Sunday, October 30, 2016

That Special Delivery Baby Hammock. How it's Working Out for Us from 0-3 months

Back in July I posted about our Special Delivery Baby Hammock which I received for review.  This is a sponsored post, but all opinions and experiences contained within are completely my own. Since then a lot of people have asked about how that is working out for us, so I figured it was time for an update. 

This is Annika.  Our very own Special Delivery Baby Hammock tester. 

She just turned 3 months old.  And despite the fact that she holding a light saber and has the name Annika, we are NOT big Star Wars fans or anything. Pinky-swear.  At least, I'm not. Just had to clear that up.  She may or may not have 1 or 2 older siblings who are big Stars Wars fans that may or may not have given her a light saber to wave around.  

You can read her birth story here, if you are interested in that sort of thing.

So, back to the Special Delivery Baby Hammock.   How's that working out for us?  If you remember correctly, I was looking for something that would help Annika nap out of arms. We co-sleep at night (very happily) so I was not concerned about night-time sleeping.

First of all, Annika almost always falls asleep either nursing, riding in the car, or riding in the sling.  She's not the type of baby who just goes from awake to asleep all by herself.  None of my babies have ever done that with any regularity and she isn't any different. 

Second of all, her favorite place to sleep is next to me, in the sling or being held (by me or anyone else).  She's smart that one!.  I say this because I want to emphasize the fact that Annika isn't an "easy" baby who just falls asleep by herself.  She is your typical velcro-baby born to parents who are too lazy to encourage independent sleep...even with the fifth baby. It's so much easier to just nurse to sleep.

When it comes to the Special Delivery Baby Hammock, there are really three factors to be concerned with: safety, effectiveness and ease of use. 

Let's talk about our experience.

Is It Safe?:  Yes, it seems very safe to me. Very.  Even if it is bumped or rocked, the baby is well protected and supported inside there.  I think it would be very difficult for a baby to climb out of it or fall out.  A toddler could probably climb out on their own, but one could simply hang it close enough to the ground so it is safe for a toddler to do so. 

Accidentally bumping it with the baby inside does no harm whatsoever so long as it is hung to be clear of any obstacles it could hit.  The hammock just swings gently and the baby is still safe, snuggled inside.  Our dog is always bumping into ours, because it is hung at just the right height and it just gently sways a bit and she is fine.  Heck, we are always bumping into it, and it just sways a bit, and she is fine.  I do think it is super important to hang the hammock in a location so as to be free and clear of anything it could hit.

Now, if someone were to actually pull it back and swing it hard, they could hurt a baby, but just bumping into it is fine.  If you have older children who are likely to do that or likely to run into it really hard, I would be sure to hang it in an out of the way place. 

Can a baby roll over in it?

Annika has been able to roll onto her side while in it. 

However, she is fine on her side and is able to roll back onto her back all on her own.  I do not think a baby would actually be able to roll all the way over onto their belly while in it. 

The fabric itself is very thin and breathable anyway, so even if a baby's nose were to get pressed up against it, the baby could breathe right through it. 

I'm a pretty paranoid mom, and I'm not worried about the safety of it at all. 

Does it work?  Sometimes.  Actually the older she gets, the better it seems to work.  When she was newborn, she would sleep in it occasionally. 

 As she has been getting older and bigger, she seems to do better and better in it.  Lately, I can usually get at least 1 good nap a day out of it. Sometimes more than one. That's amazing!

There are two reasons why I think the hammock works better the older she gets.  The first is that as she gets heavier, the hammock hangs down further and the fabric is pulled closer around her, so she is more snuggled into it. 

Also, the heavier she gets, the more responsive the spring is, and the more she is able to "bounce" herself back to sleep if she startles awake or wakes up. 

It says on the website that the spring isn't responsive until 8 pounds.  Annika was 7 lb, 7 oz. at birth, so it took her until 2-3 weeks to reach 8 pounds.   However, even at that weight, the spring wasn't that responsive to her movements. 

 As she's gotten bigger, it's definitely gotten better.
So, I don't know that it works super well for really tiny newborns (although she did sleep in it sometimes as you can see from the above picture), but it's working pretty well now that she is 3 months old.  I would say that around 2 months is when we really started to get regular good naps out of it and I noticed the spring bouncing more when she moved.  Annika was 10 lbs, 8 oz at her 2-month check-up, so I'm thinking that 10 lbs might be more of the "magic weight" where the spring works better and the baby hangs far enough down to really be snuggled inside the hammock.  If you have a big baby, it might work really well for you, starting at birth.

The other reason that the hammock is working better now that she is a bit older is that developmentally she has more defined times of sleep and wakefulness.  She's  out of that newborn, sleep/doze/catnap phase and now has more definite periods of naps with longer periods of being awake.  She typically falls asleep nursing, I wait until she is "good and asleep" and then I put her in the hammock and she stays asleep. 

The super awesome thing is that lots of times she'll wake up and start moving and I'll hear the hammock bouncing a bit, and then she falls back asleep and sleeps a bit longer

On that note, it is a tiny bit noisy in that makes a small amount of noise when the baby moves in it.  You can hear the spring.  That is awesome during the day, because it let's you check on the baby without actually "checking" on them.  However, I imagine that some people might find that disturbing at night, if the hammock was in their room.  We don't use it at night, so it's not a problem for us.

Ease of Use: The Special Delivery Baby Hammock is very easy to install and use.  It comes with an eye screw to screw into the ceiling, but I bought a door clamp which made installation a breeze.  Super, super easy.  It takes a bit of practice getting a baby into the hammock, but once you figure it out, it's really easy...just takes a bit of practice. 

It is also completely wash-able.  I've already taken it off the wooden rod, washed it, and put it back on.  It wasn't difficult at all. 

Would I recommend it?: Absolutely! I wish I had it earlier with other babies. Annika definitely takes naps in it outside of my arms, which is all I wanted out of it.  I will say that if it doesn't work for a newborn right away, keep trying.  Annika sleeps in it better now than she did as a newborn, so I'm glad I kept at it. There is also plenty of room for growth.  I'm pretty sure Annika will easily fit in the hammock for another year or even two (she's been at about the 40th she's not a big baby). I think it will work for quite some time with her.

I'm very confident that she sleeps in it better than she would in a crib or a bassinet.  The swinging/bouncing of the hammock when she moves in it, definitely helps soothe her back to sleep.  Furthermore, since the fabric is soft, there is no risk of plagiocephaly or "flat-head syndrome" from lying in it.  

And, since the last time I posted about the hammock, I linked up with My Sunday Best, I figured I would so again this time. 

Here's what Elsa (who always wants to model for pictures) and I wore today.  Elsa did wear shoes to Mass though.  I promise.  My children all just adverse to wearing shoes anytime they don't have to. 

Hope everyone is enjoying this fall day!

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