The SLEEPY HUGS® story is not dissimilar to many other baby sleep products out in the market. However, its unique design comes from years of testing many products that claim to help your baby sleep better.
Of course, while some of these products work for some babies, they either didn't work for mine or I had needed to add/combine other things to improve their effectiveness. So, I decided to create a product that combined a number of features and functions where other products fell short.
The SLEEPY HUGS® sleep suit is based upon the premise that most babies love to be swaddled as newborns because it gives continuity to the feeling of being in the womb which provides an environment of security for them. However, despite the need for security, it also became apparent that not all babies actually enjoy being swaddled.
STARTLE REFLEX Babies while asleep are in a state of dream sleep (REM). The state of dream sleep occurs in about 50% of a newborn's sleep. During this sleep, your baby's eyes dart back and forth under their eyelids, while the rest of their body is very still. They will have the occasional twitch and may do little jerks in their sleep known as the startle reflex or 'moro' reflex.
The startle or 'moro' reflex is one of many reflexes that babies are born with and is part of their defence 'fight or flight' mechanism. It is an automatic reaction to a loud noise, or the sensation of falling and causes the baby to be startled and flail their arms sidewards/upwards then immediately bringing their arms to their chest in the foetal position. So if that baby is falling asleep and suddenly has a startle reflex, it will go from relaxed to hysterical in .6 seconds and when their arms move about, they no longer feel the safe environment of the womb - the edges of their little world.
(photo source - University of Southern California)
GOOD NEWS The good news is that the startle reflex usually disappears after around 3 or 4 months, but this may be later for some babies. Hence, why we are encouraged to swaddle babies from birth until the startle reflex has disappeared.
WHEN SWADDLING NO LONGER WORKS However, for some babies, the enjoyment and security of being swaddled is preferred long after the startle reflex has disappeared but unfortunately, swaddling no longer does the job or no longer keeps them satisfied. Babies grow stronger and have developed 'Houdini-like' skills and have mastered the art of escaping the swaddle, or worse have started rolling over while swaddled which poses a safety risk. And for some, are unable to cope with the feeling of being unswaddled.
FREE RANGE MOVEMENT The SLEEPY HUGS® sleep suit has been designed to allow your baby to move their arms freely while still providing an enclosed, secure feeling that they enjoy. It is designed as a totally enclosed sleep suit but with a slight resistance in the arms so that they can move their arms around freely yet gives them that 'edge' feeling. So, when they experience a startle reflex, they immediately feel secure.
TRIED AND TESTED I've tested this theory out primarily with my own baby. I tried so many products and combinations of products including the one's that zip up all the way to the top like a cocoon (and at one stage a swaddle wrap underneath), which worked for a while until my baby no longer wanted the restriction of being swaddled but was not ready for full freedom.
HAPPINESS The SLEEPY HUGS® sleep suit was what gave my baby, and many others that have tried it, that secure feeling and improved sleep that was so much needed. And as we all know, a sleeping baby is a happy baby and a happy baby is a happy family!
We hope you find the SLEEPY HUGS® sleep suit helps your baby sleep better.
Lourdes (aka Malou) Villarreal and The BABY LOVES SLEEP family
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