The {Sleep} Gamechanger: The Sleepyhead

I knew you lovely readers were a dirty enabling lot but I didn’t know you would also get my baby to sleep.

Because it’s on these pages that I first heard about the Sleepyhead.

I’ll start with the very valid question that Adam asked when I mentioned at Rock My Towers that I would like to review the Sleepyhead…

Wtf is it?

In simple terms, it’s a nest that your baby sleeps in.

What does it claim to do?

According to their website, the Sleepyhead reinvents the womb, creating a snug and soothing environment for babies. When I read that it was also safe for co-sleeping and reduces the startle or “moro” reflex I was sold, as Lyra was forever throwing out her arms and hitting the sides of her moses basket whilst dropping off to sleep. So I thought I’d give the Sleepyhead a whirl with my second bubba, Jenson.

The Pros

I’m going to start with the obvious. I am certain that it has helped Jenson to learn to sleep for long stretches of time at night. I can only compare it to my experience with Lyra. When I had Lyra we used to have to rock her for hours on end to get her to sleep. However with J-Dogg, as we have affectionately nicknamed him, we simply gave him a bottle at the end of the day and then popped him in the Sleepyhead. As with anything I don’t know whether it was the Sleepyhead or what that has encouraged him to be a relatively good sleeper but I do know that if we have a third baby, they will be in the Sleepyhead from day dot.

The next best thing about it is the fact that it is far more portable than a travel cot. Plus you don’t have to wrangle with it like you do most travel cots. It’s light as a feather and in the early days I would carry it around the house with me so I constantly had somewhere to pop Jenson in. I even considered taking it down to the beach when we were on holiday so we had somewhere safe that he could nap. (Would love to hear if anyone has actually done this?!)

Now that Jenson is a bit more robust I’ve also been propping him in it on his stomach with his arms dangling over the top for all-important tummy time.

And finally, it’s super easy to remove and wash the cover (a total essential when it comes to babies), and rather than buying the proper Sleepyhead sheets, I just used XL muslins which did the trick.

The Cons

There are no cons! Okay, at £120 it ain’t cheap but when you work out cost per use it’s got to be pence. And if it means your baby will sleep surely that’s priceless?

I’ve also spotted that second hand Sleepyheads sell for a reasonable price on eBay so if we categorically decide that there will no baby number three, I reckon I can get at least half the cost back from selling it on.

For those of you worried about transition out of the Sleepyhead, J-Dogg has recently become too big and fat for it, bless the little chunk, and I can say hand on heart that it hasn’t been a problem. The first night that we put him to bed without the Sleepyhead I just rolled up a couple of cellular blankets and squished them down the sides of his Snuzpod by his legs to try and emulate part of the shape of the Sleepyhead. So far so good but if his sleep goes downhill I know what I will be buying

But don’t just take my word for it. Check out the two-hundred-odd reviews on the John Lewis website that give it 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Have you tried the Sleepyhead or any of the other pod-style sleep contraptions? What have your experiences been?

P.S. Believe it or not, this post has not been sponsored. As always, I’m just writing from experience about a product I love.

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55 Comments. Leave new

I wish I had known about the sleepyhead when my little boy was a baby, would have been so useful to have had somewhere to put him down safely for 5 mins! Anything which improved sleep I would have paid £120 for! Loads of my friends have said how useful the sleepyhead is so great to hear how you are using it, good review.

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Thanks Nicola 🙂 I honestly don’t know where we’d be without it. And anything that’s going to improve sleep is surely priceless?! x

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I have looked at the Sleepyhead but then saw some advice saying it shouldn’t be used for overnight sleeping? Also was worried about creating a rod for my own back when they did get too big for it and needed to sleep without it!

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I think the official safe sleep guidelines advise against any kind of bed nest. Our health visitor said that although the official line says that, her daughter used one and the HV thought they were fantastic. Sleepyhead have done all sorts of tests and John Lewis have also done a batch of extra tests before selling it. I feel confident in the product and it’s safety, I think the main thing is you do have to be a bit mindful of temperature as although it’s breathable I think little ones can get ever so slightl warmer in it because they are so snuggly xx

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Not to be one of those douches who dole out advice online but please please try not to worry about rods and backs. Whatever gets you through and gets you sleep while keeping baby safe is worth it. It’s a question of picking which sleep battles to fight and when, and I would shove as many as possible down the road…

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I love a bit of Lucy S advice! x

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Amen, Lucy, amennnn.

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We bought a BabyDan version (if it’s Scandi knock off its got to be good) and it has been marvellous! Paddy has transitioned really well out of it… into my bed 😂🙄

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A Sleepyhead is top of my list for our next baby…..anything for a bit more sleep!

