When you’ve got a baby, sleep is a very precious commodity. When baby gets a good night’s sleep, the whole family gets a good night’s sleep, and so there are lots of baby sleep aids available which will soothe baby to sleep, and help it to stay asleep too.
Most of them work by making a choice of soothing sounds that are known to be good for getting babies to sleep, such as womb noises, white noise, hoovers or a gentle lullaby.
Many of the most popular baby sleep aids are made to appeal to young children by taking the form of a cute and appealing soft toy. Two of the most popular baby sleep aids available are the adorable Ewan The Dream Sheep, and the very cute Ollie The Owl.
But which is the best? We’re going to compare both these top selling baby sleep aids to see which one you should choose for your baby.
Ewan the Dream Sheep was the first big-name baby sleep aid to become widely popular. The cute little sheep toy is also a nightlight that helps babies get to sleep by playing real heartbeat and womb sound combinations.
Originally available in a lively purple, it is you can now buy one in a calming grey colour and a new warm neutral, brown shade. A deluxe version was released in 2018 which incorporates new sounds and a cry sensor. This newer deluxe version is also machine washable, because the sound pod is completely removable.
Since its launch in 2010 Ewan the Dream Sheep has won many awards including the Loved By Parents Award 3 times, The Mother & Baby Awards and shortlisted for the Made For Mums Awards.
The new kid on the block, Ollie the Owl has a soft-glow nightlight, and an intelligent CrySensor which detects if baby wakes and will play the selected sound for 20 minutes to help baby settle themselves, without needing to wake mum or dad up.
Ollie has a choice of three soothing sounds and three classic lullabies, to reassure and comfort your little one. He also has two friends, Pip and Benny who have the same sleep inducing features.
Ask any new parent what the most difficult thing they have to overcome is – and the majority of them will say sleep deprivation. Yet the task of settling a new baby into a structured sleep routine can, for many, turn into a nightmare.
This is where these two of the many sleep aids on the market come in. Both of these popular sleep aids play sounds that soothe a baby, such as heartbeat and womb sounds that mimic the noises babies hear inside the womb. These comforting sounds have been proven to be effective for settling and calming newborn babies as they make the difficult transition from womb to world.
As you baby gets older these toys have other setting settings to play such as a vacuum cleaner, rainfall and musical settings to help your child relax and go to sleep.
Both of these toys can be attached to your baby’s cot, Ollie by a fabric loop and Ewan by his tail. However neither of these toys should be left loose in a young baby’s cot for safety reasons. When baby is a little older both will make a cute and cuddly toy.
So let’s get on and compare Ewan the Dream Sheep and Ollie the Owl. We are going to use six criteria, looks, choice of sounds, cry sensor, nightlight, battery life and cost.
Both Ewan and Ollie are seriously cute, so a comparison comes down to whether you prefer pastel shades or a bit of colour for your nursery!
The original Ewan toy was purple and white, and later versions include a soft grey and warm brown colour model. This is handy if you want to buy one for different children and don’t want to get them mixed up.
Ollie comes in a calming grey colour as well, and although there is no choice of colours, his popularity means that there are now two more versions have been released, Pip the Panda who is dark grey and white, and Benny the Bear who is a soft beige.
The sounds that your sleep aid makes is going to be one of the most important criteria for choosing your toy, because it all depends on what works for your little one.
Ewan’s unique feature is that he plays a womb and mother’s heartbeat sound, created from actual recordings. It also plays a vacuum cleaner sound, the sound of rain and some gentle harp music. The deluxe version also plays a shushing sound.
Ollie has a choice of white noise, heartbeat and rainfall, along with three tunes, Brahms Lullaby, Hush Little Baby and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
This is where Ollie the Owl wins hands down over the original Ewan the Dream Sheep; Ollie has an intelligent CrySensor which detects when your baby wakes up and cries.
It will then automatically begin to play for 20 minutes to help baby learn to get themselves back to sleep without disturbing parents from their much needed sleep.
The original Ewan does not feature anything like this, although the new Deluxe version does have this technology, which listens out for 4 hours to see if baby wakes up.
Both Ollie and Ewan can be used as a night light. Ewan’s tummy glows with a red light that some mums have said they find a little weird, but if baby is happy, they can live with that! It switches off after 20 minutes to save energy.
Ollie and his friends Pip and Benny have a soft pink heart-shaped light in their tummies, with 3 levels of brightness that will switch off automatically after 30 minutes to save your batteries.
This is one of the big differences between these two baby sleep aids.
Ollie the Owl is rechargeable via a mini USB lead, which means no changing batteries. The battery life is up to 25 hours on the highest settings and up to 75 hours on the lowest energy settings. However it can’t be used while it is being charged, so you will need to check that it is enough charge each night.
Ewan requires 3 X AAA size batteries which are kept in a screwed in section (so that baby can’t get hold of them). Battery life will depend on how much you use the toy and what sort of batteries you use, and some parents have reported that battery life can be very poor, having to change batteries up to every week or so.
You could use rechargeable batteries which would be a bigger upfront investment but would save money in the long run and of course would be better for the environment than single use batteries.
So finally we come to cost. The original Ewan the Dream Sheep costs around £30 everywhere. The price is the same for all the colour choices. However the newer Deluxe Ewan which includes the cry sensor costs in the region of £40.
Ollie the Owl, along with the Pip the Panda and Benny the Bear options cost £25 - £40 depending on where you buy it.
Here are the prices at some UK retailers. Prices stated do not include delivery.
Ewan The Dream Sheep Price Comparison
Ollie The Owl Price Comparison
Ewan The Dream Sheep Deluxe Price Comparison
The final decision will have to come down to what works best for your baby. If there is a particular sound that you know works for your baby, that one will be the best one for you.
However if you want to try one of these baby sleep aids out for the first time, then Ollie The Owl would seem to be the winner.
To get the cry sensor feature that Ollie comes with as standard, you would have to buy the Deluxe version of Ewan which will cost up to £15 more than Ollie can be bought for.
Also, the fact that Ollie has a built in rechargeable battery means that there are no further costs for constantly buying batteries (although of course it will use electricity to charge the battery). Ollie also has a greater number of sounds, and so seems to be the better choice all round.
Now that you've got your sleep aid sorted out here are some more tips for helping your baby get into a good sleep routine.
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