Is your baby struggling to fit into pretty much every sleeping bag you’ve tried to put her in? Although it’s hard to admit that your little one has grown up, it might be time for her to transition from a sleep sack to a blanket.
I know, I know… It’s a bitter-sweet feeling, to witness your baby entering a new stage in her life. You’re glad she’s growing into a healthy toddler, but you can’t help but feel sad about the days that are behind you.
Just a couple of months ago, she was all cuddled up in that sleeping bag that’s now too small for her. The lovely sleep sack was your best friend when she was only a few months old. It proved to be the perfect solution that helped you sleep better at night knowing your baby is all comfy and safe in her crib.
But, now, it seems she’s getting quite annoyed by it. She’d rather sleep without one and, when you think about it, you’ve been struggling to put her in her sleep sack for a few days now. All of this is a good sign that it’s time to introduce your little one to her new best friend – a blanket.
If you’re not sure where to start or how to transition smoothly, I’ve got you covered (no pun intended). Together, we’ll learn some signs that it’s time to transition from a sleep sack to a blanket and the best way to do so. Let’s begin!
When to transition from a sleep sack to a blanket
If you’re looking for the exact age your baby should be to transition from a sleep sack to a blanket, it’s hard to tell. Each baby has unique needs, likes, dislikes, and preferences. This solely depends on your bub and the way she’s reacting to sleeping in her bag.
Still, there are some things you should consider to determine if it’s the right time for you to help her transition. Here are some of them.
1. Pay attention to the temperature
This one might be the most logical and the easiest to consider. Is the weather getting hotter? Sleeping bags are a great solution during winter and fall, when the temperatures are at their lowest. However, once spring and summer arrive, your baby might be too warm inside her sleep sack.
In fact, that might be why she’s been resisting sleeping in one lately. If the temperature in her room has increased, it might be the right time to introduce your little one to a soft blanket she can cuddle up under at night.
2. When your baby’s sleep sack becomes too small
If you’re struggling with putting your baby in her sleep sack, she’s probably overgrown it. Although getting a bigger one might be a solution, it’s not always possible. Some of the most popular brands that produce baby sleeping sacks stop coming out with sizes that go over 24 or 36 months.
Most of the time, the largest sleeping bag you can find is designed for an 18-month-old bub. Even if you do find a larger one, there’s a high chance that your baby will still refuse to be in one, or might even take it off when you’re not looking.
Don’t pressure her. Your little one should be comfortable and enjoy her sleep. If she’s outgrown her sleep sack, it’s most likely that she doesn’t even need it anymore. Take it as a sign that it’s time to introduce her to big girl bedding.
3. Before potty training
You don’t want to make a lot of drastic changes in your baby’s life all at the same time. If she’s used to one way of doing something, any change in her routine can be pretty stressful. Because of that, take one step at a time. If you plan on potty training your baby any time soon, you might want to wait a bit longer.
The best way to do these transitions is one at a time. If possible, make the transition from using a sleep sack to using a blanket your priority. Not only will it make these changes a lot less stressful for her, but she’ll also be able to use the toilet more efficiently.
For example, if you transition her to sleeping with a blanket first, and then potty-train her, it will be a lot easier for her to go to the toilet in the middle of the night. Instead of struggling to get out of her sleeping bag, she’ll simply remove her blanket and go without any issues or disturbing your sleep.
4. Before you transition her to sleeping in bed
Just like I’ve previously mentioned, make sure you’re going one step at a time. Don’t transition your baby from her sleep sack to a blanket, and from her crib to a new bed, all at the same time. This will definitely disturb her. Any changes in her environment can be challenging, especially so if they are numerous.
Make sure you introduce your baby to a blanket while she’s still in an environment that she’s used to. That way, she’ll feel a lot safer and more comfortable, despite having to sleep without her sleep sack. Once she’s used to her new bedding, you can move on to helping her transition to sleeping in a bed.
How to transition from sleep sack to blanket
Now you have a better understanding of the right time to transition from a sleep sack to a blanket, but what’s the best way to do it? After all, you don’t want to stress out your baby or disturb her sleep in any way, so I understand that you want to be extra careful.
Luckily, transitioning can be pretty easy. Here are some things that you should pay attention to.
1. Make sure your baby is dressed comfortably
Your baby spent months, or potentially longer, sleeping in her sleep sack. No matter if it was cold or warm outside, she never had to think about her temperature. Her sleeping bag did the job for her. However, now she can cover herself on her own, which also means she can easily uncover herself.
While your baby is transitioning to using her new blankie, make sure she’s dressed comfortably. Dress her in comfy pajamas that will keep her warm even if her blanket falls off during the night. It’s easy for us to wake up and simply cover ourselves again, but our babies aren’t used to that.
Because of that, make sure she stays warm even if she wiggles out of her bedding while sleeping. And by her staying warm, she also won’t have to wake you up because she’s cold. It’s a win-win situation.
2. Never introduce bedding during the night
Don’t make the transition something too serious. It might scare your baby, and that’s the last thing you want. Turn it into a fun game during the day! During your next playtime, grab a blanket and pretend you’re falling asleep. Snuggle under it and show them what they should do during the night.
Most of the time, our babies will mimic whatever we do. Now’s the time to use that to your advantage! Pretend you’re falling asleep with a blanket, and give it to her when it’s time for her to go to bed.
3. Take small steps and don’t overwhelm your baby
Let’s not expect your baby to be able to sleep under a full-on heavy blanket right away. It’s important to take small steps and start with something light, like a sheet. It won’t overwhelm or frighten your baby, which is a huge plus.
Let her get used to it, first. While she’s still in her sleep sack, cover her with a light sheet, too. That way, she’ll get the idea of what blankets are used for, and it will slowly become a part of her bedtime routine.
Of course, you don’t want her to become too hot under all those layers. Make sure you use a light sleeping bag and a light blanket or a sheet on top of it. Once she’s used to it, you can move on and try to remove her sleeping bag next.
4. Try sleeping bags with legs
If you feel like your baby is not ready for a complete transition just yet, you can always move on to sleeping bags with legs. Not only will your toddler be a lot more comfortable than in her usual sleep sack, but it will also make the whole process a lot slower and less stressful.
So, if you plan on using this, your transition process should go something like this: sleeping in a sleep sack > using a sleeping bag with legs > covering her with a light sheet > moving on to a blanket.