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Every parent knows that babies and sleep don’t always want to “cooperate”.
And after a few sleepless nights, we tend to search for help. Any little trick or tool that can help our little ones (and us, consequently) sleep better can seem like a real treasure.
That’s why I’ve decided to select the top 10 “treasures”, or baby sleep products. Each of them has the potential of making your life easier (and your baby’s sleep – better). So, let’s take a closer look at them and find out which one would be the most optimal solution for your family.
If your baby has been feeling cranky recently and finds it difficult to drift off to sleep, the Smart Mat by BabyBrezza might be your savior in this situation. Actually, this handy device would work in almost any scenario when you need to calm your little one down and help them fall asleep easier.
The way the Smart Soothing Mat works is quite simple (but genius nonetheless). It mimics the motions and the sounds of the womb to create a calm, peaceful sleeping environment for your baby (the one they are used to). The mat has 4 vibration levels and 4 heartbeat modes, so you can test multiple soothing options to find what works for your baby the best. It also features a programmed timer (5 settings, to be exact).
Now, another cool thing about the Smart Soothing Mat is that you can use it pretty much anywhere. Its size is ideal for cribs and bassinets. Plus, the mat can be rolled up and doesn’t take much space, which means you can use it on the go where your baby might sleep (stroller, activity mats, and so on).
And as a nice bonus, the Smart Mat is backed by an 18-month warranty. It can be a good indication of this mat’s quality and reliability.
Flu and a stuffy nose are common distractions that can stand between your baby and restful slumber. If you want to help your little one and alleviate unpleasant cold symptoms (or combat the air dryness in the room), the Crane humidifier may come in handy. This model has a top-filling design that is meant to minimize potential spills. It’s also powerful enough to cover even larger rooms (which means great value for money). The mist lid is adjustable, so you can easily control the direction of the mist. Additionally, the Crane comes with a programmable 24-hour timer. You don’t have to worry about your humidifier running all night and can control its operation “schedule”. It gets better: This model is more than just a humidifier. It also works as a white noise machine and a nightlight. The Crane offers white noise, rain, and ocean sounds to help block the outside distractions. It can help your baby enjoy disturbance-free sleep while soothing them and creating a calm sleeping environment. As for the nightlight, it can change colors or maintain a stable red light during the night. Such dim lighting is beneficial as it can give you enough illumination to check on your baby when needed without disturbing them with bright lights.
Lulla Owl is a real gem, in my humble opinion. This little doll is more than just a cute décor piece for your baby’s bedroom. It’s actually a smart device that can imitate the closeness of a caregiver, allowing your baby to remain calm and comforted.
The Lulla Owl offers 24-hour sounds of heartbeat and breathing. It means your baby will feel the presence of a caregiver even when you are not there. It can come in handy during sleep training (when you can’t stay in your baby’s room all the time) or simply when you want your little one to feel safe and, most importantly, not alone.
This little toy is soft and pleasant to the touch, so you don’t have to worry about potential skin irritation. However, you can also attach the Lulla Owl to your baby’s crib or stroller using a handy velcro strap. Also, the toy is machine washable, which means you can easily keep it clean and safe for your baby.
One of the best sleep accessories you can get for your little one is the so-called “docking station” where your baby can sleep, play, and have rest. You can also use it for diaper changes and lounging with your little angel, both at home and on the go.
I realize that the price tag of this sleeping pod can seem a little too much. However, once you see the pod, you will understand that its price is dictated by its quality. This sleep accessory is very well-made and promises reliable performance. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns (more than 20), plus has a removable cover. This means you can buy additional covers to match your room décor or your current mood.
This docking station by DockAtot comes with a 30-day return window, although I doubt you would want to return it. It can be a great gift for a friend or may serve as a familiar spot for your baby during traveling (in order to reduce stress caused by the new environment). Whatever you decide to use this little pod for, I’m sure it won’t disappoint you.
Another smart device that can create a favorable sleeping environment for your baby is the Cherub Machine. Despite its compact size, the Cherub has a lot to offer. Its primary function is a white noise machine, of course. This model includes 11 soothing sounds and can operate on a timer according to any part of your daily routine (whether it’s nap time, sleep hours, time to wake up, and so on).
