Safety and softness for your little people are of the utmost importance to us here at Dou-Dood HQ, that's why all our toys undergo strict safety testing before sale. We also make it our business to know that all our suppliers commit and work to FairTrade standards, especially including no child labour.
All Dou-Doods toys are tested to the following international safety standards. They test the toy for their suitability for a child from birth to three years of age. This includes the mechanical and physical properties of the toy, flammability and chemical composition (this means testing of the fabrics and dyes to ensure they are 100% safe for baby to snuggle and suck).
EN71-2: 2011 + A1: 2014
EN71-3:2013 + A1: 2014
Formaldehyde EN71 - 9/10/11
AZO Dyes as per REACH regulations 1907/2006 (Annex XVII)
All toys wether sold commercially or independently as "handmade" should undergo safety testing, however many do not. Please check all your toys for CE markings before you buy.
SAFE SLEEPING AND USING A COMFORTER/DOUDOU
Understandably a lot of mums often worry about how to use a comfort item/doudou in the early days and months of their new baby's life. It is important that you understand about safe sleeping before introducing the use of a doudou.
The UK authority website The Lullaby Trust is a great source of information and support for understanding how to make your baby's sleeping environment safe. Safer sleep for babies reduces the risk of SIDS. This is especially important in the very early stages of newborns when they are unable to free themselves from an object.
Your Dou-Dood comforter can be included as part of your baby's nap time or sleep time routine from an early age. But it is not recommended to leave it in the cot with baby until at least 7 months as it may cover the baby's nose and mouth and interfere with their breathing causing suffocation. Studies have shown that babies under 6 months of age do not engaged in exploring objects in their sleeping environment and are developmentally too young to take comfort from a toy or object to help them manage any separation anxiety from mama.
In the early months always remove the doudou as soon as the baby is left unattended. Please always ensure baby's head and face remain uncovered at all times. The same studies have also shown that simply being able to see their "comfort item" is enough of a comfort for baby. So you can place it in baby's line of sight as the visual contact alone evokes its soothing effects.
When you are ready to introduce a doudod into your routine, it is important to transfer your mega amazing 'mama scent' to it so baby recognises your familiar smell. Best way is to stick it down your top for a day or put some breast milk on it. Then start using it as part of babies bedtime routine by letting baby cuddle with it while you feed, read or sing before bed. And then when they are ready for sleep put them down in a clear cot.
The Australian website 'Red Nose' has written a comprehensive article on the guidelines for the use of a comforter during sleep. They refer to an attachment/transitional object such as a comforter/doudou for children over the age of 7 months.
7 month old babies are more likely to explore objects in their sleeping environments than younger babies. Some babies over 7 months of age may appreciate a small object such as a soft toy to provide comfort and connection (transitional/comfort object) during times of separation from their parent.
The website 'The Sleep Lady' also talks about a baby’s need for a transitional/comfort object normally occurring around 8 months of age.
As your baby gets older, you will notice some major developmental changes that usually start happening between 6 and 8 months, including crawling, the transition from three naps down to two or one, as well as an increase in your baby’s separation anxiety. For a little baby that’s a hell of a lot of changes! Comforters are one way that parents can help their baby feel continually safe and secure.
This secure bond is a positive sleep association that can help your baby during their partial awakenings. Because the comfort object does not change, it is soothing. In fact, a comforter is often an indicator of a strong parent-child bond. Essentially, the comfort object is meeting baby’s need for love and attention even when mama or papa is not actually there. Now that’s pretty cool!
We introduced our little lady to her doudou when she was about 3 months old using it as part of her bedtime routine and she started safe sleeping with it when she was well over 8 months old.
It is your responsibility to ensure your own baby is safe in their sleeping environment. We are not experts and therefore cannot take any responsibility outside of giving you guidance from the websites we have read.
It's important that you monitor the wear and tear of a favourite toy, as over time they can become quite worn. It's always the 'worn' bits that help the babes self-soothe the most (like the rubbed through ears and feet). Normal wear and tear is of no real concern, however it's important to be vigilant to observe if the actual safety of a toy has been compromised. And if so, it is best to replace it.
Our little Doods make the perfect newborn gift as they grow with baby taking on more character as baby’s imagination and understanding develop, they become more that just a comfort object they become their best friend along life’s’ great, big new adventures. Plus they love posing for a photo!
HISTORY AND MEANING OF THE WORD 'DOUDOU'
A little peek into the history and meaning of the word 'doudou'. As a parent I think of the word 'doudou' to mean a soft piece of fabric which is used as a comforter for babies and toddlers. As a child I always had a ‘doudou’. It was a soft blankie I dragged around around everywhere with me and couldn’t go to sleep without it.
And as the name suggests it has its origins in French, but it is actually Creole French (French spoken in the West Indies) from the word 'doux' meaning 'sweet' and is also used as a term of endearment or girlfriend or boyfriend or lovie.
The Website 'Speak French' describes a doudou as a 'blankie' and states that it is not derived from the word 'dormir' to sleep but from 'doux' meaning 'sweet' as above. The word 'dodo' however does come from 'dormir' and means to go to sleep or nap.