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All content of this blog is my own opinion only. It does not represent the views of any organisation or association I may work for, or be associated with. Nothing within this blog should be considered as medical advice and you should always consult your Doctor.

Contradictions in Tizzie Hall's response to FSID


So the feedback I'm receiving from mothers, includes a little confusion over a couple of points Tizzie made in regard to the FSID reply.  I suspect we will not receive further clarification from Tizzie, but I figured we could note the questions anyway :)  We welcome discussion via the comments section - unfortunately Tizzie has felt it necessary to censor responses on her web page so only those who do not question/disagree can reply; I am happy for everyone to have their say here as long as it remains polite and civil.  Name calling or aggressive posts will be removed.

Firstly, this is from one of my earlier posts, a point raised by Fleur and includes Tizzie's reply in red:
“On my calculation of the tog rating – Tizzie’s fans have repeatedly told me that the tog rating of her bamboo blankets is 0.64 tog x 16= 10.24 tog (apparently she has had them tested.) and a cotton sheet folded in 2, at approx 0.2 tog (x2= 0.4 tog). I also included in my calculations the toggage (made up word, lol) of the ‘safe sleeping bags’ that she sells, which will be either 1 tog or 2 tog, depending which one you choose, and the tog of the ‘double wrap’ which again, equates to 4 layers in itself (2 inside wrap pieces and 2 outside fold over bits) which again, could be anywhere from 1 tog to 4 tog, depending on the material used). I didn't include the tog of a vest, a sleepsuit or a nappy. That was how i worked out the approx 13+ togWhat Fleur has stated in her clarification is fine but adults also dress themselves similarly for bed, use a sheet and many adults sleep next to another person which provides extra warmth under their 11-13 tog duvets, yet we expect our babies to sleep in much less…….. 
So this appears to confirm that Fleur's calculation of 13+ tog was accurate?

You can see the sleeping bag and wrap that goes under the blankets here as Fleur describes.  The bedding guide states ALL infants should be swaddled until they show signs of trying to roll swaddled.

I must admit a thought I had upon watching this was how can the baby show hunger cues if they cannot get out of the swaddle? (as Tizzie claims in the clip) If babies love having their arms restricted, why would they try to get them free?  Why not swaddle with arms out so baby is comfortable and can easily demonstrate when hungry?  In the womb an infant's arms are never restricted in this way.

Tizzie goes on to say:
"My recommended range of blankets have been tested at 0.6 tog – that means we could place up to 9.8 layers of these recommended blankets over the baby. I am aware this is less than the 16 that I said was the maximum but in reality the majority of my clients don’t use that many layers. But I do not believe that a baby would come to any harm if the baby was 100% healthy, sleeping supine and with the head and face uncovered under 16 layers of my recommended blankets. You may choose to disagree… but can you show me research that can prove or deny this?
Yet on the FSID reply Tizzie states:
"I do not, for the majority, recommend covering with 10 tog or MORE of bedding. So therefore my recommendations I believe are consistent with FSID guidelines"
For the majority?  How does this make recommendations consistent.

Confused? 

Fleur was:
"The thing is, she (Tizzie) is not including the tog of the sleeping bag, the double wrap swaddle or the baby's clothing in her calculations! Yes, her layers of blankets at the maximum usage equates 9.6 togs at 0.6 tog each (although she actually had them tested at 0.64 tog each, meaning it's actually 10.24 tog), but then forgets about everything else.... A sleeping bag can be anywhere from 0.5 tog to 2.5 tog depending, (Tizzie recommends 1 tog in summer & 2 tog in winter) and then the double wrap is a special swaddle which has 4 layers over the baby, which again adds anywhere between 1 and 4 tog.... Plus a sleepsuit, vest and nappy, which would be approx another 2-3 tog, equals WAY above the 10 tog max that FSID said was a major risk!"
Some mums also questioned the statement that the majority of clients don't use that many layers.  Here is the quote from Tizzie's forum that opened the initial blog piece.
"We have noticed with the increased membership to our new forum area that there are quite a few of you who are using more than the total recommended amount of blanket layers. I know we are normally suggesting that baby’s are cold and you need to add layers, and in many cases this is correct but we do need to let you know that there is a limit to amount of layers that you should be using with your babies.
Tizzie recommends that the maximum blanket layers that should be used on a newborn to 3 month old baby sleeping in a bassinet is 10 layers, a newborn to 3mth old baby sleeping in cot is 12 layers and a baby 4 months and over is 16 layers.
Tizzie’s safe bedding guide is written on the amount of layers NOT how many tog those layers add up to."
Togs or layers?  But research generally examines tog - the recognised measurement of insulation (regardless of whether that is made of bamboo, fleece or wool!)

Too many blankets at least appears to be an ongoing issue according to other mothers.  This was taken from Tizzie's Facebook group back in March 2011 - the reply is from a frequently posting fan but despite Tizzie/her admin team moderating other posts, no warning/editing/deletion happened to this reply:
"Q ~ 'I've recently started my 7 month old on s.o.s routine. Day 4 and our nights are getting so much better. Before starting bub was waking every 2 hours sometimes less. My partner and I were exhausted. The first night he slept for 4 hours before needing to be resettled, second night was 7 hours and last night was 9.5 hours. Praying tonight is 12. Two little issues, first my boobs are killing me in the mornings now- I'm so engorged. And the second issue is that i think he is getting cold at night. I sleep him in a long sleeve onesie, a sleeping bag and a cellular blanket but he manages to wriggle out from under the blanket and when i go in to check on him he is sleeping on top of the blanket, and he is cold to touch.'

A ~ Do you have the bedding guide from the SOS website? It shows you what to dress bubs in for temps in various states. Best $9 you'll ever spend! Need to make sure everything is 100% cotton (incl. mattress protector) otherwise bubs will sweat. Most of us use many more blankets than the guide, every bubs is different eg. I'm in Sydney and in a room of 24.2C my 6m has 12 blankets on + the clothing, bag and wrap mentioned in the guide."

