If you’re shopping for a sleep sack, sleep bag, wearable blanket or whatever else you may call it, you’ve probably encountered the TOG measurement. The term isn’t exactly self-explanatory, so you’re likely wondering what does TOG mean?
TOG is a rating that measures how insulated the sleep sack is. In short, it tells you how warm the sleep sack will be. The higher TOG the warmer the sleep sack is. Be careful when layering, as each layer ads to the overall TOG.
Like you, your baby will sleep better at a comfortable temperature. Unlike you, your baby can’t grab another blanket or pull off a layer if they aren’t happy with their temperature. Understanding TOG can help you with managing your baby’s temperature.
The TOG of a Sleep Sack
1.0, 1.5 and 2.5 TOG are the most common types of sleep sacks, but there are sleep sacks available in other TOGs. The table below gives suggestions of what TOG sleep sacks to use based on the temperature of the room that your baby is sleeping in. Different babies will be comfortable at slightly different temperatures and how you dress your baby is up to you.
Sleep Sack TOG Suggestion Based on Room Temperature Range Chart
Room Temperature Range
22° - 24°
20° - 22°
16° - 20°
In addition to the sleep sack TOG, you will also need to consider what your baby is wearing under the sleep sack. TOG adds up for each layer. For example, if your baby has a sleeper and a sleep sack, you would add the TOG of the sleeper and the sleep sack to find out how insulated your baby is. While most clothing does not have a TOG rating, it is important to be conscious of the added insulation.
Some sources say that TOG stands for Thermal Overall Grading. This acronym seems a bit awkward. Most sources say that tog comes from an old slang word for an outer garment, like a cloak. The measurement was invented by researchers at the Shirley Institute in Manchester England in the 1960’s.
Why Use a Sleep Sack?
Like the name implies, sleep sacks are primarily for when your baby is sleeping. When a baby is in the womb, the mother’s body regulates their temperature. After a baby is born, they are not able to regulate their body temperature yet and it can take up to 10 months for them to develop the ability. As such, it is important to keep babies at a comfortable temperature.
It’s easy to keep an eye on a baby’s temperature when they’re awake and with you. You can keep them wrapped up and adjust layers as needed. Getting your baby ready for the night requires a little more planning. While you likely keep the temperature in the nursery consistent through the night, a baby tossing and turning can easily remove their blanket.
The benefit of a sleep sack is that it stays on the baby, no matter what they do. This makes sleep sacks perfect for temperature control.
Another reason, is that loose blankets can end up covering a baby’s face and interfering with their breathing.
With a sleep sack, the baby is essentially wearing their blanket.
What is the Difference Between a Swaddle and a Sleep Sack?
A swaddle is a blanket used for swaddling. They are usually rectangular blankets made from a material that is somewhat stretchy. Swaddling is a way of wrapping a baby to keep them feeling secure outside of the womb. It involves them wrapping them like a burrito, for lack of a better analogy.
A sleep sack, on the other hand, is a wearable blank. They are used when the baby is a bit older and is more mobile.
What Is a Gown?
A gown is a light garment, similar to a sleeper at the top, but with a larger leg pocket for both legs, like a sleep sack. They are great for wearing under a sleep sack. The easy opening leg pocket makes night-time diaper changes a a lot easier than a conventional sleeper. There are too common styles, knot gowns and kimono gowns.
When Can I Start Using a Sleep Sack?
Newborns are usually swaddled, rather than put into a sleep sack. Transitioning to a sleep sack is recommended when the baby starts rolling over and breaking free of their swaddle. This is usually between 3 and 6 months.
When Should I Stop Using a Sleep Sack?
There is no set age for when to stop using a sleep sack. It will depend on you and your child’s preferences. A child may have a bit of trouble keeping themselves covered with a blanket during the transition. It can be easier to make the switch during the summer when warmth is less of a concern.
Can I Use a Larger Size Sleep Sack and Let my Baby Grow into It?
It is not advised to use a larger size sleep sack than your baby needs. If the upper portion is too loose, like a blanket, there is a risk of it sliding up over the baby’s face an impeding breathing. It is best to have a sleep sack that fits properly.
Sleep Sack Design
Sleep sacks are typically fabric sacks with arm and neck holes and an access zipper. Most sleep sacks are sleeveless, but there are variations on the basic design.
Some versions have wraps built in to them for swaddling and there are some sleeved variations.
Why Are Sleep Sacks So Long?
Sleep sacks are supposed to be long. They are meant to be roomy and to have space so that a baby can continue to use it as they grow. The added room is more comfortable allowing for some air flow and for more leg movement. It also makes them easier to put on.
Why Don’t Sleep Sacks have Arms?
Sleep sacks usually don’t have sleeves to allow for air flow to keep the baby from overheating. Sleep sacks serve the same purpose as blankets, to provide a needed layer of added warmth. Like blankets, there needs to be some air flow. In addition to a sleep sack, it is important to pay attention to dressing a baby appropriately for the conditions, such as putting them in sleeved pajamas.
What Are Sleep Sacks Made of?
Sleep sacks come in a variety of materials. They are most commonly made from cotton, wool, bamboo rayon or a combination of those.
Cotton is one of the most common materials for all baby clothes, blankets and similar items. It is great because it is soft and breathable, which means it will be comfortable for a baby to wear. It’s also absorbent, which can help keep formula, spit-up and other potential irritants away from the skin, to an extent. Another important factor, is that it dries quickly. Babies need to be changed often, so it is great to have things that are fast drying, or you will need a larger wardrobe.
A lot of products that we carry, including our sleep sacks, are muslin. Muslin is a type of cotton material that is great for its softness, absorbency and breathability.
Wool offers great temperature control because of its insulating properties. It is also rarely allergenic, though it can irritate babies with very sensitive skin. Many sleep sacks use wool along with a cotton outer-layer to get the best of both worlds. Some other benefits to wool are that it is stain resistant, light-weight and absorbent. It is also a natural material that is biodegradable.
Bamboo rayon is a material made from cellulose taken from bamboo plants. It is popular because it is so soft. It has similar benefits to cotton with breathability and absorbency. It is also often organically made and said to have non-allergenic properties. This makes it great for babies with sensitive skin. It is also thermal-regulating. This means that it adjusts to a baby’s temperature, so the baby is less likely to overheat.
What Sleep Sacks Does Nimboo Baby Carry?
Here at Nimboo Baby, we carry Loulou Lollipop sleep bags. Loulou Lollipop is a Canadian, family-run company founded by women, that makes incredible baby products. Their sleep bags are not exception, providing high-quality design and materials.
The outer-layer of their sleep bag is muslin, offering great breathability and absorbency. The inner layer is made up of a mixture of bamboo rayon and cotton. This creates an ultra-soft sleep bag that provides the perfect insulation for baby’s comfort.
They offer great functionality. The ykk two-way zipper will hold-up over time and offers easy access for diaper changes and dressing. They have high-quality trim such as the zipper guards. They are also easy to take care of, just turn them inside out, machine wash and air dry.
Last, but not least, they come in a gorgeous variety of prints. The prints are also available on a range of other items including swaddles, crib sheets, quilts, and more, if you want things to match.
What is Muslin? Muslin is a type of cotton material with a loose plain weave. There are numerous variations. It is ideal for baby items because it is light-weight, breathable and absorbent.
What do you use to swaddle a baby? Swaddle blankets are used to swaddle babies. There are numerous variations. Often, they are rectangular blankets made from a breathable material with a bit of stretch to get a comfortable fit.