Make sure to enter our giveaway for your chance to win your very own The Night Knights kit! Details are listed below. The Night Knights kit was sent to 3MomCircus in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own based on personal experience.
Sleep. It seems like such a soothing and peaceful word. It usually is until someone in your family has an issue with sleep, and then it feels like a huge battle you fight every night. In our household, we have a four year old daughter. She used to be an amazing sleeper; after a bedtime routine she would fall asleep and stay asleep all night. It was glorious. Once we had my son, who is currently one, our sleep patterns were disrupted. The crying, fussing, and constant back and forth to the baby’s room kept my daughter up. She was curious and wanted in on the action of getting her brother to calm down and help soothe him. This led to a disrupted bedtime routine and she has started to stay awake past her bedtime reading books and quietly playing in bed. We rolled with the changes and figured that as long as she was quiet and still got good sleep it was alright for this new normal. However, it didn’t stay that way for long. Our current situation is we do a bedtime routine but our daughter doesn’t like being alone in her room. At all. She gets up repeatedly asking for someone to sit in her room with her or read her more stories, talk to her, etc. It can go on for hours if we let it.
Her issue isn’t so much that she’s scared, but that she’s bored and doesn’t like feeling alone in her room. After all, brother still needs help being put to bed as he has just been weaned from breastfeeding, so she wants someone with her too.
When we were first contacted by The Night Knights to do a product review I was a little skeptical. I couldn’t see how an object could accomplish anything that my husband and I couldn’t do. Famous last words right!?
We received a package with a Lady Sleep-a-Lot and Sir Sleep-a-Lot plush toy and a book. That night, we did our normal bedtime routine (bath, warm pajamas, toy pickup, snuggle and read) and used the book for our bedtime read-a-long.
It’s a cute story. I especially emphasized the parts where it says that Lady Sleep-a-Lot was ONLY for her and wouldn’t work for her brother (or any other child), and she thought that was amazing. She thought it was pretty special that Lady Sleep-a-Lot could ONLY protect her to complete her quest.
We followed the story and used her favorite hair brush to dub Lady Sleep-a-Lot, Ella, and to bless her quest. She loved the part where she got to participate and “knight” Ella for her quest. She took it very seriously, and I loved that the author has allowed an opportunity for the child to actively participate.
I skimmed over the parts that pertained to being afraid of the dark since that’s not an issue for my daughter and I didn’t want to give her any ideas. (If you have children, you KNOW they can take an idea and run with it!). If that’s an area your child struggles with, then focus on those parts, but the awesome part of being the reader is that you can really customize the story based on your child’s needs.
When we finished, my daughter decided to have Ella keep watch on the edge of her bed. She did get up a few times and we gently reminded her that Ella’s job was to keep her company. Since my daughter wasn’t scared, had to use the bathroom, or thirsty, we were pretty firm that she had to stay in her room and let Ella do her job.
I can honestly say that despite my initial skepticism this concept has worked for our family. It’s NOT A MAGIC FIX. You don’t just read the book and suddenly all sleep issues are fixed. (Wouldn’t that be amazing, though? A mom can dream!) However, we have used this book and Ella as a tool in our bedtime routine. Every few days, we do a re-read and make sure to talk about how important good sleep is and what the goal for the night is. By the way, our goal is always to stay in our room for the night and get a good night’s sleep.
So, know that you know how we’ve used the book and doll for our family, let me do a review of each item in the kit.
We received a hardback copy of the book and it feels sturdy. The pages are a good thickness and will stand up to repeated readings (we have read this at least 10 times so far and it still is in excellent condition.)
The illustrations are whimsical and have that 3D cartoon vibe. The illustrator has done a great job of supporting the narrative. Each set of pages has one for text and one for the picture, and what’s nice is that the pictures actually support the story. We like to encourage our daughter to “read” pictures in a book to come up with her own version before we read, so it’s nice when the pictures actually allow for that. You would be surprised how many books have pictures that don’t relate to what’s said in the text.
Children are given an opportunity to participate by knighting their doll in a little ceremony. There are plenty of opportunities for parents to add to the story and create new adventures for the knights. My daughter loves to imagine new adventures for Ella to begin. The book specifically mentions that the dolls might be in a different place upon waking because they have been fulfilling their quest and protecting their charge. I could see this as being something fun for parents and children to discuss–where did their doll end up and what adventures were they on during the night? (We haven’t used this suggestion since my daughter uses Ella specifically for not being alone and for someone to talk to.)
The Plush Toy
The plush toy is good quality with firm stuffing and soft fabric. The helmet on both toys is attached at the very back and can be moved back and forth. My one critique would be that I wish the helmet was fully sewn to the head. I feel that it could detach with rough play. We leave our doll sitting on the bed during the day so she can get plenty of rest, but if your child plays heavily with it, it may be something to keep an eye on.
The body fabric is one piece with no removable parts. The fabric choice has the look of chainmail and brown gloves and shoes. The tunic on each doll is made of a synthetic material with the details printed on. It is not sewn to the doll, but as my daughter tested many times, it is not easy (or really possible unless it’s been ripped) to remove the tunic from the toy. The hair on the girl version is made of yarn thats been braided and each helmet has a yarn detail on the very top.
I am pleased with this book and toy and feel that it’s a great tool in my parenting arsenal. I think this is perfect for children ages 3-6 as they would fully understand the purpose and get the most benefit from it. It’s currently available for $35 via their website and includes the book and 2 dolls (boy and girl version). I plan on purchasing these as Christmas presents for a few of our friends. I mean, I can’t honestly say that I know of ANYONE whose child has zero sleep issues, so this would be a good tool to have.
Where to Purchase
This kit is available to purchase on The Night Knights website by clicking in the upper right hand corner (where to purchase). You are taken to their virtual store an the current price is $35 plus shipping. (This price is subject to change at any time and is only valid as of time and day of this posting.)
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