ARTICLE by Victoria Hampson

Safe and Better Sleep

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B_for_Blog | Natural Baby Shower

Sadly, around 300 babies still die every year suddenly and unexpectedly during their sleep for no clear reason. Experts are still unable to pinpoint a single cause for the likelihood of cot death, but they do know there are a number of risk factors.

For over 10 years, Safe and Better Sleep continues to be a driver for every product that we make and our aspiration is that Merino Kids™ can offer all parents and carers the peace of mind and confidence that they have made the right decision when purchasing and using our products. We are keen to promote and create a safe sleep environment and our ethos is to actively engage with medical experts and ensure our products conform to international standards.

Safe sleep by Merino Kids

Some tips for your baby’s SAFE SLEEP

Use a Moses basket or cot for the first 6 months. The safest place for your baby to sleep is in a separate cot or Moses basket in a room with you. It is recommended that they also take their naps in there day and night. Use a Baby Monitor to keep a check on your baby during nap times. Do not place a baby to sleep in an adult bed alone.

Make sure that you always put your baby to sleep on its back. If your baby rolls over after you have put him down, you should roll him back again. He can be left to find his own natural sleeping position when he is able to roll from back to front on his own. The occurrence of SIDS has dropped by more than 50% since the recommendation to place baby to sleep on his back was made in 1992.

Lay your baby to sleep ‘Feet to Foot’ in the cot and position them so that they are unable to wriggle down beneath the blankets.

A firm, flat, waterproof mattress is recommended for your baby and will help to ensure safe sleep.

Make a clear sleep space. For babies under 1 year old, objects such as a pillow should not be placed with them in the cot. It is a good idea to remove items such as any cot bumpers as soon as your child has learnt to roll.

Ensure to regulate the temperature of the room. It should be kept around 16-20°C and ensure to place your cot away from any heat source, direct sunshine, lamps and radiators. You can purchase room thermometers to help you control the room temperature and keep your baby comfortable.

Use loose bedding and avoid excess coverings. Be sure not to cover your baby’s head or face whilst sleeping. Unnecessary items like toys, pillows and loose blankets should be removed.

Avoid smoking and secondary smoke during your pregnancy or around your baby after birth (even inside the home) is considered to put your child at risk of danger.

Understand the risks of co-sleeping. Co-sleeping in the same bed with your baby is a hotly contested subject. Studies have shown that a higher incidence of SIDS occurs in households where baby has slept in his parent’s bed. Your baby will be safest in its own cot and falling asleep with them in your bed carries its own risks. It is also especially important not to fall asleep with them on the sofa or armchair.

Breastfeeding can help and is believed to be a risk-reducing factor for cot death.

A dummy may reduce the risks. Certain research has found that giving your baby a dummy at night may help to reduce the risk of cot death, although the reasons why are somewhat unclear. If you are breastfeeding your baby, it is recommended that you do not offer a dummy for the first month or so.

Flat head syndrome. Babies are born with soft, pliable skulls, and when laid in the same position over time their heads can become flat. As baby continues to grow and develop, encourage him to play on his stomach and engage in tummy time, which will help to take pressure off the flattened areas. Also try to alternate the side of the cot/bassinet baby sleeps in. By doing so, you will be encouraging him to tilt his head in various directions and preventing flat spots from developing on the back of his head.

Getting bigger. Once your baby starts to pull himself up in his cot, mobiles and objects such as curtains, blind cords and wall hangings pose a safety risk and should be placed out of his reach.

A checklist for purchasing a new cot. The safety standard in the UK is BSEN716 and all cots sold should conform to this. If your cot has a label with this code it means:

  • it is deep enough
  • it has bars that are between 45mm (1.8in) and 65mm (2.6in) apart
  • it does not have cut-outs or steps

How Merino Kids™ also helps to keep your baby safe and sleep better

Go Go Bag™

New Zealand is one of the leading countries into the research of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). The Merino Kids™ Go Go Bag™ baby sleep bag has been designed with the research of SIDS in mind. It is also the first in the world to be internationally recognised for the British Safety Standard for Baby Sleep Bags (BS 8510:2009). Back in 2009, Selina Russell, from the committee which developed the code of practice that led to the new British Standard, said: “Merino Kids products are so good they met the new standard before it was even developed!”

