When adults notice I have an infant one of their first questions is nearly always “How does she sleep?”
Any new parent who has struggled with the demands of a newborn will want to answer this question in a number of ways, none of which are considered polite in modern society. The fact is, most new babies do not sleep very long or very well, and if you’re a lucky parent of one who does, well, go enjoy your nap or your Sudoku, I don’t want to talk to you right now.
Harper was a miserable sleeper. Throughout the first months of her life I was a bleary eyed zombie, she would never sleep more than 45 minutes maximum and even that precious block of time was only if all her preferences were being addressed. This led to a vicious and stressful cycle and a lot of manually rocking her bassinet while trying to make a peanut butter sandwich for myself with one hand without making any noise at all. I wish I could time travel, not only because Doctor Who is fantastic, but also because I would get my baby a Hushamok hammock and both of us some blissful sleep.
I first heard of the Hushamok when Kim told me about it as I prepared my home for baby Autumn. She used one with her youngest and loved it, and I was thrilled when I found out they were interested in having a review posted. The baby hammock is constructed like a fabric bassinet which hangs from a lovely modern crescent shaped stand (available in sleek brushed aluminum as the Dream or lovely European beechwood as the Okoa), and allows your baby a firm yet comfortable surface to sleep on which sways ever so gently thanks to the Hushamok’s leaf spring design.
When the boxes containing the stand and hammock arrived I felt nervous as I was hugely pregnant at the time and it looked like a lot to put together. Harper helped me unpack and I read through the instructions and realized the letter stickers on each piece made it incredibly simple and secure to put together. I love how easily the hammock can be removed and the stand can be split up for travel, while the thick pegs securing each section do take some strength to free up and I prefer my husband to tackle them, I was able to disassemble and reassemble the stand on my own when moving it from the living room back to our bedroom.
Setting the Dream Hammock up next to my bed made me feel so much more prepared for our new baby, I knew she had a place to sleep that would be comfortable and cozy, with soft organic cotton and a firm little mattress that mimics the natural curve of her infant spine. I love that the Hushamok comes with two sheets so you can have one in the wash while the other is on the mattress. It is also designed with a slight incline to make reflux much less likely, and help keep those sheets clean longer. The hammock does take up more space than a more generic co sleeper or bassinet, but the design is so beautiful and modern that you don’t mind noticing it, and it is a very open design that is soothing to the eye, no awful cheesy characters or garish colored plastic to distract you.
Since the day she came home, Autumn sleeps better and longer in the Hushamok than she does in any other place besides my arms. It’s the perfect solution for letting her sleep on her own while I play with her sister, run a load of laundry (oh the laundry that comes with cloth diapering two little ones… it never ends…), or eat a hot meal. The Hushamok is the reason I’m keeping my head above water here, Autumn is sleeping so very well and just generally seems calmer and more positive after a nap in her hammock. I’m able to use this hammock until Autumn is 22 lbs or rolling over, giving me plenty of time to get through that temperamental infant sleep stage and allow those frequent night nursing sessions to evolve into more day feeding and less night feeding. Last night after work I swaddled Autumn, put on some white noise, nursed her to sleep while typing up a letter for a friend, then set her gently in the hammock, and she slept until I woke her because I had to feed her before it became too painful to avoid. I was able to go into the living room and sew (shh, Christmas project for Harper!) for hours while she blissfully slept.
I’ve already recommended the Hushamok to anyone who will listen, it is definitely a luxury (prices vary based on your choices but range between $500-$600) but so is sleep to a new parent, and with a design this beautiful as well as high quality unbleached organic cotton and no flame retardant chemicals you really will sleep easy (as will your baby).
Editor’s note: I’ve been obsessed with this baby product since 2009! Hushamok is an amazing company and such a lifesaver, plus a modern design lover the look was always important in my baby selections. I’m so excited Lara was able to review their newest version for DDL since they redesigned it between my last baby and Lara’s newest addition. Stay tuned for a giveaway tomorrow…… !!! -Kim