Ask any mom of a newborn what they want the most during those first few months and the response will be unanimous. Moms want babies to be good sleepers. Defining good is a little objective, but top descriptors would be sleeping through the night, napping on a predictable schedule, and waking up rested. There are tons of methods, products and systems available to help. Here are five must-have products to help your baby sleep.
#1 Swaddling Blankets
The nurses at the hospital make it look so easy when they wrap your newborn up like a little burrito. Then when you’re home, you cannot seem to make is snug enough or even stay tucked. Enter swaddling blankets – these special blankets have Velcro in strategic places to assist you in getting a nice swaddle on for your baby. The warmth and the secure feeling mimic the womb, and that keeps most babies sleeping soundly.
#2 Video Monitor
No, the video monitor itself won’t help baby sleep, but what it will do is minimize the interruptions from mom or dad entering the room to check on baby. Invest in a high quality monitor and go for one that has both sound and video. You’ll get peace of mind and baby gets fewer interruptions from paranoid parents.
#3 Sleep Gowns
If you’re changing wet diapers in the middle of the night, the less jostling you do, the easier it will be for baby to fall back to sleep. With a gown that has an open bottom, you won’t be messing with zippers and snaps. Instead, you’ll have a quick change then baby will be back to the business of getting a great nap or night of sleep. And on the subject of middle-of-the-night diapering, some moms swear by the wipe warmer – a cold cloth on the bottom is an invitation for an alert and fussy baby.
#4 Baby Mobile
A big part of building solid sleep habits is teaching baby to “self soothe” and get back to sleep without intervention from mom or dad. A mobile over the crib can keep baby occupied until they are able to drift back to sleep. Or, if they’re up for the day, the mobile might buy a little more time before they demand attention.
When they’re newborns, a night light is really more for the parents who will stumble in during the night and (hopefully) avoid colliding with the furniture. A nightlight also provides just enough light to see for changing, nursing or other needs without creating a bright environment that inhibits a quick return to sleep.
Try these five must-have products to help your baby sleep. And while it’s not a product, the best thing to help your baby sleep is a consistent routine. For bedtime, be consistent in the hour leading up to sleep. Try a warm bath, then a bottle, then a story or cuddle time before sleep. If you stick to the routine, it will become a habit. A similar routine can be created for daytime napping.