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When Can Kids Use a Sleeping Bag for Camping?

Your definitive guide to sleeping bags for kids, the temperature ratings they need, and when it's safe to use them

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Lexi is a hiker, backpacker, and outdoor enthusiast born and raised in the White Mountains of New HampshireRead More

We’re going to break down everything related to sleeping bags for kids, explain what tog means, how to buy the right one for your baby, when it's ok to use a kid's sleeping bag for camping, and more.

LET'S DO IT!


When Can Kids Use a Sleeping Bag for Camping

What Is a Baby Sleeping Bag?

A baby sleeping bag is a wearable blanket with a sleeping bag design and is more convenient than traditional blankets to keep your baby warm and comfy in cold weather conditions.

Baby sleeping bags have neck and armholes and are usually fastened using a zipper that runs the entire length of the pack. They are worn at night to help keep your baby at the right temperature while they sleep.

Just like adult bags, baby sleeping bags are also available in togs, thickness, and shape for different seasons to help you choose appropriate ones for your needs.


Sleeping Bags for Kids Buying Guide

Four kids in their sleeping bags

Sleeping bags for kids or toddlers come in many different shapes, temperature ratings, and sizes, so it's essential to find one that is comfortable and appropriate for the weather conditions in which you will be using it.

Here are some factors to consider when buying a sleeping bag for your kid:


What Tog Do You Need?

Also known as thermal insulation, Tog stands for Thermal Overall Grade and is a unit of measure of thermal insulation for how much heat a garment retains. In other words, it is how well a bag will keep your baby warm in cold weather conditions.

The higher the Tog value of a sleeping bag, the more heat it will retain and the warmer it will keep your baby.


Why Is Tog Important?

It is essential to pay attention to the Tog rating of your baby's bag because babies do not regulate their temperatures well.

A baby's sleeping temperature is one of the most common parental concerns, especially in the early days. So knowing you have the correct the Tog level will alleviate that concern and help keep your baby at a comfortable temperature while they sleep.

It's essential to be mindful of the Tog you are using and the enviromental temperature while your baby sleeps because overheating is a risk factor for SIDS.


Tog Rating

TOG RATING

Below is a TOG breakdown for toddlers sleeping bags:

  • 0.6-tog or lower: Ideal for high summer with room temperatures of 25°C or above. A bag with this TOG rating is very light and has breathable materials, best suited for warmer nurseries and homes where there may not be cool air or air conditioning. If your baby needs to wear short sleeves or light clothes, this is right for you.

  • 1-tog: Suitable between seasons or room temperatures between 20-24°C. A 1 tog sleeping bag may be best for homes and nurseries that stay moderate and comfortable or already have air conditioning. A 1-tog bag is ideal for you if your baby needs to wear long sleeves or jammies with footies in the house. It is also suitable for babies in most climates most of the year-round.

  • 2.5-tog: Ideal for year-round use or when the temperatures can vary between 16-20°C. This tog rating is best suited for chilly weather and for those whose homes don't have much heating in the room or toddlers who have a hard time getting warm enough. A bag with a 2.5 tog rating will retain a high amount of body heat to keep your baby warm.

Temperature and Season

It is crucial to remember the season and temperature you will be using the toddler sleeping bag because they are available for different seasons and weather conditions.

Using a winter bag for your kid in the summer will increase their temperature make them feel hot, sweaty, and unable to sleep. Likewise, using a summer bag for your kid in the winter will make them feel very cold and uncomfortable.


Where You’ll Be Using the Bag More Often

It would help if you also kept in mind where you'll be using the bag, whether at home, in the car, or buggy. Keeping this in mind will help you choose the one that best suits your needs.

A toddler bag with loops or holes for the harness straps will be a good option in the car or buggy. A front and back two-way zipper will make it easier for you to feed the 5-point harness through the baby sleep sack without disturbing your baby.

This feature can help if you solely rely on a car ride or push your baby in the buggy to soothe them. Sometimes when on an outdoor trip, a camping quilt might be a more versatile option.


Sleeping Bag Size

A little girl inside a tent

Kids sleeping bags are also available in different sizes, and the one you choose will depend on the age and height of your baby.

The armholes of the bag should be snug enough to prevent your baby from getting their hands inside the bag. The neck holes should not be too big to prevent your child's head from passing through.


Sleeping Bags with Feet

Sleeping Bags with Feet are great for toddlers to learn to walk and crawl. It offers them the freedom to move around, thereby reducing the risk of falling over. 

There are toddler sleeping bags with feet that also feature feet covered with non-slip soles so your baby can walk around safely on slippery surfaces while keeping their feet warm and toasty.


Kids Sleeping Bag Safety - What You Need to Know

Here are some guidelines you can follow to keep your baby safe in kids' sleeping bags:

  • Make sure the bag fits appropriately: This is one of the best ways to ensure your baby stays safe inside a kid's sleeping bag. A perfectly sized toddler sleeping bag will keep your baby safe and prevent them from slipping in or wriggling out while moving around the neck and armholes. You should also ensure that the bag fits nicely around the armholes and the neck so that your baby doesn't slip down inside the bag.

  • Choose a lightweight bag, and don't use a bag with a quilt or duvet to reduce your baby's risk of overheating.

  • Avoid sleeping bags with a hood because it can be dangerous if your baby's head becomes covered. 

Why Younger Kids Should Not Sleep in a Regular Sleeping Bag

Why Younger Kids Should Not Sleep in a Regular Sleeping Bag

1. Risk of Suffocating

While this may sound a bit dramatic, an adult bag will be too big for small children, and it's known that toddlers can be highly wriggly sleepers. If a young toddler wriggles too far down a sleeping bag, they may not have the strength to find their way out, putting them at the risk of distress and suffocation.


2. Your Child Will Be Cold

Regular sleeping bags don't keep young toddlers warm because there will be too much space around the baby, and the bag will not be able to retain the heat coming from their bodies. This will make them feel cold at night and unable to go back to sleep.


When Can Kids Use a Sleeping Bag?

A toddler sitting on a wooden table with rolled sleeping bags

Children can use regular sleeping bags when they reach the age of 6 and above. Shorter length bags are suitable and recommended for children over three years of age 

However, it is not recommended for young children below three years to sleep in adult-sized bags. Because it can cause them distress, there's a risk of suffocation if they wriggle down to the bottom of the bag.


What Tog Sleeping Bag Should a 2 Year Old Have?

The tog sleeping bag a 2-year old differs will be different depending on the temperature and season. A 2-tog sleeping bag is suitable for use all year at room temperature and will help your baby maintain a constant temperature throughout the night.


Can a 2-Year-Old Sleep in a Sleeping Bag?

2-year-olds should not sleep in a regular bag but a kids' sleeping bag. Children under three years can wriggle down a sleeping bag, and there's a chance they will suffocate. Instead, a sleeping sack will be a great way to keep your two-year-old warm.


When Can a Baby Use Camping Sleeping Bag?

A child can use a camping sleeping bag when they reach the age of 6 years and above. At this age, it will be safe for them because they are less likely to wriggle down the sleeping bag, which eliminates any risk of suffocation. You should wait until thye're older before letting a kid sleep under a bivvy bag.

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