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Offer your baby to sleep and play in a hammock!

4 to 9 months

In many Southeast Asian communities, the traditional baby hammock that many babies sleep in is a cloth hammock fashioned from cotton fabric or traditional batik, attached to a spring and strung up on ceiling beams or the bars of the staircase. They are also commonly known as sarung buaian or buai, cloth cradles or sarung cradles. Its Chinese name, yao lan, means "swinging basket" and provides an apt description for this age-old cradle that generations of Malaysian babies and toddlers have napped in. As every new parent has discovered (or will discover!), babies love being rocked to sleep. Many experts theorise that babies are soothed by rocking because they associate the rocking motion with the movements they felt whilst nestled in the safety and security of their mother’s womb. When baby is put into the traditional hammock, their own weight pulls the fabric in around them, creating a snug cocoon- or womb-like environment. Modern baby hammocks, sometimes marketed as motion beds, are usually costlier than our traditional version. Some claim endorsements by baby experts such as paediatricians or parenting gurus; others say they are certified by various national safety boards or organisations. If you are considering these versions, you may wish to write to the manufacturer of the product to get more safety information. 

If you wish to stick to the traditional yao lan for your baby's sleep, consider these precautions:

  • Put a roll-out mattress or some form of firm bedding under the yao lan so that if your baby does fall out, they won’t hit the floor.
  • Always place the baby into the hammock on their back, and not the front.
  • Adjust the height of the frame, or the length of the spring, so that the hammock is as close to the floor as possible.
  • As your baby grows, ensure that their growing weight does not pull the hammock down so far that they hit their head on the floor when rocked.
  • Do not put any pillows, blankets or other bedding in the hammock.

Make photo of your baby playing or sleeping in hammock and upload to the App! Write whether your little one likes it.

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