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By Nathalie Schittekatte, certified sleep consultant for children

White noise

White noise. White what? Noise? Those who have been following me on social media for a while now know that I, as as sleep coach, speak of full praise about white noise. I receives dozens of messages with questions such as “What is white noise?”, “How do I make white noise?”, “For what age do you recommend this?”, “What device do you recommend?”. Therefore, I have decided to write a blog about white noise. What, where, when, why and how!

WHat is white noise?

White noise is for example what you hear when your radio cannot find a channel. In general, white noise is a constant tone. White noise is sometimes confused with womb sounds or natural sounds, which is not white noise. The sound of crackling rain can be used as white noise since it is also a very constant sound.

Where do you use white noise?

You can use white noise both at home in your child’s bedroom and in any other location. I am thinking of naps that need to take place when you and your little one are going somewhere or at the daycare for example. You can also put white noise in the corridor or in front of an older child’s door so that he/she does not wake up from the crying of a younger brother or sister next door, which is unavoidable the first weeks after birth or during sleep training.

When do you use white noise?

I recommend the use of white noise from birth. A newborn has just been in a noisy womb for 9 months and is not used to sleep in the silence. Young babies will calm down faster and sleep better with the sound of noise. Have you ever noticed that your newborn fell asleep spontaneously when you were vacuuming? That is why!

If you have never used white noise and have an older child, white noise may also come in handy occasionally. I always take my portable device with me on vacation and will use it during naps or the start of a night when there is a lot of ambient noise. In this case, white noise is used to camouflage external sounds. I always use the sound of rain.

Early birds whose biological clock goes off at the crack of dawn because of, for example, mum or dad who must get up early can also benefit from white noise. A young child who hears noises in the house will soon think that the day has started and wants to start the day, even though it is still very early. During my sleep coaching programs, I also regularly recommend white noise if there are older siblings in the house who could easily be woken up during sleep training.

Why do you use white noise?

Well, this question was answered above. It is really an ideal and inexpensive tool to help your little one sleep better and / or to wake up less quickly due to ambient noise.

How do you use white noise?

You can leave white noise on continuously during naps and at night, this won’t hurt. Then make sure you use white noise that does not automatically shut off after a while. However, if you only use white noise occasionally, a device where the noise falls out after a while can certainly work, if it pops up again when the ambient noise becomes too loud again. We use one like that.

The cheapest solution for white noise is an old radio where you can turn on white noise. That’s it! However, there are a lot of other options, such as an app on your phone, Spotify, Youtube or a fixed or portable audio device. When purchasing a sound device, make sure that it plays “white noise” or the sound of rain. Many sound devices are offering a whole range of baby melodies or heartbeat sounds, while I prefer a constant noise.

White noise can be quite loud, roughly the sound of a running shower, 50 to 60 decibels. You do not have to worry that your child will be addicted to white noise when you use it on a daily base. If your child always sleeps with white noise, you can systematically reduce this around the age of 1 year by reducing the volume a little bit each week, until you can switch it off entirely.

The devices I recommend

Zazu Suzy: This device is very compact and fits in all diaper bags. You can hang it on the buggy, give it to the daycare, use it in the car, etc. It will automatically shut off after 20 minutes but will switch on automatically when the ambient noise becomes too loud or when your baby is crying. Zazu is a Dutch brand that I regularly recommend, I am also a fan of Zoë the penguin and Sam the sheep.

Numsy constant white noise: This device is ideal for continuous use during naps or nights at home. You can also take it with you when you travel as it is compact enough and rechargeable. This is a good investment if you are currently pregnant or have a newborn at home.

 

Written by Nathalie Schittekatte. Certified sleep consultant for children and owner of www.snugglesanddreams.com.

Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are mine and are not influenced by ZAZU Kids.

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By Nathalie Schittekatte, certified sleepcoach for children at Snuggles and Dreams

Why I write this blog

Nathalie:

“As pediatric sleep coach I often recommend products that improve your little one’s sleep. For example, a proper sleeping bag, baby monitor or white noise machine. When I am helping parents with a toddler one of my go-to suggestions is a sleeptrainer. But what is a sleeptrainer?”

