A LACK of sleep was a major problem for Frank and Vivien Maunders when the couple had twin boys.
When one boy was asleep, the other would be awake, more often than not crying, and vice versa.
They were living on a boat in Gladstone at the time and it was impossible to get any rest. They found they felt like zombies.
That was some years ago and the two boys, Tony and Nick, are now grown men with families of their own.
"They both had similar problems when their families came along, with babies who kept them awake for hours on end," he said.
Mr Maunders, who is one of those people who always look for solutions, decided to see what could be done.
He started studying and found the problem stemmed from the fact babies don't adjust well to the differences between the security of living in the womb and suddenly being subjected to life outside.
"I found that one of the major issues was that the baby was suffering because it could not hear the soothing sounds of the heartbeat, and the white noise associated from being in the womb," he said.
With an understanding of this dilemma facing the baby, he started looking for a way to replicate the sounds of the womb but in a safe device, which could be placed in the baby's bassinet.
"In some countries, people had devised toys which produced sounds, but it was deemed that they were not safe because of possible strangulation. Likewise, ear plugs and earmuffs were out because of the danger of the cables," Mr Maunders said.
Finally after more study and experimentation, Mr Maunders invented a device that slips under a bassinet sheet and on top of the mattress with an inbuilt audio player and two speakers.
He engaged a sound engineer in London who mixed the right sounds to emulate the sounds in the womb.
The results have been so successful Mr Maunders is almost ready to go into production of the device and to launch it on the website kickstarter.com where he's hoping to receive funding to boost production.
"It's so simple to use, totally safe and I just wish that we had such a device when our kids were small," he said.
"It makes such a huge difference. People don't need to walk around like zombies because they haven't had enough sleep."
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Noises of the womb
Instead of the womb being the quiet place scientists once assumed, it is actually awash in sounds, particularly the whooshing of blood and digestive system, the thumping of the mother's heart and the sound of the mother's voice, which sounds louder than it would transmitted through the air since it reverberates through the bones and fluids in the mother's body.