Accessories make the outfit. Same goes when it comes to baby’s sleeping habits – at least in my opinion. If you want your baby to have a goodnight’s sleep, you must provide all the necessary tools/accessories to make it happen. I’m not talking about incense candles or a running CD of lullabies. But there are some essential baby sleep aids that certainly help do the job.
First off, a good sleep sack is a must! Babies love to be swaddled tight. The enclosed feeling mimics the womb-like environment and calms the baby’s nervous system, particularly the moro reflex, aka startle reflex. As a mom of 3, I have tried dozens of different sleepsacks. All three girls had different responses to being swaddled. One got overheated if wrapped too tight. One wanted to be wrapped tight. And one wanted to be wrapped tight but have the ability to move her arms. Between three different newborns I experimented with many versions of a sleepsack/swaddle blanket. Here’s what I’ve found works best. The Love to Dream Swaddle Up Original is a-m-a-z-i-n-g! It’s design is genius. It allows the baby to feel tightly swaddled but gives the baby freedom of her hands. As I discussed here, the sleepsack lets baby keep her arms up by her face where they were in utero. However, the tightness of the swaddle prevents the startle reflex from interfering with sleep. When baby H was a newborn we started using it. I kid you not that it worked immediately and she was sleeping longer lengths of time. Best part about the sleepsack is that it grows with the baby. When baby is ready to release her arms from the swaddle, you can unzip the corners and free them!
Next comes a good sound machine. There are 2 that I worship. First one I blogged about here. The Baby Shusher truly is a gift from a higher power. It’s great on the go, which is when I mainly used it. Baby H’s naps during the newborn phase were always outside the house. She’s a third kid and didn’t have much of a choice. For the nursery though I highly recommend the Marpac “Dohm” for baby sound machine. It’s a white noise / sound conditioner that is a serious noise mute button for baby. I have two of them. One for inside baby’s room and one for outside the room. With two loud older sisters, it’s a constant battle to keep a quiet house. The struggle is real I tell ya. But these machines are perfecto for the job.
The last must have would be a video monitor so you can watch baby’s every move. It’s so critical to be able to see what’s happening in the nursery to avoid any unnecessary walk-ins to baby’s room. The camera should have a zoom capability. This component allows you to determine if baby is awake or sleep during crying fits. Many times we run to help a crying baby, who really doesn’t need it. Babies can be restless and cry as their sleep patterns change through the night. Yet it doesn’t always mean you need to run into the room to see what’s going on. That’s the monitor’s job.
Once you’re armed with the right tools, you’ve accomplished part of the sleep battle. These tools aren’t a cure-all, but they sure do help set the scene for your baby to have a restful night’s sleep.