It gets better:
The Cherub Machine allows you to control the lighting (and its intensity) in your baby’s room. You can adjust the color according to your little one’s mood and change the brightness by simply spinning the knob on top. There’s a wide range of colors available, which means neither you nor your baby will ever get bored with this nightlight.
And here’s the kicker: this device is compatible with Apple HomeKit, Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant and SmartThings. You can easily control it using your voice when your hands are full (literally and figuratively).
The next item I would like to share with you is this all-natural calming lotion by California Baby. Using sage and lavender essential oils, this lotion can serve as a simple yet effective aromatherapy tool. You see, sage and lavender naturally have calming properties. Therefore, when applying this lotion, you can soothe your little one and help them sleep better.
Additionally, the California Baby lotion would come in handy if you want to keep your baby’s skin smooth and healthy. It uses only safe and natural components suited for sensitive skin and allergy-prone babies. The lotion has a non-greasy texture and absorbs quite fast. You can use it daily, for example, before naps and in the evening. It’s a simple solution that can do two things: help your baby relax and keep their skin moisturized.
Backed by science, this cute device uses research to help your baby enjoy their restful slumber to the fullest. The Baby Dream is an all-in-one machine that combines the most effective methods of creating a favorable sleeping environment. It works as a nightlight, a sound machine, a red light therapy device, a humidifier, and an aromatherapy lamp. Now, the red light encourages melatonin production that can help your little one fall asleep faster. You can also use the Pink Noise function, which can block external disturbances and create a relaxing soundscape for your little one. Pink noise is a mix of high and low frequencies that sounds more natural than white noise (some users note that it’s also “softer” and more relaxing).
The humidifier can help battle nasal congestion and might make your baby feel more comfortable (and thus, more prone to falling asleep faster). You can also use the Baby Dream Machine as a nightlight if your little one is afraid of the dark or you want to check on them occasionally without turning the main light on. As for the aroma oil diffuser, you can use it with soothing essential oils to put your baby into a more relaxed state and, consequently, help them sleep better. Seems like the Baby Dream was meant to target different sleep-related aspects at once. It’s a wonderful find for those shoppers who are seeking impressive value for money.
Now, this sleep device is meant to help all parents out there sleep better. How? But eliminating their worries. The Owlet keeps babies safe during the night by monitoring their heart and oxygen rate. If anything goes wrong (God forbid), it will send a notification to your phone letting you know that your baby needs you. So, while it’s not something that would soothe your little one, it certainly is a helpful device that can give you and your baby more peace and freedom. The Owlet is adjustable and would work for babies aged 0 to 18 months. It may also serve as an auxiliary tool during the sleep training process, as the Owlet Smart Sock can monitor your little one’s sleep trends. Based on the data you receive, you can introduce certain changes to help your baby sleep better. And if you are feeling hesitant, the Owlet comes with a 30-night trial. You can test it at home and see whether it meets your requirements or not. However, I (and hundreds of other parents) think that the Smart Sock is worth every penny. After all, your baby’s safety and your peace of mind are priceless.
You might think it’s just a fancy nightlight, but the Kübe has a lot more to offer. This little device is voice-activated, which means it will always be ready to soothe your baby back to sleep, even in the middle of the night. Once the baby starts crying, the Kübe will turn the music and/or projection on to help your little one calm down without you being in the room (which may come in handy during sleep training if you want your baby to learn how to sleep without you). Now, the Kübe offers 10 soothing lullabies and 5 calming sounds such as heartbeat, sea, water stream, birds singing, and forest sounds. The projection also comes in multiple variations. You can choose the forest, the sea, or the starry night. And let’s not forget about the handy auto shut-off feature. The Kübe will turn off 30 minutes after activation. There’s also a timer function that you can use as a part of your bedtime routine to help your baby drift off to sleep easier.
Last but not least, allow me to share a somewhat unoriginal sleep accessory that can become any parent’s salvation. These extra-absorbent diapers can help both you and your little one sleep better. You won’t have to get up numerous times during the night to change your baby’s diaper. Just like that, your little angel will sleep soundly without any discomfort or such disturbances as nighttime leaks.