My question is what to they have for bedding in them?
We swaddled our daughter, which I know is not advised on NHS website, but it was a game changer for us and used cellular blankets (she was a winter baby) and then moved onto sleeping bags quite a while later.
Do you use bags/blankets or can you swaddle while they are tiny or does the ‘nest’ effect mean you don’t have to?

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Hi Jane, when my youngest was tiny and first sleeping in the Sleepyhead I bought her a couple of GroSnugs. It’s a cross between a swaddling blanket and grobag and is t-shirt jersey material so not too hot. I liked that they couldn’t be kicked off and the baby’s arms could be in or out depending on their preferences. X

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Hi Jane, I found that we didn’t need to swaddle our baby once he was in the sleepyhead as the two things do the same thing x

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Thanks ladies!
I guess its just a case of trail and error to find out what they like.

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We also used to use the grosnugs in the sleepyhead, now using grobags. You can tuck a blanket around them too. I’ve just been following the grobag temperature recommendations.

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I had the sleepyhead from day one with my son and he slept great in it until he hit 4 months and then he *never slept again*. Ok he did sleep but it was 45mins (common) to 2 hours (rare) during the night. Until he was about a year old.

I also used to carry it around the house with me and put it on our kitchen table etc but he has a bit of a flat head now and I worry it’s my fault for doing that as the mattress part of it is very thin.

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Oh no, the four month sleep regression? Pretty sure Jenson had a blip around then too x

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Best £100 I ever spent at 4am! Got one for my second when she was 6 weeks old as I was concerned about continuing co sleeping. I started off with it in our bed and then moved it into her crib. We got the bigger one and that worked just as well! A friend suggested lining a sleepyhead with a sheepskin for a tiny newborn, would be so snug for them! In terms of bedding we had a merino kids sleeping bag that we could use until she was two, really rate them for helping little ones not to overheat. They are expensive but it’s still in great condition and could easily be sold on. Passed both sleepyheads onto my nephews- they’ve had them from day one so not sure it will ever be appreciated in the way having a first baby who never slept makes you appreciate it 😂

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That’s my next question Ella, is there any real disadvantage of getting the larger one?

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Oh I love our sleepyhead! Our midwife actually mentioned them – although she showed us how you can get the same cocooned effect in a crib/Moses basket with a rolled up blanket under the sheet, we decided to buy one as the blanket method wasn’t portable. Our son also threw his arms out a lot before we got it and would wake himself, but I preferred the sleepyhead to swaddling him (and we had no need to swaddle after we got the sleepyhead).

We also just use an extra large muslin to cover it! In terms of sleeping bags/blankets, we’ve used the blanket we bought for the snuzpod (it’s a snuzpod blanket) and just tucked that under the sleepyhead on three sides. Works pretty well as it takes a while for him to kick off! I didn’t know if a sleeping bag would be too bunched up around his legs, but may need to look into it when it gets colder if the blanket is no longer enough.

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I tried the rolling-up-of-blankets thing before buying a Sleepyhead but they just never seemed to stay in position and definitely weren’t as snug. Good tip re the snuzpod blanket x

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Nervous Nelly here! From what I’ve read the sleepyheads are safer rather than safe for co-sleeping. Something to do with testing re temperature in the bed?

O would kick off blankets and then scream because she was cold! Once she was back up to birth weight she was big enough for the sleeping bags and away we went

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We had Jenson in the Sleepyhead within the Snuzpod – don’t know if that counts as co-sleeping? x

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Me and my mum got in a right confused tizz as she thought the snuzpod next to the bed was co-sleeping (she also read a lot about the court case over the bed nest and the sad death of a baby) to me co-sleeping is actually in the bed and I think having the sleepyhead on your bed is the thing that hasn’t been tested fully re temperature. Don’t quote me though – it’s just something I’ve picked up following pregnancy after loss blogs.

We didn’t want to go down the baby in our bed route as we were way too worried about suffocation and the times when we’ve had to do it as no clean bedding left after many vomits was a disaster! O has a real hefty boots on her kicks and she wriggles A LOT!

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I loooovvveeeeddd our sleepyhead. We were in a similar situation with a first child who did not sleep for more than 2 hours straight for a year. When we brought A home, we smugly thought that she was going to be different, but within a week she was up to her older sisters tricks.

And then a friend brought over a sleephead to borrow and it felt life changing. Suddenly she was sleeping for 4/5 hour stretches and we felt human. When the friend needed hers back for her next impending arrival I rushed out and literally threw money at a replacement. It came abroad with us on holiday, and was dragged along to every night away we had. Alice was in the smaller size until 10 months, as we just opened up the bottom to allow space for her legs to stretch out. And after that she transitioned into her cot no problem.

