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By Ester Depret, mum of two and blogger

Telling the time

One of the topics we focused on during pre-school was telling the time. It was on Jules’ to-do list but Alixe seemed to be keen as well. The moment they were able to tell the time, they wanted to control it too. As a result, my five-year-old daughter did not hesitate to point out that 12.30 pm is lunch time. Clearly, she has her priorities straight!

Alarm clock

Jules started to be interested in the time when going to bed and getting up. Each night when we tucked him in and gave him a goodnight kiss, he would ask what time it was. And then half an hour later, the same question again (!) In the morning we would hear him get up and run to the kitchen (which is two floors down) to check whether it was 7 am yet. On his way back up he shout out the actual time for all to hear.

He knows I have an alarm clock on my bedside table and of course he wanted one too. He wanted to be able to see what the time as soon as he wakes up.

So, we realized the time had come to get him a clock for his room. We searched the internet for a well-designed and child-friendly clock and we found ZAZU’s Sam the sleeptrainer. My kids have been using Sam for a few weeks now and below is more about Sam.

Sam on chair green light

Who / what is Sam the sleeptrainer?

Sleeptrainer Sam is an alarm clock in the shape of a sheep. The clock displays both the analogue and digital time. In addition, it shows your kids when it’s time to get up using colours (see image below). You set bedtime and wake-up time yourself, and it also has a nap timer which is perfect for naps or a moment of rest during the day.

 

Sam blue phases

 

Did your kids (5 and 6 years) need a sleeptrainer?

No, they didn’t. As it happens, they have a pretty good sleep routine. Initially, I was looking for a nice alarm clock for kids that could help to tell the time but it’s actually a big advantage the the screen lights up in different colours and that the sheep closes his eyes when it is time to sleep – nobody wants to get up in the middle of the night to explain to their toddler it is 5 am, everyone is asleep and Bumba (their favourite TV show) has not started yet!

I think it shows that Sam is suitable for kids at different stages. A younger child would benefit more from Sam’s colours, while an older child could use Sam to learn to tell the time.

Are there advantages to using Sam for an older child?

When your kids go to school it is very convenient for them to have their own alarm clock. One of Sam’s alarm sounds is a bleating sheep. If that doesn’t wake them up, nothing will! But Sam is also very useful at bedtime. Our kids share a room and go to bed around 7.30 pm. When they’ve had a busy day I know they want to tell each other stories and talk about what tomorrow might bring, so we set Sam’s bedtime at 8 pm, which is when the clock turns red and his eyes close. This clearly tells them that now it’s really time to sleep!

Sam bedside table

Written by Ester Depret. Mum of two kids and blogger at Ester Depret

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

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Recent study amongst families from UK, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Australia, demonstrated that sleeptrainer SAM from ZAZU gives on average 45 minutes of extra sleep per day.

Sleeptrainer SAM shows children, who don’t know about time yet, when it is time to sleep, by closing his eyes at night time, and opening them in the morning when it is OK to get up.

The research showed it took only 3 days on average for children (age 2-7) to understand the full concept of the sleeptrainer of ZAZU. In the 2 weeks-test period 100% of the parents experienced more sleep and on average they woke up at their preferred time 5 out of 7 days of the week.

Importance of sleep

Parents furthermore indicated that the extra sleep made them feel a lot fitter during the daytime. This is why sleep is so important for parent and child and why there is a World Sleep Day: It is during your sleep that your body is preparing for a fresh start the next day: physical restoration, processing and memorization of information, cleaning the brain of toxins, strengthening the immune system and regulate the mood.

Imagine being woken at 6 am by your over energetic toddler who wants to start the day, while there is no need to get up for another hour…..This is where sleeptrainers come to the rescue.

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By Erin Noelle

From summer time to winter time, and vice versa

I never really thought about when I was childless, but when I was lucky enough to have a child I all of the sudden experienced the downside of Daylight Saving Time. Once you have adapted to the new rhythm, you can change clocks again. A few months later, again!

