There are certain ages and stages in life where you feel like you're spending every weekend at a baby shower, or you're in the depths of building your own tribe. Some of us might be lucky enough to have grandchildren joining the family.
During these times you become very tuned into what is best for babies and kids and it's easy to feel overloaded with the differing products, opinions, information and advice. It's a good idea to do your own research to work out what will be best for you, your family or loved ones.
There are some products that have lasted the test of time in baby care and sheepskin is one of them. Its natural durability and health benefits for babies have proven to be superior and the fact sheepskin is still so widely used for babies is a testimonial to this wonderful natural product.
Is wool safe for babies?
Wool is an amazing fibre that has been used to keep babies warm and snug for generations. Beautiful fine merino wool garments are now widely available and very popular for baby ware including sleep sacks, baby clothing and blankets. Sheepskin rugs are still used for floor rugs, car seat covers and bedding.
The best thing about the natural wool fibre is its ability to regulate babies body temperature. A pure New Zealand sheepskin baby rug can increase circulation, sooth inflamed skin and rashes as well as provide a naturally antimicrobial environment which can lead to reduced occurrence of colds and sickness from harmful bacteria.
Baby sheepskin can provide the ultimate cosy liner for baby strollers or cars seats and can be a super soft platform for supervised play. If you plan to use your sheepskin products in babies bassinet, crib or for sleep, it is recommended that you use short wool sheepskin products and cover with a sheet. Always follow safe sleeping practices recommended by local childcare researchers.
Benefits of Sheepskin:
Temperature - The sheepskin is a thermo-regulator, keeping your baby warm in winter and cool in summer. Also allows baby's skin to breathe.
Humidity - Wool is rich in lanolin, and naturally impermeable. Air flows through its fibers, creating a pockets that keep your baby's skin dry.
Calming - Sheepskin is a electrical semiconductor, creating a calming effect, eliminating the muscular tension and stimulating the circulation in the tissues.
Anti-bacterial - Made of 100% protein fibers, the skin creates an environment unfavorable to the development of bacteria.
Are sheepskin rugs safe for babies?
If used with advice from your health professional sheepskin rugs can be safe and beneficial for babies. Long wool sheepskin is lovely and soothing on your baby's skin, perfect for supervised play with a muslin or sheet over the sheepskin where your baby's head is resting. This will mean baby still gets all the amazing benefits of sheepskin and ensures the fibres are kept away from the nose and mouth.
If you are intending to use sheepskin for sleep, Plunket* advisors "If you want to use a sheepskin, use a short-hair type, and cover it with a sheet." This advice will vary from country to country. It is important that you do your research and follow the advice of your local childcare professionals when choosing bedding or comforters for baby.
*New Zealand’s largest support service for the health and well-being of children under-five and their families.
Can babies sleep on sheepskin rugs?
There are some differing opinions on whether it is safe for babies to sleep on sheepskin. It is generally recommended that sheepskin is used purely for supervised use in order to reap the benefits of the sheepskin and stay safe at the same time.
If you are thinking of using sheepskin where your baby sleeps, it is best to cover it with a sheet or muslin so baby can breath clearly but still provide the soft comfort sheepskin is renowned for. If you are unsure or have any concerns or questions about using sheepskin for babies make sure you consult your health care advisor.
Is sheepskin breathable?
Sheepskin is naturally breathable due to the complex active 3D structure of the fibres. The air flows through its fibers, creating pockets of air that help to regulate your babies body temperature.
Sheepskins amazing fibres draw moisture away from baby and into the heart of the fibres. This means sheepskin is able to maintain a dry surface next to the skin. What an absolute miracle fibre!
For all the summer babies out there sitting in hot car seats, enroute to the next exciting episode, sheepskin will diminish any chance of sweaty, clammy backs. It works to regulate body temperature and keep our little ones comfortable and happy.. a win for everyone!
How do you clean a sheepskin baby rug?
Babies are prone to creating a path of destruction. Even if you are covering your sheepskin rug in a sheet or muslin spillages and leakages still get through to the fleece and need to be cleaned. If you catch the accident right away the best option for immediate action is to spot clean the specific area.
First shake off any surface liquid outside, then bloat any remaining liquid with a clean towel. It can be tempting to throw water or other liquids directly onto a stain, but that will only spread the stain further.
For best results you want to take the time to soak up as much of the liquid as you can initially. Carpet stain remover is effective in removing stubborn stains from sheepskin. Both wet and dry carpet stain remover is available in the cleaning section of most supermarkets.
To find out if you need to use a dry or wet stain remover click through to our detailed specific stain removal guide. Follow the instructions on the bottle.
Can you put a sheepskin rug in the dryer?
Sheepskin loves a nice breezy spot to dry ideally out of direct sunlight. Do not put your rug in the dryer as this can cause the natural leather of the sheepskin will dry out, warp and could develop cracking overtime.
Think of the leather side of your sheepskin like you would your own skin, if it dries out too much it will crease and crack. For best results hang your sheepskin to dry out of direct sunlight or lay flat on a towel in the shade until completely dry.
How do you keep a sheepskin rug Fluffy?
Sheepskin rugs can live a long life. Overtime a well loved sheepskin rug can start to flatten down and lose some of its original loft and fluffiness. Giving your rug a thorough, regular vacuum followed by a shake outside can help to fluff up the fibres. If your Sheepskin Rug has started to look matted, try giving it a gentle comb with a metal-bristled brush or pet brush. You can find these in most Pet Stores, Vet Clinics and some supermarkets.
Make sure your sheepskin rug is completely dry before attempting to lightly fluff it up with a brush. If you want to preserve the lovely natural crimp/curl in the fibre, once you have given it a gentle brush spray with a light mist of water and massage the curl back into the fibre. If you over brush, the wool fibres can start to come out of the skin and the sheepskin can become fluffy.
New Zealand sheepskin products are soft and warm as well as having a raft of health benefits for a child or baby. Wool, lambskins and sheepskins are all a perfect natural option to comfort babies in their early months. Please seek medical advice if you are feeling unsure about whether sheepskin is right for your baby.