As parents everywhere swear by the Sleepyhead, we sat down to chat with founder Lisa Furuland to find out more about how she thought-up the wonder product.
What were the inspirations behind Sleepyhead?
When my first son, Ilias, was born in 2006, I searched unsuccessfully for an alternative to a blanket, a cot and a baby lounger. Something that essentially mimicked the womb. I wanted something cozy that was also versatile and completely safe. We were (and sometimes still are!) a co-sleeping family. I wanted something that would enable us to comfortably and safely co-sleep with our children. That’s when I was inspired to create something new in the baby and children’s industry and Sleepyhead was born.
It’s a safe and snug spot for mums to place their little ones at any time of day. I took all of the functionality aspects and paired them with exceptional materials sourced from top suppliers. I also wanted this product to multitask, so we could use it any time and in any room of the house. The Deluxe is great for co-sleeping and as a crib insert, and the Grand eases the crib-to-big-bed transition. Lastly, functionality aside, being passionate about design, I wanted to create something within the baby space that even design aficionados would embrace.
Read more: M&B's mum testers review Sleepyhead Deluxe +
How long did it take you to come up with the design?
It took a few years to refine and hone the design. Safety and comfort was always in the forefront of my mind and I knew that every detail had to be premium. I wanted to only use the highest quality materials and had to assemble all the best suppliers to provide the filling fibers, zippers, fabrics, threads and other components. I spent a lot of time thinking about washability and having a removable cover and all parts being washable was also extremely important. And then there was the safety certifications and exhaustive testing that had to be done. It was definitely a labor of love.
Sleepyhead has now become somewhat of a cult item! Has the success of Sleepyhead surprised you?
It has taken many years of hard work to get to where we are, however I never take our success for granted which is why I continue to develop the pod with new accessories to create a complete Sleepyhead system. What I have always been confident in is the functionality and versatility of Sleepyhead and why it works for families. I am extremely grateful for the response we receive from the Sleepyhead community and how families want to share their stories with us on social media, it’s always amazing to hear how my creation helps other families.
What advice would you give a new mother?
Like most mums, I am very busy, but as much as I can, I try to prioritise family time before work. I know that these days when they are so young won’t last forever. I think it’s important to take a long-view of our lives even when the days seem long and to try to stay in the moment and be present with the children as much as possible. That said, I am a big believer in self-care for mothers, and I believe getting enough sleep in the early days is so essential for both mother and baby to bond.
What other baby essentials would you recommend to a new mother?
A Sleepyhead, of course, a big family bed, as we are passionate bed-sharers and a good nursing pillow.
Sleepyhead has evolved over the years and the range is now full of beautiful designs – where do you get your ideas from?
My head is a melting pot. I devour all things aesthetically pleasing in fashion, industrial design, photography, interior design, architecture, graphic design and nature. Our latest collection coming out this summer is inspired by nature. In Greece, it’s easy to take inspiration from the world around me. The typography and the flora have inspired our new collections.
What’s been your proudest Sleepyhead moment?
I knew we had made it big when our social media began growing so fast, with mums and celebrities recommending the product to one another. There are very few, if any, stores that have not reached out to get to stock us. We have won numerous awards for innovation, functionality and design. This year we were asked by Harrods to launch a Sleepyhead pop up shop. I could go on forever, but the proudest I ever am, is when people share their personal success stories on how the Sleepyhead literally has been a life-saver, for a mother, for a couple, for an entire family. We have been nicknamed the Baby Sleep Miracle.
We just unveiled our latest invention at the ABC Kids Expo as well as the CES show in Las Vegas. The CloudTot allows you to track baby’s movement and breathing with two revolutionary patent pending features, the first is the Pep Pegs that gently nudges baby awake and alerts parents if no movement (meaning no breathing) is detected for 12 seconds. And the second is moisture detection via special conductive fabric and an app that tells you when baby has wet the bed. This smart accessory will also check on baby’s room temperature as well as play white noise tracks. Just to mention a few things! We are over the moon to be releasing this product in 2018 as there are no other motion sensors currently on the market with these special capabilities. I also love that you don’t have to wear or attach the sensor to the baby. CloudTot will turn the Sleepyhead into the first smart baby bed on the market in a complete all-in-one package you can easily transport. We have made a genius product even smarter.