Newborn Essentials | Sleep


One of the most talked about topics of new mothers (besides feeding) is sleep. One of the most asked questions I got right after having Camden was, "Are you getting any sleep?"

I've learned to steer away from these types of questions with new mothers because it can be a hot button for those that are not able to get their babies to sleep through the night. Camden started giving us longer stretches of sleep (6-7 hours) in his crib around 3 months. I think this is pretty common, but babies' sleep cycles can be all over the board. 

I plan on doing a more in depth sleep "training" (I hate using that word) post after baby 2 is born and while I'm actually going through it!

For now, I wanted to give you a look at what products, books and gadgets helped Camden sleep when he was a newborn. Some of these are tried and true with us, and some are new products that have great reviews that I will be trying out this go around. 

1. Auto Rock n Play Sleeper: Camden would sleep in his rock n play by our bed (or where ever we were sleeping) for the first 8 weeks or so. We have this version, but would love to upgrade to this auto rock version with a hands free rocking motion! This contraption is great because it gives the baby a slight incline for better digestion and comfort while they are still so small.

2. DockATot: This is something I didn't have with Camden, but it looks like the perfect solution if you want to try a safe way to co-sleep with your newborn in the beginning. The DockATot is designed to be a safe and comfortable environment for babies. It can be used for sleep, lounging, tummy time and more! (Click here to view more ways the DockATot can be used). I will be receiving the DockATot Delux Dock in the mail soon and will post a full review after baby arrives!

3. Baby swing: The swing definitely comes in handy during the day for naps! We have one similar to this one that we will be using again for baby 2. I know this Fisher Price one is very popular and the 4Moms Rockaroo is pretty popular among the mommy bloggers. The swing is great to keep on the first floor is you have a 2 story house for nap time. I remember we used to put Camden in the swing around dinner time for his last nap of the day while we ate dinner. The rocking motion really helps to soothe and puts them right to sleep!

4. Swaddle blankets: Swaddling really helped soothe Camden when he got fussy. I would swaddle him in one of these soft, but lightweight blankets and rocking him in my arms until he fell asleep. There's something about the swaddle that helps them to feel safe and secure. These are definitely our favorite blankets for swaddling.

5. SwaddleMe pods + velcro swaddles: Once Camden started busting his hands out of the swaddle blankets (which I think was around 4-6 weeks), we started using the SwaddleMe velcro swaddles. These worked great once he got a bit bigger. I got a few of these zip pods to try out with baby 2 as well.

6. HALO SleepSack: Once Camden was around 3 months, I started noticing he wanted to stretch his legs out more. The HALO SleepSack helps to provide the swaddled feeling, while giving their legs room to move around a bit more than the SwaddleMe ones. They also help with transitioning out of the swaddle because you can swaddle them with their arms out.

7. Pacifiers: If you are planning to breastfeed, the experts recommend not using a pacifier until breastfeeding is well established. I think the general recommendation is 2 weeks. We actually started using a pacifier with Camden in the hospital (whoops!) to help soothe him. He would calm right down after we gave him the pacifier. Camden liked the Nuk pacifiers the best and we tried out a few different brands. I think it's a good idea to have a few different brands on hand just in case your little one is picky. I have some Nuk, Phillips Avent ones and a MAM one on hand for baby 2 just in case.

8. Sounds machine: This is a MUST! Once we started transitioning Camden to the crib at night we got on a bedtime routine of bath, books and bottle. After we read to him, we would turn off the lights, turn the sound machine on and I would rock him to sleep. We kept the sound machine on all night (white noise) and I really think it helped him sleep for longer stretches. This one has really great reviews and I'm contemplating getting it for baby 2. We still use this one (an older version) for Camden. I plan on using the sound machine right away with baby #2!

9. Video Monitor: Once we started transitioning Camden to the crib (around 8 weeks), I realized how important a good video monitor was. We still use this one with Camden and plan on getting a second camera for baby 2's room.

10. Books: These are the 3 books that really helped me with sleep/crib training with Camden: Happiest Baby on the Block, Moms on Call (buy the kindle version here) and Baby Wise. Happiest Baby on the Block helps with soothing a fussy baby. It basically explains that babies go through what is considered the 4th trimester for the first 3 months of life where they just want to be back in the womb. This book gives tips on how to mimic the womb like environment to soothe them to sleep. Moms on Call is the one I probably used the most. It gives you tips for everything as far as sleeping, feeding/nursing, what to have on hand, medications and also provides sample schedules which is so handy to have! I read Baby Wise for help with sleep 'training' when we were ready. It also provides sample schedules to help get baby on a routine. (PS - None of these books recommends the CIO method. We never really had to use that method with Camden, thankfully! It does give tips on soothing if baby can't fall asleep on his/her own.)

There you have it! My recommendations for helping baby to sleep.
Of course, there is no magic product or gadget that will automatically get your baby to sleep. But, these certainly helped in our experience!

More posts from the Newborn Essentials series:

4 comments

  1. We loved those Halo sleepsacks - even in the newborn stage! That DockATot looks nice! Interested to see what you think of that one.

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  2. Great list!! I'm due with my first in July and have almost everything on my registry!

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  3. Not quite needing this yet, but definitely something to keep in mind for the future! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  4. I am wanting one of the DockATots so bad, but just feel like there are so many baby expenses already! You will have to let me know what you think of yours, I'll probably pull the trigger at some point ;) And I just finished Moms on Call yesterday, thank you for that recommendation!!

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