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By Tiny Sleepyhead,

Security object for the night

For many children saying goodnight to their parents is not easy. They feel lonely and scared in their bed room. Introducing a security object will help your child feel safe and secure when you are not around. An example might be Dex the Dog from ZAZU.

Mr. Fluffy, doggie dog

There are lots of names for a plush toy that helps your child feel safe. If you think back to your childhood, you probably had a favorite stuffed animal which you gave a silly name. During my time as a sleep consultant I have heard names such as doudou and lovey, so cute!

Dex the dog

Children have a strong sense of smell. So before giving a ‘lovey’ to your child you can sleep with it for a few nights so it soaks mommy’s and daddy’s smell. A piece of plush that smells like parents will make the introduction smoother. But what can be used as a security object? It could range from a simple burp cloth to a plush toy such as Dex the dog from ZAZU. Dex is a soft toy which can play music through a removable sound module. The sound module can be inserted/removed from Dex’ belly where is an opening that you can open or close with velcro.

Sound module

Your little one has been in the womb for a long time hearing white noise and its mother’s heartbeat. Sound module + explanationIndependent international research shows that newborns will fall asleep more easily using heartbeat sound or white noise (Spencer, Moran, Lee & Talbert). Dex‘ sound module can mimic a mother’s heartbeat sound which could calm your baby. Additionally, you can select to play white noise. Moreover there is an option to play lullabies and relaxing nature sounds. An automatic shut-off function ensures the module to stop playing melodies. What if your  little one wakes up in the middle of the night and starts crying? The optional sound sensor enables the module to play the last selected melody! A so called shake sensor makes it easy to activate the module; gently shake the module and again the last selected melody starts playing.

All in all, I find the combination of a cute designed soft plush dog and a sound module that plays calming melodies a winning one!

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

All the best,

Ola

Tiny Sleepyhead

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Research shows (Spencer, Moran, Lee & Talbert, 1990) that newborn baby’s who hear white noise fall asleep more easily (80% within 5 minutes) than baby’s who do not hear white noise (25% within 5 minutes). In addition to white noise, heartbeat sound takes stress away from baby’s, which causes them to calm down and sleep better.

That’s not as strange as one might think. Baby’s feel warm, safe and secure in the womb. They can listen to the sounds of their mother’s heartbeat and the sound of blood flowing through her body, white noise. The transition from mum’s belly to the cold and quiet outside world can be a big transition for baby’s. Little ones are often uneasy when they’re not close to their mother and have difficulties falling asleep. When you let them hear the sounds that make them remember the nice time before birth, they feel more safe and they feel close to their mother. They will calm down and fall asleep better.

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By Laura van Heuven, mum of 3 and founder of Mommoiselle

Inconsistent sleep rhythm

By the time Phoebe finally falls asleep, she wakes up around 45 minutes later and it’s very difficult to get her back to sleep again. I wondered if white noise could be the answer, so we tried out ZAZU’s Suzy, a portable baby soother.

Third time’s a charm?

When our little Phoebe slept so well in her first couple of months, we thought we had hit the jackpot. Of course she woke up at night to feed, but it was easy to put her back to sleep. This was new to us after Elliot (who hardly slept) and Amelia (who appeared to be lactose intolerant). Then the 4-month sleep regression came knocking; our bedtime routine went out the window, and Phoebe didn’t want to go to bed anymore. Experience told us that this would pass, but two months later it only got worse and even daytime naps became impossible.

FOMO-baby

Phoebe did not want to sleep. At all. Not in the car, not in the stroller, not in the carrier and not even on my chest after feeding. The only place she could fall asleep was in her own crib, for short intervals and only when I was sitting next to her. If we didn’t ‘force’ her to sleep, she would not fall asleep until midnight. Of course she would then become overtired and be unsettled for the rest of the night. Simply put, she wanted to be with us all the time and not miss out on any of the action. That is why we, jokingly, called her a FOMO-baby, because of her Fear Of Missing Out.

phoebe suzy portable baby soother

 

That I couldn’t sleep for a few consecutive hours was not the biggest issue, it was the fact that we had no evening and no night. So, it felt like the right time to try something different, and after some research we opted for white noise. Now that we have a white noise machine, I cannot imagine why we never tried it before!

Meet Suzy the portable baby soother

When Phoebe was 8 months, we welcomed a new member into the family: ZAZU’s Suzy.

It was not easy to find a white noise machine that would fit our standards. Dutch brand ZAZU has a wide range of sleep related products with different variations. We were looking for a product that would not stand out too much in the crib and was also not a soft toy. Because I feel that Phoebe is quite oversensitive, the less the machine would grab her attention, the better. She also already has many soft toys! So we chose Suzy, a portable soother with a velcro strap.