Rhythm

Interesting that only 1 hour makes such a difference for your rhythm. In the first year my baby boy was born we were too much micro managing this phenomenon and so it was doomed to fail. From that moment on, we decided to just go with the flow and see what happens.

It worked! Changing clocks was no longer an issue. However, Senn is always up too early… When he is awake, we are awake too. He won’t scream and cry, most of the times he starts playing with his array of toys. Gently waiting until mum or dad comes along.

When I hear him playing, I IMMEDIATELY want to get him and start cuddling. But I must control myself as Senn is a child that needs to wake up slowly, in his own pace and no over-enthusiastic mother kisses and hugs. What happens when I do visit him while he is just awake? A very moody child for the rest of the day…

Pam the sleeptrainer, nightlight and wireless speaker

So, we were looking for something that ensured Senn what to do when waking up and where we could get up in the morning more easily. That is where Pam joined the family! ZAZU’s Pam the penguin is a sleeptrainer, nightlight and wireless speaker in 1. Perfect! Senn sleeps better with a nightlight. We already had one, but this light was switched on the entire night. Not eco-friendly and not ideal for Senn’s sleep cycle. You can choose Pam’s nightlight color yourself as well as selecting the auto-shut off feature. This means after 60 minutes the nightlight shuts off automatically, great! Senn sleeps within 30 minutes and continues sleeping for the rest of the night, so the light does not have to be switched on until the morning.

Next to being a nightlight, you could opt for the sleeptrainer feature as well. Half an hour before your child can start the day the penguin turns orange. Pam turns green when it is OK to wake up and your little one is off to making new adventures. We explained the colors and the meaning to Senn but he did not really listen hihi. Perhaps it is because he is a bit over 2 years old and the sleeptrainer feature is ideally for children around 3 years and older. However, I can imagine that during Daylight Saving Time the sleeptrainer feature could come to the rescue. The concept of orange and green is relatively easy to understand for your little one.

Sleeping and waking up with Pam

For Senn it (luckily) did not matter! He waits patiently (without the colors) for us. I think when clocks change again in the winter, Pam could be even more important. All the sudden you woke up earlier than ‘normal’ and have an extra hour of sleep. With summer time you just sleep an hour less, which somehow is easier for me.

I am a big fan of the wireless speaker feature! Turn on the Bluetooth on your mobile device and Pam and you can easily connect. Play your favorite music, songs and bedtime stories. No inspiration? ZAZU created playlists on Spotify that you can use. Spotify and Pam

This was a great hit for Senn, he liked it a lot to hear his favorite tunes. It also made him become better friends with Pam, in the beginning Senn was a bit afraid of the penguin… Oh and do not forget, you can recharge Pam through USB which makes it very convenient.

All in all, Pam is most definitely an addition to (y)our nursery! From birth (play soothing melodies) to toddler/infant (sleeptrainer).

Love,
Erin

@Miniliefde

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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For young babies it can be difficult to fall asleep by themselves. For nine months all they hear is their mother’s heartbeat, voice and blood flow, which can be compared with the sound of a vacuum cleaner. Once born and in their own bed, without the comfort of a parent, completely silent or full of strange noises, in  a dark room, the world is completely different for a newborn. A sound machine can then be a big help falling asleep.

International research among families from the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, shows that children using a Zoë sound machine from ZAZU fell asleep in half the time. Parents whose little ones usually fall asleep after 20 minutes on average, found that using Zoë reduced the time to only 10 minutes. The research also showed that Zoë had this positive effect not only at home, but also on-the-go, attached to the car seat or stroller.

sound machine zoe 2

 

Independent international research already shows that newborns will fall asleep more easily using heartbeat sound or white noise (Spencer, Moran, Lee & Talbert en Kawakami): Mimicking the sound they have heard in the womb for 9 months has a calming effect and makes falling asleep easier. Similar results were found in our research: Using a Zoë sound machine helps babies drop off to sleep in half the time.

