Sadly there’s no magic wand that will suddenly help your baby start sleeping better. It’s a process that takes some time and learning. (Tips on implementing healthy sleep habits here.)
But there are some products that can make the process a lot easier and help your baby be a great sleeper: at home and while traveling.
- Sleep sack
When your baby starts learning how to roll over—usually around 3 months old—it’s no longer safe for them to be in a swaddle. At this point, I recommend a sleep sack. Putting on the sleep sack acts as a great cue to your baby that it’s time to go to sleep. It also keeps them warm when they’re too young for blankets. Even better, it makes it harder for babies to climb out of their cribs. My 2.5-year-old son still wears a sleep sack every night!
One of my favorite sleep sacks for younger babies (3 months and older) is the Bitta Kidda sack. There are small blankies attached to the sleep sack so that babies can use them as loveys. And because they’re attached, there’s the added benefit that they won’t get lost or thrown out of the crib in the night.
Another favorite of mine is the Love to Dream Swaddle UP™ 50/50. It’s tight like a swaddle but has wings so your baby can sleep with his or her hands above his head, a position that many babies prefer. The coolest feature is that the wings unzip to make transitioning out of a swaddle easy. And then you can use the 50/50 as a sleep sack.
- White noise machine
A white noise machine is helpful to drown out loud, outside noises that could wake up your baby. While I don’t think you should tiptoe around and whisper while your baby is sleeping, your baby will sleep much better if he doesn’t hear everything that’s happening outside his or her room, including the garbage truck, your dog barking, or your neighbor’s party at 2am! I especially like the Marpac Rohm travel sleep sound machine because you can travel with it and take it camping. But you can also use a basic fan, too, if you don’t want to buy a white noise machine.
You can start giving a stuffed toy or favorite blanket when your baby is 6 months old. To help your baby become attached to a lovey, you can offer it to your baby during the bedtime routine. And then put it in his crib at night and for naps so he or she always has it for sleeping. Loveys can be a valuable tool for babies to soothe themselves to sleep. (Pro tip: buy a backup because without fail, the original will go missing.)
- Blackout curtains
A dark room is key to your baby taking good naps and not waking up at 5am in the summer when it starts getting light out! Most blackout curtains still let in some light around the sides and at the top. So I love Blackout EZTM window coverings that block 100% of the light.
For travel, nothing beats the SlumberPod for ensuring your baby (and you) get a good night’s sleep! The SlumberPod blocks out light and dampens noise: creating a safe, comfortable space for your baby to sleep. It’s perfect for when you’re sharing a room with your baby, whether it’s in a hotel or at your friend’s house. It means that you can still watch TV or read a book without having to put your baby to sleep in the closet or the bathroom—or worse, suffer through a rough night because the baby won’t sleep!
Even though there’s no magic bullet to get your baby sleeping, these products can help your baby get the sleep he needs to grow, learn and thrive!
Certified Sleep Sense consultant
Guest blogger, Martha Lewis, is a certified Sleep Sense consultant, specializing in helping babies 3-6 months old get the sleep they need. She helps families in her local Jackson, Wyoming, community as well as virtually.