Neonatology Medical Staff
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What professionals like neonatologists, nurses, therapists, psychologists, designers, ergonomists, etc. say about the use and effectiveness of The Zaky.

  • By Families

  • By Professionals

The Zaky is an AMAZING product for babies in the hospital who are not able to be held. NICU’s all over the world use this product daily and I have had many friends and family members use this product for newborns in hospitals. - Stephanie Johnson

First of all thank you for having such a generous and helpful program (On Behalf of Zachary Program). It is always encouraging to find people along the way who are happy to help with the journey.

Our baby Michael was born in December at 28 weeks, 1 day -- weighing just under 3 lbs, which dropped to 2.5 within a few days.

We got the Zaky while he was still in the incubator (giraffe), and used it to help position him.

It is hard to know, within the whirlwind of the NICU, exactly what to attribute to each individual component. All I can tell you is The Zaky hands worked perfectly; mom held them close to her body for a while, then we used it to put him in whatever position -- prone, on his side, or just across his little tummy when he was on his back. He seemed to like that. It felt safer than the rolled-up receiving blanket we were using for positioning until then, and was easy to mold into whatever shape we wanted.

We just got Michael home at 39 weeks gestation last week and are still using the Zaky in his crib.

We have already recommended the Zaky and the program to other parents in the NICU.

Thanks again,
-Tamir Nitzan



Dear Nurtured by Design,

My twin boys, Henry & Knox, were born at 32 weeks, 6 days. Like many premature babies, their birth was a dire situation in which all of our lives were at stake. Henry and Knox spent 25 days in the NICU before going home.

Henry had a difficult time breathing while lying on his back, the Zaky was used to position him on his side while he built up strength to lay in other positions.

Knox also used the Zaky throughout his time in the NICU and I know it provided comfort when I was unable to hold him. I am so thankful we had access to your product as it nurtured my babies during a critical time. Keep up the great work; you are improving the lives of our tiniest people!

Thank you and Many Blessings!
Jennifer Emerson


Thank you so much for letting me share my Zaky story with you. I've attached the Zaky picture of Liam. This was taken as we entered his room in the morning, just two days after he was born and we've treasured it dearly. We named Liam after my husband's father who passed away three years before Liam was born. We've always felt that the sunlight shining in on him is Matt's dad with the Zaky being his comforting/guarding hand. This was his way of giving Liam a "hug". I've also attached some 1 year pictures of Liam taken in January 2013. He's such a joy and makes us laugh every day.

What you created helped us to feel that Liam was safe, secure and snuggled when we werent' able to do that for him ourselves. Thank you for helping to make Liam's NICU stay just a little more comforting for our entire family.

Sarah Gilmore, Ohio

With much anxiety and anticipation for the arrival of my daughter, Zoe, who would be born with half a heart, our family received many gifts and well-wishes.  We relocated at 36 weeks gestation from Arizona to Philadelphia to receive the best care for our unborn child.  With limited packing space, our friends and family shipped us a few care packages.  One of the items given was a pink Zaky hand.  I slept with the Zaky one week prior to Zoe’s arrival.  After her first open heart surgery at 15 hours old, I brought Zoe the Zaky to offer both familiarity and comfort.  Being unable to hold your newborn for over a week, and finding ways to comfort them, can be challenging.  The Zaky snuggled Zoe when I couldn’t be physically present.  After a one-month hospitalization, our family returned home to Arizona on a commercial flight.  The Zaky not only comforted Zoe within the hospital, but outside in unfamiliar surroundings.  Thank you, Yamile, for creating the Zaky Hand.  I know many babies born with congenital heart defects are finding similar comfort with the Zaky, and will for years to come. - Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome Warriors

