13/03/2017 08:41 GMT | Updated 13/03/2017 09:42 GMT

'Sleepyhead' Hopes To Revolutionise Babies' Sleep By 'Recreating The Womb'

'She went from sleeping four hours a night to eight solid hours.'

A sleeping pod is hoping to change the way babies sleep by recreating what it’s like for them to be in the womb.

Sleepyhead is said to have “comforting powers” for newborns, creating the snug and cosy environment new babies crave.

The mattress-like pod hopes to pave the way for safer sleeping by creating a environment where babies settle outside of their parent’s arms. 

It facilitates safe sleep in cots and travel beds, as the bumpers act as a bed guard, preventing young children from falling out.

In 2016, the pod was introduced into a north London hospital for the first time for their paediatric unit. Founder Lisa Furuland, form Stockholm, came up with the idea after struggling to find something that suited her son.

“When my son Ilias was born in 2006, I searched unsuccessfully for an alternative to the blanket, the cot and the baby lounger,” she said. “I craved something more snug and at the same time more versatile.” 

Emily Lewis-Keane

“And what do you do if you can’t find all these characteristics in the garments on offer?” Furuland said. “Well, you create them yourself.”

Furuland’s pod is used by parents in more than 11 countries worldwide, including Australia, Canada, US, and the UK.

As well as being used for safe sleeping (and safe co-sleeping), Sleepyhead pods are also used for crib inserts, supervised tummy time, play time, snuggle time, naps and as a changing station.

London-based mum Emily Lewis-Keane, who has used a pod with her own daughter, said it’s been a wonderful sleep aid for her daughter, Lottie. 

Emily Lewis-Keane
Emily Lewis-Keane's daughter, Lottie, in her Sleepyhead pod. 

“When Lottie came home for the first time we quickly discovered that’s she hated her Moses basket, and sleeping in general,” the mum told HuffPost UK.

“After trying several different sleeping arrangements - basket, crib, bedside pod, sleeping bag, blankets, swaddling - nothing made much difference. That’s when I stumbled across the Sleepyhead on an bleary-eyed trawl through a Mumsnet thread and began to research it.”

Lewis-Keane purchased one the next morning and said her daughter went from sleeping three to four hours a night to eight solid hours.

She quickly built it up to 12 hours a night. 

“The timing was fortuitous because not long after this Lottie began to show some really worrying symptoms with her breathing and then stopped breathing in her sleep twice,” explained the mum. 

Emily Lewis-Keane

Lewis-Keane continued: “We were admitted to hospital and spent several months in and out of Great Ormond Street while the doctors tried to work out what was causing these episodes and what they could do to fix it.

“Throughout all of this, Lottie had her Sleepyhead with her everywhere she went. Hospital cots are really bleak and enormous for young babies and the pod made her so cosy and helped her to feel at home wherever she was.

“She continued to sleep through the night and she even used it when she had blood tests, before and after surgery and to play in during the day.”

Lewis-Keane said her daughter is now a healthy 11-month-old and they’ve upgraded to a bigger version. 

“It gives me peace of mind after everything that happened to know it’s breathable and completely safe, and she still sleeps through the night,” she said.

Emily Lewis-Keane

The Whittington Hospital in London uses 10 of the mattress pods to help soothe some of their sick and poorly babies. 

“We care for some very unwell babies and the pods provides much needed comfort; some of them will only sleep and settle in their Sleepyheads,” said Majella Travers, matron of the acute pediatric unit.

“The parents have been wowed by their comforting powers. The fact that they are machine washable, breathable and harmful substance free is amazing.

“The babies simply love them.”

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