When you’ve got a baby, it can be really difficult to get outdoors – especially when you can’t find the right gear for your baby. So, I’m thrilled that manufacturers are finally making outdoor gear for babies. This includes the BabyDeeDee sleeping bag for babies.
BabyDeeDee makes many sleep sacks for infants and little kids. The bag I’m talking about though is called the Sleep Nest Travel. It comes in three sizes (0-6 months, 6-18 months, and 18-36 months).
It has a TOG rating of 3.5, so is suitable for colder weather. If the temperature gets below 50F, you’ll need to put several warm layers on your baby.
What I Like about the BabyDeeDee Sleeping Bag
When I first went camping with my baby (she was 4 months old on our first trip), there weren’t any sleeping bags available for babies that were suitable for camping. I ended up using a fleece sleep sack with a bunch of layers on my baby. This worked fine enough because the nighttime temperatures were warm. But it was still a bit of a pain.
After using the BabyDeeDee sleeping bag, I realize how much easier camping can be when the bag is actually designed for outdoor use. Full disclosure: They sent me a free bag to try (and I’m very grateful that they did 🙂 ).
Here’s some of the features which made a big difference on our camping trips:
Can Get Baby into the Sleeping Bag without Waking Her
The BabyDeeDee sleeping bag has a zipper all the way down the front. It also has snaps over the shoulder area. These features mean you can completely open up the sleeping bag.
I opened up the sleeping bag and laid it out in the tent (on top of her sleeping mat). At night, I rocked my girl to sleep outside – which is easier than trying to do it hunched over in a tent. 🙂
Once she was asleep, I entered the tent and laid her on top of the opened sleeping bag. Then I closed the shoulder snaps around her arms and zipped up the front. Voila! I was able to get her into the sleeping bag without waking her!!!
Easy to Clean and Dries Fast
Luckily, we haven’t had any diaper explosions on the BabyDeeDee bag while camping (yet, haha!). However, my girl did spill a whole bunch of water on the sleeping bag.
The bag is made out of normal sleeping bag material, which means it doesn’t act like a sponge (as a cotton sleep sack would). The bag dried really quickly. Dirt can mostly be just wiped off of it.
*Note: Even though this sleeping bag is easy to clean, I still got the blue version. It seemed like it would show dirt less than the pink or gray one. My kids have a tendency to fall asleep outdoors in front of the campfire and then I carry them into the tent.
Full-Length Two-Way Zipper
The full-length zipper is helpful for getting your baby into the sleeping bag easily. Since the zipper goes two-ways (you can open it from the top or the bottom), you can even do a diaper change without taking your child out of the sleeping bag. This is particularly nice if you have an infant.
The full-way zipper also makes it easier to regulate temperature. Just unzip the zipper a bit to cool down your child. On one camping trip, I left the bag only about 2 inches zipped up when putting her to bed around 8:30PM. Around midnight, the temperatures started dropping quickly so I just zipped the bag up the rest of the way. It’s a lot better than waking your baby to put an extra sweater on her!
My daughter surprisingly really likes the sleeping bag. She even wraps it around herself at home and snuggles on it. I think she likes the sound that the fabric makes and it how it feels on her skin.
The removable sleeves feature is really nice to have on a baby sleeping bag. That’s because the core area is really the most important for keeping warm.
Most of our camping trips (at least the ones that the baby comes on) are not to some hardcore mountains where the temperature gets cold. It’s perfectly warm enough to put her in long-sleeved PJs and use the sleeping bag without sleeves. In colder weather, the sleeves get left on to keep her arms warm.
*I always bring along the sleeves just in case it gets cold. I’ve also used the sleeves as a pillow for my daughter.
I’ve only used the BabyDeeDee Sleep Nest Travel for camping. However, it could also be used as a sleep sack in a crib. My girl is always kicking the blankets off of her, so I’m guessing that she’s be in this bag every night once winter comes!
The bag also has a flap which a stroller buckle can go through. I haven’t tried this yet, but it seems like it will work well enough for going out with your baby in winter.
The BabyDeeDee sleeping bag is really affordable (around $40 to $55 depending on the size). Buy it here.
There are only two real downsides of the BabyDeeDee Sleep Nest Travel.
The first is that it’s only a TOG 3.5 bag. That’s actually the highest rating for baby sleeping bags. However, it means that the bag is only rated to about 54F.
While TOG 3.5 is fine for indoor use, nighttime temperatures can get much colder than this when camping (read this post on How Cold Is Too Cold for Tent Camping).
You’ll need to layer your baby’s clothes if you want to go camping in cold weather. Ideally, you use a:
- Base layer
- An additional base layer (if it’s really cold)
- Wool or fleece sleep suit
- Hat and mittens
- The sleeping bag
The other con is that the sleeping bag isn’t adjustable. Since I wanted to make sure I got enough use out of the sleeping bag, I got her the larger size.
Note that buying a too-large sleeping bag for an infant is dangerous. You don’t want it so large that their head can get into the bag.
Also, a too-large bag won’t be as warm. All that extra space means that the bag won’t hold heat as well.
My girl is gigantic for her age, so I was fine with getting the 18-36 month bag for her even though she was just 13 months at the time. She’s 2 years old now and there is still plenty of room for her to grow.
No matter what sleeping bag you use for your baby while camping, you’ll need a sleeping pad for her too. Otherwise, the ground will suck heat out of her body. I recommend the Therm-A-Rest RidgeRest. It’s a closed-cell foam mat with an R-value of 2.6. Fold it in half and you’ll get an R-value of 5.2 (very warm!). The foam is comfortable but still firm enough for babies’ backs.
Alternatively, you can use a portable bassinet or crib like one of these.
Need more advice about sleep setups for babies while camping? Read this post.
And read this post for a complete baby camping gear checklist.