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Mother and Baby

The Gro Company – Ollie the Owl Review

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£34.99
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Mother&Baby Awards
  • 2018 Gold Best Baby Toy
Mother & Baby 2018 Gold Award Winner

At a glance:

We’re sure you’ll agree, anything designed to help your baby sleep is worth a try, and Ollie the Owl does not disappoint. Our panel of mum testers loved how cute Ollie looked and all agreed he helped their babies sleep better, voting him to win our gold award!  

What they say:

“The perfect sleep companion! Playing 4 comforting sounds (Heartbeat, Rainfall, Static White Noise or Brahms Lullaby) and with a gentle warm glowing tummy, Ollie the Owl creates a lovely soothing environment for your baby to drift off to sleep in. The built in CrySensor cleverly listens in and reactivates to help keep them calm should they stir.”

Tested by mum Sara Kehoe for the Mother & Baby Awards 2018:

Would you recommend this to other mums?

Anything that manages to get my toddler to sleep, and stay asleep, must be a miracle worker! The design is beautiful, very soft and cuddly. It is lovely and light and is easy to work and to change batteries (though the batteries do go very often!). It's also really easy to clean, and the comfort level was amazing!

How did the product make your life easier?

To be totally honest, while my baby didn't take to Ollie the Owl, she didn't really have a choice - my sleepless 18-month-old (who had never slept through and who often woke up several times a night) stole it off her little sister and began sleeping through the night with Ollie the owl!

Would you choose this product to win?

I have tried every other sleeping aid on the market with my toddler and none ever even came close to working, until Ollie the Owl came along and worked on the first night! He's beautiful, much smarter than Ewan the Dream Sheep, for example, and is very cuddly and soft. He works using a noise sensor, which is absolutely brilliant, always picking up small noises and ready to sooth my toddler back to sleep, often before I've even realised she’s stirring!

What changes would you make to the product?

The battery life of the product isn’t great. I must have had to change the batteries every week or so, but in Ollie’s defence, my toddler wakes up several times a night, so he’s had a very busy job! Also, while I totally understand why it’s so difficult to get the batteries out (with it being a toy for small children), in complete honesty, it’s so difficult that I’ve always made my husband do it!

Tested by mum Danielle Campbell for the Mother & Baby Awards 2018:

Would you recommend this to other mums?

I would recommend this product, and only wish I had had it from my when my boys were newborns. Their favourite sound is the lullaby, but they love the heartbeat and rainfall sounds as well. It's soft and snuggly, so they can even cuddle up to him as he sends them to sleep. Attaches to prams as well as cots, so you can even use it on the go, as well as at nighttime.

How did this product make your life easier?

I have twins, so if it hears either of my boys murmur, it really does send them back to sleep and stops the other from waking up too. I love that that the lullaby has the cry sensor and different sounds, and that he carries on playing until he senses that they've drifted off back to sleep. The lights can also be used without it being bright and waking them up, which is a really good idea.

Would you choose this product to win?

I would, simply because of the different sounds, the clever cry sensor and the lights. I think it's great that there is volume control on it, so you can decide how loud you want it to play for the little ones, and think it's fantastic value for money. It’s also really easy to assemble, as all you need to do is insert batteries and it’s ready to go.

What changes would you make to this product?

The only thing I would change is the length of time the lullaby plays for. Twenty minutes is too long, and it would be just as effective if it only played for five or even just ten minutes. Other than that, I find this product to be utterly flawless. I just love that my kids love it as much as I do, and will continue to use it for as long as they need to.

Tested my mum Kate Judd for the Mother & Baby Awards 2018:

Would you recommend this to other mums?

If you have a baby with bad colic or who cries a lot at night and is hard to get settled down for bedtime, this product is perfect! My little girl’s colic used to be so bad that we wouldn't get her to bed until 1 or 2am, but playing with Ollie and switching on the nightlight in her crib now helps her settle down very quickly.

How did this product make your life easier?

