Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Baby Sleep Bag?

A Baby Sleep Bag (or Baby Sleeping Bag) is a “wearable blanket” designed for babies to be used instead of traditional blankets and sheets. Baby Sleep Bags have a neck opening and armholes and are therefore “worn” by the baby to help the baby stay at the right temperature through the night without the problem of traditional blankets and sheets being kicked off or getting tangled up.

Are Baby Sleep Bags the same as Baby Sleeping Bags?

Yes. A new British Standard BS8510:2009 has recently been produced which has brought the newer term “Baby Sleep Bags” into more common usage. This is to avoid Baby Sleep Bags being confused with traditional camping sleeping bags. Baby Sleep Bags (formerly called Baby Sleeping Bags) are wearable blankets with armholes and neck openings and are therefore quite unlike camping sleeping bags.

Are Baby Sleep Bags safe?

Yes. Well fitting, low-tog Baby Sleep Bags, when used correctly, are potentially one of the safest forms of bedding for your baby. While the baby has complete freedom of movement within the Baby Sleep Bag, the fitted neck and armholes ensure that there is no danger of either slipping in or out, provided the baby is placed in the correct size of Baby Sleep Bag for his age/weight. Therefore, provided also that a suitable level of nightwear is worn, he can sleep safely at a pleasant and constant temperature throughout the night.

The Gro Company has conducted exhaustive research and product testing to ensure that all the components of our Grobag Baby Sleep Bags conform to the British Safety Standards and safety regulations. The National Standards Body of the UK has created a new standard BS85

Why should I use a Baby Sleep Bag instead of blankets and sheets?

  • They stop babies kicking off their covers, getting cold and waking themselves and everyone else up
  • They can’t be kicked over your baby’s head or get tangled up
  • They keep babies at a comfortable temperature all night long
  • Your baby can wake up, move around his cot, and fall back to sleep all on his own without you having to tuck them back in
  • They become a great part of the bedtime routine, and will help your baby feel familiar, secure and confident and understand when its time for bed, even when away from home
  • They can help the transition from Moses basket to cot by being the familiar “comforter” in both
  • They may delay the age at which your baby rolls over onto his tummy
  • They may delay the age at which your baby is able to climb out of his cot.

Can I use a Grobag Baby Sleep Bag in a Moses basket?

Yes you can, however there will be extra fabric which you can either tuck under the mattress or fold at the end of the basket. If your baby is under 12lb, you could use a Gro-snug 2in1 swaddle and newborn Grobag which will fit into the Moses basket perfectly and can be used with arms in (like a swaddle) or out (like a Grobag Baby Sleep Bag).

What should my baby wear under a Grobag Baby Sleep Bag?

What your baby wears will depend on the tog of Grobag Baby Sleep Bag and the temperature of your baby’s bedroom. (In the same way as you would adjust nightclothes and number of blankets). As a guide, please refer to the table below. Please remember, though, that babies are all different and, just as with blankets and sheets, you will soon discover what your baby is most comfortable wearing. Placing your fingers on your baby’s chest is the best indicator of whether they are too hot/too cold/just right as babies’ hands often feel cool.

Nursery temperature 3.5 tog 2.5 tog 1.0 tog 0.5 tog
24-7°C (75-81°F) Short-sleeved bodysuit
23°C (74°F) Short-sleeved bodysuit
21°C (69°F) Long-sleeved bodysuit
20°C (65°F) Long-sleeved bodysuit Short-sleeved bodysuit and pyjama top
Under 18°C (64°F) Gro-suit
Under 16°C (61°F) Gro-suit Gro-suit and sleeveless bodysuit or short-sleeved bodysuit
Under 14°C (57°F) Gro-suit and sleeveless bodysuit or short-sleeved bodysuit

 

Which weight of Grobag Baby Sleep Bag should I buy?

Our 2.5 tog Grobag Baby Sleep Bags are ideal for Autumn, Winter and Spring and can be used right up until the Summer nights become warm. If your nursery is usually below 20°C, we recommend a 2.5 tog Grobag. However, if you live in a particularly mild region or if you have well insulated and heated accommodation and your nursery is usually 21°C or above, you may prefer a 1.0 tog Grobag for year round use. Our 1.0 tog Grobags are ideal for use from during the Summer months when the nights are warmer and are also very useful in early Spring and Autumn for day-time naps whilst your baby is still in a 2.5 tog Grobag at night. 0.5 tog Grobag Baby Sleep Bags are for use in high Summer, for holidays abroad, or if your child is unwell and has a raised temperature.

Why only 2.5 togs when my Winter weight duvet is 12 togs?

Health professional guidelines recommend that Baby Sleep Bags should be ‘lightweight’. Our own research and our mounting body of “parent testimonials” confirm that our 2.5 Tog Grobag Baby Sleep Bags are ideal for the UK climate and for the recommended nursery nursery temperatures of 16°C to 20°C. A Baby Sleep Bag surrounds the baby, providing insulation from both below and above, and also a warm pocket of air around the baby.

Because of the low tog rating, Grobag Baby Sleep Bags also provide great versatility throughout the year, simply by adjusting the level of your baby’s nightwear. When the weather is very cold, simply add more clothing (this could include a sleepsuit, socks and even a cardigan). When the weather is warmer, or perhaps if your child is unwell, you can remove layers of clothing while still keeping your baby at the right temperature.

Remember: never use a duvet or quilt with a Baby Sleep Bag.

What does the TOG rating mean?

The Tog rating describes the warmth or “Thermal Resistance” of a product and is widely used in the UK to explain warmth levels of duvets. Grobag Baby Sleep Bags are tog tested to conform to BS4745:1990 and to the new British Standard BS 8510:2009. Latest advice from Health professionals is that Baby Sleep Bags should be ‘lightweight’ and to meet the new British Standard, Baby Sleep Bags must be between 2.0 and 3.5 togs for temperatures between 10°C and 20°C. This is why our main range of Grobags are 2.5 togs for the recommended ideal nursery temperature range of 16°C and 20°C.

What is the best room temperature for my baby?

The Lullaby Trust and Health Professionals recommend that the ideal room temperature for your baby is between 16°C and 20°C, and ideally at 18°C/65°F. Our 2.5 tog Grobag Baby Sleep Bags are designed to be used in this temperature range. If the nursery is warmer or colder, simply adjust the level of clothing your baby is wearing. During summer months, or in warmer climates, if your baby’s nursery is above 20°C and we recommend using our 100% cotton 1.0 tog or 0.5 tog Grobags.

Many people ask us how to keep the nursery at around 18°C in the winter, without having to have the central heating going all night! We recommend an inexpensive small thermostatically controlled heater which is available from all good electrical or DIY outlets. Position it well away from your baby’s cot and out of reach of your baby, and adjust it to come on just whenever needed in order to maintain the ideal room temperature, thus saving time and money turning on and off all the radiators. (Remember to remove the heater once your child can climb out of his cot).

We also provide a FREE nursery thermometer with 0-6 and 6-18 mth Grobags to help you monitor the temperature of your baby’s bedroom.

What should I do if my baby gets too cold or too hot?

If your baby has woken up because he is too cold, pick him up & adjust either the temperature of the room, or the baby’s clothing. You can cuddle your baby in his Grobag to warm him up again before putting him back, warm and cosy in his cot. If your baby feels hot, you should cool him down by removing some clothing, then either adjust the temperature of the bedroom or the clothes your baby is wearing before returning him to his cot.

Is there any danger that my baby could become too hot in a Grobag Baby Sleep Bag?

Provided you follow the guidelines on your nursery thermometer (provided FREE with 0-6 and 6-18 mth Grobag Baby Sleep Bags), there should be no danger of your baby over-heating. Always keep your baby’s head uncovered. It is safest to use a Baby Sleep Bag without sleeves and never use any clothing or bedding with a hood attached. Decrease the level of nightclothes and bedding if your baby is unwell and has a raised temperature. If you are in any doubt, please consult a Health Professional.

