Grofriends (Ollie the Owl) Review

from The Gro Company
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by Catriona Watson |

At a glance:

Grofriends are super soft comforters which can help to soothe your baby. As they grow, Grofriend Comforters stimulate babies senses with tactile and sensory features. Breathable toys are a great snuggle buddy for your baby. Made with Air-Flow technology making them breathable and hypoallergenic they’re sure to take extra care of your precious new arrival.

Would you recommend this to other mums?

Lavinia: I would recommend the product if someone did not already own a product which created sounds designed to help soothe baby. It looks good and would be ideal as a gift for a newborn as it is suitable from birth and is unisex in design. It is not machine washable due to the electrics so you do have to be careful with it and not let it near dirty fingers.

Charlotte: Ollie the Owl is so easy to use and so effective. We use the white noise function overnight which has really helped get my son to sleep. It is a really lovely design and looks great in our nursery. The tummy glows like a soft nightlight and you can choose from four different levels of light. The most useful feature we found was the cry sensor, which is very sensitive. It would trigger whenever our son made a noise, and the white noise would start before he fully woke up. We now take it wherever we go as he is very easy to transport.

Naushaba: Ollie the owl is cute and pleasing to look at. The exterior is fluffy, soft and certainly safe to have close to your baby while he is sleeping. The design is clever and using feet and wings to activate the sounds and lights is unique and user-friendly. I really liked the handling loop that allows Ollie to be secured to the cot. It is lightweight and easy to transport. The nightlight feature adds to the soothing sounds and automatically switches off after 30 minutes. The quality of the product definitely matches the price tag.

How did this product make your life easier?

Claire: This product has made bedtime a calm experience for me and my little girl. She settles well and is soothed by the heartbeat sound on the product. I use this to help her sleep following her evening feed and also when she wakes overnight. It has made it quicker to put her to bed in the evening and also allows me to attend to my other children whilst she is content.

Barbara: Ollie the Owl has become an integral part of the bedtime routine. We had been working up to putting my son to sleep in his cot and did not know where to start. With Ollie the Owl we were finally able to start a bedtime routine as it calms the baby down after his bath. Once he is tucked up in his cot, I can walk away knowing that Ollie will be listening out and will activate when he hears my baby stirring which gives me time to head back upstairs to check on him before he starts crying too much and wakes himself up.

Katie: This fantastic product has completely changed bedtime for us. Initially, it helps with getting the baby to sleep and settling after waking up. Long term, I hope this product will make my baby more independent at night time. As a breastfeeding mother, this has helped to limit night time feeds. With my first baby, we didn't use anything like this and have ongoing sleep issues. I really think if we had this then things would be very different now. We will certainly use this going forward and hope he will have a different relationship with sleep.

Would you choose this product to win?

Lavinia: Ollie the Owl is cute and soft and looks nice in a nursery. It is a little expensive for a toy but if it is something that helps your baby to sleep then it would be extremely good value for money. My 22-month-old was quickly able to work out how to activate the sounds and nightlight, however, lost interest in it quickly so I used it more with my newborn.

Charlotte: Yes I would. The cry sensor is much more sensitive than other sleep aids which is better for us. The sounds play for 20 minutes which is long enough to get our son to sleep, although it does kick straight back in again with the cry sensor if he stirs. I like that you can turn the light feature off as our son likes to have a very dark room to sleep in. The heartbeat option would probably have been useful for our son when he was younger.

Naushaba: The product is certainly one of the cuter ones out there and its design is clever and baby friendly. Activating Ollie is easily accessible and straightforward compared to other sleep aids so this is a huge positive. It is definitely worth the money and the high quality of the product is obvious.

What changes would you make to this product?

Claire: I would suggest that there shouldn't be any recommendation to hang the product within or in the cot given that guidelines are that cots should be clear of all soft toys. I have hung it from the loop outside of the cot as I felt more comfortable with this and felt there was no potential for it fall into the cot.

Barbara: If I could change one thing about Ollie, it would be the material his wings are made out of because as soon as my son held him, his wings went straight into his mouth and some of the fur came off in his mouth. I noticed that when you first activate the lullaby it is quite loud. You can turn the volume down but once Ollie goes to sleep and deactivates when my son wakes up the lullaby/white noise comes back on the loud setting. It would be great if it could remember the volume level it was last on instead.

Katie: I would make it smaller, making it more portable and less bulky. Secondly, the attachment is currently velcro and after a week of use, the stitching that attaches the velcro is coming loose. Presumably, you would want to use this product for years but with this problem, it will not last that long. A more hardwearing clip would be better or industrial stitching. This product also uses a lot of batteries due to the three-hour listening mode.

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