Canberra Mothercraft Society,

Pepi-Pods: co-sleeping at QEII

In April 217, QEII introduced Pepi-Pods to all rooms, in response to a growing number of parents wanting to co-sleep with their baby.

Developed in New Zealand as a public health response for babies at a higher risk of sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI), a Pepi-Pod® sleep space is a protected place for babies to sleep when they are in, or on, an adult bed, in a makeshift setting, or away from home. ‘Pepi’ means ‘baby’ in Maori and a ‘pod’ is a symbol of protection in nature.

“Research shows that sharing a sleep surface with a baby can increase the risk of sudden unexpected death in infancy, including sudden infant death syndrome and fatal sleep accidents. A Pepi-pod provides the baby with its own safe sleep space within the parents’ bed, allowing families to enjoy the benefits of co-sleeping,” said Mary Kirk, Director of Nursing/Executive Officer at QEII.

The sleep space has been designed from a baby’s point of view, to align with developmental needs for closeness, connection, regulation and safety. Features include:

  • Windows to enable babies to open their eyes to familiar faces and places, and parents to see in easily when lying next to their babies.
  • Ventilation slits cradle the harakeke (flax) symbol and help with moving exhaled gases away from a baby’s face.
  • Marks in each side of the pod show where adult pillows should be so that adult bedding does not also cover the baby.
  • Portability allows parents to have their babies close by when they change their own location
  • Low sides make it easy to settle babies and offer comfort and reassurance, with loving touch. Low sides do introduce a potential fall hazard and safety information stresses the essential nature of safe placement of the pod.
  • Size accommodates growing babies throughout the first five months of life, a period of developmental vulnerability
  • Materials of the Pepi-Pod, mattress and bedding are stable, non-toxic and custom designed

With funding from the Australian Governemnt, Red Nose has begun introducing Pepi-Pods into WA’s Kimberley region the aim of reducing the number of Indigenous babies dying from sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI).

For more information on Pepi-Pods, please visit: http://www.changeforourchildren.nz/pepi_pod_programme

We wish to acknowledge the Ngunnawal people as the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which CMS and its service are located, and their Elders past and present.