I LOVE baby sleeping bags, from the moment I first used one. Before I had Alfie I really had no clue about babies, at all. I was given a baby sleeping bag as a gift and I thought it was sweet but put it in the pile of blankets and forgot about it!
Once Alfie was home from the hospital and was wriggling around in his crib we realised the predicament of how we would ever keep him tucked in and warm. My swaddles didn’t live up to the amazing wraps which the midwives made look so easy, so we just battled with blankets for a couple of months. Luckily, I had washed (and shrunk) the baby sleeping bag we were gifted and it fitted him perfectly. A baby sleeping bag is essentially a wearable blanket and was cocooned and warm all night long. We could unzip him to change his nappy or tickle his toes to wake him up if he got sleepy during feeding. It was a Eureka moment!
Other REALLY SILLY eureka moments for us in the early days:
- We woke Alfie up and changed his nappy for EVERY night feed (no idea why I ever did that religiously, it just became a habit!), no wonder he wasn’t keen on snuggling straight back to sleep after! Baby number two barely got a nappy change in the night unless it was a number two situation!
- With a boy, the top tip of putting a nappy on with his willy pointing down was a huge revelation… we just couldn’t work out why he would come home from a trip out in the buggy with a soaking wet tummy / back. I always assumed the nappy must have been ‘one of daddy’s’ 🙂
- Baby grows with zips. We didn’t discover those until later into Alfie’s life, a LOT easier when fumbling around in the dark at night.
- Ready Velcro swaddles – we tried and failed at swaddling Alfie and just tucked him in. The thought of ready swaddles never crossed our minds. Nellie was always swaddled from birth and loved being all tucked in.
My favourite benefits of baby sleeping bags
- Safety – When you have a new baby, EVERYTHING is a learning curve. Google is your best friend and worst enemy… trivial things can become a very big deal. I remember us faffing all night with Alfie about whether he was warm enough, adjusting the heating in the middle of the night. Knowing that your baby is sound asleep, without loose blankets or duvets which are too hot or likely to cover their face is a huge peace of mind. One less thing to worry about, at a time when there is FAR too much to worry about!
- Warmth – When used correctly, they keep your baby at the perfect temperature all night long, knowing now how much a little person kicks all night, the last thing you want to be doing is getting up to tuck them back in all night!
- Travel – we took Alfie away abroad when he was young, with a VERY early morning flight we could transition him from bed to car seat to buggy (even better with car seat/buggy adapters and a snooze shade!) to keep him snoozing (with a travel baby sleeping bag)
- Great if you stay out late – if we go to friends for a late tea, or if we want the kids to share a bath, we pop Nellie in her sleeping bag and jim jams and wrap her up in the buggy for the walk home. She can then go straight into her cot when we get home!
- Staying away from home – Going to stay at grandparents houses overnight with or without us is SO much easier as we just pack a sleeping bag (or keep one there!). No need to worry about what blankets they have / want to use / if they will tuck them in correctly etc, a big peace of mind, and totally avoids the need for any awkward moment feeling like you might be being precious about their choices of bedding!
- Movement – you only have to watch a baby monitor for a short while to see just how much a baby moves around the cot during naps and night time. Nellie works her way around her whole cot, switching from her back to her front… I have literally NO idea how we would EVER tuck her in with blankets!
- It can help delay little ones climbing out of their cots – Alfie didn’t explore climbing out, Nellie happens to be a climber by nature so she could be very different! I know from friends with older kids that they felt their baby sleeping bags helped delay them climbing out.
The decision to hunt for better brands
Putting away and getting back out baby clothes from storage for my two children is the bane of my life, it always turns into a mega operation, but I hate waste. When we had Nellie, I remember pulling out all of Alfie’s sleeping bags and just thinking how much I disliked them. Lots were discoloured, misshapen and plain ugly. I decided to find some nicer bags for Nellie which would last. Rather than paying less money for lots of poorer quality bags I decided to invest in a new, better quality one.
I bought Nellie a Bubbaroo 2.5 tog organic cotton sateen sleeping bag… and I LOVED it so much. If Bubbaroo made bed sheets for us I would buy them too, it is silky soft and has a natural wool padding, which is rare as most are polyester. I worried about not being able to tumble dry it but I actually found it dries on a radiator or by hanging up so quickly I can wash it and use it in the same day anyway. This bag also came up longer than my other hand me downs (and Nellie is LONG!) which has meant she was able to wear her 0-6m bag for longer and now still has plenty of growth room in her 6-18m bag. (she is currently 15 months). Since buying my first Bubbaroo sleeping bag Nellie has used just one (I have an old spare for emergencies), but I literally wash and reuse it because I love it so much. I had hundreds for Alfie, and never a favourite. Bubbaroo were one of my first brands stocked, I rate them so much.
My mission is to educate all mamas on baby sleeping bags. I had no clue at all that they even existed; I think that safe sleep can be stylish to suit every nursery and baby. I think they make the most practical baby shower or new baby gift, something to be used a while down the line, rather than for birth and then cast away to one side.
I would love to hear when you first found out about baby sleeping bags – were they recommended or did you by chance see them one day and buy one? Were you gifted one?