You call it a blackout shade. How dark is it?
I called SnoozeShade a blackout shade when I started as I didn’t really know how else to describe it. There was nothing else like it available to buy.
I wanted something for my pram that was the equivalent of a blackout curtain that could be used on windows.
Blackout curtains block 100% of light and therefore are not made of breathable fabric so SnoozeShade fabric could not be a total blackout blind. It does block 94% of light – which means that it significantly shades the inside of your pram or stroller.
Your child will be able to make out shapes and movement tell whether it’s day or night – but it takes away their ability to latch onto anything stimulating.
Time and time again, parents have reported back that their child – who normally can only sleep in total darkness – is napping happily under their SnoozeShade anywhere they take them.
One question we get asked jokingly is ‘Is it soundproof?’.
It’s not, but we’ve had reports from parents who have happily used SnoozeShade at weddings, festivals, airports, theme parks and in brightly lit busy shopping centres with great success resulting in a well-rested child.
Great news for everyone.
Do I need to use all the straps?
SnoozeShade Original, Twin, Plus and Infant Carrier:
It all depends on the make and model of your pram, stroller, buggy or infant car seat. On some you may need to use all the straps and others you may only need to use one or two pairs. Don’t worry that it doesn’t fit because you have tried to use all the straps as you may not need to. Everyone fits their SnoozeShade differently – there is no right or wrong way – just your way.
Our YouTube channel shows you two ways to use the straps to each other in two ways.
If you are not using some of the straps we recommend that you attach the pair to each other to avoid the Velcro hooks pulling the fabric and tuck them away.
SnoozeShade for Travel Cots:
You must attach the straps around the legs of the cot for safety purposes. On a travel cot double wrap the straps for the safest fit.
What does breathable fabric actually mean?
SnoozeShade’s unique fabric is woven so that you can literally put it over your face and breathe comfortably through it.
SnoozeShades create a well-ventilated environment for baby, through which air can circulate freely.
Some products use phrases like ‘truly breathable’ – this is just marketing hype – either a fabric is breathable or it’s not.
SnoozeShade fabric has been tested in a respected testing laboratory for air-permeability and breathability and scored ‘very high’ for both qualities.
It goes without saying that we don’t recommend you put any fabric directly over a baby’s face ;-)
Why is it black? Won’t it make my baby hotter?
A common misconception is that anything black will get hotter but colour has very little effect on the creation of heat.
What is more important is what something is made of. A black brick will get hotter as it absorbs and holds onto heat as it is made from a natural substance.
Synthetic fibres cannot hold onto heat and SnoozeShade is made of polyester for that reason. Our fabric allows fresh air in and to move freely and any hot air rises through the holes in the fabric and away from baby. All SnoozeShade products are made from the same mesh fabric.
Black is the best colour for blocking the maximum UV rays. The majority of sunshades are black or dark coloured because black creates a strong external barrier to the sun’s rays and a shady environment inside the pram. After all, you go into the shade to stay cool on a hot day.
As we get asked this question so much, we asked one of the UK’s leading thermal physicists to explain the science behind the colour versus heat question.
Parents often comment on how surprised they are when it feels cooler inside the pram on a hot day:
“It worked a treat, he fell straight to sleep every night and it seemed a lot cooler in his pushchair then it did in the entertainment venue, which was an added bonus as he suffers from severe eczema and the heat irritates him.”
“The mesh material allows air in, while keeping the light out. The interior of the carriage also stays nice and cool.”
“I have used it on the beach during our vacation and my 7 month old went right to sleep. The material lets air in but keeps the sunlight out. People were asking if my son was baking underneath and I offered to let them place their hand under to see just how cool it was inside.”
“My son naps best when it’s dark. It’s breathable so he doesn’t sweat. It’s always attached to our bugaboo stroller. We love it!”
If it is a hot still day (ie no breeze) SnoozeShade can’t make the inside of the pram cooler but it will not increase the temperature and your baby’s skin will not burn.
If it is a very hot day with no breeze then SnoozeShade can’t make the inside significantly cooler. It won’t make it hotter but it will prevent your child’s delicate skin from burning which has far more worrying side effects. It also provides valuable shade which can be slightly cooler even on a very hot day. If it’s 90 degrees in the sun then it will still be 89 degrees under the cover so don’t expect it to act as an air conditioner.
Our top tips for a safe snooze on a sunny day include:
- In sunny conditions and when stationary, turn the pram of buggy away from direct sun, always seek shade, where possible, and use the sneak-a-peek zip to check on your baby’s comfort at regular intervals.
- Make sure your baby is well-hydrated and always have plenty of drink options available on hot days.
- If it’s a hot day and your little one is wearing a hat then remove it at sleeptime (I’m afraid even if it means disturbing them) as babies’ temperatures are controlled by how much heat their head and face lose – and hats can trap heat.
- Finally, if it’s a hot day then your baby may get sweaty – wherever they are – but the best way to check if they are overheated is to feel the back of the neck and tummy. If they are cool and moist then your baby is too hot. You should also be concerned if your baby is dry and hot to the touch as this could be heat stroke – a useful article on heat stroke can be found here.
Can I use SnoozeShade products all year round?
You can use SnoozeShade products at any time of year, whenever you want to encourage baby to sleep in the pram or stroller or protect from strong sun.
