Monday 15 April 2019

How to Encourage Positive Thoughts at Bedtime with The Dream Pillow™

(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.

Bedtime Worries

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...
He began to use that quiet time, lying in bed in the dark next to me to tell me about all his worries; the things that had upset him that day at school, the thoughts on his mind as he analysed the crazy world around him, the bad dreams he had that he didn't want to experience again. The 5 year old mind is a creative, awe-inspiring place to be but sometimes it's just a bit too much for one little boy to process!

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.
He enjoyed opening up his package and looking at all the leaflets inside! One even made a little game that generates funny things for you to write on your dream idea cards, in case you need a little help. You can also find an interactive version of this on the Dream Pillow website. That night, he needed no encouragement and after a quick cuddle with the super soft, fluffy pillow with its cute sleepy eyes and adorable squidgy fin (100% cotton too), he got down to business - writing out what he wanted to dream about!

Dream Big

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. 

Writing dreams for night one!
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.
With his dreams written down, my son was ready to "feed" his dream to his new pal! He wanted to know how the magic happened, so I explained that Sharkie could read his dreams and would use them to help push away any scary nightmares. I told him that Sharkie would protect his thoughts during his sleep and he wouldn't let any bad dreams in. He seemed really happy with that...and for the first time in a few weeks, he seemed happier to close his eyes, with one arm tucked inside his Dream Pillow and the other one cuddling him tight.

Sweet dreams little one.
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...

And back in my bed!! (The pillow clearly states health and safety messages on the label inside.)
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!

Bedtimes are great for bonding and encouraging positive thinking.
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:

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday JakiJellzConfessions of a New Mummy

23/04/19 : Our post was chosen as the "Featured Post" over on Confessions of a New Mummy! 
Thank you Kate! :)
Confessions of a New Mummy


  1. this is a really lovely idea. My 7 year old has no trouble going to sleep at night but I like anything that is creative and positive #KCACOLS

    1. You are so lucky to have a good sleeper! I hope I can join your club one day soon... :)

  2. What a lovely idea. My little one has night terrors, and this would be a lovely idea. #KCACOLS

    1. We've just experienced night terrors with my daughter (3 1/2) for the first time this week, so i'm hoping this might help her too. :)

  3. What a lovely idea, I would absolutely try this if I was experiencing similar sleep difficulties with one of our girls. So pleased its helping #twinklytuesday

    1. Thanks Kate, and thank you for featuring us this week! :)

  4. This is such a lovely idea. Fortunately our 4yo has always been a good sleeper - I think our 11 month old is going to have different ideas about sleep though, so I'll keep this pillow in mind for the future! #kcacols

    1. Oooh, you're so lucky to have at least one good sleeper! I was joined by both of mine by 3 this morning! Eugh! :)

  5. I love this idea!! I have never seen this before. #KCACOLS

  6. This is such a lovely idea, my 8 year old had had some bad nightmares the past few nights and we end up opening up his sofa bed and cuddling up together, we have being doing the calm app for kids and trying to talk about good parts of our day.#KCACOLS

  7. What a lovely idea! I love how it encourages positive thoughts at bedtime, that must be an excellent habit to get into. I wish I could discuss dreams etc with my son, perhaps that could help him settle more easily at night? For now, Shaun the Sheep and other favourites do the job of filling his head with fun at bedtime (yes, we allow screentime at night. I think it’s a case of finding what works, sort of, and when you have a child who’s ’wired differently’ that often mean parenting differently than you otherwise might have done) xx #KCACOLS

  8. What a lovely product, so glad it has helped at night time. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time.


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