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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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A good night’s sleep is the basis for the health of little kids and teenagers. But how many hours do they actually have to sleep at night? The American Academy of Sleep Medicine researched over 850 scientific articles together with a panel of 13 sleep experts.

Ultimately, they concluded the following guidelines for children:

4 – 12 months old: 12 to 16 hours of sleep (including naps)

1 – 2 years old: 11 to 14 hours of sleep (including naps)

3 – 5 years old: 10 to 13 hours of sleep (including naps)

6 – 12 years old: 9 to 12 hours of sleep

13 – 18 years old: 8 to 10 hours of sleep

‘Sleep is paramount for a healthy lifestyle, and it is important to develop and promote healthy sleep routines during childhood’ according to Dr. Paruthi.

Moreover, research indicates that children with a good night’s sleep are mentally healthier, show exemplary behavior and have better learning capabilities such as a longer concentration span and a better memory.

On the contrary, children with less sleep have more behavioral and learning problems. In addition, this group of kids has a higher chance on high blood pressure, overweight, diabetes and depressions.

Concluding, sleep is very important for both younger and older children!

Next to this research we are curious about parents’ findings regarding a good night’s sleep. Please feel free to contact us via our website or social media channels.

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By Clare Fahey

Lots of the families that I have worked with have had problems with their children waking up super early. This is a common problem and stems from being overtired. One way to combat this is an earlier bedtime. Another way of tackling it especially with toddlers or slightly older children is by using a toddler clock. A toddler clock is a clock that uses a picture or coloured lights to signal to the child that it is morning. This means that they know when they are allowed to get up because of the colour of the light that is showing.

There are lots of different toddler clocks around and recently I was sent one to review. This was Pam the Penguin from Zazu Kids.

I love how cute Pam is, but apart from looks Pam is also very functional. Pam is a nightlight, a toddler clock and a Bluetooth speaker.

Pam has buttons on the bottom to set a time for your child to get up, just like a regular alarm clock. But instead of sounding an alarm Pam turns orange half an hour before your set time, letting your child know that it is almost time to get up…during this time they could play quietly in their bed, or in their room, then Pam turns green at the time you have set, when they are allowed out of their room. Pam has a soft glow, so shouldn’t wake your child if by some miracle they are still asleep at this time.

When used alongside family sleep rules, rewards charts for staying in bed and consequences for getting up early, a toddler clock could be the difference between having breakfast at 5 or having it at 7. An age appropriate time for young children to be waking up is anywhere between 6am and 7am. If your child has been waking earlier than this you could start off with it set at 6am, then creep the time forward by 15minutes every couple of days until they are waking at a time that you are happier with.

As well as the orange and green lights that come on in the morning there is also a nightlight setting. This can be plugged in and go all night, or use the rechargeable battery and go for 10min. There is a choice of colours for this light…..blue, red, white or pink. While all of the colours look great, I would recommend using the red or pink settings as these colours won’t affect the body’s production of melatonin (a sleep hormone) Melatonin is needed in high enough levels to fall asleep and stay asleep. This is why screen time before bed isn’t advised.

The other feature of Pam is the Bluetooth speaker. I love the idea of this as you can play white noise or soothing music from your phone. Keep in mind though that the Bluetooth only reaches so far. If you have a large house, it probably won’t reach from one end to the other. I tried out the speaker at home and it worked from anywhere in the house, but cut out when I was outside. When I tried it at preschool it cut out when I went out to the hallway.

Overall I think Pam the Penguin is a fantastic product and is perfect for children aged 2 and up. Before that age the speaker would be handy but they wouldn’t understand the concept of the lights.

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.
If you would like to find out where you can buy Pam or another Zazu product visit where to buy.

Clare Fahey
Paediatric Sleep Consultant
Sleep Harmony NZ Ltd

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