My wife and I are blessed to have 3 great kids and we have had so many great times over the years. But, we’ve also had to do battle with a never-ending stream of head colds and sinus infections that make bedtimes last long into the night.
The strange thing was that when my kids were up and moving around in the daytime, they seemed to be able to handle whatever bug they had so much better. When it was time to cuddle up in bed and go to sleep, the problems would then get much worse. What was going on?
We spoke to our doctor friends and our children’s pediatrician, who all told us how at nighttime, when toddlers lay flat to sleep, their sinuses would become inflamed by the increase of blood flow. In other words: when you lie down, your head cold and congestion get worse.
Propping them up at in incline with pillows was their best advice to have gravity help drain their sinuses. They also suggested warm baths, steam showers, and medicine. Our own home remedy of carrying them around the house would buy some sleep time, but nothing seemed to help my little one’s sleep enough through the night to have the body help itself.
One night, I had a spark of inspiration. We’d fallen asleep on the couch — this time for a couple of hours, me half sitting up and my son lying facing down on my chest. Why not just have him sleep like this at night? I had an idea and headed to the lumber store after work to get some materials.
Later that night, a couple of wooden planks, one of his blankies and a pillow for his bum allowed me to make a nice and cozy “sleeper” at the same angle as our couch sleep the night before. I set him on it like a little cowboy in a saddle and within minutes he was asleep on his tummy and bum.
I laid beside him and settled in the for the night as well. There was the occasional bump in the night where he’d slip off and I’d find him snuggled up on the carpet next to me, but I was onto something! All I needed now was to find a way he could stay close to the floor and sleep while I slept in my bed.
I built a foam prototype, played around with the shape, and tested it to make sure my kids were getting the sleep they needed for their bodies to regenerate. Before I knew it, the Tum&Bum had taken shape and was working. My wife was a little skeptical at first, so I waited for a chance to put it into action with her as my ultimate tester.
A couple of months later, my little girl was bravely battling another bug and struggling to sleep. My wife wanted to be with her and tough it out like we normally did before the Tum&Bum was created, but I could see her energy was starting to dwindle. I suggested she take a break, debuted my latest version of the Tum&Bum and got the little one off to sleep in a few minutes. When I turned around, I saw my wife had snuck back into bed and fallen straight asleep. The next thing we knew, the morning alarm clock was going off and my wife couldn’t believe her eyes — we had all slept right through the night.
The Tum&Bum had proven to be a winner and the rest is history.