Again and again I hear from parents and read in various Facebook groups: "You need the My Hummy! Your child sleeps great with it, mine sleeps THROUGH the night since we got it" and other similar comments. But is that really true? I'm always sceptical about miracle cures. Especially when it comes to baby sleep. What's the truth about this Hummy, does it pay off? So I bought a second-hand My Hummy and here's what I make of it.
First let's talk about healthy baby sleep in general.
Especially in the first few weeks - but actually at least throughout the first year of life - a baby needs physical contact and the security of knowing that their attachment figure is there. Your baby sleeps best (and safest!) in your room. Either in a cot, a side bed or in the parents' bed, if certain safety measures are observed.
Your child doesn't need to be able to fall asleep alone, continue sleeping alone or even sleep through the night at this age. Basically, it can be said that sleep development is completed at around the age of three. This does not mean, however, that your child will no longer need help falling asleep or call for you when they wakes up at night.
However, if a caregiver consistently and lovingly accompanies the child to sleep during the first years of life and the child does not have to be alone at night, your child can build up the necessary trust that it needs to sleep well and deeply. In addition, the cognitive development is also decisive - in other words, is the brain already able to come to rest on its own? As I said, this is not the case until around the age of three. If you want to know more about baby sleep, please look HERE.
How does the My Hummy work?
Actually, the My Hummy works quite simply. Each Hummy has a kind of loudspeaker in its "belly" that you can switch on by pressing it. Then a so-called white noise is heard.
This white noise is supposed to calm the baby and simulate the sounds it heard in its mother's belly. With the Hummy, you can choose from different programmes and select the one that suits you best or which your baby reacts to best. If you take the sound module out of the My Hummy's tummy, you can call it an ordinary cuddly toy.
I bought my My Hummy second-hand.
It got tricky (in my case) when I wanted to switch the sound module off again. That didn't work straight away. You have to hold the module down for a really long time to switch it off. However, it also has an automatic switch-off function: after 60 minutes, it gets quieter and then switches off.
Some models also have a so-called sleep sensor. This "monitors" the baby's sleep. If the baby starts to cry or any background noises become louder, the white noise automatically switches on again. This is supposed to calm the baby and encourage it to continue sleeping.
According to the website, you can use the My Hummy from birth. I couldn't find any information about the maximum age. But if you take out the sound module, you have a normal stuffed animal that can certainly accompany your child for longer.
How much does a My Hummy cost and where can I buy it?
This is where it gets expensive in my opinion. The My Hummy costs between €20 for the smallest version and €80 for the largest version. If you buy it new. You can get it at BIPA, for example, or you can search directly for a dealer on the My Hummy website. Of course, you can also get used Hummys on Willhaben or EBK, for example, which are then (hopefully) much cheaper. In comparison, a consultation with me costs about the same. But in return you will get information about healthy baby sleep, why your baby doesn't sleep through the night or what you can change if necessary.
Advantages - disadvantages? My conclusions!
- Sure, you can say now, if it works, then it's worth the money to me. Personally, I'm still sceptical. The white noise sounded more like a defective dishwasher to me and was also much too loud. My son immediately demanded that I switch the Hummy off again.
- You can't know whether the My Hummy will work with your baby or not before you buy it. That's why it's possible that it's a bad investment right from the start. There are now lots of apps that simulate white noise and are free or cost very little money. Or you can simply switch on the extractor fan in the kitchen or set a radio to murmur very quietly.
- Keep in mind that with models with a sleep sensor controlled by an app, your child is constantly sleeping next to a Bluetooth-connected electronic device.
- "The grass does not grow faster if you pull on it" (African proverb). In this case, it means that you can't accelerate sleep development or learning to fall asleep.
The My Hummy can support you - as one of many tools available. It can also work as an emergency solution. But please don't expect it to work miracles. Above all, don't expect your child to sleep through the night because of it. They don't have to be able to. For me personally, it is a cute stuffed animal - but without any significant added value that would justify the price.
by Bettina Dutzler, Sleep Coach and Regional Advisor for Upper Austria at the Verein Kinderschlaf, www.familienstark.at