It’s exciting to us any time we see fresh and new ideas for helping infants sleep. Of course, we also approach new ideas with a certain amount of caution. After all, the safety of our babies is our main concern. One new idea that is already very popular in New Zealand and Australia and seems to be gaining some ground in the United States is the baby hammock.
The baby hammock is just what the name suggests: a hammock designed for babies. Baby falls asleep on a gently swaying, soft bed which is hung in suspended in the air from a stand.
Much like cradles of old, the baby hammock is able to rock freely. It is, of course, somewhat safer. Proponents (who include noted baby expert Dr. Sears) claim that the positioning of baby hammocks give baby much the same cozy sensation she had in the womb.
Baby hammocks are recommended by many chiropractors for the way they cradle the infant, conforming to her body rather than being rigid. The hammocks come in a variety of designs from several different manufacturers, but the general idea is pretty much the same. Baby sleeps inside a soft bed suspended in the air and allowed to sway freely, creating natural motion which helps keep baby relaxed and leads to longer, sounder sleep.
Amby, one of the leading manufacturers of baby hammocks, claims that their baby hammock helps fussy babies to sleep better, and specifically mentions that their sleep hammock is beneficial for babies with colic or reflux. They also claim that the baby hammock is ideal for twins or premature babies.
For a baby, sleeping in a baby hammock is much like sleeping in a baby sling, except that the parent isn’t carrying the sling around. It can be used to replace a crib for the first few months of baby’s life. If course, once baby gets close to that point when she could climb out of the sling, you should discontinue use and switch to a crib.
Baby hammocks are ideal for families who travel or go camping. They are light weight, most of them are portable, and they allow you to set up a safe sleeping place for baby just about anywhere you go.
When choosing a baby hammock, make sure to look over all of the features. Some of them are more portable than others. Some come with their own stand, others don’t. Some keep baby more snugly than others.