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Over the years, and after having worked with thousands of clients, I’ve curated a list of child sleep must-haves. Read on to learn which products are my favorites and why. If you have a newborn or are heading to a baby shower, check out this list as well!
The Only Sleep Book You Need
Getting Your Baby to Sleep the baby Sleep Trainer Way – I think the best value of the bunch (and I’m really not just saying this 😉 is my book! Nearly everything I’ve learned on how to best train infants and toddlers is in this book, it’s less than $10, has free Prime shipping, comes in eBook (for even cheaper!), and makes an excellent gift.
For Baby’s Room
White noise machine – there are lots and lots of white noise machines on the market, but I truly haven’t found one I like better than the Homedics Sound Spa. I own one for each of my kids, and all my friends and family use them for their babies. This has various sound functions (but I urge you to only use the “white noise” setting) and can be battery operated if need be. Best part it’s only only $20!
Video monitor – As you will see, I like to keep things on the high value/low price side. If you’re going to spend a lot of money on anything though, spend it on your video monitor. And check out this blog reviewing different monitors on the market. Spoiler alert: our favorite is the Nanit.
Black out shades – If healthful sleep is important to you, make sure you darken your child’s bedroom as much as you possibly can. Light, especially during naps and early in the morning, can prevent your child from sleeping as deeply as they could, and often causes early waking. I’ve had many clients experience great success with the Grow Anywhere Blind. They are versatile, portable, and not terribly expensive for the problem they solve.
Wonder Bumpers – This product solves the issues of babies who move around so vigorously in their cribs that they bump their heads. It is never permissible to use traditional bumpers (padded or mesh), but if your doctor gives their okay, you can use Wonder Bumpers! These individual crib slat covers allow air to circulate within the crib, but also provide protection againsts little bodies bumping into crib slats.
Sleep sacks (Optional) – I don’t necessarily recommend sleep sacks to everyone, but they’re a great product for families who live in cooler climates and want their little ones to remain warm overnight. For young infants, you want their arms to be free, so I recommend the Halo for them. As baby gets older, can easily roll on their own and is dexterous enough to have their arms covered (should warmth be a priority), then the Zipadee-Zip is one of your best options because these sleep sacks are relatively inexpensive and they come in a variety of sizes and colors. If warmth and/or fabric design is especially important, you can also check out Little Fishkopp sleep bags as they are extremely high quality and have a thick, comfy option.
Toddler clock – This clock is a must have for any toddler who has transitioned from a crib to a bed. I like this particular version because stop lights are something most kiddos are already familiar with so the concept of staying in their room/bed until the light turns green is already intuitive to their little minds. Also, this clock comes in a variety of versions, so if your child likes a particular character you can pick a clock that is more enticing to them in terms of design.
Toddler play yard – If your toddler has started to climb out of their crib, check in with your pediatrician and see if it’s acceptable to try to put them in this amazingly deep play yard. It might seem crazy to transition a child from a crib to a play yard, but not as crazy as your toddler being able to leave their room at will all night long 😉
For Travel or Room Sharing
Pack n’ Play Cover – This SnoozeShade is absolutely genius for traveling or when room sharing at home when needed. The SnoozeShade provides darkness and a baby’s own “space,” and helps babies sleep soundly when in new environments or when sharing a room with Mom and Dad. You’d only use this cover until your little one is able to stand, and make sure your pediatrician approves its use.
Slumberpod – Hands down one of the BEST products ever invented when it comes to babies/toddlers and sleep is the Slumberpod. If you have any plans to travel or room share before your child is 3 years old, buy this product. It’s an amazing lightweight, compact, breathable privacy sleeping pod for your child to sleep in (inside of their Pack n Play). I could say more about it, but just click this link to check it out.
For Mom & Dad
Eye Masks – Eye masks (and earplugs, as long as only one parent wears them so the other one can listen for baby) can make an enormous difference in the quality of sleep parents get, especially in the summer months where the sunlight can wake you earlier than you intended to be awake. There are a ton of choices on Amazon, but that eye mask/ear plug combo is my favorite because it’s effective and inexpensive. The concave design of the masks allow for comfortable eye movement during REM sleep.
Keep in mind that for some odd reason, eye masks of all brands tend to deteriorate to the point of not being able to use them after about 10-12 months of use, so don’t be alarmed if find yourself needing to replace your mask every year or so.
There you have it folks! I’ll add to this list as I discover more useful tools to help your kids (and you!) get the sleep you need. Always stay in the loop and up-to-date by signing up for my newsletter!