When Little Woman was a few weeks old, I received a Prince Lionheart Slumber Bear Plus for review. The Slumber Bear is a teddy bear with a difference. It contains a sound box, which plays soothing sounds to help your baby sleep. You can choose between white noise, wave sounds, womb sounds, music, or your own recording.
A neat opening in the body of the Slumber Bear allows you to insert the sound box to hide it away from your baby. Alternatively you can use the Velcro strap on the sound box that allows you to attach it to the side of your baby’s bed or cot if you’d prefer not to have the teddy bear near them at night.
The Slumber Bear Plus is available in pink, blue, or cream and also comes with a silkie – a soft blanket with satin edging that your baby can use as a lovey of sorts. According to the instructions, if you sleep with the silkie for a few nights or keep it close whenever you’re feeding your baby, it can take on your smell and be of comfort to your baby. I couldn’t test this aspect of it, because at just three months old, Little Woman isn’t showing an interest in a lovey yet.
I was curious to test the sound box however given our experiences with Little Man. White noise and ambient womb noises were like a constant soundtrack at night in this house when he was a baby. Nothing worked better for soothing him to sleep and keeping him asleep. And we certainly needed all the help we could get with him! His sister is totally different however. From the time she was a day old, she seemed to understand the difference between day and night. When she falls asleep at night, she wakes only for a quick feed, and she’s back in the co-sleeper crib asleep within ten or fifteen minutes. Often she’ll stir a little during the night, and pop her fingers in her mouth and soothe herself back to sleep. Charlie and I are astounded by it, because this behavior is so far removed from our original experience. We had heard about these babies that could self-soothe but we thought they were creatures of myth! We certainly never expected to end up with one! (And now that I’ve dared to write about this wonderful talent, no doubt the parenting gods will laugh down at us, and she’ll never self-soothe again. That’s the kind of thing that happens when you make a definitive statement about things your baby does or doesn’t do!)
I was curious to see if the slumber bear would help to stretch the night time sleep even further. The design is clever in that it doesn’t provide constant noise. Instead it has both sound and motion sensors that are triggered by your baby’s cries or movement. Once the sound box has been triggered, it plays five minutes of your chosen sound.
We picked the womb noises because they were so successful for us last time around. But if I didn’t realize before how different our two children are, I know it now. When the sound box triggered and the womb noises began to play, rather than being lulled back to sleep, Little Woman startled awake. We switched the sound to white noise and tried again the following night. Again no luck. We tried lowering the volume but it still had the opposite effect on her, waking her up instead of soothing her to sleep.
I hesitated to write off the Slumber Bear, however, because both Charlie and I agreed that we felt it would have been invaluable to us with Little Man. So when one of the women at my local breastfeeding group mentioned that she was planning to buy a Slumber Bear for her daughter because she seemed soothed by white noise, I asked her to try my one instead.
After five days, she reported back to me that immediately on introducing the Slumber Bear, her seven week old daughter’s longest stretch at night jumped from three hours to five hours. And it wasn’t just the first night. It happened each night after that as well. At our group meeting this week, she was enthusiastically recommending it to all the other mothers.
So to answer the question of whether or not the Slumber Bear will work for your child, you first need to figure out if sound soothes your baby. If it does, then the Slumber Bear is a worthwhile investment. But if your baby seems to enjoy soothing themselves to sleep, sucking their fingers or thumb like our little one, and startles rather than settles with noise, then it may not work for you.
The RRP for the Slumber Bear is €39.95, and it is available in the following outlets:
- Tony Kealys Nationwide
- Bella Baby Nationwide
- EuroBaby Nationwide
- Independent Nursery Stores
- Cherish Me
- McCabes Pharmacy Nationwide
- Independent Pharmacies
I received a Slumber Bear for the purposes of this review. However I didn’t receive any additional compensation and my opinions as always are my own.