The best piece of advice I received when Liam was born was given to me by our doula. Her advice was to gently lay a hand on Liam’s chest at night when he grew restless to see if he would calm down without needed to eat. I’m not sure if you know this (we didn’t before we had kids), but babies can be quite restless and noisy when they sleep. And you know what? It totally worked. I could often get Liam to settle back down and sleep just a little bit longer. So when Nested Bean reached out to me to ask if they could send me one of their products to try, I immediately said yes because I recognized exactly what sets them apart.
We received the Zen Sack from Nested Bean, so that’s what I’m going to talk about the most here in this post.
I love this sleep sack. Seriously, it’s amazing. And I have a discount code for you at the end of this post.
That same feeling Liam got when I placed my hand on his chest at night? Well the Nested Bean has tried to recreate that feeling with its TouchSense technology. By having a lightly weighted center on the Zen Sack, the baby experiences the same feelings of safety and comfort as if an actual hand was placed there.
I know, it seems strange to think of adding weights to a sleep sack. But we’re not talking about 10 pound dumbbells. The weighted pouch is filled with non-toxic poly-beads and in total weigh about an ounce. These are the same kind of beads you might find in stuffed animals with weighted limbs. Or like Beanie Babies, of which I (embarrassingly) still have a storage bin full. According to Nested Bean’s website, this amount of weight is optimal when baby’s own weight is 7 pounds or more.
This seems like a good enough explanation, but I’ll admit that I hesitated a second when I read that you can also turn the sack around once your baby is rolling over. If you do this, then the weighted portion of the sack is on the baby’s back instead of his chest. But I had to try it out for myself. Granted, Caleb has a really strong neck and excellent head control.
When I put the Zen Sack on backwards, he had no issues pushing up on his arms. He even rolled back over onto his back. (And if you’re wondering, Caleb was 3 months old and weighed approximately 12 pounds at the time). He’s not quite old enough to wear it this way for actual sleeping at the moment, but I wanted to note that the weight seems to be a non-issue when it comes to your baby being able to move around.
I find the whole premise behind Nested Bean’s TouchSense technology super fascinating. Touch is a really important sense. According to Nested Bean’s website, it’s the first sense a baby develops in utero. As moms, I get that a lot of times we’re just touched out. I need my space too, so I totally understand that. But sometimes, I also just need a hug. Whether it’s from my husband or Liam…sometimes even a stranger. It’s also why I think weighted blankets have become popular lately. Not because they’re trendy, but because they’re effective at helping people (and kids) feel calm and relaxed.
For babies, touch is important because their world is already pretty limited as to how they can connect with those around them. And for an adopted baby like Caleb, I think that touch sensation is even more necessary. I’ve heard it said that once babies are born, the outside world can be a shock to their system. They go from being warm and cozy inside the womb to being out in the real world. If you research adoption trauma, you might find that an adopted newborn’s reaction to being out of the womb is often amplified because nothing in their new world and the people in it is the same anymore.
You’ve probably heard me say it before, but Caleb is a really easy baby. And he is. But he’s not just quiet and laid back. From day one, we noticed not only how alert he seemed but how you could tell he was processing things in that cute little head of his. It felt like, at least for the first couple weeks, that every time he ate was a little study session. Studying. Watching. Processing. Learning about the new people in his life.
I didn’t have 9 months of pregnancy to bond with Caleb before he was born. Bonding for us has been a different journey. I wouldn’t say that it was easier or harder….just different. And we’ve had to be more intentional rather than only instinctual. Caleb’s had to learn what our touch feels like and how to find comfort in that.
So, yeah. I’d say that touch sensation is super important.
Now that I’ve talked your ear off about touch, I want to mention a couple other great features about the Zen Sack. It has adjustable shoulder straps (for a better fit) and two-way zippers (for diaper changes). The Zen Sack comes in a couple different sizes: 3-6 months and 6-12 months. There’s a great little size chart on the website so you can decide which size is the right one for you. In these photos, like I said, Caleb is about 3 months old and weighs 12 pounds. You can see that there’s still plenty of room for him to grow.
The Zen Sack also comes in three different options with lots of prints to choose from. The “classic” version of the sack is made from 100% cotton while the “premier” version is a 70% bamboo, 30% cotton blend. We have the premier sack in the Deepsea Diver print. I really like that this fabric blend is naturally antimicrobial and helps regulate body temperature. There’s also a “winter” version, which has a heavy poly-dil for added warmth.
Nested Bean also sells a swaddle. This can be used as both a traditional swaddle with baby’s arms in or as a transitional swaddle with baby’s arms out. For the swaddle, the sides are lightly weighted in addition to the center. This way, the baby feels like they’re being held even when you’ve put them down somewhere to sleep.
A few extra things I want to note – when you first go onto Nested Bean’s website, you can actually plug in your baby’s birth date or due date and your e-mail address to receive age-based sleep tips from sleep experts. Baby sleep is a strange thing, especially when you throw teething and sleep regressions into the mix. I did not sign up for these tips, but my guess is that you might find them pretty helpful. Especially if you’re a first time mom.
If you scroll down towards the bottom of the home page, you’ll see the “Learn” section. Here, you can find information about swaddling (and transitioning away from the swaddle when your baby is ready), safe sleep and other sleep-related topics.
Nested Bean’s blog also seems to be a great resource to parents. The information here extends beyond sleeping to include things like postpartum workouts, nursery decor inspiration and travel tips. And in case you’re wondering, according to one of their blog posts, the nursery I’m working on for Caleb is totally on trend for this year. That is, if I finish it before the end of December. Ha.
But back to this Zen Sack.
If you want to get one for your own baby, you can use the code PR-KIM15 for a discount! This code is only good on Nested Bean’s website, but you can also purchase their products on Amazon (affiliate link) and retailers like Target and Buy Buy Baby.
Sending lots of happy sleepy dust your way!
Disclosure: I received this Zen Sack from Nested Bean to try out and review. All words and opinions are completely my own.