Fleur goes on to add:
"I asked about why use both before (sleeping bag AND wrap) and was told it was because it prevented babies from rolling onto their tummies much longer than 1 or the other. The FSID leaflet I have states to use one or the other, and that if the room is 18-20 then you shouldn't need any other bedding. It also has a temp guide and it's own bedding guide which says 1 cotton sheet, then as the temp gets colder, it suggests to add 1-4 layers of lightweight cotton blankets. 4 was the absolute max they advised." 
Sure enough here it is:
Tizzie then says:
"I would like to point out that if the above study was undertaken on baby’s 3 months and under, which I suspect it was then I do not recommend more than 12 layers for baby in cot and 10 layers for a baby in moses basket"
Yet the study I quoted in my previous reply showed overheating risks were elevated in older infants, not younger:
"Overheating and the prone position are independently associated with an increased risk of sudden unexpected infant deathparticularly in infants aged more than 70 days."
 BMJ 301 : 85 doi: 10.1136/bmj.301.6743.85 (Published 14 July 1990) Research ArticleInteraction between bedding and sleeping position in the sudden infant death syndrome: a population based case-control study

Could someone also clarify - are ALL Tizzie's blankets 0.6 tog? I keep reading about her "recommended 0.6 tog blanket", but she has five listed in her shop and none have the tog value labelled.

Several mums also commented on the statement:
"My confusion comes because research I have read by Monique P L’Hoir states “ we hypothesized that turning prone is prostponed when a sleeping bag was used, and even more so if the baby was tucked in with a blanket as well.”
Firstly, a hypothesis is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon - one then has to test whether the hypothesis is true for it to become evidence.  Secondly the article that contains the above can be found here but it doesn't discuss using both a swaddle and a sleeping bag and sheets and blankets; does anyone have a link to research supporting this?


Another issue not addressed is that of swaddling.  Tizzie herself directed mothers towards the International Society for the Study and Prevention of Perinatal and Infant Death (ISPID).  Their website states all mothers should be advised of the potential risks of swaddling; yet Tizzie's bedding guide that recommends all infants are swaddled and doesn't mention any risks.  They state:

"Numerous studies have documented a "tranquil" behavioural state and longer sleep periods in swaddled infants [10-14]. Thus, despite the unknown effects on the risk for SIDS, swaddling is becoming increasingly popular as a settling technique in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States [15, 16].
These findings logically suggest that infant swaddling would increase infant sleep time by preventing awakening. However this may not be a desirable outcome, as the pathogenesis of SIDS is thought to involve an impaired ability to arouse from sleep in response to a life threatening respiratory or cardiovascular challenge [17]. Arousal from sleep in infants is a hierarchical response proceeding from sub-cortical activation involving changes in heart rate and breathing, to full cortical arousal involving changes in brain activity; and this progression has been reported to be incomplete in infants who later died of SIDS [18]. Infant swaddling has been shown to minimise arousals from sleep, crying time, spontaneous startles and the progression to full arousal [1, 12, 14, 19]."
Tizzie seems to feel that FSID are led by sleeping bag companies:
"I can’t help but wonder here if it is FSID who are suggesting a sleeping bag or bedding or if it is the sleeping bag companies suggesting this…. "
and 
"They (FSID) might not have had time to do there own research and their recommendations might be based on what a sleep bag company has recommended to them. My advice is based on years of my study and observation of how babies sleep".
So perhaps FSID may clarify this?  I shall email them and ask!


UPDATE: A mum called Julie from Facebook has contacted a company called "Little Bamboo" to enquire as to the tog of their blankets. They sell a 120 x 150 cm bamboo blanket (100% bamboo with 100% cotton trim) at £14.95 here and have confirmed this is 0.6 tog (interestingly it looks very much like the blanket Tizzie lists for £46.30 here and Tizzie sells other items from the Little Bamboo range) This may be helpful to mums shopping for a cheaper alternative.

I also want to add details I have received via email - relevant excerpts below:
I've been wading through a number of research articles over this weekend (I'm an academic in a School of Public Health) 
The Fleming et al (1990) article you refer to regarding the increased risk at >10 tog clearly states that it is the COMBINED tog of BOTH clothing and bedding that needs to be taken into consideration, and as you've noted yourself, Tizzie does not include clothing or the sleep sack as part of her tog calculations. The article also indicates the relative risk increases from 8 tog, and is significantly higher at 10 tog or above.
I note that you have referred to the fact that older infants are more at risk of overheating than younger, and that Tizzie advocates putting MORE layers on older infants than younger. I thus found the following quote from Fleming et al (1990) particularly significant: 
"Unexpected findings were that among the infants who had died the older infants tended to be more heavily wrapped than the young ones, though no such trends were noted among the control infants, and that the increased risk of sudden unexpected death with overwrapping was significant for only the older infants. The higher ratio of mass to surface area in the older infants, together with their higher metabolic rates, may make them more vulnerable to the effects of increased thermal insulation".
Tizzie still does not provide any research evidence that turning prone is in response to temperature, and again in this regard is contradictory. She argues that babies are less able to regulate their temperatures effectively until they are 18 months old (again, her one size fits all approach), yet at the same time argues that babies are all apparently spinning over in a desperate attempt to get warm. Infants do in fact have the ability to thermoregulate and some research suggests they are more efficient at thermoregulation during sleep than adults. One of the risks of sleeping prone means that babies lose less heat from their bodies, so keeping them supine is obviously preferable. What is astounding is that advising placing excessive layers of blankets on a baby in fact reduces or perhaps removes the very reason why supine sleeping is protective, namely, the ability to dissipate excess heat.
I also want to copy a comment from the blog into the post:
"Not to add to your confusion: but Tizzie's understanding of tog is also fundamentally flawed, so her calculations are largely meaningless.
Tog is the level of thermal insulation offered by any one "covering device", if you will (I can't think of a better term!), and takes into account only that one garment. e.g. a 5 tog duvet is, indeed, 5 tog. However, tog can ONLY be measured in this way, by assessing the individual piece. The way that the material lies, the gaps inbetween individual layers, etc. all come into play when combining layers.
Essentially, what this means is that 2 x 2 tog does NOT necessarily equal 4 tog... and when so many layers are taken into account it's actually highly UNlikely that it would be a simple calculation. 15 x 1 tog blankets is very likely to have its own distinct tog rating of 20+ tog.
It's fundamentally simplistic and flawed thinking that makes someone like Tizzie Hall especially dangerous. Her words seem - to anyone not clever enough or simply not inclined to question - to "make sense" or be logical when they are in fact nothing of the sort. They're pseudoscience at best, outright guesses as a middle ground, and blatant lies at worst."

