One of the greatest challenges parents of newborns face is trying to sooth a colicky or irritable baby. Known as the fourth trimester, once outside of mom’s womb, a newborn baby is getting adjusted to her new environment. With common conditions such as allergies, colic and irritability, parents often experience sleep deprivation as they fight to get their baby to rest peacefully.
As a colicky baby herself, Boston maternity nurse Melissa Gersin understands firsthand the challenges that come with working to soothe a colicky baby. After a challenging night in the nursery attempting to calm 3 babies, Melissa thought, “There has to be a better way.” Relying on her knowledge of Dr. Harvey Karp’s 5S’; swaddling, side/stomach position, shushing, swinging and sucking, Melissa invented the Tranquilo Mat, a product that allows parents to calm their babies by mimicking mom’s womb.
For our readers who may not have heard of this amazing product, what is the Tranquilo Mat? How does it work?
It’s a portable soothing mat. With 5 settings, the Tranquilo Mat is designed to mimic the constant motion and sound that babies experience in the wombs. Every time a pregnant mom moves, a baby is gently jostled. A mom’s heartbeat is as loud as a vacuum cleaner. Babies are constantly surrounded by that sound. Sometimes when they cry at night they are missing that sound and constant motion from their mother’s womb. Parents try to keep everything still and quiet when the babies need the opposite.
The Tranquilo Mat folds up and can be used anywhere. It can be used on an activity gym, in a car seat or in the crib. When using it in a car seat, make sure the baby is strapped in properly and then place the mat on top of them so that it is not in between them and the strap. The purpose is portable soothing everywhere you go. It has the white noise babies crave that is missing from swings and vibrating chairs.
What is the inspiration behind the Tranquilo Mat?
In Dr. Harvey Karp’s book, “Happiest Baby on the Block, he came up with this theory that has been backed by science. You can calm a baby by using the 5S’s; swaddling, sucking, side or stomach position, shushing and swinging. These help to relax babies anytime, even after shots. I learned these techniques from being a maternity nurse when I took a training and then I brought them back to the hospital. I had to teach the parents who hadn’t heard of it plus the nurses. Many of the nurses thought too much swaying or swinging would hurt the baby. I had to educate them that as long as the baby’s head is supported inline with the body they will not get whiplash or be harmed. I learned that people weren’t doing enough vigorous motion or sounds to keep the baby calm.
One night I was in the nursery with 3 babies that I couldn’t pick up to hold, because they were going through medical treatment. One was in an incubator, one was in a warmer and the other was in a car seat. I had to use my foot to rock them all while Shh-ing at loud volume. From this experience, I had this idea for something that could work in any setting.
Are there any products like the Tranquilo Mat? What separates your product from competitors?
There are similar products like swings which provide motion but not white noise and lullabies that aren’t effective to soothe a screaming baby. There are also white noise machines but both these and swings are big and bulky. There are no products that provide both white noise and motion. They are also not easily portable so they only work well in one location.
The Tranquilo Mat is a flexible mat that is portable so you can travel with it. It is also affordable and versatile. It can even be used in a mom’s arms. The main 2 functions are the combination of white noise and the adequate motion along with its portability.
Tell us your favorite success story from a mom who has used the Tranquilo Mat?
I would say the stories that mean the most to me are the mothers who have struggled with soothing their children. There was a mom whose child had a milk protein allergy. The baby cried a lot. The mom was looking for relief from constantly rocking and holding her child. She noticed that using the mat after each feeding significantly reduced her rocking and holding time. The mat bought her hours of time during the day to bond and play with her baby or get things done or to enjoy personal time. That really meant a lot to me. Even just buying 10 or 15 minutes can make a big difference. We hear things like, “I can finally go back to the gym, because I can now soothe my child.” or “The mat helped my child to sleep through the night for the first time in 8 months.”
Other than helping a baby sleep, what specific ways can the Tranquilo Mat make life easier for working moms?
It helps the baby to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. It increases the mom’s ability to keep baby content so she has two hands free and can get something else done like laundry or a shower. It can be really great at helping to relieve gas which can cause crying and colic.
The Tranquilo Mat also helps with sleep transition. Kids love their bassinets or pack and plays. Our product can be great with transitioning the child into the crib. The 5 different settings really help. You can start the mat on high and then go to low as the child is in the crib longer. We’ve had a fair number of parents who have used it at 6 months to transition the baby out of their beds into their crib. The Tranquilo Mat is also great for traveling.
Where do you see the Tranquilo Mat in 5 years?
We are launching a line of decorative covers. The covers are removable. We have 4 different patterns that we are releasing. To celebrate the launch, today is the first day of our giveaway contest. We will use “riddles” to tease customers on patterns. The 4 new patterns will officially be announced and covers will be available for sale on Monday, August 21.
We definitely see extending the product features. We hear from customers what they would love to have on the products or not have. We will be upgrading based on feedback. We know parents want things to be easier after bringing baby home. We are already talking about launching a line of swaddles. We are very honest about how hard parenting can be so the swaddle blankets will have silly and totally honest phrases like “Sorry about earlier”.
For more information about the Tranquilo Mat, visit https://www.tranquilomat.com. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram, @tranquilomat, to enter the Mat Covers contest.