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.
Among my favourite brands of sleep bags are Ry & Pen (use code HAPPYSLEEP for 20% off your order!), Loulou LOLLIPOP (use code HAPPYSLEEP15 for 15% off your order!) – we love both brands for their breathability, comfort, simplicity, and safety!
Another great sleep bag option is Woolino – Their award-winning 4 Season Ultimate Baby Sleep Bag is made with super-fine and supremely breathable merino wool, so it helps keep your baby warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s warm – the perfect temperature all year round! (Use code THEHAPPYSLEEPCOMPANY10 for 10% off when you purchase from the Woolino website).
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 10% off your purchase of an Obasan crib mattress! Purchase your crib mattress at obasan.ca or obasan.com, or in store, and use code HAPPYSLEEP!
Blackout blinds & curtains
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.
Consider blackout curtains (We love Bouclair’s!) installed over a blackout blind (Select Blinds has some incredible roller blind options! You can even do an outside-mount to get total darkness for the most sleep-conducive space for your babe). Use code HAPPY10 when shopping online at Select Blinds Canada for 10% off your purchase!
Another fantastic blackout option that many of our clients love 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 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).
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 Sleepout Blackout Curtain is a fantastic option for making any room dark in a hurry! It’s compact enough to fold up for travel, but large enough to cover many windows! (And it comes in 2-packs and 4-packs if needed for bigger or more windows).
The best part? It sticks to any window with a unique locking suction cup design (no duct-taping garbage bags together for a curtain solution!), and the cups are designed in a way to block out light at the top of the window too! Use code HAPPYSLEEP10 for 10% off your Sleepout Blackout Curtain.
Lightweight, and super-easy to set up and fold down in just one move, the Play Yard Light from BabyBjorn makes travel and sleep set-up a breeze!
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 seems a little daunting!
My solution is a blow up travel bed with built in rails. Options like this have a unique design with blow-up side rails so your little one feels safe and secure, and sheets and blankets that tuck under the inner air mattress.
A great addition to your travel sleep bag!
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$20 at checkout for $10 off your order at slumberpod.ca or slumberpod.com!
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.
FOR OLDER KIDS
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.
For older children and grown ups, Obasan’s Organic Shredded Rubber Pillow is also a great option!
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.