Vincent Reid, Director, Developmental Solutions Ltd comments: "We needed a design that could overcome the challenge of providing an appropriate weight distribution for the wearer of the sling, a comfortable fit for the wearer and baby which also put the baby in the right position for the product to work. All this had to be done in a way that made the product super safe for the baby. The Product Group's hands on approach to the design process allowed us to explore a number of options for the best possible design of the Sleep Sling. Through working with The Product Group we were quickly able to understand the technical requirements of the design and determine the most optimal solution for the needs of our product. "As a result of working with Design Network North we have a much more structured design process in place and have more confidence in dealing with the process of designing new products."
Developmental Solutions - The Sleep Sling. Client: Vincent Reid, Company Director - Developmental Solutions.
Description of concept Developmental Solutions develops products for the new born to pre-school market, based on scientific understanding of infant psychology. Led by Dr Vincent Reid, a lecturer in developmental psychology at Durham University and a father of five, the company has developed a sling aimed at encouraging sleep and reducing the symptoms of colic. The sling holds the baby in a comfortable position which allows eye contact between the baby and the parent whilst extending the stomach slightly to prevent the baby from bringing the legs up, an action which can cause the stomach to fold and exacerbates the symptoms of colic.
Target Market In the UK there are 690,000 births each year and of these 138,000 will experience extreme colic characterised by uncontrollable crying of more than three hours for at least three nights a week. Developmental Solutions aims to capture this market and expand to overseas.
How design would make a difference Research undertaken by the company, identified the key features required of the device to enable it to be encourage sleep and reduce the symptoms of colic. These features needed to be incorporated into an easy to use product that would allow the baby to be taken out of the sling without disturbing sleep.
Solution Developmental Solutions recruited product design company, The Product Group to design a customer focussed sleep sling that incorporated the features highlighted during research and was easy to use. The design of the device needed to be suitable for a range of production methods enabling the company either to licence the manufacture of the device or to produce in-house.