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Choosing Between a Front or Side Zip Bag Sleeping Bag

Choosing Between a Front or Side Zip Bag Sleeping Bag

We often get asked whether the front or side zip bag is 'better''s really hard to say, as our customers have different views on this!

So much depends on your baby and how they like to sleep. See what other parents are saying below.

The Sleep Store's tips for choosing the best zip position

  • Front zippers can be easier to use as you simply pop baby in and zip downwards ( and zip up from below when needed as they are double zips!). The front zip is our most popular bag.

  • Wriggly babies or toddler may be able to pop open the shoulder domes on a side zip bag. Front zips are the most robust.

  • The buggy slot in the front-zip bag is only in the back, and the buckle goes through the zip space at the front. This means that little feet are unlikely to go through the slot, which can happen with a side-zip bag. However if you use the buggy slot often you may prefer the slot to be in the front and back.

  • For easy nappy changes, in the case of a full-strength pooh-nami, the side-zip Woolbabe can be easier as it opens completely flat.

  • If you often transfer your sleeping baby into their cot (i.e from a buggy or car seat once they've drifted off to sleep), a side zip can be easier to get a sleeping baby into.

  • The side zip can be fully opened out for airing or quicker line drying

  • The main considerations are how wriggly your child is and how often you will use the buggy slot. If your child is very wriggly or likes to stand up in the cot we recommend a front-zip bag, as they may otherwise pop open the shoulder domes on a side zip bag.

Woolbabe sleeping bag infographic differences between front and side zip bags

Front Zip vs Side Zip: Facebook Community Feedback

We get lots of questions about whether tummy babies are comfy in a front zip, but my Eddie (19 mths at the time) slept on his tummy in a front zip bag & was very content! What's your view?

Front Zip Fans

  • My 1 1/2 yo has never had a prob with front zip and he sleeps on his tummy most of the time.

  • Front zip with a tummy sleeper here. The side zip ones I don't like cos they usually have press studs at the shoulders, and my daughter will just undo them straight away and not go to sleep. The front zip although she can undo it, she typically won't until it's time to get up.

  • Front zip, he sleeps on his tummy 90% of the time no probs, as long as there's a cover over the zip or the zip is at the bottom of the bag it's fine

  • I like front zip because no domes at the shoulders

  • Never any probs with front zip, sleeps on front, side, back, horizontal, upside down. :)

  • Only issue I have with side zippers is it means the bags have top poppers which he undoes and takes his bag off but he is nearly two

  • Yeah i prefer front zips as well as if your baby undoes it you can just put it on them backwards (same for tummy sleepers) I have side zip bags (as they were on super special) and my little guy (Nearly 2 tho) can undo the zip from the bottom as well as stand up in them and keep stomping till he pops the shoulder snaps. Very annoying!

  • I preferred side zips for my babies when they were little, easy changes and easier to put on. But there is no beating the front zip with my toddler. I had side zips for my first and had to sew up the domes and buggy slots to keep him in them. With the front zip we just don't have those problems and they fit really nicely too.

  • Tummy/side sleeper with front zip - all good here!

  • Love the front zip, especially the ones that zip from top to bottom. Less of a bulge from the zipper, more comfy for tummy sleepers

  • We do a front zip here with tummy sleeper, no issues! The side zips always have dome shoulders which my son used to always pop open when he pushed out with his legs, lol!

  • Front zip is great, my son is an 11 month old tummy sleeper and we have no troubles :)

  • Our tummy sleeper wears the front zip Woolbabe. I like that the zipper can be slid closed to the bottom of the zip, well away from their body.

  • Our bag is a front zip, but best about that is you can zip it from the bottom or top, so if you need a night time nappy change not too much disruption, as their top half stays in the bag.

  • No problems with a tummy sleeper and front zip here either. Except a cold tootsie sometimes snuck out the buggy slot in the back.

  • I like front zip, but with a child with allergies (quite often itching under chin) I find that the top of the zip gets in his way when sleeping on his tummy (he may just have a short neck). I would then make sure that the neck doesn't sit high up on neck when next purchasing one. I find the front zip easy to get him into than the side zip.

