Sleepyhead Grand Baby Pod

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In a nutshell

The bigger version of the hugely-popular Sleepyhead Deluxe Pod, great for older babies and toddlers but still very expensive

  • Pros

    Aids better sleep, suitable for unsupervised sleeping - safer sleep guidelines suggest from 1 year, ready to use out of the bag

  • Cons

    Expensive, cumbersome to transport

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Our review

Key features:

  • Age suitable for: 8-36 months
  • Made from: Cotton cover with polyester filling
  • Price: £180

Firstly, is the Sleepyhead Grand safe following the sleeping pods warning from The Lullaby Trust?

You may have read the warning from The Lullaby Trust that baby sleeping pods and nests do not meet the safer sleep guidelines that it promotes. This warning is specifically aimed at sleeping products for babies, not toddlers. 

However, if you're planning to use a Sleepyhead Grand with a baby under 1, you should be aware of the concerns that have been raised. 

The first thing to say, though, is that 89% of SIDS cases occur before a baby is 6 months old - the majority between 2-4 months. Therefore, by the time that your child is ready to use the Grand (it's suitable from 8 months), the SIDS risk is very small. 

There may still be a slight risk of accidental suffocation if a baby sleeps with their face tight against the bumper, but we're not aware of any reported cases of this. Also, once a baby is able to easily turn over and move around, this risk is again much reduced. 

Ultimately, with 0.03% of SIDS cases per live birth in the UK, we're talking very, very small risks. But a small risk is still a risk.

So if you're concerned, we would recommend that you don't use the Grand for unsupervised sleeping until your child is 1. You should also:

  • Always place the Grand on a flat, firm and stable surface. Don't tilt or raise any part of it
  • Check your baby is not overheating 
  • Check your baby is not sleeping with their face directly turned into the padded sides
  • Don't use loose bedding - there's a risk this may be pulled over your baby's face

Brief history of the Sleepyhead Grand

The Sleepyhead Grand is like the older sibling of the Sleepyhead Deluxe - an innovative sleeping product invented by Swedish entrepreneur Lisa Furuland. Lisa was actually looking for a safe bed-sharing solution following the birth of her baby in 2006. 

The resulting Sleepyhead soon gained popularity across many countries - as a general sleeping aid rather than a co-sleeper. Many parents raved about how it helped their restless babies fall into a peaceful slumber. 

But the Deluxe only caters for up to 8 months, and so the Sleepyhead Grand was created in 2014 to meet the demand of the Deluxe converts who wanted something for their bigger babies. 

It soon became apparent that there was demand to manufacture a bigger pod for these well-rested babies to move into once they’d outgrown the Deluxe model, and so the larger Sleepyhead Grand found its way on to the shelves in March 2014.

There are now a number of baby nests and sleep pods, but Sleepyhead can lay claim to being the original. However, it's also known as one of the most expensive, at £149 it’s not cheap, so is it worth it?

Why move from the Sleepyhead Deluxe Pod to the Grand Pod?

During the frantic last weeks before giving birth to my son, I impulse bought the smaller Sleepyhead Deluxe, thanks to all the glowing internet reviews.

He went in it the moment we got home from hospital and thereafter, it didn’t disappoint, with peaceful nap times and something I could take from room to room during the day.

As he grew bigger, I grew nervous - what was going to happen when he didn’t fit in the Sleepyhead anymore? At the time, there wasn’t a larger pod to graduate into.

But at 6.5 months, he was too long for the Deluxe and his sleep started suffering. 

We tried all the standard tricks that kindly friends and the internet had to offer, but nothing worked. Although we know it's not recommended and we’d not set out to do it, we ended up having him sleep in our bed.

As he got bigger and more mobile though, he began adopting crazily contorted sleeping positions, which, in a cuckoo-like fashion, practically pushed us out of bed. Our backs were suffering, our sleep was suffering and when he hit the 1 year mark, we needed a new solution.

