10 Things to Help Everyone Get a Good Night of Sleep
We know you’ve worked so hard the last nine months creating the most beautiful nursery for your new baby, but medical experts say when it comes to nighttime sleep: room-sharing is the safest thing for your baby.
Among the American Academy of Pediatrics’ list of recommendations for safe sleep is room-sharing with a parent, which the AAP says is one of the best ways to help reduce the risk of SIDS and prevent other sleep-related infant deaths.
It’s important to note, there’s a big difference between room-sharing and bed-sharing. Medical experts agree bed-sharing with infants is not safe. Instead, what they recommend is keeping your baby close, in a bassinet or crib. And the time period for room-sharing lasts a lot longer than you might think. The AAP recommends sharing a room with your baby for the first six months at least, and preferably for the first year. Twelve months is a long time, and we know that’s not always easy on parents who have to tip-toe around and keep bedroom lights dimmer than usual — and that’s exactly why we wrote this article.
There are many products available that will help your room-sharing journey be a little more comfortable for everyone involved. From sound machines to drown out world around you to the perfect overnight mood lighting, we hope this curated list helps you get a little more rest.
This is the grown-up version of the super popular (for good reason!) Hatch Rest sound machine. We like this version for the parents’ room because it has a few additional features like a subtle bedside reading light, a touch light for middle-of-the-night feeds and a digital clock. You can move this into the baby’s room once they age out of yours, or keep it for yourself and buy them the mini version.
As sleep consultants, one of our biggest recommendations to help your baby get more restful sleep and sleep for longer periods of time is to invest in great blackout curtains or shades. Keeping the room as dark as possible will help reinforce your baby’s circadian rhythm. Pick up a pair of curtains or shades like these, which are reasonably priced and received excellent reviews.
For the first few months when overnight feeds seem to be at their most frequent, we recommend keeping your baby in a bedside bassinet within arms’ reach of the bed. That way you can keep your eye on them (no, you’re not irrational: all parents check their baby’s chests for breathing) and be able to reach them when they wake to eat. The LullaGo bassinet is a great option, because at 12-pounds it’s super lightweight and easy to break down and store or pack into its carrying case for travel. This bedside bassinet works for your baby until they reach 20-pounds or begin to roll over.
Once your baby outgrows the bedside bassinet, we suggest moving them into a mini crib like the Babyletto Origami. This crib provides a great way to keep your baby in your room for the recommended 6-12 months and allows you to still have plenty of space. This mini crib comes with optional caster wheels, so you can roll it around as needed. Plus, there are no tools required and it can be folded up and slid right under your bed between babies.
If you need additional light in your room for feeding time, we really love this Levoit Himalayan salt lamp. It’s hand-made in Pakistan from high quality Himalayan salt rock and gives your room a really warm, amber glow. Red or orange hued lights are preferred at night, as they are less likely to mess with your baby’s circadian rhythm.
Accidents happen, especially in the middle of night. Protect the crib mattress (or yours!) with a waterproof mattress protector that wicks away moisture to ensure you all stay dry… and stay asleep longer. We love this organic waterproof protector pad from Naturepedic which is free from toxins often found in vinyl/PVC, phthalates, perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) and butane rubber.
If mom is nursing while room-sharing, she’ll need to be comfortable, too. We love products that can serve multiple purposes and this nightgown does just that, working through pregnancy and beyond. The wide, elastic neckband is perfect for wearing over the shoulder or pulling down to nurse and the fabric is unbelievably soft. If you want to live in this during the postpartum days, we wouldn’t blame you.
Room-sharing has some benefits; you don’t need to leave to feed! With a formula dispensing machine, you can skip your visit to the kitchen and just press a button for a full, warm bottle. We love this model, which can accommodate just about any style bottle and all formula brands. It can also dispense straight hot water when mama needs a cup of tea.
Whether you’re nursing or bottle feeding, if you’re waking up to give your baby a drink in the middle of the night it’s only fair that you get one, too. We love these insulated straw tumblers because they keep your drink ice cold for 24 hours and are virtually spill proof, so no worries if you knock it over.
Keep your overnight diapering essentials organized with a diaper caddy large enough to keep everything you might need within arms’ reach. Diapers, wipes, cream, hand sanitizer, thermometer, medicines, and anything else you could possibly need for an overnight emergency! You can save precious searching time and get yourself back to sleep sooner by keeping emergency items nearby.
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