Our toddler seems to need a dark, quiet room to be able to sleep. For the first year of her life we experimented with combinations of blackout blinds and curtains, on holidays we wrestled with rugs and sheets stuffed over windows. Anything for a room dark enough for her to consider closing her eyes.
So when we bought Tylda I was pretty worried about getting her to sleep. Tents aren’t known for their blackout ability! I had visions of being woken at 4am as the first of the suns rays peeked over the horizon. Daytime naps? No chance!
I had a look around at options. One would be to have a blackout inner tent. Unfortunately they split the living area of the tent up and I thought it would make the tent feel small and cramped.
Then I stumbled across the Snoozeshade.
The inventor, Cara Sayer, struggled to find a safe blackout sunshade for her baby that would keep out the light but still be breathable and not disturb the sleeping tot. She knows children can be totally sleep resisting in daylight -just like my toddler- and she’s been entrepreneurial enough to make an award winning product that has the potential to solve this problem. Yay for a mum-entrepreneur!
“Helps babies sleep on the go- even tired little nap fighters.”
The Snoozeshade comes in several different forms- for prams, car seats and travel cots. They are all made of a breathable fabric that blocks light but lets air through. As the toddler seems to sleep just fine while moving (what is it about the rocking and engine hum of a car that is so magically soporific?) I just bought the travel cot version. I’d like to say now that I haven’t received payment or product for this review.
The Snoozeshade comes in a very cute little plastic carrier, that was exactly the right size and weight for my toddler to want to carry around like a tiny briefcase. She was most miffed when I unpacked it, I ruin all the fun!
It fits my travel cot (a BabyStart one from Argos) just fine, but I expect it would be too small for exceptionally large travel cots. Although working out which way is up takes a moment, it does slip easily over the cot. The bottom corners have little Velcro straps that you can adjust to fit over the feet of the cot. And that’s it! So simple to pop on! (Unlike the travel cot itself, why are those so fiddly to set up?!)
There is then a kind of window on each side that you can clip up with poppers. Opening them doesn’t make it much lighter inside, but by getting really close you can then check on the baby inside. The Snoozeshade doesn’t cut out all light, but it certainly makes it a lot darker inside.
There’s a zip panel on the top that you can open to put the child in the cot. Zipping the child back in feels a little like zipping them into a black box, and to begin with the toddler protested furiously. I don’t blame her, I would find it a bit claustrophobic to be zipped in too. The first night was an utter failure. It didn’t help that she had a horrible cold and had not been sleeping well even in her own cozy cot.
However, after a day of playing in and around the Snoozeshade and getting used to the idea of being zipped in she seemed happier about it. Peekaboo through the windows was a particular winner.
Attempt number 2 went like a dream. Which meant I actually slept long enough to dream! During our visit to Penwarne Farm Campsite the toddler slept so well, I couldn’t believe it! She happily settled down in the Snoozeshade covered cot both at night and for daytime naps. From the sound of her snoring I was sure she was ok, but it was also nice to be able to peek through the window to check on her.
I think a younger child with less of a problem with separation anxiety might get used to the Snoozeshade even quicker. At least, if you do buy one you’ll have learnt from my mistake and not try to introduce it at bedtime!
Although at £54.99 the Snoozeshade for travel cots isn’t cheap, I think mine was worth every penny. After all, I’d pay anything for a good nights sleep, and this shade certainly helps!
Do you have a Snoozeshade? Or do you have another way of getting your child to settle down when it’s light?
(5/9/17 Edited to correct price to £54.99 for travel cot size, previously stated the price for the cot size £59.99)