**Note: The hereby described product was sponsored by the manufacturer**
It was end of December and we just came back from the hot summer of South America into the freezing cold German winter. I had already thought in advance about how to make it as easy as possible for our daughter to adapt to this extreme climate change. In the end, nobody wants to have an ill child at home after a long flight with lack of sleep! Part of my travel list (for German readers see also my post: Mit Baby vom Sommer in den Winter) was also a new sleeping bag because our old one had become too small. I remembered a sleeping bag for babies and toddlers that I have seen before in a boutique for baby and toddler fashion in Berlin (for German readers also see my post: Die multikulturelle Boutique für Baby- und Kindermode in Berlin) and which I already liked pretty much in the shop. So I investigated the brand and gave it a chance to write to the manufacturer Zizzz from Switzerland.
How the Zizzz sleeping bag came to us
…and right off the bat I received a very kind response and a sleeping bad to test for this blog. On our arrival in Germany the parcel had already arrived. It must have taken only about two days from Switzerland. The mode of dispatch was quite simple and practical (honestly, I think the less packaging the better!). Nevertheless I got the impression to unwrap a very precious product (I call it the “iPhone effect”). Apart from the plastic envelope, either paper or board was used for the packaging. The entire design was hold in simple white with the red Zizzz logo and the Swiss alps including a sheep on it. However: Before we took our daughter to sleep that evening, mommy had to “sniff” a bit at the new piece.
Sleeping bag is not the same than sleeping bag is not the same than sleeping bag…
During my pregnancy and the first year after our daughter was born I already had hold a lot of sleeping bags for babies and toddlers in my hands. Most of them were made out of velour or simple cotton. The problem with these textiles is that most velours are actually polyester mixes and also pure cotton doesn’t really keep you warm. Just imagine yourself having to cover up only with a plain cotton blanket without filling. Not quite warm, I’d say. For the first year of life of our daughter we used such a plain cotton sleeping bag without filling. Though, our daughter was sleeping in our family bed and was additionally warmed by our body heat. (By the way: If you want to learn more about sleeping habits of babies within different cultures, I recommend my post “Where babies and toddlers (may) sleep – A cultural comparison“). Also, she wore always a long pyjama and socks (and a bonnet at the beginning).
The problem with polyester fillings isn’t mostly that it’s too cold but that it’s too warm. Polyester isn’t sufficiently breathable and so your kid can easily start to sweat and (to the regret of everyone) wake up because of this. Also, they are more likely to get a cold when cooling down in their own sweat. Just imagine the times during winter, when you get into a shopping centre and afterwards again into the cold.
All this we didn’t know when be became parents. We just used, what was already there. In hindsight, after having hold so many different sleeping bag models in my hands, I need to say: Sleeping bag is not the same than sleeping bag and should be chosen carefully. In the end, the used materials are the most important factor! This is also very true for blankets for adults. It’s just a very sustainable investment in a good sleep. But this is another story…
Zizzz challenged the question of the materials when designing their sleeping bags. The outer material is made out for hyper-allergen organic cotton and Swisswool®, the inner material is made out of organic cotton. Both feels very soft and comfortable. The sleeping bag is filled with the so-called “Swizzwool”®. This is a patented mix of 88% new sheep wool and 12% natural plant fibre. The new wool is delivered by Swiss farmers and is produced regionally. Because of the fact that wool is great for absorbing humidity, the sleeping bag stays dry.
The material feels soft and cuddly on the skin. Natural to cotton blankets, the sleeping bag cover feels a bit chilly first but adapts very fast to the body temperature. I guess, it feels similar to my daughter when she’s lying in the sleeping bag. Often, when I bring my little one to bed in the evening, I think by myself that I would like to sleep as well in such a cuddly material. This thought, on the other hand, makes me trust that my daughter should feel very well in it.
With a zipper that can be opened from both sides, the sleeping bag can be opened very easily to change nappies during the night without having to move your kid a lot. The upper end has a cover to protect the child’s chin during the night. Still., however important that chin protection is, I often find it unpractical. It might be that the cover is a bit too big or so. Anyhow it always takes time to pull it off to close the zipper. I don’t have this problem with other cloths that have chin protections (for example jackets).
