In partnership with Nucu Oy

The Finnish Nucu Pad is a multisensorysleep pad for babies, designed to support the sleep of the whole family. The second-generation Nucu Pad is coming to Finland this summer.

In this article, we’ll go through what Nucu is, what it’s for and what first-time users’ experiences of Nucu have been. I’ve been involved in Nucu myself for a couple of years now, so this article includes views and experiences from the inside as well.

The Nucu Pad can be installed in a bassinet or crib. Photo: courtesy of Nucu Oy

The Nucu Pad in a nutshell

The gentle feelscapes (sounds and vibrations) of the Nucu Pad can also be felt through the mattress.

What is the Nucu Pad used for? Who is it for?

The first generation Nucu Pad was developed to support and comfort premature babies in NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) incubators. Its purpose was to create a sense of togetherness in the clinical environment, which is important for the baby.

The second-generation Nucu Pad is designed for ordinary families: to support sleep, well-being and good sleep routines. This is how early users have been using the Nucu Pad:

The Nucu Pad is intended for use up to 24 months – and that age will rise as the app continues to develop. The Nucu Pad supports babies of different ages in different ways:

The Nucu Basic set is intended for use in bassinets and sidesleepers. It comes with a foam frame (white in the picture) to place the Nucu Pad on the bottom of the bassinet. The bassinet is not included in the product set. Photo courtesy of Nucu.

Will the Nucu Pad solve all your baby’s sleep problems?

The Nucu Pad is designed to support your family’s own sleep routines and habits. It is not a medical device and is not intended to treat or diagnose diseases or conditions.

Throughout product development, we have seen that babies’ reactions to the Nucu Pad are very varied:

We’ve found that the Nucu Pad is most supportive of everyday life when it’s introduced early and at a calm stage. Familiarize the baby with the Nucu Pad gently and as a part of your other sleep routines.

Nucu is not meant to be a magical baby soother that calms the baby down instantly – at any time and in any situation. Nucu is also no substitute for togetherness and touch.

Nucu provides comfort and safety for both the baby and the parent who knows that their baby is all right.

The Nucu Pad is made with safety first. The device’s battery and connections such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are in the controller, which you can put outside your child’s crib. The controller can also be disconnected from the wire for charging.

What is the Nucu Pad based on? Is it safe?

The Nucu Pad is based on the same phenomenon as kangaroo care, that is, skin-on-skin contact. In English, it is called multisensory stimulation. Your baby’s senses are developing at a tremendous rate and they experience the world very differently. Multi-sensory experiences support your baby’s development.

The Nucu Pad creates the same sense of security and familiarity as holding the baby close: with the sounds and vibrations of the chest and womb. The sound levels of the feelscapes are safe and gentle.

The first-generation Nucu Pad has also been successfully used at Oulu University Hospital NICU to support the most fragile premature babies.

Despite the safety of the Nucu Pad, the family plays a major role:

Your own heartbeat feelscape on the Nucu Pad

A selection of feelscapes is immediately available on the Nucu Pad: a sound that reproduces the uterine heartbeat and soundscape of the womb, and natural white noise sounds like rain and storm.

You can record your own heart rate with the Nucu app. Photo courtesy of Nucu Oy

With the Nucu app, you can record your own heartbeat and transfer it to the Nucu Pad, so your baby can fall asleep to a familiar and safe feelscape. Recording is done with the Nucu app:

Experiences with the Nucu Pad: what families are saying

The Nucu Pad has been tested with babies of different ages and in different situations. Here are direct quotes from families’ experiences:

Positive user feedback is mainly divided into three categories:

In terms of negative feedback, the main points are:

Where can I buy a Nucu Pad? How much does it cost?

The Nucu Pad will be available on Nucu’s own online shop. It is also the only place where you can buy it.

There is currently a Nucu Family early access program. The first product drops in Finland will be available in the summer only for members. So it’s worth becoming a member so you can find out when, what and at what price Nucu is coming to your country.

This is how the drops work:

The prices of Nucu are not yet public. There are three product ranges: the Basic set for bassinets, the Plus set for cribs and the Plus Pro with an extra breathable mattress and frame. The Nucu Pad and controller are the same for all product sets. That is, the Nucu Pad is always the same size in all sets. All the product sets are on display in the Nucu shop.

Other questions and answers

The product is new, so there are many questions. Here’s a collection:

Why is there a cord in Nucu?

The Nucu Pad and the Nucu controller always work together. Between them is a cable, one end of which is detachable from the controller. One option would have been to make a pad that goes under the mattress with (battery and all), but we decided to do this for these reasons:

Why is Nucu only coming to iOS initially?

The Nucu app is indeed coming initially only for the iPhone, i.e. iOS. An Android app is coming later (not necessarily in 2024). In particular, recording your own heart rate is easier in an iOS environment, so limited development resources are being spent on iOS first.

Is the battery in a Nucu Pad safe?

Nucu is designed with safety first. The controller’s battery is a stable and reliable LFP battery.

Do I need a subscription for the app?

A Nucu subscription is required to use all the features of Nucu. Buyers get a 1-year free subscription with their purchase from the Nucu Shop.

Is Nucu right for you?

We have found that the Nucu Pad is particularly relevant in two situations:

Feel free to ask for more in the comments or visit the Nucu website. It’s also worth joining Nucu Family early access program as it’s not binding and allows you to decide for yourself whether a Nucu Pad would suit your family.