Cradling a baby in your arms is one of life’s great joys. But for some new parents, it can be a pain. Literally.
My arm was becoming numb and fatigued from feeding to feeding,” says Rachel Jablon Margalit of Scottsdale, who found some relief by wrapping a blanket around her arm to alleviate the pressure while feeding her newborn daughter, Maya.
Margalit’s quick fix nearly three years ago produced a new baby product for parents, the Cuddle Sleeve, a thick swathe of soft material that envelops an adult’s arm like a cushioned sleeve.
“Necessity is the mother of invention,” says Margalit’s mom, Sandy Jablon, who partnered with her daughter to manufacture and market the Cuddle Sleeve.
The two say they knew they were onto something during a crosscountry trip with Maya, who was 3 months old at the time and nestled in a prototype.
Margalit says three mothers approached her on the flight wanting to know what Maya was snuggled against and where they could buy one.
After surveying East Valley moms for suggestions and several designs (Margalit and Jablon decided to go with stylish colors versus cutesy characters), the Cuddle Sleeve debuted 18 months ago.
Margalit and Jablon say the machine-washable product, which sells for $49.95, began taking on uses beyond parent and child comfort. They say it became a source of relief for parents, especially those concerned about germs.
“We’ve heard from moms who will instruct caregivers in day care to wear the Cuddle Sleeve when feeding their baby,” says Margalit, adding the Cuddle Sleeve has been helpful for babies who have a sensitivity to certain fabrics, an issue that can come up when a friend or loved one wants to hold the child.
Margalit says Maya, now 2, is attached to her Cuddle Sleeve, which has become almost like a “blankie” to her.
“She grew up with it,” says Margalit. “It’s in her car seat behind her and she sleeps with it as her pillow.”