Sleepyhead Deluxe Pod

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In a nutshell

A unique and comfortable sleep aid that can be used as baby's first bed and a tummy time aid for toddlers.

  • Pros

    Aids better sleep, portable, ready to use out of the bag.

  • Cons

    Expensive, bigger babies can grow out of it quickly.

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Our review

Key features:

  • Age suitable for: 0-8 months
  • Made from: Cotton with polyester filling
  • Price: £120

* See our safety update below*

Swedish entrepreneur Lisa Furuland wanted to find a safe co-sleeping solution after her first baby was born in 2006, so designed a sleeping pod and got her seamstress sister to create it for her.

Her little one slept so well in it that she decided to make more, calling them Sleepyhead Deluxe pods and turning them into a business.

The Deluxe pod went on sale sometime after, and parents around the globe have enthused about how their cot-refusing tots miraculously became sleep superstars - with the help of the pod – ever since.

And now, there's a toy arch that can be attached to the Sleepyhead Deluxe, providing entertainment when your little one is awake, too.

Are baby sleeping nests and pods safe?

You may have seen recent reports about the safety of baby sleep positioners, which implied that this may also include 'anti-roll' products and baby 'nests'.  

In October 2017, the American FDA (Food and Drug Administration) reissued a warning urging parents not to use these products as they may cause suffocation.

So at MadeForMums we spoke to the Lullaby Trust to get clarity on the definition of sleep positioners. The Lullaby Trust told us:

"It is our understanding that sleep positioners are straps or wedges that hold a baby in place.”

As a baby pod such as the Sleepyhead Deluxe doesn't strap or wedge babies in place, it doesn't appear to fall under the sleep positioners highlighted in the FDA report.

However, The Lullaby Trust also states that pods and nests do not meet the safe sleeping guidelines that it promotes – although this is not connected to the FDA warning.

“The evidence shows that the safest way to sleep a baby is on a firm, flat, waterproof mattress in a cot or moses basket and we would not recommend any sleep surface that does not conform to these guidelines,” the Lullaby Trust told us.

According to the Trust, the fact that pods and nests have mattresses with raised, padded sides mean that they don’t meet the “flat” requirements of the guidelines. However, the Trust also acknowledges that there’s no evidence they are unsafe.

Like so many issues in parenting, there's no definitive answer right now, as there just isn't enough research. 

It is vital, though, to always follow the manufacturer's instructions. For the Sleepyhead Deluxe, these include: 

  • Sleepyhead Deluxe is not suitable for unsupervised sleeping for babies.
  • Sleepyhead must always be put on a flat, firm, stable surface
  • Never raise any part of the Sleepyhead – it must always be flat 

For more safe sleeping advice, check out the safety tips on co-sleeping, or the The Lullaby Trust's guidelines for sleeping safely and the NHS guidelines on how to reduce SIDS.

Why choose a Sleepyhead pod?

Firstly, we've tested it thoroughly at MadeForMums, particularly in our awards, and the Sleepyhead was voted the best baby nest/sleeping pod available, making it our gold award winner. 

Secondly, four weeks before I was due, there were still some essentials we hadn’t got round to sorting, such as where our baby would sleep! Parent friends had told us that moses baskets can become redundant quickly, so we decided to buy a cot from the outset. Trawling a big department store’s website for cots, a ‘related product’ popped up in the search.

My eye was drawn to the five shiny gold stars next to it from the user reviews. The write-ups hadn’t just been left by one or two people either: there were around forty reviews, all giving full marks and enthusing about how wonderful it was.

This was my introduction to The Sleepyhead…a sleeping pod that can sit in your cot and supposedly mimic the feeling of being in utero, hopefully guaranteeing blissful slumber for your baby (and you).

If you want to compare the Sleepyhead with other baby pods, check these out...

What’s it like to use?

The Sleepyhead is incredibly simple to use. A week after purchasing it, I unexpectedly went into early labour. When we all came home from hospital, it was just a case of opening the Sleepyhead carry bag, taking out the pod and transferring our tiny bundle into it in our front room. He didn’t wake and I sat and watched him sleep sweetly for two hours.

In the beginning it was very easy to pop Evan into the pod after he’d fallen asleep post-feed.  I could move it easily from room to room with him in it too, so he was always with me.

At night, we could then transfer him into the cot whilst in the Sleepyhead too. When he got older and especially during tough developmental changes and teething, he did occasionally wake up when being put in. It would take a few goes to get him down and stay asleep, but he would almost always concede in the end.

You can also use the pod when they’re awake too. When he was teeny tiny, we’d pop him under the baby gym whilst still in it, and when he got older, it doubled as a tummy time aid.

Click here to buy the Enfant Terrible Sleepyhead Deluxe Pod from John Lewis

Is the Sleepyhead Deluxe Pod comfy for babies?

Yes, the material of the cover is soft corduroy-like cover and the texture of the pod is squishy enough to be a comfortable sleeping surface, but not so much so that your baby sinks into it.

The shape of the bumper means your baby feels cocooned rather than having lots of space around them on a bare cot mattress.