54 comments:

  1. That last commet is just hilariously ridiculous. Seems like shes clutching at straws...

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  2. I do think it is really interesting that a child's natural level of heat and preference is never mentioned. Children are individuals, but of course Tizzie's type of regiment never takes that into account. Some children prefer warm sleeping arrangement and some like to be cooler, this is a observation not made by any external person or chart, but by the parents, likely the mother. TH is a good example of depersonalizing and dehumanizing children to fit the needs of adults.

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  3. ALL those layers on the baby and the adult in the clip is wearing shorts and short sleeves! I'd laugh if it wasnt so maddeningly dangerous and upsetting.....

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  4. My son was on my lap and watched the video with me. He threw up.
    Last summer there was a case here where a child died from over heating while sleeping.
    The rule that I followed with my kids was when they were young infants, one extra layer than me. Even in winter, my newborn, who did prefer swaddling, wasn't nearly in that much. And winters are pretty cold here at times...

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  5. I am concerned at the amount of spelling/ grammatical errors this woman has in her posts! Yet people are listening to her advice about how to look after their babies - if she can't write in correct English .... then Mums please think again. I refer to baby's instead of babies and there instead of their - to note just two examples!!

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  6. its odd that she accuses FSID of basing their guidelines on reccomendations from sleeping bag companies! as if they dont do their own research! funny, because HER reccomendations are based on absolultey no research, and mean you have to buy her own blankets, which we all know arent cheap!

    my son was born in the middle of a cold winter, he never had more than a vest, sleepsuit, thick blanket and a cellular blanket on. he was never cold.

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  7. Accusing the FSID of only have £ signs in their eyes regarding sleeping bags is a rather cheap and low blow, coming from a woman who recommends mothers only use her very expensive blankets!

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  8. I agree, Nome. Neither of my children have liked blankets as babies. My son needed to be dressed very lightly, even in winter (and I'm in northern England). He'd get quite sweaty, though, if he had more layers on. My daughter's 16 months and still doesn't like to be covered up by more than a light blanket (and sometimes not even that). I just go by their cues. Of course, I also co-sleep.

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  9. I noticed her grammatical errors right off the bat, too. This whole concept of heavy swaddling seems so contrived and so contrary to what women and their babies have safely done for thousands upon thousands of years. It's what families in many other cultures (and our home!) continue to do today: COSLEEP.

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  10. Well, as someone with discalculia, I have to say that all this talk of layers and togs has me completely confused!

    I have a childhood memory of my grandmother tucking me in so tightly under sheets and blankets that I couldn't move or hardly breathe - it was scary! I was around 5 then - goodness knows how it feels to be a baby imprisoned like this!

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  11. A very well structured, thorough reply to what was, essentially, the rantings of a worried and highly unintelligent woman. Some of it genuinely is beyond belief - though personally I think the fact that she felt the need to state - in bold - "My advice is consistent with FSID guidelines" no less that EIGHT times pretty much says it all.

    Anyone with any concern for their children's safety would surely, upon reading such repeated denials, actually think: "Umm... hold on a minute... maybe there IS something to be concerned about here".

    As for her final comments about FSIDS being in cahoots with sleeping bag companies... well... what is there to even say? Clutching at straws doesn't cover it. She's like a madwoman flailing her arms madly, clutching at her wads of dirty cash as she tries to defend her hopefully sinking ship.

    Beyond that it's verging on libellous. Completely baseless, pathetic claims. If I was someone involved with FSIDS I'd be considering having a chat with my lawyer. Well, I would be if the comments weren't so utterly laughable that co one could possibly take them seriously.

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  12. "Well, as someone with discalculia, I have to say that all this talk of layers and togs has me completely confused!"

    Not to add to your confusion: but Tizzie's understanding of tog is also fundamentally flawed, so her calculations are largely meaningless.

    Tog is the level of thermal insulation offered by any one "covering device", if you will (I can't think of a better term!), and takes into account only that one garment. e.g. a 5 tog duvet is, indeed, 5 tog. However, tog can ONLY be measured in this way, by assessing the individual piece. The way that the material lies, the gaps inbetween individual layers, etc. all come into play when combining layers.

    Essentially, what this means is that 2 x 2 tog does NOT necessarily equal 4 tog... and when so many layers are taken into account it's actually highly UNlikely that it would be a simple calculation. 15 x 1 tog blankets is very likely to have its own distinct tog rating of 20+ tog.

    It's fundamentally simplistic and flawed thinking that makes someone like Tizzie Hall especially dangerous. Her words seem - to anyone not clever enough or simply not inclined to question - to "make sense" or be logical when they are in fact nothing of the sort. They're pseudoscience at best, outright guesses as a middle ground, and blatant lies at worst.

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  13. My son HATED being swaddled - however I did it he managed to wriggle free - eventually I got the message and stopped. He hates being too hot - heat is what wakes him even now at age 4. I am absolutely gob-smacked by the layering suggested by TH. Even more horrified by the fact that her recommendations seem to be based on no concrete evidence.

