Many mothers face a big dilemma about what to use in order to keep their babies and toddlers warm at night, once you stop swaddling them. Some choose to use blankets-not ideal until the baby is at least a year old and some, like many of my girlfriends, choose to use sleeping bags. They keep the child snug and warm and you don’t have to worry about their safety, the question is, why aren’t sleeping bags more practical? Yes, you have thicker ones for cold months and lighter ones for when it’s warmer, but try changing your baby’s nappy in the middle of the night, while he or she is in the sleeping bag-a nightmare for those of us who are sleep deprived and don’t want to rouse the baby more than we absolutely have to.
Last year a very cute item caught my eye, while I was browsing the Net for that exact solution, called….Gunapod! Developped by three American mothers, it’s a perfect item for both mother and child. Joy Chopak, one of the mum’s who started Gunamuna, was kind enough to agree to post the pink one to me in London last October and both my daughter and I fell in love with it from the first night she slept in it. It’s soft, it’s cosy, it zips and unzips in many directions, so you can easily control the ‘warmth’ factor and my daughter loves hugging it even when she isn’t wearing it. There are handy poppers at the shoulder level, there are side-zippers and the one in the middle, making it a perfect baby sleeping bag/blanket, which keeps the mother serene too!
Gunapod comes in three colours-cocoon, chocolate and tickled pink and three sizes-(small, 0-9 months, medium, 9-18 months and large, 18-24 months ) and costs £20. Luckily for those of us who live in the UK, Tesco has just started stocking them up exclusively online ( Gunapod has already been endorsed by many celebrity mothers in the US, if that swings your vote, so check out Gunapod’s Facebook page for updates ), but if you still need convincing, read my Q & A with Joy below………
Q & A with Joy Chopak, the head Gunamom
GAP: Why did you choose Tesco, not Sainsbury’s or any other UK large retailer?
JC: Truthfully, they chose us. I received an email from Tesco that they were interested in purchasing the Gunapod and would I come visit them in the UK.
GAP: Will they be your exclusive UK stockist or do you have any other shops that are keen to stock Gunapod?
JC: At the moment we are just discussing orders with Tesco. One of our challenges is that almost nobody in the UK has heard of us. We just launched in February 2011. Although I will say that we were featured in DailyCandy Kids and received a lot of orders on our website from all over the world, including the UK.
GAP: How did the idea of Gunapod come about? What makes it different from let’s say a Grobag, that is quite popular in the UK?
JC: One and a half years
GAP: Do you plan to have them in more colours?
GAP: How did you come up with a name Gunapod & Gunamuna?
GAP: Do you think that women are more forward thinking and creative when it comes to children’s products?
JC: Yes. Because of our experience. I think only a person who takes care for babies, who is responsible for their well-being, can really understand a mom’s and baby’s needs/wants.
GAP: Why did you use polyester and not cotton for example, as the material for the Gunapod?
JC: We actually intentionally used polyester for our first run. The first reason is the cost. I want every mother to be able to afford the best for her baby. Cotton and bamboo fabrics are a bit more costly. And secondly, polyester feels very different. It’s a very warm cozy fabric that doesn’t itch and there are no allergies to polyester. All babies love it and want to cuddle with it which is important to us. That said, I’m thrilled that we are soon able to provide a choice.