Usually We recommend the Zip sleep sack and we have worked with many happy families who have used it. But, a common question is should your baby wear from the Zip before, after, or during sleep training? Do you have to wean from this swaddle transition sleep sack at all?
Once you are ready to stop swaddling your baby, the most common sleep product parents use is a sleep sack. A sleep sack is also called a wearable blanket and it’s considered the safest way to make sure your baby is sleeping comfortably without being too warm or too cold. Thesleep sack shouldn’t come off; thus, your baby can’t accidentally get his or her face covered up leading to accidental suffocation.
Do you have to wean from the zip sleep sack?
The company who manufactures the zip sleep sack has larger sizes of sleep sacks, so for that reason, as long as your baby or toddler is in the “right” size, it is not mandatory to wean from the sleep sack at all. After all, it’s designed to lengthen nighttime sleep in the first place. That’s what makes it a great swaddle transition sleep sack! But, there are some instances you may want to wean from it:
Your baby likes to suck on his or her hands – If your baby likes to suck her fingers or thumb for self-soothing, then sleeping in a zippy may actually hinder her sleep. Once the moro reflex has gone away, the primary motivation for the covered hands on the zip, then she may not like her hands covered.
Your baby uses a pacifier – For similar reasons, if your baby has a pacifier, as he gets older you may want him to be able to find and replace his own pacifier. It may or may not be as easy with his hands covered.
Your baby is tactile – Tactile people like to touch things with their hands and some babies will soothe themselves by running their fingers across their mattress, their own skin, touching a blanket of some kind, etc. That’s why the blankets and toys with tags are so popular!
Holding on – Although not as likely, your baby may prefer his hands out when holding onto the crib rail and there are some sleep sacks that have feet out allowing older toddlers to run around in their sleep sack. That won’t be as welcome in the zip sleep sack. But, if that is unimportant to you or your toddler, it’s not an overly compelling reason to wean from the zip sleep sack.
If, for whatever reason, you decide to wean from the zip sleep sack and you plan on sleep training, some people will wonder which should come first. In general, if you are considering sleep training, then sleep likely isn’t all that great, with or without the zip sleep sack, so you probably won’t lose anything by taking the Zippy off. Of course, sleep could always get worse! Try using a traditional ssleep sack 2-3 days first before you start sleep training. Why? Well, it’s best to keep variables to a minimum. If you start sleep training and the night is extra rough, you will wonder whether it’s the sleep training or the lack of a Zippy. Take a day or two to see the impact of JUST changing sleep attire. If your baby does like sucking his fingers or thumb, you might avoid sleep training altogether. Stranger things have happened!
If your baby is younger than 6 months old, this may be a reason to keep the zip sleep sack on for about a week during sleep training, since he could still have his moro reflex and the Zippy is great for that! Otherwise, though, if you sleep train your baby and sleep is good, then you can, but don’t have to, wean from the Zippy.
Yes, possibly. If you have been sleep training for 1-2 weeks without much progress and you have kept the zip sleep sack on, then you may see improvement by uncovering your baby’s hands for self-soothing and making moving around easier. You may find that your baby wants to entertain herself with her hands as she’s falling asleep or, as I mentioned above, she may prefer to suck on her fingers or thumb for self-soothing. Or, again, she may have an easier time maneuvering her own pacifier, if she has one and you haven’t taken it away as a part of your sleep training plan. My son loved to put his fingers through the loops of his Taggies blanket, which he would have been unable to do if he were sleeping with his hands covered.
So, what about you? Did you wean from the zip sleep sack and how did it go?