How you came up with the idea of the Safe Sleeper?.
We first thought of the concept during a visit to a friend’s house in Dallas (we live in Pa) when we were experiencing sleeping issues with my youngest at the time, Abram. He had autism and didn’t sleep a lot, but getting him to sleep was the worst.
On top of that, he could climb out of anything!
We had previously tried to use a pack-n-play for Abram to sleep in, but he would continually rise out of it.
We did attempt to put an afghan over the top, and secure it with bungee cords, but that would only slow Abram down for a few minutes. Some of the moms I spoke with had dealt with these issues by letting the child sleep in bed with them; we knew we needed a different solution, as, Abram would not lie down and sleep if he had the opportunity to get up and keep playing.
So, at that point, we sat with our friends and talked about what would ‘work’ for our needs. Later, we designed, and our friend manufactured what we now call ‘Abram’s Bed’ or ‘ The Safety Sleeper.’
Is the bed considered as checked luggage by the airlines and charged as an extra bag?
When we fly, we check ‘The Safety Sleeper’ as luggage. We usually have to take it to the oversized luggage department similar to what guys do with their golf bags.
I did learn that if you are flying an airline that charges for bags, all you need to do is notify them this is medical equipment for a special needs child/person, and they will not charge for that bag.
If you come across someone who doesn’t understand or is unfamiliar with this and tries to charge you- ASK FOR A SUPERVISOR. I got our charges refunded plus a future charge credit, after being charged by someone less knowledgeable.
How easy is it for people to pack and unpack the ‘Safe Sleeper’ in a hotel room?
The Safety Sleeper is as easy to set up as most pack-n-plays. It is about twice the length of a pack ‘s play but fits comfortably in every hotel room I’ve ever stayed in. The frame breaks down into six sections: the base splits into four parts during the top into two halves.
All sections slide together and lock in place. The top connects to base with pull pins, so no tools are required. Then the canvas screen pouch zips onto the frame. Parents can assemble the entire system in a few minutes.
How has your invention enhanced your family travel?
For us, we were at a crossroads when we designed the bed. We realized that if something drastic didn’t happen, we would not be traveling for quite some time and that just wasn’t an option.
For us, it was a scary and daunting prospect, to be stuck at home and never travel again. We now use the bed on a weekly basis, like going to a friend’s house to watch a hockey game that may go late. We just set the bed up and put our son to bed. Typical families do this sort of thing all the time, but when you have an individual sleeping situation, it becomes a whole new level of stress.
Do you have any plans to offer a ‘Safe Sleeper’ rental option to hotels and cruise ships in the future?
I would love to form a business relationship with a hotel chain or cruise ship. At this point, I do not have anything in the works, and this has proven harder to do than I anticipated. Most hotel chains- although large- are independently owned or operated. If any of your readers have a Hilton or Marriott connection, please introduce me.
Do you have plans to create other products?
I didn’t plan on creating or marketing this. I wasn’t looking for a business to start, so no, I probably won’t be building anything else in the future.
However, if I were so lucky as to be involved in something else, I would do it because giving back feels so rewarding!
I felt so blessed that I had a friend who could build a concept that we came up with, that I felt I was led to share this bed with everyone. I do honestly feel like this was a moment when God spoke to me, and this was an opportunity to do good for others.