Behind the design: Debbie Mercy on the Grosnug
Debbie Mercy is the Product Developer at The Gro Company and has been innovating baby sleep products for 12 years. She has pioneered the unique design of not only the Grosnug but our Gro To Bed toddler bedding too! Debbie’s designs have helped changed the way babies are put to sleep, ensuring they get better quality, safer sleep.
“Our products are all about making parenting easier from the minute baby comes home. We developed the Groswaddle to make traditional swaddling easier, but I knew there must be something we could do in order to help parents even further during the first stage of sleep. Swaddling can be complicated and from parents I’ve spoken to, dads in particular struggle to get the hang of it! Some babies don’t take to swaddling either, so while we have solutions for the second stage of sleep, I wanted something that could help tired parents and their little ones with something quick, easy and safe for their first few months, so the Grosnug was born!
The Grosnug is the UK’s first, patented 2-in-1 swaddle and baby sleep bag. It aims to eliminate the complications of traditional swaddling. The idea came from experiences shared by parents mainly focussed on frustrations of unwrapping baby and disturbing them during night changes and then trying to re-swaddle in the dark at 2 am, making it all a bit long-winded, stressful and tiring for baby and mum or dad.
Parental feedback is so important and from speaking to mums and dads at baby shows, expectant parent evenings and the parents at Gro HQ, a key priority for me was minimising disruption during the night. This is where the idea of a side zip came to light, it allows for baby to be changed without the need to unwrap them fully whilst leaving their arms snug and secure. Other swaddles and similar products tend to have a front zip which means baby is likely to be disturbed while you’re changing them as their arms will become loose. I wanted the snug to work for babies that weren’t keen on being swaddled either so unlike other designs, the Grosnug has poppers to the armholes so baby can have their arms in or out making it great for self-soothing and the perfect transition to a baby sleep bag.
Safety is our main priority with any new product we design, and the Grosnug is no different. It has been scrupulously tested against the British Safety Standard, despite this standard only being applicable to Baby Sleep Bags, not swaddling products. I wanted to enhance and create a safer alternative to the options available overseas which have a sausage shape that can restrict leg movement and lead to hip dysplasia. The Grosnug’s unique shape allows baby to kick and sleep in the natural froggy legged position. I am extremely proud that the Grosnug has been recognised by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute as a ‘Hip Healthy’ product. Safety is sewn into every thread of our product development so this is a fantastic recommendation to obtain.”