Key features of the Lullaby Shade buggy cover:
- Shade type: Universal fit buggy cover
- Sun protection: Blocks 94% of UVA/UVB rays
- Features: Integrated speakers for music
- Accessories: Carry bag (included)
Lullaby Shades launched in October 2016 by mum Stacey after a frustrating holiday trying to get her little one to sleep. She realised the combination of shade and music was the key, so decided to bring such a product to market.
The Lullaby Shade is the first ‘musical sleepshade’ that allows parents to plug in their little one’s favourite lullabies or white noise to help them sleep on the go.
Its innovative design impressed the judges in the MadeForMums Awards 2017, where it was handed the bronze gong in the best pushchair accessory category.
At £22.99 for the basic version with integrated speakers, up to £34.99 for a Lullaby Shade that includes an MP3 player and pre-loaded album, the shade is comparable to the SnoozeShade, which costs from £19.99-£34.99, but has no music option.
Meanwhile, you can pay around £14.99 for a basic buggy shade such as the Koo-di Sun & Sleep Stroller Cover.
You can buy the Lullaby Shade from Amazon.
What were your first impressions of the Lullaby Shades sleep shade?
I was very excited when I first unpacked the Lullaby Shades product. The actual shade looked and felt well made.
However, the MP4 player that came with it didn’t impress as much, as it seemed quite cheap and flimsy.
How easy is it to use?
I found it a bit fiddly to use. The shade doesn’t fit as snuggly as I had hoped, especially since I like using my buggy parent facing. It fit better when I turned the seat around, as it was then easier to attach to the handle bar. It took me quite a bit of experimenting before I found the best way to use it. And it still looks very messy.
How did your little one sleep (or not!) when you used the sleep shade?
My little one slept much better when I used the sleep shade. If he startles awake from a nap, he tends to get distracted by the world, so having the shade in place blocks out all the stimulation and lets him sleep that bit longer.
I even use it indoors – he’s sleeping in it as I write; and I now always throw the shade in the bottom of the buggy when out and about.
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Does one size really fit all buggies?
Yes and no. The shade has a strong elastic with a number of velcro fastenings around its edge. Theoretically it is adaptable to most buggies that have a hood. You stretch it over the hood and secure it in place with the velcro attaching it to the chassis.
Then you stretch the bottom bit over your buggy’s foot well, and secure it some more. A wide oval zip lets you open and close the shade and access your little one.
In theory this should work on all buggies, but it doesn’t work that well. It certainly doesn’t fit like a glove, and it’s more tricky securing it parent-facing, as you don’t have the handle bar to fix it to.
On my Babyzen Yoyo it often slipped off the footrest. No matter what combinations I tried and how much I adjust, there were always little gaps on the side. This didn’t bother my little one, but those who require more black out, might find it annoying.
It’s definitely not suitable for Gina Ford-esque black out, but then it doesn’t claim to be.
Is it comfortable for your little one to have the shade covering the buggy?
My little one remains very comfortable with the shade covering the buggy, as the product doesn’t interfere with the seat. I also often use the shade to shield him from the rain and wind, so it offers added comfort.
However, if he’s awake and alert, I need to remove the shade, as it obscures his view, even with the zip open. I tend to fold the bottom up, storing it over the hood, which looks messy, but saves me from having to detach/attach it numerous times.
Also, it will be difficult to use the shade once the children get bigger. The elastic is quite firm and makes a restricted cocoon, so once legs start to dangle, it would be tricky to drape the shade kids them without constricting their movement.
Tell us about how the ventilation works
The fabric itself is breathable and the side of the shade has two ventilation panels. According to the brand, the fabric is “60% more breathable than the market leader” and the Cool Flow Vents are designed to let the heat generated by the baby escape while pulling in cooler air.
I’m not quite sure how the technology works (it looks like standard mesh fabric to me), but it is very reassuring.
Would you feel confident using this as a sun shade?
Recent headlines about the danger of covering buggies in the summer to shield your little ones from the sun have made me very reluctant to leave my baby sleeping underneath a full-on cover.