  • Side zip - neck seems smaller on a front zip which was more irritating to 8mo, and she was inclined to try to fiddle with it...also more of a pain to do up during a night change.

  • Yup tummy sleepers here and both have front zip without issues

  • Tummy sleeper in front zip wool babe!

  • No probs... also have side zip but prefer front zip. She is 14 months but has had both and been fine since 8months

  • Tummy sleeper in a front zip here. He doesn't seem to mind the zipper at all.

  • I prefer front zips and my 19 month old is a tummy sleeper and has no problems. I find them quicker and easier to do up and when he stands up, there are no poppers to come undone

  • Side zip is annoying as my son pops the shoulder domes and climbs out. He undoes zips too but I prefer front zips especially if the domes on side zip bags aren't strong enough (woolbabe). He is a tummy sleeper but front zips are fine, love my ergopouch front zip as zipper is covered!

  • My 2 year old has never escaped a sleeping bag until she wore a side zip woolbabe. That being said, I loved the bag so much that I went and ordered her one with the front zip. She's a tummy sleeper and it doesn't bother her at all.

  • My little guy is now having his day sleeps with his sleeping bag on backwards in a tummy zip. That way he can't undo it himself! He was 2 in March. It looks so funny but works a charm!


Side Zip Fans

  • I would go side zip, my babe likes to undo any zip on her front!

  • I preferred side zips.

  • I preferred side zips for my babies when they were little, easy changes and easier to put on. But there is no beating the front zip with my toddler. I had side zips for my first and had to sew up the domes and buggy slots to keep him in them. With the front zip we just don't have those problems and they fit really nicely too.

  • Tummy sleeper with side zip, but we've never tried a front zip.

  • Side.. i hate the front zip !!

  • ‎13mth old sleeps on tummy in side zip and have had no probs, yet! ;-)

  • I've only used side zips and never had issues with my son (who is 2) popping the domes on the shoulders ever.

  • We have both but I prefer my side zip as the press studs at the top work really well with our sleepy wings and can go over or under. With the front zip with arm holes our sleepy wings have to go over the top of everything!

  • Side zip would be better :)

  • Side zip as easier to get them in without jiggling their arms around when all snoozy

  • Side zip for us with our two tummy sleepers. But I don't think there would have been a problem with a front one - maybe only when they're small?

  • I prefer side zip. Mine is a tummy sleeper and I find the front zip ones tricky to do up with a wriggling 11 month old!

  • I have both and my 18 month old likes both, but he hasn't worked out the poppers or zips yet. I prefer the side zip in the duvet bag as it opens right out for airing and quicker drying. I also find the side zip easier to get on/off.

  • The side zip is handy to be able to completely open up the bag for airing and quicker drying

  • Side zip so the little man can't undo it!

  • Feel that best zip is to the side, more out of sight out of mind for toddler. Same goes to sweet cheeks bag, zip runs also across the bag for ease of access for parents, toddler plays with zip gets feet and legs out then not happy as can't put back in.

Fans of Both Front and Side Zips

  • We have both front and side and it makes no difference to my son's sleep.

  • My daughter's never had a preference - nor have I. Both have been great!

  • We've had both and didn't make a difference. My two-year-old tummy sleeper has front zip (Ergopouch) at the moment, and as long as the actual zipper is covered, he doesn't undo it.

  • My 19 month old is a tummy sleeper and we have a front zip and a side zip sleeping bag, doesn't seem to worry her either way.

  • We had both sorts, domes and side zips were fine for a small baby but not so good later on. The front zip was handy for nappy changing and transferring into the car when asleep. My daughter decided she no longer needed a bag at 16 months so that was the end of that :(

  • All of mine are comfy in front zip on their tummy. We love both :)

  • We've had both with no issues (squirmy sleeper, sleeps in all positions & rolls a lot). Only thing we didn't like was buggy slots on our Nature Baby - feet got stuck out of it (both front & back), and he played with the baby safety pins we used to close them & sometimes opened them