Eyrún Eggertsdóttir, is the mother of two boys aged 4 and 7 and lives in Iceland's capital, Reykjavík. She has a BA in Psychology from the University of Iceland. She is the idea behind Lulla doll, the miracle doll that parents are coveting, more for themselves than their children.My worst memories of raising my children was putting them down to sleep as infants. In their irritation they would start crying. This would be followed by several attempts to soothe them. Everyone at home took turns to soothe them, but they would simply refuse to sleep. Lullabies would be sung, positions changed and after what seemed a year, my royal majesties would close their eyes. One night when I opened my eyes I saw my 8 month old trying a 'crib break' -she was clambering over the crib. Luckily her diaper got stuck between the rails and I got her in time.The sleep deprivation a parent goes through with an infant is the stuff of horror stories. One often hears good advice about sleeping when the baby sleeps. Unfortunately, this is not always viable. Eyrún found herself in a similar situation. She started to observe a pattern. She realised that her children slept best when they were in her arms, listening to her heartbeat. From this a germ of an idea arose.She started developing a doll, who she named Lulla.This doll is made of soft cotton and is designed such that it would fit well with babies of any race. The doll has a tape with the sound of relaxed breathing and heartbeats. The doll is soft to touch. It has a pouch, within which sits a chargeable battery.
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Eyrún got her friend Gudrún,a yoga teacher and mum of four to breathe in a deep meditative state. Her heartbeat was recorded as well. The dolls were outfitted with this recording.The doll is activated by pressing the 'heart' on it. Once activated, the doll plays for about eight hours.
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It was found babies slept easier and longer with the Lulla doll. They slept more peacefully and freed up their parents to take a well-deserved rest. Parents can hold the doll close to them before handing it over to the baby. The fabric on the doll absorbs their smell and the baby is further comforted. The doll is washable too.The doll was built, with the philosophy of kangaroo care in mind. Roro, Lulla doll's parent company says this of kangaroo care:
Kangaroo care is a safe method that is often used in NICU as a way for parents of premature babies to begin the bonding process. This direct skin-to-skin contact is best accomplished when the diapered baby is placed either on the father‘s bare chest or between a mother‘s breast. Research has confirmed that kangaroo care may assist in maintaining an infant‘s body warmth, regulating the baby‘s heart and breathing rates, and establishing necessitated weight gain. Kangaroo care may also assist a premature baby by letting him spend more time being quiet and alert, with less time spent crying. This calming, positive touch decreases stress and even is known to relieve the perception of pain in the infant.
The doll helps children feel more secure and suffer less separation anxiety.
The power of sleep is fairly well known now. It is time of repair and rejuvenation for the body. The benefits of a night of deep sleep are unparalleled. Arianna Huffington speaks of The Sleep Revolution, her new book. Sleep depravation can affect our health, our relationships and happiness itself. It leads to weight gain, irritability, stress and poor hand eye coordination.Unfortunately, infants do not care much for the well-being of their parents. They wake up several times and often very early in the morning.Parents have been trying all sorts of techniques to catch some shut eye. The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleepis written by Swedish psychologist Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin. The book has several nudge points, repeated yawns by the narrator and an introduction of the child's name into the book. One of the best sellers in the children's book category, it reveals how parents are often desperate to have their children fall asleep quickly. Dr.Seuss's Sleep Book, A Time to Sleep My Love, The Goodnight Train and Goodnight Yoga are some of the books that are available to pack kids off to the land of dreams.The Lulla doll is in pre-order right now and is being marketed as a sleep companion. Will this be the answer for sleep deprived parents everywhere? Only time will tell.