easidream

Hello, I’m Lynda, mum to six lovable and lively children and inventor of easidream®

When my sixth child, Bradley was born, he cried constantly and it was a nightly struggle to settle him to sleep…a struggle that went on until he was two and a half years old! I tried everything to soothe him off to sleep, but I discovered that the most reliable way was to lean over the cot sides and create a ‘rocking cot’ motion by moving the mattress up and down. Having scoured shops and the internet for any product that would replicate this movement (and relieve my backache!), I realised that there was nothing suitable out there, so I went on to take the ‘massive step’ of developing a product of my own – easidream®Easidream crib

For the next few years I researched the problem as deeply as possible, canvassing valuable input from sleep experts, university departments and medical professionals like midwives, child psychologists and paediatricians. I also consulted with the baby care industry and product design teams and, of course, surveyed many parents with young babies. At last, after a 7-year gestation easidream® was born!

The finished product has been meticulously designed and researched. I considered it was essential for easidream® to undergo proper scientific trials to validate its efficiency… it was no good just me saying it worked, I needed to be 100% sure that it did! I embarked on a year long period of research in conjunction with University of Brighton medical experts, which involved testing both the moving platform and the soothing sounds on a wide selection of babies. These studies not only revealed just how effective easidream® was at promoting healthy sleep patterns, but also showed that it encourages parents to adopt safe sleep practices.

The findings revealed:

  • Average crying time on easidream® was reduced from 18 minutes to less than 1 minute
  • All of the babies that took part in the trials remained happily settled on their backs; great news in respect of SIDS
  • Time to settle to sleep in some cases was reduced by up to 95%

We all know that when a new baby arrives, uninterrupted sleep is rare and we have to adapt to shorter, broken nights and savour every moment of sleep we can catch. But although we think our bodies are coping with just a few ‘catnaps’ a night, continuous lack of sleep eventually catches up on us all; it’s vitally important that we understand just how crucial sleep is to the whole family’s well being… not just for healthy child development, but also for the general health and well being of everyone in the household. Did you know that it has been proven that well rested children develop faster, are healthier and have fewer behavioural problems? With adults, lack of sleep has been proven to affect both memory and cognitive skills…. What more can I say? I was determined to invent a product that would not only help soothe particularly fractious babies, but also promote the formation of a healthy sleep pattern, so both babies and parents could benefit from a good night’s rest.

easidream® actually assists in encouraging the formation of a healthy sleep pattern plus it encourages babies to self settle on their back in the cot, which is great news in the fight against SIDS. It also solves the problem of sleep deprivation for the whole family by rewarding them with those valuable hours of sleep they so richly deserve.  End result: happy, healthier babies and happy, healthier parents!

HEALTHFUL HINTS:

  1. Putting babies to sleep
    • Make sure you place your baby with their feet at the foot of the cot (but not touching the end of the cot) , to reduce the likelihood of the baby wriggling down and becoming overheated underneath any cot bedding, which may end up over the baby’s head. Overheating has been shown to greatly increase the likelihood of a SIDS related incident occurring. 
    • Also, remove soft toys from the cot, as they too could increase your baby’s temperature to an unsafe level.  This is why ewan, our dream sheep, is secured to the cot bars and not positioned directly in line with your baby’s head, just in case he becomes detached – although this is extremely unlikely! (Some of our website shots are at an angle that may look like ewan is close to the head, but I can assure you he’s not!)
    • Always ensure your baby is placed to sleep on their back; again this is incredibly important in reducing the likelihood of a SIDS incident occurring. (The beauty of easidream® is that it has been proven to actually help baby’s settle to sleep on their backs and so parents are more likely to follow the recommended safe sleep guidelines.)
    • While all of this is consistent with the American Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines for Safe Sleeping , each baby is unique.   Always remember to ask your doctor what’s best for your baby’s sleep.
  2. If they wake up or refuse to sleep:
    • …it is extremely important that you go and check your baby to determine the reason why. We have spent a great deal of time researching this particular area and having consulted medical professionals, and it is why we decided against having an automatic sound activated feature or a remote control that would “restart” the soother. As this is such a vulnerable age group, we consider it vitally important that parents return to their baby to remedy any problem – dirty nappy, thirsty, hungry etc. For healthy, happy sleep times we believe that interaction with your baby is vital and we strongly encourage this practise.

Daddy’s Design

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. That rings true for dads too! Born out of frustration, Daddy’s Design was created by two new dads who wanted something better for their little ones.

