Back in January 2010 my sister and I were quite innocent to trade shows as we were in the early stages of planning the Sisters Guild Boutique. We arrived at Bubble London full of wide-eyed wonder, all nervous and excited!
One of the first people we spoke to was a beautifully pregnant Raegan Moya-Jones, the co-founder of Aden+Anais. We touched the muslins all hanging beautifully in a line, we felt broody remembering the swaddling phase and instantly knew that the swaddles, blankets and other designs of Aden+Anais had to be part of what the Sisters Guild Boutique offered.
Raegan is so passionate about the muslin fabric and the benefits of swaddling. We spoke about babies and sleep and sisters of course - chatting about how lovely it would be to have 3 girls (which she now has!) - all the while feeling the soft muslin fabric and swooning over the pretty designs.
Raegans' story starts in Australia where she witnessed how the practice of swaddling babies in muslin sheets helped both sleep and bonding for baby and mama. It was in the USA when Raegan became a mother herself that she tried to find large swaddles - alas, finding them too small, too thick or unappealing she decided to design her own! Thus, Aden+Anais was born.
Raegan created a swaddle large enough to be truly useful to mothers 'not just for swaddling but as a stroller cover, nursing shield, tummy time blanket, or a burping cloth.' Raegan believes in the legacy of muslin - the world's oldest and most cherished cotton fabric - and she sourced the softest muslin she could find to create designs that are modern and stylish yet gentle and charming too. They have certainly charmed the world.
The Aden+Anais collection offers things for mama and baby that are so useful and beautiful - cloths for dribbles, blankets for security and snuggling, soft washcloths for bathtime and sleeping bags for when they are passed the swaddling stage - all made in the softest muslin fabric.
The Aden+Anais sleeping bags are amazing. The cozy winter sleeping bag has 4 layers of muslin which makes it a warm yet still breathable design for colder nights - no kicking-off the blanket and getting chilly in the night! The summer sleeping bag is a single muslin layer which is so ideal for warm nights, especially on holiday, where your baby or toddler still needs a light layer - and when they wriggle about they don't end up with a loose sheet or blanket. They really do help with a good nights sleep!
The Aden+Anais swaddles really are big at 120cm x 120cm (47" x 47") which makes them so useful - I see them used a lot as buggy covers and even as a sarong or scarf for mama too! They are pre-washed which makes them soft to start with and the more you wash them the softer they get. For swaddling they are so easy as they are large and the fabric has a natural 'give' allows the blanket to be tucked snuggly around a baby without being overly restrictive. Aden+Anais have a swaddling guide here
It was a natural instinct for me to swaddle my baby especially as he was born in December. He looked so beautifully cocconed and cosy and we both enjoyed the ritual of swaddling as it signalled feeding, cuddles, comfort and sleep. Swaddling is an ancient practice and when I see and hear about swaddling it is so reassuring to know that a mother's instinct is still strong.
The Aden+Anais collection encourages the practice of swaddling and that can only be beneficial to mamas and babies around the world. Raegan has written a book the aden + anais Swaddle Love Book which is a celebration of babies and swaddling. Raegan also set up the Swaddle Love Foundation who's mission is to provide orphaned babies with the basic of human connections – touch. You can read more about it here.
Aden+Anais is significant to us as it was part of Sisters Guild at the very beginning. Aden+Anais helped the boutique evolve into a place to find things for your baby that have been thoughtfully-designed, collections that have a female story behind them!
This is part of our series of blog posts about the Story Behind our Collections - why we've chosen the designers that are in the boutique and how those designers came to be.
To see a bit more of what Sisters Guild is all about take a look at the A-Z of Sisters Guild here.