My love for a creep – The Lulla Doll review

I can basically start this review with “What would I do for a night’s sleep” and the answer is anything. And then anything again. Because basically anything.

So would I share a bed with a creepy doll with a weird face that clicks and gasps for air like a dying zombie? Yes, yes I would.

I'm a Lulla Doll! I would never hurt you while you're sleeping! I probably don't have teeth.

I’m a Lulla Doll! I would never hurt you while you’re sleeping! I probably don’t have teeth.

Let’s be real – I would share my bed with a possessed demon or actually an actual dead person if it meant my child who hates sleep with the fire of a thousand suns would actually FLUFFING* sleep.  So yes, if a doll with a death rattle soothes my child, then I’m pleased I can just get a Lulla Doll and I don’t have to actually kill someone.

And really, it’s my husband I’m going to kill isn’t it? And that’s not great for the family if he’s goneburger.

So I’m going to begin this review by saying Thank You Makers of the Lulla Doll and Sleepytot NZ because they’re the ones who sent me the doll, and they’re the ones you need to order one from if you want one. Thank you for saving my marriage by keeping my husband alive. Because the Lulla Doll’s heartbeat (terror clicks) and recorded breathing (death rattle) actually keep my child asleep at night. Which means for now, my husband gets to live. How nice for everyone but especially him.

So quickly – what’s a Lulla Doll? It’s a soft doll that has a heartbeat and breathes and it is meant to mimic a “caregiver”. Unfortunately you can’t leave your kid with it to go boozing and pretend you live a child-free existence. Not that I tried…

The heartbeat and breathing is a recording of “a mother at rest” and at first I thought this was impossible because “mother at rest” is a thing that has never actually happened in the world. But then I thought, oh yes, you do rest when you’re dying. Oh sweet death.

But then I found out that the breathing is the breathing of a yoga teacher.

And her name is Gudrun.

And Gudrun has four children.

Oh Gudrun.

And now I can’t stop wondering what Gudrun’s life is like. Is she recognised for her breathing everywhere she goes now? Is she stopped by groups of mums who excitedly say ‘DO THE BREATHING! DO THE BREATHING!’ Is she typecast now? There must be so few roles in Hollywood for “just breathing”. But surely she’d be popular for horror movies? Does Gudrun have any friends? Do people just fall asleep around her all the time? Can you imagine that life? You start talking to someone and they fall asleep, you go your whole life feeling abandoned and unloved and then you go to therapy and you are telling your therapist everything, from the moment your mother fell asleep giving birth to you, to your future husband or wife falling asleep along with the celebrant and all of your friends and family at your wedding, you talk about how you’re completely uneducated because all of your teachers have always fallen asleep, how work is pretty easy really because your manager sleeps through all of your performance reviews, but you literally cannot talk to anybody by phone….and then you look up and your therapist is asleep.

Is her partner the most well rested person on the planet?

Are her children always asleep?

Has anyone considered the kidnapping risk involved here? What if I stole her, I mean what if someone stole her, and just made her lay next to their kid all day and night, or wedged her into the buggy so they never had to change the batteries on the damn doll?

Because that is a messed up idea I know, but it is kind of a good idea right? Kind of?

Because this is the problem with the Lulla Doll – it works, until the batteries run out and this is what happens when that happens:

*baby cries*

*whisper screaming*

PRESS THE DOLL’S CHEST

*more whispered screaming*

I DID

PRESS IT AGAIN! YOU’RE NOT DOING IT RIGHT!

I AM. I PRESSED IT OK. I KNOW HOW TO PRESS A DOLL’S CHEST I AM NOT USELESS!

JESUS JUST GIVE IT TO ME YOU CAN’T DO ANYTHING RIGHT!

YOU TRY THEN IT’S THE BATTERIES!

YOU DIDN’T CHANGE THE BATTERIES I ONLY ASKED FOR ONE THING OK FOR YOU TO CHANGE THE BLOODY EFFING BATTERIES I MEAN JESUS CAN YOU NOT DO ONE THING!

YOU CHANGE IT. WHY DO I ALWAYS HAVE TO CHANGE IT?

WHERE IS THE FLUFFING MOTHER FLUFFER FLUFFING FLUFF SCREWDRIVER (this is a review so I’m trying not to say fuck)

YOU MOVED THE SCREWDRIVER IT WAS RIGHT THERE

*louder whisper fighting*

WHY WOULD I MOVE THE SCREWDRIVER???? WHY DIDN’T YOU CHANGE THE BATTERY

I DID CHANGE IT

NO YOU DIDN’T

This usually goes on until you get the new batteries in and Gudrun starts breathing again.

