Author information: Stephanie Cowan, Director, Sharon Bennett, Senior Staffer, Judith Clarke Senior Staffer, Anna Pease, Publications Assistant, Change for our Children, Christchurch.
An evaluation of portable sleeping spaces for babies following the Christchurch earthquake of February 2011
Article first published online: 10 APR 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2013 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians)
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Volume 49, Issue 5, pages 364–368, May 2013
How to Cite
Cowan, S., Bennett, S., Clarke, J. and Pease, A. (2013), An evaluation of portable sleeping spaces for babies following the Christchurch earthquake of February 2011. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 49: 364–368. doi: 10.1111/jpc.12196
Competing interests: None known.
- Issue published online: 6 MAY 2013
- Article first published online: 10 APR 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 NOV 2012
- New Zealand Ministry of Health
- infant welfare;
- social change
To describe how recipients of portable sleeping spaces (PSSs) for babies received and used these devices, offered as emergency baby beds in earthquake-ravaged Christchurch, New Zealand, 2011.
The PSS package responded to increased risk to babies from disrupted living and sleeping conditions in families. ‘Door-to-door’ distribution offered easy access to those in need. A subgroup of recipients gave feedback via a survey.
From 642 families who received PSSs between March and August, 139 were invited to complete a survey on usage and 100 (72%) responded. Risks identified were ‘earthquake related’ (82%), bed-sharing (41%), smoking in pregnancy (26%) and prematurity or low birthweight (11%). PSSs were used for same-bed co-sleeping by 87%. They were used even though most families (96%) also had a cot or bassinet. Features most appreciated were ‘having baby close’ (90%), ‘peace of mind’ (88%) and portability (74%).
PSSs were acceptable to parents and used as instructed. Enabling physical protection of babies when same-bed co-sleeping, they gave peace of mind to parents. PSSs could be considered in ordinary times for protecting babies from sudden infant death.