I’m going to file this one under: Why didn’t we get this 13 months ago?!
For the last year or so, our family has been getting through the night and nap times by relying on the quite popular Sleep Sheep and Twilight Turtle as our nighttime companions for white noise and night lights. These are cute little plush-ish toys that double as useful objects, and honestly, we’ve had a good run with them.
And yet…we’ve had complaints. Our biggest gripe with Sleep Sheep is that it just doesn’t stay on long enough. Plenty of naps have been prematurely terminated thanks to Sleep Sheep turning off after 40 minutes and the completely normal noises of a busy apartment complex on a Saturday afternoon waking Isla up, and Kellen and I have hypothesized that plenty of Isla’s nighttime wake-ups can be blamed on outside noise, too. Not only do we live in an apartment complex, right over the parking lot, but we also have, for the last 8 months or so, lived across the street from a construction site. Kids playing outside, car doors slamming, car alarms going off, the garbage truck coming at 6 AM, jackhammers and heavy machinery, motorcycles roaring down the road by our house…it’s not exactly a quiet place to live. White noise is incredibly helpful at blocking out a lot of that… ambiance.
Twilight Turtle is fine, too. It works really well, provides just the right amount of soft light for middle of the night feedings, and the constellation patterns on the ceiling are a nice distraction, at least for Kellen and me. I think the stars are probably not as interesting for Isla, who has probably been outside to see the stars at night maybe all of twice in her entire life. She has no idea what the patterns reference, so…I don’t think there as distracting for her.
So for the last few months we’ve been debating getting a serious white noise machine that would do more than last a weenyish 40 minutes and require battery changes every few weeks. (Woe be the person who gets the 2 AM wake-up when Sleep Sheep is out of juice.)
Enter the Munchkin Nursery Project and Sound System. This super fancy white noise machine plugs in and has 6 different noise-making options, all of which sound nice–not too electronic–and can be played very loud. You can set 4 different timer options: 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes, or forever. It has a rotating projector with 3 different slides, so you can project an endless rotation of pretty pictures onto the ceiling or wall, which has been really helpful for getting Isla to lay down when otherwise, she’d be sitting up and screaming. It also has a really nice soft blue night light that fades in and out, but we’ve never needed it because the projector provides plenty of light.
To top all of this off, and this is our absolute favorite thing about it, you can turn on voice activation. So at 2 AM when Isla wakes up and starts hollering, the lights and the noise come on by themselves (we don’t have to go in, turn everything on again and try to get her settled ourselves), and she magically lays back down, watches the projector, and falls back asleep. Usually anyhow.
I won’t say it’s 100% effective, but boy howdy has it made this last round of teething a little less painful.
This is my little bit of helpful advice to new parents and parents-to-be: get this or something like this from the very start. It’s worth the extra money for everyone in your house to get a little more sleep.