By: Kristin Orr
I recently had my second child and was quickly reminded of the first question everyone asks after seeing or finding out you have a newborn in your house: Are they sleeping well? Today I’m sharing favorites for helping infants sleep.
My son was a great sleeper; mostly by accident because I was a new mom and didn’t know anything about how to “make” a good sleeper. Once my second was born, I was determined to have a positive answer when I got asked the dreaded “sleep” question!
During my pregnancy and afterwards, I began to collect my favorite items from the past, plus new things that I read about to ensure that my daughter (and parents) would get the most out of sleepy time. With either my son or daughter or both, these few things have been life-savers in keeping us all well rested and ultimately, happier.
I wish I had discovered the Nested Bean Zen Swaddle when my son was born! Every mom struggles with the internal swaddle dilemma: to swaddle, or not to swaddle? To use muslin wraps or velcro pods? Arms in or arms out? Each and every baby is so different so it’s hard to find the best option without breaking the bank (or losing your mind!).
With my daughter, I noticed I was putting her down at night on her back and then leaving my hand on her chest for as long as I could muster and then slowly pulling it away, hoping to “trick” her into thinking I was still holding her. This routine was beginning to feel a bit ridiculous and as if the sleep gods were watching over, I saw an ad for Nested Bean Zen Swaddle.
The weighted chick on the front does exactly what I was doing with my hand, while the weighted sides make baby feel like she’s still being held tightly. This swaddle quickly became my best friend and my daughters’ calming tool. She would be crying hysterically and as soon as I laid the first layer of the swaddle on her, she immediately calmed down. The wrapping continues to soothe her until she is completely at ease and ready for sleep without mommy holding her. The Nested Bean Zen Swaddle has two pouches, so it can grow from newborn stage on, and also sells a Nested Bean Zen Sack for when baby rolls over and can no longer be swaddled.
When my son was born, the DockATot was the newest, hottest item on baby registries everywhere, so of course I had to have it! It still remains just as popular as it was a few years ago and I now personally know why. I found this to be a great item for just having around the house to put baby in. Especially during those first few months, when you need a quick bathroom break or change the laundry- the DockATot was the ideal place to leave baby, knowing they’re safe and cozy.
I loved its’ handles, making it easy to bring around the house from room to room. Both my babies loved the DockATot because of its’ snug feel, similar to what mommy’s hold feels like. Keep in mind, the DockATot is not approved for overnight sleep, rather as a good spot for lounging and resting supervised. I suggest you check out their site to read over the safety guidelines for using this product: https://dockatot.com/pages/baby-sleeping-tips-sleep-safety
Finding gender neutral pajamas that are also cozy and soft has proven to be a harder task than one might expect. Most sites separate clothes by gender, so I often found myself spending far too much time going through item after item until I found something I could buy for a girl and a boy.
I was introduced to Kickee Pants by my mother in law last summer. She loves to get all the grandchildren matching pajamas for summer weekends we spend together and I’ve always loved the ones she’s picked out. They always work for both the girls and boys in our family, and the material is so soft but also light for hot summer nights. They are the perfect warm-weather pajama! They sell both footed and footless pajamas, plus many more items on their site. My favorite feature of their coverall pajamas is the little flap on the bum 🙂 It snaps and is always adorned with a cute emblem related to the pattern of the pajama – super cute!
Both of my kids were never big pacifier users in the newborn stages. They didn’t encourage them at my hospital so I never really pushed it (until baby was screaming and I begged for them to take a pacifier!). I was gifted a WubbaNub for my son and always kept it close; more because I thought the little elephant hanging from it was so cute and made my son smile. Then one day he finally took it before nap and fell right asleep! I don’t know if it was the soothing top, the weight of the stuffed animal on his chest, or the fact that he could manipulate it himself, but it worked!
The stuffed animal part is great because if it falls out of baby’s mouth, they are usually able to place it back in on their own (depending on age). I especially love that WubbaNub’s are machine washable. Moms can all agree that pacifiers can quickly become germ infested so the fact that I can throw the WubbaNub in the wash with the rest of baby’s clothes is very convenient. The new Wubba Nub sports line is super cute.
When registering for my first pregnancy, I knew I had to get a sound machine but wasn’t sure which one (or why exactly I even needed one!). I had discovered Hatch Baby Rest through an ad somewhere and figured I’d give it a try. Now that I’m onto child #2, I’m getting ready to buy another Hatch Baby Rest for when she moves out of our room and into her own nursery. This machine has proven to be not only useful as a sound machine, but has features I didn’t even know I’d use or need as a mom!
First, I love the fact that the Hatch Baby Rest has an app so I can control the entire device from my phone. This has been super when I might need to crank up the sound during nap time due to extra noise in the house, a thunderstorm, barking dog, etc. The Hatch Baby Rest is a nightlight as well (also controllable by app) and you can set it to change colors, brightness, or link a specific color to a sound (my son prefers a light blue light with rain sound).
Another great feature that we’ve started using as he gets older is the ready-to-wake light option. From the app, you can set the Hatch Baby Rest to turn on or off at specific times. We have our Hatch set to “wake” my son at 7am. Each morning at 7am, his blue light and rain sound turn off and the light turns green. My son (even at just one year old) knows that green means mommy or daddy are coming in to get him. As he gets older and has his own bed, we’ll teach him that the light indicates when he can come out of his room and start his day. I just love this device and recommend it to all my friends.
And a NEW product: VAVA HD video baby monitor
Why it’s a good monitor to pick: there’s a big screen and a big battery life plus some other great features like voice, visual and temperature alerts. You also have the ability to add a wide angle lens and up to 4 cameras (good for kids sharing a room/ siblings!). The battery lasts 24 hours which is awesome. More details: www.vava.com.You can buy the VAVA monitor on Amazon.com (right now on sale for $134.99)