Dear Dr. Jackson, First and foremost, a BIG THANK YOU for creating the Zaky. Our twin babies were born at 25 weeks at the University of Iowa Children's Hospital. Cameron (boy) was 1 pound 10 ounces and Kaitlin was 1 pound 8 ounces. They lived their first 106 days in the NICU, and as you know from personal experience, it was an unimaginable experience and one that is difficult to fully explain. We are forever thankful to the NICU team and all who supported us. During our stay, the unit's fantastic physical therapist introduced them and us to Zaky. While both babies responded very positively to Zaky, our daughter Kaitlin was practically inseparable from hers. I knew we needed a Zaky at home for both babies and was so happy at the quick turn-around time when I placed the order. . . one pink and one blue. Cameron and Kaitlin came home on oxygen and monitors and Zaky. It was with them always, especially Kaitlin . . . ALWAYS. She had colic, reflux, was an extreme preemie and did not sleep well for quite some time. She was swaddled and cuddled with Zaky (sometimes her brother's as well) whenever she wasn't being held. Once Kaitlin was a bit older (~6 months) she gave up her pacifier and need for swaddling, but she still needed Zaky to go to sleep (laid across one arm to cuddle). Without Zaky, she would toss from side to side in her crib. Zaky even went with us to Boston for a medical trip last June (and Niagara Falls and New York City on the way to and from). This continued through 10 months of age, at which time I laundered them for the final time and put them in the closet. (They launder VERY WELL.) I put them away since they were no longer on oxygen/monitors and didn't want anything in their crib with them when they were sleeping.

Thank you again for creating Zaky and helping give comfort to our little babies.

Most Sincerely,
Christine & Kurt Zimmerman



Who knew something so simple could be such a saviour!! I no longer have to rock Arabella to sleep everytime i put her down for a nap. And i'm sure she stays settled for longer too. What a great idea! --Carissa Clare, Australia


We were given our blue Zaky when William was born nearly 2 years ago - (thank you Chez!!) He has slept with it every night since. It has worked wonders and is perfect for those times when they won't let you go and need you there. Easy to care for and travel with too!"

-Anna Wiese Ridings, Australia

Joshie has really taken well to his Zaky. We have scented it for him and it certainly has saved my sleep (and sanity) many times over now :) Thanks so much ....Zakys are brilliant!!!"

- Helen Shepherd, Australia

"Alex bought us one for Callie and it has worked wonders. It really came in handy when Callie just started teething and all she wanted was to be on me no matter what. Now she sleeps with it everytime. She has her sooky teddy on one side and the Zaky on the other. I recommend it for all."

- Belinda Frew, Australia

"My baby is one month old now and he's a pretty big guy, though he still fits in the Kangaroo Zak.  He, like a lot of newborns, tends to keep himself awake with his very active hands to we have found that the gentle pressure from the Zaky helps to keep them calm.  I also find it very useful to place behind him while he is night nursing while laying down to keep him from rolling on his back."

- Lindsay Butrum
Co-Host, Babies and Moms: Birth and Beyond

"Its a wonderful product! I love it! It helped my son,Zaqy,2mths old to start sleeping on his own and in his own bed. For 2mths he has been sharing bed with me. So when its time for him to sleep separately,it was a big problem for us.He would cry the moment we put him in his bed.The moment The Zaky came into the picture,putting him to bed was a breeze!! Never thought it will really work for him..but it really DID! thanks for creating this GREAT invention!" -- AIDA AHMAD, Mom, Singapore
"How fortunate I am to have met the inventor of the ZAKY! I was expecting to cover just another medical story for the news, when I scheduled an appointment with Yamile Jackson. Instead, it turned out to be a life-altering event for my family. As a mother of a preemie and a full-term newborn, I can't imagine life without a ZAKY!!!! These wonderful, loving arms are always there for me, when I can't be. Whether it's propping up their little heads in a car seat or keeping them warm and feeling safe at night, I've got my bases covered with our ZAKY's. My 3-year old and my baby wouldn't feel secure without them. Thank you Yamile, for helping make our lives more complete!"

- Melissa Cook, News Anchor/Reporter

"I experienced limited touch of my infant while in incubator and saw how the Zakys helped her grow healthier/stronger - faster!"

- Laurie DeRoller NY, USA

"My friend Karen has been using the Zaky for only two days, and can already see the benefits. Her little boy has been so settled, she cannot believe it. In the mornings he is a little terror usually, but she said all he does is sleep now!"

