Merino wool: the wonder fabric all new parents need to know about

As an adult, I’ve long been aware of the amazing comfort and luxury of merino wool. But it was only after becoming a parent that I discovered all the truly magical and varied benefits that merino also offers for our babies.

Let me explain…

As you’ve probably heard, temperature control is seriously important when it comes to newborns. You see, tiny babies are unable to regulate their body temperature in the same way that adults do, and can lose heat as much as four times quicker than grown ups.

As a result, when they are cold it takes all of their energy to get warm, which can negatively affect their sleeping and weight gain. At the same time, if babies get too hot, the consequences can be terrifying, with severe overheating in babies linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome…every parent’s worst nightmare.

So what’s a new parent to do? Luckily the key to solving this perennial parental paranoia is simple…it’s time to go merino.

Merino Wool blanket

Merino blanket from Nord Snow

Nature’s wonder fibre, merino wool comes from the Merino sheep, one of the world’s most ancient and toughest breeds, able to survive and thrive in extreme weather conditions. In the summer, their thin, light, super-breathable coats keep them cool in the baking heat while in winter, they grow an extra layer of wool as protection against temperatures that plummet to -20°C.

Thanks to these unique qualities, merino wool is just perfect for newborn babies as it helps to keep their little bodies at optimal temperatures, while protecting them from the extremes. This is especially important for babies that are sick, born premature (like our Teddy), or at a low weight.

Merino Wool swaddle

Merino swaddle from Merino Kids

It even has a protective lanolin layer that naturally repels water and draws moisture away from skin to help keep your little one stay dry and cool, meaning your child will never feel sweaty or clammy.

But that’s not all…merino wool is also highly prized the world over for its quality, purity and softness; the ideal fabric for babies and their soft newborn skin.

You see, merino wool traps warm air between its incredibly fine fibres (about a tenth the width of a human hair) to create a mini micro-climate next to your baby’s skin. Because of this, it is naturally hypoallergenic, non-itchy, breathable and safe to use for babies with eczema, allergies or sensitive skin.

As if that wasn’t enough, medical studies have proven that merino wool actually improves the sleep patterns of babies and infants. One 1979 study even showed that babies sleeping on merino not only settled more quickly, but also cried less, fed better and gained weight faster.

It’s no wonder I’m such a fan! Needless to say, after learning about all these magical qualities of merino wool, I’ve become a total addict, stockpiling as many merino products for our baby boy ever since.

Thankfully, merino baby clothes and accessories are now popping up all over the place this winter. On the high street, Mamas & Papas do a particularly lovely range of merino bodysuits, baby vests and trousers (we bought one of each)! And we’ve also found loads of merino products online too from baby retailers like the ace Natural Baby Shower, who are the official UK stockists of our favourite baby brand of all; Merino Kids.

Merino Wool sleeping bag

Stripy merino wool Go Go sleeping bag from Merino Kids

As you might expect, being such a magic material, it does come with a slightly higher price tag than your average cottons or synthetics. From our experience though, it’s worth its weight in gold.

But if, like us, you’re a fan of a bargain, I’d highly recommend having a browse in specialist kids charity shops like FARA Kids to see what you can discover. We’ve found loads of lovely second hand (hardly worn) merino clothes in there, so it’s well worth dropping in next time you pass one!

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So, did you know about all the amazing qualities that merino wool offers for babies? Are there any merino products or brands that you would highly recommend? As always, we’d love to hear from you, so please do share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments section below!

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