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Swaddling Over a Sleeping Bag

Swaddling Over a Sleeping Bag

We often get questions about how to use a sleeping bag and wrap together, while babies transition from being swaddled.

This is also a useful technique for babies who have grown out of wraps but still sleep better swaddled.

The wrapped arms and sleeping bag combination is also excellent for babies who are at risk of developing hip problems. The firm swaddling on their arms will help baby settle while the sleeping bag around their hips and legs offers much more movement that a fitted or traditional swaddle.


Safety

Please ensure your baby is not rolling if you are using a sleeping bag and wrap together. If your baby still needs to be swaddled and can roll, we highly recommend you either leave at least one arm out of the wrap or use a Safe T Sleep Sleepwrap to keep your baby safely on their back.

 


Techniques

Here are the techniques we have found work well:

Miracle Blanket over a sleeping bag

If your baby still likes firm arms-down swaddling, the best wrap to use over a sleeping bag is the Miracle Blanket. These are shaped to prevent the wrap coming up by baby's face, which is especially important when you are using a wrap with a sleeping bag (rather than wrapping baby's legs). Miracle Blanket in particular is perfect for this transition, as the arm flaps are so effective and safe when used over a sleeping bag.

Choose a sleeping bag in the right size for your baby and appropriate weight for the season.

Place your wrap open flat, then place sleeping bag on top of the wrap.

Place baby into the sleeping bag, doing up any domes and zippers. Most newborn size sleeping bags have domes under the arms for a snug fit.

Baby lying in a sleeping bag ontop of a miracle blanket swaddle

Secure your baby's arms into the wrap arm flaps.

Baby having arms tucked into miracle blanket swaddle

Wrap the first side of the wrap over your baby.

If you keep this arm wrapped straight down by baby's side, it is much more likely to stay wrapped all night.

Baby with one arm in a miracle blanket swaddle

Wrap the other side of the swaddle securely over and around your baby.

Baby in sleeping bag, with miracle blanket swaddle over the top

Sleepy Wings over a sleeping bag

The Sleepy Wings is a small 'jacket' style swaddle that provides some startle control and a feeling of snugness.

This works very well over a sleeping bag. It is ideal for babies who can already settle with their hands up, such as those used to sleeping in a Love to Dream swaddle.

The Sleepy Wings can also be used downwards, for babies who prefer their hands down or on their chest.

They also have handy pockets to hold dummies, which is useful once babies start waking again in the night as they need their dummy to get back to sleep.

Sleepy Wings come in 3 sizes, including an Extra Large for babies over 10kg.


Weaning baby off the swaddle

Once your baby can settle easily and sleep well with the wrap and sleeping bag together, you may want to try with one arm left out of the swaddle. This will give you an indication of whether your baby is ready to start weaning from swaddling.

Click here to read our info on Weaning off Swaddling. Some of the content is the same as this article but it gives you more info.


Can I use a wrap inside a sleeping bag?

In most cases it is much safer to use your wrap over a sleeping bag, as your baby gets used to sleeping in a bag.

This is because sleeping bags need your baby's arms to be out the arm holes, rather than swaddled completely and reliant on the neck hole to stop baby slipping inside the sleeping bag.

The only times we think you can safely use a swaddle inside a sleeping bag are as follows:

  • ergoPouch Cocoon Swaddle Bag - when at least one arm is out of the cocoon arm holes and out the sleeping bag arm hole.

  • Love To Dream when both arms are out of the sleeping bag arm holes while inside the Love To Dream swaddle.

 



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