Rebecca Askew from Baby Sleep Consultant GB reviews the NiniPod

Rebecca Askew has helped hundreds of families achieve age-appropriate sleep goals for their little ones. Along with her sleep consultant training, she’s also a child psychologist and therefore able to help families with a range of sleep and behavioural issues that quite often go hand in hand.

As a mother of four children and a grandmother, Rebecca knows what it is like to be sleep-deprived and how difficult it is to function on such little sleep. Using science-based sleep training methods, she offers a wide variety of settling techniques that suit individual babies, infants and children whilst respecting parents and their chosen parenting style.

Rebecca is a qualified Baby & Infant Sleep Consultant with a 1st class honours degree in Psychology and a Masters in Primary Education. She’s a professional member of the British Psychological Society, British Sleep Society and Baby and Infant Sleep Consultants.

“I will be ordering one of these for my son and daughter in law, because I’m going to be a grandparent again in February.”

Rebecca Askew, Sleep Consultant

Rebecca came across the NiniPod through our social media channels and was really interested in learning more about it as she saw the huge benefits it could bring in helping babies get to sleep.

Here are Rebecca’s thoughts after receiving the NiniPod:

Video transcript

I’ve put the NiniPod together without the instructions, this is as everybody that knows me, I tend to do. It’s not a clever thing. You should always read the instructions properly. But I was so excited! I’ve waited a while for this opportunity. So it’s all put together. It was really simple without the instructions, and then I checked the instructions to make sure I had put it all together properly.

It’s a really lovely, sturdy cot.

How it is at the moment, that is on lock. So you can see you’ve still got that tiny bit of movement. So for an older baby there’s an extension, so it’s bigger for an older baby, the six to nine months, they’re still going to be able to get that gentle rocking that babies love, especially newborn babies.

Research shows that there should be a fourth trimester because babies aren’t really ready to be born.

So if you can imagine them in the womb, they’re all snuggled up. There’s lots of noise. There’s a noise from the cord, external noises that they can also hear. And it’s very rare that you are as a baby still, for any length of time when you’re in the womb.

So what the NiniPod does, in my opinion, is recreate the fourth trimester so the baby is swaddled, there are also poppers if the baby doesn’t particularly like having their arms down. In my opinion, very few babies don’t because that’s how they are in the womb, but if they do, there is that option. At the bottom here you can see there is plenty of room for the baby to resume the “frog’s legs” position. A lot of the problems with swaddles is that if they don’t have this wide enough at the bottom, it can actually cause hip dysplasia in newborn babies, so that’s a brilliant feature!

Also when you lay the baby in, you can clip them in, so when you are swinging them and they do like, you know, quite a vigorous swing. I’m just going to unclip it here.

So you’ve got a lovely…I mean, still quite gentle, but that’s quite a lot. And if you can imagine, baby in the womb, we’re moving all the time and we’re walking and we’re doing this. They’re not gentle movements. We don’t just sort of when we’re pregnant, sort of serenely walk calmly like that. We go about our everyday business and that’s what a baby is used to.

So they’re born; the babies are born. They’re laid flat because that’s what we have to do to keep them safe.

The advice (to prevent) SIDS is that babies should be put on their back to sleep, it’s called ‘Back-to-Back’; it’s the safest position for babies. But it’s actually very unnatural for a baby that’s been curled up head down for quite some time. So, putting the baby in the sort of prime position like this, they don’t particularly like it, but it’s the safest, so we have to do it. So by swaddling them, we are creating that a bit more. They’re in the safety position of being on their back, and you’ve got lots of nice movements here.

It is still interacting with your baby. You’re still doing this. You can still look at your baby, you can still shush your baby. But what the baby is getting used to is actually settling on their back in the cot, not on you, which is where a lot of the parents that I come to work with, with newborn babies because they are difficult to settle, have been holding them, cuddling them, and then when they get to sort of three/four months, that’s the only way they can sleep and that’s when the problems occur. But what you’re doing here, you’re still with your baby. You’re not going to just put your baby in there and walk away. You’re going to still be interacting.

My overall opinion on the NiniPod is…I love it. I absolutely love it!

It’s really good quality. I love the fact that the sides are mesh. There’s been recently published articles to say that some of the products and I’m not going to name them, but sort of have a sort of surround like that. Yes, they are breathable, but if the baby’s head is quite close to it like this, there is research to say that the baby’s breathing out carbon dioxide and actually the carbon dioxide has nowhere to go. It’s not easily dispersed, so it’s actually being breathed back in. Whereas with these mesh sides, that will not happen, that can go.

I also know that the mattress is waiting a patent, that has been specially designed. It’s all like, apparently honeycomb; I can’t see and I obviously can’t take it apart, but it’s all honeycomb. So if when they’re older and they are on their tummy or on their side, and they do turn over and their face is flat against the mattress, there is a lot of space for them to breathe and for that carbon dioxide to disperse. So that’s a really, really good feature!

Some babies and obviously you have to have this advice, even little babies, if they suffer really badly with reflux, some GP’s/pediatricians advise parents to put their babies on the tummy because that is the only way they can sleep and that is the only way that they will get some peace or some relief from the reflux. But again, that’s not my advice. If you have a reflux baby, it’s really important you speak to your GP or pediatrician.

But my overall opinion is I will be ordering one of these for my son and daughter in law, because I’m going to be a grandparent again in February.

Excellent! This is absolutely brilliant!