I must have at least 12 baby lullaby makers – you all know the ones – cute animals or stars in bright plastic colours that have an assortment of lights, sounds, moving parts, sensors and possible occult properties to help your little one off to sleep.
But here’s the million dollar question – do they work?
The smart answer being – of course not! Babies are designed not to sleep. The hopeful, beseeching – ‘I’ve had no sleep for 10 months’ sobbing quietly in a corner answer (and every baby sleep product marketers dream mother) would be yes. Yes of course they work. It will just be the next one I buy that will work for my baby.
My toddler’s bedtime routine still consists of me religiously playing a green singing elephant that projects stars and planets on to the ceiling (it’s really the stuff of nightmares if we’re being honest) every night when he gets in bed. It doesn’t matter to me that each time my husband puts him to bed the elephant is overlooked and he sleeps just fine without it. I’ve become a crazy ritual woman and am convinced that the slightest change to this routine will result in hourly wakenings forevermore. Maybe I’m the one that needs the hypnotic elephant.
I’m not sure who invents these sleep aids and I am pretty sure they are being tested on babies who would sleep through a hurricane. The scariest one I saw looks like an old fashioned horn hearing aid (anyone remember the grandma in Ello Ello) and is designed to be left as close to the baby’s ear as possible whilst emitting a loud ssshhhhhhhh noise over and over. It recalls to mind a few hazy nights out where we thought it was cool to put our heads inside the huge speakers at the front of the dance floor and feel the buzz. I’m still hearing it now and am wondering if these babies will need their own more modern hearing aids prematurely due to this over shushing.
Don’t even get me started on white noise apps….(mainly because I’ve downloaded a lot of them and am too embarrassed to talk about it) Lots of money can be spent on these devices but I’d much rather recommend spending it on a really nice bottle of champagne to celebrate that first organic non electronically induced sleep through (it will happen!)
One of the very special moments of my baby soothing purchases was my rainforest bouncy chair – we paid about $50 more to have the baby bouncer that at the touch of a button plays the noises of crickets and rainforests. Seriously – we live in tropical North QLD- rainforest visible from our back deck and the noise of crickets almost deafening. Sometimes we have to turn the bouncer volume up really loud to drown it out.