Reviewed by Lauren O’Hara
As a family with young children sleep is a topic that comes up often – in my opinion it’s the hardest part of being a parent! We debate and look for recommendations on how to get our children to go to sleep easier and sleep longer. Whenever I see a new toy or gadget for getting my children to sleep I look into it and most often buy it. Anything to help with getting my kids to sleep through the night! When I saw The Skip Hop Dream and Shine Sleep Trainer Nightlight I was very excited to review it and overall I really like it.
I think the design of this clock is very cute and much more appealing than some of the other’s on the market. I love the cloud design and it fits in perfectly with my son’s rainbow themed room. When we opened the box and showed my little boy, he loved it. He carried it around for a while after saying, ‘I got baby clock’ with a huge smile on his face.
The sleep trainer can be used both at night and nap time which I found really good for continuity. Using it at both his nap time and at night helped to explain when it is time to go to sleep and the expectations around going to sleep. You have a choice of either a cable or four AA batteries for the power source which is really handy especially when taking it out of the house (holiday, childminders, nanny and grandads). The cable does not come with a USB power adapter but if your house is anything like ours, we have extras laying around so it was not a problem.
The instructions included are very detailed for each setting. You first set the time and then set the ‘wake, sleep and nap times. You can also set the nightlight/soother option (a choice of sounds from lullaby, white noise or gentle rain sounds). This clock is totally customizable depending on what works with your little one’s routine. It did take a bit of playing around to figure out what worked best for us but after a few nights we got the hang of it.
When it is time to go to bed at night music plays for 2 minutes along with a yellow light animation (you can turn the music off if you wish). When the music finishes it the light changes from yellow to red and stays on for 20 minutes. In the morning 10 minutes before its time to wake up a yellow light starts to fade in which turns to green and plays music when it’s time to get up. Again, you can turn this music off. The green light then stays on for 20 minutes.
There were two things about this sleep trainer that didn’t work too well for us. The first being that the cloud doesn’t stay lit throughout the night. In the title it says it’s a nightlight but the light only comes on at a pre-set time or when you press the ‘sun button.’ This works well if I need to go into my son during the night to settle him, but I would prefer the light to stay on throughout the night, glowing red, which is the go to sleep signal colour. Second you have to pre-set the go to sleep time. My little boy goes to bed around the same time each night but it’s not always exact. If there was a way to set the clock to start sleep mode without a predetermined time that would work for us much better. You are able to adjust the time pretty easily each night and that’s what we have been doing. With a bit of getting used to we were still able to use the clock and I would still recommend it.
After a quick search online The Dream and Shine sleep trainer nightlight is available to buy from jojomamanbebe.co.uk and babycompany.co.uk for £25.00. The cost is about average for other sleep trainers on the market. I would say this sleep trainer is worth the money. It helps children know when it is time to go to sleep and wake up with colours and music. In my opinion it is worth the cost and I’m sure we will be using it for years to come.