Best Essential Gear for Sleeping Buying Guide
All stages of your little one’s childhood are precious. But those first six months are the most fleeting and the most unforgettable. It is a time when you and your little newborn bond and get to know each other. For your baby, he gets to learn to whom he belongs and where to find comfort and security. Your baby will know soon enough how loved he is because of the effort you put into those nights of providing his meager needs at this time. And right now, what he needs is a lot milk, a lot of cuddles, and a lot of sleep.
Indeed, it is a wonderful thought when you realize that you give up a lot of sleep just so your baby could. We at ParentsNeed HQ understand the need for your baby to grow well and happy. And part of the requirements for getting there is if mommy gets the support and confidence she needs to fill her baby’s needs. So we have prepared this buying guide to help you find the top five essential gear that will help baby sleep, as well as give you peace of mind while you are caring for him.
How to chose the best essential sleeping gear for babies?
The first thing your baby will need is a bed. Parents used to be torn between allowing their baby to sleep on their bed with them or on a crib of his own. On the one hand, steady concern over SIDS discourages parents from bringing their baby to bed with them at the risk of the newborn getting smothered by pillows and blankets; or worse, getting accidentally crushed under the weight of a sleeping parent. On the other hand, there are some babies who simply cannot sleep on their own in a crib – they seek out their mother’s arms or they need to feed through the night. Fortunately, though, you are no longer limited to those choices. You can let your baby sleep close to you while giving him a safe space where he can be protected from accidental smothering. How? You can choose to let your baby sleep in a co-sleeper.
A co-sleeper is similar to a crib, except instead of four sides, it has only three. The open side can be attached to your side of the bed so you can easily reach for your baby if he needs a feed or a cuddle. At the same time, your baby could have his own separate space that you can keep clear from hazards such as blankets and pillows. You are also unlikely to roll over your baby by accident. All in all, it is the best solution for baby to sleep and for mommy to be close to baby without having to walk to another room. Here is what you should consider when you buy a co-sleeper for your baby.
- There are a lot of co-sleepers out there now, but you should choose one that is sturdy and could grow with your child. Sure, there are those small bassinets that are much cheaper, but your child will only use them for a short time and you will find yourself dishing out more money for a bigger bed.
- Some models can convert from a bassinet to a play pen. You will want to consider this kind of co-sleeper since babies tend to pull up to a standing position by six months. This poses a risk of falling over the walled side of the bassinet. By converting into a play pen, your baby gets higher and more secure walls around him; best for keeping him safe from falls.
- Use a firm mattress because it is more supportive of your baby’s back and it protects him from sinking into bed and accidentally smothering himself.
- Pick a model that uses the cleanest and newest natural materials. You don’t want any allergens where your baby sleeps.
Another sleep essential that you want to have around for your newborn is a swaddle. Remember that your baby spent nine months in very close quarters in your womb. So it won’t come as a surprise that he finds it comfortable when he is wrapped up like a burrito. A swaddle also promotes sleep be keeping your baby’s arms firmly at his side to prevent them from jerking up and accidentally waking himself. Further wrapping him up in a swaddle is the safest way to keep him warm and snug without the danger of it riding up over his face and covering his air passages. The following are a couple of tips for swaddling your baby.
- Pick a swaddle made with natural materials like cotton or bamboo. These materials are very breathable so they can hold your baby snug without overheating him.
- If you are not fond of the prospect of fiddling with a blanket to wrap your baby in (and it does take a considerable about of skill), there are baby sleep sacks available in the market that you might want to consider as an alternative. A sleep sack will allow your baby to feel snug as a bug in a swaddle but it is easy enough for first time parents to use. These sleep sacks are wonderful and one size can wrap around your baby for a long time.
It is true that your baby will sleep all day, but it won’t be the same for you. Aside from needing a lot of rest yourself, you will also want to get up and take showers, have your meals, and get back to your old routine from before you had your baby. This will require you leaving your baby to sleep from time to time and we’re certain that you don’t want to leave him unattended. The best solution is for you to get a baby monitor. A baby monitor is a device made of two parts. The first part is a camera that you can focus on your baby. The second part is called the “parent unit” that the camera feeds images of your baby into. This is what your take with you so that you can always see or hear your baby no matter where you are in your house. Here is what to look for in a baby monitor.