What size Grobag Baby Sleep Bag should I buy?

Our 0-6 month size Grobag Baby Sleep Bag is suitable from birth if your baby weighs 8.8lbs (4kg)or more or from when your baby reaches this weight. It will last until your baby is 6 months old and may well last longer.

The 6-18 month size is suitable from when your baby is 18lb (8.1 kg) and is generously sized so may easily last until your baby is between 18 and 24 months.

Our 18-36 month size is suitable from when your toddler weighs 25lb (11.4kg) and many toddlers are still wearing their Grobags well after the age of 3.

We also make 3-6 year Grobags and even 6-10 year Grobags.

How many Grobag Baby Sleep Bags should I buy?

As the larger sizes last for at least a year, we recommend you buy at least 2 Grobags (so you will always have a spare one if you suddenly need one in the middle of the night!).

Why don't Grobag Baby Sleep Bags have sleeves?

We believe that Baby Sleep Bags should be sleeveless to aid heat loss and air circulation. (Babies sleeping under traditional blankets rarely sleep with their arms inside). The new British Standard also stipulates that Baby Sleep Bags should be “without sleeves or hoods”. In cooler weather, we recommend long-sleeve bodysuits, in addition to a long-sleeved pyjama top, pyjamas or a sleepsuit.

How do I wash my Grobag Baby Sleep Bag?

All Grobag Baby Sleep Bags can be machine washed at 40°C. They can be hung out to dry or tumble dried on a low setting. As with all cotton goods, we have designed our Grobags to allow for up to 5% shrinkage. If your child has any allergies and you wish to wash your Grobag at 60°C, you should allow for a little more shrinkage. In general, think environment – if not dirty wash at 30°C!

When washing, it is best to keep the zip closed. You can iron your Grobags on a low heat if desired, always keeping the iron away from the zip or covering the zip with a cloth.

We recommend that you wash dark colours separately for the first few washes. We also recommend that you wash your Grobag with a detergent that is free from bleaching agents in order to retain the original colours.

When do I stop using a Grobag Baby Sleep Bag?

Grobag Baby Sleep Bags can be used right up to the time your child is ready to move from a cot to a bed, and because of the freedom of movement they allow, they can be used even longer if your child wishes. Even though your toddler will happily stand up in a zipped Grobag, cot-climbing will be far from easy, and your Grobag may well delay the age at which you have to move your child to a bed – a big bonus! Grobags are available for children age 3-6 years who just love them so much, they don’t want to say Good-bye! Please note that this size is very generous – so don’t consider it until your child has grown out of the 18-36 month size Grobag. We also have 6-10 years size Grobags with double slider zip suitable for older children who aren’t suited to traditional bedding.

What other bedding can I use with my Grobag Baby Sleep Bag?

You should use your Grobag instead of blankets and sheets. The only other bedding required is a bottom sheet. Grobags are designed to replace blankets and sheets. They come in three tog (warmth) ratings for your individual baby and the temperature of your baby’s sleeping place. Duvets, quilts and pillows should not be used for babies under 1 year old and never with a Baby Sleep Bag. The Lullaby Trust recommend that the safest place for your baby to sleep is in a cot or crib in your room for the first six months. However, if your baby shares your bed, make sure he is only in a Grobag, and not under your own bedding as well. Please note that Grobags are designed to replace blankets and sheets in your baby’s cot or bed. They are not intended for use as dressing gowns outside the baby’s bedroom.

Important: never use your Grobag Baby Sleep Bag with a duvet or quilt.

Why don’t you sell Grobags to last my baby for longer – e.g. from 6 month to 3 years?

Babies do a great deal of growing between 6 months and 3 years and we don’t believe that it would be responsible to try to manufacture a Baby Sleep Bag that would fit, and be safe for, both a 6 month old baby and a 3 year old toddler. Babies grow at the greatest rate in their first 6 months of life, and then their rate of growth slows down gradually. This is why our youngest size Grobag (0-6m) lasts for 6 months, our next size up (6-18m) lasts for a whole year, and our third size up (18-36m) lasts for a full 1½ years.

Why do I have a Grobag with a label in that says it can be used from 7lbs in weight?

Before the new British Standard was produced, Grobag Baby Sleep Bags conformed to a Voluntary Code of Practice in the UK which was published by the Baby Products Association in 2005. The recommendations in this code were based on the information available on average babies’ birth weights and head and neck circumferences. The new British Standard working group has made recommendations based on increased average birth weights of babies, and their corresponding average head and neck circumferences and therefore the neck measurements that a Baby Sleep Bag must have in order to conform. Babies come in all shapes and sizes and the most important thing is for you to feel confident that your baby is not in a Baby Sleep Bag which might be too large for him.

Why is the weight of the baby so important for the smaller size Grobag Baby Sleep Bag?

Our key safety consideration is to ensure that babies cannot slip down inside the Baby Sleep Bag. Therefore, we design the neck size to be as large as possible to allow comfort and heat loss, whilst being smaller than the average head circumference of the younger age/lower weight of baby we advise for the Grobag Baby Sleep Bag. We use health professional graphs to link head sizes with weight and this is also in line with the new British Standard for Baby Sleep Bags (BS 8510:2009). Most new parents do not know the head circumference of their babies, but they can keep a track of their weight, hence we use weight as a guide.

You must always take care not to allow your baby’s head to slip down and get covered by any bedding, whether that bedding is a Grobag Baby Sleep Bag, blankets or sheets.

When can I first put my baby in a Grobag Baby Sleep Bag?

Our 0-6 months Grobag Baby Sleep Bag can be used for a full-term, 8.8 lbs (4kg) baby from birth. However, if your baby weighs less than 8.8 lbs (4kg) at birth, we recommend you wait a short time, until your baby grows larger. For the first few weeks and for babies under 8.8 lbs (4kg), we recommend the Gro-swaddle or the Gro-snug (our 2-in-1 swaddle and newborn Grobag) as a safe and easy alternative for your baby. Our 0-6 month size Grobag includes under-arm poppers to reduce the size of the armholes for babies up to 10lbs (4.5kg).

What is the difference between a Grobag and any other Baby Sleep Bag?

Over 90% of new parents in the UK now use a Baby Sleep Bag but when Grobags were launched, this figure was less than 2%. At The Gro Company, we are really proud that we have changed the way that the nation puts its babies to bed. But it really does go further than that! When the company started, we not only wanted to give both parents and babies a better and more peaceful night’s sleep, but also a safer night’s sleep. We have worked with, and supported, The Lullaby Trust since 2001 to help promote safe sleep for babies and to help fund their research. We also follow all the latest research into safe sleep to make sure that not only are our Grobags the best quality and safest possible, but also that the information we provide is the most up-to-date and useful for parents and carers. So when you buy a Grobag you can be sure that:

  • You are choosing a Baby Sleep Bag that meets all the requirements of the new British Standard (BS 8510:2009)
  • You are choosing the only Baby Sleep Bag recommended by The Lullaby Trust, the UK’s leading Cot Death Charity
  • You are choosing a Baby Sleep Bag that has gone through rigorous quality control and testing
  • You are choosing a Baby Sleep Bag that uses only the highest quality and reliable components such as YKK zips and poppers
  • You are choosing a Baby Sleep Bag which will be correctly sized for your baby, in line with the new British Standard
  • You are choosing from the widest range of sizes and togs available
  • You have a FREE nursery thermometer and instructions to ensure that you know how to use your Grobag safely and correctly
  • You are choosing a Baby Sleep Bag with 100% natural cotton lining and outer fabric
  • You are choosing the UK’s favourite pioneering, and award winning Baby Sleep Bag, Grobag!

Remember: a Baby Sleep Bag by any other name, is simply not a Grobag!

 

Is Grobag a brand name?

