Wednesday 8 February 2012

Amby Nature's Nest

Following my post about My Favourite Baby Items, was a lovely discussion on my Facebook page about what items we wish we had had. I've invited my friend Carly to talk about her experience with the Amby Nature's Nest. Quite a few of us mentioned if we'd known about this, we would have bought one!

Thanks to Lisa for the photograph

I'm Carly, mum to Liam and Georgia, one with medulloepithelioma & leukodystrophy, the other with suspected Russell-Silver.
In a previous life I was a special-ed teacher. I live with a dog, Jonty, in the city of Cambridge, and I get my kicks helping medics research rare diseases.

I feel I owe a small thank you to the Nature Nest. When my daughter was referred to hospice care after a diagnosis of “general global malaise” and organic FTT*, one of the first things we were introduced to was the Amby Nest: a small off-white sling hanging from a slightly odd looking metal base. 

So loved was it among the nurses,  that a tea break was sacrificed to help us set our baby girl up in it, and (as any self-respecting nurse will tell you) that is not a sacrifice to be taken lightly.Given the off-white nature and the, ahem, circumstances (what was racing through my mind was just how the thing got to be so un-white), I was yet to be convinced of its magic. It didn’t take long before both the magic and the convincing took place.

After gushing to the nurses that my tiny, innocent looking daughter was actually the loudest, most scream-y child around for 50 miles, the nurses were just about to tell me not to be so silly when the tiny darling seized the moment. She woke up, and began to wail to high heaven (for reference, her cry had always sounded much like an unhappy cat). Me: 15, Nurses: Love. Child is in fact devil incarnate (as cited) and I am proved not to be neurotic. However, the nurses were just as keen as the tiny pink ball of screaming, and proceeded to place her in the Nest. The wailing stopped. Birds flew again. Waterfalls continued to flow. 15-all, the nurses had levelled.

It was then that I started to understand just why the Nest was so important and just how useful it would be to us. The importance and usefulness of it was confirmed to me on that first stay, and continued to prove itself during our stay, and then again, later, when we took our baby home for her last few days. The Nest held her in a way that comforted her; a position we had only been able to replicate in slings which had to be wrapped around us and were very impractical for both us and her nurses. With the Nest, she could have the comfort of weightlessness and feotus-ness (note: I’m coining that word), the nurses could have easy access to care for her and I could see her easily to make sure she was safe and happy. She slept in her Nest, in a literal hug, as she would have done in the womb. 

I am one happy Nest-convert. Were I ever lucky enough to have another baby, I’m sure an Amby would be on my shopping list. 

Although, I never did find out just why it was so off-white. 

*FTT = failure to thrive 

Postscript The Amby Nature's nest meets all European safety requirements. However, the Amby was recalled from the US in 2009. Reference here:,18


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