If I had to pick only one tip out of all of the advice that I give families this would be it:
Use a sleep sack!!
I always, always, always recommend sleep sacks. I love them so much! The reason I'm so obsessed with sleep sacks is because they solve so many sleep problems. They're like a Jack of all trades!
Little one cold because they kick their blankets off at night? SLEEPSACK!
Do they climb out of their crib? SLEEPSACK!
Your child needs a signal that it's time for bed? SLEEPSACK!
Worried about blankets covering your little one's face? SLEEPSACK!
Sleep sacks really are wonderful at making sure your little one stays warm all night long, that they're staying safe and they are such a strong positive association that it's time to wind down and go to sleep. Sleep sacks are a staple when it comes to sleep in our home!
Sleep sacks also come in a variety of materials and warmth levels to make sure that your little one stays comfortable regardless of what season it is. During the summer months or when they're sleeping in a warmer room I recommend sleep sacks that are cooler, look for ones with a TOG of around 0.5. If it's really really cold in their room then look for warmer sleep sacks with a TOG of 2 or above. But for most cases, a 1.0 TOG sleep sack is going to be best, that way you can also dress your little in warmer or cooler pajamas to accommodate for small temperature fluctuations.
My kiddos wear sleep sacks from Ry & Pen and I love them. I especially love that their company is also a family-owned, Canadian (#shoplocal and Yay for lower shipping and Canadian dollar!), they're produced completely locally (designed, sourced, sewn), eco-friendly and donate 25% off profits to local charities! Such a feel-good company all around. My favorite part though is that their sleep sacks are also super durable, I don't follow the washing instructions at all, honestly because I'm just to lazy when it comes to laundry and the material holds up so much better than other bamboo sleep sacks that we've owned! Win! If you want to pick up one to try for yourself, shop here and use code SLEEPYBUNNY for 20% off of your first order!
I often get asked what the timeline is for how you should be dressing your baby for sleep, this is what I recommend:
︎-0-8 weeks* or whenever your baby shows signs of rolling: swaddle!**
*as per Health Canada's recommendations
**only if baby is sleeping in their own space, if co-sleeping baby should not be swaddled
︎-2 months until they transition out of the crib: sleep sack!
-︎Transitioned to a big bed (ideally 3+) : pillow and blanket.
"Okay, but what about my toddler who always gets out of their sleep sack?"
This can be so annoying but I have some tricks for you. You simply have to make it harder for your little Houdini to get out! Here's some strategies to do just that:
-︎Put their sleep sack on backwards
-︎Put their sleep sack on inside out
-︎Use a safety pin to attach the zipper to the top of the sleep sack (if it's a 2-way zipper don't forget to do the bottom too!)
-︎Use a combination of all of these tips
-︎ Make sure that the timing is right for your little one to be sleeping so that they're not waiting around awake and bored before or after they've slept!
Although sleep sacks are an amazing tool to help your little ones sleep, they aren't a magical bag that gives your little one sleeping superpowers. Darn, right? If you've tried everything and are looking for a bit of magic to help your little ones sleep, know that help is available. I would be honored to help you support your child in sleeping better!
Sleep Sack Enthusiast and Your Sleep Coach