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  14. I am late to this Tizzie Hall stuff, but just catching up. As you know I think this entire way of putting children to sleep is infuckingsane. As for that swaddling - it reminded me of a strait jacket and made me feel sick.

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  15. Has nobody ever questioned which comes first - a sleeping bag companies recommendations or SIDS recommendations? When the company pays for the publications of the SIDS pamphlets? They have done excellent marketing. Before they came onto the market noone used sleeping bags then 5 years later 80% of parents in UK do. That is incredible saturation of the market and what a perfect way to do: jump on board with a community organisation...

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  16. I agree AntiCIO re the tog rating - makes perfect sense when you really examine it.

    Anon - your logic doesn't make much sense to me. You state sleeping bag companies have done a great job in the market, what I don't get is why they would want to leave babies cold? If they believed a higher tog was required and safe, why wouldn't they make thicker bags? OR expand even more into that market you state they've cornered so well and sell extras - maybe wraps/swaddles, special extra layers that attached to the bag in some way? Why stick with the guidelines they do?
    I agree more research needs to be done re overheating and supine sleeping - but I don't think it's safe to make assumptions on such things.
    Plenty of infants sleep well using the guidelines FSID publish as highlighted in this post, why aren't they ALL cold? Why aren't all these mothers (80% apparently) coming forward to say their infants are all cold/sleeping badly? IF the range they publish is so wrong, how did the bag companies get 80%?
    I do agree some infants may need more bedding than others - but it's a big jump from there to 16 blankets.
    AA

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  17. The FSID response on Tizzie's website talked a lot about "overwrapping". I would like to know exactly what that is defined as?

    I suspect the video above may give a substantial clue!

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  18. hi Anon and AA,
    I have been following this blog for little while and I do have to say Anon does make a valid point. The sleeping bag companies (ie GroBag) have positioned their product as a complete bedding solution for babies. I think we all agreed they have done this very successfully- considering their market share!

    AA, have you considered that perhaps they have marketed their sleeping bags perhaps too well? In such a way that cannot simply now turn around and suggest to consumers buy "add-on" products (as you are suggesting AA).

    I know if GroBag turned around now and said I could buy a special wrap/blanket/whatever to attach to my LO sleeping bag, I know I would be skeptical of there motives and questioning why I just spent £35 on one in the first place!

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  19. So it may be the sleeping bag companies recommending them? Just like you are recommending that they need 16 of only your special blankets to be safe? Can you imagine taking that all apart and doing it all over in the middle of the night if the baby needs a change?
    I am usually a very cold person, but no way do I put that many layers on in the winter, and we set our head at 59 F!

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  20. It still doesn't explain why they want babies cold - it would be v easy to make them thicker? I don't think add on products would be that shocking, people do live in different temps.

    Standard grobags are listed at £25-£30ish (but they are always seem to be on offer somewhere for £20-25. SOS grobags are £50 and then you need the wrap, sheet, blankets etc!

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  21. AntiCIO - this is something I've said over and over. Travellers in the arctic use LOTS of thin layers instead of one really thick layer, because it insulates more effectively. This is stuff I learned at primary school.... I would have been about 10 at the time. Very worrying that an "expert" who claims to have done "her own research" (unsubstantiated) has less basic underpinning knowledge than a ~10 year old.... :-/

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  22. Renee - you are not supposed to change them, apparently. "A little bit of poo won't between now and morning". I wish I was joking. :-/

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  23. AA, just wondering if you have seen this little video on the Grobag website - http://www.gro.co.uk/20100806166/andreas-videos-safe-sleep.html doesn't present a particularly safe sleeping environment to me. Doesn't seem very responsible of the ONLY sleep bag that FSIDs endorses to display such incorrect advice, maybe annon above has a point....just wondering

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  24. Tizzie hasn't invented swaddling has she? Isn't this a practice that has been carried out for a long time?

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  25. And why are we even discussing it, and AA what's your ultimate purpose? If you don't agree with her method, then don't use it. Simple as that.

    There are so many other parents swear by her method. Can you please tell me why you are doing this? Please, I need to know. I really do.

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  26. Anonymous, AA is questioning the safety of said practices. Surely, when it comes to defenceless babies safety should always be the number one concern? Which is why questions must be asked repeatedly. The "outcome" of this will be babies safety. There is no greater goal.

    It is not as simple as saying "just don't use it", the fact that people ARE using it justifies any safety questions asked, wouldn't you say?

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  27. quote Anonymous said...
    AA, just wondering if you have seen this little video on the Grobag website - http://www.gro.co.uk/20100806166/andreas-videos-safe-sleep.html doesn't present a particularly safe sleeping environment to me. Doesn't seem very responsible of the ONLY sleep bag that FSIDs endorses to display such incorrect advice, maybe annon above has a point....just wondering

    Well why don't you take that up with FSID and gro.co.uk - I can only deal with one lot of bad advice at a time ;)

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  28. QUOTE And why are we even discussing it, and AA what's your ultimate purpose? If you don't agree with her method, then don't use it. Simple as that.

    I'm not sure why you are discussing it, but I'm raising concerns from parents who have read the information. Agreeing/disagreeing with a method is one thing - providing advice that some feel is potentially dangerous and a direct contradiction of SIDS guidelines and research is quite another.

    If all the blog entries have given you no insight into "why I'm doing it", I'm not sure I have any more words left to explain.

    AA

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  29. AA, I agree that they these companies would not want to make our babies cold. However I have been thinking about this long and hard and I do think that GroBag have their own best interest at heart and not our bubs. If you read my points below, I will explain...

    AA, I agree you have a point that it would be very easy to make them thicker but then you would not be able to adjust the bedding easily (ie the warmth of the bag) as TH suggests.