- Chez Johnson , Australia

"My son is a preemie, and has had a Zaky from the very beginning. Next to mommy, it is his best friend. If he ever gets upset, the nurses just cuddle him with his Zaky and he calms right down. It also makes me feel so much better when I have to leave him because I know that he can still feel safe and comforted. I absolutely love the Zaky!"

- Shambry Emerok, Provo, UT, USA

"I cried with joy and amazement when I saw the ad! My daughter had just given birth to her first child in Japan, where her husband is stationed.
They are on the other side of the world, out of reach...until I ordered the Zakeez! I SO wanted to just help her with her new baby...and I CAN, with
ZAKEEZ! A hand to hold, a hand to touch, and a hand to support both mom and baby. Babies need nurishment from breast milk and the gentle touch of
a hand! I'm sorry that there was a need to invent this, but it is more than an invention, it's PURE INSPIRATION! My little granddaughter approves
of this product, too!! I'm so grateful to have found this wonderful product!!!!"

- Patricia Drum, Brunswick,

"I have twin preemies that were born at 25 weeks in Oct. Our hospital, University of Iowa Children's Hospital, has been using them with our babies and they LOVE them. The physical therapist here is a big advocate of it, and I'm so happy to have been introduced to it. We plan to be discharged within the week and will look forward to using our Zakys at home."

- Cristine Zimmerman, Davenport, IA, USA

"Before the Zaky, we tried several different products on the market to help position Eden in her car seat etc, without any success. She would routinely end up lopsided! The Zaky on the other hand gets the job done and we love how well it supports Eden's body and in addition, holds my scent which helps to keep her calm. We would highly recommend this versatile product to all new parents."

- Alan and Sheri, USA

"We have twins who were born premature. I can't begin to describe the heartache of having to go home from the hospital without them. We joined a preemie support group and found out about the Zaky. Our twins responded really well to them and the doctors and nurses were very impressed. I can't thank Yamile enough for inventing such a wonderful product."

- Sheila, USA

"The Zaky worked with our daughter with Cerebral Palsy. We use it to help position her, so she can't assume spastic postures.  We use it in her stroller and car seat, to help keep her legs flexed, and that works great. My husband is commuting and spending two weeks here and two weeks somewhere else, so he has scented the left handed Zaky. We use them all the time, especially once she is asleep, to have her feel like we are there.  During her second visit to the hospital, we got a lot of comments from the PICU staff and the floor nurses about what a great invention this is."

- Maya Haberland, Miami, FL, USA

"Because Jennifer was not able to spend all of her time with our daughter Isabella, she felt guilty leaving her behind. She heard of a product called the Zaky, and thought she would give it a try. When Jennifer would leave Isabella in the NICU, she would leave a Zaky with her scent in the crib. When we had to go home, we felt like we were leaving something human behind for her. Every time I would come in and she was having a good day, she would have her hand wrapped around the thumb and it just really made me feel good." Michael and Jennifer Bychowsky, USA

The Bychowskys were so happy with the Zaky that they decided to purchase them for all the babies of the NICU and Zakeez, Inc matched their donation 1 to 1. "We wanted other babies and families to have that opportunity," said Jennifer. They got in touch with Zakeez, Inc. and explained that they wanted to make a donation to the hospital, and the company matched their donation.


"I recently bought back from my business trip to US, a Zaky (left) for my wife and our soon-to-be-born baby. My wife was so happy when she opened the package, delighted with not only the idea of Zaky, but its quality as well."

- Kosuke Ito, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan

"That is such a great idea! It´s one of the best ideas I have seen the last few years."

- Mario & Petra & Elena, Austria

"Thank you for sharing your story. It really touched home as I am in the field of ergonomics and have a son who was born 5 weeks premature (he is now almost 3). Of course, Griffin was never in as desperate a situation as your son, but the feelings and emotions of seeing him strapped to machines and leaving him there in the NICU I will never forget.
As a Mom and ergonomist, I can't help but look at children's products and think about how to improve them. What you have actually accomplished is wonderful. Congratulations."

