Essential review

 

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There’s no avoiding it; it’s there, in every list of baby must-haves, but I must admit it took me a little while to get to grips with the Sleepyhead. My second child wouldn’t settle – anywhere – and I ended up frustratedly shoving it under the cot and holding her as she slept for months, begrudging the Sleepyhead and the new cot mattresses and sleeping bags and easy swaddles and humming sheep and calming night lights I had splashed out on. She grew, and while her determined little toddler personality was emerging I continued to hear tales of the magical Sleepyhead, and conceded I hadn’t given it a fair try. When we welcomed our third daughter months later, I pulled it out, washed it and tried again. I was armed with the facts this time – not just that it’s used in NHS hospitals, although that’s admittedly reassuring, but also the many uses it has. You can travel with it and use it for tummy time or co-sleeping, but for us it has been most useful for naps. Our tall Victorian house means Agatha resides at the top while we all spend our days scurrying from playroom to kitchen at the bottom, and I didn’t fancy running breathlessly up and down four flights of stairs while I tried to settle her. She ended up snoozing on the dining room table, safely out of reach of the curious dog and toddler and within my eyesight at all times. There was the added unexpected benefit that she became used to sleeping through a sometimes extreme amount of noise, a fact I’m grateful for now as she will drop off anywhere. I loved how you could plonk it literally anywhere and it would be comfortable and reassuring for her, and she would know instantly it was nap time. It was a complete game-changer for the first six months of her life, and I have fond memories of that time rather than viewing it through a haze of sleep deprivation. It’s safe to say I’m now a fully paid up member of the fan club – trust me, there’s a reason this keeps appearing on Essentials lists everywhere.

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