Friday, October 24, 2008

The Woombie review

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 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.


Liz Johnson said...

Any idea how long it will last her? Like at what point do you think she'll grow out of it?

EmmySue said...

Very cool product. If you are interested in your very own "hooter hider" as we so lovingly call nursing covers... I copied one of the paterns and can make you one. Let me know...

Jennifer said...

I like the look of that. For many months, Ellen could only sleep if she was tightly swaddled (someone once called it a straight-jacket). We had the same problems with it being too warm, finding blankets the right size, doing the swaddle perfectly so she wouldn't get her arms out, etc. I am amazed you still bought the product after looking at their website-wow. Overhaul needed.

Oh and I agree completely about the nursing covers--what a lifesaver!

Fromagette said...

I agree with the nursing cover. I borrowed on from a friend and made a pattern from it. It is amazing what one can do with 15" of boning and a yard of fabric.

The Ensign's said...

Well I think I'm convinced for baby 3.

Shannan said...

Holy Cow - wish I had known that (about the Woombie) because chase loved to be swaddled, but it kind of irriatated him that he couldn't move his arms and he would always come undone (and me along with him).
I'm glad I read Parenting, Inc. too, because now I don't feel like I need an $800 stroller or even a $300 carseat to feel like I'm keeping my child safe and secure. I did however spring for the Bumbo because like you it looked pretty cool. Chase hated it, it was a huge prison for him, and it is currently trying to be sold at the consignment store. Don't be glad you didn't purchase.

Shannan said...

I meant - be glad you didn't purchase the Bumbo.

Bridget said...

Liz - I think somewhere on the site (please don't make me go look), it said up to about 20 pounds. It's pretty stretchy. If you're asking for Nathan, though, it's probably too late.

Anonymous said...

I have the snapless woombies and sadly just had a zipper failure after only a couple of uses. The zipper pull fell off as I was trying to get my 2-week-old into the product. Seems like a possible choking hazard, and made the woombie unusable. I have contacted the company, but wanted to make sure other moms/dads know about this risk.

Julie said...

Bridget, (as you saw on my blog) you enticed me into trying the woombie and I love it! Like you said, it doesn't work as a tight swaddle, so I actually use a blanket during the day to soothe Adam to sleep for naps, and so far he doesn't try to wiggle out.

I like the peace of mind that I get at night using the Woombie. I don't worry that he'll cover his face in a blanket and suffocate. And, at 3 months old he sleeps through the night (at least many nights). I don't know if I can thank the Woombie for that or just the baby, but I sure don't have any complaints!

Thanks for the recommendation.

By the way, I bought mine off ebay (new in the package) for the same price as the Woombie website, but free shipping because the shipping on the Woombie site was so ridiculously expensive.

NancyM said...

Just watch out for the velcro at the neck. it scratched my son's chin and face very badly.
I contacted their customer service and it was the worst service either.
the price is rediculous for a piece of cloth and a zipper.
i got a carter's sleep sack w/ long sleeve, then right the sleeves in to 2 knots, put the baby in the same way, work perfectly and it was under $10

Jennifer said...

As I mentioned in a comment on your other post, we bought a Woombie two years ago for Rachel and loved it. So when Kate was born three months ago, we pulled it out again. I started using it around 6 weeks--even though it was the "big baby" size. It worked great, but it was kind of worn out, so I decided to buy another one.

I had to tell you, they have significantly improved their product! Our old Woombie has a regular snap closure at the neck that kind of stopped holding after many months of use. This new one has a plastic snap that seems much sturdier. Also, the zipper is a much higher quality zipper this time. It also goes all the way to the bottom by the feet so it is even easier to get baby in and out--and it is a double zipper so you can unzip from the bottom to do a quick diaper change without baby getting unsnuggled. Still love the Woombie! Hopefully that helps anyone looking up your review.

Jen said...

Remember that time I had a 3 month-old and I came straight to this post when thinking about a woombie? Except, now there are about 50 different kinds of woobies to choose from AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I WANT. Ugh.

But I am buying one. Today.

My 20-lb 14 week-old demands it.

Bridget said...

YES. I was on the website a few months ago thinking I'd get one for my pregnant SIL. But now I have no idea which one to get!

Talk to Jenn (above). It sounds like she has a more recent experience.


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