12 Days of Baby Stuff: Sleep Essentials

by tinysneakers


There’s nothing that causes more anxiety, frustration, and exhaustion than figuring out the gargantuan mystery that is baby sleep. It is by far the hardest part of parenting. I don’t know where all those cute pictures of sleeping infants come from. None of these things will magically make your baby sleep, but they can certainly help. My best advice? Experiment and keep on trying to you find your priceless combination. It doesn’t hurt to cross your fingers or wish on stars either.


Baby Sleep Essentials

1. Summer Infant Slim & Secure Video Baby Monitor A lot of people say the video feature of a baby monitor isn’t necessary, but I absolutely love having it. Unfortunately, we had to let KB cry to help him learn to go to sleep. He still cries if we don’t get the nap timing right. Being able to peek in on him without disturbing him is vital to my survival as a mother. With a quick glance at the monitor screen I can know he’s just mad because he’s tired/doesn’t want to sleep and not because his leg is stuck in the crib slats or because he threw his lovey out of the crib. I find the video function more essential than the sound- I keep the monitor on mute 99.9% of the time {the light turns orange when he cries}.

2. Summer Infant Swaddleme Swaddle Blanket One of the first things I learned when KB was a newborn was that many babies hate to be swaddled. But the big BUT here is once they’re swaddled, it really does help them sleep. We tried a bunch of different swaddles {including the miracle blanket} and swaddle blankets, but this Velcro one is the winner. The catch? We used 2 at the same time, other wise he’d bust out like a Houdini. The fleece version was perfect for our January newborn.

3. Halo Sleep Sack Once we freed our munchkin from the swaddle, we moved on to the sleep sack, which is just a wearable blanket. It helps let Kabes know it’s time to sleep {a good sleep association!} and keeps him warm at night- he’d never keep a blanket on top of him, plus it’s a safety risk. We usually use the regular cotton one, but have switched to the Fleece Sleep Sack  now that it’s colder at night. The Aden & Anais Muslin Sleep Sack would be perfect for hotter climates/summer use since it’s so lightweight. {Also, KB stands, crawls, and rolls in the sleep sack just fine.}

4. Crane Teardrop Cool Mist Humidifier We run this humidifier on low every night to keep the air moist and comfortable. When KB has a cold, we run it on a higher setting. It comes in cute little animal shapes too, but I like the modern look of the teardrop- we have the white one.

5. Tiddliwinks Giraffe Lovey Loveys and security blankets are more than just a cute thing for baby to snuggle- they’re “transitional objects” that help comfort baby in your absence. We snuggle with this little giraffe lovey while KB has his bedtime nursing session {so it smells like mommy} and then he takes it to bed. I’ve heard horror stories of kids flipping out when they lose their lovey, so we have 2 that we rotate. If we had started using a lovey earlier, I probably would have used something light weight like this Aden & Anais Security Blanket.

6. Carter’s Fleece Footed Pajamas These are my current favorite PJs- the super soft fleece footy pajamas. My favorite part is that they zipper- so many other PJs button, which are a pain in the butt. {I’m rather partial to these Owl PJs for girls. Winking smile} Before it got cold, these Leveret 2 Piece PJs were my go-to for nighttime wear- I love not having to completely undress KB to change his diaper in the morning. Note: You can never have too many pjs.

7.Black Out Curtains Babies sleep best in total darkness. Our black out curtains are just a piece of black out fabric from the fabric store clipped to a curtain rod. To be honest, I don’t notice him sleeping better or worse with or without the curtains, but I’m not willing to risk it- I will do anything to help him sleep. We have our regular blinds topped with black out curtains, tin foil wrapped around the side of the windows, and a piece of foam board covering the top of the window {there’s an arch that isn’t covered by blinds}. The husband calls it our meth lab. It totally takes away the cute nature of the nursery, but so does a tired cranky baby.

Honorable Mention

8. Sleep Sheep White noise helps a lot of babies sleep, especially when they’re newborns and used to the noisiness of the womb. This sleep sheep makes a couple different white noise sounds, plus it’s really cute. It can attach to a crib or bassinet, or there’s a smaller version for the stroller or carseat. White noise doesn’t seem to make a difference in KB’s sleep so we don’t use anything. When he was teeny tiny, white noise helped calm his tears, but he needed LOUD LOUD LOUD noise. We used a hairdryer or this white noise app on our phones.



These deserve a whole separate section. If you’re expecting, get thee to a library and read read read. You don’t know what kind of baby you’ll have, but at least you’ll be familiar with baby sleep. Once you have your baby, you can go back and buy which ever you think will help you. I read them ALL. ALLLLLLLL of them. More than what’s listed here. Plus everything ever written about sleep on the internet. {Don’t Google baby sleep- you’ll just find a bunch of people telling you they can’t help you because their baby slept 12 hours at 3 weeks. LIARS.}

I tried to list these in order of what I found most helpful, but there’s a ton of overlap between them.

1. Secrets of the Baby Whisperer and/or The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems

2. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

3. Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems

4. The Happiest Baby on the Block/Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep

5. The Sleep Lady’s Good Night, Sleep Tight

6. Sleeping Through the Night

7. The Baby Sleep Book

8. The No-Cry Sleep Solution

9. Go the F**k to Sleep <— you might want to read this one first. It won’t help your baby sleep, but it’ll make you laugh. At some point, all you can do is laugh or else you’ll cry.

Reader Recommendation

10. On Becoming Baby Wise I didn’t read this one but everyone seems to recommend it, regardless of the controversy it seems to bring with it.


Now…anyone want to recommend any good toddler-raising/sleeping books? I’d rather read first this time around, instead of scrambling to figure out how to undo what I’d done!


For the other installments of the 12 Days of Baby Stuff:

Newborn Essentials

0-6 Month Favorites

6-12 Month Favorites

Breastfeeding Essentials

Feeding Essentials

What are your favorite sleep items?!


See all the lists here: Favorite Baby Essentials

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) December 11, 2012 at 12:34 pm

We used a hairdryer for white noise in the beginning, too 🙂 Now I love the sleep sheep! It gives H something nice to fall asleep to, but shuts off after 20 minutes!


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