Choosing a safe sleep bag for your new baby

By Jane Wiggill, Midwife, Red Nose Australia

Sleep bags are a great way of keeping your baby at a comfortable temperature while sleeping, but it can be difficult to know which TOG rating your sleep bag should be.

TOG stands for Thermal Overall Grade, and is an indication of how much a fabric insulates. Simply put, a baby sleep bag is given a TOG rating according to the amount of warmth it provides.

Red Nose Chief Midwife Jane Wiggill says TOG ratings help you choose the correct sleep bag for the temperature of the room to ensure you baby isn’t too hot or too cold.

“Overheating is a known risk factor for sudden and unexpected death in infancy, so it’s important to choose the right TOG to avoid overheating and reduce the risk," Jane says.
“Making sure your sleep bag has a TOG rating appropriate to the temperature conditions is a good way to determine which sleep bag is appropriate for your baby.”

In Australia, TOG ratings range from 0.2 to 3.5, with the lower-rated bags used in warmer weather, and higher-rated bags used in colder weather.

Jane says that while Red Nose does not recommend a specific room temperature for healthy babies, there are things parents and carers can do to make sure their baby doesn’t overheat.

“Babies control their temperature predominantly through the face and head, so making sure your baby is on their back with their head and face uncovered and dressed appropriately is the best way to avoid overheating,” explains Jane.

Most sleep bag companies provide guides on the product’s packaging to assist in selecting the best sleep bag to suit their temperature.

“Just remember, a lower TOG for warmer weather, and a higher TOG cooler weather,” Jane advises.

Find all the tools and resources you need to regulate your baby's temperature here: rednose.org.au/section/learning_hub

Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.

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