The Cocoonababy nest was originally developed for premature babies on the neonatal ward of the North Hospital (Hôpital Nord) in Marseilles, France.
As time went by, the medical team realised that if full term babies were to lie in a similar nest they would also benefit from the advantages gained by the preemies. So, working closely with the medical team, Red Castle France created a larger version of the Cocoonababy nest for full term infants to use for the first four months of their lives. This model is available throughout France and abroad in shops and on websites which sell Red Castle products. In the Cocoonababy nest, your baby lies on his back in a semi-foetal, “contained” position. Whilst conforming to the medical recommendation that newborns should sleep on their backs, in the Cocoonababy nest, a child feels as safe and secure as he did when in his mother’s womb.
The semi-foetal position helps him to sleep longer and better. It also helps to avoid startle reflex (when a peaceful, sleeping baby suddenly throws his arms outwards and wakes up crying). It limits the risk of your baby getting a flat head, suffering from reflux and, by enabling your baby to touch his face and mouth, it helps him learn to control his movements (liberate and direct his motricity). The semi-foetal position also helps your baby develop relationships with those around him whereas lying flat on his back he would be looking at the ceiling or would invariably have his head turned to the same side (which is the position he adopted latterly in the womb).
This newborn version is for children weighing 2.8kg (6.2 lbs) and more. The Cocoonababy nest includes:
- an adjustable wedge which can be moved down the nest as baby grows, during his first 4 months.
- a white Fleur de Coton fabric fitted sheet.
- a Tummy band which maintains the child in an ideal position without impeding his freedom of movement.
During the first few months of a newborn baby’s life, the ergonomically shaped Cocoonababy will reassure your baby and help him or her adapt as well as possible to their new life. Lying in the nest, the baby, having left the boundaries of his mother’s womb, feels ‘contained’ and comforted.
The Cocoonababy allows your baby to adopt a semi-foetal, cradled posture with his or her shoulders and spine slightly rounded. This has many advantages including:
- It allows your baby to touch their face and mouth like he or she did in the womb giving them reassurance.
- It can help reduce gastric reflux.
- It can limit the risks of cranial 'flat head' syndrome, commonly caused when baby sleeps on his back on a traditional mattress.
- It frees and directs the baby's movement, which can help hand eye co-ordination development.
- It can improve the interactivity between the baby and those around him/her.
- It can be used to co-sleep with your baby
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. My health visitor says that babies should lie on a firm surface. The nest seems soft so I’m not sure about using it.
A. She is quite right – a child should not be placed on a soft surface as his body will “sink” into it. However on a flat, hard surface a baby cannot lie in a cradled posture which reminds him of his mother’s womb and reassures him. The Cocoonababy nest is neither soft, flat, nor hard: it is designed in such a way that its base is firm yet its surface soft. This ergonomic design has many advantages: it keeps baby on his back but cradles him, allows him to move his arms and head freely and to interact with those around him.
Q. After using the nest for a few days my baby seems to lie more deeply in it. Is this normal?
A. This is perfect - This means that the special fabric covering the foam has moulded itself to the shape of the foam. Your baby is really in his nest !
Q. I have noticed that since I bought my Cocoonababy nest you have added a belt – is this for safety reasons ?
A. In fact we designed this Tummy Band to reassure parents who worried that their baby might roll out of the nest. Although we advise to stop using the Cocoonababy nest well before the child could roll out (ie. as soon as baby starts trying to change position in the nest) we decided that since the Tummy Band would not alter the functions of the nest, nor hinder baby’s movements, it could only enhance the use of the product. It has been validated by the medical profession and in fact the light pressure it makes on your baby’s tummy reassures him too.
Q. I read that a child is able to move in the nest but you say that he can’t get out of it.
A. When we say that a child can move in the nest we mean that he can turn his head and move his arms allowing him to discover his hands. However, during the first months of his life he is unable to roll onto his side or turn over in the nest.
Q. You say that the Cocoonababy nest should be used day and night. Is that not too much?
A. Thanks to its shape and the materials used to make it, the Cocoonababy nest is the only product which can be used day and night for the first months. The posture adopted by your child in the nest has been studied in depth by medical specialists and is the best one for your baby’s comfort and development. So it is important that baby should be in the nest when he is not in your arms, on a playmat or out for a stroll. It reassures and comforts him, gives him the freedom of movement which encourages his eye-hand development, and allows him to interact with those around him when he is not asleep.
Q. I am worried that my baby may slip between the bars of his cot and the sides of the nest?
A. There is no risk of this happening so long as you follow the instructions for use closely and stop using the nest as soon as your child starts trying to change position in the nest. A child is physically incapable of getting out of the nest alone before 3-4 months.
Q. You seem to find it important that a baby can touch his face in Cocoonababy. Why is this?
A. In the womb a baby can touch his face and even suck his thumb. If he is on his back on a flat, hard surface a newborn’s arms will lie on either side of his head in a “3 branch candlestick “posture. He can’t touch his face as he hasn’t the strength to move his arms upwards – and it is said that in this posture babies suffer from "separation anxiety" as they are lying in a space too big for them and they lose their bearings. In the Cocoonababy nest baby can touch his face, mouth and body thereby feeling the limits of his own body.