    Even in a cooler climate/not a heated room/whatever, I think you would agree that being able to adjust, would still be a very important option to have available - especially considering the cost of one of these bags!

    However can u imagine the expense of a Grobag if it were say 5.5 tog, (considering the 2.5 tog now is certainly not cheap!). It would seem to me to be a very expensive outlay on piece of bedding (that I my LO would grow out of very quickly). Perhaps this is why GroBag do not make/sell bags warmer than 2.5 tog anywhere in the world?

    In regards to add-ons, we agree that GroBag have been incredibly successful at marketing their product as a complete bedding solution, however, how can it be a complete bedding solution for "people who live in different temps" (as you suggest)?
    I would put forward that perhaps, this would interfere with their marketing strategy and their product positioning. GroBag have clearly taken a global approach to marketing their product. They do not differentiate their product in different consumer markets (ie by making a warmer bag or making add-ons to suit different climates.
    Surely a GroBag cannot be a "worldwide" complete bedding solution?

    I think we agree AA, that Grobag could make add-ons etc to suit different temps/climates. However GroBag dont, probably because their product would no longer be "complete bedding solution"? (which would affect their global product positioning i would imagine).

    Any thoughts AA??


    On another note, I would love to see some academic research from GroBag to confirm why people should not use additional bedding. I am interested mainly because I cannot understand why there product should be used by itself in all scenarios. Because as you and I agree, the product is in different temps/climates without any adjustments to the product itself.

    What do you think AA? I hope you dont mind me challenging you on this. Just thought it worth considering all aspects in a debate.

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  30. I've known the Armadillo for eight years and her ultimate purpose has always been putting the baby first; questioning practices that others might accept and looking beyond facile explanations. No-one pays her to write this blog or spend all this time researching the stuff that she does.

    Knowledge is never finite and recommendations that come with a shopping cart at the end of them are, to my mind anyway, always to be questioned.

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  31. ok Anon what do you feel is the problem with the FSID video?

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  32. Well I for one am glad people like AA are looking into these issues to keep babies and children safe. Generally, the natural way to do things - breastfeeding, baby led weaning and co sleeping don't tend to make anyone any money.

    With modern culture being pretty obsessed with making our babies/children convenient, er, I mean "good", anyone who comes along to offer “solutions” to behaviour that is deemed problematic, i.e. not sleeping through, needing to be with Mum a lot will be embraced by most, and the methods and motives behind them will not be questioned, especially by first time parents who often go into parenthood blind due to the lack of, or dire pre-natal advice.

    I had totally unrealistic expectations of motherhood after having my first child and received no support with breastfeeding (give him a bottle, happy mum = happy baby), and was told by a health visitor that my then 6 month old “knew what he was doing” when waking in the late evening and that I should not give into his demands and get him out of his cot, and gave me a quick lesson in what I now know is CIO. I did it, hated it and have gone the natural way with my second. Society needs to know what to expect from babies and prepare expectant mothers and her supporters properly, and by highlighting awful people like Tizzy AA is helping achieve that.

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  33. QUOTE AA, I agree you have a point that it would be very easy to make them thicker but then you would not be able to adjust the bedding easily (ie the warmth of the bag) as TH suggests.

    No but Grobag already sell several different Togs of bag already and are half the price of SOS bags. Adding a thicker layer to one to their range would cost very little extra to them from a manufacturing cost point of view and I think it would ultimately be far cheaper than purchasing several blankets for over the top (at TH's price of £46.30)

    QUOTE Even in a cooler climate/not a heated room/whatever, I think you would agree that being able to adjust, would still be a very important option to have available - especially considering the cost of one of these bags! END

    Well we used them with my first and had a lightweight one for summer and a thicker one for winter and varied what went underneath as advised. Should you live somewhere REALLY cold I don't think you would expect one piece of bedding to see you through from a hot summer to a freezing winter? I'm also not sure nowadays the cost is particularly prohibitive - they're often on sale at Amazon and suchlike, going for around £18 at the moment. A decent blanket can cost near or more than this for just one blanket.

    Do Grobag state additional bedding shouldn't be used? I thought a sheet, or a light blanket was acceptable? A full swaddle, a sheet and 8 layers of blankets seems quite different?

    Clearly selling different tog ratings is viable (as discussed they already do and TH herself sells three different weights) so perhaps they don't make one above the tog they do because they actually don't believe it's safe??

    QUOTE In regards to add-ons, we agree that GroBag have been incredibly successful at marketing their product as a complete bedding solution, however, how can it be a complete bedding solution for "people who live in different temps" (as you suggest)?

    I don't think by complete bedding solution though that means every imaginable temperature? I mean you don't wear the same coat in summer as winter in a climate that has temperature extremes, even though your coat is a "complete outer layer solution". I think it just means that a bag alone is required with no other bedding? Not that you might not need several different bags?

    Certainly they discuss using different layers under the bag which is what we did for different temperatures.

    QUOTE They do not differentiate their product in different consumer markets (ie by making a warmer bag or making add-ons to suit different climates.

    But they do different togs to cater for different climates? I think Grobag could EASILY say "In the past overheating was thought to be a problem but more current research has shown a higher tog cover is ok, so we bring you the new 5 tog grobag" IF THEY BELIEVED THAT TO BE TRUE.

    However - add up the max current tog they do with the list of what tog a nappy, vest, bodysuit is and perhaps, just perhaps they recommend the max weight they do because even with clothes this brings the total tog in within what is widely recognised as a safe tog limit?

    I don't mind you voicing your opinion in the slightest! Whereas Tizzie moderates comments and only allows ones supporting her through, I'm happy for everyone to have a (polite ;)) voice as I said in my piece :)

    PS I should add that I am by no means claiming sleeping bag companies are not biased or do not have "ulterior motives" or make lots of money! I've never investigated. What I do think is that there is a clear body of independent evidence showing safe tog ratings and that overheating IS a risk - the sleeping bag companies generally ensure they work within them (not least for legal reasons I suspect!)

