10 of the best toys to help your baby sleep

The very best sleep-aid toys to help your little ones drift off without a fuss...

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Any toy that helps with the all-too-often tricky task of settling your little one off to sleep deserves an award in our books but these particular sleep pals go above and beyond. Soothing heartbeat sounds, soft glowing lights and even sensors that respond to your baby’s cry all feature in our round-up of most state-of-the-art sleep aids that also double up as gorgeous toys.

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Here’s our pick of the best baby sleep-aid toys, as tested by babies and rated by their parents…

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1. SweetDreamers Ewan Deluxe, £39.99

GOLD winner, Best Baby Sleep-aid Toy, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards

Age: From birth

What it is: A fleecy sheep with light and sound sensors that plays 4 soothing sounds (womb noises, vacuum cleaner, harp music, rainfall), all with a resting-heartbeat sound in the background, volume control and automatic shut-off after 20 minutes. This new Deluxe model also features a MoonMode smartCRY sensor that automatically activates if you baby stirs in the night. Comes in purple or grey. Requires 3 AA batteries. Dimensions: 18cm x 15cm x 10cm.

Why we love it: Ewan’s cute design, calming sounds and soft-pink glow has already made it an iconic sleep-aid toy but we really rate the smartCRY upgrade. Oh, and the cry-sensor pod is now removable, so Ewan is machine- washable.

What our mum and baby testers made of it:

  • ‘I think Ewan is great value for money. In fact, I’d be prepared to pay more for what it offers. I love the sounds it makes. Habbibah took a few days to get used to it but Ewan now knows how to soothe her. I can see Ewan going along with us on our holidays as Habbibah cannot be without him now. I wish I had known about this product sooner!’ Aisha, mum to Habbibah, 4 months

Available from: SweetDreamers and John Lewis

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2. Grofriends Light and Sound Sleep Aid, from £26.99

SILVER winner, Best Baby Sleep-aid Toy, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards

Age: From birth

What it is: A soft, velour-and-plush cuddly owl or penguin which gently lights up and plays 4 soothing sounds (heartbeat, rainfall, white noise static and a Brahms Lullaby) and had CrySensor technology which re-activates the sounds when your baby cries. Surface-wah only. Requires 2 AA batteries. Dimensions: 14cm x 25cm x 21cm.

Why we love it: Both Ollie the Owl and the newer Percy the Penguin are super-cute – and we like how easily you can adjust the volume and the light intensity.

What our mum and baby testers made of it:

  • ‘We tested Percy the Penguin and he’s wonderfully soft: perfect for young babies. Fern loves the heartbeat noise, and the lullaby is a beautiful – not at all brass like it can be on some toys. You can also change the volume and the level of the light!’ Davina, mum to Fern, 1 month
  • ‘Everything about this is lovely. It looks good and is lovely and soft. We loved the sound quality of the 4 different recordings. Naomi loves stroking it and is also mesmerised by the night light.’ Mary, mum to Naomi, 3 months 

Available from: The Gro Company

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3. Chicco First Dreams Baby Bear£24.99

BRONZE winner, Best Baby Sleep-aid Toy, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards

Age: From birth

What it is: A machine-washable teddy bear featuring 3 different light effects, including ceiling projection, and 30 minutes of sound with a choice of classical, jazz, soft rock and modern new-age soothing melodies. Comes in pink, blue or cream. Batteries not included. Dimensions: 31cm x 20cm x 25cm.

Why we love it: These cute teddies are super soft to the touch and are great value for money. The easy to activate and tactile tummy pad is great for toddlers.

