10 Baby Must Haves for a Good Night Sleep
Sleep is probably one of every new parent’s goals. More specifically multiple hours of uninterrupted sleep at a time for mom, dad and baby. There are so many tips out there on how to get your baby to sleep. I know, I have probably read most of them by now.
With the help of many tips, helpful products and a little bit of luck our baby girl started sleeping 5-6 hours at a time by about 4 weeks old and sleeping 10-12 hours a night by about 10 weeks old. These are some of my tried and true staples that I use and have used to set the stage for a good night sleep for everyone.
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I think we have used a sound machine just about every night since our baby was born. There has been a night or two we were without it due to traveling and she did sleep alright. But I definitely still use it for her all the time and she is now 19 months old. I also use it during naps too. I just really think it helps to drown out any random noises that could possibly wake her up.
2. Rock ‘n Play
Definitely a must for the early months. Our baby girl slept in this for naps and at night for at least 6 weeks. Then we worked on transitioning to her crib at night but she would still nap in the Rock ‘n Play most of the time. Keeping her head elevated helped her with any gas she was having. It also cuddles her from all sides so she feels comfy and cozy.
3. Swaddles & Sleepsacks
The only way we were able to transition out of the Rock ‘n Play to her crib was to swaddle her. I think this at least kept her feeling secure while sleeping. I tried, a lot, to perfect my swaddling techniques with a regular flat swaddle blanket but I was never a master. As she got older she always seemed to squirm out of it no matter how good I thought I swaddled her. Then we tried the Miracle Blanket and she was not able to escape again! This meant that she kept on sleeping! It’s great because it tucks her arms under a separate little flap so she can’t get her hands all the way up to pull the swaddle off. And it’s so easy to just wrap around her. Worked like a charm for us!
When she started to roll over we knew we had to ditch the swaddle. Enter the sleep sack. We loved the Halo sleepsacks to keep her feeling like she is covered and snuggled but lets her arms be free. We used the lightweight muslin ones in the summer and the fleece ones in the winter months. Then as she started to stand and walk more we started using these Early Walker Halo Sleepsacks so she could stand up and move around without getting frustrated. Just make note of the sizing on these. Based on the reviews we went with a medium for our 13 month old and it is plenty large and still fitting generously at 19 months.
I also always recommend to have at least 2 of each of these for those unexpected, middle of the night diaper blow outs or vomiting spells.
4. Night Light
This one is mostly for my own benefit. Having a night light in her nursery helps me be able to go in and check on her and take care of what she needs without having to turn on the lights. I keep it right by the changing pad so I could easily change a diaper with just the night light. We have used one of those Himalayan salt lamps and I really like the soft warm light it gives off.
Again this is mostly for my peace of mind. I need to be able to see and check on baby at any time. It’s also helpful for checking in when she starts to get cranky and see if she will fall back asleep on her own or if she needs some help. I have loved our Infant optics monitor and used it every night since she was born. We are now expecting our second baby girl and I love that you can just buy a second camera for this one and use the same monitor for both!
With this mattress I never felt like I had to use a waterproof pad under the sheet. One less thing to wash! Every time there was a mess I could easily wipe the mattress off and it was good and clean. Its also breathable and it has an infant side which is a little more firm and a softer side for toddlers. No complaints with this purchase.
7. Extra Sheets
Always a necessity to have extra clean sheets nearby for those middle of the night messes. Also helpful if your husband knows where they are too! I found out the first time he tried to take care of a messy baby on his own that he could not find them (they are literally in a bin right next to the bed). But we all lose a little bit of common sense when we are practically sleep walking!
Once baby is over 12 months and can have something in the crib with them a lovey and light blanket can be huge comfort items for them. There have been plenty of nights when I put her down and she’s not quite ready to sleep but will play quietly with her lovey before she falls asleep. And the same when she wakes up. If she has something in with her she can play with she will stay quiet for a little while longer after waking up.
This has been a huge helper during those tough teething nights. Again, after she was 12 months old we would start to give her a teether in her crib at night if she needed it and it would definitely help calm her down. These are just a few of my (and my baby’s) favorites.
One of the biggest things that we have tried to stick to is a consistent bedtime routine. This is something that I can definitely tell a difference in her sleep when we miss it. Our routine started as bath, pajamas, nursing, bedtime. When we weaned at about 12 months we just replaced nursing with a sippy cup of milk. When she finally got a good amount of teeth we had her brush her teeth while in the bath (she actually loves this) and then offer a sippy cup of water before bed. I also try to read a book or two before her bath time now too. The most consistent thing is that we always give her a bath. Sometimes without any soap so we don’t over dry her skin, but always keeping bath time a constant I feel really helps.
Hopefully some of these tips will help you on your way to a full nights sleep for everyone! Please share any of your sleep tips or tricks in the comments!