My little girl is now three-months-old and this product has made the last three months with her colic so much easier. I was often struggling to calm her down without giving her a bath, until Ollie the Owl joined our routine! Now, I can cuddle her on my lap in a quiet room and play the Lullaby sounds and, after around five to ten minutes, she's settled right down! Her crying fits used to go on for a few hours throughout the day, meaning I couldn't get anything done. Now, I have time to do all the house bits I need to whilst she’s settled or just playing on her play gym with Ollie.

Would you choose this product to win?

I've two other sleep aid products that I have found to be unreliable. One of them only gave you a lullaby option, which was okay, but sometimes we needed the heartbeat and rainwater sounds to help settle her. The second one couldn't attach to the inside of her crib. Ollie the Owl, however, has a very secure strap that allows us to strap it to the top of the crib, and plenty of sounds to help her sleep. The 20-minute sleep aid feature means I can comfortably leave her alone, knowing that it'll go off by itself and that it’s secure in case I fall asleep.

What changes would you make to this product?

It would be good if they could possibly offer it in other colours. My little girl has become very attached to Ollie and loves to cuddle him, but he's becoming a bit dirty now, so it might be a bit better if he was a bit darker so the dirt didn't show up as much.

Tested by mum Georgina Leggett for the Mother & Baby Awards 2018:

Would you recommend this to other mums?

Definitely! Ollie the Owl has exceeded my expectations. I have twin girls who used to only ever sleep together and have been hard to settle or separate, but Ollie has been the perfect companion to help them both drift off to sleep and slowly separate them, with Ollie giving them that sense of not being together, even when they’re apart. I love that you can securely strap Ollie to the side of the cot, and the fact that it has four different sounds is brilliant. The cry sensor is amazing, and has helped a lot, as I know Ollie will turn on when the babies stir and settle them back to sleep, something I have not seen any other baby product do.

How did this product make your life easier?

This product has made my life so much easier and freed up plenty of time, as Ollie automatically switches on when baby cries so they are immediately soothed, meaning I can have no worries while I'm busy making bottles, etc. The cry recognition sensor is amazing. It's so helpful with the babies, and they have grown to love Ollie the Owl.

Would you choose this product to win?

I think this product should win a Mother & Baby award, as it is genius. The cry sensor feature is by far my favourite feature. I’ve never seen anything similar, and having three young children, I really need a helping hand to soothe them when they just want a cuddle, something Ollie does perfectly.

What changes would you make to this product?

The only I would change is the way it attaches to the cot and pram. When I strap it to the cot it is perfectly fine, it doesn't fall, and it's perfectly safe. However, when I took Ollie out and about he didn’t attach to the pram very well, and I was worried they would lose him whilst out shopping. I think a more secure way of attaching to the cot and pram would very much improve this almost flawless product.

Tested by mum Aoife Conlan for the Mother & Baby Awards 2018:

Would you recommend this to other mums?

Yes, I would definitely recommend this product. Together with the chest lighting up and the soothing sounds, my baby feels so calm and relaxed throughout the night. It has a very simple and soft catch that you can hang off anywhere. When I have been out and about I’ve often put the owl beside my baby’s head and played the heartbeat at a low volume, which really seems to help her relax.

How did this product make your life easier?

The heartbeat sounds really help my baby feel calm and relaxed. With the Owl being so soft and cuddly, my baby can snuggle right into it. I have found that even with just the lights on and no music playing, my baby will still happily play with Ollie. The buttons on the feet and wings are so easily pressed that my six-month-old baby is easily able to play the sounds.

Would you choose this product to win?

This is a really great product. The soft light really helps the baby relax, while other products just have different colours that blink and flash, which often seem to stimulate the baby even more and keep them awake. The melody that plays is so calm and soothing, it even helps me to sleep! The one thing that makes this product stand out from all others is definitely the cry sensor, which works really well. My baby suffers from colic and reflux, so this function definitely proved to be a lifesaver.

What changes would you make to this product?

Once you start playing any of the sounds, you can’t stop them playing until the timer has finished. You either have to let it play out, or you have to remove the white box inside and switch it off. But, when you do either, you disable the cry sensor, which only works when you activate the melody and let it play out. 

Product Information

Suitable from birth.

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