Massachusetts Patent of the Month – May 2023
Young infants are often met with the “flail” reflex, where they shoot their arms upwards. It’s thought that this reflex results from a sensation of “falling” and is typically outgrown within a few months. Contact and touch often help to calm the infant, creating a safe and restrained feeling. Interrupting the flail reflex can ensure the baby continues to sleep soundly, helping their rest and growth.
Nested Bean Inc. has invented a new sleeping garment for babies that helps reduce this flail reflex that often disrupts a baby’s sleep cycle. The garment is designed to restrain the baby’s arm movement, mitigating the startling sensation that babies experience during the flailing reflex. By preventing the interruption of sleep, a baby can learn to sleep through the night and self soothe along the way.
Nested Bean’s anti-flail garment is made up of elastic mesh that can stretch and expand as the baby flails, limiting their motion without restricting them entirely. The elastic mesh is adapted to expand more readily than the basal fabric and exert a lower resistive force than basal fabric. In this design, the baby has some free arm movement, until it approaches the maximum range, wherein the mesh is more restrictive and prevents the excessive flailing motion.
The sleeper garment also has a weighted pressure accessory that is positioned along the arms. The lightly weighted accessory mimics the gentle touch or contact of a caregiver, creating a sense of security.
Nested Bean goes beyond the standard infant care, building adaptability into their designs. The garment can be designed with removable sleeves so that the changing sleep patterns can be accounted for. As infants age, they learn to roll over. At this point, restricting their arm motion can be dangerous. To account for this, the sleeves can be easily removed, ensuring the baby can remain safe.
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