As a satisfied owner of Cloud b’s Sleep Sheep white noise machine, I was excited to try their new addition—the Tranquil Turtle. The Tranquil Turtle is the newest turtle produced by Cloud b. Their previous turtle (the “Twilight Turtle”) projects fun stars onto the ceiling, but the stars don’t move and the turtle doesn’t produce sound. The new Tranquil Turtle is a logical next step…it not only projects a very cool, calming, moving “underwater” light show onto the ceiling, but also produces two soothing sounds to help little ones fall and stay asleep. The marine theme is also more appropriate than stars for a turtle. It comes with a pamphlet serves as an adoption certificate, illustrated storybook, and endangered sea animals guide.
The Turtle produces a “white noise” sound of gently crashing waves and also a marine-themed melody. I use the wave sound the most, since white noise seems to work best on my six-month-old. Volume is controlled by two buttons (up and down) and the volume range is sufficient. Volume control is always a huge plus in any toy!
There are many products that produce white noise and music, but the combination with a light show is what sets this product apart. A button turns on lights inside the translucent shell. The shell is textured and has a moving plastic piece sealed inside, so that when light passes through it, a wavy, moving blue light is projected onto the ceiling. It’s a neat effect that really makes it feel like you are underwater, looking up as the sunlight moves through gently rippling water. It is so cool that sometimes I lie down and watch the lights too! As a busy and tired parent, those opportunities to relax alongside my baby are really nice. (And when you’re not tired, the projection could make a really neat party light!) If you have a hard time dragging your little one to bed, the light show could be a nice incentive to get him or her to actually want to go to bed. At first I wasn’t sure if my little one would notice the light show, but quickly found that he certainly does like to stare at it. One criticism is that the mechanism that pivots the light is not very smooth, which means that the light “jumps.” This makes the rippling water “jump” as well—kind of like watching a YouTube video that is loading too slowly and skipping from scene to scene. But I don’t think a little one will notice. Another wish is that the wave sound be synchronized to the movement of the lights…but this is probably asking too much.
To operate the Tranquil Turtle, you hit one button to start the light show, then a second button to start the music. The buttons are laid out well so you can hit the appropriate button in the dark. There is no way to play the music without the light show. I would prefer the ability to play music only, since there are times when I want my little one to fall asleep instead of being potentially stimulated by the lights. There is, however, a thoughtfully-included dial on the bottom of the turtle that lets you adjust the light brightness. It also would be easy to throw a hand towel over it to block the light. The turtle automatically shuts off after 23 minutes and is powered by three AA batteries.
The Tranquil Turtle looks and feels like a quality product. The head and legs of the turtle are soft and plush, resembling a high-quality stuffed animal. The body is a sturdy-feeling plastic shell. There is even a soft cover over the battery compartment…very thoughtful and it also makes it easy to place the Turtle on things without it sliding off.
In summary, this is a well-thought-out product that produces a really neat light show. The sounds are sufficient, but the Sleep Sheep (same company) provides a wider range of white noise sounds without a light show. Buy this Turtle if you want a great light show and sufficient sound, or the Sleep Sheep if you’re primarily in the market for white noise. I have both, and unlike a lot of baby toys, I think I’ll be getting a lot of use out of these quality products for many years to come.