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This is my personal story of how I came to design the first now named Safe T Sleep® Sleepwrap® babywrap. 

As a young student nurse in New Zealand I often saw children being admitted to Accident and Emergency with broken wrists, arms, legs and head injuries from falling out of their cots and beds.

I can remember thinking how reactive it was that parents could allow their children to fall out of bed!  I subsequently researched and found that in most ‘developed’ countries National and International statistics show nearly one in five 0-4 year olds admitted to hospital from falls are from cot and bed falls!  I wasn’t going to let my child be one of those statistics!

Some time later I had my first child.  At ten months of age Cameron decided that it was time to also develop and train for his future sports – mountain climbing and abseiling!  I watched in amazement and horror how he instinctively used the ball of one foot to push against the cot slat and pull himself up with the other attempting to climb over the cot edge.  Even though the cot setting was on low, if I had been a few minutes later he may have succeeded!

I needed to invent a safe sleeping device for my Cameron.  A group of us started playing with various solutions and made our own prototypes.  I kept mine extremely simple as I loathed the idea of a restraint. 

The beauty of my babywrap was its simplicity.  A simple two piece safety wrap, one piece going around the mattress and a separate piece sewn on in a simple, special way to go around Cameron.  This gave Cameron plenty of movement and yet allowed me a few extra minutes to attend to him on waking.

I can honestly say that at the time my babwrap, later to be named the Safe T Sleep® Sleepwrap® was, next to breastfeeding, the second most helpful parenting aid for me. It was also an obvious source of comfort and security to my eldest baby Cameron and it literally changed our lives, for the better.

There is also well researched and well documented evidence to show that children respond well to the reassurance of ‘boundaries’.  For centuries babys of different cultures have been lovingly swaddled and wrapped in gauze, muslin, cotton bands materials and blankets of different kinds.

For my subsequent children Anton Karl and Mieka I was able to use my invention from when they were quite little, placing the babywrap over the top of their swaddling wrap so that when the time came that they wanted to have their arms and hands free I could simply use the Sleepwrap babywrap on its own to keep them safe and snug.  

I taught all my three babies how to turn around within the Sleepwrap once they were out of the high SIDS risk period which then allowed them to sleep in their desired sleep position.

Basically theSleepwrap also gave us a Royal Nights Sleep by helping us also follow the main International SIDS preventative guidelines.

Our Company’s Aim:

Since its conception in 1992 I have worked alongside the Medical Professionals, parents in general and the wider Communiuty to promote Safe T Sleep®, presenting medical papers at National and International level, practical sleeptime workshops and numerous positive parenting workshops on Marae’s and Early Childhood Centres to ensure all of Safe T Sleep® information is based on sound evidence-based data. 

It is our overall objective and mission to help parents and caregivers, in conjunction with positive, nurturing parenting skills to keep babies safer while sleeping and to give themselves peace of mind.

Miriam Rutherford-van Gisbergen


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