Well, it’s been a fairly rubbish UK summer hasn’t it. Pretty much didn’t get my little one’s out of their 2.5 tog sleeping bags.
It all gets a little tricky here in September, you see. Last week was beautiful, next week will be rubbish. How to mix and match and keep them cool or warm?
For safe sleep the NHS and Lullaby Trust recommend a room temperature of between 16-20 degrees celsius. This, combined with the right tog sleeping bag and sleep suit will be just perfect for your little one. I am a HUGE fan of sleeping bags. Not just because they look totally cute, but for many practical reasons too.
Sleeping bag benefits
Sleeping bags are not designed to be used with any additional layers which keeps the cot clear and safe for baby. No faffing with blankets that worry will come loose in the night. Sleeping bags make sure the kiddies stay the perfect temperature all night long. Toddlers will find it hard to replace a duvet that has fallen off during the night so they may wake up cold and call out, needing your help.
Sleeping bags can go all the way up to 3 and even the age of 5, so they can transition out of the bag to a toddler duvet set when they’re old enough to understand the concept of replacing the duvet themselves and have the dexterity to do so. They also can act as a lovely sleep cue at nap and bedtime, helping babies and toddlers understand that they’ll soon be placed down in their cot for sleep.
The most commonly used sleeping bags here in the UK are 2.5 and 1.0 tog. 2.5 tog bags are great for temperatures of 16-20 and 1 tog bags for temperatures of 21-24. If you’re managing to escape to hotter climates you can get some 0.5 and 0.2 bags and I hear the very lightweight ones made from muslin are really nice too.
Most importantly we need to make sure our little ones aren’t at the extremes of being either icy cold or sweaty hot (the best indicator is checking their skin temperature at the back of their neck). Sometimes room temperatures can surprise us too, often actually being hotter than we’d expect. A perfect temperature of 18 degrees can also feel a little cool to us as adults so we may be tempted to stick a couple more (unnecessary) layers on.
Have a few clothing/bag options on the go at once and refer to the temperature in the room as you get your little one ready for their nap or bedtime. Digital thermometers are brilliant and quick to read as you enter the room, although try to get one that doesn’t have a light that stays on all night – a dark room is best for baby and toddler sleep. Darkness also helps to keep the room cool.
I’ve had a bit of a winning mum moment this week and discovered a 3 in 1 bag. Basically a summer tog (1.0) and spring/autumn (2.5) tog that zip together to create a winter one!
- Need to use a fan for the hottest days? Make sure it is on the circulating air function and doesn’t direct the air flow straight onto your baby.
- Never cover your baby’s head with a hat indoors. If it’s really cold then have a winter bag with vest and sleep suit as well.
- The sleeping bag manufacturers all have lovely infographics that show you the right bag and clothing combo for different room temperatures. Check them out using google.
- Sleeping bags can be expensive. Buy second hand. I picked up my 3 in 1 bag from Facebook marketplace for £5, originally retailing at a rather eye-watering £45!
Read more, my blog on safer sleep is here.