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Most new parents or parents-to-be will have heard of Ewan the Sheep, which aims to help settle babies and soothe them to sleep. It is designed to mimic the womb with a soft pink glow and four calming ‘pink noise’ sounds (rainfall and heartbeat, womb sounds and heartbeat, vacuum cleaner and heartbeat, and harp melody and heartbeat) each of which will play for 20 minutes at a time. It boasts actual recordings of a heartbeat and womb.
The big addition to the Ewan Deluxe is that it now comes with a MoonMode smartCRY sensor which listens to your baby for four hours and automatically kicks in if they stir at night and helps them to resettle without a jaded parent having to get up to the job. The sound will come on for 20 minutes then turn itself off until needed again.
Francesca tested Ewan with her two girls aged 6 years and 8 months.
What were your first impressions of the Sweetdreamers Ewan Deluxe Shushing Sheep?
When I first saw Ewan I thought he was a cute snuggly sheep that would look nice by the cot but I was a bit cynical whether it could actually help get a teething and grumbly eight-month-old baby off to sleep – and more crucially – help to keep her asleep in the middle of the night.
It has a clever velcro tail so you can attach it to your cot, pram or Moses basket and keep it safely away from your baby if they’re under 12 months (older children can have Ewan in bed with them and press the control pod themselves). The only thing I’d say is the tail could be a little bit longer as I had trouble attaching Ewan to the top of our cot.
How easy is it to use?
You need to read the manual. I thought I’d have it figured without taking note of the instructions but actually you do need to look carefully at the guide. The control pod has a big button in the centre which turns Ewan on but to get the most out of the sheep, it’s not so intuitive.
There are three buttons to turn the light on and off, a button to change the sound (you can choose from the different options and then press the big button to activate your choice) and a volume control button that can be turned to a loud or quiet setting. I couldn’t figure out how the shushing worked despite looking at manual.
To activate the MoonMode smartCRY sensor you press and hold the big button for three seconds and listen for a single beep to hear it turn on. Ewan cannot be playing any sounds when you do this. To turn it off, press and hold for another three seconds and three beeps will indicate it’s no longer on.
Is the Ewan Deluxe good value for money?
It depends how desperate you are. If you’re not having any luck then I would recommend Ewan. Our baby is not bad at getting herself off to sleep and definitely seemed more soothed by having Ewan next to her. She then slept for longer and more deeply than she normally does during the day; at night, it was the same and she didn’t do her usual midnight wake-up when we were using Ewan on the first night. She has a tendency to wake around 6am and stay awake for a few hours but after using Ewan and giving her a bottle she went back to sleep until 7.30am.
How does it compare to other sleep aids?
With our first daughter, we tried everything, including an iPad Twinkle Twinkle Little Star playlist, the Elmer Lantern Night Light, Love-To-Dream Sleep Swaddles and shushing over a two-way baby monitor. She never slept until she was about four years old. Our second daughter is a lot better at going to sleep with an iPad playlist but often wakes up in the middle of the night shouting or howling for milk. So this was the big test for Ewan in my book.
With this in mind, Ewan was definitely more effective and soothing than the music playlist and it would kick in when she stirred within four hours. Also, it meant we didn’t have to try to turn off the playlist or the light while keeping our fingers crossed that we didn’t wake her. One drawback is if you’ve got the cot in your bedroom, you’ll be woken up by Ewan and the only other thing I’d say is if the baby doesn’t stir for four hours then the sensor turns off which isn’t ideal if you want your baby to be soothed for longer than that. One reviewer on the official website has suggested Ewan should come with a remote control such as Baby Einstein Sea Dreams Soother (£39.99 on Amazon) – I think that would be a very good idea. But, in reality, babies do make little noises throughout the night and Ewan came on to soothe ours every time.
How portable is the Ewan Deluxe baby sleep sheep?
It’s really compact so can be squashed into a case if you remove the control pod. It’s really handy to carry around and the velcro tail means it can work on the go in a pram and not just a cot (also the batteries mean you don’t need a nearby socket which is good).
How effective is it?
I’m really surprised by just how effective Ewan is. The sounds seem particularly good at providing comfort and helping my daughter to stay asleep in a way that our playlist doesn’t. There is something a bit magical about this sheep.
Is the Sweetdreamers Ewan Deluxe Shushing Sheep easy to clean?
Really easy. You just remove the control pod and chuck Ewan in the washing machine on 30 degrees maximum or a delicate wash. I air dried it and the manual recommends that it can only go in the tumble dryer on the lowest heat setting.
Is it simple to put together?
It comes ready to go, although I did find putting the control pod inside Ewan a bit fiddly. It’s fine to do when it’s daylight and your baby isn’t shouting, but at night, in a darkened room with a fussy baby, it’s a lot more frustrating. The different settings could also be more clearly marked and changing the battery with a screwdriver is a pain.
Who would find the Sweetdreamers Ewan Deluxe Shushing Sheep most useful?
Sleep-deprived parents who need their baby to sleep for more than a couple of hours. Plus, if you’ve got a noisy environment, it’s great at soothing and keeping noises to a consistent level.
What would you want to know before buying the Ewan Deluxe?
That you’ll need to study the instructions to make the most of Ewan and will need to give yourself time to play around with the buttons before you start to use it properly.
What elements really impressed you?
I love the design – Ewan is really cute and cuddly while the sounds have obviously been well-researched. Its positive impact on our baby’s sleep patterns makes me think that some serious scientific research gone into Ewan’s sounds.
What’s in the box?
- 1 x plush Ewan Deluxe sheep
- 1 x removable control pod
- 1 x instruction manual
- 3 x AA batteries
Where can I buy the Ewan Deluxe baby sleep sheep?
It’s available to buy from Sweet Dreamers, Amazon and Boots
Made for Mums verdict
Overall, Ewan is a handy investment for parents in need of some rest. Some seriously good scientific research has gone into the soothing noises and the new reactive technology is very clever. You’ll need to spend some time understanding Ewan but on the whole he’s got you – and your baby’s – sleep patterns covered.