“A sleeptrainer is a kind of alarm specifically designed for children. Key features are colors that indicate when it is time to sleep or to wake up. Little kids cannot tell time; hence such colors are extremely helpful. From the moment I started to advise parents, I recommended Sam the Lamb as a sleeptrainer and I was enthusiastic when its maker ZAZU sent one sample to test!

Sam is a very easy-to-understand (and beautiful!) sleeptrainer. He turns red when it is time to sleep and green when it is OK to get up. Red light does not disturb the production of melatonin, on the contrary of white and blue light, which makes this product extra helpful. 30 minutes before Sam turns green, it turns orange. This shows your child that it only takes a little while longer before it could wake up other people in the house. You can select to turn off the red nightlight, but my suggestion would be to keep it on during the night, as a visual aid for your toddler. Below you see how Sam works.”

Why would you use a sleeptrainer?

A sleeptrainer could be useful in the following situations:

  • Your child wakes up at a different time every day, but you would like consistent wake up hours.
  • Your child is an early bird and you would like to teach him or her to stay in its bed a little longer.
  • Your toddler sleeps together with a sibling and you want them to get up at the same time.
  • Sam is also suitable for naps. Set the timer for 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 or 180
  • When your kids go to school, but they oversleep sometimes, you can use Sam’s alarm clock feature to wake them up.

When to start with a sleeptrainer?

Around the age of 2 you could start with a sleeptrainer. However, it depends per child when he or she is actually ready for it. The most important thing is that your toddler understands the differences in colors and what they mean. In other words, that they could tell that red = stay in bed, orange = wait a little longer and green = you can go to mama/papa. ZAZU recommends Sam for children aged 3 years and older.

How to introduce a sleeptrainer?

It is key that your toddler accepts the sleeptrainer when it is being introduced to him or her. If there is no interest at all, there is little chance that your little one will follow the rules that come with the sleeptrainer. Therefore, it is recommended to start simple. Does your child wake up every day around 6 am? Set the alarm for 6 am, even though you wish he or she wakes up later. In this way your child could easily follow Sam’s rules. And be excited when your toddler manages to comply with Sam’s rules!

Try to stick to this routine for around 3 nights until you are certain your child is on board. From that moment onward you could gradually (perhaps even secretly) increase Sam’s wake up time towards 6.30 am at first and consequently to 7 am depending on the situation. Having to wake up half an hour later is more realistic than 1 hour for many kids, although it differs per character. My advice would be to go rather slow than fast, as it could demotivate your toddler when they fail to follow Sam’s rules.

During the introduction of a sleeptrainer you could also work with a reward system where your toddler receives a sticker when he or she wakes up its parents only when Sam turns green. This could be a huge motivation for kids that tend to wake up early and get out of their rooms immediately.

Noélie and sleeptrainer Sam_2

Nathalies own experience with Sam

We started with Sam when our daughter was 2 years and 3 months. Noélie is not an early bird so that was not necessarily the reason we wanted to use Sam. Our issue was that Noélie usually stayed in bed when waking up and played with her soft toys until we came into her room, but this was unfortunately no longer the case. When she woke up, her day started straightaway. Often this was before 7 am, the time we normally came to get her for breakfast. So, we needed the sleeptrainer to get back into a routine where the day starts at a specific time.

The day we introduced Sam I showed my daughter how it works. The lamb has its eyes closed when its belly was red, and open when it’s green. Together we set up the time and put it on her bedside table. Sam was now her new friend who goes to sleep with her and protects her during the night. She loved it! On the first day the wake up time was 6.40 am, even though the goal was 7 am.

6.40 am was a time that Noélie could handle and thus become enthusiastic. Maybe we were lucky, but the lamb was an immediate success. Our daughter waited patiently until Sam’s screen turned green and when it did, she called us to get her. After a few days I slowly increased the wake up time per 5 minutes towards 7 am. Now every day our day starts at the same time which brings a certain peace. From time to time it happens that Noélie calls us before Sam turns green, we let her do this because we know she does understand the rules. The other way around happens as well, that she sleeps later than 7 am. We savor these moments and start the day a little bit later ?.

