This review was originally posted ages ago. I've updated it and what do you know, it's jumped to the top of my blog. So it's old, like about 17 months old, but still relevant as we're still using this great product several times daily.
I know I have mentioned before about Mia's sleep troubles. She's really been a difficult baby in terms of getting her to sleep and stay asleep. She's still waking about four times a night (a vast improvement over 6-8 times!). I have managed to get her to take more naps during the day, though. Our morning venture out in the stroller is one, a mid-afternoon nap, and usually one around dinnertime. I was thrilled when Cloud B sent the Sleep Sheep to help Mia out. Cloud B is a company devoted to helping children of all ages sleep better. They have a number of products designed for this purpose. One of my favourites is the Twilight Turtle - we already have this one and can't wait to put it to use when Mia begins to sleep in her own room at night. It projects stars and moon onto the ceiling in your choice of three colours. It comes with a guidebook so you can find the constellations, and is truly lovely at night.
Back to the Sleep Sheep - it's a wonderfully soft stuffed sleepy sheep that has essentially a white noise player in it. The player has a 23 or 45 minute setting, so it switches off when your baby's well asleep. There are four different sounds: heartbeat, rain, ocean and whale song. It also has a volume control (thank you!). It has a velcro strap so you can attach it to the crib (on the outside, for safety, please!), or anywhere, really. It's fairly large, sitting at about 12" (I'm guessing, I don't have a tape measure here in Calgary) - and there is also an "on the go" version that is sized more appropriately for the stroller! Smart. A little story book and adoption certificate comes with it as well - and yes, batteries are included!
Mia loves the feel of the sheep, and spent some time just touching and looking at it when we took it out of the box.What you should know - Mia fights sleep for as long as she can. She really doesn't settle well, and it is an ongoing struggle to get her to take three naps a day. Often when I decide it's naptime, Mia has other ideas. So we do quiet activities like lying down and reading in a quiet voice, looking at picture books, and singing lullabies.
My first opportunity to try it out was at her midafternoon nap. We read I Am A Bunny (three times), then read Pokey Little Puppy, and nursed a little, and I turned on the ocean waves sound for Mia. She fell asleep quite fast! Unfortunately, she woke as soon as the ocean waves stopped - I only had it set for 23 minutes, so there's my lesson - she's not fully asleep in such a short time. From now on it's the 45 minute setting! One feature I would love is if the sound faded out rather than shut off abruptly.
Then we tried it at bedtime. I've been putting her in the bassinet awake but sleepy lately, while I let her know I'm still around but don't interact with her. She is often awake for 45 minutes, talking to herself and just looking around. The rain setting is soothing and eventually her eyes drifted shut - sooner, I think, than usual. I find the sound soothing as well. My husband, however, sat up saying, "What's that sound?!" I told him it was the Sleep Sheep. "Oh," he said, "I thought it was a problem with the plumbing!" Ha :)
I did notice one night when my husband had the tv on in the next room that there was a very noticeable difference when I had the Sleep Sheep playing. With the Sleep Sheep on, I could hear the tv, but couldn't make out the distinct sounds or words of it. When it switched off, I could immediately hear the tv a lot more easily. So I really love it for me as well as for Mia!Overall, I like the Sleep Sheep a lot. It's cute, Mia loves to touch it, and the sounds are soothing. There are other Sleep Friends available, including a Dozy Dolphin, Mimicking Monkey, and Gentle Giraffe, as well as the aromatherapy Lavender Lab (the Lavender Lab is available only in the US - for now!), and some adorable Slumber Friends pillows.
Become a Cloud B Facebook fan for the latest info about the company and their great products! For more information about Cloud B products, you can visit the Cloud B website for information. To purchase - in Canada you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com (or, I have seen the Sleep Sheep at Babies 'R' Us!). For my American friends, online purchases can be made directly at the Cloud B website.
Thank you, Cloud B Canada, for the opportunity to test out this great product!
Edited to update: At 23 months, we are STILL using the Sleep Sheep at every bedtime, night waking (yeah, she still does it) and nap time. It's still on the first set of batteries, even. I definitely recommend this product!!!
Note: The Sleep Sheep links (not the Cloud B links) are affiliate links. That means if you choose to purchase this through the National Autism Resources Group site you arrive at by clicking, I'll receive a small portion of the sale. Thanks for your support if you do choose to do so!