Then you’re like:

Goodnight sweetheart.
Goodnight babe.

The good batteries can last up to a week – maybe 10 days if you’re only using it at night (we use it for naps too), but there is no way to know when the battery will run out, so it will always be 4am when you really need to sleep.

When we first got the Lulla Doll (who we have affectionately called Creep Gundy) we were just like, wow, this is creepy as Hell. Then we put it on and were instantly relaxed. The death rattle is really relaxing. Which is weird because hospices are not relaxing. Damn, I took this to a dark place and now I’m not sure where to go with it.

Can I start again? Like, I am super tired all the time so could fall asleep literally at any moment so I don’t need much – but the doll made both me and my husband feel like we were being hypnotised.

The doll was for Ham who was 11 months old when we got it. When Ham first met Creep Gundy it went like this.

*Ham screaming*

Me waving Creep Gundy at Ham: Look at this thing! It’s doing a thing! Go to sleep with it!

Ham: *stops screaming*

Imagined internal monologue of Ham:

What the Hell is that thing?

I don’t want to sleep with that?

Why is it making that noise?

Is it dying?

What is that clicking noise-I Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

So we created a shrine for Creep Gundy and we pray to her and give her offerings of Tupperware containers filled with the fresh blood of virgins and it’s really hard to find virgins when all of your friends have a million kids and were very experimental in high school anyway.

The truth is the Lulla Doll works sometimes, for some kids. But that would not make a great review would it? At various times I’ve gone to write this and my notes have been:

So good. Everyone should get.

Does not work. Fuck everything.

Definitely cannot live without doll.

Needs longer battery life.

Needs to not have a battery.

Need another one so I can wash first doll.

Just buy it.

How did I ever live without this doll?

This is why I have taken two months to write this. Because I have wanted it to be a fair review. And so here’s my fair review – the doll works for us. Before we got the doll, Ham woke every 45 minutes or so. He slept in bed with us, and we had to lay with him to get him through each REM cycle. But the doll does a really good job of either tricking him into thinking we are with him, or just keeping the environment the same so he can stay asleep. I don’t know what it is. But whatever it is, it’s working for Ham. It’s not a miracle – I can’t say he’s gone from that to sleeping through every night. But he has had waaaay less wake ups, most nights. So to me, that is totally worth it. Because there isn’t a product on the market (unless the boxes you leave babies in at Fire stations could be considered a product) that will get every baby sleeping through every single night.

I will share my bed with a creep for way less wake-ups and this good progress we have been having.

And thankfully, I don’t have to share my bed with Creep Gundy anymore, because Ham has started to sleep in his own bed. For the first time since EVER.

And I think that is due the Lulla Doll. I mean, there are obvious reasons why it would work – including that it’s seems to make Ham feel safe in the same way that Eddie’s teddy makes him feel safe. But there are also apparently SCIENTS REASUNS:

Lulla was designed in Iceland after many years of scientific research which shows how closeness improves sleep, well being and safety. Playing a real heartbeat and breathing continuously for 8 hours!

Lulla’s unique patent pending design was inspired by research on kangaroo care, the effects of heartbeat and breathing sounds, and the effects that smell, sight and touch have on babies and small children.

I mean that makes sense right? This is why people put babies on their chest as soon as they’re born, it’s why babies sleep so well in carriers and why so many parents have sex on the floor because their bed is full of kids.

Lulla

So what would I change about the doll? I would somehow make it run without a battery. I have seen some people complain about the fact that the recording is only for eight hours but since my child never sleeps a full eight hours, that’s not a problem for me. You press the doll’s chest to get it to re-start the eight hours anyway, so I’m not sure what the issue with that would be. There has been a number of times when Ham has cried and we have realised the doll stopped and we’ve just pressed the chest again to get it started again. It’s not that much of a big deal, but I could see how it could be.

I asked Fiona at Sleepytot (she’s awesome!) about this and she said: “the new Lulla Doll (out in June) has a reset button which allows you to have another eight hours of continuous heartbeat and breathing. The current version will do eight hours all up (if its paused after a two hour nap, it will only go for the remaining six hours the next time you push the button)”.

To be honest, I never ever noticed this. I think I’m always just half asleep and turning it on. But for this reason, I’d buy the new one in June rather than buying a second hand one. And if I had the money I’d upgrade to the new one and then sell the old one. People are selling these things for hundreds on Trademe (way more than the recommended retail price) – basically because they’re hard to get.

