Hana-Lia Krawchuk Love to Dream Interview

Hana-Lia Krawchuk Love to Dream Interview

Families of Babies with Hip Dysplasia to have a Better Night's Sleep from Love to Dream

Parents of the 1 in 50 Australian babies being treated for hip dysplasia1 now have a new solution to combat sleepless nights, as Love to Dream – one of the world's leading baby and toddler sleep garment brands – launches its latest collection of swaddles.

Of those infants diagnosed with developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH), 92% need to wear a brace or harness at some stage during their treatment process, proving challenging for parents looking for comfortable sleeping solutions catering for their child's needs.

The new Love to Dream Swaddle UP™ Hip Harness and Swaddle UP™ 50/50 Hip Harness swaddles, have been approved as HipWise by the industry body Healthy Hips Australia and based on the award-winning and patented ARMS UP™ design for self-soothing, feature a wider base to be worn over a compatible DDH brace or harness.

"Becoming a new parent comes with so many sleeping challenges, especially if your child is diagnosed with DDH. It can be heart-breaking for parents to watch their child become upset at being put in a harness or brace and it's really overwhelming. Knowing there are products out there that can help make life that little bit easier is really reassuring," says Hana-Lia Krawchuk, founder of Love to Dream.

"Our original Swaddle UP™ collection has been proven to almost double infants' average sleep time to nearly 7.5 hours and we're confident that, by giving babies with hip dysplasia a more comfortable way to sleep, the new Love to Dream Hip Harness Swaddles will be similarly life changing for their families."

Despite its prevalence, awareness of DDH remains relatively low. 48 per cent of parents had not heard of this common childhood condition prior to their child's diagnosis, and with almost two thirds (62 per cent) of babies' hip dysplasia identified before they turn three months old4, the news can feel totally overwhelming for new parents, says Sarah Twomey, founder of Healthy Hips Australia.

"Correct swaddling is really important for all infants, whether they have been diagnosed with DDH or not. The swaddle needs to enable the infants' legs to sit in a -froggie' leg position and encourage a healthy hip alignment. For parents caring for babies with DDH, finding products that are useable during treatment and fit comfortably over the brace is really important. It can be a stressful or confronting time for parents and their little ones, so having products available specifically for children with DDH offers both physical support for the child but also emotional support for the family during this time.

"We hope that with a global brand like Love to Dream launching a specific range for DDH babies, it will take the conversations around DDH into the mainstream. We also hope it will reassure parents that there are solutions out there to help them tackle some of the most common challenges associated with DDH, like unsettled sleep."

Parents can choose from two options within Love to Dream's Swaddle UP™ Hip Harness Swaddles range:

Love to Dream Swaddle UP™ Hip Harness Swaddle
Suitable for babies at the swaddling stage (Stage 1)
Suitable for use with the Pavlik Harness, the Denis Browne Bar (DDB) and the Rhino Brace
Available in two sizes: Small (3.2-6kg/7-13lbs) and Medium (6-8.5kg/13-18.5lbs) tog. Ideal fabric for temperatures between 20°C and 24°C
RRP $44.95

Love to Dream Swaddle UP 50/50™ Hip Harness Swaddle
Suitable for babies transitioning to arms free sleep (Stage 2)
Suitable for use with the Pavlik Harness, the Denis Browne Bar (DDB) and the Rhino Brace
Available in two sizes: Medium (6-8.5kg/13-18.5lbs) and Large (8.5-11kg/18.5-24lbs) tog. Ideal fabric for temperatures between 20°C and 24°C
RRP $54.95

For more information on the Love to Dream range, please visit: lovetodream.com.au/shop
For more information on hip dysplasia, please visit: www.healthyhipsaustralia.org.au

Interview with Hana-Lia Krawchuk, Award-winning Entrepreneur and creator of the original Love to Dream swaddle

When Hana-Lia Krawchuk gave birth to her first child, Elijah, his reluctance to sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time quickly began to take its toll on family life.

After 18 months of severe sleep deprivation, Hana-Lia started to question the traditional swaddling technique and sleep products she'd invested hundreds of dollars in, which had been unsuccessful in soothing her son to sleep.

Confident there was a better way to swaddle babies, Hana-Lia used her fashion design skills to develop a line of garments that would allow babies to sleep with their arms up and allow them to use their hands for self-soothing.

The result has been a true sleep revolution, with Love to Dream's unique and patented swaddles, sleep suits and sleep bags now amongst the most successful items in the global infant products industry. Testament to the business' success, Hana-Lia was winner of the Entrepreneur Award at the 2017 Telstra Business Women's Awards. Love to Dream also picked up the title of 2017 Telstra Small Business of the Year at the Telstra Business Awards.

Question: How did having your own child inspire you to design your own brand of baby sleepwear?

Hana-Lia Krawchuk: When our first child was born, my husband's and my life was transformed forever. It was a time of immense joy and immense sleeplessness. Elijah did not sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time for 18 months! I was desperate for a solution to get more sleep. I noticed that he slept better while swaddled but would always unravel the swaddling cloth during sleep time and his hands would end up out of the wrap and above his head. He slept better in this position. Coming from a fashion design background I knew there could be a better way to design a swaddle garment that was snug but would still allow him to sleep in his natural position with his arms comfortably up by his face.

Question: What did you need in baby garments that the current market didn't offer?

Hana-Lia Krawchuk: I desperately needed a swaddle that would allow my baby to sleep in his natural position with arms up. Arms up meant that he could suck on his hands or rub on his cheeks to comfort himself. We now call this self-soothing. Self-soothing is what a baby does to calm down, fall asleep and stay asleep for longer. No other swaddle in the market place allowed babies to do that. And still almost 10 years later there is no swaddle like SWADDLE UP™. All other swaddles demand that the baby sleep with their arms strapped to their bodies. Now I do not know any human beings who want to sleep with their arms strapped to their body. It is so unnatural. So I knew there had to be a better way!

Question: Can you talk about the process of designing these garments?

Hana-Lia Krawchuk: I drew the garment that I had in mind, bought some stretchy cotton fabric, cut out the pattern, sewed up the samples and gave them to two friends who had new-borns. Both friends rang me in the morning and said, you won't believe it but my baby slept through the night. That was the moment that I knew I was on to something, a product that would actually help babies sleep better and make life easier for the whole family.

Question: Why was it important, to you, to design a unique swaddle and sleep suit?

Hana-Lia Krawchuk: It was important to me to design something that truly worked. Something that could change lives and our LOVE TO DREAM SWADDLE UP™ does this in droves. 83% of our surveyed customers claim that SWADDLE UP™ almost doubles their babies sleep each night.

Question: Can you talk about your design which helps babies with hip dysplasia?

Hana-Lia Krawchuk: We swaddle millions of babies around the world each year. We have a real passion to help increase sleep in households as we know how debilitating sleeplessness is. Through our Facebook page we were asked a few times by fans of the product if they could use SWADDLE UP™ on their babies who wore a Hip Dysplasia harness. We realised that our design could be easily adapted to accommodate the brace or harness for bubs who are being treated for Hip Dysplasia. We are so proud to be able to provide the same amount of comfort and increased sleep for these special bubs and their families, who are already going through so much.

Question: How did it feel to win an Entrepreneur Award at the 2017 Telstra Business Women's Awards?

Hana-Lia Krawchuk: Winning the Telstra Women's Entrepreneur of the Year Award was a lifetime highlight for me. I really wanted to show that hard work pays off and you can have a wonderful thriving family, a successful business and be a female who is not constricted by glass ceilings. It was a very proud moment for me, our team and my family and friends.

Interview by Brooke Hunter