Baby sleep and sleep training can be touchy subjects. It’s kind of like breastfeeding: lots of theories, different methods, everyone has an opinion, two-way shaming… I could go on. Plus when you’re sleep deprived you’re naturally irritable so a sore subject becomes even sore-er for moms still trying to master it. Oy. There are a million and one ways to skin a cat, so you need to find what works best for you and your family. That said, I’m grateful to have found a system that works GREAT for my family, my baby and me. I have shared my sleep training story here, so if you’re still trying to find something that works I’d definitely encourage you to check it out. As kind of a “sister post” to that one, I wanted to share some baby sleep tools that I believe to be universally beneficial. Without further ado, here is my (short and sweet) list of what I believe to be universally game-changing baby sleep tools:
I had friends and family recommend white noise from the time I announced my pregnancy (no joke) and I always kept it in the back of my mind. In the first weeks, baby would have daily inconsolable crying fits (what I now know would be considered colic). At one point, I recall God intervening to rescue me and a light bulb went off in my brain, reminding me of all of the earlier suggestions to try white noise. So I downloaded a white noise app. Almost immediately after I started playing the sound on my phone, she stopped crying and fell asleep. Amazing. So that afternoon, I ran out and snagged myself a white noise machine. The one I have is called the Hushh Portable White Noise Machine, but you can use any white noise. I love this one because it’s rechargeable and portable… but doesn’t drain my phone battery.
Early on in baby’s life, her startle reflex would’ve probably kept her up all night. In the hospital, I tried to master the professional swaddle with just a swaddling blanket and I failed miserably time after time. The hospital I delivered at actually gave us a Halo Sleep Swaddle in our “Baby Welcome Package” and I was almost immediately hooked. These are also great for when baby gets a little stronger because even if you are a pro swaddler, they will inevitably be able to escape at some point. They can also be worn a few different ways so when baby learns to roll you can tuck the “wings” under their arms! It’s genius!
When we first tried letting baby sleep in her bare crib, we found that she would continually roll and wiggle and get her little arms and legs stuck in between the crib bars. This prevented baby from staying asleep for more than 30 minutes at a time, at first… and that’s NO exaggeration. Traditional crib bumpers are generally viewed as a safety hazard, so I scoured the internet to find something that would prevent baby’s little arms and legs from getting stuck in the bars, but would be safe enough for her to sleep all night in. ALAS! I stumbled upon the BREATHABLE crib bumper. My little lady is now sleeping soundly 12 hours a night, every night (more info here), with all of her little appendages intact. The one we have is called BreathableBaby Ultra Luxe Mesh Crib Liner, and we love it! This one is great because unlike most breathable crib bumpers, there is a bit of padding so it’s a little bit cozier for baby to snuggle up to. The bumper also helps to ease the transition to the crib because it’s a little extra something to make baby feel secure, so they don’t feel as vulnerable starting out in the crib!
Out of everything, this is hands-down the best baby-related item that I own. I’m not even talking just sleep stuff, I’m talking everything. If I had a nickel for everyone who said “Sleep now, while you still can!” when I was pregnant, I’d probably be a millionaire. I got a lot of annoying comments over my nine months, but that one was definitely at the top of my list. I have friends and family with six-year-olds who still don’t sleep through the night… how’s that for terrifying? I was determined to find a solution to this sleep deprived epidemic, and boy did I ever. This book is incredible. The method is easy to follow, and almost totally painless for mommy and baby. The author talks about how life-long good sleep habits are learned, so it’s important to start babies young. For this reason I believe that this is the greatest investment a new parent can make. You can find it here. You can also find my review/synopsis of the book here.
I will rave about this product until the end of time. The DockATot is great for SO many reasons. It’s great for brand new babies because they’ve just spent the last nine months as close to mommy as humanly possible, and they’re most comfortable feeling snuggled. It’s great for co sleeping to use as extra protection and a bumper for baby. It’s great for transitioning from co sleeping to crib (check out this post for more info). It’s great for traveling naptimes. It’s great for sleepovers. It’s just freaking great. I would buy it 100x over. We have the DockATot Deluxe, which we’re pretty close to outgrowing, but there is a bigger size, the DockATot Grand for bigger babies/small children. I plan on purchasing this one, even though my baby has now transitioned to her crib, because it’s awesome for nap time on-the-go, sleepovers, playtime…. And so much more.
We did without overnight diapers for the first couple months baby slept through the night, and I finally discovered how wonderful they are about a month ago. I do a lot less laundry, and baby is a lot comfier. Once your baby is sleeping all the way through the night, or even if you’re in the process of sleep training, I would definitely recommend overnight diapers to keep baby and her bedding nice and clean and dry J There are lots of brands out there, but we use the tried and true Pamper’s Swaddlers Overnights and they work great!
YAY! Now your little peanut is all ready to become a champion sleeper… and you are ready for your beauty rest 🙂 I truly believe that all of these things make a huge difference in baby’s sleep and make life SO much easier for mommies. I hope this helped! Stay tuned for more #momlifemastery from ML! <3 Lexi
*this post contains affiliate links