No amount of reading, stories or research will prepare you for the sleepless reality of life with a baby. Team, it’s exhausting. Luckily, some bright spark invented the baby sleeping bag - a magical piece of kit you simply zip baby into to help soothe them into some ZZZs. The best baby sleeping bag is easy to use, especially during middle of the night nappy changes. It’s kind to baby’s skin and ideally machine washable and maybe tumble dryable so you’re never stuck without it. Here are our top picks for Australia’s top baby sleeping bags, chosen from hours of research.
How we picked
There was only 1 place to turn when it comes to baby products - real Aussie parents. For that, we headed to ProductReview.com.au, Australia’s first consumer opinion website. We had a look at the top-rated baby sleeping bags. Armed with a long list, we did hours of research.
Digging into our shortlist, we were keen to find a range of different materials, styles and budgets to suit every Aussie and their baby. All that was left to do was choose which sleeping bag was best for each category and we were done: the 7 best baby sleeping bags in Australia.
Are sleeping bags safe for babies?
Unsafe sleeping practices have been linked to SUDI (sudden unexpected death in infancy). These practices include using sheets and blankets that can cover baby’s head or face while they’re sleeping. A sleeping bag reduces this risk because you don't need to use a sheet or blanket with it.
According to Red Nose, an Australian charity working to save lives and support families impacted by the death of a baby or child, a safe sleeping bag:
“... is constructed in such a way that the baby cannot slip inside the bag and become completely covered. The sleeping bag should be the correct size for the baby with a fitted neck, armholes (or sleeves) and no hood.”
Red Nose also outlines research that shows the benefits of using a safe sleeping bag. These are that it:
- Reduces the risk of bedding covering baby’s face.
- Delays baby rolling onto their tummy during sleep until they’re past the age of peak risk of SUDI.
- Promotes sleeping on their back as the zipper normally opens on the front.
- Keeps baby’s temperature at a more constant level while sleeping at home.
For more safe sleeping information, visit the Red Nose website.
Plus, using a sleeping bag gives you more chance of sleeping through the night - it can’t be kicked off like a blanket. This means you won’t get woken up by a cold child demanding you pick up their covers from the floor.
A sleeping bag also works as a sleep association that lets baby know it’s sleeping time.
What age can you start using a baby sleeping bag?
You can use a sleeping bag from the day your baby’s born. However, most parents and babies prefer to be swaddled when they’re a newborn. A swaddle gives your baby a close hug, like what they’re used to in mum’s womb. The world can seem big and scary and a swaddle is a way to reassure them.
Not all babies like to be swaddled, in which case you can start with a sleeping bag.
What tog sleeping bag does a baby need?
Let’s start with what a tog is - a thermal overall grade. It measures how much the fabric insulates and is roughly equivalent to 1 layer of clothing or light blanket. So, a 1 tog sleeping bag is like 1 layer of clothing. The higher the tog, the warmer the sleeping bag.
For room temperatures of:
- 24 - 28°C +, go for 0.2 tog.
- 18 - 28°C+, go for 1 tog.
- 14-22°C, go for 2.5 or 3.5 tog.
It’s not just the tog rating you need to think about. It also depends on what and how much your baby is wearing inside their sleeping bag, what temperature their room is, their health and how much bedding they need to keep them warm. This is different for every baby, like it is for every adult.
Most baby sleeping bags should come with a clothing guide to let you know what baby should wear inside them.
Oh and natural fibres, like merino, might not have tog ratings. That’s because they’re thermo-regulating - they adjust according to temperature.
When should you stop using a baby sleeping bag?
Through our research we’ve found sleeping bags that go up to 6 years old. So, there’s no hard and fast rule about when to stop using one. It’ll probably be once a sleeping bag no longer fits your little one or when they decide they’ve had enough of it.
Or how to move your sleeping baby, without waking them (not guaranteed).
Or how to get stuff done while still being close to your baby.