- Tammy S., USA

"Gabriel was a 26 weeker born at Memorial Hermann Hospital. At 3 weeks of age and in level III NICU he was introduced to the Zaky, which he still loves till this day. We want to THANK Dr. Jackson for such a wonderful creation. The Zaky gives these babies in NICU not only the security, but the comfort of mom or dad's hand. Like Dr. Jackson when my son was so small, I always wanted to leave a part of us behind. Now with the Zaky we can do that. We loved the Zaky so much we purchased one for Gabe when comes home. Gabe is now at 37 weeks gestation & Level II NICU and still sleeps and loves his ZAKY... Thank you Dr. Jackson. May GOD continue to Bless you and your family."

- Kelly & Amanda Castilla, Parents of a Preemie, Houston, TX

"I would just like to congratulate you on a fantastic product! So simple in idea but so effective in outcome! My wife and myself received ours (present from grandmother) a couple of days ago and already have found a difference in our daughter's demeanour! She is a very laid back girl anyway but the 'Animal Hours'of 18:00 - 21:00 are now some what calmer! Long may it continue!"

- Toby Willis, United Kingdo

"I had the Zaky for my first child and will be using it for my second.  I just bought it for my friend and it was a hit at the baby shower.  Everyone wanted to know how to get one.  The Zaky will be a "must have" on every baby registry.  Good Luck!”

- Jennifer K., Bayport, New York

"My daughter had two premature twins in April and we couldn't live without our Zakys.  We used them at the Texas Children’s Hospital every day and they have been used every day since the babies came home in June.   They are the most important baby item we own.  Thanks for inventing them.”

- Mollie E, Houston, Texas

"Dear Dr. Jackson - I am a graduate of Clemson (MS BioE, '85) & recently saw your profile.  What a great idea!  I used to manufacture swaddlers for NICUs - to help transition out of isolettes, aid in thermoreg., etc., so I have a particular interest in this arena.  Just wanted to say what a great, practical solution you've designed!  Keep up the good work:)”

- Rebecca R., Bozeman, Montanar

"This is my second time purchasing. The first time I ordered I gave the right Zaky to a friend as a gift. Now I'm ordering the right Zaky for my baby - due in December."

-Karolyn T., Somerset, NJ

"Those hands were lifesavers for us!!!  :)
We still use them for my daughter Keely because she's so tiny (even at 3 months, she still only weighs 8 pounds!) and she would be swallowed by her carseat if it was not for the Zakys.  We also use them for BOTH babies at nighttime to keep them where we want them in their beds!  You're a LIFESAVER!  :)“

- Trecia S., Houston, Texas

"My son has been in level III of the NICU for 8 weeks and he LOVES the Zaky.  My little girl calls it 'The Mommy hand.' Thank you so much for taking the time to create it."

- Candus M., a "preemie mom", Houston TX

"I bought a pair of Zakys for my twin granddaughters who were born this past November 7 weeks early in The Woodlands, Texas. My daughter-in-law just loved them.  She still uses them and the girls are now 4 1/2 months old.  It seems to calm them when they're fussing for no apparent reason.  We all thank you for this wonderful invention."

- Marcia S. Spear, Baltimore, Meryland

"I am currently using the Zaky for my 4-month-old foster daughter who has been suffering from irritability, inability to self-sooth as well as suffering from prenatal exposure to alcohol and drugs.
As you probably are aware, these infants are extremely difficult to settle, and, like our foster daughter, despite many attempts to soothe her we were unsuccessful; until the Zaky. I literally took the Zaky out of the bag, placed it horizontally across her chest and voila! there she laid still and content looking around the room. I had never seen this baby calm for anything the way she did with the Zaky.
Prior to receiving the Zaky we had to put the baby to sleep in a swing because in the crib she would scream until we picked her up. The day after, we placed the Zaky again across her chest and waited for the scream…it never happened. Before, our biggest fear was leaving the house without her soother. Now we don't go anywhere without the Zaky. Thank you for this amazing gift. It has changed our lives drastically."