Suzy plays six different relaxing sounds such as ‘shushing’ (ssshhh, ssshhh), white noise, a heartbeat sound, ocean sounds, lounge and lullabies. The machine itself is compact and easy to operate. After 20 minutes each sound stops automatically, but Suzy has a cry sensor which restarts the last played sound when your little one is unsettled and starts crying. Its compact size and velcro strap meant it’s convenient to take with you wherever you go.

suzy portable baby soother

 

Suzy goes on holiday

Phoebe’s sleep rhythm is pretty extreme, so Suzy has not performed any miracles yet. That being said, we could also not be without Suzy. If we left for a holiday on the beach and forgot to bring Suzy with, I would drive back home to get it! This is mainly because Suzy helps with our nighttime routine and putting Phoebe to bed. We turn on the white noise together in a darkened room and I nurse her. The sounds mask the creaking floor when I put her to bed and help her to stay asleep (you should have seen my ninja-like skills sneaking out the bedroom before). In addition, Suzy helps with joining together shorter sleep cycles. Sometimes when I am downstairs, I hear the baby soother turn on and I expect Phoebe’s cry, but then she falls asleep again. Unfortunately, Phoebe still wakes up frequently during the night.

Phoebe Suzy holiday portable baby soother

 

White noise is a must-try

I strongly believe that for kids with less deep-rooted sleep issues, Suzy could be a big relief! For us Suzy has become part of a bedtime routine. Phoebe recognizes the white noise or heartbeat sounds and knows it is time to go to sleep. For us that is already a major victory, because before Suzy, Phoebe never fell asleep by herself and was unsettled all evening, so we are already very happy with it! One could start using white noise from birth, as it reminds newborns of the sounds in the womb. You might have noticed that your little one likes the sound of the vacuum cleaner or hair dryer.

You can find more about this topic under ‘mombie life’ on my website and my highlights on Instagram. You’ve got this!

With love,

Laura

Written by Laura van Heuven, mum of 3 and founder of Mommoiselle

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

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By Clare Fahey, Paediatric Sleep Consultant

Imagination

If you have a child aged 2-5 years you will know that during this time frame their imagination kicks into overdrive. This is what makes dinosaur hunts, camping under the dining table, and fishing with a twig so much fun. It is also unfortunately the reason why nightmares become so prevalent during this time.

Lou the Nightlight

If your child is scared of the dark or thinks there are monsters under the bed you may have been thinking about purchasing a nightlight.

I have had the pleasure of trialling a nightlight called Lou the Owl from ZAZU Kids. This is a cute looking owl perched inside a glowing circle. The circle and the owl are able to be turned on and off separately from each other as well as the lights having a dimming switch. One function of this light that I really like is that it is on a timer that turns off after 30 or 60 minutes, it is also noise activated which means that if your child has a nightmare and cries out during the night, the light will turn back on to its last setting.

Melatonin

Unfortunately the light that I have been trialling has a white outer circle and a grey owl. These colours aren’t ideal for encouraging sleep as they block the bodies production of melatonin (a sleep hormone) This would also be the problem for one of the other colour options which has a blue owl. Better colours for melatonin production are warmer colours like red and orange. There is a pink owl available which would be a better choice.

If I was to use this light for children I would probably only have the owl light turned on at the dimmest setting, as in a dark room this is still quite bright. In saying that though, the outer circle could be used instead of the main bedroom light for getting ready for bed.

If you want a nightlight that will come on if your child wakes up crying, read up on ZAZU Kids’ nightlights.

Not only Lou,  but also Fin and Max, Bo & Katie could come to the rescue!

Disclaimer: ZAZU Kids have sent this product free of charge, but all thoughts and opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way by ZAZU Kids.

Clare Fahey
Paediatric Sleep Consultant
Sleep Harmony NZ Ltd

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By Margot Buitenhoven

I don’t want to sleep!

Babies and toddlers do not have the same sense of time as adults. The moment their eyes open, the little rascals want to start a brand new day with a lot of enthusiasm, although for mum and dad it is way too early… Often little ones do not understand why they have to go to bed in the evening. There is still so much to experience downstairs!

 

Bobby the BearBobby product shot

Do you also have an overactive toddler that does not want to go to bed at night or wakes up every morning at the crack of dawn? ZAZU’s Bobby the Bear is a sleeptrainer that helps your child to understand, in a playful way, when it is time to sleep and when it is time to wake up mum and dad or have to play in its room for a little while.