The Lullaby Shade blocks 94% of UVA and UVB rays, is made of breathable fabric and has ventilation, so I would definitely use it to help block the sun.
However, personally, I wouldn’t zip it closed, as I can’t get those headlines out of my head. It might be interesting to measure the temperature inside once summer arrives.
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What do you think of the design?
The design is good, and the fabric technology is innovative. Unfortunately, the way it attaches is not an improvement on similar products.
It’s not much of a looker, in fact it’s rather messy looking, but if it helps my baby sleep, while protecting him from the elements, I couldn’t care less about looks.
How do the integrated speakers work?
The speakers are inserted into two pouches at the top of the shade, either side of the music player, and separated by velcro. You plug the speakers into the music player to play the music.
Is it easy to connect music to the sleep shade?
It is easy to connect the music. You attach the speakers to the music player as you would your headphones. However, once the shade is in place, it is a real fiddle.
Access to the music player pocket is on the underside of the shade, so you have to disturb the whole set-up to switch it on or off, or adjust the volume. I wouldn’t dare trying to adjust the music while baby is asleep, lest I wake him up.
Also, the player that comes with the shade is very flimsy and basic quality. It has a very outmoded interface and makes selecting music a faff.
So I must admit that I stopped using the shade’s integrated music player and speaker, but used a portable music/white noise toy instead.
What do you think of the volume levels of the music/white noise?
The volume doesn’t go that loud (60 decibels maximum – around the level of a conversation), and the speakers are not the best of quality, with a tinny sound to them. In addition, the set-up means that the speakers are often muffled by the hood, so I’m not sure they always allow sufficient volume.
Tell us about the different packages Lullaby Shades offer
Lullaby Shades offers a number of different packages. They range from the ‘bundle’ for £34.99, which includes the Lullaby Shade for buggies, the MP4 player, stereo speakers and the Dreamtime Lullabies album; to the Plug&Play, which allows you to plug your own music into the speakers, and the Lite (£22.99), which is the shade on its own.
You can also buy three different custom music albums, the Classic Moments – Instrumental, the sung Classic Moments, and Dreamtime Lullabies, which all feature bespoke musical commissions.
Is it easy to clean?
Yes. You can remove the music player and speakers very easily and pop the whole shade in the washing machine.
Is it compact and easy to store?
It’s very easy to store. You just squeeze it into its carry pouch, and off you go. I always take it along, slung in the buggy basket or changing rucksack.
What did you think of the reflectors?
The reflectors are quite small rectangles on both sides of the zip opening, so I’m not sure how effective they would be, if you found yourself on a dark country road. Some more extensive marking might be more useful.
Would you recommend it to someone with a child of a particular age?
This is great for infants and babies that still need to sleep when out and about.
What’s in the box?
The full bundle (£34.99):
- Lullaby Shade
- Music player pre-loaded with Dreamtime Lullabies album
- Stereo speakers
- Carry pouch
Is it easy/hard to set up the product?
It’s easy to know how to set up the product, just a bit fiddly.
What would you have wanted to know before you purchased the item?
It’s definitely worth knowing that the music player is not very good quality, in my opinion. I would have been disappointed if I had paid the extra for it.
Who would the product be most useful for?
This would suit everyone who wants to help their little one sleep on the go. So if you think you will be out and about a lot, this product is definitely worth a try.
Is there anything unique about this product?
The brand claims that this product’s material is more breathable – and therefore safer than others in the market.
Is it good value for money?
The basic shade costs £22.99, and even the complete bundle costs a reasonable £34.99, which is in line with similar products in the market. The SnoozeShade Original has an RRP of £19.99, for example, and SnoozeShade Plus Deluxe costs £34.99.
I like this product as it definitely helped my little one sleep. I also appreciated the idea of the integrated music system, but it didn’t work for me. Accessing the music player was tricky, so choosing music, adjusting volume and restarting the player were too fiddly for me. I ended up using only the shade with my own music device.
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