In cooler months it stretches over foot muffs and keeps light rain, wind and chill at bay.
In shade mode it can be used to protect baby’s eyes when the sun is low in the Spring, Autumn and Winter or on a bright sunny Summer’s day.
Can I use SnoozeShade products indoors?
Parents and babies have to go to some pretty noisy places and a reviewer from Which? commented “Our tester was impressed. Her baby slept for twice as long as he usually would when in his buggy. It even helped her baby get to sleep in the middle of a noisy toddler group.”
Your baby’s sleep routine can be maintained wherever you have to be – restaurants, cafes, shopping centres, theme parks, airports or festivals. The possibilities are endless.
How does SnoozeShade help my baby?
The SnoozeShade range is the only one of its kind to be endorsed by a number of international baby sleep experts.
Up until SnoozeShade, the only option for us parents was to throw makeshift items over a pram or pushchair like blankets or muslins. These are not always made from breathable fabric, do not give sun protection, have to be lifted up letting light that wakes up baby or just simply fly off with the slightest breeze.
Using a SnoozeShade becomes a sign to sleep or sleep trigger for babies – like drawing the curtains in a nursery, baby starts to recognise that when SnoozeShade goes on it’s time to sleep.
The range helps babies ignore visual distractions and creates a cosy comfortable healthy nap environment when needed. Deeper, longer sleep with no interruptions means your baby gets the sleep that he or she needs and we all know that well-rested happy babies mean everyone in the family has an easier time.
How will SnoozeShade help me?
The SnoozeShade range allows you the flexibility to get and about when you need to without disturbing your baby’s sleep routine.
It’s ideal for holidays, appointments, trips to the park, shopping, coffee with friends – in fact, any time you need to do something when baby needs to sleep.
No more throwing blankets over the pram (which blow away), or pegging muslins (which become a distraction as baby starts to play with it) or covering the stroller with a coat in colder weather.
With the addition of the SnoozeShade for Travel Cots you also don’t have to worry when you stay with friends or family who have never heard of curtains ;-)
We hope SnoozeShade makes your life easier.
Should I still use other sunscreens whilst using SnoozeShade?
Yes, you should use sunscreen (dependent on the age of your child) and other sun protection methods eg seeking shade, hats, sunglasses, sun lotions and other recognised methods of sun protection.
For further advice on keeping your child safe in the sun, we recommend the UK’s NHS advice here and, if you are travelling abroad, it is worth checking local advice for the country you are visiting.
Will SnoozeShade keep my baby cool?
SnoozeShade is not an air conditioning unit for strollers, infant carriers and travel cots (we don’t think anyone has invented one of those yet!).
If it is hot and sweaty outside it will be hot and sticky inside so common sense says if you’re not moving then seek shade, turn out of direct sunlight and check on your baby’s comfort regularly.
If you do have to be out in excessively hot conditions, what SnoozeShade will do is provide valuable shade which will protect your baby’s skin from harsh UV rays.
More and more evidence is being found to show that sun damage in the early years of life can increase a person’s risk of skin cancer later in life so with UPF50+ you know that only 1% of UV rays are reaching your child’s skin.
What safety testing has the SnoozeShade range been through?
As a mother, I invented SnoozeShade to use with my own daughter and therefore safety has always been at the heart of SnoozeShade product design.
For me, safety must come first above all else, and SnoozeShade is proud to be a ‘function over fashion’ product. We can’t make it in pretty colours as that would reduce the UV protection, patterns look awful on the fabric but if we change the fabric to make it look nice it won’t be breathable. All questions I get asked regularly.
This is one of the reasons for example that we have multiple straps rather than a couple of longer ones that would reach around the stroller frame or hood.
As a pram or pushchair accessory we don’t have test to the same safety level as a toy – but we do it anyway. As a mother, I believe that if it’s as safe as a toy it’s as safe as possible.
The BS EN 71 toy test means you cannot have straps that stretch longer than 22cm – over that length and it becomes a strangulation hazard. This was highlighted on BBC 2’s ‘Britain’s Next Best Thing’ TV programme in 2011 when a pram product was rejected by Boots’ safety experts for having overly long straps.
It is also why our drawstring bags have velcro halfway along the straps – again to minimise strangulation risks. It is also why we use Velcro and zips as they are designed to comply with anti-choking regulations. Toggles, buttons and most poppers are choking hazards.
Every product has been designed to comply with European Standards, particularly with reference to BS EN 71 standard for the safety of child use and care articles.
In addition, the SnoozeShade range has been tested, and is compliant with, the following safety standards:
BS EN 71 : Part 3 : 1994 Safety of Toys – Migration of Certain Elements
BS EN 71 : Part 2 : 2006 Safety of Toys – Flammability
CEN/TR 13387 Safety Guidelines
BS EN 13758 PART 1 (2002) – UV Radiation Through Clothing
BS EN 13758 – 1:2002 – Textiles Solar UV Protective Properties with measurement made in the visible light range
BS EN ISO 105-X12: 2002 – Colour Fastness to Rubbing:
REACH 1907/2006 Annex XVII (tests for presence of banned Azo dyes)
BS EN ISO 14184: Part 2 1988 (tests for presence of formaldehyde)
All products are also CPSIA compliant for the US.