There’s going to be a black market Lulla Doll I’m sure. Some industrious person is going to record their 100 smokes a day grandfather and make a killing. Or I suppose you could start a business where you hire out people with really bad asthma or bionic hearts to sit by your kid’s bed, but I feel the screening process would really derail the whole thing.

Instead you can pre-order the new one from Sleepytot New Zealand and get it as soon as it arrives. You can also lay-by it. And yes, I recommend it.  I’m not saying it will work for every child, every night, or that it will be a miracle cure for your child’s awful sleep.

But, I will say though that my perpetually grumpy husband who hates everything loves the Lulla Doll. He accidentally left it in our cabin while we were on holiday and when he realised he literally ran faster than I’ve ever seen him run in his entire life to get it. So that’s something.

Big thanks to Fiona at Sleepytot NZ  for hooking me up with a Lulla Doll. I like that she actually reads the blog and just emailed me like “do you want to try this?” and just sent it and that was it. Instead of other brands that are all like “We will send you this thing if you write 8000 words organically using the terms “Sleeperiser8000” and “StupidBrandLtd” and the hashtag #sleepingisreallygreatwiththesleeperiser8000fromstupidbrandltd and please organically say our slogan “the most fun you can have on your back!” Please also write it in the next three hours and we want to check the copy first and just make a few small edits, actually we could write it for you, but in your authentic voice and please don’t say we gifted it to you, can you pretend you bought it and also please post to all of your social media platforms”.

So thank you Sleepytot NZ, I like a company that is confident enough in what they’re selling to just send it and hope for the best. I am very pleased to say I am now be a card-carrying member of the Gudrun Fan Club/Lulla Doll Cult.

All Hail Creep Gundy.

***

OMG GUESS WHAT I was looking for a video for you to show you what the doll looks like and what it sounds like and I found this one and IT HAS GUDRUN IN IT! GUDRUN! In some kind of creepy basement. Or maybe I’m reading too much into it. She looks like she has powers?!?!

*I tried hard not to say fuck while writing this review.

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  1. I wonder if it would work for my severely determined (I say this like its a bad thing, but I’m sure it will set him up for a fine future) 3-year-old. He goes to sleep in his own bed but joins me as soon as I go to bed then spends the rest of the night mostly asleep while prodding my tummy. My tummy isn’t a tummy unless I have a bellybutton feelable, which is tricky when you prefer to sleep on your stomach… Usually he is fine and we sleep and occasionally we don’t even notice him arrive, but man it would be nice just to sleep with my husband without a preschooler in between us. He’s not exactly tiny, either.

    • Eddie really wanted one. I definitely could see how it would work with someone his age (he’s three too) because he thought it was a real baby and was very gentle with it. We actually considered giving it to him and doing the whole “baby needs you to look after them and sleep all night in bed with them” trick. Worth a try I reckon. I think I might actually get one on lay-by for Eddie.

  2. “it’s really hard to find virgins when all of your friends have a million kids and were very experimental in high school anyway.”

    You just solved your own problem. They have a million kids.

  3. Funny review. My dad used to put an old ticking clock wrapped in a blanket to our new puppies on the farm.

  4. Fuck that’s awesome.
    I had seen the video and what not but I’m really glad to read your real life experience with it. I reckon some mums ready to try ANYTHING made it for other parents ready to try ANYTHING and it sounds like they as close to nailed it as possible

  5. Sounds a bit like the Sleep Sheep, which people over here swear by – not the dulcet sounds of a woman however, just noises and snugglable.

  6. Hillarious! This is possibly the best thing I have ever read. (And I’m really glad it helped you get a bit more sleep…)

  7. I’m thrilled the doll’s working for you and Ham, but man, that brief bit on the video where you hear the breathing sent chills down my spine. They say Gudrun went into a trance for two hours and from that they got a twenty-minute loop. I wonder what she was doing for the other hour and forty minutes? My guess is levitating while making guttural moans and screaming out her passion for the Devil.

