About the original GroBag baby sleeping bag
Despite the name we are not talking about bags of dirt to grow your tomatoes in. GroBags and other baby sleeping bags are an alternative to blankets for babies and small children. They are effectively little tiny sleeping bags which come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colours and designs but all share the feature of neck and arm holes.
About the product
Today I will be reviewing two GroBags from both ends of the price spectrum. Both are size 0-6 months, 2.5 Tog (suitable for temperatures of 16 to 20 degrees C) and are suitable to be used with a 5 point harness meaning that you can pop your baby in a pushchair without taking him or her out of their GroBag.
It’s worth mentioning that while these GroBags are advertised as 0-6 months they do have a minimum weight of 8.8lb. If your baby is under that weight then they will need a Gro-Swaddle or Gro-Snug instead.
The first thing that you notice when you buy a GroBag is that they have taken time to make it look like a quality product. The packaging is simple and tasteful, telling you everything you need to know with bold fonts, simple diagrams and easy to read charts. It really takes the guess work out of your purchase… What size should I buy? A quick look at the back and you can see that a 12lb baby needs 0-6 month. What tog do I need, a quick look at the back tells you that for normal room temperature you need 2.5 Togs. When there are so many confusing baby products it’s nice to have one which goes out of its way to make things simple.
The other thing that jumps out at you from the packaging is that GroBags are recommended by the Lullaby Trust which makes recommendations to prevent SIDs (Sudden Infant Death) something that scares the poop out of most mums. The reason being that the design of GroBags (and to be fair most other brands of baby sleeping bags) prevent babies from wriggling their way under loose blankets and suffocating.
Another feature to mention before we get to the bags themselves is that all GroBags size 0-6 and 6-18 come with a handy dandy room thermometer which shows you in idiot proof language (lets face it most of us are still suffering baby brain!) which tog you should be using for the room temperature and what you should dress your baby in. This is another nice touch from GroBag as it makes it extremely easy to work out what your baby should be sleeping in, in order to prevent them from getting too hot or cold.
The GroBags themselves have a cotton outer and a soft cotton lining with polyester filling. There is a Velcro sealed hole in the bum area of the back which did cause some confusion when I first opened the GroBag. There were lots of jokes about long johns with buttoned panels at the back to poop through, until I realised that it was there so that you could push a harness point through. The zip at the front of the GroBag is a special design which allows it to close from the top and bottom, again, around a harness.
The arms of the GroBag also has a clever feature. A small popper under the arm reduces the size of the arm hole for babies under 10lb.
I’m not going to mince words, I love GroBags! In all honesty I didn’t think I would as at between £20 to £40 each I saw them as an expensive commodity when blankets were so much cheaper, after all, hadn’t people been using blankets just fine for years? I changed my mind once Grumpy Baby arrived and the weather started to turn cold. It became clear that babies do not obediently lay still at night. They kick, flail, starfish and wiggle all night long and all of that movement makes it pretty difficult to keep them snug and warm under a blanket.
Before investing in a GroBag (I was still umming and aring about the price) I decided to test the water with some cheaper baby sleeping bags. I ended up buying two before doing my homework (There’s that hind sight coming along to bite me in the ass again!). The first was a Winnie the Pooh sleeping bag from ASDA. Retailing at £13, I will be writing a follow up review on this travesty of a sleeping bag, but needless to say, that was money down the drain. The second was made by Piper & Posie and was purchased from TK Maxx for around £10. This wasn’t quite the disaster of the other baby sleeping bag as it makes a good alternative to blankets in Grumpy Baby’s carry cot, but I wouldn’t want to let her sleep in it all night.
So, back to GroBag. I finally bit the bullet and purchased a GroBag once Grumpy baby was just over 9lb. At first I couldn’t get over how big they were, surely my tiny little baby would be lost in it, but I quickly found that it was perfect. The poppers under the arms meant that the top of the GroBag fit Grumpy Baby perfectly while the wide tail of the bag meant that she could kick her legs about as much as she liked without any risk of kicking a blanket off. That night Grumpy Baby slept better than she ever had, it was a revelation!
Night changes and feeds were simple enough too. The zip up front meant that it was easy to get Grumpy Baby in and out quickly. Luckily after her night feeds Grumpy Baby is practically comatose as the only fiddly part of getting her back into her GroBag while she’s asleep is getting her arms back into the arm holes, sometimes they just don’t want to go and I end up having a miniature tug of war. If your baby is a light sleeper this may constitute a problem so you might want to put them back into their GroBag before settling them. In theory you could probably leave your baby in the GroBag entirely as it would be easy to feed and change baby without taking it off… I just like to get her out and reduce the risk of milk stains or poop accidents!
As I mentioned before, my two GroBags come at both ends of the price range. The first one I purchased was from Mothercare, at £35 the Orla Kiely Apple is at the high end price range, the second one I purchased was from Amazon, at £16 the Starlight GroBag was right at the low end of the price range. Both are practically identical, I will concede that on the Apple GroBag the outer fabric is slightly better quality, just a tad thicker and softer, but it really is a minuscule difference so in my opinion how much you pay is down to which fabric design you like.
How much will it cost me?
From around £19 to £39 however the official GroBag website often has special offers in place so it’s worth checking them out and shopping around.
Where Can you Buy a GroBag?
GroBag can be purchased at most good baby specific retailers, direct from the source at The Gro Company website HERE , or from Amazon via the link below.