Top 5 Must Haves For Successful Sleep

Is there anything more sought after or precious than sleep as a mother? Your child’s sleep and your own should be a top priority for overall health and happiness. As a certified sleep consultant I know the importance of sleep for babies, children and adults. Here are my top 5 “must haves” to achieve the best sleep for the whole family.

White Noise Machine: A white noise machine is great to use for all ages and is one of the best ways to help a baby get to sleep and STAY asleep. For older siblings who are toddlers, it's a great way to drown out the noises of having another baby in the next room. You can introduce a white noise machine right from day one. When babies are in the womb, they are constantly exposed to “white noise”, sounds of water swishing around them, and their mother’s heartbeat. Take a portable white noise machine on the go, anytime you want baby to sleep. Hang it in on the stroller, in the car seat, baby carrier etc. Don’t be afraid to turn the volume up loud enough to help drown out the surrounding noises. 

Blackout Blinds: If you want your baby or child to have the best possible sleep, ensure their room is as dark as possible. The younger the baby, the darker you want the room to be since they nap often during daylight hour and go to bed earlier. For toddlers and even adults, our bodies produce Melatonin when it's dark, signalling our bodies to get ready for sleep. In the summer months when we have more daylight hours, it's especially important to keep the rooms dark for bedtime and to ensure no early wakings with the sun at 5am. 

Sleep Sack: Once a baby transitions from a swaddle (usually by 3 months) a sleep sack should be a staple in every baby's sleep routine. A sleep sack is a safe way to ensure a baby is warm enough without introducing a blanket too early. For young babies, the Nested Bean sleep sack with the weighted chest piece helps to make the transition from swaddle to sleep sack a little easier. It has a bottom zipper which makes night time diaper changes so much less invasive than taking the whole sleep sack off.

For older babies (up to 2+ years old) sleep sacks are by far the best option and the most versatile. Chose one with fabric is soft and breathable, yet warm enough even in the coldest winter months. Most are available in a range of colors and TOG’s and wash/dry incredibly well without losing their shape and softness.

Gro Clock: If you have a toddler who is struggling with early waking or fighting bedtime, a Gro Clock can help. The earlier you introduce it, the better. The clock is programmable for whatever bedtime and wake time you want to schedule. These types of clocks work great in conjunction with a reward/consequence system that is reinforced by both parents if the child does not follow through with the sleep/wake times. 

Magnesium Oil: Good sleep is important for everyone in the family, especially parents. If your baby is getting good sleep,  you should be too. There is an amazing all natural way to assist in sleep for adults. Magnesium oil or cream. Magnesium helps your body physically and mentally relax. Magnesium regulates the melatonin hormone in our body to help with your sleep-wake cycles. When applied topically to the bottoms of the feet and/or lower back it can help to reduce stress and increase sleep almost immediately. 

I hope these tips and products help families get some restful sleep to tackle the world of parenting feeling rejuvenated.

-Stephanie Hitchcock
Counting Sleep Consulting