ZZZ Bears deploy to fight the battle of bedtime
The ZZZ Bears “Military Grade Sleep System” comes with a uniformed bear, door hanger, Sleeptight oath and several Silver Slumber Star stickers for rewarding a good night’s sleep. (Photo courtesy Justin Baum)
By Rindi White
Getting kids to sleep through the night can be a challenge, even with elaborate bedtime routines and lots of love. There are bad dreams to contend with, scary shadows and sometimes irrational fears that strike out of nowhere.
If a child is worried about their mom or dad who is deployed, or has lost a parent in the line of duty, bedtime can pose even more difficult battles. That’s why Justin Baum created ZZZ Bears.
Baum, a copywriter at an advertising company, said on his ZZZ Bears website that he was browsing the Marine Corps Exchange and spotted a bear wearing a Marine Corps sweatshirt. He decided to create a story around the bear that would, hopefully, help his daughter, Emma, sleep better.
“’This is Marine Bear,’ I told her, ‘Part of an elite fighting force that has protected our nation for more than 200 years. And now, he’s ready to protect you. Every night, we’ll station Marine Bear outside your door, where he’ll watch over you as you sleep,” he writes on the ZZZ Bears website.
As Baum relates, Emma asked “What if he falls asleep?” to which he responded, “He’s a Marine. He would never fail his mission!”
The bear helped his daughter sleep, and Baum decided he might be on to something. He launched a business, selling bears dressed in military uniforms. He calls it the “Military Grade Sleep System,” and it includes Sgt. Sleeptight, the bear (in a choice of U.S. Army, Navy or Marine uniforms), a door hanger that declares the room “Protected by Sgt. Sleeptight,” a Sleeptight oath to read before bedtime and Silver Slumber Star stickers to award after a good night’s rest.
ZZZ Bears ZZZEO Justin Baum with Sgt. Sleeptight at Target (photo courtesy Justin Baum)
Baum said he never served in the military but spent seven years working alongside Marines.
“I was the lead writer and creative director for Marine Corps recruitment advertising at JWT, the Marine Corps’ longtime advertising agency,” he said.
His company partners with TAPS, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, and donates bears each month to children who have lost a parent in the line of duty.