With so many new products on the market these days, it’s hard to know what’s safe to use. Here are 11 safe sleep tools to add to your sleep toolbox:
1. Sound machine – Sound machines are high on my list of must-haves since I’m often working with newborns. But they aren’t just for babies. They can be just as useful for toddlers and adults alike. Sound machines create ambient noise that allows us to fall into a much deeper sleep. They are also great at blocking out other noise in the home.
2. Swaddles – Swaddles are another favorite of mine. Swaddling can be a tremendous help for newborns and babies up to 16 weeks. Because babies have a strong Moro Reflex, it can prevent them from sleeping. Swaddling helps baby’s calming reflex kick in so they can relax enough to sleep.
When swaddling safely, the top of the swaddle should line up with your baby’s armpit. This prevents it from riding up in your baby’s face.
3. Sleep Sacks – Transitioning out of a swaddle can be difficult for some babies. Moving them into a sleep sack can provide them with some of the same comforts of a swaddle. You want your sleep sack to have ample room at the bottom so your child can move their hips properly.
Alternatively, sleep sacks can also be used to help babies or toddlers who attempt to jump out of their cribs. Going down a size prevents them from throwing their legs over the railing.
4. Weighted Blankets – Weighted blankets are near and dear to my heart. They are a wonderful option for children ages 4 and up who seek extra snuggles or who struggle with sensory issues. The pressure helps them to relax.
5. Lovies – Lovies are a fantastic tool for children who are tactile and need something to hold on to in order to sleep. A lovey can be a small blanket toy or a tag style blanket. They should only be used with children 12 months of age and older.
6. Black Out Blinds or Curtains – What a miraculous tool blackout blinds are. I believe them to be an essential tool for every family’s sleep toolbox. They block out unnecessary light during naps and night sleep – which again protects our melatonin stores. This in turn allows us to achieve much deeper sleep.
7. Red night light – We are inundated with blue light all day long. It can affect our circadian rhythms by lessening our melatonin production. This is true not only for us adults but our children as well. Implementing the use of red lights in the evening (after sunset) can help protect our melatonin hormone. So, instead of using a white light as a night light, consider using a red night light as an alternative.
8. Pacifiers – Pacifiers are another great tool to have in your arsenal as well. They pair well with swaddles and sleep sacks but can also be used alone. Pacifiers are important for newborns and babies as they are thought to help reduce the risk of SIDS. They are also beneficial for non-nutritive (comfort sucking) for babies. It brings them the comfort they seek and gives the chest feeding parent a break.
9. A Toddler Clock – Do you have a toddler who is struggling to stay in bed during the early morning hours? Toddler clocks can help add a visual reminder to your toddler that it’s not time to wake up for the day.
10. Bassinet/ Sidecar – The AAP recommends that babies room share with their parents for the first 6 months of life. For parents who want more of a co-sleeping option, arms reach sidecar bassinets can be helpful. They offer a safe place for baby to sleep while being close to their parent. For parents who want baby to have their own sleeping space farther away from them, a traditional bassinet can offer a suitable alternative.
11. Slumberpod – Let’s be honest here, it can be challenging traveling with a little one in tow. Room sharing with young children at hotels or in-laws can make or break the trip. The rooms are quite often too bright and don’t offer any separation for parents or the child(ren). This can make naps and bedtime a chore. A SlumberPod allows parents to create a dark, cool sleep place for their little ones. If you’d like your own Slumberpod, here’s a discount code for 10% off – slumber$20
What sleep safe tool do you use the most?