Cocoonababy FAQ

The Cocoonababy is suitable for use until the child tries to change position in the nest (around 4 months of age). For use during the first weeks when your baby is asleep, day and night. Later during “awake time” your baby should also spend time out of the Cocoonababy nest, for example on their tummy on a play mat.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) as the exact cause of SIDS is unknown. Research has identified some factors that increase the risk of SIDS. These include sleeping baby on the stomach or side, overheating, and exposure to cigarette smoke. Accidental suffocation such as during bed sharing or from soft objects may also play a role. Another risk factor is being born before 39 weeks of gestation.

Therefore, although the Cocoonababy was developed in 1995 by a pediatric physiotherapist in collaboration with medical professionals and has been extensively used in hospitals and in homes around the world since (including in thousands of Australian homes) with no single case of SIDS ever reported, the Cocoonababy, like any other baby mattress, is not a guarantee against SIDS.

Regardless of the mattress you decide to choose for your baby, we recommend that you follow these safe sleeping guidelines:

  1. Sleep baby on the back from birth, not on the tummy or side
  2. Sleep baby with head and face uncovered, using a sleeping bag rather than a blanket is a great solution
  3. Keep baby smoke free before birth and after
  4. Provide a safe sleeping environment night and day
  5. Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as an adult caregiver for the first six to twelve months
  6. Keep the temperature of the room where baby sleeps between 18 and 20oC

In addition, when using the Cocoonababy, make sure that you follow all the instructions for use. All accessories designed for use with the Cocoonababy nest such as the Cocobag, a high-waisted sleeping bag and the Cocoonacover also conform to safe-sleeping practices by eliminating the need for loose blankets.

The Cocoonababy is not a sleep positioner but an ergonomic mattress. It does not introduce any suffocation risk.

The Cocoonababy should only be used from birth until the age of 4 months, or when your baby starts rolling. Before then, babies are physically incapable of turning in the nest in such a way that the sides of the nest could impede their breathing. In addition, the tummy band ensures that babies stay in the correct position in the nest at all times. 

Medical consultants rely on a recommendation to lay babies strictly flat on their back to sleep. This is the basis for their recommendation not to use the Cocoonababy or any other sleep aid product.

The Cocoonababy began its life in hospitals. It was created by a paediatric physiotherapist with whom Red Castle worked closely to make a version for the general public in order to be able to prescribe it to patients when they left the hospital environment. Read more on the origin of the Cocoonababy here.

In 2017 the Cocoonababy celebrated 20 years since its creation and 10 years of commercialisation. More than 300,000 parents have used the Cocoonababy in the past 10 years, without any incident ever reported.

The Cocoonababy is also regularly tested and approved by accredited certification laboratories on the basis that it poses no health risk to infants whatsoever.

We remain at your disposal for any questions concerning the Cocoonababy and also invite medical teams to contact Red Castle at for more information.

It is correct that babies should not be placed on a soft surface as their body will “sink” into it. However on a flat, hard surface babies cannot lie in a cradled posture which reminds them of their mother’s womb and reassures them. The Cocoonababy nest is neither soft, flat, nor hard: it is designed in such a way that its base is firm yet its surface soft.

The difference between the Cocoonababy nest and a standard flat mattress is a 20-degree incline. The Cocoonababy includes a wedge which prevents baby from wriggling down the nest and a tummy band which maintains baby in an ideal position without impeding his freedom of movement.

This ergonomic design has many advantages: it keeps babies on their back but cradles them, allowing them to move their arms and head freely and to interact with those around them. What's more, the semi-foetal posture in which baby lies helps to limit the following concerns which have developed since babies lie on a flat surface to sleep: Plagiocephaly (Flat head syndrome) and painful gastric reflux. It also helps to reduce involuntary jerky movements which wake babies with a start (startle or Moro reflex).