Features of the Merino Kids™ Go Go Bag™:

  • It promotes baby/infant sleeping on their back.
  • It is sleeveless to allow complete air circulation whilst in the cot.
  • It regulates temperature, meaning baby is never too hot or too cold. Overheating is prevented. No extra covers or loose beddings are required.
  • It is designed to ensure that baby does not get entangled or slides in the bedding – the neck opening is at the right size.
  • The zip and poppers are strong and safe. The zip is also covered at the armhole to ensure it does not snag.
  • No dangerous chemicals or dyes are used in its production. It is 100% natural, organic and merino wool is naturally hypoallergenic making it ideal for babies with skin conditions.
  • Unlike synthetics, Merino wool is naturally fire-retardant and can even self-extinguish.
  • It has an innovative seat belt aperture for ease of travelling.

Cocooi™ Swaddle

Our swaddle is the first in the world to be made from Merino wool. It is also a winner of internationally renowned awards. Swaddling’s ability to soothe and calm babies has been clear to women for countless generations. For babies, being swaddled after birth recreates the security and coziness of the womb and prevents ‘Startle’ (or Moro) reflex. This stimulates healthy sleep patterns which have been proven to promote strong development in a newborn’s early days.

Features of the Cocooi™ Swaddle:

Gives your baby the freedom to move naturally – The Cocooi™ Swaddle’s patented diagonal-wing design means your baby can tuck hands against chest, raise up knees and kick and punch without the swaddle coming undone or covering the face. The bottom half is a wide, loose pouch that gives plenty of room for baby to move freely and, most importantly, allows the legs to fall naturally in the “frog-like” position and not be hindered by the material. Merino Kids™ is aware of the concerns of hip-dysplasia and constantly talks with medical organisations which affirm that: “Commercial products for swaddling should have a loose pouch or sack for the babies’ legs and feet, allowing plenty of hip movement”. Cocooi™ Swaddles have been assessed to fulfil these requirements in full.

Fits snugly and securely without constricting – Merino fibre has a natural elasticity which, in conjunction with the Cocooi™ Swaddle’s innovative diagonal-winged design, explains how it snugly and securely suits newborn babies up to three months old without using spandex, self-fasteners, poppers or constricting arm restraints.

Helps to regulate temperature – Being made from 100% Merino wool, the Cocooi™ Swaddle is perfect for any season and environment by keeping your baby warm in the cold and cool in the heat. Nursery room temperatures can fluctuate causing a newborn baby to often wake up. Merino’s unparalleled ability to breathe means your baby’s body temperature is regulated before they have the capability to do it themselves. Overheating is prevented.

Sensitive to babies with skin irritations and eczema – Our Merino is totally organic and not been treated with chemicals. It is luxuriously soft, light, non-itchy and hypo-allergenic, helping babies with sensitive skin and eczema problems thanks to its ability to readily release moisture next to the skin, creating a perfect micro-climate around the body. The material also retains less odour and nasty smells, thus reducing the need for frequent washing.

Swaddle on the move – The Cocooi™ Swaddle’s innovative seat belt vent allows your baby to be swaddled when riding in the car or buggy. The handy pouch design also means quick nappy checks and changes in the night are possible without unwrapping your baby’s arms which might wake them. This all reduces baby-handling and makes for a more relaxed sleep-time routine, which together with Merino’s natural temperature-regulating qualities, make the Cocooi™ Swaddle the ideal sleeping environment for a newborn baby in any season.

Award-winning – The Merino Kids™ Cocooi™ Swaddle was awarded the Seal of Outstanding Design Quality in the prestigious 2008 International Forum Product Design Awards and also featured in the 2008 Red Dot Design Awards, which ranks among the largest and most renowned design competition in the world.

Safe swaddling is for babies at times of sleep or rest, day or night, but not for 24 hours a day as babies also need playtime to move and develop freely. Safe swaddling is from birth until about 3 months old.