Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Power of The Ollie Swaddle

I thought a swaddle was just a swaddle. Then I learned that it's more then that... it's a life support. For me it was a way to help my daughters sleep through the night and to feel secure. I've come to learn that it can address emotional, physical, and neurodevelopmental needs. When I meet the makers of The Ollie Swaddle I learned all this and more.

"My story begins when I fell in love with an infant named Oliver. He was handsome, and yet on the verge of being labeled "failure to thrive." Other foster parents struggled with keeping Oliver because he was difficult, struggling to eat and sleep. But I was in love, and so I began my journey to help Oliver thrive." -Hindi 

The name of  The Ollie Swaddle came from a little boy named Oliver.  Oliver was in foster care and was dealing with many physical issues. Unfortunately, he was struggling to eat, sleep, and perform basic developmental milestones. Heidi was the foster parent for Oliver and had a background in infant mental health so she was awareness of the importance of swaddling. The current models of swaddles could not properly contain Oliver, so at that point she was inspired to create something that could meet his needs and contain him properly.

When I met Heidi I wished I had meet her when I had my first daughter. I briefly went back to work but, the issue of my daughter needing her mom was a key factor in our discussion for me to becoming a stay at home mother. During her time at day care, in 8 hours she maybe had 2-3 oz of milk and had little to no nap. She was as happy as could be, and she was cared by the best in my opinion. I was worried about the eating, but I nursed her on and off all night so that brought me comfort. A major worry was that she had little to no naps. I know how important a nap can be to a babies development. Once I became a stay at home mom she slept on me and was just so at peace. It took some doing and many months, but she was finally was able to nap on her own. I so wish I had an The Ollie Swaddle at that time.

 'Benefits of swaddling: Soothing pain and reducing crying among irritable infants' - The Ollie

Oliver is a testament that The Ollie Swaddle can make a difference in a infants life. In addition to comfort the quality of the fabric is fabulous. Unlike other swaddles this one allows you to change the diaper with just undoing the loop at the bottom. That is what I always dreaded, waking up the baby when doing a diaper check. With this loop at the bottom it gives more of a flexibility when it comes to the growth of a baby. So no need to worry that your little one will out grow this swaddle. It swaddles your baby and more.

I asked. Hindi some questions about how  The Ollie Swaddle came to be and her is what she told me:

1. What kind of research did you do for the Ollie Swaddle?
I worked closely with Dr. Kiti as well as occupational therapists, pediatricians, nurses, and caregivers to determine the best swaddle that would address emotional, physical, and neurodevelopmental needs. We evaluated all current research and directly addressed issues to ensure The Ollie would be of benefit to all infants. 

2. How did you meet Dr. Randell and what did she bring to the table?
I met Dr. Kiti several years ago when I was working for The Children's Network of San Bernardino county. We were working together to establish SART locations throughout San Bernardino county. SART specialized in working with drug-exposed and trauma-exposed infants and children from ages 0-5 years old. 
Dr. Kiti has a specialized expertise in the area of pre and post-natal substance exposure and trauma. She is an internationally know expert in both research and training related to high-risk prevention and intervention. She emphasizes and facilitates moving from understanding risk to promoting resiliency. 
Dr. Kiti truly brought an element of looking at all aspects of positive infant care and well-being. 

3. You mentioned that swaddling helps baby's grown and gain weight like Oliver did. How does that work?
The Ollie promotes self-calming, self-regulation, and improves quality and duration of sleep. An infant being able to achieve the needed amount of sleep is both crucial and essential to restoration and growth. 

4. Did you already have the idea in the back of your head that a better swaddle needed to be created?
Honestly, I did not have the idea in the back of my head. It was not until I was presented with the problem of not having a sufficient swaddle, that it occurred to me that something better needed to be created. 

5. What were the first steps that you took to create the Ollie Swaddle? 
The first steps I took were really evaluating the problems with the current swaddles and whether or not these issues could be addressed and resolved. 

6. How long did it take you to make create the swaddle?
The process of creating The Ollie took several years. We went through a couple different prototypes and evaluated many different fabrics in order to get exactly what we were looking for. 

As I look back , why didn't I think about swaddling my daughter so she could take a great nap on her own. I wish I had found The Ollie Swaddle then. It is amazing how something so simple can be your life line. Because, I could tell you when she didn't nap I went crazy. I am not saying that it will solve everything, but it is a great start.