Baby Sleep Aids

Baby sleep aids are just that - different things you can do to help get your baby to sleep and stay asleep. No one can make babies sleep, but we can help them by giving them bedtime routines and by providing an environment that is conducive to sleep and relaxation.

baby sleep aids

Establish a Baby Bed Time Routine

best baby skin care

It is never too early to establish a bedtime routine for your baby.  Combine swaddling with soothing sounds and you are on the road to getting your own sleep again.

Once established these habits can signal to your baby that it is time to wind down and go to sleep.  Consistency is key. 

Bath time can provide an opportunity for some extra exertion that will often tire a baby.  It's important that you use a baby shampoo and wash that has safe ingredients.  You might be surprised that many of the well known ones like Johnson's Baby Shampoo may not be the best choice. 

Find out what to include in your baby's bedtime routine and how to determine what's the best baby skin care: 

Baby Bedtime Routine

Baby Sleep Aids for Swaddling

Swaddling an infant helps them feel warm and secure.  It prevents their arms from flailing which then startles the baby and wakes them up.  Most parents find that infants fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer when swaddled. Swaddle blankets come in different sizes - starting with a new born size and they come in different fabrics.

Cotton muslin fabric is great for summer months or for those babies who get over heated using fleece or polyester blankets.

Cotton muslin is breathable and gets softer the more times it is washed.

You may find that this blanket will later become your child's special blanket.

Muslin Swaddle Blanket 4 Pack

Baby Sleep Aids for Sucking

Sucking is a natural reflex and helps to sooth a baby to sleep. Pacifiers are part of the three main baby sleep aids that meet the needs for sucking, swaddling and shushing.

Be sure to purchase a BPA free pacifier to reduce exposure to BPA.

Pacifiers come in different shapes and are made for different ages.  Sometimes you will need to experiment to find the one that works best for your infant.   This one by AVENT has a cap on it so when you throw it in your diaper bag or purse it will be protected. 

Philips AVENT Freeflow Pacifier BPA Free - 0-6 Months (Pack of 2)

Baby Sleep Aids to Keep Baby Dry All Night

It's important to minimize sleep disrupters like wet pajamas, blankets and sheets. 

Changing a wet diaper and sleeper can cause too much stimulation at night making it difficult for your baby to fall back to sleep. Minimize this from happening by using a combination of overnight diapers and diaper pads. Size up the overnight diaper so it can accommodate the diaper pad.

You can start using them with just about any size overnight diaper - but for the smaller sizes just fold the end so it doesn't stick out of the diaper.

Place it more towards the front for boy babies.  Exchange leaking and wet bedding for dry nights and longer sleep times.  A win for everyone. 

Booster Pads Diaper Doubler

White Noise Machine for Baby

To mask or cover household noises, outdoor dogs barking, or blaring sirens, invest in a white noise machine.  Loud, sudden noises stimulate the startle reflex which will disrupt a sleeping baby. 

It's best to use one that has a constant and consistent sound and volume - like white noise or a fan. Variations in noises or sounds, like "thunderstorms" or "ocean waves" can interrupt sleep.

This is the sound machine we bought for our new grand baby.  Our daughter uses the white noise option every night.   Set it on a timer or let it run til morning.   The best option is to let it run all night so that an unexpected noise doesn't wake up your baby. 

It can run on 4 AA batteries or plugged into an outlet.

myBaby SoundSpa Portable

This portable white noise machine goes with you when traveling or just out for the day. Three sound options are bright white noise, deep white noise, or gentle surf and a wide volume range. Hushh is powered by a lithium ion battery and recharges from a micro-usb cord (included). Throughout nighttime or naptime, it masks disruptive noises to promote longer, more restful sleep cycles.  Attach it to a stroller, car seat or pack-n-play. 

Marpac Rohm Portable White Noise Sound Machine

Lullaby Downloads

Be careful if you listen to a favorite lullaby download while rocking your baby or you will both fall asleep. Get your iPod or your favorite MP3 player out and instantly download a lullaby album. Lullaby music is a wonderful infant sleep aid that has been around for centuries - it's just that now there are lots of options for music, songs and sounds.

Find out what parents are saying about the best lullaby music:

Lullaby Download

Our daughter uses the sleep turtle every night with their youngest child who is now 3. Because it is battery operated, it goes with them whenever they travel. What does it do?

1. It projects a soothing light onto the ceiling that mimics being underwater

2. Plays either calming music or the sound of gentle waves

The brightness of the light can be adjusted and you can turn on just one of the above features or both of them. An automatic timer means it will go off automatically. My daughter will tell you that the "Sleepy Turtle" is a part of their night time routine and definitely helps her daughter fall asleep.

