Ollie the Owl Sleep Aid Review | AD

2 Mar 2020

As first-time parents, we learnt pretty quickly how invaluable it is to have something that helps soothe your baby, particularly in the middle of the night. Since our first daughter was born back in early 2016, a lot of new sleep aids have hit the baby market and we were excited to try one with Hadley, from a favourite baby brand of ours, The Gro Company. Would Ollie the Owl* work as well as our favourites for Willow?

A picture of The Gro Company Ollie the Owl Sleep Aid

Ollie the Owl has both light and sound features to soothe and comfort your little one and help them sleep soundly. The tummy gently glows with soft warm light, nothing too bright which might stimulate them, just enough to be a comfort, with four levels of light to choose from. It plays four comforting sounds including static white noise and a heartbeat sound, both noises hugely popular with sleep aids among babies for replicating sounds your baby becomes used to hearing whilst in mamas uterus, as well as rainfall and Brahms lullaby.

There are three adjustable volumes for the sound features; low, mid and high, with each sound playing for 20 minutes. The light feature does stay on for slightly longer, lasting for 30 minutes before automatically turning itself off. Most impressively, it features a built-in Cry Sensor. This activates Ollie the Owl to restart the last sound option you chose when your baby cries, helping to calm them back to sleep.

It's not just babies who benefit from sleep aids and Ollie the Owl is perfect for toddlers, with little easy to use buttons in each of the ears; Willow can easily operate Ollie herself, loves giving him a good cuddle and helps me by turning it on for Hadley. In fact, she's even sneaked Ollie into her bed a few times, as she likes to call him her little owl friend!

The only downside to this product for me is that it could be difficult to clean if, for example, your baby is prone to sickness. Whereas other sleep aids we have tried in the past have had the electrical components that control the noises and house the batteries (not included) have been removable, in Ollie's case, they are not. This means you can only surface clean Ollie; he can't go in the washing machine or tumble dryer and for babies safety, spot cleaning with water is best so as to ensure you are not using flammable chemicals on something your baby is often close to.

The only thing I would change about the overall design and features of Ollie the Owl is the light; whilst it is a lovely feature, the light itself is very much an obvious rectangle block. I think it would look nicer if there was a way to make the light softer, even if it were just rounded corners on the lighting device, although that's merely superficial and doesn't affect how Ollie the Owl works.

That aside, all of the features are great and it's worked wonderfully for us in soothing Hadley during the night. We found as a newborn she wasn't overly fussed by it, but as she has gotten older, she really likes her Ollie the Owl. I like the strong velcro fastening, as it means we can attach it to her car seat, and whilst she was still in her SnuzPod, we used to attach it to the sidebars of her SnuzPod, but have Ollie hanging on the outside - a clear cot is a safe cot. Now that she is in her cot bed, we have Ollie sat on the girl's chest of drawers, out of reach, again keeping Hadley's cot clear and safe.

Ollie the Owl quite a big sleep aid, and quite weighty too, compared to other sleep aids we've used, so it's essential to me that we ensure we can use him safely, whilst adhering to guidelines on safe sleep (which you can read more about on The Lullaby Trust).

*We are kindly provided with a complimentary Ollie the Owl from The Gro Company; I have not been financially compensated for this feature. Please see my disclaimer for more information.