Sleep Must Haves
A sleep bag is essentially what you’d get if you combined all the best attributes of a cozy, comfy sleeping bag with a soft and lightweight baby blanket. I recommend them for a number of reasons, which I discuss in the blog.
One of my favourite brands of sleep bags is by Kyte BABY – founded on four basic principles: Comfort, Simplicity, Safety, and Sustainability!
I’m also a big fan of the Gro Bag – their Zip-click® feature even keeps little ones from opening their zippers as they get older
quality crib mattress
We talk a lot about room environment – Dark, quiet, peaceful, no distractions. But what about what baby sleeps ON? The crib mattress can go a long way towards healthy rest! My favourite crib mattress is by Obasan – they are made with quality organic materials and completely chemical-free. They are breathable and moisture-wicking, helping to regulate baby’s temperature throughout the night. (Cooler is better for sleep!)
I was so thrilled to be introduced to this brand that I’ve now partnered up with Obasan and they are offering Happy Sleepers an Organic Wool Moisture Pad Protector FREE with any purchase of an Obasan crib mattress! Purchase your crib on their website or in store and use code HAPPYSLEEP! (Please ensure both the crib mattress and the mattress protector are in your cart at checkout – once the discount code is applied, the mattress protector charge is removed).
Children sleep more easily when not surrounded by loads of light and many distractions, so keep bright sunlight (or artificial light such as street lamps) out of your little one’s sleep space.
I recommend blackout blinds, covered by blackout curtains (we love Bouclair’s!) , for maximum coverage!
My go-to venue for the best blackout blinds is Blinds To Go. The quality of their products is simply amazing!
Another fantastic blackout option is the Blackout EZ Window Cover.
If you live on a busy street, have a loud pet, or have an older child sometimes being loud and disturbing naptime, a sound machine may be a great idea!
When using a sound machine, I recommend it be on a “white noise” setting, and that it runs continuously, not on a timer. I also recommend, for safety, that it be placed about 5-10 feet from your child’s crib, and that it be about the same volume level that you’d experience when standing under a soft shower (under 50 decibels).
My favourite sound machine, by Marpac, has a “white noise” setting, a timer that can be turned OFF, and a volume function with a wide range of settings. The HoMedics MyBaby sound machine is another great option.
For older children, a parent may wish to consider offering a comfort object for sleep. Recommendations suggest nothing of this nature in the crib earlier than the age of one, but as a toddler, it may be helpful to allow your child something small and soft and safe to provide extra comfort for sleep.
I do suggest only one sleep object, to reduce stall tactics (“Froggy tonight! No, Bunny tonight! NO! Duckie tonight!!”) after the lights are out. And, be sure to get a duplicate, for the wash cycle or in case the original ever gets lost!
Jellycat animals are some of my very favourite comfort objects!
On The Go
Whether you simply don’t feel like investing in custom blackout blinds for the nursery, or you like to travel and find it hard to make hotel rooms as dark as home, the Gro Anywhere Blind is a fantastic way to make any room dark in a hurry!
The best part? It sticks to any window with suction cups (no duct-taping garbage bags together for a curtain solution!) and it can be made bigger or smaller using the Velcro adhesives, to fit many window sizes
phil & Ted traveller
At only 6lbs, this travel crib is lighter than the baby! Super compact for small car trunks & luggage, it unpacks to become a comfy & breathable travel crib.
toddler travel bed
For younger children in cribs, many options exist for travel, from travel cribs to Pack N Plays – some hotels even rent full-sized cribs! But what about older toddlers and children? Sometimes they are not yet comfy in a “big” bed and are sleeping in a “toddler bed” at home, which can make the queen-sized bed in a hotel room or the king sleeper at Grandma’s house seem a little daunting! My solution is The Shrunks Toddler Travel Bed or Twin Travel Bed. The beds have a unique design with blow-up side rails so your little one feels safe and secure, and sheets and blankets that tuck into the inner air mattress.
A great addition to your travel-sleep-bag! Available at amazon.ca and many children’s stores. NOTE: The Shrunks also makes inflatable bed rails – a great options when transitioning your child to a toddler bed from a crib!
The SlumberPod is a quick-assembly privacy pod that helps babies and toddlers get a good night’s sleep, especially while travelling and/or sharing a room with others! Use code HAPPYSLEEPCO at checkout for $10 off your order!
SlumberPod completely encloses a Play Yard/Pack & Play/Travel Crib, and:
· Is dark, creating an optimal sleep environment
· Passes applicable consumer product safety tests|
· Bottomless (designed to enclose a standard sized travel crib or playard)|
· Lightweight and compact (fits inside carry-on luggage) – includes travel bag
· Quick and easy to set up and disassemble
· Made of breathable fabric
· Outfitted with ventilation windows
SlumberPod advises that their product passes all applicable juvenile product safety tests in the United States, Canada and Europe.
Happy Sleep For
A pillow is generally only needed once your child transitions from a crib to a “big kid bed” and I recommend the transition to a bed occur around the age of 3. Of course, every child is different and some may be comfortable with a pillow in a crib a bit sooner than this, around 2-2.5 years of age. When you do introduce one, I recommend a toddler pillow that is thin and reasonably firm, given that their little necks and spines are still very much developing. My own little lady has an incredible shredded rubber pillow from Obasan. Obasan’s luxurious Organic Rubber Toddler Pillow will give your little one the proper head and neck support they need throughout the night.
Other signs to watch for that your kiddo may sleep more comfortably with a pillow include:
· Resting the head on a blanket or stuffed animal.
· Laying head on a pillow on the couch or in your bed.
Also keep in mind, once your child’s shoulders are wider than her head then she will usually be more comfortable sleeping on a pillow than a flat mattress.
If your toddler or preschooler is making 5am wake up calls part of the routine in your house, a wake up clock may help.
The Groclock uses fun images of stars and sun to help your little ones learn when it’s time to rise and shine and when it’s time to go back to sleep! Throughout the night the Groclock will show its moon screen and the stars will countdown to the time you have set for the sun to come up.
There is an option to have the screen be blue at night, or to turn the light off completely at night if it is too bright for your child. I recommend the Groclock no earlier than 2.5 years of age, and for most children 3 years and older is better, as this is when they more fully-comprehend it and therefore it is more effective.
Disclaimer: I only provide reviews and recommendations for products when I feel they are of great quality. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I am a member of several affiliate marketing programs and, as such, I do receive a commission for purchases made through some product links on this website.