You often hear the phrase “it takes a village.” I have come to believe that more and more. Having a baby myself has made me aware of the hardships and joys that motherhood brings. It has made me acutely aware of how much I need my friends and family. And it has left me wondering how we can support each other in this incredible quest to raise these little humans to be caring community members themselves.
Last night I had the pleasure of meeting Jane Chen, someone who is not only thinking about these things as they relate to the parents who live in her own city, but the parents that live around the world. Infant mortality is a scary thing for any hopeful mother, but when you live in a rural area in a developing country these concerns are amplified to a deafening level. Talking with Jane Chen about her quest to bring solutions to those mothers filled me with hope and inspiration.
At Stanford, Jane Chen and a team of other brilliant minds went to work to solve a global problem and created the Embrace infant warmer. This invention regulates the temperature of premature babies, which is the primary job of large incubators that require hospitals and electricity to use. Providing this technology to families living in rural areas has already helped over 150,000 babies. Now they are looking for a way to grow that number and in doing so have solved a problem that I deal with on a day-to-day basis: how to keep my baby warm when its cold and cool when its warm.
As a San Francisco mom I continually search for ways to put my little one to sleep while the house is still toasty from a day in the sun, but whose temperature will drop in the night. My solution: he goes to bed sweating in a toasty sleep sack prepared for the cold night that lies ahead. This is not ideal, he whines and wiggles, but he gets to sleep and doesn’t wake when the cold sets in. I have looked and looked for a sleep sack that will allow him to go to bed comfortably and stay comfortable through the night, but have failed thus fair to find a solution. Enter Little Lotus.
Little Lotus is a collection of swaddles, sleep sacks, and blankets that are made using the same technology as the Embrace infant warmer that is helping fend off infant mortality in other countries. It absorbs heat while the baby is warm and releases it back as their temperature drops. Even better, when you purchase one of these sleep sacks you are also providing warmth to a baby struggling to stay warm in another country.
Listening to Jane talk about the babies that have been helped and seeing a picture of a teeny-tiny boy at birth and then years later as a toddler warmed my heart. It inspired me to share this way that we can help solve a global problem while keeping our babies, nieces, or nephews warm at home as well.
There are 7 days left in the Little Lotus Baby kickstarter campaign. If you are in need of a sleep sack or headed to a baby shower in the near future I think it is worth checking out. It is a little something we can do to be part of a global community of caregivers, keeping the ones we love and the ones others love warm and safe.