If I could afford it, I would buy every friend with a new baby a sleepyhead (even if my husband still laughs at us paying £120 for a “giant pillow”!) x

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Oh yey another Sleepyhead success story! Thank Goodness for friends that lend Sleepyheads!

I reckon they would make an excellent baby shower present if a few people are clubbing together. (Even if it is a giant pillow) x

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A sleepyhead is at the top of our list. Really useful blog, and the comments are all really helpful too – thank you. I’m (literally) making notes!
Picking up on the mention of the snuzzpod. Is the size of this ok for up to 6 months? We’re keen on getting one but I’ve heard they can be a bit snug and you may need another option before they move into their ‘big’ cot at 6 months. X

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Hi Sian, our boy is three and a half months currently but on the 98th percentile for height – and still seems to have plenty of space in the snuzpod to grow (especially considering that the sleepyhead takes up a fair bit of space!). We got the snuzpod over other bedside cribs as it was longer (than the next2me for example) and it’s much bigger than a Moses basket. x

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Yey glad it’s useful Sian.

Jenson is six months old in a couple of weeks and he’s still in the Snuzpod. (Like Katie G’s little boy he’s on the 98th percentile). We’ve placed it within his cot to hopefully make the transition from Snuzpod to cot a bit easier.

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Rock my basketball team, Lisa? 😂

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YES 🙌 to this Katie G! 🏀

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Another 98th percentile boy for the team! Let’s make this happen😂

We only need two more players now! Ha ha x

We used the larger size Sleepyhead to transition my daughter from Moses basket to cot at 6 months and it worked perfectly. She was admittedly already an amazing sleeper but we took it everywhere with us – even on the Eurostar where she slept on it for several hours on the train table while I had a birthday celebration bubbly breakfast (I’m serious!!) We had so many compliments/questions on it as we left the train – we certainly challenged their expectations of having a baby in the carriage with them!

I thought we would never ever get her out of it, but we genuinely just stopped one day (we were expecting another so needed her to vacate it!) and it was no problem whatsoever, she didn’t even question it. She’s now in a toddler bed, sleeping soundly.

Our second baby used it from 8 weeks and slept through until a tummy bug at 5 months sent her a bit haywire! We seem to be coming out of that now though and she’s back to sleeping long stretches.

I’ve no idea if I just have sleepy girls, but I have yet to meet anyone who has regretted their sleepyhead purchase! The best review I read on John Lewis (and I trawled through loads!!) was “For what it is…it’s expensive. But for what it does…it’s absolutely priceless!”

For anyone weighing it up…it is number one on my baby kit list. There are lots of other smaller non-essential purchases you can do without – so if you’re concerned about money, try if you can to save money on other things you don’t really need (follow up post RMF?!) and splurge on this. Happy sleep everyone! x

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Love this bubbly breakfast story Stephie!

I also trawled through the John Lewis reviews before I bought a Sleepyhead (I wanted to make sure it was worth the money) and I remember seeing that comment! Ha ha. x

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We simply didn’t have the budget for a sleepyhead but heard such good things about it!
We purchased the purse friendly babymoov https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0160OYPEQ/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_c_api_iDj1zbN7JD0N6 and it has been brilliant. I love that you can Velcro the bottom and adjust it as baby grows.

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Ooh this looks good Charlie. Another with glowing reviews x

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Erm so my little boy still uses his…and he’s 3!! Obviously its the grand one but he’s had it since he was about 7months and whilst it was no miracle worker it definitely helped throughout various stages…as he threw himself all over the place in his cot or stopping the dummy from straying too far and as he transitioned to toddler bed its stopped him falling out! It’s been in the washing machine god knows how many times – cushion pads and all and its still great. He is probably getting too big for it now but when its not there because its being washed he doesn’t sleep quite as soundly…he’s normally cuddled up to it when I check in on him so its a real comfort thing to him! Probably need to think about the transition to some sort of bumper instead really…any suggestions? Anyway, definitely worth every penny in this house!!

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No way Lucette … you have definitely had your money’s worth then! I wonder if I should get the big one for Lyra, hee hee. She still has a bumper on her bed – we went for this one:

https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=1203&awinaffid=251171&clickref=&p=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.johnlewis.com%2Fbabydan-wooden-bed-guard-rail-white%2Fp231249106%3Fsku%3D231249106%26s_kwcid%3D2dx92700016891163591%26tmad%3Dc%26tmcampid%3D2%26gclid%3DEAIaIQobChMI-7ae88rW1gIVCxbTCh0KygrCEAQYAiABEgIEdvD_BwE%26gclsrc%3Daw.ds

Not sure if you are looking for something a bit cuddlier though?!