Like most new parents, the founders used breast feeding pillows to “prop up” their babies in lounging situations. But newborns need lots Daddys Design - feeding timeof head, neck, and body support. Realizing that these pillows didn’t provide enough support, they went shopping for something better. Unable to find a product that provided the total support they were looking for, the two dads sat down and sketched out design after design, literally on napkins! After a lot of trial and error, and several designs later, the Snoogie Seat was born.

The Snoogie Seat provides that much needed head, neck, and body support in a fun and comfortable way. It’s also slightly inclined to give your little one the opportunity to see his or her world. Angled at just the right amount, the Snoogie is a great tool for bottle feeding. Also as I found out first hand, traditional newborn loungers and breast feeding pillows do not securely hold a baby in place. Our Patent Pending design creates a safe and comfortable environment while still keeping baby in a secure position.

All of this was not easy to achieve. When we were designing the Snoogie Seat, we spent a lot of time creating sewing pattern after pattern.  Other pillows and cushions on the market provide some support, but we felt they could be improved upon. The size, shape, and incline of the Snoogie provides support for the infant’s head, neck, and body. The ergonomically correct angle, allows the baby to rest while having their head elevated slightly. The shape of our seat creates a “well like” region in the center, which securely holds baby’s bottom in place. Think “floating in an inner tube.” In this position, baby cannot slide down or roll out. Finally, we wanted the Snoogie‘s size to be convenient for parents (roughly the size of a sofa cushion) but big enough to allow the entire baby’s body to fit within for ultimate safety. So the final shape, size, and angle(s) were of utmost importance. We worked long and hard to get the right combination of each. In the end my newborn daughter was my test model. I would place her in each prototype and observe her. When she was held securely in place and completely supported I knew we had something better! The Snoogie has also been tested by an independent lab for hazardous substances…we passed with flying colors!

On a side note, Daddy’s Design happily gives to Children’s National Medical Center. When she was just two weeks old, the daughter of one of our founders had to spend the weekend at Children’s in Washington DC. The medical personnel were true professionals, and treated the family with care and compassion. Children’s Hospital does great work, treating some of the toughest illnesses in children. Daddy’s Design is honored to contribute to this organization.

Daddy’s Design is on a mission: to have a positive influence on the lives of parents and their children through our products. We are continually looking for ways to improve the experience that parents have with their kids. New ideas are in the works.

HEALTHFUL HINTS:

How anyone (a new dad or a new mom) can feed a baby:

  1. Find a comfortable place to sit for a little while where you can hold your baby comfortably in your lap with the bottle in one hand (note: the Snoogie will be very helpful in making sure the baby’s at a good angle for feeding comfortably). Keep in mind that if you’re comfortable and confident in what you’re doing, you can focus more on your baby…and enjoy the experience more…and your baby will pick up on that.
  2. Before you start feeding the baby make sure to check the temperature of the milk. This can be done by squeezing a few drops on the sensitive side of your wrist. If it feels too hot, let it cool for a few minutes
  3. Make sure to keep a burping cloth or blanket handy…as spills (and spit up) are going to happen!
  4. Remember to burp baby when they are done feeding. They can’t tell you when they have gas…so gently pat their back until they burp each time.
  5. Finally, remember, even though the Snoogie Seat will keep your child safe and secure in your arms, it is not meant for sleeping or lounging on elevated surfaces. Also, although it probably goes without saying, please never leave a baby unattended in the Snoogie Seat or in any child restraining device

What’s New with Swine Flu: Keep Your Family Safe & Have a Laugh Too

What do you do when you hear “global pandemic?” Is it time to build a bunker? Should you and your family lock yourself in with enough PB&J for weeks of sustenance? The novel H1N1 virus commonly known in the US as swine flu has officially been deemed a global pandemic. Somehow, though, the initial flutter seems to have died down. Parents now alternate between worrying about how to protect their families from this illness and wondering if they should purposefully expose their children now when the virus is “mild.”

Though the media buzz has calmed a bit and my friends are surprised to hear it, our pediatric practice in San Franciscofashion-swine-flue-mask1 is seeing huge numbers of children infected with swine flu. Since it is clear that this virus will be with us for some time, I will review what we know about the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus. A strain of flu that infects pigs has mutated so that it can make humans sick, and also be transmitted between humans. It has spread across borders and has caused human-to-human transmission in many countries. It was officially elevated to the level of a “global pandemic,” by the World Health Organization in early June.

