Updated February 2019
Blankets: not safe for young infants; won’t stay on toddlers for more than 10 seconds.
Even five-year-old Lucie kicked her comforter off every night in bed, then complained she was cold. Thus: wearable blankets, sleep sacks (a trademarked term from Halo)… whatever you want to call them — are your best friends. See also: winter weight sleep sacks.
Did you know? Most wearable blankets are sleeveless to prevent overheating.
Our Favorite Wearable Blankets
1. Halo SleepSack ~ $21
Halo pioneered the sleep sack concept after its founder, Bill Schmid, lost his firstborn baby to SIDS.
The Halo SleepSack comes in many sizes and colors and even has one with foot-holes for walkers. I recommend the micro-fleece for cold winter weather, but they come in a variety of weights (also called “TOG,” which is a measure of thermal insulance). They even have ones that go up to size 4-5T for much bigger kids.
*Re: Flame Retardants: “HALO items [fabric fibers or finished goods] are never treated with fire resistant chemicals.”
2. Nested Bean Zen Sack ~ $34
Perfect for that transitional time between swaddle and wearable blanket. The Zen Sack is slightly weighted in the chest, providing a sense of security as if mom’s/dad’s hand is there for comfort. Parents love the quality of the sleep sack, and many report longer sleep periods with the weighted sack, but as with anything, some don’t notice any difference in their child’s sleep.
Full side zippers make for easy diaper changes at night and shoulder snaps allow the Zen Sack to grow with your baby.
*Re: Flame Retardants: “We do not use flame retardants in any of our products. The thickness of our material negates the need. We prefer to use natural fibers. More info can be found here.”
3. . Zipadee-Zip ~ $38
A cult favorite is the Zipadee-Zip (you may have seen them on Shark Tank, eh?), which is a sleeved sleeping bag that completely covers the hands.
Ideal for weaning off the swaddle, the Zipadee-Zip can be worn in a baby carrier or car seat because it has “legs.” With Zipadee-Zip, babies are free to stand up, crawl, roll, and move around safely.
*Re: Flame Retardants: “No chemicals are used in the making of the Zippies so your little ones can truly have the sweetest of dreams!”
4. Baby Deedee Sleep Nest ~ $38
While a little pricier, the beloved Baby Deedee Sleep Nest is a little warmer than the Halo, mainly because it’s thicker and more cocoon-ey (that’s a word, right?). The Deedee can also snap over the shoulders for easy on/off.
Meant for colder rooms/climates. Also comes in a Lite version.
*Re: Flame Retardants: “The sleep nest is not treated with flame retardants.”
Our Favorite Merino Wool Wearable Blankets
I didn’t fully appreciate the merits of merino wool (especially for babies) until I attended the unveiling for the Aden + Anais Merino wool line at the 2014 baby show. There, I spoke with reps from Woolmark, a trade group for the wool industry.
So now I’m hooked.
Merino wool is a natural fiber, so it’s super breathable, absorbs moisture, and is naturally fire resistant. And soft! OMG — it’s so soft. The new generation of wool products are very easy to care for (machine wash), unlike the wools of yesteryear. Yes, they are pricey, but these items are so durable and are meant to be handed down from child to child – even through generations.
*I REALLY don’t recommend putting it in the dryer, though – it “pills” badly.
The Woolino ~ $99
The Woolino is made from premium hypoallergenic Australian merino wool. This one-size product fits babes 2 mos – 2 yrs, so your babe won’t outgrow it until 2 years of age.
It has shoulder snaps and an inverted side zipper for easy changing and seat belt slots for easy transfer from crib to car. Yes, from crib to car seat, hurrah! (Yes, it’s safe!)
Another high-quality wool option is the Merino Kids sleep sack — similar to the Woolino, it runs a little large and will fit baby for quite some time. Unlike the Woolino, it has snaps on only one shoulder as opposed to both (some people prefer this, others prefer the Woolino’s dual-sided shoulder snaps). It’s long-lasting, made with car seat cut-outs for easy transfer, and comes in regular, winter, and sherpa weights for different temperatures.
*Re: Flame Retardants: Wool is naturally fire resistant.