As with every young child it occurs that Noélie wakes up during the night, but also then Sam works well. This because she understands that when Sam’s belly is red, she has to sleep. Currently she set her own bedtime when we are in her room and do our bedtime ritual. Sam’s eyes close at 7 pm but she cannot wait until then. Luckily, she only knows how to change the bedtime and not the wake up time! Sam has become a real buddy for Noélie and must even come with her on holidays! You will not hear us complain, because it means our days do not start before 7 am when we are away ?.

I hope I have given you some insights in why and how to use a sleeptrainer.

Written by Nathalie Schittekatte, certified sleep consultant for children and owner of www.snugglesanddreams.com.

Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are mine and are not influenced by  ZAZU Kids

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By Joyce, mother, primary school teacher and guest blogger at Mama Scrapelle

Falling asleep faster with Cody the crab, an ocean projector

There are kids who have trouble falling asleep. There are also kids who wake up quite often. Especially for babies and younger children such nights without enough sleep could be terrible. ZAZU’s Cody the crab might come to the rescue! At least this ocean projector helped my daughter (a two-year old) who usually wakes up quite a lot during the night. And Cody also helped my friend Ellen’s daughter who tends to lie awake for mostly 30 minutes before falling asleep.

Transform your child’s room into a lifelike underwater world

Cody’s projector shows moving waves and swimming fish. The projection mimics a blue sea with orange fish on your ceiling, only looking at it makes you feel calm. Even my husband felt relaxed while lying on the couch and looking up towards the ceiling where a lifelike underwater world was unfolding.

Next to the projection, Cody could also play three different melodies: ocean sounds, heartbeat sound (perfect for babies!) and lullabies. You can select the melody and there is also an option to turn off the sound. Our son finds the ocean sound a little bit tense (he is highly sensitive) and prefers the lullabies. Whereas our daughter favors the heartbeat sound.

Cody 10_mamascrapelle

Cody’s three step sleep program

This crab has a sleep program which consists of three steps. Each step takes 10 minutes so in total 30 minutes until the sleep program stops (and hopefully by then your little one is asleep). Let me explain each step for you:

1. The first 10 minutes are designed to calm your child. You will see moving waves, lots of orange swimming fish and relaxing sounds of the ocean.

2. Between minutes 10 and 20, the projection tries to make your child sleepy. The waves are still moving, and the fish are still swimming, but the fish have lost their colors and in general the projection is less bright. The ocean sounds have been replaced by slow and hypnotizing bubble sounds.

3. The last 10 minutes are there to give the final push and send your child to dreamland. The waves are not moving anymore, and the brightness is at its lowest while the sound stops playing after 20 minutes. Good to know is that Cody shuts off automatically after 30 minutes.

The steps are portrayed in the image below.

CODY_3-step-sleep-program-768x618

 

My friend’s daughter was very sad when Cody stopped after 30 minutes: ‘I really did not touch the crab but there is no more projection or sound’. My suggestion to avoid such a shock reaction would be to say to your child: ‘don’t be scared when Cody turns off automatically, it means it’s really bedtime!’

Cry sensor

Personally, this feature makes me very happy. When your child starts crying or talking, Cody turns on again. This could mean that your little one falls asleep again by him or herself (this happens with our daughter). The moment she starts yelling for mama and/or papa, Cody turns on and she stops and a little later she falls back asleep! If this is something you do not want because you prefer to sooth your little one yourself, you could easily disable the cry sensor.

Cody 7_mamascrapelle

Cody is not just for babies

You can start using this crab from the moment your child is born. Predominantly parents with newborns are using Cody. However, I notice that older children and even adults appreciate Cody’s features.

My husband enjoys watching the moving waves and swimming fish. My highly sensitive son (6 years old) is more relaxed when looking at slowly moving images on the ceiling. As a result, he falls asleep having a better state of mind. Both my daughter as Ellen’s daughter enjoy Cody. My daughter sleeps in with Cody and her friend says: ‘Cody makes me fall asleep quicker, the moving projection is fun to watch, and the melodies are relaxed. Especially the lullabies and the ocean sounds! The heartbeat sound kept playing in my head and therefore I liked it less.’

