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Hi all - I am considering buying a baby hammock for the first few months. I’ve done a bit of net research. The most expensive ones I can’t afford (Amby and Miyo) Have decided that ones that hang from the cieling are unsafe and best to get one with a frame. Have found only one official product recall for the Amby brand see this link http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08604.html but its seems that in this instance it was a hanging hammock (rather then framed) and it sounds like the child was already to old/active to be using it. I am looking at the Koala hammock (http://www.hammockheaven.co.uk/) because it would be useful as a travel cot as well and seems a bit easier to handle than a trad travel cot. Also - there are some cheap second hand ones on ebay. Hammocks are said to help solve the problem of flat head…
Anyone have specific experience with the Koala? Does the safety harness impede movement for the baby?
Does anyone have any opinions/thoughts/suggestions about baby hammocks? Anyone had to deal with flat head syndrome?
I never had a hammock, but I would imagine it would very much depend on your baby, so I wouldn’t buy until the baby was born and you know the kind of personality they have. Neither of my children would have tolerated that kind of harness, and also both of mine were so wriggly from birth that I would have really worried about their safety. They were both quite capable of kicking and flailing about so strongly that they could move themselves a fair way across a bed or sofa, so I would have worried about them being able to tip themselves over in a hammock. And once they could sit or roll it would be a bit of a liability so you’d only get a few mponths use out of it, if that. It does look very sweet though.
We never found flat-head syndrome to be a problem as we used slings and arms to carry our babies about most of the time until they could sit anyway, and they both often slept in arms too - all of which avoids the whole problem.
Druid, boat-dwelling, home educating mum of DD1 (11), Aspie DS (9) and baby DD2 (2), & part-time step-mum to 2 stepdaughters, 9 and 7.
In my own experience I think that babies who are being carried and who co-sleep don’t get flat head syndrome. It’s suddenly occurred (imo) because all of a sudden babies are being trained to go to sleep for unusually long periods of time on their own in a cot/crib, and/or are being laid in prams when out and about which just adds up to the amount of time the baby is lying flat out on their backs.
Mine were always in arms during the day and were waking frequently at night for breastfeeds and being moved from one side to the other so it has never become an issue.
Even if you are planning to put your baby in a cot, do cry-it-out so they are sleeping for an abnormal length of time, and spend minimal amount of time with them in arms or a sling I think you can avoid flat head syndrome by regularly moving them and turning their head during sleep.
If you are planning to buy a crib and travel cot anyway, then maybe a hammock is a good alternative but I don’t know a lot about them.
Mummy to four little ones
A little to add…
We had an Amby nest for DS and it looks like it is a very different design from the hammock you have linked to above. Basing it just on the picture it would seem that the Amby is a lot more secure and it’s designed for use up to 1year so could cope with a certain amount of activity. Its worth noting that Amby nests do come up for sale on ebay too (or certainly did when I was looking a couple of years ago). Not that I am criticising other hammock brands as can’t with any authority was just very happy with the Amby and did quite a bit of research myself before purchasing. Hammocks in general are very cocooning and that supposedly is the reason babies like them, the ones on frames (well ours did anyway) have a spring which also bounces the hammock, very gently, to mimic the movement the baby has got used to in the womb. We did some co-sleeping (mainly during the day and in the middle of the night!) and I would have to note that DS got very used to the comfort of sleeping face down on our chests, cozying into something (was also in a sling and carried a lot)...when he started at a very early age to sleep ONLY on his front we did move him to a cot as hammocks cannot ever be used for front sleepers. Not that this will necessarily apply to your own little one but may be worth considering in addition to the points others have raised?
I would agree with the others that flat head syndrome is easily avoided with carrying and/or ensuring that they are not lying in the same position for long periods. If flat head syndrome is an issue the advice given is to purchase a special cushion which cradles their head and to move them regularly - my friends son had a mild case…Im not sure what happens in more serious cases.
I wouldn’t get one because:
1. No one I know or am in contact with has ever used one - I tend to go by recommendation based on experience by trusted friends - it doesn’t always work though…....
2. I wouldn’t use it for subsequent siblings because by then I’d be concerned that the older child(ren) might knock it over.
3. I can’t help thinking they’re a bit of a gimick - they do look v cute and as though the baby would love it but they are expensive, and as I said, I’ve never heard a real life mum sing their praises.
Sorry to be a wet blanket!
Roo won’t go in ours…...we have the nature sway and he just doesn’t seem to like it. Will sleep 7 hours straight in bed with me but wakes after 20 mins in the hammock. Not all babies like them it seems!
We bought the Amby baby hammock for our daughter, which she slept in wonderfully until she was six months.
She was a very TALL baby - and I gave it to friends afterwards - and they used it for their daughter until she was 18 months - so it depends on their size.
