When I first had a baby, the idea I’d need to do a Fly Babee review – or even need a product like this – wouldn’t have crossed my mind: after all, at first, those teeny tiny newborns sleep anywhere, under almost any condition. What a peaceful few weeks! But, like most babies mine soon ‘woke’ up, and I soon realised that I’d need a few strategies for sleep. Obvious, yes? But what’s not so obvious is the many different times and places I’d need my baby to have a snooze – especially if we were planning to travel. They need to sleep in the car on a road trip, they need a nap in the pram if we’re out for the day. And please, please, let them sleep if we’re on a long flight. Luckily, another Aussie mum was ahead of me here: and invented a solution for the latter two problems – the Fly Babee sleep cover.
The minute I heard about this product, my mind flashed back to the long haul flights between Australia and Europe I did when my son was just ten months old.
The good? We scored a bassinette (like gold – fight to the death for one of those!). The bad? I quickly realised baby bassinette’s are located in the bulkhead row, which is always near the toilets, and often near quite a lot of light (and if you’re really unlucky, underneath a screen). It can make for a tricky sleep for your baby – and, it goes without saying – a harder flight for you. (Remember, for tips on surviving a long haul flight with your baby, our post on this will definitely help!)
The Fly Babee provides a solution I WISH I’d known about at the time. It comes in a small carry bag that won’t bust your luggage allowance on a flight – it’s both small AND light (at your destination, the bag can also be carried on to your pram thanks to two handy velcro straps – see my picture below of it strapped to my Mountain Buggy Nano stroller.
Fly Babee review: How does the Fly Babee cover work?
The black mesh cover “pops up” and is easily clipped over the top of the airline’s bassinette. It opens much like one of those little beach tents (quickly, easily – although the spatially challenged like me have similar challenges putting it away – I’m sure there’s an easy way to do this. This video will help you with any folding challenges.). The end result provides an instant, aerated, spacious, darkened space above your baby, so the lights and comings and goings of the neighbouring aisle is less disruptive. (Apparently, the cover blocks out a whopping 90 per cent of the light.)
If I’d have had this on my Europe flight, I’m sure I wouldn’t have had this situation below – check out my son waking up in the bassinette and popping his head up and down just to look around!
Here’s how it could have looked: the Fly Babee in action.
Fly Babee review continued: Where else can you use it?
My son is now too big for the bassinette on planes (ahh, those were the days!), but not too big for me to try out the Fly Babee in another environment. Remember – it also clips on to most prams, so if you don’t have a universal pram or stroller cover, you can use the Fly Babee instead. The pics below will give you an idea of how it looks on a pram and how easily it clips on.
I set out for the day recently and gave it a go in order to properly do a Fly Babee review. Unhappily (!), I currently have plenty of chance to trial this on my son’s day sleeps because they are ALL now happening in the pram (his days of a day sleep in a bed seem to be in the past – what happened?).
Anyway, recently, on our daily ‘sleep’ walk I replaced my normal white muslin cloth that covers the pram with the Fly Babee. Putting it on was easy, and as you can see, the coverage is pretty good. It’s also solving another problem: lately, my son has been kicking and playing with the muslin when he’s ‘supposed’ to be being lulled to sleep in the pram, but the Fly Babee, being a more ‘structured’ cover, is less appealing as a toy. It worked – he slept! And I quite liked the whole experience, although I’m still hopeless at putting anything small back into its cover (that’s you, Phil and Ted’s travel cot!). I’m sure there’s an easy way – and if I practiced, no doubt I’d nail it.
I regularly use this now on my son’s pram sleeps. Although it apparently blocks 97 per cent of the light, I’ve still kept the habit of throwing the muslin on top for my 20 month old: I really want to make sure I visually block out the world when he sleeps. Of course, you don’t need to do this – the Fly Babee is designed to block out light and actually, the manufacturers would prefer people don’t. I can see why, this apparently will detract from the breathability of the Fly Babee – used how it’s meant to the cover has 100% air permeability, so the temperature inside the pram under it remains consistent with the outside temperature – smart. It’s also nicely ventilated (there are zips in the front for when it’s on the pram, and side zips for the plane basinette). The problem for the cheekily-inclined toddler (mine) is that it’s quite interesting looking at life through the tiny holes, hence my muslin ‘hack’.
I’ll aim to get a parent with a baby fitting into the bassinette to review this on a plane for me soon – and I’ll update this post when I do.
In the meantime: who should buy the Fly Babee?
- Any parent going on a long haul flight where their child will be in a bassinette in flight. If it even gets you a few more hours sleep, it’s worth it.
- Those needing a universal cover for their stroller – or, a darker cover for your stroller if you’re finding a muslin isn’t cutting the mustard for day sleeps. Have you tried it? Let us know in the comments, or join our free Facebook group for travel-keen parents here and join the discussion there!Note: The author was provided with a complimentary Fly Babee for review purposes, however, all commentary in this post is based on Sue’s personal opinion.