Does a baby really sleep better in it?

Yes. In the beginning, Evan would sleep contentedly in the Sleepyhead for three to four hour stretches during the day and night, and friends who were parents were always astonished at how well and how long he’d sleep for compared to their children.

As he got older, his naps naturally decreased, but when he was out for the count, he’d stay down for a solid amount of time.

Once he outgrew the Sleepyhead, we had to put him on the cot mattress. We found the quality and duration of his naps and night time sleep really diminished (to the point that we started bed-sharing with him as it was the only solution to keeping him asleep at night) and wished there could be a bigger model.

Thankfully, they did eventually make a larger Sleepyhead that accommodates children up to 3 years old and we started using when he was 13 months old. 

Can you use it for co-sleeping?

Monaz - Absolutely – this is the very purpose the pod was initially designed for. Often, I would bring the pod into bed with me during the day and nap with him, without fear that he’d get lost under the duvet or roll down the side of the bed. It’s a bit of a tight squeeze with two adults in the bed though, but it’s not impossible.

Hayley - Yes, this is the original purpose of the Sleepyhead. My baby hasn’t warmed to it as a sleeping place, but I think newborns certainly would because it’s cosy and snug.

How long will the pod last?

The one real negative is that the Sleepyhead Deluxe might not last you through to the estimated 8 month mark, especially if you have a bigger baby.

Around 6.5 months, Evan grew too long for it even though he’s smaller than average (on the 25th centile for length). Given the vast swathes of time he spent in it though, I would still assert that we got our money’s worth.

How easy is it to clean?

Everything about the pod is washable (the covers and bumpers can go in the washing machine and the mattress pad is handwash only).

Extra covers come in a host of colours and given how much newborns spit up their milk/have poo explosions, buying one is definitely recommended so you have a spare to put on when you need to wash it.

You can also purchase replacement inner bumpers and pads direct from the manufacturers in Sweden. The cover was easy to remove and washed well, but there’s a bit of an art to putting the cover on the bumper and pad as it’s a tight fit.

Can you take it travelling?

Monaz - When visiting Evan’s grandparents, we would always take the pod as our travel cot. It’s not too heavy or cumbersome to carry (the packaging it comes in doubles as a carry bag), and as it was the place he slept every day, he never had any trouble adjusting to the change of location.

Hayley - It’s feather light so moving it from room to room is easy. As it’s quite thick and padded, it’s not like it could be folded down to a small size to take it away on holiday, for example, unless you had a large suitcase or you’re travelling via car. I like that the pod has its own clear plastic carry bag, and you can buy a navy transport bag for £55 separately if you’d like a more stylish version.

Sleepyhead launched a compatible mobile arch and toy set in 2017 - is it a useful addition to the Deluxe Baby Pod?

Sleepyhead Deluxe toy bar is a stylish addition

Yes. It means the Sleepyhead Deluxe is even more versatile as it can be used as both a gym and a sleeping pod, and suits longer babies if you unfasten the clips at the end. It also seems really comfortable for my baby, and he’s happy to lie there on his front or his back for a while playing with the toys and looking around the room.

The Toy Arch is suitable until babies are able to pull themselves up, so you’ll likely get around four to seven months of use out of it. My baby is five months old and it’s still suitable for him. 

It looks much more chic and sophisticated than my brightly coloured baby gym, and I think my little boy appreciates the black and white contrast of the arch and toys, which is thought to be visually stimulating for young babies. I find it a useful addition, because it means the same product can be used in a variety of different ways.

5 things we love about the Sleepyhead Deluxe with its mobile toy arch

What do you think of the design of the toy arch?

The black and white striped toy arch is really striking, and minimalistic without being plain. The cute crinkly animal toys that hang from the arch are quirky and fun. I like the neutral colour of the Sleepyhead pod as well, with its white cotton cover and gold embroidered logo.

Is it value for money?

At £120, it isn’t cheap, but it is incredibly well engineered and worth the price considering it’s quality and all the benefits it will give you over the six to eight months it lasts.

And the resale value of Sleepyheads is not to be sniffed at either - they tend to fetch at least half their original price on auction sites.

What’s in the bag?

  • Sleepyhead Deluxe Pod

Any additional extras?

  • Deluxe Pod Toile De Jouy cover - £58
  • Deluxe Pod Celestial Blue cover - £48
  • Sleepyhead Toy Arch - £22
  • Sleepyhead Toy Set - £18

MadeforMums verdict:

Believe the hype: if you’re experiencing issues with getting your bundle of joy to sleep in their cot The Sleepyhead Deluxe might be just the thing you need.

Given how much time infants spend lying down too, it’s a brilliant investment for anyone with a little baby, providing them with safe, secure and portable place to be, both day and night. 

I would definitely recommend this product to anyone who wants to co-sleep with their baby and have a product that’s a sleeping nest and daytime entertainment place all in one!

I can tell my baby feels comfortable on this while playing and sleeping. Although it’s expensive, I think the quality, functionality and design make it worth the money.

Bedtime, we've got that covered….