Member Since 2010
The expression “to sleep like a baby,” i.e. to sleep long and well, is one of the silliest misnomers going. As new parents know, to sleep like a baby is to wake up every two hours and cry. As it turns out, one of the causes of sleep disruption in babies is that they can’t regulate their body temperatures very well. That realization prompted Karen Welman of 37° to create baby clothes that do it for them.
How were the sleepsack, onesie and blanket made?
The sleepsacks are originally a Danish design concept to eliminate the risk of the bedclothes covering the baby’s head—the baby does not kick off the bedclothes and get cold and at the same time they don’t get too hot. Thus allowing the parents a slightly better night’s sleep, too. Also, this is the time when the baby does most of its growing, so the organs need to release heat to allow them to rest and grow. If the babies are comfortable, not too hot or too cold, then their bodies can function better. The blanket allows the baby to be swaddled, a wrapping method that is still very much a favorite of midwives. It also keeps the baby more comfortable during nursing, as inevitably the baby’s head rests in the crook of the arm and it can get very hot, skin to skin. The pajamas have a button on the booties so they can be removed if desired and won’t get lost it the baby kicks them off. Also, the closer to the skin, the better the technology of the fabric functions.
What inspired you to create the sleepsack, pajamas and blanket?
Seeing parents suffer from SIDS and sleep deprivation and other temperature-related issues with new babies, along with the inspiration that NASA brings to space travel.
What was the big aha! you had while creating this product?
My eureka moment was when I finally found the technology online and had a textile designer ready to work with me and put it all together.
Can you describe your creative process?
Solve a problem with an idea, as it’s no good creating something that nobody needs. Search for the problems and frustrations of everyday living then look at how they can be solved.
What do you love about what you do?
Everything, I can’t believe I am lucky enough to color-in for a living.
How would you sum up your aesthetic/design philosophy?
Always look for the big idea in everything.
What are you working on next?
That is the beauty of what I do, it could be anything from fashion to chocolate to lingerie.
What would you like to do other than your current occupation?
I would have loved to have been a doctor or surgeon. I’m fascinated by the function of the human body—from mind to basics, best design job on the planet.