DD slept in our room and she has always slept brilliantly. The hammock was useful too, as it kept the cats from sleeping on her bed, so I didnt’ need to worry about that. I was a little sceptical at first, but would recommend it.
In terms of value for money though, and great design , if I had to do things again, I would go for the Danish Leander cot bed. You can use this as a cot, but also as a toddler bed, and daughter will be using it until she is 4 years old I would think. Just for info, we may be selling ours in a few months. They cost around £500 new, but would probably sell for £200 if buyer collects. So if you’re interested get in touch and pm me. It is definitely the kind of thing you could pass down to your children, but we have so little space I need to do regular clear outs.
No experienc of a hammock, but on FHS - I reckon it is these travel systems that cause most cases. The babies I have see with flt heads seem to be in these seats all the time - just lift the seat out (with the baby strapped in) and click it into the wheel base, wheel the baby in seat around - unclick it - back into the car, lift it out again into the house and put baby still in seat on the floor where you can rock it with your foot if the baby fusses :( DS was carried everywhere and I often received compliments on his lovely round head xxx
Just to add, we don’t have a car, so the number of times babes was transported in a car seat when she was very young could be counted on the fingers of one hand…
i would wait till baby arrives as they are all so different. DS 1 would not fall asleep on me he liked to be put down the sleep and slept all night from 3 weeks in his own cot in his own room, he really disliked slings even with all my efforts so was in a buggy ( although never in one of thos fold in half car seat clip on buggy things. DD was a different creature we co slept with her untill she was over 1 when she started night crawling ( a bit like night walking !) and we had to put her in a cot for safety !!!! DS2 is much like ds1 but does like the sling. Even though my parenting hasnt changed that much my babies are quite different. The point i am waffling on about is that its hard to suggest whats best untill you know your own baby. they are all different which is why there are som many different products. As for hammocks that are close to the ground i would not suggest using one of these for 2nd child if gap is under about 4 years as the baby is less liky to be safe in it !!!!! My dd loves to get into ds crib and that is off the floor !!!! Good luck with your search. there isalso a brand called happyhanging hammocks these are lovely they are the kind you srew into cellings but as long as you srew them into a joist there really isnt any problem if you have a loft you could even bolt through one.
when life gives you a rainy day play in the puddles !!!
mum to 4 sons 13,7,4 and 2
a daughter 8 years ,
and always in my heart my angel xx
Well i don’t know about a hammock for baby but I’ve just spent ages browsing the website! I think the hanging chairs look great, really cosy for cuddles and feeds and reading together and for me-time when littlies are asleep. I’m putting in a request for next birthday. Thanks for the link.
Seth has just outgrown his Amby and I am going to put it on gumtree. It has been such a lovely bed and I was so excited about having him use it, my friends 5 month old took a practice nap and went out like a light! I did find Seth was too small for it in the first few weeks and he didn’t seem so comfortable, then later it was great for day naps and getting him over to sleep at night and I would move him into bed when he woke for his first night feed. As I began to feel more confident about co-sleeping I only used the hammock for his day naps. I much prefered it to any cots I had seen, though it was expensive and we have only got 6 months use. I’m not quite sure if I would reguard it as an essential buy from my personal point of view but only because my heart was in co-sleep, though much better than his moses basket (which lasted all of half a night, 2nd hand thank God). I may misunderestimate the effect of the swaying….it definately soothed him to sleep and now out of his hammock he is a little more difficult to settle. Again, that could be created by missing the motion.
I do know 2 babies with flat head syndrome and one of whom I know that he has been moved from chair to chair to cot. The hammock probably does contribute something against it, but so too does gentle head massage, which is traditonally preformed for 4weeks after babies birth in India, where hammocks origionate from, and as others have said carring.
If your heart is set on buying a hammock I’m offering mine for a reasonable price, though as someone said earlier it may well depend on baby
Wow thanks for the input everybody - and glad my link has inspired some birthday requests. I live in Spain, so the offer of selling be your hammocks is much appreciated but the postage would probably make it a futile exercise! Seeing as I can’t afford the Amby - which seems to be the favourite on all the sites I’ve seen, I’ve decided to stick with the co-sleeper cot that I have ordered and which sould arrive sometime in the next four hundred years (I live on a small island) I am hoping that teh co-sleeper will make night time feeding easier and also ease the fear that DH has about actual co-sleeping (he’s so worried about crushing the little thing) I’m also going to do the Indian baby massage (managed to find an original copy of Leboyer’s book on Amazon 2nd hand market) so hopefully the flat head thing won’t be an issue. As for slings, going to see how the back copes with it…
I’ve had a Kola baby hammock in the past and was very impress with it, haven’t used it in a number of years now though. There’s some reviews of different ones at http://thesafebabyhub.com/best-baby-hammock-reviews-uk/ you could check out. Hope that helps!