Baby & Toddler Sleep

It may feel, in the beginning, like all your baby does is sleep. But at night, when you want them to be out for a solid eight hours, they can wake up frequently disrupting your sleep. Welcome to one of the most difficult parts of parenthood.

To make sure your baby is sleeping safely and for as long as possible, you’ll need to give this topic some serious thought.

Babies Should Sleep on Their Backs

When experts began recommending that babies sleep on their backs instead of on their stomachs, the rate of Sudden Infant Death cases dramatically dropped. That’s why it’s important to remember to always place your baby on their backs while they sleep. It’s the safest position for them.

While they are sleeping there should be nothing in their crib or bassinet except for them. Do not put any pillows or stuffed animals in there with them — that’s a huge suffocation risk.

What Are Some Sleep Strategies to Try

Whether you have a baby who sleeps well or one who wakes up multiple times a night, it’s a good idea to have a solid list of sleep strategies to employ.

Even if you’re lucky enough to have a baby who sleeps well at first, that can change at any point. My child was a great sleeper until after she got her first cold — from there on out, she struggled to sleep through the night until she was a bit older.

Here are some of the sleep strategies that became my go-to solutions for my child and me.

  • Bedtime routine: Having a routine that signifies it’s time to wind down and get to sleep is one of the best things you can do. Everyone’s bedtime routine is different. What worked for my child is a bath, a short book, and a few lullabies I would sing to her.
  • Putting your baby down before they are asleep: You want to put them in their crib when they are drowsy, but still awake. This will teach them to soothe themselves to sleep.
  • Lower the lights: Dimming the lights will signal to your baby that bedtime is approaching, and it may make them sleepier.
  • Don’t skip naps: Skipping naps is a mistake rookie parents often make. They figure if a child is more tired than usual they’ll sleep longer at night. That usually backfires because their child is often overtired by then, which leads to poorer sleep.

Swaddling

Learning the art of swaddling can help your newborn sleep. The theory is that a swaddle reminds a baby of their rather cramped corners in their mama’s womb. Swaddling remains a time-tested method of soothing babies and helping them sleep better.

Swaddling will only be a short-term sleep solution though. You should stop by about the three-month mark or when they begin to show signs of being close to rolling over. If your baby manages to roll over in their crib while they are wrapped in a swaddle, they face the danger of not breathing in enough air.

What Gear You’ll Need

You’re going to spend a good chunk of your child-rearing money on items that help your baby sleep. And, trust me, if it helps you both get a better night’s sleep, it’s worth every penny. Here are some of the items you’ll need.

Cribs and Bassinets

When buying cribs and bassinets, you need to pay attention to safety. Don’t buy old cribs that from garage sales — they may be covered in lead paint or have other features no longer deemed safe.

And remember when buying bassinets, that you’ll only be able to use them for a small window of time. Most of them have weight limits of 15 pounds or so. Pay attention to the age range for the model you’re considering.

Most bassinets can no longer be used between the age range of 4 to 6 months.

When buying a crib, you might want to opt for a 3-in-1 model if you’re on a tight budget. You can save money by converting the crib into a toddler bed and then a daybed when your child is older.

Baby Monitors

Some parents manage fine without baby monitors. You won’t need one in the beginning if you share a bedroom with your baby.

But if your room isn’t close by or if you sleep with a white noise machine running, it’s a good idea for safety purposes to have a monitor.

The more affordable units only focus on sound. But more expensive ones also give live camera feed into your child’s room.