At the moment ZAZU has three different sleeptrainers and Bobby represents a friendly bear. When it is time to sleep, you can press the button on top of Bobby’s head and his eyes close. Opens Bobby his eyes? Time to wake up! On Bobby’s face you see an analogue clock and a smaller digital clock. It is easy to set the time with the control buttons on the bottom of Bobby. With these buttons you also set the OK-to-get-up time; the time when Bobby opens his eyes and the alarm goes off. You do not like an alarm sound?

You can manually set the volume of the alarm, from completely off to loud!

Advantages

  • This sleeptrainer has a larger analogue clock and a smaller digital clock and  is therefore also suitable for older children that can tell time.
  • The design is simple yet attractive and suits every nursery.
  • Bobby operates on batteries, so you do not need to put Bobby near a wall plug.
  • You can use Bobby also as an alarm clock instead of sleeptrainer.
  • The price is reasonable; the recommended retail price is less than 30 euro.

Disadvantages

  • The clock ticks rather loud. Some kids could be awakened by this sound.
  • When Bobby opens his eyes this is paired with significant noise, children could wake up by this sound even if they would have wanted to sleep a bit more.
  • This sleeptrainer does show light when the alarm goes off, but there is no built-in nightlight for during the night.

Conclusion

ZAZU’s Bobby can be used as a sleeptrainer or as a normal alarm clock, meaning you can use this friendly bear for years to come. Because Bobby’s face has a large analogue clock older children can use it perfectly to learn how to tell time. Unfortunately Bobby has no nightlight function which could help kids that are afraid in the dark.

In general, this product is good value for money!

 

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 Andrea and Julia,

Weekend! Or not…

Do you know the feeling at the weekend when you would like just a few more minutes sleep, and your little one comes running into your room even before the sun has risen, jumping on your bed and begging for instant attention? Fortunately, that did not happen (and does not happen) very often with us. But I know such stories from many friends where it happens day after day, especially on the weekends. And they are by no means alone.

Afternoon nap

For us, when it comes to the topic of sleep, afternoon naps are the focus. Because so often we would like to do without them. Which theoretically would not be so bad, if our little one wouldn’t fall asleep randomly somewhere before dinner. In some cases, however, we also have the problem that the young man likes to play at midnight. Otherwise, the topic of night sleep for us has never been a problem. To make afternoon naps not only relaxing in kindergarten, but also more pleasant at home, we were looking for a suitable children’s clock, which could help give us a bit more of a break! Especially at home, the temptation is so huge to stay out and play, instead of crawling into bed with the most beautiful sunshine outside.

Bobby the bear

So,Lou and Bobby together with our little one we picked out the cute sleep trainer and alarm clock in a teddy bear design called “Bobby” (from the Dutch brand ZAZU, of which we already use the cute owl night light “Lou”). Since our little one lately also has a great interest in clocks, times of day and numbers, we found the idea of trying a child-friendly alarm clock perfect. Bobby helps little ones recognize when it is time to go to bed and get up again. As a sleep coach for little early birds or as an alarm clock for schoolchildren Bobby is a really great help.

Easy to understand

Nevertheless, Bobby is also “sent to bed” in the evening, closing his eyes to signal that bed time has arrived. Although not necessary for bedtime learning, giving Bobby to our little one after his bedtime story has become part of the everyday ritual. For both the sleep and wake up times, you can program the digital clock – thus determining when Bobby closes his eyes and reopens them for morning. In addition, you can switch the alarm on or off and the analogue screen lights up when the alarm beeps or the snooze button is pressed – helping little ones learn the correct time to wake up and sleep.

If Bobby closes his eyes, your child will know this means stay in bed and cuddle something. If Bobby opens his eyes, then parents may be happily thrown out of bed (after all you choose the times yourself…) Of course, there were a few problems to start with, especially with his afternoon naps. My little one for example, kept putting Bobby in the closet and therefore could not see that he had his eyes closed. Honestly, it must be mentioned that it was not love at first sight, Bobby’s closed eyes were not making a difference in the beginning.

We are getting there

Since then however, with both Bobby and Lou the spark has been lit and as a pack, the two are finally accepted and loved. The afternoon nap works better again, not always as good as in kindergarten, but it will be with time! From time to time we find the little bear hiding under the cushions in the tepee, where he likes to sleep on his own according to our little one! When Bobby opens his eyes again they resume being “big buddies”.Bobby

Sleeping at the right time is not only a process that works from one day to the next, and so it makes sense for us that we use sleep trainers only in later infancy, so from approximately three years onwards.

If Bobby becomes an integral part of the sleeping and waking routine, then he also can be the perfect children’s alarm clock when they begin preschool. It is also a great gift for children who start going to school.

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

Apfelbäckchen Familienblog

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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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