When it comes to baby gear, I am generally a minimalist. I don't have a Bumbo (though I kind of wish I did), a travel system, or even an $800 stroller. And I'll admit that the first time I saw an ad for the Woombie, I brushed it off as just another baby gear fad.
Well, if it is a fad, I am a part of it. I got my very own Woombie last week. Since I had a hard time finding any reviews of the Woombie when I was searching for information, I thought I'd post this review to help out others who are thinking of buying one.
In case you don't already know, the Woombie is a swaddling alternative. I am a big fan of swaddling as preached by The Happiest Baby on the Block, but it does have its drawbacks. The Woombie addresses all of them, namely:
1. The baby's arms are not pinned down unnaturally to her sides. Instead, the Woombie allows the baby to move her limbs freely within the stretchy, tight fabric. In fact, you can even tuck one of the arms out of the Woombie next to the baby's chin or mouth if she's more comfortable that way.
2. You don't have to worry about overheating. With a blanket swaddle, I sometimes had to have Magdalena in just a diaper so she didn't get too hot wearing multiple layers. The Woombie is made of very thin fabric, which allows you to dress the baby appropriately for the temperature and just put the Woombie on top.
3. The baby cannot wiggle out of the swaddle. This is a big pain with a traditional blanket swaddle. Even the tightest, most perfect swaddle is no match for a relatively strong baby determined to get out of it...at 3 o'clock in the morning.
4. There is no method to learn. You just slip it on and zip it up.
There is one downside to the Woombie, though, and it's a big one: it doesn't work as well as a tight swaddle in calming the baby. However, in the Woombie's defense, I think it would have been more effective had we used it with Magdalena from birth. As it is, she's become used to a normal swaddle and so having her arms relatively free within the Woombie sometimes distresses her. I've mostly been using it for naps when she doesn't need to be as completely calm or sleep as long as she does at bedtime. I think in our case, the Woombie will serve us best during the transition period from swaddling to sleeping unrestrained. It gives Magdalena a good middle ground of preventing her startle reflex from waking her up while also allowing a little bit of normal movement.
There's another downside to the Woombie, now that I think of it, but it has nothing to do with the product's functionality. It's the website. Good gracious, what a mess. I'm surprised anyone, including myself, has had the tenacity to sift through that abomination and actually purchase the product. Let's hope that along with the new colors and sizes Ms. Woombie Creator gets herself a new web designer, too.
Bottom line: I would definitely recommend the Woombie for anyone interested in an easier alternative to traditional swaddling, especially if they haven't had their baby yet and so can start out with the Woombie right from the beginning.
As long as I'm talking about a baby product I love, here's another one I never knew I needed - a nursing cover. They're called lots of different things, but whatever the name is, they are awesome. My friend Lili loaned me one of hers and I used it for the first time in public tonight. If anyone out there has been hesitating (like me) to get one because "a blanket works just as well," let me tell you right now, a blanket does NOT work just as well. I don't think I'll ever go back.
See follow-up Woombie review here.