The Cocoonababy has been tested to ensure that the foam firmness is strong enough to avoid the baby’s head sinking into the foam too deeply as this could be a cause of suffocation. The testing method was adapted to products complying with EN16890 (the German safety requirements and test methods for baby mattresses).

This is perfect - This means that the special fabric covering the foam has moulded itself to the shape of the foam. Your baby is really in his nest!

When we say that babies can move in the nest we mean that they can turn their head and move their arms allowing them to discover their hands. However, during the first months of their life, babies are unable to roll onto their side or turn over in the nest.

In fact babies sleep most of the time during the first few weeks. Thanks to its shape and the materials used to make it, the Cocoonababy nest is the only product which can be used day and night for the first months. The posture adopted by your child in the nest has been studied in depth by medical specialists and is the best one for your baby’s comfort and development. So it is important that your baby should be in the nest when not in your arms, on a play mat or out for a stroll. The nest reassures and comforts babies, gives them the freedom of movement which encourages their eye-hand development, and allows them to interact with those around them when they are not asleep.

There is no risk of this happening so long as you follow the instructions for use closely and stop using the Cocoonababy as soon as your child starts trying to change position when in it.

In the womb babies can touch their face and even suck their thumb. If after birth they are placed on their back on a flat, hard surface, their arms will lie on either side of their head in a "3 branch candlestick" posture. They will not be able to touch their face as they do not have the strength to move their arms upwards – and it is said that in this posture babies suffer from "separation anxiety" as they are lying in a space too big for them and they lose their bearings. In the Cocoonababy nest, babies can touch their face, mouth and body thereby feeling the limits of their own body which they find very reassuring.

This is not true. The Cocoonababy nest is not made in visco-elastic foam. It is made from two different kinds of polyurethane foam, one used for reactivity, the other for comfort. The products made in visco-elastic foam maintain babies in the position in which they are placed and are therefore to be avoided until babies have gained their own motor skills (around 4-5 months). The Cocoonababy nest produces the opposite effect: it helps babies to move their head and arms at an early stage thus gaining motor skills.

No because a carrycot is not deep enough. The sides of the cot or the cradle should be at least 20cms higher than the top of the nest (in conformity with the French safety regulations and bedding standard).

Yes, they can – however, choose a small size suitable for a baby up to 4 months only. In fact we have designed the Cocobag sleeping bag especially for babies in the Cocoonababy – it is ideal for this purpose because it is not bulky or too warm.

It is normal that lying in a cradled position babies will feel warmer than lying flat on their back. Imagine if you yourself were to sit curled up in an armchair, as opposed to sitting on a straight backed chair with nothing around you. Simply touch the nape of your baby's neck to establish if your baby is too warm and adjust the clothes or covers on your baby.

No they are not the same. The products which are filled with small polystyrene beads maintain the child in the position in which he is placed (just like ‘memory foam’). The effect they have is totally opposite to the advantages procured by the Cocoonababy nest.

Yes, it is possible to swaddle your child in the Cocoonababy nest. However, a child which starts life in the nest will most probably not need to be swaddled. In fact, the semi-foetal, cradled posture which is adopted in the nest will help your baby to feel secure, limit startle reflex/Moro Reflex (sudden, uncontrolled arm movements which wake babies up and make them cry) and reduce the chances of your baby suffering from colic. It will help your baby sleep better too.

Larger babies may be longer than the nest by the age of 4 months – but this is not a problem. Simply remove the wedge and allow your baby’s legs to rest on the bottom edge of the nest with their feet over the end, as shown in the picture below. What is important is that at all times babies must not be able to push against anything with their feet and put themselves into a hyper-extended posture.

Feet over the end of the Cocoonababy

Support/feeding cushions are generally filled with polystyrene beads. If you place your child in the centre of the cushion it will effectively make him feel cradled or “contained” in a small space  but he will automatically remain in that posture - which will not necessarily be the right one. Leaving him lying in an incorrect posture for a few hours during the day or during the night is not recommended.  Products made from beads can sag so parental surveillance is essential at all times. There is no substitute for the Cocoonababy nest which has evolved through years of medical observation.

