One mum reviews the Cocoonababy Nest, an ergonomic cocoon that is meant to help newborns sleep better.
It was 1.38am, I’d once again turned to my late night companion Google, as I held a three-week-old sleeping newborn on my chest- the only position he got more than four minutes of sleep in.
Google led me to an article by writer Zoe Foster Blake, 'What I used and liked for my second baby' and I started to read through my sleep deprived haze.
Her baby, like mine, was gassy and refused to sleep lying down, and she said that one particular bad night she tried a Cocoonababy Nest and like magic it had worked to put her baby to sleep. Foster Blake wrote: “it’s on an incline, and it’s wonderful. I’ve loaned mine to three friends, bought one for a new mum friend and deeply wish I’d invented it.”
Needless to say I had punched in my credit card details quicker than you can read that last sentence.
It arrived three days later, I remember because I anxiously waited by the door for it, and while it didn’t have said newborn instantly sleeping through the night, it was a gamechanger on so many levels.
But before I get into that, let's back up a bit.
What is a Cocoonababy?
The Cocoonababy Nest is essentially a nest-like mattress for newborns to sleep in. According to the website, it is “an ergonomic cocoon designed for use in the cot during baby's first months as it reassures babies and help them adapt smoothly to life after birth.”
Developed in 1995 by a pediatric physiotherapist in collaboration with medical professionals, the Cocoonababy has been extensively used in hospitals and in homes around the world since.
What are the benefits of a Cocoonababy?
Sleeping in the nest has it’s advantages, some listed by the brand include; helping improve the quality and length of time of sleep, minimising the risk of flat head syndrome, limiting gastric reflux and reducing involuntary jerky movements, thanks to the velcro strap, which can lead to babies waking.
Obviously all babies are different so I can only speak to my own experience, but for my son from the day it arrived, it saw him sleeping for larger chunks at night in his cot without me having to hold him. This meant I was also able to get some sleep. So tick number one.
I also found it was really helpful in teaching him to self settle. The snug, hug like shape meant I could just put him in his sleep sack, velcro him into the cocoonababy nest, give him the dummy at nap and bedtimes and he’d put himself to sleep. No patting for hours like I did with my first son. This meant I was able to look after my other son, making juggling the two much easier.
Dummy, check! Cocoonababy, check! Sleep on!
It was also so portable! If he fell asleep in my bedroom I could move him somewhere else without waking him. It also made travelling or visiting friends and family less stressful as I’d simply take that along for him to have all his naps in. This meant his sleeps weren’t compromised by my attempt at a ‘social’ life.
The cocoonababy is to be used in deep cots and bassinets (not moses baskets or strollers), I also found it so useful to just put it on the floor.
To ensure I wasn’t the only one who was obsessed and dida quick straw poll via my Whatsapp.
What other mums say about the cocoonababy
“Yesssss we loved it. Alex slept in it from the first night we bought him home from the hospital and he was always an amazing sleeper. Not sure if the cocoonababy can take sole credit but I certainly think the enveloping nature and bar under the legs helped him feel somewhat as if he’s still in the womb and having him slightly raised helped avoid any kind of colic,” wrote one friend.
Another said: “It was a game changer for us! Especially handy when we went to Ireland as it provided a totally consistent sleep environment no matter where we were. It was like an instant portable cot for a newborn, on planes, in the airport, in hotels and at other people’s houses. She would sleep soundly anywhere she went because it was so familiar.”
"It was like an instant portable cot for a newborn"
Adding: “I would always take her out of the bedroom to feed her on the lounge at night so I didn’t disturb my husband (it’s crazy when I remember now that her feeds took almost an hour!) and so i would pick up the cocoonababy and carry her in and out of the bedroom in it without waking her. We would joke that it was like escorting the queen on her ‘tiny throne’.”
“Charlotte literally lived in it. So convenient to have her in something safe as I carried it around the house to wherever we were, particularly with my other two kids. They could feel close to her but not on top of her! Game changer when visiting people too as so easy to pop it on someone’s bed - or the table while we were eating. Often a dinner centrepiece.”
The transition from cocoonababy to cot
The Cocoonababy is suitable for babies from 2.8kg to around 3 to 4 months, but once they are rolling you should stop using it.
So how do you transition from a cocoonababy to a cot?
I was so scared for this day! But a year or so on I don’t actually remember it being that bad. I asked a friend who has also drunk the Cocoonababy kool aid and she says,“It did take a few days (but also coincided with 4 month sleep regression so I don’t know if the transition woke him up or just the age) - but I remember we rolled up a towel and put it under the fitted cot sheet around his head/shoulders for a few days so he still felt as if he was in it and secure. Absolutely no idea if that was necessary or not!”
"So easy to pop it on someone’s bed - or the table while we were eating. Often a dinner centrepiece."
Where to buy a cocoonababy
They are a little pricey and as babies aren’t in them that long, they are a great purchase to buy for the first child so you can get more mileage out of it. I definitely wish I had’ve had one with my first.
Safety and Cocoonababy
Things to note, the Cocoonababy foam is made of PU (polyurethane) foam which is certified CertiPUR. This ensures that the product is manufactured in compliance with the highest Safety, Health and Environment standards.
Unfortunately there is no guarantee against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) as the exact cause of SIDS is unknown so regardless of the mattress you buy you should also follow safe sleeping guidelines:
- Sleep baby on the back from birth, not on the tummy or side
- Sleep baby with head and face uncovered
- Keep baby smoke free before birth and after
- Provide a safe sleeping environment night and day
- Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as an adult care-giver for the first six to twelve months
- Breastfeed baby
Be sure to always follow the Cocoonababy instructions.
Review originally published by Kidspot.com.au by Eliza Cracknell