Getting little kids to settle down, go to bed, and stay there isnít always easyó especially if a child is afraid of the dark (actually, very few are afraid of the dark itself, itís whatís lurking in the dark thatís the problem). However, as we all know, having some kind of comfort item makes it a lot easier, whether itís a blankie, a pacifier, a stuffie, a favorite dinosaur or a tractor. Here are some products designed to make bedtime (and sleep time) in your home positively dreamy.
Pillow Pets Remember when Pillow Pets were all the rage? Well, now theyíre back with a number of fun new items, including sweatshirts, night lights and blankets, all made of super-soft chenille plush. And all sporting the friendly animal faces that make the original pets such an important part of bedtime for kids everywhere. You can get Pillow Pets that represent your favorite military branch (in dress blues or camo), a beloved Disney or other TV character, or a big league or college sports team. Or kids can dress up as a Pillow Pet, with hats, slippers and hoodies. Oh, and keep an eye out for the Pillow Pets toothbrushes and glow-in-the dark Pets. Really. These are great for keeping the kids in bed or as a familiar friend to make it easier to fall asleep in the car or unfamiliar places. Depending on the item, Pillow Pets range in price from about $14 to $30. mypillowpets.com
ScareMeNots The company says that ScareMeNots are made for kids who need a little help facing their everyday fears. And with such names as Courageous Carrie, Knockout Ned and Defender Dave, these friendly monsters actually work. Theyíve been to school and know all the ways to protect your little one from any boogie men and monsters that may be lurking around after you close the door at night. They may also be able to help a bit with bad dreams (the power of suggestion is an amazing thing, isnít it?). ScareMeNots have multiple eyes so they can stay awake and watch over your sleeping ó or fearful ó child. And they have these great tails that make it easy to hang from just about anywhere or to tuck between mattress and box spring to guard against the evils under the bed. ScareMeNots have won several toy category awards and are available in travel size ($14.95) or full size ($24.99). www.scaremenot.com
Shnoozles Shnoozles are award-winning, research-backed plush dolls that have patented eyes. Yes, patented. Unlike the eye-studded, always-awake ScareMeNots, Shnoozlesí eyes gradually close (by pulling gently on the eye lids), which shows kids itís safe to do the same. By gently encouraging kids to stay in bed and fall asleep, Shnoozles make going to sleep something to look forward to. And by reducing nighttime tears and tantrums, these soft, adorable little guys also help parents reduce the stress they feel when dealing with a child who keeps popping up out of bed like a whack-a-mole. Most refreshing of all, in an age where just about everything has an app or batteries or buttons or buzzers, Shnoozles have none. Shah-Shah comes in pink and Shu-Shu in brown. Both come with a Sleepy-Time Rhyme book and retail for $24.99. www.shnoozles.com/