“For us, the adapted travel bed from CloudCuddle is a revelation,” Jill Bruynseels explains. “Staying with grandma, my sister-in-law or going on vacation with the whole family was always a big problem. For Marthe we then took a travel bed that is meant for babies and toddlers. But my daughter of seven didn’t like that at all. She cried for a long time, tried to take off her pajamas, stayed awake until two or three in the morning. I think it didn’t make sense to her that she had to sleep in a small travel bed at her age,” explains mother Jill.
Due to cerebral palsy (CP), the usually cheerful Marthe has a developmental delay and a difficult-to-treat form of epilepsy. CP is a brain injury that can occur before, during or in the first year after birth. Jill Bruynseels’ daughter cannot walk due to cerebral palsy. On a cognitive level, she has the developmental level of a two-year-old. Thus Marthe speaks only a few words. At home she sleeps in a large bed with a high frame, which she cannot fall out of and which she cannot crawl out of by herself.
Testing in vacation park
“Through google I came across the website of CloudCuddle. I searched on terms like ‘adapted travel bed for child with a disability’. I found the stories of other parents on the website interesting. I saw that a test weekend was possible and I decided to try out a CloudCuddle during a weekend in a vacation park. That was quite challenging for Marthe because she would not only be sleeping in a different bed but also in a strange environment.”
Playing in the bed tent
“When we set up the bed tent, Marthe wanted to get into it right away. She also wanted me to do the zippers. I hadn’t expected that. We first let her play on the iPad in her new bed for a while, so she could get used to it. But she didn’t want to get out anymore. We thought that was a good sign,” Jill continued. “Nevertheless, I found it exciting to put Marthe to bed in the evening. From the age of two our daughter has had trouble sleeping. Sometimes that makes you despondent. What can you do? Does it help to get her out of bed? Or to give her another hug?”
Against expectations, Marthe fell asleep after only ten minutes on both evenings of the trial weekend. “It can’t be a coincidence that things go well two nights in a row in a strange environment, in a strange bed. The CloudCuddle apparently gives her a safe, secure feeling. We didn’t really understand how it could be, but it brought peace to all of us,” Jill explains.
Reimbursement adapted travel bed
After the test weekend Jill decides to purchase her own CloudCuddle. In her homeland Belgium it is possible to get some expenses for care reimbursed through the Flemish Agency for Persons with Disabilities (VAPH). Jill has submitted an application here. It can take up to five months before she gets approval on buying an adapted travel bed for Marthe. Because of the convenience that the CloudCuddle offers parents and because of the comfort that the adapted travel bed gives her daughter, she decided not to wait for the decision: the CloudCuddle has been ordered.
Heart for Marthe vzw
Parents with a child with a disability know that not all care costs are reimbursed. The necessary therapy, professional guidance and many of the necessary (medical) aids you need to pay as a family (partly) by yourself. That’s why the parents of Marthe have created Hart voor Marthe vzw. Here sponsors can make a financial contribution. The first goal is to support Marthe financially, the second is to inform other people about cerebral palsy, the third is to support other projects and children.
Handy to use
Jill is very enthusiastic about the adapted travel bed for Marthe: “It is easy to use: we set it up in ten minutes. In addition, it is compact to store and easy to take along in the car. I can absolutely recommend it to other parents.”