It is now clear that this strain of flu will cause illness in tens or hundreds of thousands of people, but that most people who get sick will have a mild to moderate illness. Experts are debating the likelihood of the current virus mutating to a form that is much more virulent by the fall or winter, but the virus may well stay mild. Only time will tell the extent and severity of the 2009 H1N1 influenza.

Being on the front line of a pandemic is quite an experience, and at times I am tempted to feel a little nervous myself. At the moment, however, the best thing that all of us can do is use common sense, stay informed, and, as usual: don’t panic.

Here are some basic facts about this flu virus so far. Things continue to change: please visit a reliable source like the CDC’s website for up-to-date information.

  • The symptoms of this swine flu are the same as “regular” seasonal flu: fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, and body aches. Some people have vomiting or diarrhea and headache along with these symptoms.
  • So far the cases in the US have been mild, but there have been deaths, mostly in people with chronic health conditions.
  • Many people do not know that seasonal influenza causes an average of 35,000 deaths yearly. These deaths are mostly in the elderly.
  • The virus spreads in the same way that seasonal flu spreads: mainly from person to person through coughing and sneezing.
  • The swine flu germ can also be spread by touching an object or surface contaminated by the virus. Some germs can live on surfaces for up to 2 hours.
  • The swine flu virus cannot be transmitted by eating pork products.
  • People with the swine flu may be contagious one day before getting symptoms and up to 7 or more days after they become ill.
  • If you are exposed to swine flu you may become ill 1 to 7 days after exposure.
  • The current flu shot does not protect against this strain of flu virus. A swine flu vaccine is being manufactured, but will not be ready for several months.
  • There are medications to treat swine flu but these medications are only effective when given within the first 24-28 hours of symptoms and only shorten the duration of the illness by one day. Most health authorities are currently recommending the selective treatment of people who are very ill or who have chronic illnesses. These recommendations are also changing: you may read the details on the CDC website or contact your health care provider.

Tips for parents:

  • As always, try to prevent your child (and you!) from getting sick.
    • Wash hands frequently with soap and water or use hand-sanitizing cleaners.
      • Having your child sing the ABC song during the hand washing may get them close to the recommended 15-20 seconds.
    • Cover little mouths and noses when sneezing or coughing.
    • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
    • If you are sick, try to limit your contact with others as much as possible. (I know, this is all *much* easier said than done).
  • If your child has a mild illness, it may be best to stay home, give them your usual excellent care, and closely observe them for signs of serious illness.
  • If your child is moderately ill, please contact your health care provider.
  • If your child is extremely ill, please go to the local emergency department.
  • There is gobs of good and bad information about the swine flu available on TV, the radio and on the internet. Try to get your information from a trusted source.
    • Keep yourself updated about the situation by following the updates by the CDC’s website.
    • In many states, the public health department has a website that is being updated with local information and recommendations. California’s swine flu site has local recommendations.
    • A lover of maps, I like watching this attempt at mapping the number of cases the virus races around the globe. Since I diagnosed about 12 cases (not laboratory confirmed) last Monday without telling these guys, however, I can only imagine that the real numbers are much larger.

 On the Lighter Side:fashion-swine-flue-mask2

A firm believer that humor eases our stress in times of crisis, I wrote a post on my blog about my favorite moments in the virus-formerly-known-as-the-swine-flu epidemic (now pandemic). But they just keep coming. Here are several that hit my funnybone recently.

  • Thanks to Dr. Rahul Parikh for pointing me to the variety of multimedia tools that the CDC  has pulled out for this one!
    • You can send your coworkers and friends an e-card to remind them to wash their hands, cover their sneezes, and keep their snotty little ones out of your kid’s school. But please “send all”– I’m pretty certain I would be offended if I received one of these directed just at me.
    • You can browse flikr to see electron micrograph pictures of the dastardly flu virus itself. There are also pictures of people getting immunizations, presumably part of a vaccine campaign: don’t miss the black and white photo of a woman getting an immunization from a device that looks like a nail gun. Now that’s going to make the kids rush in to get their flu shots!
  • Dr Parikh also highlighted the potential of this outbreak to start a whole new fashion movement. I’m heading in to work today with a sharpy and my favorite red lipstick to make sure that my N95 mask is tres chic.
  • Many of my patients ask me about the prudence of so-called “chicken pox parties” but the idea of a swine flu party is altogether batty. I agree with US officials who call it a “bad idea.” Though most people who get swine flu have only a mild or moderate illness, young healthy people–both children and adults–have developed very severe illness and even died. I would try to make a joke about swine flu parties about I cannot touch the British humor of Bryony Gordon.

