“Infant Sleep Essentials” probably gets a Google search almost as many times as “Kylie Jenner Makeup Tutorial”. I have the numbers to prove it. When I input this into my search engine, I was given 2.6 million results in .48 seconds. There were endless number of items starting from a crib (duh), to footed and foot-less sleepers, and even sleep tablets (Eek! More on that later). The items that I am about to share are tried and true, and ones that I have used with my own little ones.
These items are more specific to infants ranging from newborns to about 18 months. Toddlers are notorious rule-breakers and boundary-pushers so I’ll share a different set of essentials for them in a different post.
When I tell you that these products are tried and true, that’s because, I, probably like yourself, had an infant who was the WORST sleeper I had ever known. You know this is true when he finally starts sleeping, and your neighbors congratulate you for it. I desperately searched for any and all items that would make my little Nicholas get just a few more hours (or even minutes) of sleep. We tried every miracle blanket, every sleep sack, and every anything that had rave Amazon reviews from desperate parents, like us, who just wanted some sleep.
Let’s dive right in.
1. HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper This amazing sleeper is a life-saver for recovering moms. Having to get up in the middle of the night and go to your little one is really a lot of work when your body is working hard to recover. Instead, you can swivel your little one over to you to pick them up or feed them. This allows for everyone to be in their own space, while still maintaining at arms reach. One of the side-walls lowers down for easier access to baby. It also has mesh walls making for a safe and breathable environment.
2. Snuggle me Organic Lounger Going from the womb to the outside world is probably similar to a city girl moving into the Amazon forest. It’s a scary world out there. The Snuggle Me lounger creates a space that mimics the womb in order to make your babe feel safe and secure. It hugs her body leaving her with a feeling of comfort. It’s unique patent prevents babies from rolling over and creates a firm space for them to lie in. It is also made of organic cotton twill and has a removable cover that you can wash. It fits perfectly into the HALO Bassinest. Score!
3. Aden + Anais Easy Swaddles Two words. Game. Changer. Even though most moms believe that their little babe hates being swaddled, I still encourage them. This is especially true for little one’s like my Nicholas, who had a very strong Moro reflex. This reflex often makes infants feel like they are falling, as a response to sudden loss of space. It can be present up to four months. Swaddles help to muffle this reaction and allow for baby to sleep well. These specific swaddles are easy to use (hence the name) and don’t allow for those little arms to find it’s way out. Keep in mind that swaddles should only be used up until about 3 months, and definitely before babe can roll over.
4. HoMedics White Noise Machine White noise is meant to block out environmental noise that might wake up your little one. Whether it would be your neighbor’s dog, the garbage truck, or even the morning birds chirping, all of these are good reasons why little one would wake up from a sweet slumber. This specific white noise machine is simple, easy to use, and affordable. There are also fancy white noise machines like the Hatch Baby that can also grow with infant to toddler.
5. A Lovey While your little one is learning the new skill of independent sleep, a lovey can serve to comfort and soothe baby. The American Association of Pediatrics recommends that a lovey be introduced after one and to ensure that it is a small object. I always encourage you to do what you feel is safe for your little one, however, I did introduce a lovey to Nicholas when he was 6 months and he has been attached to it since. He is now 2.5 years old and still uses his lovey to sleep. You might also want to purchase two of the same lovey just in case you lose one (or end up throwing up on it at 4 a.m. and can’t find another one).
6. A wipe-warmer This might seem like an odd object to be on a Sleep Essentials list but it’s an important one. It’s also an item that many moms feel like they registered for, but probably could have lived without (especially if you’re a second time mom. I see that eye-roll). For those middle of the night diaper changes (also an eye-roll if you’re a second time mom), the last thing you want is to startle and wake-up your little one with a cold wipe. You want to make that diaper change as smooth as possible with the least amount of tears.
7. Black-out curtains Okay, maybe I lied. This is the one item that is NOT tried and true, but only because I have never had an issue with an early riser. Most babies who are early risers (anything before 6 a.m.), are often waking up because the room is bright, or has the slightest bit of light coming through the shades. Most moms swear that the room is pitch-black and yet when I suggest a black-out curtain, the early riser is almost always sleeping in until 7 a.m.
8. Cool-mist humidifier Illnesses are the number one reason why great sleepers become terrible sleepers, overnight. When little babe is congested and can’t breathe, mom’s first instinct is to bring her into her bed and watch her closely. This is when I get that phone call the next week that babe doesn’t want to leave mom’s bed. A great tool to use to alleviate the congestion is a cool-mist humidifier. It’s always good to have one close by, as you never know when babe will catch those sniffles.
Checked off all these items off the list and still have a non-sleeper? There might be pieces to the puzzle that are missing. Let’s schedule a time to chat!