We are so excited to launch one of our favourite new products to Snuggle Bugz, the SleepBelt. Invented and made in Canada by sister team Ashley Wade and Hayley Mullins, SleepBelt is an amazing skin-skin support system that is simple and effective. Given that this is a new product and differs from traditional babywearing, we asked founder and inventor, Hayley Mullins to give us some insight into the inspiration around creating the product as well as an overview of its many uses.
She was two weeks old at the time, and like most babies, was happiest when snuggled up on my chest. One morning while lying down with her, I took my hands off her back to text my sister. She (the baby, not my sister) startled and fell to the floor. She was fine; I was not. Determined that it would never happen again, I tried every product on the market – wraps, carriers, slings, babywearing shirts…. Nothing did what I wanted, which was to simply belt my sleeping baby to me. I approached my sister Ashley (the fall was kind of her fault if you think about it) to bring the SleepBelt product to life. We officially launched August 1st, 2013 and within 5 weeks we had our first NICU product request, and an email informing us that SleepBelt would be recommended in La Leche League International’s book “Sweet Sleep: Nighttime and Naptime Strategies for the Breastfeeding Family.” What makes the SleepBelt product different from other products? Simplicity.
It’s NOT a carrier – if you stand, you need to support your baby – but because it’s not weight bearing, there are so many benefits:
- It’s simple to get on and off. No PhD in wrapping required – even the most sleep deprived, overwhelmed parent can figure this product out in less than 15 seconds.
- The unique 4-way stretch naturally mimics the womb – all carrying products require some stiffness to bear weight. It’s like wrapping your baby in yoga pants… who doesn’t love being wrapped in yoga pants?
- There are no knots, clips, buckles or ties digging into you. No strain on your neck, back or shoulders. SleepBelt is SUPER comfortable… like I said above – yoga pants.
- Baby can be in ANY position – legs tucked, straight, froggy-style, their arms can be in or out, their head can face either direction uncovered.
- It’s appropriate for preemies not yet cleared for traditional babywearing (it’s used in NICUs on teeny tiny babes), as well as twins.
- Want to put baby down once she falls asleep? Simply stretch the SleepBelt and pull it down. No one wants to wake a sleeping baby.
- With 12” of adjustable Velcro, it adjusts with your changing postpartum body and your growing baby.
Think of it as a unique hybrid between swaddling and babywearing, perfect for skin-to-skin cuddles. Most of us know some of the benefits of skin-to-skin, but did you know that just 3 hours of skin-to-skin a day can reduce crying by 43%? And that skin-to-skin contact helps babies fall asleep more easily and sleep for a longer period of time? This stuff is magic.
“Skin-to-skin contact is a great way to keep baby healthy & happy. Discussing the benefits of skin-to-skin contact including: brain development, temperature regulation, breathing regulation, blood sugar regulation, bonding etc. with parents helps them understand why it is physiologically and emotionally ideal for their baby. The SleepBelt is the perfect product to help parents maximize skin-to-skin contact and cuddle time with baby in the first few months.” ~Carolyn Sinclair Registered Midwife & Prenatal Educator
SleepBelt is proud to have the best of the best recommending our product – La Leche Leaque International, Lactation Consultants, Nurses, Doctors, Midwives, Doulas, Sleep Consultants, Prenatal Educators, and Babywearing Experts.It’s amazing for airline travel (holds baby in burping position and it’s not too hot!), and once baby outgrows skin-to-skin, you can use it to hold him forward-facing on your lap, or as added support on a chair (we’ve even seen it in use in a grocery cart and a sled!). As if that’s not good enough, we manufacture in CANADA.
We have spent the past two+ years working on getting SleepBelt into hospitals, and are so excited that moms and dads can now get their own SleepBelts at Snuggle Bugz in a variety of sizes and colours. Check it out here!
Co-Founder & Inventor