The “Good Sleep” Registry

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Siesta, slumber, shuteye.

Whatever you call it, chances are, you are about to experience a deficit.  Having a new baby usually means total (but hopefully temporary) sleep confusion.  Never before has sleep been so valuable, yet never before has it been so hard to get.

Your baby is born with one immediate job. 

He must grow.

In order to grow, he must eat, eliminate, and SLEEP.

That’s it.

Simple, right?

Pfft.

So aside from reading every baby sleep book under the sun (all of which are designed to contradict one another and confuse the ever loving sanity out of you), here are a few sleep “assistants” I recommend you add to your baby registry from the start.

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1. Books – While there are many different schools of thought regarding sleep training your infant, most experts agree on one thing: A bedtime routine is key. Helping your baby wind down from his stimulating day is paramount in programming him to understand the differences between night and day as well as soothing him to a sleep-welcoming state.  Reading to your baby, whether he is three days or three years old, is a great addition to your bedtime routine, and allows you to connect with him by introducing books that you are able to read in a calm, lulling cadence.  Some of my favorite bedtime books are:

–  “It’s Time To Sleep, My Love” by Nancy Tillman

–  “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown

–  “I Love You More” by Laura Duksta

–  “If I Could Keep You Little” by Marianne Richmond

–  “Baby Beluga” by Raffi

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2. Black-Out Curtains – Whether it’s the middle of the night or a midday nap, do your best to eliminate stimulus from your baby’s sleep routine.  Black-out (or room darkening) curtains are an easy way help your baby understand the difference between sleep times and wake times.  When your baby is awake, their world is full of stimuli, so providing them with a dark room to sleep can help them gain the most restful sleep possible – and quite possibly allow you to sleep in an extra hour.

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3.  Swaddles – Safely swaddling your baby comes with many benefits.  Most newborns are born with a sensitive startle reflex.  Their uncoordinated limbs flail about, often preventing them from relaxing enough to fall and stay asleep.  Additionally, your baby is accustomed to the tight quarters of your womb and finds a sense of confinement to be quite comforting once they are born.  And finally, the American Academy of Pediatrics warns against using loose blankets and bedding in your baby’s sleeping quarters as a means of reducing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. To prevent my baby from wiggling his way out of a good night’s sleep, my favorite swaddle is the Woombie, which is made of a firmer fabric that combats my little one’s intense startle reflex.

MORE:  Learn About Your Newborn's Reflexes }

For multi-use, “grow-with-me” style swaddles, I rely on the Angel Dear muslin swaddle.  The fabric is breathable and measures 47”x47”.  While that may seem massive for a newborn, I find it’s easier to secure a swaddle when you’ve got plenty of fabric to work with.  When I’m not swaddling my son with these fabulous blankets, I’m using them for a carseat cover, a spit up wiper-upper, and as he ages I roll them up to allow for assisted tummy time.

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4.  White Noise Machine – Your womb is not a quiet place.  In addition to the loud sounds of your heartbeat, rushing blood, and churning digestive system, your baby is also hearing many of the sounds from outside of your body. Therefore, when your baby is born, silence is foreign.  A white noise machine provides a sense of comfort to your baby, which is especially important when you want them to sleep.  It provides enough “camouflage” to drown out the unpredictable, external sounds of car horns, barking dogs, and construction crews, yet is the perfect amount of familiar noise to lull them right to sleep.  I use the Conair Sound Therapy machine, and my son yawns on cue almost every time I turn it on!

{Related: Create your universal gift registry now!}

All images via Jennifer Bruno

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The “Good Sleep” Registry

Jennifer Bruno is a credentialed trainer by day and a freelance writer and aspiring photographer by night. Raised in rural Kansas, Jen moved to sunny Florida after college where she met her husband, who married her despite hearing her sing Dixie Chicks karaoke. Shortly after saying “I do”, they moved to New York City to fulfill their dream of living amongst the bright lights and skyscrapers. They currently share their cramped apartment with two modelesque miniature dachshunds named Millie an ... More

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6 comments

  1. Profile photo of cheyanne cheyanne says:

    I know it was a pain to put my daughter down to sleep she one now but i had to do was sleep when she slept where ever she slept lol it sounds funny but it help a lot but it is so true she sleeps alnight now

  2. Profile photo of cheyanne cheyanne says:

    I know it was a pain to put my daughter down to sleep she one now but i had to do was sleep when she slept where ever she slept lol it sounds funny but it help a lot

  3. Profile photo of Morgan Hart Morgan Hart says:

    Of course every little one is unique – my boys both hated being swaddled – but good ideas! I swear by a noise machine with a heartbeat setting! We also use a fan for white noise, which has also been shown to lower sids risk.

  4. Profile photo of Phammom Phammom says:

    Good things to remember!

  5. Profile photo of ALEJANDRA ALEJANDRA says:

    MY BABY SLEEPS REALLY GOOD IN THE NIGHTS HE JUST GETS UP TO DRINK HIS BOTTLE THEN HE GOES BACK TO SLEEP, ITS FUNNY HOW HE KNOWS THAT IT IS NIGHT AND THAT WE HAVE TO SLEEP!

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