Yes, it is a registered trademark. The term was devised by the inventors who had first used a European Baby Sleeping Bag in 1997 when their son, Sam, was kicking off his covers, getting cold and keeping them awake all night. They coined the name, “Grobag”, and it just stuck! In 1999 they decided it was time to spread the word, and started the company “Grobag”, which has since become “The Gro Company”. Of course, now that over 90% of new parents in the UK use Baby Sleep Bags, other makes of Baby Sleep Bag are now available, but none can call themselves “Grobag”. The introduction of the Grobag has changed the way parents in the UK put their babies to bed. It remains the market leader in the UK, has won numerous awards, and retains the core values of safety and quality above all else. Remember, a Baby Sleep Bag by any other name is simply not a Grobag! When you buy a Grobag, we truly believe you have the safest, most tested, best-made and therefore best value Baby Sleep Bag available.

Please tell me about the New British Standard for Baby Sleep Bags?

The new British Standard for Baby Sleep Bags (BS 8510:2009) has been introduced to provide a quality and safety standard for Baby Sleep Bags to conform to in the UK. Together with other industry and technical experts, The Gro Company has been involved with a working group for over two years in order to produce this very important Standard to help parents to be confident that they are buying a safe and high quality Baby Sleep Bag. To meet the new Standard, Baby Sleep Bags must be constructed to specific guidelines and tested in accordance with industry standard testing equipment. BS 8510:2009 has been developed completely with a baby’s safety in mind and some of the requirements are as follows:

  • Baby Sleep Bags should have armholes, but no sleeves or hoods, to prevent over-heating
  • The neck openings have both minimum and maximum measurements to ensure safety
  • Zips, buttons and press studs (poppers) have to pass rigorous tests to ensure strength and durability
  • Loop labels are not allowed and any embellishments such as embroideries, ribbons and appliqués must pass stringent tests to ensure that they are safe for babies and do not pose risks of choking, entanglement, or entrapment
  • Shrinkage and colour fastness are also tested to ensure quality and durability
  • Tests are also undertaken to ensure that no dangerous chemicals are present, for example, in the dyes used in the fabrics, or in fire retarding the Baby Sleep Bags
  • The Baby Sleep Bag must be labelled properly for the correct age and/or height for the baby
  • The Baby Sleep Bag should be a low tog (warmth) rating and must be tested and labelled to show the tog rating and the suitable bedroom temperature.

The New British Standard is voluntary, and not all brands of Baby Sleep Bags on sale in the UK will comply. The Gro Company has always produced Baby Sleep Bags with safety and quality as a guiding principle. BS 8510:2009 is based on many of the recommendations in the previous voluntary Code of Practice for Quality and Safety of Baby Sleeping Bags (2005), which we ourselves were involved in drawing up. We have always firmly believed in the utmost importance of producing a Baby Sleep Bag that can be washed time and again, and that is as safe as possible when you are leaving your baby unattended and asleep for up to 12 hours at a time.

Why the free nursery thermometer?

Our FREE nursery thermometer, plus all the other useful information you receive when you buy a Grobag, gives further information on usage and suitable levels of clothing for your baby, and is an ideal help for you and anyone looking after your baby.

Why have you created a 3.5 Tog?

The launch of the Winter Warmer Grobag is based on recent feedback we have had from parents. They have noticed temperatures dropping over the past few winter seasons, with more bursts of extreme weather, and they told us they felt they needed something warmer for those occasions.

When should I use a 3.5 Tog?

In room temperatures of 16°C and below

Does this now mean my 2.5 Tog isn’t thick enough for winter?

The 2.5 Tog which we describe as an All Year Round product is suitable for most room temperatures in the UK (16-20 degrees). However over the past couple of years our customers have been asking us for something thicker for winter when they have noticed really cold temperatures. Hence, we have created the 3.5 Tog. If you only have a 2.5 Tog, we recommend trying to keep the room temperature your baby is sleeping in within the 16-20 degree range, and layering the clothing under their Grobag accordingly.

Can’t I just use another blanket on top of my Grobag when it is really cold?

Loose blankets can be kicked off, plus you may not know the tog level you are putting on your child, so we recommend using a 3.5 Tog Grobag which you know has been tog tested and meets the British Safety Standard.

Is the 3.5 Tog still recommended by The Lullaby Trust and does it meet the British Standard?

Yes

What is the difference between the Gro-snug and the Gro-swaddle?

The Gro-swaddle is our traditional wrap, a shaped swaddle with exactly the right amount of fabric for a safe swaddle – with no risk of overwrapping.

The Gro-snug is a 2in1 product that combines an easy swaddle with a newborn Grobag.

  • There is no risk of overwrapping and the shaped seams allow for natural leg position.
  • No technique required – just place baby in and zip them in.
  • Poppers mean that baby can be arms in or arms out – whichever they prefer, allowing them to transition to a Grobag when they’re ready.

Why would I want to swaddle my baby?

Swaddling is a method of putting a newborn baby to bed that countless parents swear by. Babies are used to being snuggly in their mother’s womb and being swaddled reassures them and makes them feel secure. It also prevents them from waking themselves from the ‘startle’ reflex.

What size does the Gro-snug come in?

The Gro-snug comes in one size, which is suitable for babies from 5lbs to 12 lbs.

What does ‘hip healthy’ mean?

‘Hip healthy’ is a term coined by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. In order for swaddling to allow healthy hip development, the legs should be able to bend up and out at the hips. The Gro-snug has unique curved seams which creates a pocket and allows plenty of space for babies’ legs to be in the natural ‘froggy’ position.

How do I know which type of Gro-snug to get?

The Gro-snug comes in two weights of fabric:

  • Cosy is for cool rooms between 16 and 20 degrees C
  • Light is for warm rooms between 21 and 25 degrees C

All Gro-snugs come with a free thermometer and what to wear guide.

What is the Gro-snug made of?

The Gro-snug is made from supersoft cotton with elastane for stretch.

When can you use the Gro-snug from?

The Gro-snug can be used from birth, as long as your baby is 5lbs or heavier.

What tog rating is the Gro-snug?

The Gro-snug is not measured in togs like our baby sleeping bags. The reason for this is that the Gro-snug is a tighter fit than a baby sleeping bag and is designed to be worn in a moses basket, which is a closer environment that affects the measurement in different ways. The usual tog rating is therefore not suitable for this product.

The Gro-snug is available in two weights of fabric:

  • Cosy for cool rooms between 16 and 20 degrees C
  • Light for warmer rooms between 21-25 degrees C.

What are the poppers on the arms for?

The Gro-snug can be used with baby’s arms either in (with the poppers popped shut) or arms out (with the poppers open).

Arms in allows for a safe swaddle, no wrapping needed. Reassuringly snug on top and hip healthy leg space on the bottom. Keeping baby snugly swaddled means that they won’t wake from the startle reflex.

Arms out means that baby can sleep with their arms up. Some babies prefer not to be restricted when sleeping.

Arms out is also perfect for transitioning a baby into a Grobag – they can sleep with one or two arms out.

It's warm weather and my Gro-egg is on red and showing the unhappy face. What shall I do?

Take action to reduce the room temperature, bedding and clothing. If it is not possible to bring the room temperature down then you may need to remove all bedding and clothing from your baby, leaving them in just a nappy. Additionally you could use a fan to move air around the room (ensuring it is not within reach of your baby or pointing directly at your baby) and give your baby extra drinks. In extremely warm temperatures, sponge your baby down with luke warm water, If in doubt contact your health professional.

It's cold weather and my Gro-egg is on blue. What shall I do?

Take action to increase room temperature, bedding and clothing. We recommend using a thermostatically controlled heater in the room where the baby is sleeping, which saves your central heating being on a all night (make sure that neither the heater or cable are within reach of your baby’s cot). Increase the level of clothing, but always make sure your baby’s head is uncovered. If your baby has become cold, give them a warming cuddle or a warm drink before returning them to their cot with extra clothing/bedding.