He didn't seem to like the stark mattress surface and bare space around him in the cot but I knew that it wasn't safe to put something soft in the cot such as pillows or a duvet.

Then I found out that there was a new, bigger pod – the Sleepyhead Grand, which seemed the answer to all our problems.

Sleepyheads are designed to make children feel like they’re surrounded, secure and snug. The Sleepyhead Grand is also suitable for unsupervised sleeping. The official Lullaby Trust advice is to wait until your child is 1, but given that most SIDS cases occur between 2-4 months and that by 8 months many babies are very capable of turning and moving around, you may feel it's fine to use the Grand in your child's cot from the start. 

Is it easy to use?

Yes, heavenly so!  When the Grand pod arrived, it was ready to use out of the bag (and aforementioned bag doubles as a carry case, should you wish to travel with it).

The fabric cover has a soft corduroy-like texture and feels warm and tactile. It looks stylish too.

The pod itself is firm enough that your baby doesn’t sink in to it, but cushy enough to be more inviting than a mattress.

Does it really work?

Not long after unpacking it, Evan unexpectedly (he was unwell that day) fell asleep in my arms. I popped him into the pod on the floor without any fuss and there he calmly dozed.

During the testing, I found his daytime naps in the Sleepyhead have been much longer on average than his previous ones in the cot.

Our first night with it was a write-off as he was just too sick to sleep alone and needed constant cuddling. The next night was nothing short of miraculous though: after each feed, I popped him back in the Sleepyhead in the cot and he didn’t flinch.

This happened the next night, and since then, he’ll go back in the pod for 50-75% of the night, as he still sometimes wakes up as he’s being placed in.

Whilst this is not a perfect result, we spent 6 months not being able to get him into the cot AT ALL. Even managing to reclaim the bed for some of the night has made a huge difference to how rested we feel.

It may have a large price tag, but from our experience, both my husband and I agree it’s totally worth the money.

It has improved the whole family’s sleep, and it looks as though it will last a couple more years as you can unclasp the end to extend the pod as your child grows. 

If you're looking for more baby sleeping solutions check these out...

Will it fit in my cot?

The Sleepyhead Grand exactly fits into a cot with a standard 120cm x 60cm mattress. It’s also ideal to use when transitioning toddlers to a bed as it can sit on top of the mattress and double as a safety bumper to stop them rolling out (as well as providing something familiar, cozy and comforting to ease the change).

It’s worth noting it's pretty big though, so it takes up a lot of space on a standard double bed, but the Grand wasn’t designed with bed-sharing in mind.

Is it portable?

Within the house, it’s immensely portable, and can be moved easily between rooms, but it’s a little awkward to do so with the child in it (but can be done if you’re desperate).

We were so thrilled with the improvement to our sleeping patterns that despite its large size, we took the pod with us on the train during a visit to the grandparents, instead of our usual ultra-light pop-up Koo-di travel cot.

The Grand is quite cumbersome to carry, but you can squish it in to the overhead storage racks in the carriage and it fits fine in the boot of a car.

If you’re walking a long way with it, it can start to feel a tad heavy, but it was a price I was willing to pay!

Is it easy to clean?

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

You can buy extra covers in white, pink or blue and also, should there be an ‘accident’ that cleaning can’t resolve, 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 it takes a bit of practice to get the bumper and pad zipped back in as it’s quite a tight fit.

What’s in the bag?

  • Sleepyhead Grand Pod

Any additional extras?

  • Grand Pod spare cover - £49.50
  • Grand Pod spare bumper pillow - £64.50
  • Grand Pod spare mattress - £47.50

Made for Mums verdict:

For sleep-deprived parents experiencing issues with getting a child to go in their cot, or for those who want peace of mind that their toddler won’t roll out of a junior bed, the Sleepyhead Grand is unquestionably worth considering if you can afford it.  

Bedtime, we've got that covered….