There’s no denying that our children feel comfort when we are close-by, and research has shown that co-sleeping can benefit their sleep patterns. But how do we get our independence back while keeping their security intact.
The Lulla doll by Roro could be the answer. This soothing doll imitates closeness of a caregiver at rest with its soothing sounds of a real heartbeat & breathing and soft touch. Lulla’s unique design is based on scientific research that shows how closeness improves sleep, wellbeing and safety. The aim of Lulla Doll is to help babies sleep longer and feel safer and comforted.
We spoke to Eyrun Eggertsdottir, the creator of the amazing Lulla doll to ask her how this groundbreaking doll came about...
1. Please can you tell us a little bit about the company and how it started?
RoRo was founded in the end of 2011 around a single concept; to make a product for babies that imitated closeness when their parents had to be away. Below is a picture of our team. I am on the far left, Birna, the designer is in the middle, and Sólveig our sales and marketing director is on the right.
2. What is the Lulla Doll?
The Lulla doll imitates closeness with its soft natural touch and by playing a real life recording of heartbeat and breathing.
This unique doll aims to help babies and toddlers sleep, improve well-being and lead to more stable heart & respiratory rates. The concept is based on scientific research on closeness and has been in development for three years with the help of doctors, nurses, midwifes, engineers and a team of parent and baby testers.
3. Please can you tell us about your background and how you came up with the idea?
I have a BS in psychology and a diploma in art and design. Having read the numerous research on the positive effects of closeness I made an effort to keep my little boys close to me as much as possible. When I held them in my arms or slept with them by my side they would sleep for longer at a time and I felt they were more stable. However, I was faced with the challenge of also needing a break and rest for myself.
There can be many reasons why parents can't keep their little ones close. There are everyday situations where babies could benefit from added feeling of closeness, for example for comfort when driving in the car, to help them self soothe or as a sleeping companion when mom and dad are still awake. There are also more serious reasons like illness and hospitalization of parents and babies.
Indeed, the idea of the Lulla doll was born when my friend had her baby girl prematurely and had to leave her alone in the hospital every night for two weeks. That really struck a chord with me and it was then that I decided to bring the Lulla doll to life.
5. Can you tell us a bit about the research behind it?
The concept of the Lulla doll is based on numerous research on different aspects of closeness; research on the effects of kangaroo care (skin to skin), comparison of babies that sleep in the room with their parents vs in their own room (breathing sounds), babies that are held on the right side vs the left (heartbeat sounds), the effects of mechanical sounds and music, comforters and more.
The research findings are all similar and tell us that the effects of closeness are: more stable heart- and respiratory rate, reduced chance of apnea episodes and SIDS, increased neurological development, better quality sleep and less negative emotions.
6. How can the Lulla doll help newborns sleep?
The positive effects I talked about all come together to help babies sleep. When babies are more stable and feel better they are likelier to be able to self soothe, get more quiet sleep, their sleep patterns are healthier and they have longer uninterrupted sleep periods.
7. What about the sound, how does that work?
It seems that when babies are close to heartbeat and breathing sounds, they tune into them, and start following the rhythm that they hear, stabilizing their own breathing and heartbeat in return. The Lulla doll sound is made from a real life recording of my dear friend Gudrún, who is a yoga teacher and a mother of four.
8. What is the doll made of and how did you decide what it was going to look like?
I wanted the dolls to have a simple and sweet look. The doll is designed with human features as research has shown that babies from as young as two days old prefer to look at something that resembles a human face. The look of the doll and selection of color is gender and race neutral so it can be suitable for anyone. As the doll is made from natural cotton it can absorb the smell of parents for extra comfort. We recommend the parents keep the doll next to their skin before giving it to the child, so their smell is transferred. That can really give small children a feeling of presence and safety.
Try out the Lulla Doll yourself and see how beneficial it can be to help your baby feel calmer and sleep more soundly. The dolls are available now in a number of retail outlets throughout the UK including Kiddicare for £49.99.
By Anna Cascarina