area, and are usually designed to be suitable for use from newborn and up.
To give you a little bit more context about this innovative sleeping wrap, weighted sleep sacks were first developed by a man named Bill Schmid, and were initially released under the brand named Halo Brand. Way back in 1991, Bill Schmid decided to begin searching for a safer, baby-friendly alternative to big, loose blankets when his daughter, named Hayley, sadly died of SIDS. After this happened, Schmid made it his mission to do absolutely everything he could in his power to reduce the number of babies that fell victim to SIDS, and soon enough - the first weighted sleep sack was created.
If you’re familiar with Halo Brand, then you might be familiar with one of their popular slogans “Back is Best” which was most commonly printed across all of their weighted sleep sacks. This was done in combination with the “Back to Sleep” campaign way back in the 90s, which consisted of encouraging parents around the world to make sure that their babies were sleeping on their backs to ensure optimum safety at nighttime.
Ever since that point, weighted, wearable blankets have gone from strength to strength as more and more parents around the world opt to use them so that their babies (and themselves) can enjoy a more comfortable and well-rested night’s sleep. Nevertheless, despite the growth in popularity, many parents still feel reluctant to use them, and commonly question whether or not weighted sleep sacks are actually safe - which brings us to our next point.
Are weighted sleep sacks safe?
To cut a long story short - yes, weighted sleep sacks are absolutely safe for you to use on your baby at bedtime! Not only are weighted sleep sacks able to keep your baby nice and warm during the night, but they are also able to help increase the quality of your baby’s sleep thanks to the gentle weights which can increase levels of happiness and melt away any stress. It should also be noted that weighted sleep sacks are never designed to be able to reach the mouth or nose, and can even be used to swaddle little ones that aren’t quite sleeping on their backs just yet. Plus, if you ever have any worries about your baby becoming too cold in the night, then you could always opt to dress your baby in their pajamas before placing them inside their sack.
What are the benefits of using a weighted sleep sack?
Despite the fact that they’re totally safe to use (when used correctly) and can help to increase the sleep quality of both you and your child, there are a variety of other benefits to incorporating one into your baby’s bedtime routine. Let’s take a look at them below:
1. They feel like a hug: One of the biggest benefits of a weighted sleep sack is that they feature a subtle weight that is able to very gently push down on your baby without hurting them. This feeling is very similar to the parent giving their baby a cuddle, which helps to make babies feel more comfortable and at ease, and, in turn, more likely to stay fast asleep!
2. Babies experience increased levels of serotonin: Another main benefit of a weighted sleep sack is that they are able to release serotonin in the brain (which is otherwise referred to as being the happy chemical) as well as raise levels of melatonin, which means that your baby will feel increased feelings of happiness and relaxation.
3. Stress levels may be decreased: This point ties in very closely to the one above, but we still think it’s important to note. There has been much evidence to suggest that weighted sleep sacks have the ability to lower levels of cortisol in the body, which will help to calm your baby and encourage them to drift off into a peaceful sleep.
4. Can be used to aid calmness during breastfeeding: If you have a fussy baby at dinner time, then you might be pleased to hear that you can double-up your weighted sleep sack as a breastfeeding aid. Just pop your baby into it when it’s time to feed, and your weighted sleep sack will help to calm your baby down ready for food.