    AA

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  34. I want to just add a point here - Tizzy claims the sleeping bag manufacturers are in cahoots with FSIDs, I would hazard to guess that SIDS claim up with their "ideal layering" and a very clever marketing person came up with the sleeping bag idea and approached FSID's for their endorsement.
    2 years ago in South Africa there were many bottles on the market that were not BPA free, as legislation had not yet been passed. At the time a friend phoned NUK South Africa and asked whether their bottles were free of BPA - to which they answered NO, because it was there opinion that they had tested their bottles and were satisfied that this harmful chemical would not leech. She decided to invest in Tommy Tippee which were marked BPA free. (and so were a number of other leading brands). Fast forward one year and all of a sudden legislation had been passed requiring ALL baby bottles to be free of the toxin. Adverts were splashed over the TV telling moms to ensure their baby bottles were safe etc... Suddenly NUK was advertising their bottles, emphasizing the fact that they were BPA free - with the added "the only baby bottle endorsed by CANSA". The reason I bring this up, was because the rules were their first, but the NUK marketing dept was smarted than the other companies by getting approval from a non profit related company first. The result? I have seem so many moms claim on forums that NUK are the safest bottles, because they were the first to be BPA free (even though its not true). I'd be willing to put money on the fact that the marketing dept at GroBaby were just as smart as the marketing dept at NUK......

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  35. Just looked at the Little Bamboo blanket link and Tizzie's - it appears to be the same product, right down to Tizzie's blatant lifting of the description (with minor rewording). Is this not plagiarism?? Love how she describes these blankets as "surprisingly heavy".... er, is that supposed to be good??

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  36. I don't think it would be plagiarism if you are selling the same blanket as you would be buying it from the company that wrote that wording and I presume they would be happy for you to do that to increase sales.

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  37. Well!!
    1) there is nothing wrong with the Gro-bag video that I can see (apart from the "you might suffocate your baby" statement(yes you might if you have a liking for diazepam or whiskey!?)

    2) granted all marketing personnel should be burnt at the stake (Bill Hicks originally said similar!) But Just because they are 1st on the bandwagon doesn't make the bandwagon wrong!! What I mean is that they are still working within the recommendations......certain individuals are not! that's the point!!! I really think TH should consider talking to Max Clifford.....this is really not going well for her!

    3) you know a person is REALLY dim when they don't even realise it themselves!!!

    4) I know my spelling can be ropey but for the record: belonging to a group = THEIR!!

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  38. I have just watched the TH swaddling clip pasted above - how shocking! It looks like mummification! Poor child, imagine not being able to move at all, how frightening.

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  39. Am I the only one who noticed the HUGE SIDS risk she has created by putting a stuffed toy right next to the babies face in the video?????? A baby may not be able to roll his body but he could certainly roll is face into that toy!!!!!!!!! Every SIDS prevention recommendation I have EVER seen stipulates NO toys, pillows bumpers (unless they're the mesh types) to be in a cot with baby because of the risk if suffocation.

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  40. Niomi: this is one of her recommendations, she even sells the comforters :-(
    Rosie x

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  41. Thanks AA for your reply. I hope my in my response below I don’t ramble too much – I have a sick little bub and I haven’t had much sleep! I thought if I copy n paste it would make it easier to read/follow!
    QUOTE AA, I agree you have a point that it would be very easy to make them thicker but then you would not be able to adjust the bedding easily (i.e. the warmth of the bag) as TH suggests. 


    No but Grobag already sell several different Togs of bag already and are half the price of SOS bags. Adding a thicker layer to one to their range would cost very little extra to them from a manufacturing cost point of view and I think it would ultimately be far cheaper than purchasing several blankets for over the top (at TH's price of £46.30)


    It may be true that adding an extra layer would not cost much from a manufacturing point of view but dare I say (and perhaps Grobag has said), “if it ain't broke don’t fix it” - so why add an extra layer or two if the bags GroBag are producing sell incredibly well? I know I am speculating AA, but you are too by stating
    QUOTE - I think Grobag could EASILY say "In the past overheating was thought to be a problem but more current research has shown a higher tog cover is ok, so we bring you the new 5 tog GroBag" IF THEY BELIEVED THAT TO BE TRUE. 

    Correct me if I am wrong, but please kindly point me in the direction of the research that says the maximum number of blankets OR sleeping bag warmth should equal 2.5tog. (I suggesting 2.5tog as this the warmest bag GroBag makes). I understand the research you have provided BUT IT IS NOT what I am asking you for!! I’m asking you for the academic research from GroBag that explicitly states the bedding itself should be no greater than 2.5tog? AND why I should not be using an additional blanket on top if I were to use a lighter weight tog. I expected GroBag would mostly certain have this research (being the market leader and the original sleeping bag company and all) and I’m sure their research would be much targeted towards the use of their product (and would include the nappy, vest, suit etc) Just a thought- considering how much other info they have on their website about safe sleeping and the like………

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  42. QUOTE Even in a cooler climate/not a heated room/whatever, I think you would agree that being able to adjust, would still be a very important option to have available - especially considering the cost of one of these bags! END

Well we used them with my first and had a lightweight one for summer and a thicker one for winter and varied what went underneath as advised. Should you live somewhere REALLY cold I don't think you would expect one piece of bedding to see you through from a hot summer to a freezing winter? I'm also not sure nowadays the cost is particularly prohibitive - they're often on sale at Amazon and suchlike, going for around £18 at the moment. A decent blanket can cost near or more than this for just one blanket.

Do Grobag state additional bedding shouldn't be used? I thought a sheet, or a light blanket was acceptable? A full swaddle, a sheet and 8 layers of blankets seems quite different?


