The ergoCocoon are swaddles perfect for older babies; a simple zip up design that can keep your baby snug and securely swaddled without the need for complicated wrapping. And yet, it was a product I did not think I would ever have to use. We have swaddled from birth; with a strong startle reflex, Harrison would last mere seconds before waking himself up with his flailing arms in the early days, and even now, he is still a very 'jumpy' baby. Back in January, we had reviewed the Geo Company GroSnug, a product we had loved and that had helped us immensely, but a product that we had sadly grown out of. At 4 months old, Harrison was big for his age, and regardless, babies shouldn't still be swaddled then anyway, should they?
I was personally always an advocate of swaddling: the differences we saw in our childs sleeping pattern when swaddled versus when he was not spoke for themselves - he's never been one of those angel children, you know the ones, those sleeping through the night from birth, the routine I could only dream of.... Late last year though I discovered THAT study: 'Swaddling and the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: A Meta-analysis'. It looked at four studies spanning two decades from various countries, and showed an increased risk of SIDS when babies were swaddled. At that point in time, that was all I needed to know. Reading further into the results more recently, it was not as black and white as the initial summary painted it as. After going through it, I was comfortable swaddling Harrison - the risks were increased specifically when swaddled babies were placed on their backs, or their sides, something I already knew. It also placed emphasis on not swaddling after a certain age: recommendations ranged between two to six months, when the startle reflex can diminish and rolling can occur. Provided swaddling is done safely, and on a baby who does not yet roll in their sleep, I see no problem with continuing until we don't HAVE to anymore. Swaddling is not a choice for us, it is a necessity. As with all things baby related, someone somewhere will have a negative opinion: there are studies after studies with every possible option for sleeping, for feeding, for learning, all claiming different findings. It's taken me four months, but I've realized that I know my child better than anyone else, and if I feel he should be swaddled at 5 months, then he probably should be.
The sleeping bag comes handy with a room thermometer built into the tag, which can help you to decide what Tog is most appropriate for your babies room; not that it helped us much after our Sleeping Bag had already arrived, but gave me peace of mind when it confirmed that I had the right product for the temperature. One of the main risks of swaddling is over-heating, so by ensuring our swaddle is perfect for the temperature of the room, and not using any extra blankets or additional clothing, we keep it as safe as possible.
There is a lot to be said for the design and the vibrancy of this particular sleeping bag; its a bad day when your four month old baby has a nicer duvet design than you do... I was worried about the color fading very quickly, but so far so good - I won't jinx it as it has only had a few washes, but there have been no color spill overs and the fabric is still as soft as ever. Ask me again in 2 months when Harrison has had his way with it though... One thing I will be doing with these is buying a few more; with our groSnug, we only had one as I was conscious we would only be using it for a few weeks (if only!), so it was washed almost daily and the fabric lost all of its elasticity. The ergoCocoon products are more expensive, retailing at £38.95 - but given the quality and the frequency of use, you most definitely get your bang for your buck. To make this stretch though, we will be investing in a few more: I'd rather have three and swap between and keep the integrity of each, than completely run one into the ground and have to buy three in the long run anyway.
I cannot recommend the ergoCocoon enough: although I had always claimed I would never swaddle after four months, sometimes recommendations are there to be ignored. Provided swaddling is done safely, it can be a sleep savior, and I don't know where would be at this point without it. ergoPouch is an Australian company founded by a sleep-deprived mum, and that much is obvious when using the products, it feels like something designed by a mum, for a mum. Finding the Cocoon has allowed us to continue to swaddle without fashioning our own using a sleeping bag and a questionably tied muslin has been nothing short of amazing, and it's simply proved that sometimes we have to source products outwith the brands we already know and love.