Getting little kids to settle down, go to bed, and actually stay there isn’t always easy—especially if a child is afraid of the dark (actually, very few are afraid of the dark itself, it’s what’s lurking in the dark that’s the problem). However, as we all know, having some kind of comfort item makes it a lot easier, whether it’s a blankie, a pacifier, a stuffie, a favorite dinosaur, or a tractor. This week we review several products that are designed to make bedtime (and sleep time) in your home positively dreamy.
Remember when Pillow Pets were all the rage? Well, now they’re back with a number of fun new items, such as sweatshirts, slippers, night lights, and blankets, all made of super-soft chenille plush, and all sporting the friendly animal faces that make the original pets such an important part of bedtime for kids everywhere. Oh, and keep an eye out for the Pillow Pets toothbrushes and glow-in-the dark Pets. Really. Great for keeping the kids in bed or as a familiar friend to make it easier to fall asleep in the car or unfamiliar places. Depending on the item, Pillow Pets range in price from about $14.00 to $30.00. http://mypillowpets.com/
The company says that ScareMeNots are made for kids who need a little help facing their everyday fears. And with names like Courageous Carrie and Knockout Ned, and Defender Dave, these friendly monsters actually work. They’ve been to school and know all the ways to protect your little one from any boogie men and monsters that may be lurking around or come out after mom and dad close the door at night and the lights go down. They may also be able to help a bit with bad dreams (the power of suggestion is an amazing thing, isn’t it?) ScareMeNots have multiple eyes so they can stay awake and watch over your sleeping—or fearful—child. And they have these great tails that make it easy to hang from just about anywhere or to tuck between mattress and box spring to guard against the evils under the bed. ScareMeNots have won several toy category awards and are available in travel size ($14.95) or full size ($24.99). http://www.scaremenot.com/
Shnoozles are award-winning, research-backed plush dolls that have patented eyes. Yes, patented. Unlike the eye-studded, always-awake ScareMeNots, Shnoozles eyes gradually close (by pulling gently on the eye lids), which shows kids it’s safe to do the same. By gently encouraging kids to stay in bed and fall asleep, Shnoozles make going to sleep something to look forward to. And by reducing nighttime tears and tantrums, these soft, adorable little guys also help parents reduce the stress they feel when dealing with a child who keeps popping up out of bed like a whack-a-mole. Most refreshing of all, in an age where just about everything has an app or batteries or buttons or buzzers, Shnoozles have none. Nothing that could inhibit sleep by keeping your child stimulated, nothing to wake him up if he rolls over it in his sleep. Shnoozles have won a number of awards for quality and innovation, including the Mom’s Choice Award and Creative Magazine’s 2012 Creative Toy Preferred Choice Award. Shah-Shah comes in pink and Shu-Shu in brown. Both come with a Sleepy-Time Rhyme book and retail for $24.99. http://www.shnoozles.com/