I forgot to mention the fact that the Sleepyhead makes it a WHOLE lot easier to locate the dummy x

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I, as you know, like the lighter approach to parenting and this just seemed like yet another thing you just NEED. We never bothered. We had an awesome Australian branded swaddling wrap which was better than the gro-swaddles and that did the trick. More stretch.
I personally think you either get a good sleeper or you don’t – I don’t believe any products or routine makes any difference. You’re either f****d or you aren’t. Its up to the Gods.
I think sometimes Moses Baskets can get too small as babies get their reflex actions about 8 weeks and start waving their arms around. Obviously the sleepyhead allows you to move them into a bigger space. We never had a Moses Basket and had an Aussie branded crib – half the size of a cot with a gorgeous white linen hood – totes IG worthy – which gave them both the room to move.

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Haha, Rebecca – I so agree with you. I bought so much crap to try and help my son sleep but he’s just NOT THAT INTERESTED in sleeping! My life has got a lot easier since I resigned myself to that fact! Haha.

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I couldn’t rave about the Sleephead more, I just love it.

Yes there are drawbacks in that it isn’t cheap (but what price can you put on a good night’s sleep), you can’t tumble dry the covers (I just bought a spare so one on, one drying) and it doesn’t last as long as they say (8 months? Mine were out of it before 5 months)

It is so useful to cart the baby about – you can stick it on the floor or a bed at someone’s house for the baby to sleep in whilst you have dinner – baby doesn’t know any different as its in the same surroundings all the time. Transferring to the cot we only had a disturbed couple of nights whilst the boys wriggled around & after that totally fine.

I used it from day 1 with both my boys, they would have daytime naps in it on the worktop or table then at bedtime I’d put it straight into the cot which was jammed beside my bed. In the early days it was so great as you could move it about with them still asleep (though I don’t think Sleephead recommend you do that…) into whichever room you were in (so you could continue to stare at the wonder that is a sleeping baby).

The only issue we had with our second baby (and it might have happened if he was in a moses basket or other) is he developed plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome). Baby no 1 had no issues with this but my second who slept through the night from 10 wks (don’t ask, I’ve no idea how it happened!!!) spent such a long time flat on his back developed this plagiocephaly. On advice from our physio, we rotated his head once he was asleep to the side (varying/alternating which side) so as to not exacerbate the issue. I would do this with a 3rd (if I ever persuaded my husband!) to prevent plagiocephaly. I think putting the Sleepyhead down onto a very hard surface (which is what they recommend) does mean there is some pressure on their head.
I have mentioned it to a few new mums, particularly with good sleepers, that it is something worth considering – turning of the head.

PS – RMF if you ever do a post on plagio/brachy I’d be happy to help!
PPS – sorry for such a waffly long boring comment!!

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Victoria I think a post on plagiocephaly would be fab! Could you drop me an email (lisa@rockmystyle.co.uk) or go to our submissions platform (http://rockmy-submissions.co.uk/)? It’s interesting because I noticed on the Sleepyhead website that they say the Sleepyheads actually reduce the risk of flat head syndrome?!:

http://www.sleepyheadofsweden.com/benefits/

xx

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Sorry for jumping on this comment, I tried to comment below but it’s not showing (I probably did something wrong as it’s my first time!) I just wanted to second the idea of doing a post on plagiocephaly, we used a sleepyhead and whether that or the fact that my daughter has always been a good sleeper has contributed to her plagiocephaly I can’t say but what I do know is there just isn’t enough information given to parents to be or new parents about the condition or advice on how to prevent it and if there is a chance of stopping another parents experiencing the stress, upset and guilt that I have felt then I am definitely all for it! I would be happy to contribute if needed 🙂

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I LOVE our sleepyhead and my little one has been in it pretty much since day 1 and is now 4 months. Putting her in the Moses basket was like putting her on hot coals – she absolutely hated it! But she just loved the sleepyhead and has been a good sleeper in it since. Love the portability factor too.
I personally would say a drawback is the issue around their safety. Although they say on their website that they’ve passed lots of safety checks I’ve read that they haven’t passed UK/EU ones because no sleeping aids/bednests are recommended (as the advice is to put babies in a cot with nothing around them) and if you google sleepyhead and cot death there are stories from America particularly (where it’s sold under a different brand name) and also saying (I’m not sure how true, but enough to worry me) that the company has very good lawyers who suppress the naming of their product in any stories of cotdeath and threaten libel cases so the information is hard to find. Certainly I think buying a second hand one off eBay should be discouraged at there IS good evidence that second hand mattresses are linked to cot death, so I really wouldn’t feel comfortably selling ours and inadventantly putting another baby at risk.
Anyway, that’s a very waffly way of saying that for me I felt that I wanted to be well informed but the benefits outweighed the risks and we’re careful about her only sleeping in a grobag in it, but I do think it’s worth being aware of the issues and weighing it up for yourself. I have friends who have gone the other way after reading quite extensively about it and feeling that they just weren’t comfortable using one. I fully understand that we’re all just trying to do what’s best for us and our babies and choices that are right for our family may not be the same for others. I still recommend it to anyone who’ll listen…but with the above caveats.

