There are a few night time necessities that are vital to our bedtime routine for John Woodford and really help create that perfect sleep environment for baby. After implementing our sleep routine over the last few months using these items, we have been able to get our baby to sleep consistently through the night. You can find a full post with all the details and steps of our bedtime routine here. As a first time mom, I am definitely not an expert when it comes to all things baby! I did do a ton of research on sleep related baby products while pregnant though, and I think I’ve rounded up a pretty good selection! I hope this can help guide you and give you an honest opinion on these products, whether you are a first-time mom or seasoned veteran! Below you’ll find the 8 items we recommend and a little info about how we use them each night.
Sound Machine- This Hatch nightlight/sound machine combo has so many features that you can use as your baby grows. Right now we only use the sound machine portion and turn the nightlight off so that JW’s room is as dark as possible. I turn the sound machine up as loud as it will go and use the white noise sound every night. We turn it on as we are feeding him his final bottle in his room and leave it on through the entire night. The other features of the Hatch are fully customizable, programmable, and can be controlled from your smartphone. As your baby grows you can use different light colors to alert them when it’s ok to get out of bed and as a comforting, soft night light. The Hatch is designed using scientifically proven light colors that promote healthy circadian rhythms and melatonin production with white noise to aid sleep. We already use this every night but I’m excited to continue using all of it’s features as JW continues to grow.
Essential Oil Diffuser- I know nothing about essential oils and honestly I’ve kept it on the down low that I even have this diffuser so that I don’t get bombarded by people selling them. We started using this because JW was a little congested this winter and this diffuser doubles as a cool air humidifier. We do a mix of peppermint (great for congestion), lavender (great for sleep), and eucalyptus (also good for congestion) and diffuse it on the 6 hour setting starting right when we put him down at night. This diffuser is super easy to use and looks pretty sitting out too. I will probably order another for downstairs in our house too because I like it so much.
Snuggle Me Lounger- Let me say first that I know it’s a hot topic whether or not it is safe to use these loungers in a crib/bassinet. I probably would not have felt safe trying this if we didn’t have the owlet monitor (next item on the list!), but after using it for 3 + months I feel totally comfortable with it. This is similar to a dock-a-tot but I think it actually hugs around the baby a little better and keeps them on their back. We’ve put it in his bassinet from the beginning and it has worked great for us. Once he’s able to flip over from his back, we will likely eliminate it, but it has helped immensely these first months and I think it actually makes him not try to flip over. Without it he was flipping and moving around like crazy in the bassinet and couldn’t stay comfortable. Once again, use your own intuition and judgement with these things. Even if you only use this for supervised naps and not at night, I think it is still a good investment.
Owlet- Truly the only reason I slept at all those first few weeks was because of the Owlet. Yes, it’s an investment but it gives you such peace of mind and both my husband and I love that we can track our baby’s sleep patterns and check in on him anytime throughout the night. The owlet monitors baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels through a little sock that you wrap around their foot at night (it charges on a dock during the day). You can pull up the live app on your phone anytime to see real-time heart rate and oxygen levels while your baby sleeps. The base station also alerts you if at any time during the night the baby’s oxygen levels or heart rate drop to an unsafe level (it goes off LOUD, like a smoke alarm). There is an alternate alert for if the sock falls off or gets unattached during sleep, so that you don’t panic and think something is seriously wrong. Since first debuting the Owlet, they’ve made a lot of changes and improvements and we have had zero complaints or problems with it so far. I can’t recommend this enough for new parents, especially first time parents.
Woombie Swaddle- This is the only swaddle we’ve ever tried, but it has worked so well, so why mess with success? I researched some different swaddles when creating my registry and the Woombie had great reviews and I also liked that you had the option to transition to arms out as baby grows. This swaddle is nice and snug but lightweight and breathable so he doesn’t get too hot (another element that was important to me when choosing a swaddle). I love that you can easily just unzip from the bottom too at night if I need to do a quick diaper change or fix his owlet without taking him completely out of the swaddle. We got several sizes of this so that he can continue to use it as he gets older.
Video Monitor- This video monitor is super easy to set up and use which I like. It’s a very basic monitor in my opinion which is all we really needed. I keep this on my bedside table at night just so I can hear if JW wakes up or cries. I also use it if he naps in his room and I want to be able to watch him and check in while I work around the house. My only complaint with this monitor would be that it doesn’t hold battery very long (needs to charge every night), but I think that’s pretty standard with all monitors.
Pacis- We call these our “night time pacis” and they are what JW has slept with since he was born. They definitely aren’t the cutest but I prefer these to other pacis especially for night time just because they are so basic and simple and feel the most safe to me for leaving in at night.
Short Sleeve Onesies- Anytime you use a swaddle where arms are inside, I think short sleeve onesies are preferred just so baby doesn’t get too hot. We love just the basic Gerber white onesies for night time. They are soft and lightweight and JW can be totally comfortable and not get hot and sweaty while he sleeps!