Cody 1_mamascrapelle

Love,

Jocye

Written by Joyce. Mother of two, primary school teacher and guest blogger at Mama Scrapelle

Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are mine and are not influenced by  ZAZU Kids

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By Kim from Mama’s mind

Meet Gina

You might know ZAZU from the famous sleeptrainer Sam the lamb. We get to know Gina the giraffe. This is a nightlight with multiple colors nightlight ánd a torch that you can bring along in case your little one needs to go to the toilet in the middle of the night. Or if he/she wants to read its favorite bedtime story again during the night…

Gina the torch

You activate the torch by shortly pressing the button. The torch is on the bottom of Gina and you easily pick up the giraffe and find your way to the bathroom. This might sound familiar; many children find it scary to leave their bed by themselves. Parents to the rescue! Alternatively, a light, or in this case a torch, could also help as it makes little kids more aware of their surroundings and thus feel safer. There are no monsters lurking around! I remember from when I was little that we had light shining in the hallway trying to make us feel more comfortable. However, my family does not like to sleep with a lot of light. So, Gina is an ideal solution for us. Don’t worry if you leave the torch on accidentally, after 10 minutes it shuts off automatically.

Gina torch

Gina the nightlight

When pressing the button a bit longer, you turn on the nightlight feature. When you hold the button, you will see multiple colors you can choose from. Did you find the color your little one likes? Simply release the button at that color. After 30 minutes the nightlight shuts off automatically. Except for when Gina is being charged, then the nightlight will stay on the entire night. It is also possible to manually shut off the giraffe. Go through the different colors nightlight and when you come across no color; this is the off-mode.

Gina nightlights

 

How to charge Gina?

Included in the gift box is a USB cable. Nowadays almost everyone could connect a USB cable to a power station, either in your desktop/laptop or mobile phone adapter. Connect Gina to one end of the cable and the other end to your preferred charging station and the giraffe is charging. When it is time to charge Gina, you will notice a red light on the front of Gina, just above the torch. Is this light green?  The giraffe’s battery is fully charged and ready to shine at night.

Conclusion

Gina is not a sleeptrainer such as Sam for example, but it is an aid to make your little feel safe in his or her bedroom. For me the torch feature is perfect. In my experience, kids love to play with a torch which ensures that they will use the giraffe. Also, Gina is an excellent addition to your camping gear! No issues with finding the sanitary facilities on the campground. And no longer getting into the wrong tent when returning…

Gina suitcase

Love,
Kim

@mamasmind

Disclaimer: The product has been sent to me, but all thoughts and opinions are mine and are not influenced by ZAZU Kids

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By Marijke, child sleep consultant at Bureau van Slaap

Toddler puberty

Bedtime struggles, no naps during the day, refusing to eat and brush their teeth and last but not least, waking up suuuuper early! Can you relate?

On a daily basis I receive inquiries from parents if I could help them with their toddler’s bedtime routine. More about this, below!

Method

I use the Droomritme method ©, where I first try to identify why sleeping is not going well, and then I determine an approach to try and fix this problem. Only then you create a more sustainable way of solving the underlying issues, which hopefully results in more consistency and sleep.

Provide support and frameworks in a loving way

In my toddler programs I help parents to find the right daily and bedtime routines. This sounds pretty straightforward, but in reality it seems to be hard. Especially when your little one is experiencing his or her toddler puberty. One moment they could be your best friend, the other moment they could be utterly annoying and try to cross boundaries.

In such moments it is key to give support and frameworks so your little one knows what to expect. In my program I offer multiple tools and one of them is Pam the Sleeptrainer.

Enough sleep is very important to avoid fatigue and tantrums. In my practice I use so-called ‘wake-up times’, which respond to natural rhythms of a child. For example, I could suggest a 5-5 rhythm for a two-year old . The numbers indicate the maximum number of hours a child could be awake before and after his or her afternoon nap.

Do you extend those hours, fatigue accumulates and falling asleep goes under loud protest. The more tired your child gets, the more extreme your child’s behavior becomes (crying and shouting at dinner or when bathing). A kind reminder, sleep creates sleep! The better naps are during the day, the better sleep is at night and thus the next morning starts later.

