Tell us a bit about yourself and why you created Bubbaroo?
I’m Nicole Cassey, Mum and founder of Bubbaroo. I live in Perth, Western Australia with my husband and two children. I lived in the UK for over 5 years and returned home to give birth to my first child expecting to return but sometimes life doesn’t go to plan! I enjoy walking my dog, pilates, healthy eating, watching my kids play sport and helping other Mums.
I’m passionate about sleep and was inspired to create Bubbaroo after the personal experience I had with my first child Jacob in 2004. Jacob was a very unsettled baby and we shared many sleepless days and nights with him in great distress and me going out of mind with worry. Becoming a mum for the first time was so overwhelming and sleep deprivation really took its toll on me, as I’m sure many parents can relate!
After much investigation and persistence, Jacob was diagnosed with severe Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease, resulting in his failure to thrive. To calm him and settle his ‘startle’ reflex, we tried to swaddle Jacob and this worked initially but pretty soon he began to escape the traditional blanket and repeatedly kick it off – I nick named him Houdini! Sleep deprived and desperate, I searched for a sleep swaddle solution that would allow Jacob freedom of movement without being able to kick himself free. There was nothing. So I decided to create my own swaddle product. I created a one-size swaddle solution that comforts baby. It wasn’t too tight across their chest but allowed for movement of arms and legs without forcing them into a particular position. A swaddle product that simulated a mother’s womb and wasn’t a straight-jacket! Like a Kangaroo’s pouch, hence the name Joey Pouch! Once Jacob showed signs of being able to roll I started to use baby sleeping bags. I found the concept really great however, the loud designs weren’t too calming or sleep promoting. I created Bubbaroo Joey Swag Baby sleeping bags premium quality baby sleeping bags that stand the test of time.
Why is swaddling so important in helping babies to sleep?
Swaddling recreates the feeling of security that baby felt in the womb during pregnancy. Babies do take some time to adjust from life in utero, to life in the big wide world. We often refer to the first few months as the 4thTrimester. Your baby needs to feel the warmth and snugness experienced in the womb. But it’s really important to remember that swaddling needs to be done correctly, so as not to inhibit any movement around the hip or chest area.
Our Bubbaroo Joey Pouch Swaddle Wrap makes swaddling easy with a simple zip that makes baby stay covered and nappy changes a breeze. The Joey Pouch allows baby the natural ‘arms up’ position to self-soothe without forcing their arms up into this position. There’s also room for baby to frog their legs to protect against hip dysplasia. Our Joey Pouch prevents baby’s startle reflex and stops baby from scratching their face. Baby can calm down, resettle and stay covered meaning longer, uninterrupted periods of sleep.
What would you recommend are the three essential items an expectant mother should put on her baby shower list?
1. A Joey Pouch Swaddle Wrap – turning the age old art of swaddling into a simple, one step sleep aid for baby.
2. A Platinum Joey Swag Baby Sleeping Bag – a must have when your baby’s startle reflex settles down.
3.Bamboo Muslin Wraps – these luxurious wraps are so versatile as a feeding cover, burp cloth or light weight summer blanket.
Winter is approaching in the U.K. we know babies sleep is affected by temperature and therefore why wearing the appropriate clothing is so important so little ones don’t wake due to being too cold or too hot. Can you recommend any products to help with this?
This is a definite issue I’m seeing more of. Parents putting on too many layers. Overheating has long been linked to SIDS because babies sleep deeply when they’re too hot and may not arouse. All of our products come with a “What to Wear” guide so you can choose baby’s sleepwear for exactly the right temperature. If baby’s becomes too hot, it poses a SIDS risk. Alternatively, if baby is too cold they will have a disrupted sleep and wake often. Our Platinum Range Joey Swag Baby Sleep Bags come in varying weights to keep baby at just the right temperature– light0.5TOG (24-27 degrees), medium 1.5TOG (21-23 degrees) and heavy 2.5TOG (14-20 degrees). Our 1.5 and 2.5TOG Platinum Joey Swags are padded with Australian wool. Wool is a fantastic insulator keeping baby at just the right temperature.
Simply dress baby according to the “What to Wear Guide” for the coolest part of the night and once baby is asleep check baby’s chest or back with the back of your hand to ensure they are not too hot or cold. Don’t worry if their arms/hands or feet feel cold, this is normal. No excess sheets or blankets means baby can sleep safe and warm all night long.
What’s your number one sleep tip?
We all like to wind down before we go to sleep at night, so my number one tip is to incorporate wind down time into your baby’s bed time routine. Babies need to learn cues from their parents that it’s time to go to sleep. This bedtime routine can include a warm bath, reading a book, a little song or nursery rhyme, putting on your little one’s Bubbaroo swaddle or baby sleeping bag and then a big cuddle before putting baby down for sleep. Baby’s like to know what is happening next and all these little cues can help them understand that sleep time is coming up. The ultimate goal is for baby to learn how to settle themselves to sleep and of course we always promote this with safe sleepwear for parents peace of mind and baby’s safety.
What’s the most valuable lesson your children have taught you?
My kids have taught me so many lessons. I guess the number one lesson is to live in the moment – as a Mum it’s very easy to get caught up in juggling all our responsibilities that we flit from one thing to the other trying to be Super Woman but not appreciating what is happening right here and now! Don’t get me wrong I still struggle with this but I’m trying to retire the Super Woman cape.