- Michelle Larose, Foster Parent, Oliver B.C., Canada
Member of the South Okanagan Foster Parents Association

"I just want to say God Bless You for creating such a wonderful product!  I used the Zaky on my preemie son for the first time last night in the NICU.  Today was the most peaceful I have EVER seen him. He was actually able to get into a very deep sleep.
This makes me feel so good like I am actually able to do something for him.  We were only able to hold him once so far because he is very sick; but this makes me feel like I am right there holding him still.  It sets my mind at ease knowing that he is calm now with your Zaky surrounding him (smile).  Thank you so much!!"

- Andrea J.,  Massachussetts, USA

"Charlotte was born at 24 weeks and I was so afraid she wouldn't know I was her mom. As soon as I found out about the Zaky, I ordered two. Once they arrived, I washed them, slept with them and gave them to the nurses to help position snd cuddle Charlotte. It made me feel better knowing that my scent was surrounding her. She spent 105 days in the NICU and when she came home, we used the Zaky to cradle her head in the car seat. Our Early Intervention therapists also found them helpful for positioning Charlotte as well. What a great product!"

- Melissa Anstine, Chester Springs, PA, USA

"I have a newborn that not only is a light sleeper, but refuses to sleep on his back.  He would very rarely have more than 2 hour sleep stretches and for the most part would wake up every hour to hour and a half. 

I had purchased the wedges from the local baby store to help him stay on his side, but he would sweat profusely and squirm uncomfortably because the material was so hard. 

So, I purchased both the left and right hand Zakeez and have realized I use them every chance I get:
*  I line his tummy and his back to keep him on his side and it is so obvious that he is more comfortable and that he is not getting overheated.  Because I am able to keep him comfortable on his side, I can watch him now on  averages of 2 to 3 hour stretches and will sometimes sleeping for 4 hours.  
*  My son likes to kick his blanket off, so I also use them as a weight on the blankets.  This way if he rolls over or kicks them, I know the Zakeez! is soft enough that he won't hurt himself.  
* We also take the Zakeez with us when we travel.  We realize we have really become dependent on the Zakeez almost like the 'Security Blanket" syndrome."

-Kristy, "First Time Mom"
Houston, Texas


"Yamile, Thanks so much for inventing the Zaky.  When my daughter came a month early, she just wouldn't sleep without being held or touched.  I got her a Zaky and it worked like a charm.  She is now 5 months old and still sleeping so soundly with her Zaky.  It has really comforted her and I don't know what I would have done without it.  Thanks so much." 

- Jenny Shelton BSW
Wichita Falls, Texas

"I have to tell you about how I used the Zakeez hand the other night.

Billy is getting his two bottom teeth right now and Bill and I have been getting no sleep at all.  I hadn't used 'the hand' in a while since he had been sleeping through the night and taking naps with no problem.  Well, when the teething started so did the clinginess.  He cries if you put him down on the floor, he cries if you try to put him in the crib or leave him in anyway.  We basically have to get him to fall asleep downstairs, wait for about 20 minutes until he is in a hard sleep and then take him upstairs and leave him in his crib.
In the middle of the night is even harder, he wakes up, starts crying (screaming is more accurate) and is only soothed if you are standing over his crib patting his back or at least just sitting there next to him.  I have watched him sleep for 10 minutes, then I will slowly tip toe out of
the room and as soon as he senses I am gone, he wakes up and starts screaming.  Well, the other night, I was scared to even remove my hand from his back for fear he would wake up again when I glanced over and saw 'the
hand'.  I grabbed it and put it on his back.  I slowly backed out of the room, expecting to hear him cry again, but he never did.  It worked!

I am so ready for the teething to be over and I really hope we can pick up on his good sleep patterns he had before, but until then I am really glad I have that thing!  Tell Yamile if you see her that I said 'thanks' once again!"

- Ann H - Houston Texas

I am the one that found your article on the internet and forward it to Gloria. It made good sense to me because I knew of the baby's condition and just want to try to make Ashley feel a little better about the things that could have happened and we were all pulling for her and the baby. At one point in time Poor Ashley had just given up any hope but she is still a child herself and could not understand why the hospital had to tell her everything and not give false hopes to her.
Just another thank you for your concern. May God bless you and keep you helping other children. - Jim and Gloria W.  Colmesneil, Texas