My Gro-egg doesn't read the temperature I think it should.

The Gro-egg will indicate the temperature of the surrounding air, so cold drafts and adjacent heating will both affect the reading.

I can't see the colour of the Gro-egg very well in daylight

The colours on the Gro-egg are designed to glow gently and be visible in very low level light or dark conditions. In lighter conditions use the digital readout.

I have plugged in my Gro-egg but the product doesn't seem to be on

Check that the round switch on the base of the Gro-egg is indented in the ‘on’ position. Check that the power supply lead is securely in place at the back of the Gro-egg.

If the power is turned off, does the clock remember the correct time?

When the power goes off, the clock ‘freezes’ all the settings, including the main time, the wake up times and brightness settings. Therefore if the power goes off for a few seconds and then back on, the time will have been paused for a few seconds. However if the power was off say for 3 hours, then the time will be out by 3 hours and will therefore need re–setting.

If I need to keep the power on to maintain the correct time, should I worry about electricity consumption?

No, your clock uses LEDs so it’s naturally energy efficient. However it also has a built–in energy saving mode. One hour after the wake up time has activated, the clock automatically turns off coloured LED lights and runs on a tiny amount of electricity. To re–activate just press any key and the colour LEDs will come back.

What is the difference between the night–time and day–time nap mode?

In a way they are very similar because the clock works in exactly the same way in both modes. Once activated, the clock will count down and the star will change into the sun at the time set in each mode. The reason there are two modes is so that parents who are putting their children to sleep during the day and at night can have the two different times stored, which saves them from having to re–set the wake up times every session.

Can I make the alarm sound at any time and in any mode?

Yes! The time you set for the alarm is independent of the night–time or day–time nap modes. Therefore you could have the sun coming up silently at 7am and then the alarm sounding at 7.30am.

How do I know if the alarm will sound?

The alarm bell icon appears in the cheek of the sun/star when the alarm is switched on.

How can I stop my child from playing with buttons and changing the settings?

Very easily, by using the key–lock function, which is similar to the function on mobile phones.

Is there a demo mode so I can show my child how it changes from the sun to Mr Star?

Yes! There is a built–in demo mode which runs through all the sun and Mr Star transitions. To set the Demo mode on, just press and hold the UP button for three seconds and the clock will show all the transitions on a continuous loop. To turn off the Demo mode, simply press and hold the UP button for three seconds.

My screen has frozen and is not responding to the controls.

Switch the clock off at the mains, wait a few seconds and switch back on.

How to install

How to install

1. Make sure the window is clean where the suction cups are going to attach.

2. Starting with an upper corner of the window, work across the top first, then down the sides, and finally along the bottom.

3. As you go around the window, adjust the size of the Blind to fit using the Velcro patches.

Troubleshooting

When a GroAnywhere Blind has been stored away the suction cups can become flattened and won’t stick effectively to the window (this sometimes happens with brand new Blinds that have been flattened in transit). The suction cups stick better when the surface to which they are stuck (and the suction cups themselves) are clean and free from dirt. In addition, changes in temperature or humidity may gradually make cups lose suction. In order to achieve the best suction:

1. Clean the window you are applying the suction cups to with soap and water (they won’t adhere well to a dirty surface). De-grease the glass with rubbing alcohol if necessary (bathroom/window cleaners usually leave a residue). Wipe clean with a soft lint-free cloth.

2. If necessary, wash the suction cups with warm, soapy water, rinse them off again and pat them dry with a lint-free cloth. (Dirty suction cups will not stick as well). Make sure both the inside of the suction cups and your window are clean and dry before application.

3. To enhance suction and help keep the seal tight, dampen your fingertip with water and lightly moisten the inner rim of the suction cup. Moistening helps create a tighter seal. The key is to not get too much moisture… just barely enough to coat the surface.

4. Press the centre of each suction cup all the way down firmly to the glass and keep firm pressure for about 15 seconds, then gently release the pressure until all the air bubbles inside are released and a vacuum is created to firmly seal the cups to the surface. (What you are trying to do, is to push all of the trapped air between the suction cup and window out from behind the suction cup). Try not to let the suction cups slide, if they slide easily you might have used too much moisture.

5. The closer the suction cups and the window are in temperature, and the closer this is to ‘room’ temperature, the better results you will have.

6. The suction cups may need to be ‘burped’ periodically by pressing down on them to remove any air that may have seeped in.

If a suction cup still won’t stick:

1. Try rolling it between your fingers to reshape it.

2. To return some elasticity to a suction cup, or if it has become flattened or deformed, place it carefully in hot water for 2-3 minutes (when children are not around). This will help ‘reset’ the plastic and make it more flexible, allowing it to return to its normal shape.

Removal — Important

When it’s time to remove the blind, or if you are taking it down to go on holiday, remember:

1. Don’t grab the blind and pull – this risks serious damage to the window glass. Simply pull on the release tab of each individual suction cup to break the suction. The ‘release tab peeling action’ lets air in, and the suction cup stops sucking (this also eliminates damage to the cup edge caused by the ‘finger nail removal picking action’).

2. Please note that pulling on the blind to remove it from the window may lead to damaging the eyelets and the blind, and will cause the glass to flex leading to possible window breakage.

Limitations of use

Do not use on windows that have damaged edges, visible chips, cracks or any other glass or frame damage. Do not use on laminated, textured/patterned or leaded glass or windows with internal wire strengthening. The Gro Company will not be held responsible for any glass breakage resulting from use of the Gro Anywhere Blind. The blind can be safely applied to normal single or double glazed windows in good condition.

When can I first start using a Gro-swaddle?

The Gro-swaddle is suitable for use from newborn up until around 3 months.

What should my baby wear under a Gro-swaddle?

It is very important that you check on your newborn baby regularly to ensure that s/he is not too hot or too cold. To do this, simply place your fingers gently onto her back or chest. It is normal for a young baby’s fingers and toes to feel cold, so this is why its important to check the back or chest.

What your baby wears will depend, not only on the temperature of the bedroom, but also on your individual baby, and, with regular checking, you will soon get used to knowing what level of clothing works best. As a general rule, in the recommended nursery temperature of 16-20Oc,  we recommend either a cotton bodysuit (short sleeves and no legs), or a cotton sleepsuit (with legs and arms). If the bedroom is on the cool side, or your baby feels cool to the touch on her back/chest, then it is fine to layer the clothing, using both a bodysuit and sleepsuit.

In a very warm bedroom, you could simply use the Gro-swaddle with no clothing underneath. If the bedroom is hot (over 24OC), try to cool it down, and if this is not possible, consider not using the Swaddle until it is cooler.

As your baby gets older and you want to move to underarm swaddling, so that your baby’s arms are not covered by the Swaddle, you may want to adjust the level of clothing to account for this. For under-arm swaddling, in the recommended nursery temperatures of 16-20OC, a cotton long-sleeved sleepsuit or both a bodysuit and long-sleeved sleepsuit are recommended.

What tog is a Gro-swaddle?

Because the Gro-swaddle is a single layer and “worn” close to the body, we do not provide a tog rating. Newborn and very young babies are all individual, and the most important thing is to check on your baby regularly to ensure that s/he is at a comfortable temperature. Please see What should my baby wear under a Gro-swaddle  for more information.

Can I use a Gro-swaddle in a Moses Basket?

The Gro-swaddle is perfect for use in a Moses Basket. You can also use it in a cot or a pram.

When should I change from over-arm to under-arm swaddling?

Newborn babies usually like to be swaddled over-arm. This gives them the secure feeling that they were used to in the womb, which can help them to settle to sleep better. You will probably find that anywhere between 3 and 6 weeks of age, your baby prefers to sleep with under arm swaddling, but still with the nice comfortable wrap around his tummy. However, all babies are different, and you will soon get to know what suits your own baby best.

