The idea of using a hammock never crossed my mind until my first son was 8 months old or so. A friend of mine had a baby the same age and she slept through the night and took naps all in her hammock. While I (nor anyone else) can say it was the hammock for sure that made for such great sleeping habits, I thought I would try it with this next baby. My first son just started sleeping all night and he is almost two. Even now he wakes up one time a night every so often. It has been exhausting.
After my husband agreed a hammock was the way to go I set about researching. There are a few choices on the market. (I have a hammock comparison list.) Luckily, when I was at a children’s expo over a year ago I discovered a brand called Hushamok. The hammock was beautiful. The stand was stylish. The hammock itself was organic. There was even the option to buy a seat to use when the baby was awake. I decided after looking over all of my options that this was my hammock. I bought one while pregnant.
From their website:
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
While a complete medical cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) remains unknown, pediatricians agree that infants should sleep on their backs to prevent SIDS. Hushamok creates a restful and nurturing sleep environment for newborn sleep and beyond.
Flat Head Syndrome (Plagiocephaly)
Hushamok baby hammock is designed to conform to baby’s heads, which helps prevent flat head syndrome.
Positional plagiocephaly or ‘flathead syndrome’ can occur when a baby’s head develops a flat spot. This occurs when babies spend a considerable amount of time with their head resting in the same position. In the early ’90s, parents have been told to put their babies to sleep on their back to reduce the risk of SIDs. Since then experts have also noted a fivefold increase in the incidence of misshapen heads.
Babies are born with soft, pliable skulls, so when they rest in the same position on a regular basis, their head can develop a flat spot where it presses against a mattress as found in nursery furniture such as cribs and baby bassinets.
Infant Acid Reflux
To prevent acid reflux in infants, pediatricians recommend keeping baby’s head slightly elevated. Without the use of potentially harmful pillows or other objects Hushamok baby hammock designs provide an elevation that will reduce the symptoms of acid reflux.
William Sears (M.D), Robert Sears (M.D.), James Sears (M.D.) and Martha Sears (R.N.) recommend the natural swinging, rocking and bouncing motion of a baby hammock to induce sleep2. Hushamok’s unique design also helps ease symptoms of colic, which often interrupts newborn sleep cycles. Unlike adults, babies are triggered to sleep by motion; as many mothers notice during pregnancy when baby is asleep during the day and awake at night.
What about safety?
One of the things I wanted to be sure of was that my choice was a safe sleeping environment for my baby. I also co-sleep, which when done correctly is very safe. I like having my baby close by the bed or in my arms. At first glance, a hammock seems unsafe simply because it moves around.
First of all, the Hushamok has passed the safety tests of the JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association). The hammock should only be used until a baby begins rolling or sitting. This coincides with a baby or 4-6 months. Since the hammock easily rocks and sways this is pretty logical. The way the stand and hammock are made makes for a very stable base. Anyone who has heard of the Amby Hammock recall knows there were a couple of incidences of babies suffocating after they rolled in their hammocks. It seems the hammock was set up incorrectly.
The Hushamok sets up very easy thanks to their easy (and fool proof) to put together stand. I have the Aluminum stand. There are 4 pieces which notch together. There is no other way to put them together. The wide base gives the hammock stability.
The hammock itself is on a leaf spring. This is basically a long arc of a flexible but hard plastic. A pin is in this spring, and the pin attaches to the stand in a way that makes it impossible for it to come out unless being taken off on purpose. The hammock material is organic cotton. There is a mattress that is poly filled. I prefer this mattress because it has cushion, but not enough for the baby to be in danger or suffocating. It is also breathable and “molds” so it would be harder for the baby to move left or right.
For more about the safety of the Hushamok you can visit their page.
Truly, the main reason I chose the Hushamok was for the beauty of it! I could stare at it all day. I swore before kids that the junky plastic toys and tacky swings with crazy accessories would never enter my house. Guess what? They did. But this hammock makes me happy because it is a functional piece of art for my baby to sleep in. If I had the money I would have upgraded to to Okoa stand. Still, the aluminum stand is still beautiful, and in its own way since a brushed aluminum has a modern and sleek look to it.
Since the baby has arrived the Hushamok has been wonderful for naps time and early nights. I do still co-sleep the majority of the night because secretly I love it, but practically, he wakes to nurse often and we both get more sleep this way. During the day when it is time for a nap I take my sleeping baby and lay him in the hammock. If he wakes early and I know he still needs/wants to sleep, I gently bounce the hammock (since it is on a spring this is very easy to do) and he falls back asleep. This can also easily be done from the bed since the hammock is directly next to my bed. If I have gone to bed while he was sleeping in the hammock and he wakes, I can lift him right from my bed to get him and nurse him.
One trick I have found is that if I lay a heating pad inside the hammock before I know I am putting him in for a nap or bed (and remove it of course) it makes it easier for him to lay down. There are times I try laying him in and he wakes, and part of this is that the mattress is cold and he was used to laying on me. Having the mattress warmed up keeps him happy.
The hammock also comes with a travel bag. The stand can be disassembled and the whole things fits into the bag. This is a nice feature for traveling families to keep a consistent sleep environment for their baby without taking up too much space. The bag is around the same size of a pack and play folded up, maybe smaller.
I will admit that he doesn’t always want to sleep in the hammock, but he also doesn’t always want to sleep on me, or his Mamaroo. It is just a baby thing! I am still thrilled with the long naps he has taken in it so far and how pretty it is to look at! I know I would want to sleep in it if I could.
There will be another Hushamok review in a few months of the MySeat, which is a harness seat that can be used as a gentle place to put your younger baby, all the way to a super cozy place for your young child to read a book.
*** please note this giveaway is for the hammock itself, it does not include the stand. The hammock can be hung from the ceiling.
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The hammock was purchased by me for review. No compensation was received for my review and all opinions are 100% my own and genuine. Giveaway ends on November 30. Winner will be chosen using random.org. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours a new winner will be drawn. *Open to US and Canada*