By Clare Fahey
Soft toy that soothes your baby
Have you ever wished that your musical soft toy would turn itself on when your baby is unsettled in the middle of the night? There is one that will do just that… Don the Donkey reacts to sound and will come back on for 10 minutes with a baby’s cries.
Musical soft toy Don the Donkey
I was sent Don the Donkey to review for ZAZU Kids. At first, I was sceptical as I don’t advocate for toys in the cot; especially for children less than 1 year. But after using Don for a month in an infant sleep room I have decided that this musical soft toy is definitely worth it. We just sit Don on the floor or the window sill and let the sounds sooth the children.
Don the Donkey is a very cute soft toy with a velcro opening in his tummy. Inside there is a removable module with an on/off button, volume dial and four buttons that play melodies: one button plays different kinds of lullabies, a button that plays a heartbeat sound, a button that plays white noise and one that plays nature sounds. Once you press one of the buttons, it will play the chosen sound for 10 minutes before switching off.
If Don senses crying, he will come back on with the last setting that was used. With soft cries it takes Don 3 minutes to come back on (which can be a long time when you are waiting for it). With loud cries, or a door banging, the donkey will come back on straight away. The animal continues to play if your little one is still crying, then turns off once they have been quiet for 10 minutes. In addition, Don also switches back on when you shake the animal.
I have found that different children seem to settle with different sounds. Younger babies seem to settle with the heartbeat sound, some children fancy white noise and others like the lullabies. The other day the sleep room was full, some children were calm and quiet, and others weren’t. I was waiting for Don to come back on and once he did: one of the children who had been standing up and chatting, suddenly lay down turned over and was asleep in about 30 seconds! I was amazed that the music had had such a massive effect on her. It shows that because we have been using Don consistently, she has built up a sleep association to the music.
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.
Paediatric Sleep Consultant
Sleep Harmony NZ Ltd
By Tiny Sleepyhead
As a Sleep Consultant, I get loads and loads of questions about sleep tips during the holidays. What shall we do at bedtime? What shall we bring with us? Shall we keep to our daily schedule? Can we skip naps? My response is always be prepared in advance and you will avoid sleep troubles. So, grab a pen and paper and let’s get ready for the holiday!
The most important thing to notice is that you’re changing the safe environment that your little one is used to. Children don’t realize why all of the sudden, they find themselves in a strange new place surrounded by different smells and noises. It’s definitely not home! To make it easier for your little one, try to recreate their home sleeping space as much as possible.
Let’s start with the sleeping environment. Bring bed sheets with you. It might sound silly but children’s sense of smell is much stronger than among grownups. To make it more familiar for the baby during the holidays you can put the fresh sheets on in his/her bed one night before the travel. It will soak all familiar smells from home and it will still be clean during the holidays. A sleeping bag is equally important. Make sure the thickness is adapted to the weather and temperature of your holiday destination. Don’t forget to bring along a lovely, special security object/toy which is going to help your baby feel safe and secure.
Now we have got bed surroundings covered, let’s move onto the bedtime routine. Try to follow a bedtime routine as similar to one at home. Children find themselves safe in predictable routines. Bedtime rituals start with bath and are followed by feeding and a favorite book. That will help your child to recognize what is coming next: Bedtime! Tip: Bring some shower gel and massage oil they will help the baby feel more like home.
And last but not least, bedtime accessories. The most important one is the white noise. There are loads of sound machines and applications that you can use but I find ZAZU’ Zoë the Penguin the most practical, especially during holiday time. It is very compact, has a rechargeable battery and has a built-in nightlight. The white noise stops after 20 minutes from starting and had a built-in sensor which starts playing chosen sound automatically if your baby starts crying at night. You can also connect it to your Spotify with your favorite bedtime. Zoë is a perfect holiday companion!
If you have more questions about holiday preparation or sleep question in general, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com visit our FB page Tiny Sleepyhead
Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way by Zazu Kids.
All the best,