When should I move my baby from a Gro-swaddle to a Grobag Baby Sleep Bag?

Once your baby is happy with under-arm swaddling, and is wanting to move around a little more in his sleep, this is an ideal time to start using a Grobag Baby Sleep Bag. The first size Grobag Baby Sleep Bag can be used from when your baby weighs 4kg (8.8lbs).

Can I use a Gro-swaddle with a Grobag baby sleep bag

You should never use a Swaddle and a Baby Sleep Bag together.

Can I use a Gro-swaddle with a blanket over the top?

The Gro-swaddle should be used with out any extra top bedding as it is very important to ensure that your baby does not get too hot.

What precautions should I take to help reduce the risk of cot death?

Please visit the Sleep Central part of our website to find out all the information about reducing the risk of cot death. You can also find out lots of other useful information and advice from our sleep expert..

How can I swaddle my baby safely?

Always place your baby on their back to sleep.

Do not swaddle your baby with their arms in, once they can roll.

To prevent a risk of overheating, follow our temperature and what to wear guides. You can find these here or on the product packaging.

Do not use any additional blankets when using the Gro-swaddle, simply adjust clothing underneath if you feel your baby is too warm or too cool.

Ensure the Gro-swaddle does not go over your baby’s head or cover your baby’s mouth. The fit should be snug around your baby’s neck and sit underneath their chin, but not be too tight.

If you pick your baby up to feed or comfort them, check the Gro-swaddle when placing them back down to ensure it is still secure, and not covering the baby’s face. If using the Gro-swaddle ensure there is no loose fabric, or if using the Gro-snug ensure fabric is pulled down nice and smoothly over the body.

Ensure there is enough room for your baby’s legs to go up and out at the hips, and that they are able to move their legs. Check our guide of how to wrap your baby correctly (see the ‘More Info’ tab on the Gro-swaddle product pages). If using the Gro-snug, this feature is built in to the product.

Remember:

Excess fabric should be tucked beneath your baby at all times.

Babies should be snug, but not swaddled too tightly.

To check you have not swaddled your baby too tightly, ensure you can slide your fingers down the top of the blanket.

Is the Gro-hush safe?

The Gro-hush has been tested to the relevant toy safety standards including EN71, US Toy Standard ASTM F963 and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. The Sound levels have been set at a volume that is safe for continuous sound as stated by the Children Hearing Institute in New York. It is not possible to alter the sound levels of the Gro-hush so you can’t have it too loud. Always ensure that you are using the Gro-hush as recommended in the Operations Instructions- always use it with the cushioned cover attached. The Gro-hush also switches off automatically after 10 minutes – you can use the Gro-hush for longer but you need to select the sound again.

Does it need batteries?

Yes you will need 3 AAA batteries – these are not provided with the product.

Why can only babies hear it?

The Gro-hush is carefully set at exactly the right volume to be safe, effective, and so that when the Gro-hush is held to babies ear, only they can hear it. That makes the Gro-hush fantastic to use either at home if you don’t want to disturb others, or out and about, when travelling or at social events.

Can I wash the removable cushion cover?

Yes – the cushion can be machine washed up to 40 degrees. Do not bleach, tumble dry, iron or dry clean. If the cushion shrinks slightly in the wash, you can pull it back in to shape.

Why can’t I just use an app on my phone?

Mobile Phones should not be used in close proximity to babies and small children as they are more susceptible to radiation. There is not enough known about the effects of mobile phones on children for this to be safe.

What decibel level is the Gro-hush set at?

The Gro-hush sound has been set at 75 decibels and cannot be altered.

Why does the Gro-hush have three different sounds?

The Gro-hush has three different soothing white noise sounds as different babies prefer different sounds. You can try the different sounds to see which your baby responds to best.

Why does it have a protective case?

The case is brilliant for when you want to take your Gro-hush with you. It will keep your Gro-hush clean in your changing bag and also prevent it from switching on accidently if the buttons get pushed so the batteries don’t run down.

Why does it switch off automatically after 10 minutes?

The 10 minute switch off prevents the batteries from being worn down un-necessarily, it is also an additional safety feature. The Gro-hush is safe to play for as long as you want, but you need to select the sound to keep using it.

What age is it suitable for?

The Gro hush is suitable to be used on children from birth and for as long as you would like to use it.

My Gro-hush normally works for my baby, but it has stopped working. What should I do?

Ensure your baby is not crying because they are hungry or require changing. If you suspect your baby might be unwell please contact a health professional.

The Gro-hush isn’t working on my baby – what should I do?

White noise has been consistently proven to calm and soothe babies, but the Gro-hush might not necessarily work immediately, every time or 1st time for your baby.  Make sure you try using the Gro-hush more than once, try using the Gro-hush for a few minutes – if they are crying very loudly it might take a little while for them to hear the white noise, and try the different sounds to work out if your baby has a favourite.
White noise can be most effective when used initially on young babies. We recommend to try and use the Gro-hush from newborn.
Ensure your baby is not crying because they are hungry or require changing. If you suspect your baby might be unwell please contact a health professional.

Is the Gro-suit for use instead of a Grobag?

No –the Gro-suit is like a sleepsuit, so is designed to be worn underneath a Grobag. Its quilted sleeves mean it will keep your baby’s arms warm during cold winter temperatures, but the rest of the suit is a single cotton layer.

Why don’t you just make a Grobag with sleeves?

The British Standard stipulates that Baby Sleep Bags should be “without sleeves or hoods”. All Grobags meet the British Safety Standard, and they always will.

When should I use the gro-suit?

The Gro-suit is intended for use with a Grobag in cold weather or in room temperatures of 18°C or under. They are most suited to be used with a 2.5 tog or 3.5 tog Grobag.
If your room is under 16°C and you’re using a 2.5 tog Grobag you should add a vest underneath your Gro-suit. However, if you’re using a 3.5 tog Grobag you only need to use the Gro-suit underneath.
If your room is under 14°C you should ideally look to increase the temperature of the room, or use a 3.5 tog Grobag, with Gro-suit and vest.

Why is the tog rating of the cot bed size duvet different to the tog rating of the single bed size duvet?

Health professional guidelines in the UK state that quilts for children in cot beds should be a maximum of 4.0 togs. Because the size of the cot bed is smaller it automatically retains more heat when the child is sleeping. The larger surface area in a single bed means the child only heats the area he/she is sleeping in, therefore a higher tog rating is required on the single bed size. The single bed size comprises 2 x 4.0 tog duvets that popper together, giving flexibility to reduce the tog to 4.0 togs and even to remove the duvet all together when the bedroom temperatures are warmer.

Can I use the Grobag Nursery Stay-on Bedding and Sheet set with other duvets?

Yes, our Bedding and Sheet Set is designed to fit standard cot bed duvets and standard single bed duvets. However, only the Stay-on Bedding and Sheet Set and Stay-on Duvet contain the clever  popper system.

Can I use the Grobag Nursery Stay-on Duvet with other bedding?

Yes, our duvets are designed to the same size specifications as other bedding sets. However, only the Stay-on Bedding and Sheet Set and Stay-on Duvet contain the clever popper system.

Please can you give me some advice on the quickest and easiest way to put the duvet set onto the bed?

Please see our “quick and easy instructions” under the More Info tab.

Can I use the Grobag Nursery Stay-on Bedding and sheet set with a Grobag Baby Sleep Bag?

No. To avoid danger of overheating, you should never use a duvet and a Grobag Baby Sleep Bag together.

What is the difference between the Swaddle Grobag and the Gro-swaddle?

The Swaddle Grobag is our traditional wrap, a shaped swaddle with exactly the right amount of fabric for a safe swaddle – with no risk of overwrapping.

The Swaddle Grobag is a 2in1 product that combines an easy swaddle with a newborn Grobag.

