We live in the land of down comforters and flannel pajamas. A place where concerned parents bundle their babies beyond recognition, stuff them into their infant carriers, zip up the micro fleece covers, and then flip up the little vents in case their sweaty infants should decide to breath. You would think we lived in igloos and traveled from ice house to ice house on a dog sled.
So when the American Pediatric Association issued their safety recommendation to keep all warm, cozy blankets out of cribs, a collected gasp went up from the northern fringes of this great country. The thought of putting a child to bed in her pajamas alone was too dreadful to bear.
Sure we have automatic thermostats that can keep 70 degree warmth pumping into the nursery all night long even when icicles form on our eyelashes the moment we open our doors. And we the parents sleep under fleece and fur, so how could we leave our babies so open and exposed? Out of this fierce, primal fear of exposure to air (and Scandinavian ingenuity) the sleep sack was born.
A sleep sack is basically a blanket with two arm holes and a zipper. And they have been dominating bassinets, cribs, and craft shows ever since.
We were faithful sleep sack users for the first two years of Ava’s live, the point at which we were confident that she would be able to push away any sheet or blanket that should come in contact with her face. For me and many other moms the sleep sack served a purpose far greater than basic warmth: the undeniable signal that it was time to sleep. Like a pacifier or lovie, the sleep sack is an enveloping comfort that lures babies to the land of nod. And Ava loved her’s. Winter, summer, naptime or nighttime, Ava loved to sleep in her sleep sack.
It has been a good long year since we buried Ava’s sleep sack in the basement of goodies awaiting our next babe. And in that span of time Ava has more than doubled her number of sleep aids: two pillows, two Bubbas, two blankies and two dozen animals are required for any and all activities involving sleep.
In fact, when we were making our long trek to New Mexico, seven lovies were necessary for in-van sleeping. One for each of Heather’s three girls and four for my one girl. What I lacked in children, I made up for in paraphernalia.
With her bounty of sleeping companions, one would think that Ava had forgotten the sleep sack.