Sleep Sack Basics
After research about SIDS came to light, parents were informed that their babies should no longer be covered with blankets. Although the causes of SIDS are not clearly proven, studies have shown that babies who do not use traditional blankets are at a lower risk of SIDS. In response to this information, various companies began to manufacture sleep sacks, also known as wearable blankets, which are essentially similar to a zip-up bag made with blanket material or fleece. The HALO SleepSack is one of the most popular sleep sacks on the market today.
Advantages Over Blankets
Pediatricians recommend that infants should not sleep with blankets because of the SIDS risk. Although most doctors allow toddlers to begin using blankets when they are able to maneuver themselves more independently, many parents feel more comfortable using a sleep sack to protect their children for as long as possible. In addition, once a baby could theoretically use a blanket, he likely moves enough in his sleep to roll out from under it. In the winter (or in an air-conditioned home), this would leave the baby cold all night. The HALO SleepSack solves both of these problems, providing a safe and secure way to keep your baby warm.
Advantages Over Sleepers
When hearing about sleep sacks for the first time, many people ask, “But why not just use traditional sleepers?” Sleepers are long pajamas that can be worn over lighter pajamas, if desired. They may even be made out of a material similar to those used for blankets or sleep sacks. I discovered firsthand the advantages of using sleep sacks over sleepers. If you have a very fidgety child who does not enjoy being changed, layering a sleeper on top of ordinary pajamas can be a nightmare. Even using a sleeper as the only layer can be very difficult, as the sleeper is one piece and must be slipped under the baby to dress. Two-piece pajamas are easier to apply, and covering your baby with a sleep sack does not require threading each arm and leg through specific holes. (The HALO SleepSack does not include arms, and inserting the baby’s arms through the holes is not difficult at all.) This product saved us from many tears – both our baby’s and our own.
Advantages Over Other Sleep Sacks
Zippers on some of the other sleep sacks seem to be more cheaply made than then zippers on the HALO SleepSack, so they get stuck or break much more often. The HALO is also sleeveless, which the manufacturer maintains is safer in that the baby will not re-breathe air from the fabric if she puts her face onto her arm.
The HALO is more expensive than a traditional blanket, but you can sometimes find it on sale in specific patterns.
One downside – It can be hard to get used to the “reverse zipper” on the HALO. Instead of zipping from bottom to top, it zips from top to bottom. The manufacturer believes that this mechanism is both safer and harder for the baby to unzip. As a parent, I have dressed my baby in multiple outfits that use a normal zipper, and we’ve never had either problem. Instead, we had to struggle originally to get the reverse zipper to work correctly – while an overtired baby fussed in our arms. Now that we’re used to it, it seems simple – yet the frustration of figuring it out was a disadvantage at the beginning. (Note: I have spoken to other parents who have not encountered this problem.)
Although at first I was skeptical, the HALO SleepSack has kept my little guy warm and comfortable throughout his first winter. It has reduced his crying during our bedtime routine as we are no longer trying to shoehorn him into a sleeper, and it has washed well. In short, I would recommend the HALO SleepSack for its safety ratings, relative ease of use, and durability.