Baby sleep bags and swaddles: what to look for this winter

Naturally you’ll want to do anything to promote a better night’s sleep for your little one and keep them snug this winter. When choosing a sleeping bag or swaddle as the nights grow colder, there are three things you’ll need to consider: your baby’s comfort, warmth, and safety. With the endless array of baby sleep products on the market, it’s not easy to figure out exactly which ones tick all of these boxes.

Here is a list of what to look for, and why, when you start shopping for your little one’s bedding. We hope it narrows it down for you and makes life that bit easier (that’s what we’re here for, after all!).

Baby sleeping bags and swaddles: what to look for this winter

First of all, let’s look at whether a sleeping bag or swaddle is best for your baby:

  • Swaddles or swaddlebags are designed for newborns up to 6 months. You can either swaddle your baby with their arms in for a total snuggle effect, or once they start showing signs of rolling, you will let their arms out to allow more freedom of movement.

Baby sleep bags and swaddles

  • Baby sleep bags are essentially safe, wearable blankets. You can use one from newborn, and some helpfully grow with your baby, transitioning them from arms in to arms out.

Baby sleep bags and swaddles

Here is what to look for, plus some bonus tips when choosing a sleep bag or swaddle:


Just to make things confusing, baby sleep bags and swaddles are made from different fabrics, depending on the brand. Cotton, bamboo, fleece, polyester filling, cotton and synthetic blends, linen, rayon, muslin…it’s enough to make your sleep-deprived head spin! Then, there are fabrics that are better suited to warm summer nights and those that are top choices for winter.

What to look for: Products that are made from natural, breathable materials, such as cosy bamboo-rich fabric for the outer, and a cotton blend filling infused with Aloe Vera which is gentle and soothing on sensitive skin.

Baby sleep bags and swaddles

Tip: Look for ones with two-way zip access for easy night time nappy changes – less disruption to your baby and anyone else trying to sleep.

Baby sleep bags and swaddles


It can be tricky to find that temperature sweet spot for sleeping babies since they can’t tell us if they’re cold or too warm. A baby who is too warm can overheat, which is a SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) risk factor; and a baby who is too cold may wake more frequently to seek comfort and warmth. With no loose sheets or blankets, sleep bags help to make it easier to keep your baby at the right temperature no matter how much they wriggle.

Baby sleep bags and swaddles

What to look for: Ensure they come with accurate TOG ratings, and read the product’s ‘What to wear’ guide to dress them according to the room temperature and the warmth rating of the sleep bag or swaddle.

Baby sleep bags and swaddles

Tip: A good way to check if your baby is cold or too warm is to feel your baby’s chest, back or tummy, and they should feel warm (not hot). Don’t worry if their hands and feet are cold, it’s perfectly normal, and not a good indication of their temperature.

Baby sleep bags and swaddles


In addition to ensuring that your baby doesn’t overheat, there are two other elements in terms of safety when it comes to selecting a baby sleep bag or swaddle. You’ll want to ensure that it is hip-healthy and is correctly fitted to keep your baby’s head and face uncovered, which is another SUDI (Sudden Unexplained Death in Infancy) risk factor. Read more here on how to reduce the risk of SIDS.

What to look for: It should be designed to be snug and slim fitting through the chest to enable freedom of movement without restriction or excess bulk, while the bottom of the sleep bag or swaddle should allow your baby to adopt a natural ‘frog-legged’ sleeping position for hip health. Hip Dysplasia can be caused by wrapping or swaddling a baby too tightly.

Tip: Make sure that the sleep products are safety tested and approved and adhere to British and European Safety Standards.

Baby sleep bags and swaddles

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