It is no secret that Dáithí has always been a great sleeper.. but I do believe that these products made his routine even better and encouraged him to settle in for a good night’s sleep!
The Redcastle Cocoonababy
I honestly could not recommend anything as much as I recommend this for babies. I bought it before Dáithí was born and wondered was I mad forking out this money on something for him to sleep on (especially seeing as we managed fine the last time). When I first heard about it I thought it was expensive for what it was but I slowly came around. As soon as the item arrived I appreciated the quality, even the packaging. It came with a protector sheet and then a little fitted sheet (all fitting perfectly and easy to take off and machine wash). It has a little soft padded strap/band to velcro around your baby to keep them secure and a little roll to elevate their legs a little.
The best thing about the Cocoonaby is how portable it is. You can literally take it anywhere and put your baby to sleep. When I first started calling to my mums, he wouldn’t sleep anywhere in her house. I’d carry him around or push him in the pram till he dozed off. Then I started bringing the Cocoonababy, I would lie it on the bed and stick him in. Within minutes he would be sleeping. Not little naps like he usually would, but full 3/4 hour sleeps! So while Dáithí was 6-12 weeks old I would just bring it with me wherever I was visiting.
In those early months we stayed in hotels with the Cocoonababy in the travel cot. We stayed overnight with friends and family, again sticking it into the travel cot. We even stayed in a camper van for 2 nights when he was 4months old. This was definitely when I appreciated it the most! Because of the lack of floor space, Dáithí had to stay in the bed with us (me, Kevin and Lilly Rose). There is no way I would have had him in the bed with the three of us without the Cocoonababy, I would have been terrified of something happening to him. With the Cocoonababy, the baby is raised up – so you couldn’t roll over on top of them. In fact, Dáithí was the one with the most space!! Now obviously, Redcastle are not promoting sleeping in a bed with the Cocoonababy but this is just my experience.
Another thing I used it for was bringing the baby into the bathroom when I needed to shower! I know this sounds odd but especially at the start because Dáithí was breastfed, I never knew when he would wake for a feed. And like every other mother there has ever been, the second I switched the shower on I imagined I heard crying! I used to put him in the Cocoonababy on the bathroom floor. Whether he was sleeping or awake, at least I could see him and know he was okay!
According to Redcastle, the Cocoonababy gives babies a reassuring space which reminds them of the womb. This semi-foetal, slightly curved position reminds the baby of the way he was in his mummy’s tummy. This position is said to : improve the quality and the length of the child’s sleep, reduce the Moro reflex, limit gastric reflux (thanks to the slope of the Cocoonababy) and limit the risk of flat head syndrome (plagiocephaly).
I got ours from Bella Baby and you can purchase it online here:
My biggest fear about the Cocoonababy is what happens when he grows out of it? I have been looking at alternative bedding like the Sleepyhead Pods.. so I will let you know how that goes!!
Ewan the Dream Sheep
Ewan the Sheep has been a part of our night time routine since our first night home from the hospital. Ewan is a battery operated soft toy that plays 4 different sound tracks (each foot plays a different one): vacuum cleaner, rain, harp and womb. All of these sounds have a heartbeat recording in the background (which is an actual heartbeat recording and not computer generated)! You can play the sounds on low or high and they play for 20 minutes and automatically shut off. (Sometimes when Dáithí was younger I would here Ewan stop and within a couple of minutes Dâithï would start to cry. I would go up and switch him on again and he would settle right away.) Dáithí’s favourite sound is the harp melody and to be honest we just always stuck with that!
Ewan comes in purple or grey (we have grey) and his tummy glows a pink light, which is also meant to remind babies of the womb. You can turn the light off if you wish but our little man loves it.
I’m not sure if Ewan ‘magically’ makes babies fall asleep but he definitely does soothe them and relax them enough to fall asleep on their own. I see Ewan as a comforter and he helps with the transition from mummy’s womb to a crib. Although, in the beginning I do remember Ewan working his magic on Daddies too!
Another great feature of Ewan’s is that he has a Velcro tail. This means you can wrap him around the bars of a crib, the handle of a car seat, bar of a pushchair etc. to keep him in place. At the start I even took Ewan in the pram if we were going a walk to get Dáithí to settle or sleep, but now he is just used at bedtime.
Ewan can be ordered online here:
Another thing I loved in those first stages of bedtime routine was a Swaddle Sack. Dáithí loved getting cosy in his and it worked perfectly with the Cocoonababy. It stopped him waking himself by flinging his arms around and it was piece of mind that the blankets wouldn’t go up over his face.
I picked ours up in TkMaxx and it was a brand called Sterling Baby but I have saw loads in different baby shops and TkMaxx do usually have some in the baby section. Or alternatively if you are using the Cocoonababy, there is a quilt cover made to fit that has the same wrap over velcro idea.
And last but not least, a comforter or transitional object. Some babies use dummies as a means of comforting or soothing themselves, but if like Dáithí your baby isn’t that keen on dummies, I would recommend a little cuddly comfort teddy or blanket. Lilly Rose had one and still sleeps with it at 4. It’s the first thing she looks for if she’s sick or sad. Now Dáithí has one too. We got ours as a gift, but everywhere from Primark to Mamas and Papas sell them.
Hope this helps some mums get a good nights sleep!