Amby Nature's Nest
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Age suitable for: Birth to 12 months
Size: 152cm x 67cm x 97cm
It may look unusual, but Amby’s Nature’s Nest is a sleeping innovation that really works, and can help with reflux and colic.
The swinging and bouncing hammock was designed by an Australian Ambrose Hooi as a cure for his daughter’s colic. He suggested that the answer may lie in trying to reproduce the comfort and security of the maternal womb. As he did more research, Hooi discovered that many cultures use a hammock for their newborns, and so set out to develop his own.
Suitable from birth, the Nature’s Nest can be used both as a day and night bed so there’s no need for a moses basket. It’s light and compact enough (when disassembled) to use as a travel cot (a carry bag is included) and can be assembled in ten minutes so wherever you are or go, your baby can sleep in his own bed.
The curved mattress and the idea of a ‘nest’ just seem so much more natural than lying a baby on a flat surface. (Hooi reasons that forcing a baby to sleep in a still, flat, open cot is akin to asking us to sleep on floorboards after a lifetime on a mattress.) My son Joe, now three months, has slept in the hammock from about a week old and we both love it.
Are baby sleeping nests and pods safe?
You may have read recent reports about the safety of baby sleep positioners, anti-roll products and baby nests.
The American FDA (Food and Drug Administration) issued a recent report urging parents not to use these products as they may cause suffocation.
However, we at MadeForMums spoke to the Lullaby Trust, who clarified the issue by saying sleep positioners are different to baby nests/pods:
“It is our understanding that sleep positioners are straps or wedges that hold a baby in place. The evidence shows that the safest way to sleep a baby is on a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in a cot or moses basket and we would not recommend any sleep surface that does not conform to these guidelines.”
As baby nests and pods do not have straps or wedges, they are safe to use.
Still, we always recommend you follow manufacturer instructions and check out the safety tips on co-sleeping, or the The Lullaby Trust’s guidelines for sleeping safely and the NHS guidelines on how to reduce SIDS.
What we love
It’s fairly easy to put together and, once assembled, easy to reposition in the room. I have it right next to the bed so that, if Joe wakes in the night, I can just reach out and bounce or rock him back to sleep, which usually takes seconds rather than minutes.
What’s great is that your baby lies naturally on his back in the hammock, in the approved safe sleeping position advised by the FSID (Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths). Also, the fact that his head is slightly raised may help to soothe any problems with reflux.
Making it even more versatile, once your baby can hold his head up, you can buy the ‘Jump Jump’ accessory, which when switched with the hammock (very easily done) turns the bed into a bouncer.
What to watch out for
While the instructions for building the frame were clear, assembling the actual Nest was actually quite tricky. The fabric has to be gathered and knotted and velcro strips are also used to adjust the nest. Mine’s actually slightly lopsided, but I’ve put up with it rather than attempt the adjusting instructions.
The frame is also a lot bigger than I was expecting it to be. It probably only has the same “footprint” as a full sized cot, but it felt bigger than expected from looking at pictures.
Who is the Amby Nature’s Nest best for?
Mums who don’t want to co-sleep, but would like to keep their baby close.
The Nature’s Nest is expensive, but its versatility and the fact that it just really works to help you baby sleep really well make it an excellent buy.