I am a big believer in sleeping bags for babies and young toddlers. I will cover the reasons behind my views another time. If you are in the process of hunting for a good sleeping bag, and your average room temperature is 17-30 degrees Celsius (63-86 Fahrenheit), you should look into Bambino Merino’s Sleeping Bags. I have just put to bed my youngest child and while I was zipping up the sleeping bag I thought I should write a post on them. They are just amazing!
Bambino Merino’s sleeping bags are 100% made of New Zeland’s natural Merino wool. Merino is thought to be the oldest sheep breed in the world and most importantly, its wool has very unique properties that make it the fabric of choice for example, for high-end, performance athletic wear (hiking, running etc). These same properties are also key for the wellbeing of your baby/toddler while sleeping: a) Merino wool helps regulating the body’s temperature; it provides warmth, without overheating the wearer and draws sweat away from the skin, b) Merino wool absorbs water and, unlike cotton, retains warmth when wet, c) Merino wool contains lanolin, which has antibacterial properties and tends to require less washing, d) Merino is one of the softest types of wool available and is particularly warm relatively to its weight so your child will be super comfortable. The maker says it is suitable even for children with mild eczema. I have not verified this.
What I like about it:
1) Made out of 100% Merino wool – this is great for the reasons just mentioned above.
2) If your room temperature fluctuates between 17 and 30 degrees Centigrade (63-86 Fahrenheit), the Bambino Merino sleeping bag can be used all year around. The bag comes with a useful table that advises the right layering (basically what to wear beneath) for different room temperatures (see below). This means that if you live in a country with a temperate climate you won’t need to buy different sleeping bags with different TOGs: you will just layer up or down the same Merino Bag.
3) Bambino Merino’s bag sizes are designed to last more than the usual 6 months. The ‘baby size bag’ (about 92 cm long) will last from 2 months to about two years: there are two poppers at the armholes that can be closed to adjust the bag to younger babies. The ‘toddler size’ (about 110 cm long) will last from two years to four years.
4) A full length zip and the shoulder poppers allow the ‘baby size’ sleeping bag to be opened flat for easier night time nappy changes. The ‘toddler size’ has an all round zip that really helps with very wriggly toddlers.
5) Easy to care for: machine washable at 30 degrees C with wool detergent.
6) Extremely durable. I bought my sleeping bags more than 4 years ago and after daily, heavy use, they look still like new.
7) Thoughtful design details: fabric labels are sowed inside seams rather than behind the neck which is more comfortable for the baby, and soft zip covers keep the zip ends away from baby’s skin and makes it more difficult for little fingers to undo the zip.
1) Price: the ‘baby size’ retails at GBP 50.00-60.00 for one bag – not cheap but worth it if you consider that you will use them for much longer than the traditional sleeping bags.
2) A minor issue in my view, the only design available is stripes but you can choose the colour of the stripes: Sage (a sort of grey green), Petal (light pink), Sand (beige), Sky (light blue) and Ruby (red/blue).
Other points of interest
1) If you are trying to compare with the usual TOG measurements you might find useful to know that the Bambino Merino Sleeping Bags are minimum 0.8 TOG. A number of other factors will determine the actual tog value of the bag among which the layers of clothing worn beneath the bag. Please see below a table containing various room temperatures and the suggested layers beneath the Merino sleeping bag:
17 – 19°c A long sleeve merino bodysuit or vest + a long sleeve merino sleepsuit or pyjamas
20 – 23°c A short sleeve merino or cotton bodysuit or vest + a long sleeve merino or cotton sleepsuit or pyjamas
24 – 26°c A short sleeve merino or cotton bodysuit or vest only
27 – 30°c A short sleeve cotton bodysuit or vest or just a nappy on its own
2) Recently Bambino Merino has come out with 2 new versions: a “Travel” sleeping bag that has a slot at the front and the rear for a car seat or pram harness and a “Winter Weight Travel Sleep Bag” that has the slots for the harness and has a minimum TOG of 2 which is suitable for colder climates.
3) Baby sleeping bags should never be used with a quilt or duvet. Although its is common sense it is always good to be reminded.
4) You can read more about the qualities of Merino wool here.