Tranquil Turtle Sleep Machine

Baby Go To Sleep CD

Another friend of mine has had good results with a Babies Go to Sleep CD. The key again is consistency. It needs to be played every night.

Turn the CD on while putting on the child's diaper and pajamas to signal that it's time for bed. The music can also serve as a distraction as you sneak out the door.

My friend takes the CD player and CD whenever she travels, and little Sara falls right to sleep when she's away just like when she is at home. Depending on what works best for your baby and the sleep environment, play the CD once and or keep it on repeat or continuous to play all night. Find out which CDs are getting babies to fall asleep and stay asleep:

Baby Sleep Book

If there was one book I would recommend to new parents it would be a book on helping to establish good sleep habits and patterns. As a registered nurse I constantly advocate the importance and benefits of sleep for all ages.

Adequate sleep is especially critical for the new developing brain and the fast growing body of an infant.

Whether you are a new parent or a parent of several children, this topic is so important for everyone's welfare. A well-rested happy child makes for a well-rested and happy parent. Everyone benefits when babies get the sleep they need.

However, babies need some parental guidance and help regarding when to fall asleep and how to stay asleep.

Find out which baby sleep book provides the most practical and helpful advice here: Baby Sleep Book

Tips for Safe Sleeping offers tips for parents for safe sleep for your baby and to help reduce their risk of SIDS.  

Please check it out here:

Tips for Safe Sleeping for Your Baby

Baby Sleep Aids for Swinging

Some baby sleep aids are worth the investment. An electric baby swing is an invaluable infant sleep aid. The soothing rocking motion combined with lullaby music will lull even the fussiest baby to sleep.

The ability of a little more upright position in the swing can also help infants who have gastro esophageal reflux.

We've all known of or heard about parents who drive around in the car to get their child to sleep or stay asleep. Or, in our case, our infant granddaughter loved to sleep while riding on our golf cart.

Baby swings provide a soothing motion that relaxes babies and helps them to fall asleep ....that is until the batteries wear out in the middle of a nap.That's what makes an electric swing a no-brainer.

Here are some of the different features available:

1. Side to side and back to back swinging motion

2. Battery option

3. Option to play songs and nature sounds

4. Overhead baby mobile

5. Different positions for reclining the seat

6. Removable and washable pads

7. Different speeds

Fisher Price makes several styles, some of which are only battery operated, so be sure to double check the one you select if you want a baby swing that plugs into the wall. 

The best way to find out if a baby swing can help your baby sleep is to try one. Amazon offers free shipping and has a great return policy so if you are not satisfied (or your baby isn't satisfied) you can return the swing.  Go to Amazon to read some great reviews here:

Fisher-Price Cradle 'n Swing with AC Adapter, My Little Lamb

Security Blanket for Babies

We can't talk about baby sleep aids without talking about a "Night Night." Our children and grandchildren have all been comforted by a baby security blanket. Although you can buy them like this one pictured, it really doesn't have to be any special blanket.

The key is to always use the same blanket (buy more than one) to put them to sleep with. Pretty soon your baby will associate the blanket with nap time or bedtime.

Keep the blanket in the crib and limit it's use to only sleep time or rocking your baby to sleep. The use of a security blanket works great for traveling as your baby will always have something familiar with them when sleeping in a strange place.

Don't let your baby sleep with any soft objects until he's at least 12 months old. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, pillow-like toys, blankets, quilts, crib bumpers, and other bedding increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and death by suffocation or strangulation.

Security Blanket for Babies

Baby Sleep Sack

Depending on the temperature and time of year, babies can wake up if they are too cold or too hot. If you keep your temperatures down and the baby's room is cool, a baby sleep sack will keep your baby warm.

A baby sleep slack is usually a sleeveless sack that goes over a pair of pajamas depending on how cold the room is. With or without pajamas the front zipper makes it easy to do a night time diaper change.

Baby Sleep Patterns

Baby sleep patterns - I think these words would fit the definition of an oxymoron - because newborns don't have any schedule or pattern for the first couple of weeks.

Babies are born with no sense of circadian rhythm. One of your jobs as new parents is to help set the rhythm.

The most important aspect of setting this rhythm is helping your infant  sleep more at night and less during the day.  

Richard Hansler, PhD,the author of Pregnant? New Baby? Need Sleep!: Easy things you can do to protect an expectant mother and her baby from potential harm from ordinary lighting. explains how you use lighting to help establish better sleep routines.

Find out what you can expect from your newborn and how you can get your baby to sleep more at night, so you can too.

Baby Sleep Patterns 

Baby sleep aids like the ones listed provide a sense of security and predicatablility that helps to relax and calm an infant to prepare them for sleep.

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