  • There is no risk of overwrapping and the shaped seams allow for natural leg position.
  • No technique required – just place baby in and zip them in.
  • Poppers mean that baby can be arms in or arms out – whichever they prefer, allowing them to transition to a Grobag when they’re ready.

Why would I want to swaddle my baby?

Swaddling is a method of putting a newborn baby to bed that countless parents swear by. Babies are used to being snuggly in their mother’s womb and being swaddled reassures them and makes them feel secure. It also prevents them from waking themselves from the ‘startle’ reflex.

What size does the Swaddle Grobag come in?

The Swaddle Grobag comes in one size, which is suitable for babies from 2.3 – 5.5kgs.

What does ‘hip healthy’ mean?

‘Hip healthy’ is a term coined by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. In order for swaddling to allow healthy hip development, the legs should be able to bend up and out at the hips. The Swaddle Grobag has unique curved seams which creates a pocket and allows plenty of space for babies’ legs to be in the natural ‘froggy’ position.

How do I know which type of Swaddle Grobag to get?

The Swaddle Grobag comes in two weights of fabric:

  • Cosy is for cool rooms between 16 and 20 degrees C
  • Light is for warm rooms between 21 and 25 degrees C

All Gro-snugs come with a free thermometer and what to wear guide.

What is the Swaddle Grobag made of?

The Swaddle Grobag is made from supersoft cotton with elastane for stretch.

When can you use the Swaddle Grobag from?

The Swaddle Grobag can be used from birth, as long as your baby is 2.3kg or heavier.

What tog rating is the Swaddle Grobag?

The Swaddle Grobag is not measured in togs like our baby sleeping bags. The reason for this is that the Swaddle Grobag is a tighter fit than a baby sleeping bag and is designed to be worn in a moses basket, which is a closer environment that affects the measurement in different ways. The usual tog rating is therefore not suitable for this product.

The Swaddle Grobag is available in two weights of fabric:

  • Cosy for cool rooms between 16 and 20 degrees C
  • Light for warmer rooms between 21-25 degrees C.

What are the poppers on the arms for?

The Swaddle Grobag can be used with baby’s arms either in (with the poppers popped shut) or arms out (with the poppers open).

Arms in allows for a safe swaddle, no wrapping needed. Reassuringly snug on top and hip healthy leg space on the bottom. Keeping baby snugly swaddled means that they won’t wake from the startle reflex.

Arms out means that baby can sleep with their arms up. Some babies prefer not to be restricted when sleeping.

Arms out is also perfect for transitioning a baby into a Grobag – they can sleep with one or two arms out.

How much sleep does a baby need?

All babies are different of course and they tend to need more sleep the younger they are. Here are some guidelines:

0-6 Weeks

Babies of this age tend to sleep for 15 -18 hours in a 24-hour period. This sleep is closely associated with feeding, and your baby will spend these early weeks in a milky dozy state.

6 weeks – 3 or 4 months

By this stage many babies are beginning to sleep for longer periods and to feed less often. It is usual for a baby of about 8 weeks old to sleep for 6 hours at night without waking for a feed, although many babies have managed to do this earlier and some will be a little later.
Her total sleep requirement may have dropped slightly, to between 14 and 16 hours per day but sleep will be becoming deeper and lasting for longer periods.

4-6 Months

By now it is likely that she will be sleeping for between 6- 10 hours at night, with 2-3 daytime naps. This should total about 14 -15 hours.

6-12 Months

Your baby requires 13- 14 hours sleep in a 24 period. This is usually made up of a night-time sleep of 10-12 hours plus a morning and afternoon nap. No longer needs a night feed.

Why is it so important for my baby to sleep?

During sleep, babies are able to grow, both mentally and physically. Their energy levels are restored and, as with adults, they are more likely to be cheerful and reasonable during the day as a result.

There are no clinical trials done on babies to assess the effects of sleep deprivation, because of obvious ethical reasons. It makes sense, however to assume that babies are likely to suffer the effects of sleep deprivation to some extent at least in the same way that adults do. These effects include irritability and susceptibility to infection.

Does a baby’s temperature change during sleep?

When your baby is very small, she is unable to maintain her body temperature by shivering or sweating. It is very important that you maintain a safe body temperature for her. Her bedroom should be kept at 18 degrees C [63 degrees F] Bedding should be light and cotton and her head should not be covered.

When do babies start to dream?

Believe it or not, studies have shown that babies brains show activity in the dream region even whilst they are in the womb!

How does a baby learn the difference between day & night?

Babies learn the difference between night and day at around 2-3 months old. Newborn babies do not automatically recognise bedtime. Their sleeping time is divided more or less equally between night and day. As your baby matures however, she will begin to take the majority of sleep during the night and nap for shorter periods during the day. This process is usually achieved by the third month, if not before.

There are a number of factors which influence your baby’s biological clock. She has her own internal circadian clock, which is situated in an area of the brain known as the hypothalamus. This helps her to distinguish between night and day. The circadian clock does not work alone however; it needs external clues such as light and darkness, noise levels and mealtimes. It also responds to conditions within your baby’s own body, such as temperature, hunger and certain hormone levels.

I want to cut down on night feeds. Is it true that offering water instead of milk discourages babies from waking?

Not really, no. You need to be sure that the babtyis ready to drop night feeds first of all. If she weighs around 14lb or more and/or is 6 months old, the chances are that she is ready to go through the night without a feed. The best way to encourage this is by making sure that after the age of 3 months, she does not fall asleep over her bed time or night time milk feeds. This way, she will not develop a dependence on feeding to sleep.

From around 4–6 months, when the sleep cycles are established, it is perfectly normal for your baby to wake in the night several times. Many babies of this age still take night feeds – not for nutritional need but as a means of settling back off to sleep!

A little water can be given to encourage re settling, but only in a baby who is ready to go without a night feed and only if you discourage her from falling asleep over the water.

My newborn won't sleep for more than two hours at a time. I'm absolutely exhausted. Is there any advice to help me get through the day?

In these precious but exhausting early weeks, sleep is very closely involved with feeding. For many new born babies, feeds can be as often as every two hours. Try keeping a simple diary, so that you get a clear picture of her sleep habits and are able to spot any emerging patterns. Babies of this age also need to be held and cuddled a lot. It can feel really overwhelming at first, but this intense care does not last for long. Most babies begin to sleep for longer night time periods at around 6 weeks old, so in the meantime you should go easy on the housework, recognize that what you are doing is a great investment in terms of your child’s emotional and physical health, and as far as you possibly can, try to rest whenever your baby is sleeping.

When can I start a sleep routine with my newborn?

Sleep training should be a natural process that starts with your baby is noticing the difference between night and day. You can encourage this from very early on by allowing your baby some time outside in the daylight and by lowering the lighting levels in your home in the evening. With a newborn baby your priority should be feeding, cuddling and bonding and if you get that right, you will lay the foundations for good sleep. A simple bedtime routine can be introduced in the first few days and your baby will soon recognise this series of familiar steps this familiar series of steps leading up to bedtime.

In addition, when your baby is calm and sleepy, you should help her to fall asleep in the crib without being rocked or fed, as this will really help to develop independent sleep skills. Do not, however leave a new baby to cry alone if he or she sounds in any way distressed.

Is there a gentler way than controlled crying to help my four month old baby girl to sleep through the night?

Yes there is, and although it may take a bit longer, it will be just as effective, so long as you are resolute and patient.

Introduce a consistent bedtime routine up to an hour before her usual settling time. Don’t worry if this is very late in the evening. It is best to go with her natural pattern at first, and then gradually bring her bedtime forward. After her bath, give her a feed but do not allow her to fall asleep over the milk. Wind her well and then place her in her cot whilst she is awake but sleepy. Remain beside her, patting and shushing until she goes to sleep. She will cry, but she is ok – just tired. You know that she is ready for sleep and sleep WILL come at this time.

