How do I hang it?
There 3 ways to hang it:
1. From a hook you screw into a beam in the ceiling.
2. By looping the chain over or through an exposed beam.
3. From a stand which you can purchase here.
Most ceilings have beams that can support the weight of an adult. We recommend you purchase a threaded hook that can carry your weight. If it is safe for an adult then it is safe for your baby. A qualified builder will be able to install a hook in several places in the house. For example the kitchen, the lounge room, and the bedroom. I found that my newborn wanted to sleep when my older child wanted to eat, so we hung it in the kitchen for the first year. Then the baby was deeply sleeping in the midst of our kitchen activity, bouncing blissfully whenever one of us would pass by her. When she was about one I found we used it mostly in the lounge room, and then after that it was mostly on the verandah.
First, securely install a hook into a ceiling rafter. Alternatively, the chain may be hung over or inserted through a hole drilled through a solid support such as a beam. Ensure that your method is able to safely carry a load of 70kgs. We recommend you seek a professional builder’s advice for optimum safety. If you rent, most landlords will allow a properly installed hook in the ceiling.
Next, hang the chain from the chosen support. Suspend the Happy Hangup no greater than hip height from the floor to protect your lower back as you place baby in the hammock. We recommend that you hang it closer to the floor when your baby becomes more mobile.
Finally, open the movable link located at the far end of the chain. Attach this link to the chain at the required length.
What sort of hook is recommended?
We recommend a hook, either closed or open, with a thread to be screwed into a hardwood ceiling beam. If you choose a closed hook the opening has to be large enough to pass the chain through (15 mm diameter hole). The best way to think of it is to ask for one at the hardware that could support YOUR weight. That way it will be completely safe for your baby.
Is it for sleeping the baby in at night, or just during the day?
Lots of people use them at night, especially those that have a very restless baby. It can be hung beside or above the bed. If the baby begins to awaken it will bounce itself or you can just reach out and bounce it to send the baby back to sleep. This allows the parents more sleep and less walking around in the wee hours trying to soothe a distressed baby.
Do we use it as is, or do we need to put a cushion in?
Placing a cushion in the hammock creates a level base with even support all the way along the baby’s spine. Some people leave the cushion out altogether for a more womb-like cradling effect, but most people (and babies) prefer to create a level base on which the baby can stretch out. The versatility of the tied hammock with the cushion inside means that with colicky or reflux babies the position of the cushion can be adjusted to position the head higher than the rest of the baby’s body. A cushion suitable for use in the Happy Hangup is available here.
How long can we use the Happy Hangup?
My three year-old still enjoyed deep sleeps in the Happy Hangup, as much as she did as a newborn. The cushion creates more room, which is important as the baby grows. If you imagine holding a 3 year old asleep in your arms, they are not stretched out; rather curled up. Due to the even pressure of the hammock shape, the spine is optimally supported. She continued to enjoy the Happy Hangup for the occasional daytime nap until she was four.
What is special about the hammock fabric?
The pattern is imbedded in the fabric and is enhanced by light coming through when the hammock is in place. Babies just love to look at the intricate design. Studies suggest babies are neurologically programmed to look for intricate design. This helps with ocular convergence (turning inward of the lines of sight toward a single point).
What is the hanger made from?
The hanger is made from Australian plantation pine and hand-finished with organic plant-based oils. It is easily restored to full lustre by wiping some vegetable oil over it once a year.
Is the hammock safe?
The hammock is entirely safe if used in accordance with the instruction booklet. The common concern of whether a baby can climb out of the hammock is addressed by making sure that the child in the hammock is never left unsupervised. If used at night the sides should be safety-pinned up and the hammock positioned low enough to the floor to not pose any fall risk. That said it is extremely difficult for even a mobile toddler to get out of the hammock. By the time they have the physical coordination to do so, their weight would mean the hammock would be relatively close to the floor when hung at the recommended height.
What is the cord in the spring for?
There is a very strong nylon cord running through the middle of the spring. In the very unlikely case of the spring breaking, the cord will prevent the hanger from falling far enough to reach the baby. DO NOT REMOVE THIS CORD. If in doubt please contact us.
Can the baby fall or crawl out?
It is not an issue until the baby can move. If your baby becomes very active and you are concerned, you can simply adjust the movable link so that it hangs down close to the floor. It is still really difficult to get out of, like a normal hammock. This is a hands-on product you will always position close by to where you are, whether in the kitchen, lounge, bedroom or office, or even outside. It is not something you have in another room. In this way you be available to the baby so that you can take them out when they wake up,and the baby gets into the habit of expecting for you to take them out when they awaken.
Should I wrap my baby or can I use a sleeping bag while using the Happy Hangup?
Wrapping a newborn will ensure that the baby feels safe and secure, and will certainly help in settling the baby. Howver, once the baby becomes mobile or has the ability to roll over (around 7 months on), I would not recommend wrapping or swaddling the baby anymore. This is to ensure that the baby has the ability and hands to turn back over onto his/her back if they have rolled over. Also, the Happy Hangup is a hands-on product and your baby should always be supervised when using it. Sleeping bags are fine to use, and as explained above, the baby should have access to his/her arms to roll back over.
Have you any concrete information about health and safety warnings?
