A question that we get asked a lot is about the different types of sleep products available and when you might use each one. Cellular blankets, Babasacs or baby sleeping bags and swaddles. If you are newly pregnant it can be confusing, so this is a quick guide to tell you the differences and when you might want one.
There are a lot of sleep products on the market. You might have heard that a baby sleeping bag or gro bag is a must-have, a cellular blanket is the safest option, a swaddle is ideal for your newborn baby but you might not know the difference and when you might choose one over the other.
I thought we’d give you some facts about each and offer advice as to when you might use each one.
Swaddles or swaddle muslins –
Newborn babies love to be swaddled. Swaddling actually mimics the feeling of being in the womb. It makes them feel like they are being held, a feeling that they are used to and it stops their startle reflex or morro reflex which is when their arms jerk, which can startle them and wake them up. Babies are generally swaddled for a few months after birth (or until they start to show signs of being able to roll). You can buy zipped up swaddles or you can use a large muslin to swaddle your baby. We prefer a large muslin as they have lots of other uses and you will use for years, as opposed to a specialist swaddle that has a limited life span. You can see the step by step guide of how to swaddle below and this is on all of Mama Designs muslin boxes. Practising with a teddy is a great idea, I promise it is easier than you think!
You can swaddle your baby easily following these easy steps… be sure to practice safe swaddling. Your baby should not be too tightly bound around their hip and knee area, allowing for movement here.
Times you might find a large muslin / swaddle muslin useful:
- As a light sheet or blanket.
- For a comforter for an older baby.
- As a burp cloth.
- On holiday.
- As a sheet for a moses basket or crib.
Cellular Blankets are the safest type of baby blankets around. They’ve been around for hundreds of years, are used in hospitals and recommended by midwives and healthcare professionals.
Their clever cell-like structure allows air to flow, meaning that even if your baby gets their blanket over their head or face, they will be able to breathe.
Another great benefit of the structure of these cotton blankets is that can work to keep babies cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Mama Designs cellular blankets are 100% organic cotton and are proudly made in the UK. Their cellular blankets come in pram or crib size and in cot size.
So when would you use a cellular blanket?
Cellular blankets are very popular as newborn blankets to be packed in a hospital or birth bag.
The pram sized blanket can also be used out and about in the pram and car seat and for travelling home from hospital.
They are great for using at home for daytime naps on older babies (once they are passed the swaddling stage).
They can actually also be used to swaddle your baby in the colder months (the larger cot sized is great for this).
They can be used for cuddles and storytime with your baby, to cover you both while feeding or any other time you might use a blanket. We often find that parents use the larger cot sized blankets on their children for years, having become their favourite blanket, they have them on their bed as an extra layer or for sofa snuggles!
Baby Sleeping Bags
Baby sleeping bags are really popular and are used by the majority of parents in the UK. They are sometimes referred to as grobags / grow bags or baby sleepsacks. These are all basically the same thing. They can be used from birth (as long as your baby is over the weight mentioned on the bag and their head cannot fit through the fastened neckhole. ) For Mama Designs Babasacs it is over 7lb 8oz. This will be different for every brand, so do please check. This is very important. So if your baby is over this weight, yes you can use a baby sleeping bag. However, you might find that the startle reflex causes your baby to wake. A lot of parents, myself included will swaddle for a few months and then move to a sleeping bag when baby is ready for more room.
Sleeping bags come in different tog ratings for different seasons or temperatures. Babasac is multi- tog, so you can use it all year round by removing the extra inner layer. You should change the layers of your babies clothing depending on the temperature of the room or nursery. All of this information is can be found here.
Baby sleeping bags are safe because there is no danger of the baby getting loose covers over their face. Your baby will stay at the same temperature overnight. They won’t get tangled in the cot bars which could cause them to hurt themselves or wake.
Some parents use their Babasacs or sleep bags for naps and night time, others only use them for night time as their house may be warmer during the day. One solution is to use it without the extra layers during the day and add them in at night. Or use a cellular blanket for naps and a sleeping bag at night. Babies can use a sleeping bag up to the age of 3 or when they transition to a bed.
Hopefully, this gives you a bit more insight and it helps you to understand the differences between cellular blankets, swaddles and baby sleeping bags.