We all know that swaddling our babies can help soothe them to sleep, but what happens when they outgrow the swaddle and still need that feeling of security?
Created by mama of four Umma Shekhani, Swaddle Sleeves are gently weighted sleeves that help your baby transition from a traditional swaddle to a sleep sack. Just because your baby can safely roll over doesn’t mean they won’t startle themselves awake. Swaddle Sleeves act as a buffer against the startle reflex and provide the feeling of security so many babies crave, especially those who have suffered trauma, neurological problems, or drug exposure in utero.
Shekhani created the product out of necessity for her own daughter. “She was having trouble transitioning out of a swaddle, and the transitional products on the market were essentially sleep sacks. Our bedroom at the time was so hot, and I couldn’t put her in a gown that didn’t breathe. I tried Googling products to help, and nothing came up. I created my first prototype with my sewing machine and kinetic sand. I know it sounds funny, but it’s what I used to put a little bit of weight inside the sleeve.” Having individual sleeves allow you to pair them with any pajamas or even a onesie for warm weather naps and hot sleepers.
Swaddle Sleeves are a product of Shekhani’s company, Two Babies Bears, which honors the memory of her late son. “The company has a larger than life meaning for me, and that’s why I’m so driven to see it succeed and thrive. I guess it gives me peace, knowing that because of him, our company can help millions of parents and babies across the world. He is not forgotten.” A portion of Two Babies Bears’ profits go to families who have experienced infant or child loss.
The brand has recently branched out to create Mama Bear Village, an online platform offering support to mothers in all stages of their journey. The Instagram feed features “moms sharing their real-life stories, real-life experiences, and real-life emotions. Momming is hard; finding your people shouldn’t be.” Shekhani consciously strives for diversity and representation among the moms she features. “My family’s background is from the Indian sub-continent. I found so many amazing women who are from the Indian Pakistani background in the baby space, and I love it. I love that there is representation, and I’m hoping to broaden that. It’s so important, seeing someone like you who has gone through the same experiences.”
Jessica Butler is the co-founder of Raise, stepmother of two, and adoptive mother of one. Prior to Raise, she was a writer on USA’s "In Plain Sight" and TNT’s "The Last Ship." She and her husband, writer/producer Warren Bell, co-created the Nick at Nite series "Instant Mom," based on her life as a stepmother. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and six-year-old son, Levon.