I've been wanting a baby sleeping bag for my 9 month old for some time now, but being the sort of snooty type when it comes to fabrics, of course I had my eye on the $140 pure Merino wool variety. Yeah, right. Like I would actually spend that type of money on something he'll grow out of in a few months. So what is a snooty mom to do? Get out the sewing machine! And run to the local thrift store to see if she could find a 100% Merino wool sweater large enough to snuggle her baby.
And I did! Out of racks and racks of ugly, semi-ugly, do-able, and wearable sweaters, there were only 3 sweaters that were made of 100% Merino wool. Two of them had large holes in them. Thank heavens for J. Crew.
100% Merino wool is important, you see. It couldn't just be out of regular old wool, or a synthetic fiber blend. Only Merino wool is soft enough to wrap a baby, and the hypoallergenic fiber is naturally regulating to keep baby warm enough and cool enough, depending. Medical studies have found that babies and infants sleeping in or on merino settle more quickly, sleep longer, feed better, cry less and gain weight faster.
Plus, it is naturally flame resistant. Lucky for me, the one and only sweater that would work was in a color I could work with.
After researching the many sleeping bags on the market, I decided to buy a flannel fabric for an outer covering, and secure the openings with snaps for easy changing.
As a pattern, I traced a sweater that was too large for baby (minus the sleeves) onto some newspaper, and simply squared off the bottom to give him room to move his legs naturally. He can even still crawl when he's in the bag! But one thing he can't do is kick off his covers in the middle of the night and wake up too chilly.
What a fabulous invention! And I must say, I think my version is much better than the one I would have paid $140 for. I read a review saying that the wool was so thin you could see through it and it didn't quite get the job done. My baby bag is made from a high quality reclaimed sweater and is very thick and soft! Plus, I paid about $12 for the materials. And it's cute. So there. Most importantly, I'm hoping this will help baby sleep better and in turn I can make more fabulous knock offs of over priced goodies!