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!
Sometime later I had my first child. At 10months old, 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 baby swaddle was its simplicity. A practical two piece baby 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 natural movement and yet allowed me a few extra minutes to attend to him on waking.
I can honestly say that at the time my babywrap, 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 babies of many different cultures have been lovingly swaddled and wrapped in gauze, muslin, cotton bands materials and natural fibre blankets of different kinds.
For my subsequent children and grandchildren I was able to use my babywrap invention from when they were quite little, placing the Sleepwrap over the top of their sleepwear or so that when the time came that they wanted to have their arms and hands free I could simply use the Sleepwrap on its own to keep them safe and snug and in the cooler months over their baby sleeping bag.
I taught all my three babies how to turn around within the Sleepwrap between 6-9months old once they were out of the high Cot Death/SIDS risk period and once they could naturally turn from front to back and back again; this then allowed them to sleep in their desired sleep position.
Basically the Sleepwrap also gave us a right royal night’s sleep by helping us follow the main National and International safe sleeping guideline. ‘Keep baby’s head and face clear.’
Our Company’s Aim:
It is our overall objective and mission to provide top quality, batch quality tested, safe products for babies to help parents and caregivers. This in conjunction with positive, nurturing parenting skills to keep babies safer with natural, comfortable movement while sleeping in their bed and to give parents, grandparents and caregivers a well-deserved and all-important peace of mind.
Since its conception in 1976 and delivery onto the world market in 1992, hundreds of thousands of babies have slept safely with the Safe T Sleep Sleepwrap & HEADwedge.
I have worked alongside Medical Professionals, parents in general and the wider Community to promote Safe T Sleep, presenting medical papers at National and International level, practical sleeptime workshops and numerous positive parenting workshops ensuring Safe T Sleep information is based on sound evidence-based data.
Miriam Rutherford-van Gisbergen