22 April 2015
WTF is a TOG? ... let's talk sleeping bags
Before I had children, togs were the daggy name we gave to bathers (or you might call them swimmers) – you know, when your mum would say “don’t forget your togs and your towel” when you were heading to the beach for the day.
These days, TOG (which actually refers to Thermal Overall Grade) has a much different meaning and I’m the first to admit it can all be a bit confusing at first … so let’s see if we can unpack the term and make TOGs a little easier to understand.
In the wonderful world of parenting, a TOG is a British unit of measurement that refers to how thermally effective a blanket is – that is, how well it keeps you warm.
TOG ratings are used as an international standard measurement and you’ll find them referred to a lot when purchasing baby sleepwear, especially sleeping bags and swaddles.
As a mum of three children, I’m a big fan of baby sleeping bags especially in the cooler months – they are a great alternative to layers of blankets which, let’s face it, are easily wriggled out of.
A sleeping bag used with the appropriate pyjamas is a great way to keep baby (and toddler) warm, hopefully reducing the likelihood of your little one waking up cold and increasing everyone’s chances of a good night’s sleep!
Basically, the higher the TOG, the warmer the product will be. In Australia, you’ll commonly find TOG ratings between 0.2 up to 3.5, with sleeping bags rated at the lower end of the scale generally best suited for the warmer summer months, while at the other end of the scale the higher TOG products are recommended for winter use.
When choosing a sleeping bag and trying to decide which TOG is right for you, you’ll also need to consider the temperature of the room the baby will be sleeping in and clothing they will be wearing.
According to the British TOG standard, the room temperature guidelines to help parents decide which TOG they need is as follows:
< 1.0 tog – room temperature 24 °C to 27 °C.
1.0 to 2.0 tog – room temperature 21 °C to 23 °C.
2.0 to 3.5 tog – room temperature 10 °C to 20 °C
Generally the optimum temperature for a nursery is between 16-20°C and you’ll need to adjust the level of clothing your child wears within a sleeping bag depending on the TOG and room temperature. Our online store has a great range of organic, natural sleepwear such as Merino Kids pyjamas which are made of 100% superfine merino wool, known for its insulation properties throughout both summer and winter.
The good news is that most manufacturers will tell you which of their products are recommended for the different seasons, room temperatures and clothing your child wears to bed, which takes the guesswork out of purchasing the right sleeping bag or swaddle for your home.
At Sustainababy, we love and stock a range of ergoPouch swaddles and sleeping bags, and this handy table shows their recommendations to match the right TOG to the right temperatures:
Our Merino Kids GO GO Bags are also very popular and are available in sizes 0-2 and 2-4 years in a range of great colours; while we’ve also just unloaded a delivery of Purebaby’s fantastic Long Sleeve Sleeping Bags which come in S, M and L sizes in both boys and girls colours.
To shop our complete range of sleeping bags, click here – and don’t forget, we’re always more than happy to answer any questions you might have about TOGs (or anything else related to our products!) by emailing us.