Are you finding some humor amidst the chaos and tragedy of this pandemic? If so, please share. We can all use a laugh in these trying times.

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LINK INFORMATION

Sandy S. | Canton, GA; Fri., Jul. 10, 2009

Thank you, ANSR for Kids for recognizing and doing something about this missing link in our emergency care system. It is amazing to learn that there is no law requiring that infants and toddlers be restrained in the back of an ambulance, and I’m sure this is new information to so many other concerned care-givers. I hope our President and his administration take the necessary steps to insure the safety of these babies at a time when their health and/or well-being is already in a compromised state. I urge every mom, dad, and grandparent to sign this petition and stand up for the safe transport of any “little one” they love.

Puj Tub

Puj TubParenting is such a rewarding experience but yet one of the hardest jobs in the world. That is why after having 3 kids of their own, designers Ben and Katie decided to design products of their own that helped them raise their own children and make life a little more simpler so that they could spend more time with their kids instead of stressing over the little things. Hence Puj (pronounce like “pudge”) was born!

As most parents do, Katie and Ben went out looking for the perfect infant tub to bathe their baby in. All they found though were ones that were large and hard to store, messy and hard to keep clean, didn’t cradle and make the baby comfortable, and caused their own back and knees to ache. That is when the idea that there should be a baby tub out there that reduced all these problems that caused such a simple task as bathing to become a huge ordeal.

What came out of this was the innovative invention of the Puj Tub! The idea for the tub came from your simple everyday brown grocery sack. It is light weight, portable, stores flat, and is also able to hold mass. Why not create a tub similar to this concept? Well that is exactly what Ben and Katie did and after three years, the Puj Tub has entered into the world.

Along with the easy to use design of the tub, Ben and Katie also wanted a tub that was healthy and safe for babies as well as the parents. That is why they decided to make the tub from a soft “warm to the touch” foam that cradles the baby. Compared to the large, hard, plastic tubs out on the market right now, this is much more calming and comforting to the little one making bath time more enjoyable for everyone. Also the fear of the backaches and neck cramps that come from bathing your baby are eliminated! The tub can just simply be placed in a bathroom or kitchen sink at your height and there you have it!

Finally, when picking the material for the Puj Tub Ben and Katie first and foremost wanted something that was non-toxic (BPA Free + PVC Free) . As parents of three kids themselves, this was very important to them. From there, they looked for properties like softness vs. stiffness, the material needed to be the perfect combination of the two to enable it to be both soft and supportive.  They also looked for something that was non-absorbant so that it would dry quickly helping it to be anti-bacterial + anti-fungal. All of this resulted in the use of the foam material that the tubs are made of.   The coast guard and the FDA even approve it so it’s gotta be good!

With such an easy to use, store, and health friendly product, bathing your new born will never have been more simple which is just the way Puj wants it.

HEALTHFUL HINTS

Here’s a “top 7 checklist” from Puj Tub that all mommies and daddies should consider before bathing their new babies:

  1. Location. Kitchen, bathroom, counter, pedestal. Consider where your bathing supplies are located and where is the most convenient place to bathe your baby.
  2. Safety. Make sure your infant is secured in position as well as if the tub actually fits in the sink or on the counter you are planning to use.
  3. Comfort for the baby. Your baby needs to feel cradled as well as secure in the tub so no sloshing or slipping of the baby occurs.
  4. Comfort for the mommy or daddy. Make sure the height of the tub is comfortable so that you avoid backaches and knee aches.
  5. Time. Consider convenience and what the most time efficient way is to set-up and clean-up.
  6. Water temperature. Fill the tub first and then test the water with your finger so you know that water is okay for your baby.
  7. Baby skin sensitivity. Make sure you are using doctor recommended soaps that will won’t harm or be sensitive to your babies skin.

Stefanie Z. | Atlanta, GA; Thu., Jul. 9, 2009

All I can say is, I think 1 child’s life is worth it… if there are an average of 4 child fatalities per year, then how can we do nothing? Especially now – with this administration, when making sure every child has healthcare coverage is such a priority – how can we, who are in charge of keeping them safe, put their lives at risk? I hope other people feel as strongly as I do and sign this with me!