When asked to trial the 100% merino cocoono (sleeping bag) for Mokopuna Merino I must admit, I was skeptical. Merino- it seemed, was the latest craze in baby buzzwords, that connoted an air of supremacy when gift-giving and a supreme price tag to match. It could be overheard at coffee groups “Oh I love Claire’s little coat”, “mmm it’s adorable isn't it- and its meriiiiino”. To which accepting nods and ‘mmm’, ‘yes’, and ‘lovely’s’ would follow. I've never really been one to jump on a fashion bandwagon so I certainly had no intentions of pulling my daughter up onto one.
With that being said the inevitable icy northerly Wellington winds arrived so we started to think about investing in some options for keeping our wee tot warm; we nailed it down to:
-Coarse scratchy wooly cardigans with matching stiff booties and hats my great-great-great-great grandfather wore then I suspect stored in a wardrobe until passed onto the next “grateful” expectant mother.
-Layers. Layers are an excellent way at keeping the heat in. Although it’s a battle enough to get one layer on my crying, wriggling baby- let alone 3!
-Running the heater 24/7. Being a one-income household, and Scrooge McDuck in charge of the savings plan, the idea of running our fan heater all day did not seem compatible with our foreseeable earnings (or our carbon footprint).
-Merino. Merino. Hey, what about this one. It’s 100% MERINO. Maybe we should give merino a chance.
The first thing about merino that I found interesting (and cost-saving) was that it is not just a cold weather clothing choice. It can be worn all year round as it is excellent at regulating body temperature, and most effective at this when worn close to the skin- so luckily it’s so darn soft, (ha ha darn, wool, gettit?).
Another useful property is that it draws the moisture away from the skin. Having had to make a few long car trips with a baby over the summer, I always stole away in the dead of the night to avoid the heat of the day as poor Sienna would be drowning in sweat in her capsule the moment we went anywhere after 11am. This sweat-drawing process, lets the wearer avoid that uncomfortable sticky wet feeling after sweating in their clothes, and unlike cotton (my ex-best friend) even after drawing the moisture away, is still able to keep the wearer at a constant body temperature.
Ok, so I've done a bit of research. Merino- now’s your time to shine. Melt my icy cynical heart with your warmth.
BM (before merino): After giving Sienna her routine night time bath, we end up both in tears as a tired mama attempts to dress a tired writhing baby on the floor. We have a nappy, then a cotton short suit, then leggings, then socks, then a polar fleece onesie. By the time we are done, all relaxation from the bath and massage have gone out the window. The heater has been running in her room for the past 45 minutes in preparation for bed. A supper feed, a story and the mockingbird lullaby (not the original, the Eminem version- thanks Dad) then she is put in her cot. She puts herself to sleep after about 10 minutes and I wait another 10 before creeping in and pulling her kicked-off blankets on her. At 1am she wakes. Her little hands are freezing, and the blankets are pushed to the bottom of the bed. I turn the heater back on and rock her till she falls asleep. 4am she wakes. The room is like a sauna. I turn the heater off and feed her until she falls asleep; I then put her back in bed. 6am she wakes for the day, she then goes back to sleep about 8.30am for a couple of hours.
AM (after merino; a miracle; appreciative mother): She is dressed in less than 5 minutes with just a nappy and a long sleeved short suit to get on. Starting to get a bit grizzly I bring her up for a quick feed and zip up the cocoono while she drinks. The feed calms her right down and we have a quiet story. No soft rap melodies tonight as Dad is at indoor cricket. I have had the heater running again to warm up her room. She puts herself to sleep and we leave her for a good hour before going in to check on her, as I know she won’t be cold. I turn the heater off at this point. She wakes at 1am; I settle her and go back to bed. She takes about 20mins to go back to sleep, when she’s quiet I can fall back asleep too as no kicked off blankets to worry about. She wakes at 6am for breakfast. She is noticeably happier in the morning and lasts an extra hour more than usual before going down for her morning nap.
To wrap(!) up:
-Easy post bath change.
-Could leave to self soothe without worry about her getting cold or tangled in a blanket.
-If the room was to get too hot and she sweated she would not get wet and cool down.
-Comfort (who likes sleeping with layers and layers on?)
-Dries quickly if any spills on it during the night. Very handy with the winter, rainy weather around.
-Save money running a heater less.
-Slept through the night longer as obviously did not wake up cold (yes!!!)
Merino you little beauty, you are here to stay. I recommend if you are looking to invest in a few staple pieces for your baby the cocoono is a must. It pays for itself after the first night if you've been having trouble getting your child to sleep through. Being cold and being worried about too many blankets is one huge variable you can tick off your 1am worry list. With a built in slot for use in a car seat and buggy plus a size adjustment option and room to grow into for the legs, we will have this one until she’s around two years old. After that she’ll probably want it as a comfort blanket she’ll be so used to it. 10/10.