More valuable sleeping tips for your toddler

I advise no screen time before going to bed. Blue or bright light activates the brain. It seems that kids relax when they are in front of a screen, but they will need to process a lot of stimuli, which makes it harder from them to fall asleep.

Give your child an exclusive one on one moment at the end of a day, with sincere attention. This could result in less attention seeking behavior when going to bed.

Try to create a consistent bedtime routine so your child understands when he or she should prepare for bed.

Pam the sleeptrainer

Recurring advise in my program is to use Pam the sleeptrainer. Pam gives structure to a child, which is a key part of the program. Pam’s color indicates when it is time to sleep (red) and when it is time to get up (green). And also, half an hour before wake up time the light turns orange, so your child knows he or she has to play in their room for a little while.

It is easy to understand and efficient!

Pam the sleeptrainer

Why Pam the penguin in my program?

I prefer Pam over other sleeptrainers because there are no extra sounds such as ticking clocks or clicking parts.

Pam’s design is very nice and you could also use it as a nightlight only, including timer so your little one does not have to sleep in a lit room.

The penguin could be your child’s friend. The colors indicate a clear system and my experience teaches me that most kids from 2 years and older understand the color scheme. In other words, red means time to sleep / stay in bed.

An example from my practice

Recently I finished a session with a 27-month old child who kept waking up her parents in the early morning. Her parents put her back to bed when it was before 5.30 am, but she did not understand why. She was awake, why could the day not start? And when it was after 5.30 am she was allowed to sleep in her parent’s bed, because they thought ‘it is almost morning now’.

There was loud protest when it was 5.00 am and she had to be in her own room. Sometimes she could sleep in her parent’s bed, but sometimes she needed to be in her own room. It was all very confusing for her. After all, she is not able to tell time.

For this family Pam was a huge relief. When the little one now wakes up, she knows what to do. Stay in her room when the light is red / orange, or go to her parent’s room when it is green. It is important to mention that as a parent you have to be consistent too, it’s not advised to wake up your child before the sleeptrainer has turned green.

All in all, I am a firm believer of Pam – this is not sponsored – because I see the penguin as a valuable addition to my program.

Photo by Creative Bonnie Duijs Studio

Written by Marijke. Child sleep consultant at Bureau van Slaap

Do you want to know more about my toddler program, have a look at my website and follow me on Instagram @bureauvanslaap for free tips and tricks.

Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are mine and are not influenced by ZAZU Kids

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By Natasja from www.natasjaonline.nl

Why we necessarily wanted a sound machine where we could upload our own music to.

You might think: “Why are these people acting so difficult. Is this really important for a sound machine?” Who is following my vlogs knows why we want this so badly. Roy’s father was a professional musician and recorded a few of his songs. Unfortunately my father in law passed away in 2010 and therefore our kids will never get to know their grandfather Theo. By putting on his songs every night, when it is time for ‘the big sleep’, grandpa Theo is a little bit there for them and they will grow up with him in a certain way.

The pursuit of a suitable sound machine

Although we came across many potential music boxes, it was a disappointment after reading the description more carefully and when we found out that it wasn’t what we were looking for. Ve-ry frustrating!

In December we visited a baby shop where we noticed, among other things, a few music boxes. Even being a bit skeptical in finding what we wanted, we still looked at the packaging. And then we saw ZAZU’s Zoë. Another music box that seemed to have potential, but this time it lived up to its potential! 

 

What features does ZAZU’s Zoë have?

First, ZAZU’s Zoë is a wireless speaker. Therefore, not only suitable for the baby room, but you could also take Zoë in, for example, the pram or in the car. Ideal to soothe your child anywhere with the music he or she is used to. ZAZU has also their own playlists on Spotify that you could use to play songs or fairy tales.

Next, Zoë has 7 pre-programmed melodies. It has three lullabies, one option with lounge music and three “white noise” sounds: heartbeat, noise and natural sound. In addition, the head of Zoë is also a night light with two light settings (bright or dimmed light).