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All so interesting Becky. And I (perhaps foolishly) hadn’t realised that they were classed as mattresses and as such probably shouldn’t be sold second hand on ebay! Thanks for raising this xx

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I love the sleepyhead. My eldest was a Terrible sleeper and we couldn’t get him in the Moses basket so he went straight to the cot but mainly we co slept. My daughter is much smaller and co sleeping made me nervous, so after all of my friends rave reviews we got the sleepyhead a few days in. It’s amazing. It’s not a cure for sleeplessness but she does sleep in it (my son pretty much didn’t sleep at all for 6 months unless laid in my bed/arms) and we do get a ‘long’ stretch in it. She’ll generally do a longer nap in it and the rest in the sling. This is a huge improvement on the first time round where all naps were being held. Also, although I bought it for co sleeping 95% of the time it’s in the cot. It’s only on particular unsettled nights that I have it it next to me so I can stroke her head/replace dummy. Worth every penny.

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Yikes Anna all naps only on you must have been hard.

Lyra seemed to hate the Moses basket too! I do wonder how it would have been different if I’d have heard about the Sleepyhead when she was born. x

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Thank you Lisa… you have convinced me 🙂 on another note… what do you think of the snuzpod? I really want to invest in one for baby number two but thought they were quite small when I saw them. Would love to know what you think x

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Massively recommend. I will hopefully do a review for RMF soon x

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We also loved the sleepyhead, my daughter has always be an amazing sleeper, not sure if it was because of the sleepyhead or just luck! I would however like to second what Victoria said about plagiocephaly. My daughter has a moderately flat head across the back and I don’t know if this is because of the sleepyhead or because she has always slept so well and therefore spent quite a bit of time on her back. It is something that has caused me a lot of stress and I really believe parents to be should be given information and advice on how to help prevent it. I think an article on plagiocephaly would be amazing, it might just help another mum avoid the upset, guilt and stress that I have experienced for the last 6 months!

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Steff you poor thing. The last thing new mums need is stress! Let me look into a post about it. X

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I bought a second hand sleepyhead when our Frank was 3/4 months old and we were desperate for anything, I mean annnnnything that made him sleep longer than like 20 seconds. I wasn’t a miracle, it didn’t suddenly make him sleep the whole night and never wake up, but it was perhaps part of that gradual process where he got better. You’d be kidding yourself if you thought any piece of baby ‘stuff’ can work miracles, it can’t its just ‘stuff’….but I think it certainly cut down his wriggling and made him feel safe and cosy, which is all part of helping them settle. What I will say though is that it was a godsend for travelling. We took ours regularly 200 miles up the M5 to in laws, we took it to Berlin, took it to friends if I was going over in the day and wanted him to nap, he stayed in it until he was about 8 months (by this time it had moved out his snuzpod and into the cot in his own room) and the only reason the sleepyhead came out really was because a friend just had a newborn and we promised to lend it to them! Technically he was too big at 8 months but we undid the bottom so his legs had plenty of room and he was happy. Also, for those worried about then having to buy the next size up, he didn’t bat an eyelid once it was gone…so you tell me if the sleepyhead made him sleep, or he just decided to? I don’t know the real answer….

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20 seconds Alice?! 🙈😂

Yes they are fab for travelling with. I had packed mine into the loft but you’ve made me think I can carry on using it so Jenson can nap when we’re at other people’s houses. I reckon he could still squeeze into it every now and then. Good call! X

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Possible slight exaggeration, but it felt like it sometimes! Now apart from illness and teething he’s a champion sleeper and regularly has two hour naps.

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We’ve had the sleepyhead for both our boys. It helped a bit with the first one I’m sure, but no miracles. Second one just wouldn’t sleep on his back, full stop. Sleepyhead made no difference whatsoever so it’s back in the loft!

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I’ve been considering buying a Sleepyhead for our second as our first was a terrible sleeper so I don’t know how I missed this article last week but glad I’ve found it now! Thanks for the enabling as always! 😉

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