About Askr & Embla
At A&E we believe in following our intuition and learn from the experience of those who came before us. We believe that parenthood is about growing alongside our children to build lives that nourish our souls.
We created Sleepod to allow you to be close to your newborn while offering your child a safe cosy bed of his/her own—in your bed at night and moving with you throughout the day. From room to room and place to place, providing the familiar comfort of home wherever you go.
We love the simplicity of Scandinavian design, every day items that blends into your home while reflecting your style. By allowing the materials to speak for themselves we strive to create multi-use essentials that allows you to live life better with less.
Judith made her first Sleepod using her middle school sewing skills while expecting her daughter 2014. As Scandinavian transplants she and her husband gravitated towards the simple, attachment centered parenting style that is sometimes referred to as the "Scandinavian way". Bed sharing is a common way to facilitate nursing and help post partum recovery in Scandinavia and after endless research on safe co-sleeping she turned back to the traditional Swedish bed nests—updating the materials and aesthetics to suit her family’s eco-conscious, Californian lifestyle.
The name Askr & Embla comes from norse mythology where Askr and Embla were believed to be the first humans—fashioned from the wood of Ash and Ember trees. To us, A & E symbolize new beginnings and using what you have at hand to create great things.
The design difference
The Sleepod is designed to smooth the transition into the 4th trimester*. By keeping your newborn close we increase the hormonal release that promotes neural development in babys brain and maternal milk production. The materials are carefully selected to be soothing, free of harmful off-gases and low maintenance. Sleepod is designed for co-sleeping, lounging, napping, tummy time, nursing, travel & play.
* First 3 months post partum is often referred to as 4th trimester as baby still adjusts physically and emotionally to being outside the womb, and the mother adjusts to the physical and emotional changes of her own body.
The Sleepod is made to create a safe bed within the bed for co-sleeping families and designed to harbor babies from 0-7 months.
All our pods come with a 100% wool felt mattress that provides a steady surface with high airflow. With the lanolin intact the wool helps to regulate body temperature, preventing the bedding from getting too hot or too cold. The lanolin also works wick away moisture, keeping the bed dry and clean.
We only use the best natural materials to reduce the exposure to harmful off-gassing substances commonly found in box store toys and crib mattresses. All our Sleepods come with a wool mattress, 100% free from off-gassing chemicals found in foam and other synthetics. Sustainability is super important to us (we do this for our children after all) therefore we always use organic when available and look to the production process as a whole, from growing fibers to production, transportation and dye to determine the most sustainable option for each individual product.
You may read more about the properties of our materials and manufacturing process here.
Made in the USA
All of our products are made in the USA. It allow us to build community and support local suppliers and manufacturers that maintain good working conditions, and livable wage while reducing transports and carbon footprint.
Hemp has been used for thousands of years and its strength and durability is superior to most man made fibers. The toughness of hemp helps to protect the plant against pests which allows it grow well even in poor soils without using fertilizers and chemical pesticides. In good conditions hemp can yield up to 100% more fiber per acre than cotton, using 50% less water, properties that makes hemp one of the most sustainable fibers available.
Organic cotton has the plush softness of cotton without the enviormental consequences that comes with conventional growing. Organic cotton is free of chemical residue, making it perfect for baby items. By removing the harsh chemicals from the process you preserve the soil while improving conditions for the workers handling the cotton fibers.
Organic wool is cut off the sheep without harming the animal. After cutting, the wool is washed (without harsh chemicals) and molded into shape using heat and pressure. Wool has been used for infant bedding for centuries and creates a perfect micro climate for sleep. Wool is sturdy, yet provides high airflow. With the lanolin intact the wool helps to regulate body temperature, preventing the baby from getting too hot or too cold. The lanolin also works wick away moisture, keeping the bed dry and clean. Wool loves air and hanging your wool products outside regularly will keep them fresh over time even with heavy use.
Kapok is a silky soft fiber that was commonly used in bedding and furniture before the introduction of synthetic fibers. It grows in South America, Asia and certain parts of Africa and the fibers are picked by hand as the seed capsule matures and falls to the ground. Kapok is naturally mold, mildew and dust resistant.
Babies have very thin and sensitive skin, and just as we should refrain from using strong or scented soaps and wash detergents, we should aim towards avoiding chemically treated fabrics and synthetics. Infants sleeps for up to 18 hours a day during the first months of life so we want to make sure to keep their sleeping place pure and free from harmful toxins as possible.
Even natural fibers may contain toxins as conventionally grown cotton and even wool is treated with harsh chemicals during the production and dye process. This treatment damage the natural properties of the fibers and is know to leave toxic residue on the fabric. Organically grown fibers will be cultivated in a sustainable manner without the use of bleach, flame-retardants and other harmful practices. Not only is it better for your families health but it also helps to keep the integrity of the farmland for future generations.
Imported wool mainly comes from countries with very little regulation to animal welfare and the shorn (cut) wool usually go through several bleach washes, a procedure that strips the wool of all the fat (lanolin) and makes it brittle and dry. Organic wool comes from hormone free sheep that is given vegetarian feed and is washed in a gentle manner that removes dirt without washing away the lanolin.
We know that exposure to lead, phthalates, formaldehyde and flame retardants gives negative health effects and that there is really no guaranteed safe minimum exposure. By choosing natural fibers when possible we come a long way in reducing the everyday exposure of many of the toxins commonly found in our homes.