On the other hand, the opening in the back of the sleeping bag is an absolute dream to me. It’s really great to strap your kid in the child’s car seat or the maxicosi! Due to the two-way zipper, the child can be straped in its seat without the sleeping bag having to be half open. The zipper can be adjusted just as you need it. Our first car ride with the new sleeping bag was a real dream. We visited a thermal bath with our daughter and strapped her with the sleeping bag into the baby seat on our ride home. So she didn’t feel cold in the cold car and also continued sleeping when we arrived home. I could ptut her into her bed just with the sleeping bag on.
The sleeping bag comes in three different sizes: 0 – 12 moths, 12 – 24 months and 24 – 36 months. Hereby, every sleeping bag can be adjusted again due to the double press buttons on the shoulder pieces. My little one is 15 months now and we still use the smaller setting of the sleeping bag for 12 – 24 months old. This means that the sizing indications of the manufactor are pretty realistic (our daughter’s size is average).
Simple, clear, modern. This is probably the most suitable description. The bottom part of the sleeping bag is always white / cream coloured, the upper part comes in clear patterns in different pastel colours. Some of the designs also have a motive patch in the same colour on the left bottom part (for example a frog, bird, cloud, balloon). What I really like about the design is that it’s quite neutral. We own a turquoise one with a water droppish pattern and I couldn’t say if it’s better for a boy or a girl. This can be a great advantage if you plan to use the sleeping bag also for younger siblings.
Ideas for improvement
Actually there isn’t much that you could improve here. I think, the sleeping bag is definitely worth its price of £70/75/80 or 89/99/109 €(small/middle/big size). Yet one thing: I still find myself searching for the zipper ends in the darkness of the night, while my little one is screaming and I need to hurry. If something could be done better it’s this. The zipper ends could have some kind of self illuminating spots on it (similar to those star stickers that charge themselves during the day with daylight). Now, one could say that this might disturb the child in its sleep. I don’t think so. Such sticker only glimmer in a very light way and are usually outside the visual range of the child.
Also, removable sleeves would be nice. For instance, when all long armed pyjamas are in the laundry and you still want to cover the arms. In general, I don’t like removable sleeves from a style point of view but still, sometimes they are quite useful.
The first night with the new sleeping bag
I admit it: I didn’t wash the sleeping bag before using it the first time (shame on me!). But the other only possible option would have been to not using a sleeping bag and I didn’t want that either. And our little one slept as a stone. Right, the long flight, the jet-lag and the many impressions during the day definitely had a big part on this, too. Nevertheless, she still sleeps quite well in it. Even she still sleeps with us in the same room, only that she’s now more and more sleeping in the bedside cot. This means, that she’s now really reliant on the warmth of the sleeping bag.
The first wash load – all shipshape
The first thing I did the next morning was to wash the sleeping bag in the wool washing programme (30 °C). 30 minutes with wool detergent – ready. The sleeping bag shall not be put into a dyer and also we don’t have a dyer. So I hung it up close to the heating and in the evening it was dry (!!). In children fashion, the dying time it one central thing for me. In particular, when bringing something so nice from kindergarten home like gastro-intestinal diseases… 🙁
The Zizzz company (and why I don’t have a bad conscious to write about them)
As mentioned above, Zizzz sent us a sleeping bag for free for testing. This doesn’t mean, that this alters my report. As usual I post my honest opinion here. And such is very positive for this product. Besides, I like all the facts that I have found so far on the company Zizzz. Zizzz is a family-run, Swiss company, which one could possibly still label as “Entrepreneurial” or “Start-up” but an already well situated one. Also, Zizzz seems to cooperate a lot with bloggers and family communities, which I obviously find very positive. The sustainability of the products and the wellbeing of our children for a better future are some of the central aspects of the Zizzz company vision. So, over all, I don’t have a bad conscious to talk very positively about this product and this company. 🙂
And in the end… what does our child “say” to it?
Well, what should I say… my daughter walks now and loves her liberty to move a lot. Such a sleeping bag, on the other side, is a hindrance for her. Also, she doesn’t like to go to sleep a lot (like possibly most small children). That’s why she starts to whine and to turn around as crazy, when I put her into the sleeping bag. I don’t assume that this is the fault of the sleeping bag 😉 Because when she finally sleeps, she sleeps fine. Of course, she wakes up again to drink something (god, how genius would that be! Can’t anybody invent a sleeping bag with integrated breast?!). So I just assume that she’s feeling well in the sleeping bag, this is at least what shows her sleeping quality.