Penguin Zoë features 5 pre-programmed melodies, to help children feel safe and sound: heartbeat, white noise, nature sound, lounge and lullabies. A built in nightlight gives a gentle glow in the dark.

sound machine zoe nightlight

Other features popular with our test parents are the wireless speaker, which enables parents to play their own choice of music or children’s stories. And the sound sensor: Zoe automatically shuts off after 20 minutes and re-activates if the baby cries. She will begin to play and light up to comfort little ones, helping them to fall back into a peaceful slumber.

sound machine zoe wireless speaker

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By Merel Obermeijer

The search for Pam

As a sleep coach, I was looking for a good sleeptrainer that could support parents in the process of bringing their child to sleep. And that for 16 years already!

 

All kind of sleeptrainers

And in this period, I have seen almost everything;

Sheeps that open their eyes with such a loud noise that wakes up the child surely, even if you would like the child to sleep a little longer.

A ‘nightlight’ with a ticking clock. (Real story): A dad confessed to me that he had furiously thrown a sleeptrainer in the back of a closet. After 2.5 years of little sleep he did not only become crazy of the lack of sleep but the loud ticking of the clock made him even more insane.

A sleeptrainer with a clock that shows blue light. If you want to help your child building a bio rhythm, you should not have white/blue light in the nursery. And definitely not on the bedside table!

I could go on like this for a while.

Finally I met Pam

That is why I was extreeemely happy to run into Pam the penguin. This sleeptrainer has many advantages. For example the penguin is a wireless speaker, you could connect your smartphone with Pam and play white noise. If your little one has trouble sleeping in, research indicates that white noise can give an extra push in the right direction.

When your child needs a light to comfort him or her during the night, you can set Pam as a nightlight only! For example, amongst other colors, a soft red nightlight can comfort your little one. This is very convenient as it does not negatively influence the production of melatonin.

You can also increase Pam’s nightlight brightness, which is useful when reading bedtime stories. Or perhaps when you have to change diapers in the middle of the night! When your bedroom is not too far away from the penguin, you can use the wireless speaker function to play white noise. Perfect when you little one wakes up in the middle of the night and you can soothe him or her back to sleep from your own bed.

Pam suits all ages

On the bottom of Pam there is a clock which you can only see when lifting the penguin. This is extra convenient for older children who can get frustrated when they are having a hard time sleeping in. No alarm clock or phone on the bedside table that almost instantly tells the time but it works better to have a sleeptrainer where you can optionally see the time.

Pam sleeptrainerPam’s sleeptrainer function works intuitively and is therefore easy to understand for children of all ages. During the night Pam lights up red, meaning it is time to sleep. When a child wakes up and it sees an orange light, this means that there is only half an hour to go before the green light appears!

An idea to overcome that half an hour is to tell your little one to read a book or play with his or her favorite animal. Green means OK to get up! Time to start the day.

How you can use Pam in practice

Waiting is something that children learn during the day. In sleep coaching sessions parents get training how they can help their little ones coping with deferred needs and learning how to wait. Does this work during the day? Bigger chance that waiting during the night or early morning works as well.

Waiting half an hour in the morning before the penguin turns green is something that kids need to learn step by step. When you have an active two-year-old waking up at the crack of dawn, you can use Pam to learn him or her wait.

Pam connect your phoneTogether with your little one you wait for three minutes in his or her dark room and play a soothing song through Pam’s wireless speaker. The next day, you extend the waiting time to 4 minutes. You stretch this waiting time until half an hour and then Pam’s color changes to green! A new day begins full of fun and joy.

Finally, this is personal; I really like Pam’s design. It looks good in every nursery and moreover it fits also in a teenage bedroom!

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

Merel Obermeijer – sleep expert, pediatrician and mother of two rascals Noah and Loïs

 

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