    I think we agree that they make lighter weight togs for summer months and naturally the heavier tog bags for winter and they all should be used accordingly. But as this debate is centering on a baby being too cold and parents trying to warm their babies up, I was under the assumption we are primarily discussing the colder months of the year? Anyway, funny enough GroBag do expect you to use one piece of bedding even in a freezing cold winter and they say nothing about using additional bedding even if bub’s room drops to 15 degrees! (they only go down to 16degrees on the packaging with recommendations for additional clothing!) Rather, they do not want customers using additional bedding at all! They state “Warning do not use any additional bedding” on the packaging (which it does on the cardboard packaging and under FAQ on their website it states “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. Now perhaps the reason they don’t have clothing recommendations below 16degrees has to do with marketing? A marketing ploy to keep their product positioned a complete solution”? Just a thought, I have to say, I would most definitely considering using some extra blankets – despite what the makers of GroBag think! Wouldn’t you AA? But again just a thought- considering how much other info they have on their website about safe sleeping and the like, why don’t they recommend something additional if the temperature is 15 degree, i.e. extra bedding (as according to their chart you would have already put a number of clothes on your bub). Maybe because this would undermine their market positioning as I mentioned earlier… But I’d love to see their research to explain why no extra bedding should be used at all… just to put this argument to rest!

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  43. Clearly selling different tog ratings is viable (as discussed they already do and TH herself sells three different weights) so perhaps they don't make one above the tog they do because they actually don't believe it's safe??


    Yes, but AA, you suggested the idea of product add-ons –

    QUOTE “it still doesn't explain why they want babies cold - it would be v easy to make them thicker? I don't think add on products would be that shocking, people do live in different temps.”
    Perhaps they don’t believe it is safe BUT again, with GroBag being the market leader, I’m sure they have the research to explain why 2.5tog is the maximum and why they don’t make add-ons. Unless of course (and excuse my skepticism), it is a case of if it aint broke don’t fix it – as I discussed above).

    As a side note, I’ve also noticed 2.5tog is the highest rating for most other sleeping bags too companies too (I have seen one brand selling 3.5 tog). Now considering the adoption rate of the GroBag and their market share this makes them clearly the market leader- not to mention having the FSID and SIDs charity in Australia on board– which gives them a distinct competitive advantage. Perhaps because GroBag is by far the most successful company the other companies (including SOS/TH recommended) are simply just coping what the market leader is doing (just an observation of mine).

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  44. QUOTE In regards to add-ons, we agree that GroBag have been incredibly successful at marketing their product as a complete bedding solution, however, how can it be a complete bedding solution for "people who live in different temps" (as you suggest)? 

I don't think by complete bedding solution though that means every imaginable temperature? I mean you don't wear the same coat in summer as winter in a climate that has temperature extremes, even though your coat is a "complete outer layer solution". I think it just means that a bag alone is required with no other bedding? Not that you might not need several different bags?


    I agree, but as this debate centre’s on keeping bub warm (therefore we are presumably primarily discussing in winter) and the number of blankets. But then again, if it were a very cool summer night and my baby is in a lighter weight bag, I have to say I would be ignoring the “warning” on GroBag’s packaging and adding a blanket or too – especially if my bub was sound asleep and I didn’t want to wake him to adjust (Common sense I would think – never wake a sleeping baby - even if he did feel cold when I touched him).


    AA, I think you may have misunderstood what I mean by a “complete bedding solution”, so I will just clarify what I mean for the record; Grobag position their product as a “complete bedding solution for parents” and they differentiate their sleeping bags by communicating to consumers they do not need to purchase additional bedding. It DOES NOT mean that a sleeping bag should see you through for a entire year, rather the opposite, a consumer should purchase a different bag for different seasons. Therefore, Grobag’s point of difference is consumers do not need additional bedding and they would be undermining there own selling point as a “complete bedding solution” if they made an additional blanket or whatever (instead of simply telling you to adjusting clothing underneath). Now I may be wrong, and completely off the mark here, but being the market leader, wouldn’t Grobag have done the research to back up why no additional bedding? It is lovely that you have done research on your own back about the different weight of clothing BUT I’m sure as I’ve mentioned previously, Grobags’ research would be much targeted towards the use of their product (and would include the nappy, vest, suit etc) Just a thought- considering how much other info they have on their website about safe sleeping and the like……… and I am sure they would have a convincing research to back up why no additional bedding should and only additional clothing……

    
Certainly they discuss using different layers under the bag which is what we did for different temperatures.



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  45. Please disregard "Certainly they discuss using different layers under the bag which is what we did for different temperatures.

" Bad copy n paste from Word.

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  46. QUOTE They do not differentiate their product in different consumer markets (ie by making a warmer bag or making add-ons to suit different climates. 

But they do different togs to cater for different climates? I think Grobag could EASILY say "In the past overheating was thought to be a problem but more current research has shown a higher tog cover is ok, so we bring you the new 5 tog grobag" IF THEY BELIEVED THAT TO BE TRUE.


    I think I have challenged you at the beginning of my response on this paragraph.

    However - add up the max current tog they do with the list of what tog a nappy, vest, bodysuit is and perhaps, just perhaps they recommend the max weight they do because even with clothes this brings the total tog in within what is widely recognised as a safe tog limit?


    I’m happy to add this all up but as I mentioned above, I’m sure GroBag would be willing to share their research as they would have completed specific research to here about their product and how it is used and this would all be taken into account. AA, I'm not sure what you mean by “they do”- are you referring to Grobag here – if so, kindly show me where GroBag have made these assumptions and their research?

    I don't mind you voicing your opinion in the slightest! Whereas Tizzie moderates comments and only allows ones supporting her through, I'm happy for everyone to have a (polite ;)) voice as I said in my piece :)

PS I should add that I am by no means claiming sleeping bag companies are not biased or do not have "ulterior motives" or make lots of money! I've never investigated.