Another very helpful feature is Zoë’s cry sensor. Zoë activates itself when it hears the baby crying. Perfect! Even better than an app. But there is one disadvantage to this, too, but I’ll tell you later. Finally, next to its cry sensor, Zoë switches itself off automatically after 20 minutes. Both the sound and the light.

 

Two modes

Zoë has basically two operating modes. Using the button on the side of Zoë you can either choose the pre-programmed settings or you can choose the Bluetooth function. As Bluetooth tends to cost more battery it is good to have different modes available.

That having said, the downside is that the cry sensor does not work when in Bluetooth mode, only in pre-set melodies mode. That’s a pity!

But you can’t store music on Zoë, can you?

That’s right. Although we were looking for this, Zoë does not have that feature. We can show Grandpa Theo through a workaround. As I wrote earlier, it is a Bluetooth speaker and, in this mode, you can basically make it play whatever you want. So, it’s a matter of pairing your phone, choosing a song on Spotify and tadaa … Your ‘own’ music!

And what is your experience with Zoë?

We really it! I need to charge Zoë once a week after which we could use Zoë again for a week. Although we have reached our goal in a somewhat cumbersome way, I think for many of you it is certainly doable. So, listening to music through Bluetooth is working for us. Sometimes I select the pre-programmed mode when Lucas is in his bed during the day while I’m upstairs. The cry sensor function is amazing. Unfortunately, he does not work when Zoë is in Bluetooth mode.

The penguin feels solid, looks great and has many features. I can recommend Zoë to anyone who is looking for a sound machine with nice songs and sounds, which can also be used for your own music.

 

Written by Natasja Hufnagel- from Schijndel – owner of www.natasjaonline.nl

Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are mine and are not influenced by ZAZU Kids.

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By Aukeline van Dorp from www. Gezondheidsnet.nl

Difficulty falling asleep and sleeping on

Many babies have difficulty falling and staying asleep. That makes sense because suddenly they are no longer safe in the womb and they have to get used to their life on earth. The ZAZU heartbeat soft toys could help babies with this. Aukeline, an editor of www.gezondheidsnet.nl, tested it with her newborn daughter Livia.

You can choose from Dex the dog, Liz the lamb, Don the donkey, Coco the koala and Bibi the bunny. I chose Liz myself. The removable sound module in the soft toy has six different sounds: heartbeat, nature sounds, (three) lullabies and white noise. As soon as your baby cries, Liz starts automatically thanks to the cry sensor inside. And if it’s not on yet, you could also activate the shake sensor that switches on the last played sound.

     

Help with falling asleep

Livia is a restless, alert baby. She sleeps (for a baby), but she has a lot of trouble falling asleep. In the evening we can sometimes be busy for two to three hours before she finally falls asleep. While using Liz the lamb… Liz does help soothing Livia! We notice that she is mainly calmed by the white noise and the lullabies.

I use Liz every day since the moment Livia was born. If Livia is crying, one of us soon asks where Liz is. Whether she is upstairs, downstairs, or in the car, we really can’t live without that cute lamb anymore.

Cramps

Livia has suffered from cramps during and after feeding. We often activate the lamb during feeding, so that she was a little distracted from the pain and drank a little better. That helped a bit.

White noise

Although I wanted to test Liz for the heartbeat function, we use white noise the most. White noise is a monotonous sound that sounds like rain, the vacuum cleaner or the washing machine. This sound simulates the rumbling of the womb, which of course was a familiar environment for Livia for nine months. Not so strange that it makes her calm. After ten minutes the sound will automatically shut off. Ideal!

What is also very nice: the sound module includes a cry sensor. If I am in a different room and Livia starts crying, then she will be quickly soothed by the lamb. That gives me some leeway.

Essential baby shower gift

Livia is now almost three months old and we still use Liz every day. We have only recently replaced the battery because the sounds played a little shorter.

It is that I could test Liz, but otherwise, I would certainly have wanted to get it as a baby shower gift, or I would buy it myself. That is why I would recommend it to every brand-new mother. In fact, Liz deserves a place on the layette.

Written by Aukeline van Dorp – editor at www.gezondheidsnet.nl. Read the article on www.gezondheidsnet.nl

Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are mine and are not influenced by ZAZU Kids.

