Everyone knows that it is important to get babies into a routine…or at least that’s what everyone tells newbie parents. What we’re not told though is that the reality of following a routine is pretty bloody difficult when you have a life to live.
A baby obviously changes a lot of things, but it is not always possible to ensure that a baby, and their routine, come first when you have a doctors appointment, a friend’s wedding or need to go to the supermarket.
Where possible though, it’s important to *try* to ensure that the routine is pretty much the same each day – this not only helps the baby to learn what is expected of them, but also means that the parent(s) can do other things during the downtime…even if “other things” includes having a sit down and a cup of tea.
We’d been struggling a bit when it came to going out during the day with Baby L as it would impact her routine. When she became tired, she’d start to cry and scream, which didn’t make being out and about a particularly enjoyable experience for her or us.
Having asked on Twitter how we could try to get her to sleep in her pushchair whilst we were out, the lovely Cara at SnoozeShade offered us the chance to review one of their multi-award winning sun and sleep shades. Having heard and read great things about them, it took all of three seconds to accept – after all, anything designed to make a parent’s life easier is a winner in my eyes.
We were sent the SnoozeShade Plus Deluxe and have since been using it pretty much whenever we go out. Check out my review below:
The product is described as:
SnoozeShade Plus Deluxe is a great travel accessory designed by a mum that does two important jobs. As a sunshade, it has one of the highest levels of sun protection of any product on the market. The large soft mesh window means baby can enjoy the sights shaded from 80% of UV. As a sleep aid, use the ‘snooze panel’ to create the shade and seclusion that helps your baby sleep. Check quietly on your sleeping baby via the sneak-a-peek zip.
It’s perfect for holidays, days out, exercising with the buggy, popping to the shops or just when you want to keep the sun from getting in your baby’s eyes. Made from a double layer of breathable, lightweight and stretchy mesh fabric that blocks 97.5% of UV rays and allows air to circulate, SnoozeShade has the added benefit of providing protection from wind, chill and insects when the central panel is closed or in sleep mode. Features include:
- Tested to the same high safety standards as children’s toys
- Unique two layer protection system 1) high-rated sun protection (UPF40+) shields baby from up to 97.5% of harmful UV rays, 2) soft mesh window allows baby to see out (and filters 80% UV) and can be fully opened for easy access to your little one
- Proven to help babies sleep (in blackout mode it blurs light and visual distractions)
- Protects baby from sun, wind, light rain and insects throughout the year
- Front zip lets you check on baby
- Made from soft stretchy breathable fabric
- One size fits all single strollers including 3-wheelers and flat-lying prams
- Use from birth until approx. 4 years old
- Quick to fit, easy to remove and folds up small
- Endorsed by international baby sleep experts and approved by the INPAA (Infant & Nursery Association of Australia) and the Melanoma International Foundation
- Machine washable at 30 degrees C
- Free storage bag
The SnoozeShade Plus Deluxe arrived in a plastic wallet with a cardboard insert, which provided various bits of information about the product. Within the packaging was a net travel bag which housed the actual SnoozeShade. I was immediately surprised at how small the product was when in the bag, which means that it takes up hardly any room when out and about as it easily fits into a bag or under the pushchair.
On removing the SnoozeShade from the bag, I was a little confused with how it fitted and how it worked, so I grabbed the pushchair and cracked on with attaching it. Fitting it to the pushchair was very easy and took no more than one minute. To affix, you simply pull it over the front of the pushchair, using the hood and footrest as support. There is then a number of elasticated bits of fabric around the SnoozeShade which have poppers – this allows you to secure the product on the various bars that make up the pushchair.
As the material is soft and stretchy, it means that the SnoozeShade will fit pretty much any pushchair, which is a great feature. It is simply a case of finding suitable places on the pram to push the poppers together to secure it in place – we’ve tried the SnoozeShade on three different pushchairs – Armadillo Flip XT, iCandy Cherry, Koochi Sneaker and Stokke Scoot – and had no issues whatsoever with getting it to fit.