  8. I bought this doll from John Lewis in the UK after it seemed to be the only place in the world with any in stock. We’ve had it for 3 nights & it doesn’t seem to have made any difference still on 45 min wake ups & boobin to sleep. Am gutted as my boys sleep pattern sounded like Hams. Did it work instantly for Ham? Do you place it on his chest or just beside him? Can you tell am desperate!! Xx

    • Hang in there! It definitely did not work instantly. Other than it distracted him from crying the first few times he heard it. It was a weeks long thing before we saw results. We incorporate it into his bedtime routine – holding it close to him while we rock him and then he cuddles it once he’s asleep. I hope it works for you!! Xx

      • Emily this review was hilarious – thanks! But I also wanted to say thanks for replying to comments like Jen’s. It’s really kind of you. I just tried Lulla for the night and although I knew rationally it was unlikely to work in a night of course secretly I wanted it to be a magic cure 🙂 I will take hope from your experience and keep trying!

  9. Oh Em! Thank you for getting back to me, ive been cursing John f**cking lewis, Gundy, and been referring to the doll as “that bank robbing f**cker lulla” the most expensive chew toy since sophie the chuffing giraffe!
    haha it very weirdly works on me (when my husband takes the sleep thief son downstairs and i can get some sleep) although i did have a dream it was possessed and wouldn’t turn off!
    will defo keep going with it then, he likes to chew lulla while i sing an aboriginal lullaby and twinkle twinkle star whilst heating up his sleepyhead with a hot water bottle before swiftly removing it whilst his shuts his eyes!
    Thank you again for your advice and reply xxx

  10. I loved this review and was so hooked that I even went to the John Lewis website to check out the price and consider if it might help Ellie.
    Then I realized that I am too broken for hope anymore.
    She will never sleep.
    Only the sweet release of death will one day save us all.
    The end.
    Good for you and Ham, though! Whatever gets you through the night.

  11. Hilarious review- my husband and I whisper fight all the time! I just got the doll for our 12 month old and im not even going to mention how much his doll was bit needles to say they are all sold out and we bought this from someone who made some major bank off of us. The things we do for kids. Let me just say she loves this ugly ass doll from the moment I took it out of the box. She drags it everywhere with her, snuggles it and When it’s time to sleep she started listening to the breathing and heart beat and fell asleep- usually as I leave the room she stands up in the crib and cries. Not sure how this thing works it’s some magic from Iceland.

  12. Omg i bought one of these 8 months ago, i affectionately named her “Creepy Mc Creeps” my daughter seemed to think she was creepy too! Until today when i dug it out of the cupboard to list on trademe…. She ( Emily who is 14 months old) kept trying to get at it while i was trying to take a mugshot of”creepy mc creeps” i told her “you didn’t like lulla so mama is selling her to another baba”…. She told me “no no no mama.”…and with a piercing shreik she snatched “creepy mc creeps” and ran off…. Determined that she would get all freaked out if I turned it on … I did so and she hugged her tighter…. And is now sleeping soundly clutching her creepy little dolly …. Just goes to show even the ones that seem to hate this creepy doll at first might warm up to it later …. by the way! What a brilliant review im laying in bed, hubby asleep next to me and i had to try my hardest (probably as hard as u tried not to say fuck) not to wake him with my giggling

  13. I feel exactly the same way as you, after a few weeks I’ve finally realised I need to change the batteries once a week, sometimes more if one of my kids has been playing with the creepy doll. Also the recording needs to be longer. I know my little one can sleep 11 hours (she used too before chickenpox led to co sleeping ) thankfully the creepy doll has led to her being back in her bed for a few hours at least. Also she rubs herself against it which turns it off, super annoying but she seems to enjoy it!
    Thanks for hilarious review. I have a 24 batteries and a mini screwdriver ready for the next change!!

  14. The whispered fight was epic. hehe. Thinking get one for my almost 4 month old son.
    hopefully it works for him.

  15. Holy fuck I’m not gonna lie but this is the best review I’ve ever read it was hilarious as well as helpful.

  16. Dude, right? It’s a way creepy sound.
    But, my babe Iona just fell asleep in record time. It’s our first night using the doll. When we took it out of the box, Iona immediately fell in love. She wanted to go to bed before dinner just so she could hold the thing. When I turned it on, she said ‘Off, momma. Now. Off’. To which I replied, ‘no baby, just listen’ while silently wondering if the batteries it came with were a little on the old side. Then she was snoring. And I googled ‘Lulla Doll Breathing’ and found your hilarious blog. Congrats on getting sleep. I’m excited about my first night of uninterrupted slumber in 21 months. Wish me luck!

  17. Got my lulla doll today and found this after googling ‘lulla doll sounds scary’… Loved this review. I actually laughed out loud (for real, not lol). I never comment on anything but you deserve to know you are funny and made me happy.