You could put the nest onto a play mat with a toy bar over it or put your baby in his cot with a mobile to look at - but ensure that the toys are level with your baby's feet and not directly above their head. Contrary to common practice, babies lying on their back should actually have their gaze drawn towards their feet to encourage them to adopt a cradled posture. If their gaze is drawn above their head, this encourages a hyper extended posture which is detrimental to babies' comfort and development. When lying in the nest, babies will also be able to watch the other family members – and they will be happy to participate in what is going on around them.

In general, it isn't hard for babies to transition from the Cocoonababy to a flat mattress. A baby needs about 3-4 months to adapt from the nautical space (mother's womb) to the aerial space. When babies start rolling (about 4 months of age) it is a sign that they are old enough to "settle by themselves" and won't have any difficulties in getting to sleep without the help of the Cocoonababy. What you can do to facilitate the transition is take the wedge off when your baby is about 4 months, starts rolling and is effectively growing out of the Cocoonababy. Continue to use the Cocoonababy for nap time (under supervision). At night, start sleeping your baby flat on a mattress. After a few days, you should be able to sleep your baby flat on a mattress for both naptime and night.

For more tips on how to successfully transition out of the Cocoonababy, read our blog post.

Yes, as long as your Cocoonababy is in good condition and you have followed all the care instructions, you can use it for your second child. The foam cocoon should not be washed as any contact with water or humidity will damage the foam. The waterproof cover of the Cocoonababy and the fitted sheet are both machine washable and must be dried completely before use or storage.

The motor skills of children less than 4 months old do not allow them to get out of the nest. This question, however, is one which is recurrent among first time parents. So we decided to include a Tummy Band which, thanks to its special design, does not restrict your baby’s movements. It reassures parents … and is also great for the baby, who will feel even better in the nest as this small band has a calming effect! In fact, as does swaddling, it applies the same light pressure on your baby’s tummy as your hand would in order to appease colic and it incites the child to adopt a ‘centred’ rather than an ‘extended’ position.

The Cocoonababy foam is made of PU (polyurethane) foam. The foam is certified CertiPUR which ensures that the product is manufactured in compliance with the highest Safety, Health and Environment standards. It contains no heavy metals or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and has not been treated with any fireproof retardants. 

The protective cover is in Tencel fabric and is labeled Oeko-tex Standard 100. The fabric of the fitted sheet and Cocoonacover is in Fleur de coton, cotton fabric, also certified Oeko-tex Standard 100. These materials do not contain any heavy metals. 

Certipur  Oeko-tex Standard 100

The packaging of the Cocoonababy has also been tested and contains no phthalates or heavy metals.

Mattress sensors use different techniques to capture and transmit information. You should check with the product manufacturer whether their particular sensor is compatible with the type of foam used in the Cocoonababy nest and its thickness.

The Cocoonababy is made of PU (polyurethane) foam and has a maximum thickness of 19cm.

Red Castle has adopted the TOG rating system which identifies the heat or "thermal resistance" of a product. The higher the TOG value on an article, the more heat it retains. Our products fit one of three TOG ratings depending on the fabric used: TOG 0.5 for lightweight cotton, TOG 2 for quilted cotton, and TOG 3 for quilted fleece fabric.

A word of caution: a sleeping bag should not be chosen based on the temperature outdoors but according to the temperature of baby's bedroom and his sleepwear. 

Two examples: It is possible that in wintertime, in a well-heated apartment, a child may need a TOG 0.5 model sleeping bag rather than a TOG 3 model. Similarly, during summer if air conditioning is used, your baby may need a TOG 2 model rather than a TOG 0.5 model. 

To determine how to dress your baby in his Red Castle sleeping bag, refer to the table below.

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