I have just been reading that Health Canada has a very strong warning out against (all) baby hammocks. They are telling people to destroy them, altho there's been no injuries (yet). They are seen as a suffocation risk as the baby moves. She could get lodged in a position against the side so she couldn't breathe, they're saying. HC considers only safety, nothing else, when it's making its recommendations, so I'm trying to get as much info as I can. I can't find anything online about Australia's safety concerns about hammocks. Have you any concrete information about this?
There has been 2 SIDS related cases in USA last year in a baby hammock called the Amby. Many 1000 hammocks were recalled even before they established the exact cause. These hammocks have been sold for more than 15 years without any cases of SIDS prior. They have a rectangular bed base in the hammock that is joined to it. This is believed to present a risk of suffocation if the baby rolls and gets wedged. This is termed a 'wedging hazard' in the reports I have read. Basically the difference betwen these hammocks and ours is that our 'bed base' is a cushion and is not attached to the hammock therefore presents no wedging hazard. In addition the cushion is placed on the diamond position which presents diagonal edges, rather than a straight edge which the baby can wedge in against. That said I must also point out that these are the only SIDS cases ever recorded, as compared to the many more in normal cots. But are they suggesting that cots be destroyed? In our state of NSW the Dept of Fair Trade asked for submissions with regard to baby hammocks as a result of the events in USA. We put in our submission to this investigation but have not heard anything back.
I do appreciate that there's some serious mixed messages about baby safety. Cribs have been responsible for numerous baby deaths, and yet our agency still claims that cribs are the ONLY safe place for babies to sleep. Go figger. And the diamond shape would make a difference, I can see that. With the H.Hangups, what happens when babies are of the age to try to turn over? Do they just give up, or do they get themselves stuck?
It really depends on the baby - as they get more mobile they may try to roll because they have woken up. They usually flounder around, maybe get their knees in under them. My daughter would just yell for me. They can't really sit up easily and they can't get 'stuck' as I explained in my earlier email since there are no fixed points. They could potentially get under the cushion perhaps, but since it is firm, it doesn't present a suffocation hazard. So the ideal is that you use it as an extension of your own body, like an extra set of arms, and be nearby ready to take them out when they wake up. Since you do this from birth then it becomes an expectation from them. As they get heavier, their weight pulls them further into the hammock and it is harder to get out of (as is any hammock).
There is a local childcare centre in Byron Bay that has 2 hung close to the floor so the toddlers can get in as well as out if they want to. The movable link means you can hang it lower to the floor as your baby gets more mobile, but once again this really depends on the baby - how active they are. The main thing to realise is that it is NOT a product that you can put in a room and close the door on. It is designed for an involved parental relationship. Once you get to know your baby's individual habits it becomes much clearer what is required from you. My bubba, as I said, couldn't be bothered trying to get out or move around that much. Though she did love to sleep on her side with her face pressed up against the hammock. I suspect it reminded her of the womb wall. I would tip her back using the wooden frame and she would simply roll back over. As it is 100% cotton and breatheable I decided to let her sleep that way.
This customer decided to purchase a Happy Hangup.
Do you have to make it bounce much?
If you want to get the baby to sleep or just comfort them then you bounce it consistently, engage eye contact with them and share their enjoyment or sing a reassuring song. When they have drifted off you'll find you can leave it stationary. Then when they move in their sleep it will set the spring bouncing again.
With older babies their weight keeps the spring bouncing longer. When the baby is newborn or smaller, or you have a baby that will only stay asleep with constant movement, I suggest you attach a sash to the hanger and then you can sit down and eat your dinner, for example, while you are pulling on the sash.
I have a child that does not sleep and am keen to try a hammock, but have some reservations about them. Can you tell me what your experience is when children migrate up or down the hammock as they do in a cot - how do they not fall out. Also when the child is able to sit and stand by itself, how dangerous is the hammock for the child to be able to fall out of it then?
Depending on the age of the child, the hammock will contain the migration of a wriggling little sleeper. With an older, heavier child, such as when my child was 3 years 8 months, the hammock fully cradled her and regardless of how much wriggling or turning she did, her headwas contained by the hammock end. Occasionally her feet flopped out but, similar to an adult size hammock, the sides would come up and the buttock stays way down. With each wriggle or movement she did the spring would get activated and the resultant bouncing send(s) her off to a deeper level of sleep. I tended to lift her feet/legs back in, which couldn't be fully straightened by the time she was almost 4. But she still loves it.
With a younger baby, there is more room, but the same principle is in place: the hammock ends contain the movement, the bouncing sends them back to sleep.
It is very difficult to reach a sitting position in the hammoock for a baby of suitable age. They tend to need to roll over and get on their knees first, the whole time sending the hammock into a bounce which alerts the supervising parent. I really recommend that parents only use the Hangup for sleeping or be fully present if their baby is awake. If you get your baby accustomed to being taken out upon awakening, they will come to expect this and likely call you, as mine does (very loudly), upon awakening (if the bouncing of the hammock isnt noticed by you already).
I have observed my daughter manouvering herself into a position where she could actually climb out backwards, and this is partly due to me adjusting the chain so that the Hangup hung closer to the floor.
I always tell people, if they end up with a VERY active baby (often a boy), and they are concerned, that they simply adjust the chain so that at the lowest end of the bounce the hammock is almost touching the floor. Then if the baby does manage to crawl out and you are not present, they are right there on the floor. Sandhills Childcare centre in Byron Bay have two Hangups that they hang low enough to the floor that toddlers who are tired crawl in and out again when they wake up.