Over the years as a sleep consultant, and as a mom, I've tried A LOT of products to help with sleep. This post will give you all of the details on my favorite ones; the ones that deserve some love and praise! *This post contains affiliate links, which helps me out without any extra cost to you.
Swaddles and Sleep Sacks
Many babies LOVE to be swaddled in those early weeks because it mimics the tightness of the womb. After transitioning out of the swaddle, a sleep sack is a great way to keep them warm before blankets are safe to use in the crib (1 year). There are even some that are a hybrid between a swaddle and a sleep sack. To say that I've tried many swaddles/sleep sacks is an understatement...the truth is that I've tried most of them. Here are my favorites:
HALO Sleepsack 3-Way Swaddle
The Halo Sleepsack has multiple fabrics for different seasons of the year, tons of patterns to choose from, and Velcro to keep those little arms swaddled in (hopefully)! This is the one I started with the day we came home from the hospital with Gideon. It can also be used with the arms out as a regular sleep sack after you are done swaddling.
Love to Dream
This is hands-down my favorite swaddle all around! Some babies like to be swaddled but also like to have their hands by their face. The Love to Dream swaddle allows them to do so, while still catching the Moro reflex that commonly wakes up unswaddled newborns. There is a 50/50 version that is wonderful when it comes to transitioning them out of the swaddle. You can zip one or both arms off to gradually ease them out of it. These swaddles also have a two-way zipper for easy diaper changes!
I moved Gideon to this swaddle when he kept getting his arms out of the previous one, no matter how tight I made it. With Phoebe, I put her in this swaddle from the start and she loved it! I used the 50/50 version (on the right below) for both of them to transition out of the swaddle.
Baby Deedee Sleepsack
Baby Deedee makes sleep sacks in multiple weights for all types of weather. After they grew out of the Love to Dream, we used a light-weighted one of these for spring/summer. The quilted option is great for the cold winter.
These are my go-to swaddles/sleep sacks. For a more in-depth description of my experiences with them, including pros and cons, check out my blog post, Swaddling Houdini.
The SlumberPod solves sleep issues during vacation travel, at grandma's or a babysitter's house, daycare, etc. It encloses the baby (in a Pack n' Play, toddler cot, or toddler mattress) in a privacy pod to keep light and distraction out. No more putting baby in the hotel bathroom or trying to hang blankets up in the window to make it darker! It has vents for breathing and even a clear pocket so you can place your video monitor in it and still see your little one while he sleeps. We've used this on multiple trips and it's a must-have! I even set it up in our church nursery for Phoebe to nap during church.
Use my code littlebellsleepsolutions for 5% off.
This is the ultimate window cover to block out 100% of outside light! It comes in black or white and is so easy to install. I did it myself at 8 months pregnant! The best part is it uses Velcro, so you can take it off when you want natural light and easily put it right back up when it's time for sleep. It completely blocks out all light and looks so much better than the black trash bags I used to use! We use these in both kids' rooms and ours as well actually. If you don't want to wake up with the sun, you need these!
Blackout EZ - This is an affiliate link, which means purchasing through this link helps me out a little bit, at no extra cost to you. Use code SAVE10 at checkout for 10% off!
If you've talked to me or followed me on social media at all, I'm sure it's no surprise that I LOVE and highly promote using a sound machine. White (or pink or brown) noise is a must to help baby sleep by drowning out all background noises! (It can even help you sleep too!) I love this one because it has quite a few volume and sound options and my favorite feature- a backup rechargeable battery! Baby will still sleep even if the power goes out! It fits in the palm of your hands, but still has great volume. This one also doubles as a bluetooth speaker!
Check out this blog post about why and how to use a sound machine effectively!
Gift Card for Sleep Consultant
We now have online baby registries that you can put just about any product on. So, if you're using this post to work on your baby registry, why not add a gift card for sleep consulting services! It's a good chance you may need some in the near future!
There are so many products out there that boast helping a child sleep. These are just a few of my favorite ones. If you have a specific product you're interested in having my opinion on, let me know. Do you have any favorites not listed here? Please comment and share if so!
~Ashley Bell, pediatric sleep consultant