And here’s the best part:
These diapers are completely safe for your baby. The absorbent core is made with wood pulp that wasn’t bleached or chemically treated with chlorine. These diapers do a great job of absorbing moisture and locking it in, allowing your baby to stay dry and comfortable throughout the night.
A quick warning though: some users note that these diapers can be quite stiff (the absorbent material). However, that would be the case only if the diaper was exposed to moisture (transported or stored incorrectly). If that happens to you, feel free to contact the company; they will be happy to find the solution.
Common Sleep Issues in Babies and How to Deal with Them Using Sleep Accessories (Plus, a Few More Tips)
While the previously mentioned “tools” can cover a wide range of sleep-related issues, it might be hard for you to pick one solution that would be the most effective for your baby.
You see, to make the best choice possible, you first need to do your research and pay attention to your baby’s habits. Once you understand why your little one isn’t sleeping well, it will be much easier for you to find a suitable solution.
So, let’s take a look at the most common sleep-related issues in babies and potential “remedies”:
- Mixing up day and night. Young babies don’t have that internal clock we are so used to. That’s why they don’t often sleep when we need them to (1). To help your little one develop their natural circadian rhythms faster, you can use light to your advantage. Expose your baby to brighter lights in the morning and during the day and dim the lights in the evening. Plus, try not to turn the lights on during nighttime feedings. A good adjustable nightlight would help you with that.
- Sleep regression. It can happen during pretty much any stage but is more common for younger kids (0-12 months). Sleep regression can often seem confusing, as your baby may look super tired but then will try to resist sleeping (2). It’s like they get an extra boost on energy right before they see the crib. Sleep regression often involves frequent nighttime awakenings. In this case, you might want to try a white noise machine that could help your baby become less alert and calm down before sleep. You may also want to implement a relaxing bedtime routine (bathing, singing lullabies, cuddling, etc.).
- Not being able to fall asleep independently. Most babies find it difficult to fall asleep without their caretaker present. Just like that, it may be hard for them to fall back asleep on their own when they wake up in the middle of the night. That’s one of the issues parents try to get rid of when sleep training. A sound machine would come in handy in this case, especially the one that turns on when the baby starts crying. You can also use a device that mimics heartbeat and breathing to make your baby feel safe during the night. Another option is sleeping in your little one’s room and gradually moving further away from their bed to let them get used to sleeping alone.
- Feeling too alert before bed. While babies grow, they learn hundreds of new things. It can be very exciting but also overstimulating. Chances are, every development leap or newly acquired skill can make your baby too aroused even in the evenings when it’s time to sleep (3). In this case, it’s important to stick to the same sleep schedule (at least try to). Additionally, you might want to come up with a relaxing bedtime ritual (a warm bath, gentle massage, cuddling in a rocking chair, etc.). A soothing sound machine or a smart mat that imitates the sensation of being in the womb could also come in handy in this case. Moreover, you might want to apply a calming lavender-scented lotion to your baby’s skin (which can also be a part of your relaxing nighttime routine).
Sleep is crucial, especially when talking about your baby’s development (4).
At the same time, getting your baby to sleep well can often be a challenge.
That’s why no one is going to blame you for using a little helper (or even a few of them) like one of these sleep accessories. After all, each of them has the potential to improve your little one’s sleep (and yours) for the better.
How old is your baby? And what sleep-related difficulties are you currently facing? Let us know in the comments!
- April Newton (June 05, 2020). 5 Reasons Why Your Newborn Isn’t Sleeping at Night. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/newborn-not-sleeping
- Jessica Wapner (April 15, 2020). Are Sleep Regressions Real? Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/15/parenting/baby/sleep-regression.html
- Katharine Gammon (April 17, 2020). What to Do if Your Sleep-Trained Baby Stops Sleeping. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/article/sleep-training-regression.html
- Elaine KH Tham, Nora Schneider, and Birit Broekman (May 15, 2017). Infant sleep and its relation with cognition and growth: a narrative review. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5440010/