Related Topics
The Best Bunk Beds (For Shared Bedrooms and Sleepovers)Best Bunk Beds of 2020
Best Kids Sleeping Bags of 202010 Best Kids’ Sleeping Bags (2020 Reviews)
The 10 Best Loft Beds for Kids (To Get Children Excited About Bedtime)Best Kids Loft Beds of 2020
5 Best Baby Room Thermometers (2020 Reviews)5 of the Best Baby Room Thermometers to Use for Monitoring Temperatures
How to Teach Baby to Sleep Alone (Survival Guide)How to Teach Baby to Sleep Alone (So You’ll Sleep Too)
How Much Sleep Do Babies Need? (And 3 Reasons Your Child Might be Sleeping More Than Usual)How Much Sleep Do Babies Need?
How to Get a Toddler to Sleep (10 Strategies to Try)How to Get a Toddler to Sleep (5 Ways to Deal with Epic Bedtime Meltdowns)
10 Best Nursery Rugs (2020 Picks)The 10 Best Nursery Rugs For a Dreamy Room (That You’ll Both Love)
Best Toddler Beds of 20207 Best Toddler Beds (2020 Reviews)
The Best Bassinet Strollers to Help Your Baby Sleep on the GoBest Bassinet Strollers of 2020
Best Baby Mobiles of 202010 Best Baby Mobiles on The Market (2020 Reviews)
Goodnight, Sleep Tight: The Best Bedtime Books for KidsBest Bedtime Books for Kids of 2020
5 Best Pillows for Flat Head Syndrome (2020 Reviews)Sleep Tight: The Best Infant Pillows for Flat Head Syndrome
Kind or Cruel? The Cry It Out Method of Sleep Training a BabyCry It Out Sleep Training: All You Need to Know
Best Co-Sleepers of 20208 Best Baby Co-Sleepers You Can Buy in 2020
7 Best Pack n’ Plays for Your Baby (2020 Reviews)Traveling with Baby? These 7 Best Pack n’ Plays Will Make Life Easier
Baby Crying in Their Sleep? When to Soothe Them and When to Leave ThemMy Baby Is Crying in Their Sleep — What Should I Do?
The 7 Best Convertible Cribs to Grow With Your ChildBest Convertible Cribs of 2020
7 Best Mini Cribs on the Market (2020 Reviews)How to Find the Best Mini Crib For Your Baby
The Best Organic Crib Mattresses for More Eco-Friendly ParentingBest Organic Crib Mattresses of 2020
7 Best Crib Sheets (2020 Reviews)Moms Guide to the Best Crib Sheets (2020 Picks)
What Are the Best Cribs for Twins?Best Cribs for Twins of 2020
10 Best Crib Mattresses of (2020 Reviews)How to Choose the Best Crib Mattress for Your Baby
8 Best Crib Mattress Pads (2020 Reviews)How to Find the Best Crib Mattress Pads for Your Baby
Best Baby Security Blankets of 202010 Best Baby Security Blankets (2020 Reviews)
Count Sheep with the 10 Best Pillows for ToddlersBest Toddler Pillows and Pillowcases of 2020
How to Find the Best Travel Bed for Toddlers (Mom’s Guide)Best Toddler Travel Beds of 2020
The Best Toddler Bed Rails and Bumpers to Keep Them in Bed at NightBest Toddler Bed Rails & Bumpers of 2020
Best Travel Cribs of 20209 Best Travel Cribs (2020 Reviews)
Transition Your Toddler from Crib to Bed (5 Tips from a Pediatrician)How to Get Your Toddler Excited About Moving Into The Scary Big Kid Bed
Best Baby Night Lights in 20207 Best Baby Night Lights on the Market (2020 Reviews)
7 Best Sleep Sacks for Your Baby (2020 Reviews)The Best Sleep Sacks to Keep Your Child Warm and Safe
Best Nursery Gliders & Nursing Chairs of 202010 Best Nursery Gliders & Rockers (2020 Reviews)
Night Terrors in Children: How To Handle Your Child’s Night TerrorsFright At Night: Helping Your Child’s Night Terrors
When Can Babies Use Blankets & Pillows? (What You Should Know)When Can Babies Use Blankets & Pillows?
Crib Height: How To Determine What’s Right For Your BabyDetermining The Right Crib Height For Your Baby
How To Keep Your Cat Out Of Your Baby's CribHow to Keep the Cat Out of Baby's Crib (Purr-fect Solutions)
9 Best Baby Sound Machines (2020 Reviews)Best Baby Sound Machines to Help Your Baby Catch Some Zzzzs
How to Clean a Bassinet the Proper Way (6 Simple Steps)How to Clean a Bassinet
How To Get Your Baby To Sleep In Their BassinetHow To Get Your Baby To Sleep In Their Bassinet (4 Simple Tips)
Bassinet vs. Cosleeper? What’s The Best Sleeping Option For My Baby?Cosleepers vs Bassinets - What's the Best Sleep Option for Baby?
Newborn Won't Sleep Alone? This Is What You Can Do (5 Tips)Newborn Won’t Sleep Alone? This Is What You Can Do
How To Swaddle Your Baby (3 Simple Methods)How To Swaddle Your Baby
Bassinet Sleep Safety: 3 Bassinet Safety Rules You Should KnowHow to Keep Baby Safe While Sleeping In a Bassinet
How to Keep Your Toddler In Their Crib (6 Successful Strategies)How to Keep Your Toddler In Their Crib (6 Solid Strategies)
Can My Baby Safely Sleep On Their Side? (5 Things You Must Know)Infant Side Sleeping: Can Newborns Sleep On Their Side?
Seeing Double: The Ultimate Guide To Sleep Training Your TwinsDouble The Trouble: The Ultimate Guide To Sleep Training Twins
How to Swaddle Your Baby in the SummerIs Swaddling in the Summer Heat Dangerous For Your Baby?
How To Stop Swaddling Your Baby (6 Simple Steps to Follow)How and When To Stop Swaddling Your Baby
Is Swaddling Safe? Learn How to Swaddle Your Baby (The Correct Way)Is Swaddling Safe? The Pros & Cons of Swaddling Your Baby
Bed-Sharing or Getting a Crib — Which Should You Do?Co-Sleeping, Bed-Sharing, and Room-Sharing -- What’s Best for Baby?
The Ultimate Guide to Baby Sleep Safety and SIDS AwarenessUltimate Guide to Baby Sleep Safety and SIDS Prevention
Best Nap Mats of 202010 Best Nap Mats for Toddlers & Babies (2020 Reviews)
11 Best Swaddle Blankets (2020 Reviews)How to Find the Best Swaddle Blanket for Your Baby
11 Best Baby Cribs (2020 Reviews)How to Choose the Best Crib for Your Baby (Buying Guide)
Best Baby Swings of 20209 Best Baby Swings (2020 Reviews)
The Best Bassinets for a Good Night’s SleepBest Baby Bassinets of 2020
31 Unique Ideas for a Whimsical Woodland Nursery31 Unique Ideas for a Whimsical Woodland Nursery