What our mum and baby testers made of it:

  • As soon as the bear came out of the box, Taran’s face lit up! He’d not given that reaction to a toy before. I was pleasantly surprised by the classy music choices, which, even after a week of playing, have not become annoying.’ Samantha, mum to Taran 2 months 
  • ‘Haile likes the music, as it’s very soft and relaxing. And I love that this is machine-washable!’ Alyssa, mum to Hallie 4 months

Available from: Boots and Amazon

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4. Cloud b Sound Machine Soother, Gentle Giraffe, £39.99

Age: From birth

What it is: A soft giraffe that plays 8 soothing melodies and sounds, including ones called ‘Safari Groove’, ‘Safari Trails’, ‘Victoria Falls’ and ‘Mother’s Heartbeat’. It has an adjustable shut-off timer – either 23 and 45 minutes – and you can change the volume. Cloud b says has been scientifically proven to promote better sleep. 2 batteries required (included). Dimensions: 17.8cm x 24.1cm x 19cm.

Why we love it: We love the cute giraffe design, and the sound options. The fact that it can keep going for 45 minutes if you choose it is a real bonus, too!

Available fromAmazon

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5. Summer Infant Hippo Slumber Buddy, £14.95

Age: From birth

What it is: A furry turquoise Hippo that projects calming starry sky shapes onto the ceiling from his back and plays a choice of 5 soothing songs and nature sounds. Plays for 15, 30 or 45 minutes. Dimensions: 16.5cm x 29.2cm x 10.2cm.

Why we love it: Well, he’s a very cute hippo – and we rate the adjustability of the volume and play duration.

Available from: Amazon

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6. The Whisbear Humming Bear, £49.99

Age: From birth

What it is: A furry bear with long legs that plays soothing sounds of the womb to help settle babies to sleep. Humming Bear plays for 40 minutes before fading out, while its CRYsensor feature means that it switches back on if your baby cries helping. Requires 3 AAA batteries. Dimensions: H27cm x W15cm x D15cm.

Why we love it: We really like the tactile, textured legs and ears – designed to help develop sensory skills.

Available from: John Lewis

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7. Zazu Zoe Penguin, £29.95

Age: From birth

What it is: A nightlight, wireless speaker and music box, featuring 5 pre-set melodies including white noise, heartbeat and classical music that play for 20 minutes and reactivate when your baby wakes. Choose from soft grey, blue or pink. Comes with rechargeable batteries and USB cable. Dimensions: 20.1cm x 19.6cm x 8.6cm.

Why we love it: It’s definitely a bonus that you can play your own songs through the wireless speaker.

Available from: Amazon

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8. The Bambino Tree Hush Hedgehog, £27.99

Age: From birth

What it is: This plush toy is super soft and, if you press its ears, hands and feet, it will play music, white noise or heartbeat or womb sounds. You can adjust its volume and it also works as a nightlight, giving off a warm glow. You can attach it to your baby’s cot, buggy or car seat using the velco strap. Dimensions: 27cm x 18cm x 14 cm.

Why we love it: The fact that it can be activated by your baby’s cries is a huge bonus! That’s our favourite feature about it. The noises it makes are very soothing, too.

Available from: Amazon

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9. Apunol Baby Sleep Soother, £24.99

Age: From birth

What it is: This toy comes with 15 soothing sounds – a mixture of lullabies, white noise and heart beat and ‘shush’ sounds. It also has a star and moon projector on it. You can adjust the volume and the timer, and it comes with a velcro fastener, meaning you can attach it to your cot, car sear or pram. Batteries required (not included). Dimensions: 16cm x 14cm x 22.8 cm.

Why we love it: We love the (removable) projector! It makes such a sweet starry night pattern on your little one’s ceiling or wall. If you remove the sound/light machine, the teddy is very soft and cuddleable, too.

Available from: Amazon

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10. Summer Infant Little Heartbeats Soother Hedgehog, £14.99

Age: From birth

What it is: This toy comes with heartbeat and breathing sounds and vibrations that you can use together, or each element on its own. It is activated by a squeeze and has a 20 minute auto shut off option.

Why we love it: It’s a great price for a soother toy. It is very sweet, too!

Available from: Amazon

We’ve got more award-winning toys here…

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