When I think of which baby items I couldn’t live without, there’s one that stands out above the rest. For me, sleep sacks take the top spot.
They’re just so versatile, they help babies all the way to toddlers and they are the solution to so many issues when it comes to little ones and sleep. I love sleep sacks but I’d actually never heard of them before having kids!
"Considering our children spend more than half of every day in their sleep sacks, we should ensure that they’re comfortable!"
With all of that time spent in a sleep sack, it’s important that we get the right one so that it meets our needs, our little ones can be comfortable, and we can be at ease that they’re not too hot or too cold. Shopping for sleep sacks isn’t as straightforward as picking which colour you’d like though, there’s a lot to consider between different sizes, materials and warmth so here’s some guidance on what to look for and what would be most fitting for your situation ensuring that you and your little ones will feel great!
What the heck is TOG anyways?!
TOG stands for Thermal Overall Grade, a standard unit of measure of a garment’s thermal insulation. To put it simply, TOG is basically a ranking of how warm a garment is going to feel. TOG ratings help you decide what clothing to wear in what situations and how warm or cool the material is going to be even if you can't feel the material before purchasing. Understanding TOG ratings is super helpful in today's world with more and more online shopping!!
Ok, but what do all of the ratings mean?
The numbers associated with the TOG of a garment is what you'll want to pay attention to, the warmer the material, the higher the TOG is going to be. As a general guideline, TOG's under 1.0 are cooler, 1.0 is average and above 2.0 are warmer.
How do I know which TOG I need?
To decide which TOG is best for your child, you'll want to take a look at their sleep environment. As general recommendations, for most children and babies a TOG of 1.0 is suitable for a sleep space that's within the ideal range for sleep (between 18-21°C/64-70°F). For sleep spaces on the warmer end of the range, and often during summer months, a lower TOG (0.5) would be more suitable.
You'll also want to consider if your child typically runs hot or cold, do this by checking their temperature when they sleep by placing your hand on their chest or back of their neck. If they feel warm or clammy, take a layer off or drop to a garment with a lower TOG, and if they feel cool, add a layer or switch to a sleep sack with a higher TOG . Checking your little one's chest or back is much more effective than checking their hands or feet to determine their warmth.
How do I choose between Ry & Pen's collection?
Another point to note when shopping the Ry & Pen collection is the material that the sleep sack is made from. Some materials have higher warming capabilities even though their TOG may be the same.
Ry & Pen offers sleep sacks made from two different materials, bamboo and merino wool.
Their products made with bamboo are considered more "all season", they aren't as thick. Merino wool products have higher warming capabilities so they actually perform warmer than the same sleep sack in bamboo material.
What do I buy for my own kids and recommend to my clients?
There’s so much to consider here! So let me simplify it, this is how I as a sleep consultant and as a mom decide which sleep sack my babies need. I consider 1.0 sleep sacks as the “all season” sleep sack, you can simply change the layers of clothing that you put your little one in underneath to make the sleep sack warmer or cooler. Most of the sleep sacks that my kids are in are 1.0 sleep sacks. They’re so versatile! We use our 1.0 bamboo sleep sacks year-round, in the heat my kids just wear a diaper and their sleep sack, normally they’re in 2-piece jammies and their sleep sack and when it’s cooler out we put them in footie jammies but could also add another onesie as an underlayer.
I also have some 0.5’s for when we go camping or to a cabin, they’re great for summer naps on the go! 0.5 TOG’s are really perfect for when it’s hot out and there’s no air conditioning to regulate the temperature. Staying cool enough to sleep is top priority, our bodies need to cool down to be able to fall asleep and it helps reduce SIDS risk for younger babies as well. So if your little one would ever be in a situation where the room (not the outdoor temperature!) would be higher than the ideal range (18-21⁰C/64-70⁰F) a 0.5 TOG would be the way to go!
For clients whose homes are difficult to regulate when it comes to the temperature and their kids’ rooms can cool down significantly in our cold Canadian winters, I suggest choosing the merino blends! The 1.0 TOG sleep sack with a merino and bamboo blend warms more like a 1.8-2.3 TOG compared to the same product with only bamboo material, so they’re perfect if you need your little one to have a bit more warmth.
So now that you know what to consider and how to choose between different TOG’s and materials, it’ll be happy shopping from here on out.
If it’s not the sleep sack shopping that’s difficult but rather the sleep part, I’d be happy to help you figure that out. I invite you to check out my website here and follow me on Instagram for helpful information and solutions to solve your sleep issues!
Now back to the sleep sacks, all that’s left is to pick out which colours you’d like. It’s such a tough call! What are your top picks?
Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant
Follow Jessica on Instagram: @sleepybunnyconsulting
Photo credits: Ember Rose Photography