“People who say they sleep like a baby usually don’t have one” ~ Leo J. Burke
Prior to having children we usually don’t give sleep much thought except for the common knowledge that when we lay our head down on our pillow we drift off into dreamland. I know personally that this was my own way of thinking and when I had my first born 5 years ago I never in a million years expected sleep to be as difficult as it can be. I am now the mom of 3 who yells “take my money” at blog titles like this one!
The truth of the matter is that there are no magic cures for your little one’s sleeping habits. Babies and young children suck at sleep! Even the best sleepers have nights where their teeth hurt, fight bedtime because they are overtired, wake up early for who knows what reason (who seriously wants to be awake that early??), skip or fight naps because they don’t want to miss out on daytime fun or wake up frequently at night and need your help. Although there are no magic cures, there are products that can greatly improve sleep for your little one and you! Move over Beyoncé, when mama gets more sleep it becomes a mascara and feeling sexy day!
These are my top 5 favorite sleep products, as a mom and a Sleep Consultant, that you can use to help increase total sleep hours in your home.
- White Noise Machine! White noise is amazing for increasing sleep durations for your baby. It can help with calming newborns, improving 30-45 minute naps and extending some periods of sleep throughout the night. This is my go-to baby gift for new parents as it is a cheap and easy way to help mom and babies get more ZZZ’s.
My Favorite: HoMedics Sound Spa Sound Machine
Where to Find it in Grande Prairie: Mint Health + Drugs Pharmacy
Sleep Tip: Make sure the sound machine does not turn off on a timer. We want it to play continuously throughout the nap and the nighttime sleep so that it can act as a positive sleep association to help your baby go through repetitive sleep cycles.
2. Swaddle and Sleep Sacks! Sleep sacks are a great tool for helping your baby feel safe and warm. Your newborn will often respond better to a swaddle blanket where you can wrap up the top part of their body in a tighter hug but as they get older and start to roll a sleep sack takes the place of a swaddle.
My Favorite: Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets and Aden + Anais Sleeping Bags
Where to Find it in Grande Prairie: Polite Society Clothing Co. Maternity
Sleep Tip: Use a swaddle blanket until your baby’s startle reflex has diminished or until they are able to roll over at which point you will want to have their hands free of the swaddle. Choose a sleep sack with the appropriate TOG rating to help your baby feel the most comfortable.
3. Black Out Blinds! Having a dark room is one of the most important factors in baby sleep. Darkness signals the body to produce sleep hormones but light does the opposite by signalling the body to be awake! It is common for short naps and early mornings to be the culprit of too much light in the bedroom. Using black out blinds is one of the easiest ways you can make improvements to sleep.
My Favorite: Gro Company Gro Anywhere Blind! It is portable!!
Where to Find it in Grande Prairie: Good to Grow
** use coupon code NSSReferral in store or online for 10% off sleep products! (Note: Nurturing Sleep Solutions does not receive any monetary compensation when you use the code)
Sleep Tip: Use a dark space to help settle an upset newborn as it can help to reduce stimulation and bring a sense of calm. Once your baby is 3 months old start having them sleep in a dark baby cave for naps and nights as much as you can to make sure their body is producing sleep hormones!
4. Bedtime Lotion! In my opinion routines are the most over looked part of sleep. Babies can’t tell time and so they need physical cues to tell their body that it will be sleeping soon. Using a relaxing bedtime lotion in your routine is a perfect way that helps calm the body is the perfect addition to a bedtime routine to help your baby fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
My Favorite: Chickweed&Clover Sweet Snuggles Bedtime Lotion
Sleep Tip: Establish a consistent bedtime routine around 3 months of age. Stick with the steps so that it is the same every night. Even if you need to do a 2 minute bath instead of having time for a 10 minute bath that is o.k.! This helps Melatonin to be released into the body.
5. Invest In A Good Rocking Chair!! This item deserves 2 exclamation marks because it really is that important. I wish I could say it is the magic tool but the real reason I include this in my top 5 favorites is because YOU SPEND SO MUCH TIME IN ONE!! Even parents that have the best sleepers will spend countless hours in their rocking chair. The rocking chair will be a place of comfort during many times throughout your babies life. You will use it during routines, for feeding, for cuddling, for crying (together), for reading and for sleeping in when your little one is having a hard night. Even as a Sleep Consultant I can’t even begin to count how many hours my husband and I have spent time in the rocking chair with our little ones.
My Favorite: Ludden Rocker Recliner or any rocker with similar features (see sleep tip below)
Where to find it in Grande Prairie: Bama Furniture or any furniture store
Sleep Tip: This is 1 example of a chair but some features that are awesome include rocker, recliner and lots of padding. There are many adorable nursery rocking chairs but most of them are super uncomfortable when needing to sleep in them. Ask yourself, could I sleep for 5 hours in this chair? It could and probably will happen! Choosing a chair you can rock with for those shorter moments but fully recline for the longer moments can help make sure everyone is comfortable for the long haul.
** BOXING DAY SALES!! These are often the first chairs to go on sale for any big sale events at furniture stores. During these big sales they often cost the same as a fancy nursery chair but are way more bang for your buck for usage! The price of the Ludden Rocker for example is priced high but I have seen them go 50% off many times and I got mine on Boxing Day!
I hope that these items can help you and your little one get a little more shut eye! Remember, this phase won’t last forever. You are doing an amazing job and I promise your baby will sleep when they are 16!