What you need to know about the SleepBuddy
The SleepBuddy is a complete sleep system that helps parents and caregivers teach healthy sleep habits to children ages 18 months to 6 years old. SleepBuddy is ideal for use with children who are still sleeping in a crib and moving to a bed within 1-2 months, currently transitioning from crib to bed or have already made the move but are not staying in bed through the night. The main feature of SleepBuddy is a soft blue light that sits on a table or dresser. The light stays on when children are to stay in bed. When the light turns off, children know they can get out of bed. In addition to the light, the SleepBuddy system also includes:
- A children’s story to introduce the SleepBuddy idea to kids, encourage quality interaction, and reinforce healthy sleep habits
- A rewards chart to track and reward progress
- An easy-to-use parent’s guide that provides a step-by-step approach towards sleep success
We’ve used the Sleep Buddy system for the past week to help our 3-year-old to stay in his bed all night. He naps in his own bed just fine, but he has been switching between our bed and his bed at night.
The first night of the SleepBuddy system, my son was very excited to have it. I took it out and explained how it works. We read “A Bedtime Surprise” and soon after he was very excited to see that the SleepBuddy light had turned on. With the SleepBuddy on, my son noticed the light was a pretty blue (very evening sky-like) but he said “Mamma, I wanted a red one.” He climbed into bed and talked about how cool his Sleep Buddy was. He fell asleep staring at the light.
Around 1am, he woke up and started yelling for me. I went into his room and showed him that the SleepBuddy light was still on, so it was not yet time to get up. He went back to sleep relatively quickly. He did this a few more times until finally at 7:30 am, the Sleep Buddy light went off and he said “that means I can get up, right?” Every night for the last week has pretty much been like this first night. We are using positive reinforcement but it does not yet seem to be having an effect. All good things take time so I am hopeful that with continued use, this system will eventually work for us.
The Good: The SleepBuddy system is well-thought out, and has a comforting appeal as both a night light and an encouragement tool. It feels sturdy and is easy to put on a dresser or other flat surface. It’s also aesthetically pleasing and does not look out of place in a child’s room. The book is cute, well illustrated, not too long, and gives a simple explanation in a fun way. The incentive chart with stickers is great for kids that like to see how they are making progress, and of course, parents can individualize it any way they wish. The functionality of the SleepBuddy as a both a night-light and a silent alarm clock is very creative.
The Not-So-Good: I had a tough time programming the SleepBuddy. It’s nothing like programming an alarm clock, and the directions in the Guide and on the unit are not step-by-step. Several times I hit “set” only to have it all blank out on me and had to start over. It is very frustrating. I didn’t even attempt to program separate nap and night hours. I could not get it to dim either. It does not seem to have an internal battery back-up, although it is supposed to, according to the website. Every time I unplug it and plug it back in, I have to reset the whole thing…again.
In regards to the power cord, if you have safety covers over your outlets (we have Safety 1st – the kind with the spring-back faceplates) you may need to remove them. The prongs on the SleepBuddy cord were too short to make a good outlet contact with the safety plate in place, and I couldn’t get it to stay lit. I finally took off the safety plate.
Also, the cover for the programming well is supposed to be child-proof, but my 3-year old opened it after just a few tries and turned it off.
Overall: The SleepBuddy system is a good idea. I just happen to have a very strong-willed child so it may or may not work for me as it has for others. It would be great if the SleepBuddy could be personalized by coming in other colors or have a changeable light cover. It would be great if the price was lowered too.
I received a SleepBuddy to facilitate this review. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this post were not compromised in any way.