If you are or have been a mom-to-be, then you know there is a vast amount of information (both helpful and contradictory) out there on everything from pregnancy to pros and cons of breastfeeding to how best parent your child. Let alone the advice you have been or are going to be undoubtedly receiving from anyone you come into contact with. It’s a little overwhelming to say the least.
However, there is one thing that I am excited for which is the first time the baby the baby falls asleep in my (or my husband’s) arms. I already know that skin-to-skin contact is important. As human beings, we crave it (after all, that’s why we hug, kiss, hold hands, cuddle and so on), so why would a newborn be any different?
But what happens when the baby falls asleep on your chest and you have to juggle a sleeping baby while you reach for the remote? I know this is not the best example, but probably a pretty common issue.
Future Mommy-to-Be Solutions: SleepBelt
One product solution I have come across is the SleepBelt. The SleepBelt is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, it is a thick piece of fabric that you cover the back of the sleeping baby with and attach behind you like a belt to hold the baby in place so you can be hands-free. It attaches with Velcro so you can adjust it comfortably to fit you and your baby. It’s made from a spandex-like material that has some stretch and there are no tough seams on the top or bottom of the band for optimal comfort to your baby. The fabric is also rather soft which I think will make it comfortable if you are wearing it for long periods of time (if your baby is a good sleeper).
On the front, there is also a “Mama Pocket” that can be used for anything from a pacifier to a stuffed animal. The SleepBelt will allow for easy transfer from chest to crib. It can also be worn with or without clothing. Another great feature is that the SleepBelt is made in Canada.
The SleepBelt was created in part to help promote skin-to-skin contact with babies. Skin-to-skin contact (SSC) between a baby and its parent is a very important part of development and it should start as soon after delivery as possible.
A few of the benefits of SSC are as follows:
- Better sleep
- Temperature regulation
- Breathing regulation
- Pain relief
- Immune System development
- Brain development
- Calming effect
I mean if something as simple as SSC can do all of that, who wouldn’t try to do it as much as possible. I think the SleepBelt will be a great aid to helping continue SSC for as long as possible without disruption.
Before using your SleepBelt, make sure you read the package. There is no information sheet include with the product, the only information you have is on the back of the package itself. One thing that I wish there was more information on is how to wash this product. The package does tell you it is machine washable which is great, but can it go in the dryer? Just based on personal experience, I wouldn’t recommend placing this product in the dryer. I think putting the SleepBelt in the dryer will cause it lose some of its elasticity. Also, since it does use Velcro as a means of attachment, if the Velcro gets stuck to the wrong part of the SleepBelt or even to other articles of clothing in the dryer you could ruin the product.
It does come in 3 sizes. The sizes are small (size 0-10), medium (size 8-18) and large (size 16-26). However, if you would fit into a small and your partner would fit into a large, you made need to purchase more than one if you both want to use the SleepBelt. It is made with a stretchy fabric, but I don’t think this is something that you would want to fit too tightly.
Another very important thing to remember is that the SleepBelt is NOT a carrier! It is a product simply to help you be hands free while sitting or laying down. It is not safe to be used as a replacement for a carrier.
The SleepBelt sells for $50.00 which seems a little high. It does seem to be well made and it is made with great quality fabric, however I am not sure if I wasn’t given this product to test that I would go out and purchase it myself. It would be a great gift idea for a baby shower though. I’m excited to try this product once my baby comes to see if it makes a difference in my baby’s comfort and sleep patterns.
Have you used the SleepBelt? What did you think?