Q. Some mothers say that there are other products on the market made in visco-elastic foam (memory foam) which are the same thing as the Cocoonababy nest.
A. This is not true. The Cocoonababy nest is not made in visco-elastic foam. It is made from two different kinds of foam, one used for reactivity, the other for comfort. The products made in visco-elastic foam maintain the child in the position in which he is placed on them and are therefore to be avoided until the child has gained his own motor skills (around 4-5 months). The Cocoonababy nest produces the opposite effect: it helps the child move his head and arms at an early stage thus gaining motor skills.
Q. Can the nest be placed in a carrycot?
A. No because a carrycot is not deep enough. The sides of the cot or the cradle should be at least 20cms higher than the top of the nest (in conformity with the safety regulations and bedding standard).
Q. Can my baby wear a sleeping bag in the Cocoonababy nest?
A. Yes, he can– however, choose a small size (65cms maximum) suitable for a baby up to 4 months. A bigger size would be too bulky.
Q. My baby seems to be very hot in the Cocoonababy nest. What should I do?
A. It is normal that lying in a cradled position your baby will feel warmer than if he is lying flat on his back. Imagine if you yourself were to sit curled up in an armchair, as opposed to sitting on a straight backed chair with nothing around you. Just put less clothes or covers on him and by touching the nape of his neck you will be able to establish if he is too warm or not.
Q. I have seen baby “beanbags” which look as if they are similar to the Cocoonababy nest?
A. No they are not the same. The products which are filled with small polystyrene beads maintain the child in the position in which he is placed (just like ‘memory foam’). The effect they have is totally opposite to the advantages procured by the Cocoonababy nest.
Q. Can I use a swaddling blanket to swaddle my baby when he is in the nest?
A. Yes, it is possible to swaddle your child in the Cocoonababy nest. However, a child which starts life in the nest will most probably not need to be swaddled : in fact, the semi-foetal, cradled posture which his body adopts in the nest will help the child to feel secure, prevent him suffering from startle/Moro Reflex (sudden, uncontrolled arm movements) and reduce the chances of his suffering from gastric reflux. It will help him sleep better too.
Q. The Cocoonababy nest seems quite small to me. I don’t really think my child will be able to use it for four months.
A. If you have a big baby, when he gets to 4 months old he may be longer than the nest – but this is not a problem. Simply remove the wedge and allow your baby’s legs to rest on the bottom edge of the nest with his feet over the end. What is important is that at all times baby must not be able to push against anything with his feet and put himself into a hyper-extended posture.
Q. I have a cushion I bought to support me during my pregnancy. Couldn’t I use it to cradle my baby like the nest during the first few months?
A. Support/feeding cushions are generally filled with polystyrene beads. If you place your child in the centre of the cushion it will effectively make him feel cradled or “contained” in a small space but he will automatically remain in that posture - which will not necessarily be the right one. Leaving him lying in an incorrect posture for a few hours during the day or during the night is not recommended. Products made from beads can sag so parental surveillance is essential at all times. There is no substitute for the Cocoonababy nest which has evolved through years of medical observation.
Q. If I put my baby in the nest during the daytime, how can I distract him?
A.You could put the nest onto a play mat with a toy bar on it or put him in his cot with a mobile to look at - but ensure that the toys are level with his feet and not directly above his head. Contrary to usual practice, it is very important that a child lying on his back should have his gaze drawn towards his feet to encourage him to adopt a cradled posture. If his gaze is drawn above his head this encourages a hyper extended posture which is detrimental to his comfort and development. When lying in the nest, baby will also be able to watch the other family members – and he will be happy to participate in what is going on around him.
Q. On the new model, you have added a Tummy Band. What is its purpose?
We all know that the motor skills of a child less than 4 months old would not permit him to get out of the nest. This question, however, is one which is recurrent among first time parents. From now on, the Cocoonababy nest includes a Tummy Band which, thanks to its special design, does not restrict baby’s movements. It will reassure his parents… and baby will feel even happier as this small band has a calming effect! In fact, as does swaddling, it applies the same light pressure on baby’s tummy as your hand would to appease colic and it incites the child to adopt a ‘centred’ rather than an ‘extended’ position.
Q. Can the Cocoonababy be used for second or third children?
It’s not at all a problem to use a Cocoonababy for a second and third child, because of its high quality no-memory foam mattress. The Cocoonababy mattresses are in fact used on a daily basis in several maternity-clinics for many different babies. For hygiene reasons etc. we would recommend to change the fitted sheet. It’s possible to purchase extra fitted-sheets from us.
If the Cocoonababy mattress has always been used with its protection-cover plus cotton cover and if it has been stored away properly in a dry place, then there will be no particular hygiene problems to use it for several siblings. We suggest to vacuum clean the foam before re-use.
It is not recommended to put it outside in the sun to air it and let the sun “sterilize” it, because the sun may discolour the foam.
Suitable for 0-4 months
Dimensions: 69cm long x 39 cm wide x 17cm deep (at the top - approx 14 cm for the rest)
We ship your cocoonababy by registered post to all destinations including USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. You will receive a tracking number for your parcel and international delivery can take 5-10 days depending on where you are based. In general registered mail costs from €49 and is slightly more if you are buying extra sheets etc. Contact us if you have any further questions.