Getting a baby to sleep has to be number one on any new parent’s wish list.
There are reams of advice about the best way to teach your baby how to self-soothe, what type of bed to use, when they should sleep and so on. But one of the most important things to consider is what they are wearing to bed and we found that a baby sleep bag was a little bit of a miracle in establishing Baby B’s routine.
Last year I wrote about how we’d got on in the early months, and when I look back now Baby B wasn’t the easiest when it came to night time, although he has always been a pretty good daytime napper.
We started off swaddling but he soon became adept at undoing our lovingly crafted cocoon. So after around 8 weeks we decided to invest in a baby sleep bag. We’ve never looked back and at 14 months he is still being zipped up in one every daytime nap we can as well as at bedtime.
There are of course lots of makes to choose from but Grobag started the baby sleep bag revolution back in 2000 and have a really funky range of designs by Anorak (which is also a local firm to us in SE London).
We’ve already been through four bags as Baby B has grown so I was delighted to be offered this new Trundling Tractors sleeping bag to review.
I’m a fan of simple, eye-grabbing graphic design and I like bold big prints – so these blue tractors with red wheels are spot on. I also like the way they aren’t all facing the same way, but you don’t notice it at first. This is an exclusive design for Grobag from Anorak and they also have Rolling Hills, Kissing Bunnies, and Kissing Squirrels!
The other thing to look for is how well stitched the zip is as you will be doing it up and down hundreds of times. We’ve had some other makes where the zip began to stick or the zipper fabric began to come away from the bag after lots of unzipping. So far that hasn’t happened with our other well-worn Grobag.
You also need to be able to get your baby in easily and zip ’em up before they wriggle out! We found that choosing the design with the zip down the side and bottom makes this faster than having it up the front when little legs are kicking. We’ve also found it easy to unzip a bag to change Baby B in the night when he was younger.
Washing and drying are a sinch as Grobags are 100% cotton and go on a 40 degree quick wash. In our experience stains come out easily with a dab of pre-wash stain remover and the colours of our other Grobag haven’t faded very much.
One of the biggest worries we had in the early days was keeping Baby B the right temperature. The bags come in a range of togs from 0.5 for summer through to 3.5 for really cold winter nights – snuggly! This one is a 1.0 tog and feels light while still retaining a fleecy softness inside.
Grobag recommend using a baby sleep bag when your baby weighs more than 8 lbs 8oz (0-6 mths size). Your child’s head should not be able to pass through the neck hole when the Grobag is fastened; otherwise the Grobag is too big.
This design comes in 0 to 6 months (68cm), 6 to 18 months (86cm), and 18 to 36 months (98cm). But other designs do go up to 6 years (116cm)! I’ve said to Mrs B that I wish they made them for adults too!
This Grobag has double poppers at the shoulder area, and an extra under arm popper for babies up to 10 lbs, to stop the bag coming undone. A chin guard is another nice touch to protect your baby’s delicate skin. There is also a zip cover with a stud fastener at the point where the zip joins which means it’s harder for your baby to undo as they become more dexterous.
Grobags are also endorsed by The Lullaby Trust who provide expert advice on safer sleep – lots of good advice on their website.
Clearly the cost will depend on the size and design of bag you choose but the Anorak range costs between £32.99 and £37.99 from the Grobag store. That is on the more expensive side I know, but the quality is good and you’re getting in my opinion a distinctive and cool design.
Summary of features
- Available in 2.5 tog and 1.0 tog warmth ratings
- Available in sizes 0-6 months, 6-18 months and 18-36 months
- Underarm poppers on 0-6 month size, side zip on all sizes
- 100% woven cotton outer with 100% cotton jersey lining
- Quick-dry polyester filling on the 2.5 tog (1.0 tog is 100% jersey cotton throughout)
- Zip-click® feature on all sizes
- Machine washable and can be tumble dried on low heat
- Includes FREE Nursery Thermometer in 0-6 and 6-18 month sizes, user guide and safe sleep information
- British Standard approved
So there you have it. I can’t guarantee you a good night’s sleep – if I could I’d be a multi-millionaire! But what I can say is that using a baby sleep bag worked for us and while I am sure we also made some mistakes along the way Baby B now sleeps roughly eleven hours a night unless he’s ill or teething.
I’d love to be zipped up in a sleeping bag for the night. There must be something so comforting about being enclosed whichever way and however much your baby tosses and turns. Perhaps there is something for babies under one in particular about needing to recreate that womb experience and being enclosed.
Well, if you’ll excuse us it’s time to put Baby B to bed – doesn’t he look cosy? Night night everyone. Sweet dreams.
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Disclosure: This review was written by me and is an honest opinion of the product, which was sent to me by Grobag with the purpose of writing a product review in exchange for the sleeping bag.