Ever since she was tiny, my daughter Holly has needed her sleep. I’d had a tough pregnancy and was in a wheelchair until she was three months old and so, once I was able to walk again, getting out into the fresh air was a priority. I also had a spell of post-natal depression and my doctor’s advice was “get out of the house, meet friends and take some exercise”.
When Holly was tiny, a walk to the shops in her buggy was easy as she slept deeply and often. As she got older and became more alert, it became harder for her to switch off and she’d fight her nap when we were out – the world was an exciting place and she didn’t want to miss a minute.
I did what many parents did, hanging blankets, coats, and pegging muslins to the pram’s hood to hide the world away from my alert child. Sometimes these make-do efforts worked but when they didn’t I ended up with a grumpy little girl who didn’t want her tea and didn’t sleep well at night.
I noticed other parents with blankets draped over their prams. Most of my friends did the same thing when we met up. We fed the babies and at naptime we tried to help them sleep by hanging muslins, blankets and cardigans over the front of the pram – with varying degrees of success.
Manoeuvring up and down kerbs could be an experience as the things we’d positioned slid off or blew away (I lost count of the number of times I rolled over my coat as it fell off in the road) – resulting in a wide-awake and grumpy baby.
To this day, I don’t really know when I decided to do something about this common parental problem. I used blackout blinds in her nursery which helped her relax and get ready for sleep even on a sunny day and I realised what I needed was a blackout blind for her pram.
I started to hunt around to find a suitable product somewhere. Mosquito, cat and insect nets let in too much light. Sun shades were too bulky and baby could still see out so couldn’t switch off. There didn’t seem to be anything that blocked out enough light, was portable and conveniently small enough to keep on hand for when it was needed.
One day, I rather foolishly said to a few friends that someone should invent something – so they said ‘go on then’.
SnoozeShade Original launched in March 2010, since then parents have asked for new features and, in just four years, I have created a range of baby sleep and sun protection products that help babies get the sleep they need wherever they need it as well as help them safely enjoy the sun.
There are now two versions for prams (Original for baby and Plus for 6 months plus); versions for infant car seats and recently we added a new model for travel cots (I remember very well the early mornings when we stayed with my brother who had velux windows and no curtains).
SnoozeShade is now on sale around the world and helps parents from London to Sydney ensure they have a happy well rested baby.
So that’s how SnoozeShade was born and I hope it helps make your life easier too.