I remember the sheer bewilderment we felt the first night we were home from the hospital with our daughter. We were all a bit traumatised from her entrance into the world and it perhaps didn’t help matters that we got home around 10.30 at night. At that point, due to my random superstitions and paranoia, we still had to put a sheet in the crib and work out how the bottle steriliser worked.
Do you remember the first time?
On arriving home, we placed our daughter in her car seat on the sofa. At the opposite end sat the cat who, along with the rest of us, had little idea of the impending crisis about to hit us all. What the hell were we supposed to do with our little bundle of joy??
That was the calm before the storm. Then the crying began. Me and her.
We tried putting her in her crib. She cried. We tried holding her and cuddling her. She cried. We tried feeding her. She drank a bit. And then she cried.
“Well, she was quiet in her car seat – let’s put her back in that.”
The car seat was placed carefully on our bed and our daughter was put in safely and securely and we rocked the car seat. She cried. We got her out of the car seat. And still she cried. It was getting towards 4 o’clock in the morning and none of us had slept for the preceding 72 hours.
“What was that sheep thing you got at that baby show thing you went to?” asked my husband.
Gingerly, I stood up (as I did most things gingerly for the first few weeks) and rifled through the wardrobe full of things I’d bought during pregnancy, not really knowing what would be useful and what would be a waste of money. And there I found Ewan; still in his packaging – luckily with batteries in him.
We pressed one of his legs (I forget which one) and through the calming tones of the sound of rain we heard it for the first time. Silence. Contentment on our daughter’s part. We’d calmed her!!
I can’t remember a worst time
OK, so I’m not sure how much credit we can take for it, but from that first night, Ewan the Dream Sheep became a stalwart of our nightly routine. He’s also played a part at nap times, not to mention he became a sleep aid to my husband and I when we were sleeping in shifts, desperately trying to catch 40 winks in the day time so we could cope with the night times!
On the outside, Ewan the Dream Sheep doesn’t look that special. He’s got a quirky face, he’s soft and cuddly and he glows. So what – so do many other cuddly toys for babies.
What makes Ewan the Dream Sheep a special is that, when pressed, each of his legs plays calming and soothing sounds which are perfect for a baby. One is a lullaby, whilst the other three play soothing white noise sounds of the hoover, rain or womb sounds. I know there are various apps you can buy for far cheaper that play similar things, but aside from the fact they’re not as cute as Ewan the Dream Sheep, you’re then left without your phone, iPad or other device whilst your baby sleeps!
Don’t you know that we’ve changed so much since then, oh yeah, we’ve grown
As our daughter now nears one year old, I’m more than aware there are various schools of thought on sleep cues. Indeed, I wondered for a time whether our potential overuse of Ewan the Dream Sheep had meant she couldn’t settle herself to sleep without him. But I’m happy to say that not only is Ewan now played with during the day as a teddy, she can sleep without him if needs be, but does still enjoy his gentle harp lullaby each night whilst she’s crawling round the cot having a quick adventure before bed!
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