When she wakes in the night, feed her if she needs it and then place her back down whilst she is awake again. Comfort her as you did at the start of the night until she goes to sleep. By helping your baby to settle in her cot without being rocked or fed to sleep, you will teach her independent sleep skills without the need to leave her alone to cry.

I've been co-sleeping with my 12-week-old breastfed daughter but I want to move her into a cot as it's keeping me awake. If I put her in the cot, she screams her head off. What should I do?

Start a little bedtime routine, shortly before you know that she is due to sleep for the night. After having her bath and clean nightclothes on; breastfeed her sitting in a chair next to her cot. Do not allow her to fall asleep at the breast. After she has fed but is still awake, hold her close and wind her well. During this time, sing a familiar gentle song that she will come to recognize as a sleep signal and then place her into her cot whilst she is sleepy but awake. She is very likely to cry, as all of this will be new to her but she will be reassured by your calm and quiet manner. There is no need to leave her on her own; in fact it is much better if you remain comfortingly beside her. This way, she will learn that her cot is a safe place and will very soon enjoy having her own space (as will you).

I can’t get my five month old to sleep on her back ­she always rolls over. Is it ok to just leave her?

Even if your baby decides to sleep on her tummy, you should still place her onto her back to sleep at the start of the night. If, when you check on her she has rolled over, you should gently turn her back. The FSID in their guidelines say that parents needn’t be checking all night however.

If she rolls over and gets stuck, she will cry and let you know, so you can re position her. This developmental stage of rolling over and not being able to roll back lasts for a very short time, thankfully. By the age of six months, most babies are able to confidently flip from side to side.

Once your baby is able to do this, you can relax a little about what position she chooses to sleep in.

My baby snores sometimes. Is this normal?

It is not at all unusual for a baby to gently and rhythmically snore during sleep, as they have such tiny nasal passages. These passages easily become congested especially during episodes of teething or colds. A humidifier will help to relieve a stuffy nose.

Snoring can also be a sign of allergies. If you have allergies in the family or suspect that your baby may be allergic, you should do your best to keep the room free from dust and pet hairs. Prescribed anti histamine medicine may help.

Sometimes snoring can be a sign of a more serious problem, especially if it stops and starts and if your baby seems to pant or gasp during sleep. This might be a sign of a condition called “obstructive sleep apnoeia” and is often caused by swollen adenoids or tonsils.

Snoring very often affects a baby’s ability to sleep peacefully, so whatever its cause, it would be sensible to seek advice from your GP.

It takes me an hour to settle my 8 month old baby to sleep in the evening and she will only nod off in my arms. How can I break this habit?

You need to leave around three hours after her waking from the last daytime nap before beginning a calming bedtime routine. After this, place her into her cot whilst she is still awake and remain beside her, gently patting or stroking her until she gives in to sleep. She is very likely to cry at first and it may take her longer than ever to settle, but her crying will be protest at the change – not a feeling of being abandoned. After two or three nights of settling her in this way you should gradually move away from her and limit the amount of physical contact you have with her. Within a week you should aim to put her into her cot awake and quietly potter in and out of the room as she settles herself to sleep. Investing your time in teaching her good sleep skills rather than spending hours rocking her to sleep will benefit you both greatly.

My baby seems to get hyperactive and “wired” at bedtime. How can I help him to calm down?

When babies are very tired they tend to become over active and irritable. You might need to bring your bed time forward a bit to prevent this from happening. The best way to help a baby wind down before bedtime is to start a calm, loving and consistent bedtime routine. A good routine provides a baby with a familiar series of steps leading up to bed time. These individual steps tell your baby that sleep time is coming soon and will help him to feel safe and sleepy. A warm bath, followed by a milk feed and a familiar song or story will calm him and prepare him for a good night’s sleep. Remember that babies find familiarity and repetition very comforting.

My baby has always been a terrible sleeper. Now she's six months old I thought things would improve but she still wakes up three times a night for a feed. I'm absolutely exhausted.

In the early days, waking during the night is very closely associated with feeding, but by six months, as long as your baby is healthy and gaining weight, and doing well with weaning, she does not nutritionally need a night feed anymore. The problem is probably that your baby is waking up – which we all do, naturally, during the night – and is crying for her milk not because she’s hungry, but as a way to re-settle. If she’s used to falling asleep on your breast or a bottle, it’s the only way she knows how. The answer? You need to make sure your baby doesn’t feed to sleep at the beginning of the night. Always put her in her cot awake and, during the night, gradually reduce each feed and place her back to her cot whilst she is awake. You’ll no doubt encounter a good deal of protest at first, but stick with it and this should eventually discourage her suck-sleep connection.

Do you think comfort blankets and toys are useful for helping babies and toddlers to sleep and generally feel more secure?

Comfort blankets and toys are known as “transitional objects” and as the name suggests, can be very useful in helping babies and toddler make the transition from awake to asleep. They also help little ones feel more secure when separating from parents – at the nursery or crèche for example. Because a comforter helps a child to feel safe, calm and happy, its use should not be discouraged, no matter how grubby and worn it looks. If your child has a comfort object it is a healthy sign that they are growing up and learning how to cope with their independence.

Is it best to deliberately try to introduce a special comforter to a baby, or wait until he latches onto something of his own accord?

At least half of all babies and toddlers have a comforter, and most will choose their own object at around 6 months old and their need for the comforter is at its greatest between 18 months and 2 ½ years old. Babies tend to choose items with a soft texture and a familiar smell, such as a pillow case, soft toy or even mummy’s nightie! If your child doesn’t choose something of their own accord, there is no need to encourage it.

What advice would you give to parents who are finding the comforter is becoming a source of trouble - e.g. baby misplacing it in his sleep and then crying until parents give it back?

Unlike dummies, comfort objects seldom get lost during the night and need finding and replacing. The main problem is if the object gets lost or left behind somewhere. If this happens it can be very distressing indeed for a child. For this reason, if you notice that your child is forming an attachment to a particular object, you should try and get hold of another identical one. Alternate their use so that each becomes equally worn and also so that one can be washed whilst the other is being used.

When can I put my baby to sleep in his own room?

The Lullaby Trust recommends that babies should sleep in the same room as you for the first 6 months. If you have established a good bedtime routine by this time, the transition to baby’s own room should be relatively easy. This is because following a familiar series of steps leading up to bedtime not only lets babies know that sleep time is coming, but also help them to feel safe. Try to keep as many familiar bedtime associations as possible, such as comforters, songs and spoken rituals and if possible, keep the same cot. The first time you put your baby into his own room, you need to do so with confidence, but also be prepared to spend extra time popping in and out of the room if necessary to offer him a little reassurance.

I¹ve recently put our 6 month-old son into his own room to sleep for the first time, but I¹m so nervous about cot death, I keep getting out of bed to go and check him so I¹m not getting much sleep. How can I overcome this fear?

You need to realise that cot death, despite being parents’ worst fear is in fact extremely rare – especially after the age of one year. For reassurance and up to date information on how to reduce the risk of cot death, you should contact The Lullaby Trust  – www.lullabytrust.org.uk

It is fine and perfectly safe for you to have moved him into his own room at this age. Naturally, it is more difficult now for you to control the position that he sleeps in, but remember that he is much less vulnerable now than he was when he was tiny.

Positive steps that you can take towards safe sleeping at his age are:

  • Do not allow anyone to smoke anywhere in your home.
  • Keep his bedroom at around 16 -18 degrees centigrade and make sure that his bed clothes and covers are warm but light. [Natural fibres are best.]
  • Avoid having him sleep in your bed with you – especially if you are extremely tired; on any medication which might cause you to be sleepy or have been drinking alcohol.
  •  If you think he is unwell you should seek medical advice promptly.

My 9 month old gets up at 5am every morning, how can I get him to sleep in?