    Gosh, I’ve written an essay and I feel sorry for you having to read all of this! Reminds me of my university days lol!! But I guess the crux of what I am asking is for research and justification from Grobag as to why no additional bedding at all should be used. Seeing as they are the ones stipulating it, it would be lovely to know why?

    What I do think is that there is a clear body of independent evidence showing safe tog ratings and that overheating IS a risk - the sleeping bag companies generally ensure they work within them (not least for legal reasons I suspect!)

AA
    Yes, I agree, sleeping bag companies should be working within these parameters and all the more reason they should have the research to share!

    Would love to hear your thoughts again AA?!

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  47. PS: A side note, did you know in Australia at least, the SOS brand are only on average $15 more- Grobags here seem to be a lot more expensive! But you can get GroBags on sale here too of course, but the most I’ve seen is 20% off and Ive also seen stores stock Bubbarroo bags (not just TH) so I’m sure they would go sale too. Anyway, getting to my point, and although I own a GroBag myself next time I would buy a Bubbaroo and spend the extra $$$ purely because they are Australian owned (sorry to my Pommies friends!). I would probably do the same with the blankets too, because after doing a bit of research the blankets that TH stocks are Aussie owned and made too (explains why they are more exxy as well).


    PPS - sorry about the layout of my response - kept getting the max characters allowed for a reply and couldnt set it out any other way!

    Thanks

    Sara

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  48. "Tizzie still does not provide any research evidence that turning prone is in response to temperature, and again in this regard is contradictory. She argues that babies are less able to regulate their temperatures effectively until they are 18 months old (again, her one size fits all approach), yet at the same time argues that babies are all apparently spinning over in a desperate attempt to get warm."

    Hi AA,

    I vaguely remember Tizzie stating in one of her (just awful) TV interviews that she herself did an experiment with a number of babies involving having them all fall asleep in a warm room, then gradually turning up the AirCon, resulting in them all flipping over onto their fronts. In unison. Oh yes. Might be worth finding if anyone knows the one I'm talking about; it's fairly evident from her demeanor that she's being a little... creative... if such isn't evident from the fact that the claim is frankly insane.

    I'm thinking that if her "research and observations" can be demonstrated to be closer to "wild imaginings", it might throw her methods into further doubt.

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  49. AA, I should also say I have enjoyed reading a number of articles on your blog. I particularly have enjoyed the latest about what being attached parent means. So thank you!

    I was just wondering if you had considered writing another blog asking the sleeping bags for their research?
    I couldnt find anything on google myself and I no longer have access to any academic journals where I could possibly find this info.
    Also, it might be interesting to ask FSIDS and the sleep bag company for the research on how they came up with the bedding guidelines and why it does not take into consideration any climatic variances?

    What do you think?

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  50. Hi Sarah
    I have to be honest there is SO much content in your last few posts that I'm not sure I can say much more than I've already said?
    Why originally did they pick 2.5? why not 3 or 4 - who knows maybe ask them?

    I suppose it gets really interesting as according to TH on her FB page t'other day, a sleeping bag isn't classed as bedding, it's classed as clothing. This arose when someone questioned how come the sleeping bag they had received contained polyester when her book states polyester is akin to devil spawn and should NEVER be used for bedding, it has to be cotton or bamboo (as I'm sure you will remember from her reply)

    So you have a 100% cotton cot sheet (as required) and 100% cotton/bamboo blankets - and a sleeping bag containing polyester? Yes logical....

    Ps yes I might fire an email off to the bag companies :)

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  51. I just checked her online store and yes you are right AA! Her 2.5 tog Bubbaroo sleeping bag is padded with polyester. I also had a quick look at my GroBag and it is exactly the same for my 2.5tog (has 100% polyester fill).

    Im thinking perhaps this is just how the "higher" rated tog sleeping bags are made? Im sure if TH could find a all cotton one should would use it - as it would make sense considering the all the other bedding recommendations state explicitly to use cotton/bamboo (and ofcourse her replies to you stated the same thing!).
    Maybe she should make a all cotton/ bamboo one? :) It would certainly be an innovation if I am correct in saying all the 2.5togs have some sort of polyester in them!

    But anyway, if your sending off an email to the sleeping bag companies, you might want to consider asking why is polyester only used the 2.5 bags?
    Im probably off the mark but maybe polyester is the easiest way to achieve a 2.5tog rating?
    Maybe if the sleeping bags companies used anymore polyester (to achieve a higher tog) would cause a baby to sweat and this wouldn't be a very attractive selling point for them (just rambling thought of mine) However it still doesnt explain why the sleeping bag companies dont use cotton/bamboo- the only reasonable thing I can think of is cost/convenience..... :)

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  52. QUOTE Maybe she should make a all cotton/ bamboo one? :) It would certainly be an innovation if I am correct in saying all the 2.5togs have some sort of polyester in them!

    Yes I think given how TH refers to polyester in the book, how it makes babies sweat and so shouldn't be used - she should follow her own logic...

    Then of course we have totally different materials like Merino wool - http://www.bambinomerino.com/Bambino-Merino-Baby-Sleeping-Bag/c-16/p-29/?zenid=u2pt465c2qirhbasusikjdn663 which if TH is trying to avoid polyester would seem appealing. But perhaps not as imagine wool with all that other bedding!

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  53. Maybe it's because I'm from the US, but I've never heard of this! The very idea of putting a baby in anything resembling 10 layers of bedding is just really scary to me. Our daughter was very warm as an infant, and still is. We swaddled her when she was very little but only for a few hours; we also bedshared and breastfed at night. Is this what parents are told to do in general, or just by this woman?

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  54. My sister works for Kids & Sids and they do not endorse any brand but do suggest putting babies in a sleeping bag that is fitted around the chest and shoulders so as not to ride up over the baby's face. This seems to have become a debate about Grobags rather than the dangerous unsubstantiated OPINION of one highly marketed woman.

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