Download Context To solve congestion problems facing many hospitals in developing countries, baby cots are being eliminated and mothers are made to sleep on the same bed with their new-born babies; a practice known as co-sleeping.
The work presented here seeks to reduce risks of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome SIDS and suffocation associated with co-sleeping by employing the formal engineering design process to develop a portable, safe and cost effective baby cot. There are ventilation ports provided to keep the temperature within the cot comfortable. The design can be modified to be used by older babies and may be mounted on a collapsible stand where space limitations are not critical.
Several hundred years ago, there were no baby beds and babies were made to sleep with their parents. Baby cots, sometimes known as cribs or cradles, became popular during the 19 th century  and are small beds specifically for infants and generally for young children mostly under the age of four 4. They are usually designed to restrict the baby to the sleeping area by producing very high sides to prevent the baby from climbing.
They also provide no footholds. The existing baby cots are usually bulky, making it necessary for many hospitals in resource-limited and congested hospitals, especially in developing countries, including Ghana to eliminate them.
Personal visits to some hospitals in Accra, Ghana, including the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and the University of Ghana Hospital revealed that baby cots are not in use. Healthcare professionals explained that baby cots have been eliminated in order to save space and promote bonding between mothers and their babies.
Many hospitals are therefore practicing co-sleeping where nursing mothers are made to sleep on the same bed with their babies.
Co-sleeping is defined as an umbrella term that includes the practice of bed sharing with a caretaker or other family members, proximate sleeping arrangements, and room sharing during sleep .
A need was thus identified for an alternative to the currently available, bulky or expensive baby cots.
The major objectives of the project were efficiency, competitive cost, aesthetic appearance, safety and convenience. These major objectives together with other supporting objectives were organized into an objective tree as shown in Figure 1 below: Figure 2 below shows an annotated schematic diagram of the designed baby cot.
The various parts of the cot are subsequently described and other representations of the cot are shown in Figures 3 and 4.
The bill of materials is presented as Table 1. This consists of the mattress and the base of the baby cot.
A high density and hard surface mattress made from polyurethane of thickness up to 15 cm was selected in conformity to standards . Additionally, restrictive materials to ensure safety against suffocation were provided . The restrictive materials rectangular shapedfoams are fastened to the mattress by Velcro strips.
These are vertical gaps left in the baby cot to aid in ventilation to help prevent suffocation. The collapsible baby cot is rectangular in shape with one open end to allow for easy access of the baby by the mother; a means of promoting bonding between the baby and the mother. The baby cot has a total of fifteen 15 ventilation ports, each having dimensions of 0. There are three points of attachment in this design. Firstly, the attachment of the three 3 vertical sides to the base sleeping surface.
Secondly, the attachment of the sides together and finally, the attachment of the assembled baby cot to the bed of the mother. The sides are attached to the sleeping surface by hinges and the sides are held together by metallic locks.
There are two flexible belts attached to the side adjacent the open end. These flexible belts are fixed to the cot by the help of washers and screws. The free ends of the flexible belts have two holes perforated on each to be used to attach to the bed using washers and screws.
Since the baby cot is collapsible, it must be assembled before use. The three sides are first erected by attaching each side to the sleeping surface using the hinges found on the sleeping surface.
These sides are then held together by means of metallic locks. The flexible belts are then attached to the side adjacent to the open end by means of screws and washers. The free ends of the flexible belts are finally screwed to the bed by aligning the washers and perforated holes. Mechanical testing stress analysis was done on a virtual model, which was identical to the real piece in terms of dimensions, shape and material properties.
Stress analysis was performed on the casing of the crib because the presence of the ventilation ports makes it easily susceptible to shearing as compared to other parts. In Figure 5, the casing is hinged at the face labelled B whilst the force is applied to the face labelled A. Upon applying forces of varying magnitudes, it was observed that the minimum force that would cause shearing is 2 kN. The blue coloration in Figure 5 is the pictorial display of distortion relative to the true shape of the crib under the action of the 2 kN force.
The simulation also indicated that forces between 0. This suggests that the fasteners that attach the casing to the base of the crib, at the site of distortion, may shear or bend even if the crib does not fracture. To this end, forces greater than 0. The portable and attachable baby cot is: Further testing on the prototype showed that the product can be folded making it easier to be carried around.
The means of attachment to the bed was very strong making it safe to attach to the bed. Additionally mechanical tests performed on the prototype indicated that the design would be able to support various weights and stresses above the specified values without failing.
The mattress used had a hard surface which helps reduce the possibility of suffocation. The end facing the mother is opened to ensure that the mother can easily access the baby to promote bonding. Testing and evaluation show that the designed system met the requirements for an efficient, portable and attachable baby cot.
This cot addresses some of the problems posed by existing designs. Additionally, it ameliorates the sleeping restrictions mothers face when they are made to sleep on the same bed with their babies. It may also help to address the problem of high suffocation and SIDS risks encountered as a result of co-sleeping.
The Bassinet A bassinet, also known as a cradle, a co-sleeper or a bed nest, is smaller and more lightweight than the traditional cot. It may also help to address the problem of high suffocation and SIDS risks encountered as a result of co-sleeping. Baby cots, sometimes known as cribs or cradles, became popular during the 19 th century  and are small beds specifically for infants and generally for young children mostly under the age of four 4.
The mechanical tests performed on the prototype indicate that the design would be able to support various weights and stresses above the specified values without failing. To add value to the product and improve its aesthetic appeal a bag can be designed to carry the cot.
The cot can be modified to be used by older babies outside the maternity wards. Kwabena Kan-Dapaah is gratefully acknowledged for academic guidance during the initial stages of the project. Join for free Published in.
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