Baby sleeping in a
Pepi-Pod® sleep space

Data source: Statistics NZ 2015
(customised report)


Are you from outside New Zealand?

If yes, then haere mai and welcome. This page is for you. We have listed below some of the questions we get asked when people enquire about the Pepi-Pod® Programme from other countries. Please do contact us if you have other questions or want to arrange a time to discuss the programme further.  

I am looking for the Australia page

Then here is the link.

Can I buy a single Pepi-Pod® sleep space for my baby?

Yes. We can arrange this. It can become an expensive option with international door-to-door freight added in. Freight alone is about NZD50 for Australia and SE Asia and NZD100 for the US, Europe, Central Asia and the UK. There may also be local taxes and custom costs specific to your country. 

We encourage you to look at similar products available in your country. If you do decide to buy from us, your pod will be supplied as it is in NZ - with a mattress, two sheet sets, a double layer 100% merino wool blanket, and education material. We would also direct you to your trusted health professional to discuss infant sleep safety, and to this web page for information about safe sleep recommendations.

Can I get a demonstration Pepi-Pod® sleep space for our health service?

The Pepi-Pod® sleep space is embedded into a comprehensive public health programme. It is not a stand alone product, nor considered an item of baby furniture. To save you the cost of shipping a demo pod, you can get a good look at its features on the New Pod page of our website, along with an understanding for why it has been designed as it has.

We are reluctant to supply 'demo' pods in isolation of an understanding of the whole programme. We believe that assessment needs to be of the product within the programme, as it was designed. While some local adaptation is likely and expected when the programme is implemented in a new location, the core components of the intervention that make it work need to be upheld. If you would like to discuss things further then please do contact us. We would love to help.

What do they cost?

Pods are not supplied in isolation of the programme, nor are they supplied without a signed participation agremment. The unit cost for supply to health services in NZ, for both goods and services, is NZD100.00 + gst and freight recovery, but this will not be the same for international orders as there is more involved.

The programme has been set up to be self-funded and sustainable so that it is not at risk from the vagaries of funding priorities. All revenue comes from sales. Some subsidised goods and services from suppliers, applicable only to NZ sales, helps keep the cost down in NZ. Currently. there is no other revenue from government or philanthropic bodies for this work. 

To estimate costs for supply of the programme to other countries you would need to decide volumes, shipment methods, freight forward options et cetera, and there would be regulations and levies in your country to consider, regarding tax, customs, insurance and the like. We would welcome sales of the programme to other countries if it led to improved protection for your babies. If you would like an estimate of bulk supply please contact us to discuss further.

Are Pepi-Pod® sleep spaces being used in any other countries?

Yes. The first country to implement a large-scale Pepi-Pod® sleep space intervention outside of New Zealand was Australia in 2012. A study is underway in Queensland in Aboriginal communities from urban, rural and remote regions of the state, including the Flying Doctor Service. The study is testing the feasibility and acceptability of the programme in these communities. Early results are positive and the study has been extended, and is nearing completion.

The programme has won two national health awards in Australia based on the work of the Apunipima Health Council in Cape York: 

  • the HESTA Australian Nursing Award for Team Innovation on 8 May, 2014

  • the Australian Government's National Lead Clinicians Group 2014 Award for Excellence in Innovative Implementation of Clinical Practice for Cultural Competence in Indigenous Care in Early Childhood and Maternal Health Care

Is there evidence that the pods are safe?

This is a common question and the answer depends on what constitutes 'evidence' for you. If you are wanting evidence in the form of randomised contolled trial data then such evidence is not available yet.

Safety is contextual. We believe the cost-benefit question needs to be 'Is a more vulnerable baby safer 'in a pod when in the parent bed' vs 'not in a pod when in the parent bed'. The evidence of increased risk from the latter suggests the answer is 'yes'. In this way, the Pepi-Pod intervention is evidence-based. 

The sleep space programme was designed as an intervention, not a study,to improve adoption of safe sleep advice. It is based on evidence of risk for babies with known vulnerability when sleeping on the same sleep surface as a parent. The pods provide a zone of physical protection for babies where babies are brought into adult beds.  They are designed as a safety tool to promote the recommended practices of 'in own baby bed' and 'close to a parent'.

Disagreement about how evidence on infant-adult bed sharing is interpreted, what constitutes evidence, and the implications of these for policy, decision making, intervention design, and families, is well discussed in this article by Professor Rachel Gordon and colleagues, of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois, Chicago, USA. 

The Christchurch Earthquake of February 2011 was the catalyst for supply of pods as an emergency response to the disruption across the city (Report).  The idea spread rapidly to other health regions and more than 18000 pods have since been supplied to more vulnerable infants, creating a natural experiment. Supply has been associated with a drop in infant death rates (1-52 weeks, all causes), especially for younger babies (<4 months) and Maori babies and in the direction of regions supplying sleep space programmes (2012-14 Report "Their first 500 sleeps".) While this is not proof of safety, it is encouraging.

A randomised control trial of 'pods vs traditional infant sleeping devices' in a high risk community in South Auckland, NZ, is near completion and an observational study of the night time use of pods in homes, using video recording, (and biochemical recordings of babies responses), is well underway in Hawkes Bay, NZ. As well we have monitoring records for distribution and follow-up from more than 9000 pods , and feedback from 1000 users  in the programme database. (See our latest report)

If your interest in pods is as part of a study, we would welcome that. Please contact us.

Would a Pepi-Pod® programme work in your country or region?

The programme has been effectively replicated across 19 of 20 health regions of NZ and several different communities in Queensland, Australia. Cultural appeal can be built into bedding to enhance local ownership. The inherent value to a family is that it solves problems for them, it helps them manage sleep related issues such as settling, proximity, comforting and safety. 

In New Zealand, sleep space programmes were preceded by a 'whole of country' blitz education approach beginning late 2009 (Baby Essentials) to align services and communities with both the vision 'safe sleep for every baby every sleep', and the scientific evidence on which it is based.

If you want to test the concept in your part of the world, this guide may help. Or you can contact us to discuss.