CuddleCots – Giving Grieving Parents More Time to Say Goodbye

When parents have babies born still, they have only a limited amount of time to say goodbye – so every minute counts.

CuddleCots are small cooling units that pump cold water into the padding of your baby’s bassinette, slowing the changes that occur after death and allowing you more time to keep your baby with you. They can be incredibly comforting, as they offer you more time for bonding, taking pictures, bathing, dressing or even just having your baby in your room with you for a while so you can talk.

I spoke to Samantha Bogle about her personal experience with this amazingly comforting product that doesn’t have a lot of awareness just yet.

Samantha’s Story

“We lost our first baby, Luke, at 24 weeks and 1 day due to a cord accident. Shortly after Luke was born, our nurse came in and asked if we were interested in using their CuddleCot. Since Luke was our first baby, my husband and I knew nothing about it or what it was used for. We didn’t know how much of a blessing it was – but with the use of the CuddleCot, Luke was able to stay in our room beside my bed for our entire hospital stay.”

Most hospitals have a protocol when dealing with a stillbirth, however, it’s still your birth, so you certainly have a say in how things play out. And for most people, that takes time. Even if you’re not sure how you want to approach the situation, or how you’ll grieve, CuddleCots offer you choice and options.

The CuddleCot that Samantha and her husband used had been donated to the hospital in memory of two little boys. So they wanted to do the same in honor of Luke and decided to raise money through a Go Fund Me page. They ended up raising enough money to donate two CuddleCots to Stories of Babies Born Still and the Cuddle Cot Project. If you’re interested in making a donation, you can do that here.

“Our hope was that Luke’s Cuddle Cot wouldn’t get used and that no family had to go through what we went through – but we know that’s not the reality. We’ve already been contacted by one hospital with a message from a family who ended up using Luke’s cot – and they just wanted us to know how grateful they were. Those families and stories will forever hold a special place in our hearts. Our goal was to give the gift of time to families going through something so awful, just like we were given. And at the same time, it helps to keep Luke’s memory alive.”

If you’re looking for more information on CuddleCots, here’s the site for the company that makes them.

Thank you to Samantha, her husband, her son Luke and her Rainbow Baby, Harrison, who is now 7 months old. xoxo

Topics:Loss
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7 Comments

  • Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful product, and thank you to Samantha & Luke for sharing your story! The Cuddle Cot gives bereaved families the most precious gift there is: time with our children. But another huge benefit, which I think is often overlooked, is how it normalizes healthy grieving practices like spending time with your baby and taking photos. I know when we went to the hospital to deliver my daughter at 39.5 weeks, the last thing we expected to hear was that she no longer had a heartbeat. We were in such shock that we were not able to process much of the good advice our nursing staff gave us – we sent home all her clothes, our cameras, etc., and we were just absolutely terrified to see and hold her. Thankfully once she was born we did at least snap a few cell phone photos and muster the courage to hold her for an hour, but looking back, I have so many regrets and wish we had spent so much more time. And I hear this same story over and over again from other loss parents. I believe that if my hospital had offered a Cuddle Cot, even if we hadn’t chosen to use it, it would have driven home the message (that the nurses were more gently trying to tell us) that it’s *normal and good* to want to spend time with your baby who has died, not macabre or something to rush through, as those are moments you can never get back. I know there are other, cheaper ways to achieve the same preservation effect (the stillbirth nonprofit I volunteer with, Star Legacy Foundation, always recommends using ice packs and baby blankets to do the same thing while also allowing the baby to be held), which is also a wonderful thing to do to give a family more time with their baby… but I love the message that just having the Cuddle Cot on hand sends to families (ideally, I wish all hospitals were well-versed in both techniques!). And thank you again to Pregnant Chicken for sharing these important stories and acknowledging the beauty and love that can be found in *all* births – you are the best. 🙂

  • We used a Cuddle Cot for our 5 month old son when he died from complications of a chromosomal disease (trisomy 18). We were able to have him at home with us for visitation and for a home burial. Since his death, we have raised money for 2 cots for this area (Western NC), and another has been donated to our crisis pregnancy center in James’s honor. They are a wonderful gift to grieving parents. I am glad that other hospitals are using them! Every hospital should offer this to bereaved parents.

    • I’m sorry for your loss and thank you for sharing your story, Cat. I agree, they truly are a gift for grieving parents and I think every hospital should have at least one.

      • Thank you. We miss him so terribly, but we are trying to carry on his legacy and honor him every day.

        I keep a blog about him: http://www.lovingjames.com.

        We also do other things in his honor – every month on the date of his death (the 2nd) – we take care packages to the parents in the pediatric ICU. We also have a scholarship for our daughters’ preschool in his honor and plan to set up a nursing scholarship for a nurse going into pediatric/neonatology/or palliative pediatric care.

        https://www.facebook.com/lovingjamesjulian/

    • Thank you for sharing, Cat. I’m so sorry you had to go through this experience – I think it’s wonderful and beautiful that you’re dedicated to raising money for cots for your area. xoxo

  • wow what an amazing product that can help comfort grieving parents in the worst day of their lives. every hospital should have this

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