Friday, August 13, 2010

History of the Tummy Tub

The idea for the TummyTub® came from a real-life situation, practicality, and common sense of a young mother, Anita Belderok from the Netherlands. Although the bathing of babies in buckets had been used and endorsed by Dutch midwives and maternity nurses for some time, it had never been introduced commercially. For Dutch midwives and maternity nurses this ‘bucket therapy’ was already common practice, as they had found that newborns were much more comfortable being bathed in a bucket, than in the mini-size version of the adult bath, commonly used since the 1950s for bathing babies.

Most babies have trouble adapting to their new world after being in the mother’s womb for nine months. Noise, bright light, less control of movement due to gravity at full force, hunger, thirst, digestion of food and a sensation of being lost in space without physical support, have to be coped with. This causes a lot of uneasiness for young infants.

Babies calm down easily when put in the TummyTub due to:

  • the resemblance to the mother’s womb in size and warmth
  • the sheltered/filtered environment
  • the support from the walls and bottom
  • the familiar fetal position
  • the smaller water surface also causes the water to stay warmer for longer

The initial idea won ‘Dutch Idea of the year’ in 1993. It was further developed and designed with the help of midwives, nurses, child-psychologists, child-physiotherapists, ob-gyns, and pediatricians in the Netherlands. The basic design won the approval of a panel of experts in the hospital, as it wasn’t only more practical and better for the baby, but also stimulated the bonding between parent and child. It also gave the baby and parents a greater sense of security, as the baby can be seen through the transparent polypropylene. While developing the TummyTub Bath no fewer than 17 different forms of bathing-buckets were tested by midwives and nursery nurses in their daily practice. The first prototypes were discarded by them as either too wide, whereby the babies could not feel the sides therefore were not reassured or were not deep enough to allow the babies to be sufficiently immersed in water to keep warm.

Because of the little water needed in the Tummy Tub®, parents can hold their baby with one hand and use the other to wash their child. Not only is this convenient, but it saves energy as well! Naturally, Tummy Tub® was designed without any sharp edges to harm baby’s skin and made out of the most baby friendly materials. This is the reason why it has passed every safety regulation all over the world and comes out as ‘simply the best’ in every test against competitive products. It has been used by millions of babies in neonatal and maternity wards, as well as homes all over the world!

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