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By Margot Buitenhoven

Sam’s discovery

Are your kids dancing on your bed around 5am? Would you prefer to sleep a little longer instead of being woken up by your son or daughter? I discovered ZAZU’s sleeptrainer Sam, which could help explaining to your over-active toddler when it is time to sleep at night and when it is OK to get up in the morning. 

Irregular sleep patterns

All parents know this: active toddlers do not want to go to bed at night nor they tend to sleep in. Especially during summer holidays! Many toddlers rise early and wake up their mums and dads at the break of dawn ready to start another day. These little ones often have no understanding of time and once the first sun rays beam in their rooms, a new exciting day lies in front of them. The other way around as well; now darker days are looming some kids all of the sudden want to stay in bed until it gets light. How to solve this?

Sam the Lamb to the rescue

SAM_Grey_2_Phases-LRSam the sleeptrainer is a cute little lamb that closes his eyes when it is time to sleep and opens his eyes again when it is OK to wake up. An extra feature is Sam’s belly, which displays a clock that changes color: when Sam’s belly turns red, it is bedtime, do you see the orange color then it is still half an hour to go before the clock turns green, time to get up! When Sam turns orange, stars surrounding the clock count down until Sam turns green. In this way your child can follow the time until Sam opens his eyes. The clock is not only digital but also analogue, meaning it could serve an educative purpose for older children as well. My 4-year-old grasped the idea relatively quickly.

Optional is an alarm sound that you can set, which ranges from the sound of a sheep to a classic alarm sound. The volume is adjustable just as the brightness of the display. In addition, the display could stay lit for the entire night or it switches off automatically after 5, 15, 30 or 60 minutes; what you prefer.

Easy operation

Setting up the sleeptrainer is relatively easy, after a few times. Setting up Sam is through ‘touch buttons’, you only have to touch the buttons located around the clock. You might have to get use to this but it probably won’t take long. The menu is self-explanatory, but I do recommend to read the manual because there are many options such as unlocking the menu. The icons in the menu speak for themselves, for example brightness, alarm sound or bedtime.  There is a demo-function that shows all the features of the sleeptrainer as well. When you have finalized your preferred settings, Sam remembers it for the next days!

Good to know: there is a reset button on the bottom of the sleeptrainer. Press it and Sam starts from zero again showing all settings automatically.

Advantages:

  • The design is super cute so your little ones will probably fall in love with Sam immediately.
  • You can use Sam both as a sleeptrainer and as a nightlight.
  • The combination of Sam’s eyes that close/open, a traffic light system that indicates sleep time and the stars counting down the last 30 minutes are truly intuitive.
  • Powered by batteries (not included) or USB cable (included). Adapter is not included.
  • The volume of the alarm clock is adjustable.
  • Adjustable brightness.
  • Sam’s new version has touch buttons, which reduces the noise while setting up the sleeptrainer.

Disadvantages:

  • Setting up Sam requires patience and a manual.
  • When Sam’s belly turns green and opens its eyes it goes with quite a loud ‘click’. Kids could wake up suddenly and be unsettled.

Conclusion

ZAZU’s Sam the lamb is a well-designed sleeptrainer that fits in well in any nursery. Both girls and boys will like Sam; it is a useful sleeping aid with a good price to performance ratio.

Sam green

Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way by ZAZU Kids.

Margot Buitenhoven

Slaaptrainer.net

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By Lisa from @liesskb

Sleeping was a nightmare

Hanna and sleeping was a disaster from the moment she was born, she cried every 1.5 hour. Luckily, after a while she started crying less and less but sleep remains an interesting topic for us.

 

BEDTIME RITUAL

We tried skipping naptime but believe me, this was not a success at all! From 4pm onwards I have a child that cries with every small trifle. In the other hand, when we do a nap, she does not want to go to bed at 7pm and wakes up the next morning around 05.30am…

429 times going to the toilet, 169 sips of water (that mama needs to give, despite it’s in a bottle next to her bed) and saying 25 times in the exact order ‘good night, I love you’. This ritual makes sure that she sometimes sleeps for 8 hours straight, or even 9 or 10 hours! And then Hanna wakes up around 05.30am, 06.00am or 06.30am. Her wake up times stand apart from her bedtimes. Every sound could wake her up. Morning showers are out of the question…

Something had to change. I needed a product that showed Hanna in a playful way that she had to sleep NOW. And so Sam of ZAZU entered the house.

