Sleep is a big part of an infant's life, and they log a lot of hours catching Zs during that first year. With the fear of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) at the forefront of parents' concerns, making sure their baby is safe through those sleeping hours is a high priority for moms and dads. To keep their little one warm and comfortable, parents may choose to use a sleep sack during naps and night time. But with the controversy over swaddling, you might start to wonder are infant sleep sacks safe? It's a valid question, and one worth exploring to decide if using a sleep sack is right for your baby.
As the Kids Health website defined it, "SIDS is the sudden and unexplained death of an infant who is younger than 1-year-old." For years, this scary and mysterious condition has put parents on high alert when creating a sleep environment for their newborn. Although research has yet to pinpoint what causes SIDS, there are some ways to reduce the risks associated with this condition. According to the American SIDS Institute, one of the best ways to keep your baby safe while sleeping, aside from always placing them on their back, is to make sure their crib is free of any loose objects such as blankets and stuffed animals.
But even though you want to comply with safety guidelines, you may be concerned that your baby will get too cold in the night with only their pajamas to keep them warm. This is the main reason parents consider putting their baby in a sleep sack — for an extra layer of warmth. However, with the risk of SIDS still looming, you want to be certain that your choice to use a sleep sack will not put your baby in harm's way. To help make your choice easier, take into consideration the words of wisdom Laura Reno, director of public affairs for First Candle/SIDS Allianace gave to the website, Babble. “Sleep sacks are really the first product that has come along that allows us to accomplish our goal of reducing SIDS rates,” Reno said. In fact, the First Candle/SIDS alliance recommends parents use sleep sacks for comfort and safety.
It might seem hard to believe, but sleep sacks were not created so a baby company could turn a profit. As it turns out, the inventor of this product developed it specifically to reduce the risk of SIDS, according to Time magazine. Bill Schmid, creator of the sleep sack, was inspired to help other families keep their babies safe while sleeping after loosing his daughter, Haley, to SIDS in 1991. Since the product launched in early 2000's, the product can be found almost everywhere baby gear is sold, as well as in some hospitals who support the use of sleep sacks.
Deciding whether or not to use a sleep sack for your baby is one in a long line of decisions you will make for your child's safety. Knowing the facts and making informed decisions will guide you through this decision and the many others to come.