Rest, routine and regularity: benefits for every baby
Prevention is better than cure, so it is said in the medical world. And according to Francien Mels, founder of Noviocare, this also applies to sleep. “People often speak about healthy eating and sufficient exercise, but sleeping well is also incredibly important for your long-term health. That’s where I want to make a difference with Noviocare.”
Where better to start looking at healthy sleep preventively than with the very youngest age group? “Sleeping well is starting to become more and more of a trend, which I am glad about,” Francien says. “But there are still very few solutions. I thought: sleeping well is the basis. If you sleep well, everything automatically improves.”
Massive long-term impact
Sleeping poorly seems like something small, but the opposite is true, according to Francien. “In the long-term, a sleep deficit is very bad for people. Not only for grownups but for babies as well. Even behavioural development is affected. And, well-sleeping babies are also a blessing for parents: you’re hitting two birds with one stone.”
Briskr connected Francien to Health Valley. “They helped me build my business plan. OostNL’s customer journey program brought me many insights as well.” Francien started with extensive market research, asking not only parents but also medical specialists to share their experiences.
Noviocare developed their product ‘PIKO’ building on those findings: a secure sleeping environment for a baby, wherever it sleeps. “There are three essentials to a good night’s sleep: rest, routine and regularity. However, our life is far from quiet. Babies have two working parents, noisy siblings, and go to daycare. When asked, parents say their kids end up sleeping in five different places on average per week, sometimes as many as ten.”
Working on a routine
So, parents want to move towards rest, routine and regularity but don’t get around to it because of their busy schedules. PIKO is the solution to that, according to Francien. “With PIKO, you have the same sleeping place for your baby everywhere. In the playpen, in the cradle, in your own bed. And taking it with you is very simple, so even at daycare, at grandma and grandpa’s and on holiday, your baby still sleeps in a familiar environment.”
PIKO’s goal is a better night’s sleep, and Francien explains that you need more than just a constant sleeping place. “Because you can also use sound to reinforce the bedtime ritual, PIKO also comes with a POD. You can turn on the sound when your baby wakes up or cries. The accompanying app helps you structure their sleeping behaviour. You keep a diary, and compare your child’s sleep behaviour with what a baby of that age needs.”
Ready to launch
Noviocare’s first product has now been developed, validated and tested for safety. The first results from the pilot are promising. At the Negenmaandenbeurs, where the prizes of the Baby Innovation Awards will also be presented, the PIKO will be officially launched. “We are nominated for the Awards, so it’s the perfect time to launch!”
The PIKO seems like a logical solution to a temporary problem, but Francien hopes for more. “It would be even nicer if prospective parents already see this as a solution. That puts us more into the preventive corner, from which this business idea was born.”
Francien and Noviocare’s focus is now on PIKO, but much more is possible in the future. “We don’t focus on the age group, but on sleep quality. Older children and adults benefit just as much from healthy sleep.”
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