Once attached to the pushchair, the SnoozeShade Plus Deluxe can be used in various different ‘modes’ due to the various panels and zips on it. As in the photos above, it is in ‘snooze mode’ as it blurs out light and visual distractions, meaning that it is great for trying to get your little one to go to sleep. You can then turn the Plus Deluxe into ‘lookout mode’, which allows it to be used as a sun /wind / insect protector, by simply pulling the front panel away from the poppers – this reveals a black mesh window which allows your sprog to look out, whilst still being shielded.
It is then possible to gain easy access to your bundle of joy by opening the mesh window via two zips. This means that you can do things like tend to your sprog, feed them or interact with them without needing to take the SnoozeShade off the pushchair. These zips also allow you to check on your baby when they are asleep as you can sneak-a-peak by opening the panel – there is also a zip at the top of the product which allows you to do the same thing.
It is also worthwhile mentioning the safety aspects of the product – the material used is both soft, breathable and protective. In ‘snooze mode’, the double layer fabric actually blocks out 97.5% of the sun’s UV rays, whilst in ‘lookout mode’, the mesh viewing window still blocks out 80% of UV rays. As an overly concerned parent, it is great to know that your little one is safe from the sun during warmer times when you’re out and about with the pushchair.
The key feature for me though has been the ability for the SnoozeShade to act as a sleep aid for Baby L. When we can tell that she’s getting tired or is due a nap, we can quickly fit the SnoozeShade, tilt the pushchair to a flat position, then wait for her to fall asleep. Previously, Baby L did not sleep in the pushchair when we wanted her to – if she became overtired when we were out, she’d often just cry. With the SnoozeShade though, we’ve managed to get to a point where she will sleep within minutes of it being fitted.
By creating a darkened environment and stopping visual distractions, the SnoozeShade has meant that Baby L gets her morning and/or afternoon nap regardless of where we are. We’ve used the Plus Deluxe in numerous environments, including when we’re shopping in town, when out for a walk with the dog, when in restaurants, and even at two very noisy weddings. In all situations, she has slept when we’ve wanted her to sleep. This has meant that we’ve become a lot more confident when going out – we always slightly dreaded going to public places like restaurants or shops in case she cried and we became *those* people, however we are no longer concerned about this.
The SnoozeShade Plus Deluxe costs £39.99 and can be bought directly from SnoozeShade or other retailers such as Amazon or John Lewis. I personally think this is really well priced and would have no issues in spending this amount on something that has massively helped with Baby L’s routine when we’ve been out.
Throw in the fact that the Plus Deluxe can also be used to protect from things like sun, wind, light rain and insects, and the product begins to look very reasonably priced. I’d even go as far as saying that I’d be willing to spend more than 40 quid, which are words I don’t usually utter considering that I’m particularly tight with money and often think baby products are stupidly overpriced.
Yes, there are cheaper alternatives available – a few times we used a large muslin cloth for example, however this was very hit and miss compared to the SnoozeShade. I’d much prefer to spend 40 quid for a product that I know works, rather than try to make do with something that isn’t fit for purpose. Anyhow, SnoozeShade also have a few other varieties of sun shades and baby sleep aids if money is tight, including the Original, Original Deluxe and Plus, which start from £20.
We love the SnoozeShade Plus Deluxe and would recommend it to anyone and everyone. I don’t often rave about products, but I would have no qualms in getting out the glow sticks and face paint for this one!
It is simple to fit, well priced, small when folded, multi-functional (sun shade, wind protector, sleeping aid), looks attractive, and most importantly, does the job it was designed for exceptionally well. I like to try to come up with ways that a product can be improved, but have really struggled to think of anything for the SnoozeShade. I think that says it all really.
As alluded to at the start of this review, ensuring that your baby keeps to a routine is important, so with the SnoozeShade we are confident that we can go out during the day without it affecting Baby L’s sleep patterns. A truly fantastic product that has helped us out massively and one that we would now be lost without.
The DADventurer Star Rating
5 out of 5 stars
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N.B. This review was written by me (Dave) and represents my honest opinion of the product. The Snoozeshade Plus Deluxe was sent to me by Snoozeshade with the purpose of writing a product review in exchange for the product.