- Video monitors are great, but you also want to make sure that it picks up sound so you will be able to hear if your baby is crying. Your newborn’s only way of communication is through crying, and if you can’t hear it through your video monitor, then you will be unable to take your eyes off the screen which defeats the purpose of having a monitor in the first place.
- Look for a monitor with good range and clarity so that the sounds and images you get of your baby are reliable. Be sure that the signal is strong enough to penetrate through the walls in your home so you could be responsive to your baby even if you are not right next to him.
- Pick a baby monitor with a rechargeable parent unit. Rechargeable batteries last longer and are less wasteful than disposable batteries.
- Many times, your baby will be soothed just by hearing your voice. If you so wish, you can pick a two-way baby monitor that will allow you to speak with your baby. This is useful for when your baby cries and you’re in the middle of something you cannot leave.
In your baby’s first six months, you will be up a lot through the night. So you will definitely need a light source so that you will be able to move around and navigate through your room without turning on bright lights that could disrupt your partner’s or your baby’s sleep. So you will want to have a little night light for some gentle illumination. You will be thankful for it when you need to pick baby up for a feed or if you need to change his nappy in the dark. Now, believe it or not, there is more than meets the eye when you choose a night light. Read our tips to know what we are talking about.
- Consider the distance of the power outlet from where you and your baby are sleeping. If it is too close, the light might be too bright and disruptive to sleeping. Too far, and it will be too dim. So if your power outlet is not at the perfect distance, you’re better off buying a portable battery operated night light.
- Pick the light with the right amount of brightness. Some nightlights can actually get too bright and could hurt your eyes in the dark. If you want to test a nightlight, turn off the lights and allow your eyes to adjust to the dark first. Then turn on your nightlight to evaluate how it feels. If it feels less than comfortable to your eyes, change it to something better.
- Avoid blue nightlights. It is a common misconception that blue lights are a calming color, when in fact it is a stimulant. Think of the lovely bright blue light waves present in daylight and it will make sense. The best color for a nightlight is actually red or orange.
Last, but not the least on our list of essential gear for sleeping, is a secondary sleeper. You might like to think of it as your baby’s travel sleeper for when you have to take him out on vacation or to visit his grandparents. If you are staying home, you might also think of your baby’s secondary sleeper as his “downstairs” or “living room” bed. This way you can leave his heavy permanent bed where he sleeps at night, and then let him sleep in his daytime bed where he can be close to you as you go about your routine. There are a couple of things you should look out for in a secondary sleeper:
- Look for a lightweight sleeper so that you can easily carry it with you. Aside from being light, pay attention to how it folds or packs up. Most of the time portability isn’t just about weight, but also shape. If what you are looking at packs up in an awkward shape that is difficult to carry, consider another one.
- Pick one with breathable mesh walls. Soon enough your sleeping baby will be able to turn his body from side to side. You want to make sure that he doesn’t block his air passages should he accidentally turn into the walls of his bed.
- You may like a secondary sleeper that has a built in diaper changer so that you can have a convenient place to change your baby wherever you go. The changer normally dovetails onto the rails of the crib and stows away just as easily if you no longer need it.
- Additionally, you may want to have a secondary sleeper that also converts into a play pen when your child gets a little older. This is a useful feature to have when you’re downstairs or when you go somewhere and there isn’t a child safe place to let your baby play.
Your baby’s sleep is definitely one of the things you should prioritize, especially in the first six months of his life. It is easy to think that sleep should be no trouble for your infant since it is something they do naturally. But this isn’t always the case. Some babies are curious and spend a considerable amount of time with their eyes open, limited though their vision might be. So in the interest of helping your baby sleep comfortably, we have listed the Top 5 Best Essential Gear for Sleeping. In our guide, we listed the best co-sleeper, swaddle, nightlight, baby monitor, and secondary sleeper for your baby. But if you had to forgo all but one essential gear, we suggest that you purchase the Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper Bedside Bassinet. It is the best choice for maintaining closeness between you and your baby. This is why it is our top pick for the best essential gear for sleeping.