(Review - Gifted)From the first day you bring your bundles of joy home from the hospital, sleep patterns and bedtime routines seem to be a hot topic of conversation amongst parents...and even strangers! People love nothing more than to ask, "How does the baby sleep?" or "Do they sleep through the night yet?" Everyone seems to have an opinion too, don't they? "Ooh, don't let the baby sleep with you - you'll make a rod for your own back!" (That's my favourite... 😖)
And there seems to be no escaping it! As the children get older, parents can often find common ground by chatting about bedtime routines. "What time do yours go to bed? Do you read a story every night after a bath? Do you let your children have T.V or tablet time?"
As the children get older, they are more aware of their routines and become more independent in their choices - choosing a bath or a shower, picking out their own pyjamas and bedtime stories, choosing a cuddly toy or comforter for example.
But what happens when they hit the nightmare stage? All your hard work can be undone in an instant. The fear, the tears, the long cuddles back in your bed. How do you reassure your little ones that they are safe, and it's okay to go back to sleep? How do you alleviate these big worries that fill their little sleepy heads? How do you encourage positive thoughts at bedtime?
Both my children are going through a "fear of sleep" stage, in slightly different ways. My 3 year old won't go to sleep without me by her side; she falls asleep in my bed and then I put her in her own. Most nights she ends up back in with me - she just doesn't want to be alone! Cue a lot of me yo-yo-ing back and forth between beds to try and get her sleeping in her room! Ahh, such is life!
My 5 year old has never been a good sleeper. We co-slept for a long time (yes - rod...back...all that! That phrase haunts me!) but at that time it was right for us and I stand by that. He rarely sleeps the whole night through without waking and I'll often find him creeping into our room at night for a cuddle! It took us a long time, a lot of stickers and a pretty big bribe to get him sleeping through in his own bed and late last year we thought we had cracked it! Until just recently.
|There were four in the bed...|
Encouraging Positive Thoughts
So I was really excited when the only European distributors of the Dream Pillow™ got in touch and asked us if we'd like to review one of their new products, aimed at children aged 2-12. It seemed to come just at the right time, and we were only happy to support Tina and Sarah, a growing mother and daughter business local to us, in Middlewich.
The Dream Pillow was thought up by a 7 year old girl in the USA, who wanted to help her brother dream "happy" and get a good night's sleep. It's such a lovely concept - you imagine what you want to dream about, write or draw about it on one of the special dream notes then pop it inside the pillow! There are a choice of pillows available; the original Dream Pillow which also comes with a story book, or one of two Dreamimal™ characters, "Lamby" and "Sharkie."
With 'Shark in the Park' by Nick Sharratt being a bedtime favourite here, and with the popularity of that song (doo doo do do do do...), my son chose Sharkie to become his new bedtime companion and he couldn't wait for his arrival! The product arrived in a wonderfully packaged postage box - there was no hiding what the postman had delivered that day! For the first time in a while, my son was excited to go to bed!
|The Dream Pillow arrived in a charming blue box.|
What I love about the Dream Pillow is how its use promotes creativity, visualisation and positive thinking. My son and I began talking about fun, happy, positive things he'd like to dream about. We had a giggle at some of the funny ideas and settled on 2 dreams for his first night.
Once he'd decided, I told him to close his eyes and visualise those things and make a picture of them in his mind. He is at a perfect age to be able to do this now, and it really helps to stretch his imagination. We talked about using all his senses to imagine his dream - what would it feel like, smell like, look like, sound like and taste like! This one made us laugh! "I don't want to taste my dog Mum!"
|Pop your dreams inside the pillow before you go to sleep.|
I know what you all want to know... did he sleep all night, in his own bed?! Well - No, he didn't! But he slept longer in his own room, and not only did my boy join us in bed but Sharkie had to come too! Baby (shark) steps I suppose...
In the morning, I asked him if he had dreamed about any of the things he wrote down. "I think so Mummy, I could see Dottie (one of our Dachshunds) in my head before I fell asleep then I was too tired to remember!" I asked if he'd had any bad dreams and he said, "No, because Sharkie ate them up!"
Since our first night with Sharkie, he has taken him to bed every night. Some nights he writes out happy dreams and other nights he says he'll let Sharkie choose what he wants him to dream about. We're still working on the staying in his own bed thing, but for now I am just happy that he is content at night. Sharkie has a lot to do with that I believe. My son has never had a particular bedtime comforter, but now he chooses to sleep with his Dream Pillow every night!
Bedtime is a great time for bonding, and for children to open up about their worries. What we love about the Dream Pillow is how it helps promote positive thinking, confidence, a sense of security and allows children to believe in its ability to banish nightmares. There's a lovely quote on the Dream Pillow website that sums up how thinking good thoughts and visualising them can help in the long term:
"If children can change their dreams with the power of positive thinking, what else can they do if they simply dream big?"
If you want to encourage your little dreamers to dream big too, we are offering you a 20% discount on ANY of the products, including the Dream Pillow range that can be found in Tina and Sarah's Etsy shop. Ordering the Dream Pillow from here will save you on trans-Atlantic postage costs and shipping delays too! And their customer service and communication has been second to none. Just go to the shop via the link and pop in the code CUDDLES20 to redeem your fantastic discount!
You can also keep up to date with all Dream Pillow UK's news and products across their social media pages. I know your support will be appreciated! (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.)
Please do let us know how you get on if you invest in a Dream Pillow. Did it help your child (and you!) get a good night's sleep? Has it helped your child to be more positive at bedtime? I'd love to know! Why not drop us a comment below? If you enjoyed our post, why not follow us on:
Finding joy in the little things: This one is easy! All I had to do was to look at my little boy's face to see the joy that Sharkie had brought him. He really seemed to believe that his new friend would protect him in his sleep, and to know that he felt safe as he closed his eyes was a massive relief.
***I was gifted a Dream Pillow Dreamimal™ Sharkie in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, unless otherwise stated.***
I'm linking up this post with these fabulous blogs:
23/04/19 : Our post was chosen as the "Featured Post" over on Confessions of a New Mummy!
Thank you Kate! :)