First encounter with Sam

Hanna was not quite sure what to think of Sam, the sheep opened and closed his eyes himself which she found a little bit strange. I explained to her that she should start sleeping when Sam’s belly turns red and his eyes are closed. And when Sam is orange, she could read a book or play in a room for 30 minutes until Sam turns green and he opens his eyes. Then she is allowed to come to mommy and daddy!sam three phases

One of the first mornings she entered our room way to early… ‘The sheep opened his eyes’according to Hanna. I checked my watch and I thought I would lose it. Indeed, Sam’s eyes were open. I asked daddy, who setup the sheep, if he was crazy! Side note, Sam is also a nightlight.

On a certain morning we watched together when Sam turned green and opened his eyes. That made Hanna understand how it works and slowly she is starting to listen to Sam. If she does not want to go to sleep, I say ‘did you have a look at Sam?’. He is sleeping, so you should sleep as well! Still the bedtime ritual is a nightmare, but the mornings are getting better and better!

I haven’t seen Hanna before 7am for a while. Often at 07.01am she comes barging in with a loud good morning, but that is fine. It means she understands the concept.

Sam’s final verdict

Hanna is almost 3 years old and did not understand Sam immediately. It took around 3 weeks before she understood the concept and, in the beginning, you must invest time and effort.

Now Hanna knows that she cannot enter our room before 7am (she does go to her little brother’s room a few minutes before 7am, being awake together is more fun than being awake alone, right?!).

Going to bed is still a drama, but the morning ritual has improved so much. We (daddy and especially mommy) are very happy with the introduction of sir Sheep.

Sam is also suitable for naptimes during the day as you can set a bedtime for the evening and a nap time for the afternoon. Our little dancing queen also liked the fact that Sam has an actual alarm with melodies.

A real recommendation!

Sam green

 

Love,

Lisa – @liesskb

Disclaimer: The product has been sent to me, but all thoughts and opinions are mine and are not influenced by ZAZU Kids

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By Andrea and Julia from Apfelbäckchen

Playtime and bedtime with Gina

Let’s be honest: there is hardly any child who is not fascinated by flashlights and beautiful lights in general, right? With a torch or light in their hands, kids are ready for adventures in their room within self-made tents or piles of pillows and blankets.

Gina the giraffe

Our boy tested a new light, but it’s more than just a light. It is nightlight and flashlight in one! Because we find the giraffe so cute and useful, we would like to share this with you.

Gina is from the Dutch company ZAZU, of which we already have two other great products: Bobby and Lou. The giraffe is suitable for kids from 3 years and older.

gina-green and torch_2

How does it work?

Gina has a rechargeable battery and comes with an USB cable. The product lies very comfortable in the hand and the soft material makes is easy to use. When you press the button shortly, you enable the torch light. The auto shut-off feature ensures the torch goes out after ten minutes. That is smart as, with so many things, the torch is forgotten while playing and it will drain batteries otherwise.gina-torch combination

 

 

 

 

But the giraffe is also a nightlight. The nightlight feature shows 7 different soft colors such as yellow, orange, red, pink, blue, turquoise and green. All you need to do is press the same button as the torch, but then a little bit longer. Hold the button to change the nightlight colors. The nightlight also shuts off automatically, after 30 minutes.

When you plug in the USB cable, the nightlight does not go out automatically but stays on.

gina-nightlight combination

 

All in all

We believe that Gina is magical. Especially the design and high-quality manufacturing stands out. If you have a toddler that could use a night light and a torch, for example for toilet visits in the middle of the night, Gina is a great recommendation. The giraffe comes in grey, blue and pink.  Even when the light is out, the giraffe makes every nursery better-looking.

gina-orange_2

Have a wonderful day,

Andrea, Julia and their little boy

@Apfelbäckchen

Disclaimer: The product has been sent to me, but all thoughts and opinions are mine and are not influenced by ZAZU Kids.

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