Most babies are naturally early risers. Putting your baby to bed later in the evening is unlikely to make a difference to the time that he wakes in the morning. This is because he is “programmed” by both internal and external wake up triggers.

You need to take an honest look at your baby’s over all sleep ability. If his early waking is part of his generally poor sleeping skills, you should concentrate on teaching him to fall asleep independently at the start of the night and on removing any incentives for night time waking, such as a dawn feed or transfer to your bed.

Aim at first for a 6am getting up time [you can always extend this later when his sleep skills improve.]When he wakes at 5am, keep him in his cot and either stay beside him or keep popping in and out to briefly reassure him. If he manages to go back to sleep you should allow him to wake up naturally in his own time. If he stays awake until 6am you need to open his curtains before getting him up. This visual time clue is very important for babies, who obviously are not yet able to tell the time.

My two-year-old wakes at 5am every morning, without fail, and refuses to go back to sleep. Do you have any advice?

Early waking is a very normal aspect of toddler-hood and, although it’s one of the trickier sleep issues to tackle, there are some solutions. Putting her to bed later rarely works – she’ll just wake at 5am anyway, and probably be grumpier because she’s tired, plus it cuts into your evening. Instead, when she wakes up, go to her and explain it’s not ‘proper morning’ yet, Get hold of a sleep training clock [such as the Gro clock] and set a getting up time – start with 5.30am and extend it by 5 minutes every few days until you reach an acceptable time to start the day. Leave her with a few quiet toys – nothing too stimulating. If she cries, go back every five minutes to reinforce your message. When the clock signals that its time to get up, open the curtains to show that the day has begun and give her lots of praise and a reward, like a sticker on her pyjamas, for staying in bed.’

My toddler won't nap in the day anymore and it means she is very tired and grumpy by tea time. Is there anything I can do?

Many parents of two to three-year-olds find their toddler drop their naps when they’re not quite ready to. If she gets upset when you try to put her to sleep, why not try having some ‘quiet time’ instead? Turn off the TV or any music, cuddle up on the sofa and read a book or listen to a story tape. Perhaps give her a special blanket to snuggle under, as part of her day-time ritual. If she nods off, put a little treat next to her for when she wakes up – the reward should encourage her to look forward to her day-time nap. And even if she doesn’t sleep, it should be a brief interlude of peace and quiet for your both to recharge your batteries.

My three-year-old has recently started suffering from nightmares or night terrors – I’m not sure. He's always been a good sleeper - why is he suddenly waking up so scared?'

Nightmares usually occur in the second half of the night, when your toddler is in a deep, dream sleep. They’re completely normal – 70 per cent of children have them – and are nothing to worry about; children do grow out of them. When he wakes up go to him and give him a brief cuddle and some calm reassurance. Try not to reinforce any fears by involving yourself in checking under the bed for monsters etc. It is best to explain that it is a dream and is not real life.

Night terrors are slightly different; they tend to occur earlier in the night and can be scary for you, as he may cry and thrash around, but won’t respond to your comfort. Unlike a nightmare, he won’t remember it in the morning and although his eyes may be open, he’s not awake. All you can do is stay with him until he calms down, make sure he doesn’t hurt himself, and never wake him up. Neither nightmares or night terrors are necessarily a sign of emotional upset but if either of them are happening every night, your child is extremely scared or repeatedly having the same dream, talk to your GP.

Last night, I found my three-year-old son out of bed, wandering around upstairs at 9pm. When I talked to him, he just looked straight through me. I took him back to bed and he went back to sleep. Was he sleepwalking; if so, is it dangerous, and is it likely to happen again?

It sounds as if your son was indeed sleep walking. It might have been a one off episode, but don’t be surprised if it happens again. Sleep walking is common in children and is not usually associated with psychological problems. It is not dangerous in itself, provided that you keep your son safe. You need to remove obstacles and anything else dangerous from his room. Also, to prevent him wandering and falling, you should secure a safety gate in his bedroom doorway and make sure that his bedroom windows are locked.

Sleep walking can be made worse [or even caused] by lack of sleep – so do make sure that your son has a good bedtime routine and an early bedtime. You will need to be extra vigilant if he has a temperature or is sleeping in a strange place, as both of these can trigger sleep walking. The good news is that because he has developed this so young, he is very likely to grow out of it in later childhood.

For the first few weeks after my son was born, my three-year-old daughter coped well, but recently she¹s been getting out of her bed and coming into ours (our baby sleeps in a cot next to the bed). I¹m exhausted from night feeds and want her to stay in her own room, but I don¹t want her to feel rejected by me. What can I do?

First you need to settle your baby son to sleep in his cot before your three year old daughter and then have a special time with her at bedtime, reading stories and talking about her day.

Tell her that you would like her to stay in her bed all night. Consider getting her a sleep training clock which will let her know when it is morning [useful when the mornings are dark.]

You must always leave her to settle to sleep without having you in the room. This way she is less likely to seek you when she stirs during the night.
If she comes to your room in the night you need to calmly take her back to bed. You might have to do this several times at first, but she needs a consistent message from you. Don’t get cross and don’t tell her that she is a big girl – she wants to still be your baby! Do praise her when she is in her bed.

In the morning, welcome her to your bed with a big hug. Try to make sure that your baby is in his cot and that your arms are free for her alone. Do not allow her to fall back to sleep in your bed as this will give her a confusing message. If you are able to be consistent with this and remain calm and loving, your daughter will soon regain her good sleep skills and not feel rejected by you.

How can I get my 13-month-old son to sleep for longer periods than three hours at a time? I always do the night shift because I¹m still breastfeeding and although it¹s exhausting, I find the only way to get him back to sleep is to feed him. What do you think?

Your baby son no longer requires night breast feeds for nutritional reasons. He is now feeding as a sleep trigger. It is normal for babies to wake up several times during the night with the sleep cycles and because your baby knows no other way; the way that he re settles back to sleep is by feeding.
The key to helping him to sleep through lies in the way that you put him to sleep at the beginning of the night. You need to follow a consistent, loving bedtime routine and then offer him his final feed of the day. Do this with the light on and do not allow him to drift off during the feed. This might mean cutting the feed a bit shorter than usual, but it is ok to do this. Look at a picture book together [to break the milk/sleep connection] before turning off the light and putting him into his cot whilst he is still awake.

Remain beside him until he goes to sleep. This will take time and he will protest at the change, but don’t worry; he does not feel abandoned or frightened. Because it is the beginning of the night, he will go to sleep in the end.

Each time he wakes during the night, you need to go to him and once again sit and reassure him, without feeding him or getting him out of the cot.
It will take two or three nights for him to learn how to settle without feeding. You might be lucky and find that is all you need to do to stop him waking, but be prepared if necessary to spend another two or three nights reducing your contact with him both at the start of the night when he settles and during the night when he wakes. Either way, if you are consistent, and resolved, the whole process should take you no longer than a week.
One little warning – Don’t undo all the good you have done during the night, by feeding him back to sleep if he wakes at 5am!

What is The Lullaby Trust and why do you work with them?

The Lullaby Trust (Formerly The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths, FSID) is the leading UK charity working to prevent sudden infant deaths, promote infant health and support bereaved families. More than 20,000 lives have been spared as a result of their research and health awareness projects. The Gro Company has been working closely with The Lullaby Trust since 2000 to help parents create a safer sleeping environment for their babies. We have funded research and awareness campaigns and use all of The Lullaby Trust’s guidelines to inform our product development and the information we produce. We have recently launched a new Safe Sleep Guide to help promote the  “Reduce the Risk” campaign to as many new parents and carers of babies as possible. Please click here for more information and to be sent a free copy. Grobag has always been, and remains, The Lullaby Trust’s only Baby Sleep Bag specialist. Of all the charities we could support and work with, The Lullaby Trust is the one whose core objectives fit most closely with our own beliefs of creating and maintaining a safe environment for you and your baby.

I have a question that you have not answered!

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