A plastic storage box that converts to a baby’s bed is being seen as an innovative way to keep infants safe while sleeping.
Tamariki Ora/Wellchild nurses who work at Tui Ora are promoting the pepi-pod beds among local mothers and whānau.
Tui Ora is working alongside Merry Sorensen of Taranaki District Health Board after it received funding from Todd Energy last year to supply the pepi-pods.
Nurse Lynette Gilligan said getting the pods from hospital to homes is important, as transport is an issue for many of its clients.
“We visit homes a lot and we saw the need. These simple pods and the education that we pass on about safe sleeping can save infants’ lives.
“Long-term we’re hoping there will be a positive affect on rates of SUDI [sudden unexplained death of infants] in the region.”
Pepi-pods are not a woven flax basket or wahakura, but a general-purpose plastic storage box.
They come with a mattress, cotton sheets and a merino blanket and mothers can keep the pods and the bedding or pass onto to friends and other whānau.
Sharndena Erueti is an advocate after using a pod for her young daughter, Emelia Gooch. “When she has a night feed she stays with me.I mentioned that to the Tui Ora nurse who suggested I get a pepi-pod.
“It makes things so easy. I like that she is close to me but you know she’s always going to be safe in there. I’d recommend one to other Mums.”
The most recent statistics available for Taranaki show that between 2002-2011, there were 19 deaths from SUDI: 16 of these were from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).