In collaboration with the Preemie Parents Association in Iceland, the Icelandic innovation company RoRo is donating 50 Lulla dolls to premature children at the local NICU. The donation is a part of an ongoing research project on the Lulla doll, sleep companion for babies.
Two founding members of the association, Drífa Baldursdóttir and Anna Sigríður Pétursdóttir came to the Lulla doll HQ to meet with Eyrún to accept the donation and discuss the research project.
"On behalf of the Preemie Parents Association we would like to express our gratitude. We are convinced that the Lulla doll will come into good use with the families that are going through the difficult experience of having a newborn that needs to stay at the NICU". says Drífa Baldursdóttir chairman.
Photo: Anna Sigríður, Eyrún and Drífa.
World Prematurity Day is observed on 17 November each year to raise awareness of preterm birth and the concerns of preterm babies and their families worldwide. Approximately 15 million babies are born preterm each year, accounting for about one in 10 of all babies born worldwide. We felt this time would be perfect to announce this collaboration, which is all about improving the life for prematures and their families in the NICU.
“We want to do even better, and we are now looking into creating a new product especially for premature children in these circumstances. We have always put an emphasis on feedback from parents in our product development” says Eyrún.
Sleep companion based on science originally designed for preemies
Research and user testing is an important part of RoRo’s product development. Before being brought to market three years ago, the Lulla doll had been in development and testing for 3 years prior, funded with government grants from the Icelandic technology fund.
"In my studies in psychology I learned that closeness, and especially the sounds of breathing and heartbeat, can profoundly affect children’s wellbeing and quality of sleep. With the help of doctors, nurses and midwifes I created the Lulla doll to help all children experience the comforting feeling of closeness.” says the founder Eyrún Eggertsdóttir on the creation of the Lulla doll.
The Lulla doll has already helped many premature children and is being used in a few NICUs in the US as well as in Iceland, for example at the NICU at Johns Hopkins, All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida and the Sanford Boekelheide NICU in Sioux Falls. Holly Spinks, Certified Nurse & Manager at eQHealth Solutions that organized the donation project to the John Hopkins NICU had this to say about the Lulla doll:
“As a nurse, I know the Lulla doll is so important to these children in the NICU as they help the baby sleep at night, as it softly “breathes” next to the baby, they are amazing for preemies.”
Photo: Egill Örn with his companion Lulla doll that he has had since he was born prematurely.
Closeness is vital to wellbeing and development
RoRo specializes in the development of products that promote wellbeing, calmness, sleep and safety for children. Their first product is the Lulla doll. Lulla's design is based on multiple scientific research that show the positive effects of closeness and kangaroo care to the development and well-being of young children and the effects that smell, sight and touch have.
What makes the Lulla doll unique is that it imitates closeness with a soft feel, humanlike features and sounds of real-life breathing and heartbeat. As mentioned, the design is based on scientific research on the positive effects of closeness, especially the sounds of heartbeat and breathing. Those are:
- Longer periods of uninterrupted sleep
- More stable heartbeat and breathing rhythm
- Increased wellbeing and lowered stress
Lulla has been awarded multiple times, both for its design and functionality. In 2018 only Lulla doll has received 5 awards and been shortlisted for an additional design award.