This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links it means we receive a small amount of comission, at no extra cost to you.Learn More

Sleep Sack vs. Swaddle: What’s The Difference?

Comfort is the most important thing about a baby’s sleeping cycle. Babies can easily get uncomfortable which is why they require a soft bedding.

For this reason, there is often a discussion among parents and pediatricians about whether a sleep sack or a swaddle is better to use.

However, many people are not aware that the usage of these two items hugely depends on the child’s age and ability to move around during sleeping. So, in this article today, we’re going to make a comparison of sleep sack vs swaddle, let’s get into it!

Main Points

  • The usage of sleep sacks and swaddles largely depends on the child’s development stage and their ability to move around during sleeping.
  • The swaddle does not allow the baby to move freely, whereas the sleep sack provides the baby to move their arms.
  • The sleep sack is more suitable to use for babies that have passed the infant stage.
  • Swaddles are used for newborns to provide stability and a sense of safety.
  • Sleep sacks can be used for a longer time of a baby’s development process in comparison to swaddles which can only be used during the infant stage.

Sleep Sack vs. Swaddle – How Do They Differ?

These two items are used to provide comfort for the baby during sleeping. There are certain differences between sleep sacks and swaddles which makes them distinctive.

Sleep sacks are meant to keep your baby secure while at the same time providing them the ability to move their hands. Swaddles are basically blankets that are used to be wrapped around the baby without possibility of moving the limbs.

Swaddles and sleep sacks also differ in the way they are used depending on the age of the child. For example, toddlers do not require the need of being wrapped in a swaddle, but the usage of a sleep sack still provides a sense of safety for them.

Sleep sacks can be used for a longer time when they are compared to swaddles because of the reason that swaddles are usually only used when the baby is only an infant.

Also Read: Spectra S1 vs Synergy Gold.

Movement Restriction

A characteristic that clearly divides a sleep sack from a swaddle is the restriction of movement. The swaddle does not allow for the baby to move around freely, whereas the sleep sack provides the baby to move his arms while limiting the movement of their legs.

Because of the restricted movement that swaddles provide, they can also make the parents’ job of changing the nappy much harder than it should be. When the baby is wrapped in a swaddle, you have to take your time in order to unwrap it, change the diaper and then wrap it again.

The sleep sack is much easier to use for this particular purpose because in order to change the nappy, you only need a few seconds to place your baby back in the sleep sack using only one zipper.


Because of the reason that comfort is one of the most important things when it comes to babies during their nap time, opt for sleep sacks and swaddles that are produced from soft and comfortable materials.

Any additional accessories such as buttons can irritate your baby’s skin and make them feel uncomfortable. For this reason, choosing fluffy and soft sleep sacks or swaddles without any accessories is a better choice.

The swaddle is obviously less comfortable than the sleep sack because of the movement restriction. However, infants require the need of being wrapped up in a swaddle in order to ensure that they are safe.

Suitable Age of Usage

Sleep sacks and swaddles are used differently because they are suitable to be used during differing stages of a child’s development process.

Swaddles are suitable to use for infants because they make them secure and also provide a sense of reassurance for the parents.

Sleep sacks are more suitable for toddlers because by this age they can move around on their own and they do not require such high level of security.


The level of safety these two items can provide for your baby also depends on the stage of development of your baby. An infant is not able to take care of themselves nor have any awareness of what is going on around him which is why they require the use of swaddles.

However, toddlers by the age of 10 or 12 months can freely roll over, crawl as well as move their hands. Using a sleep sack for your toddler provides freedom as well as safety for your toddler.

Infants need the safety of a swaddle in order to make sure that nothing bad happens to them. Newborns are very fragile and they can easily get hurt which is why pediatricians recommend the use of a swaddle.


Babies start rolling over on their own very early in their stage development. Whereas you would get a good use of a swaddle for your infant, they might quickly grow out of it and get frustrated if they are not able to move around.

As above mentioned, sleep sacks can be used as long as the parents feel that it is needed. You can use sleep sacks from the moment your baby starts moving on their own until the day you decide your child is stable and does not need a sleep sack.

Sleep sacks are characterized with longevity and providing the babies with the ability to move their hands freely without feeling overly confined around their legs. It is a comfortable way of providing your baby the most pleasant sleeping experience.

Also Read: Elecare vs. Alfamino

Final Verdict

Deciding on whether to buy a sleep sack or a swaddle for your baby ultimately depends on your baby’s needs and stage of development. Not all babies can handle the stability of a swaddle and not all babies can be completely safe in a sleep sack.

However, it is proven that sleep sacks can be used for a longer time when they are compared to swaddles, they provide more freedom of movement as well as high level of comfort for your baby.

All content and media on RaisingSmallSouls is created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. The information on this website is not meant to take the place of expert medical assistance, advice, or consultations. You should speak with a medical expert if you have any worries or inquiries while pregnant.