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In March 2016 our daughter was born! We had a slightly rocky start, with FPIES, reflux and a few other niggles along the way. Our daughter is now 4 months old and thanks to our bedtime routine that we have implemented she has been sleeping through the night for around 10.5-12 hours.
This feels like it is life changing for us and we have really been able to enjoy all of our days together more now without worrying about trying to nap every time Daisy does.
We have tried a number of the ‘must have’ sleep-related products and here I am going to share with you what worked for us and what didn’t. Do remember that all babies are different and there are never any guarantees that a product is going to ‘fix’ everything.
Also, if your baby isn’t sleeping well it is unlikely that you are doing anything wrong. You don’t need to practice the ‘cry it out’ method unless you want to and you will survive with your sanity intact much better if you know that some people think ‘sleeping through the night’ means that their baby just wakes up for food.
This could mean that your baby is already doing what other people consider to be ‘normal’ behaviour at a set age.
Our daughter, Daisy, used to wake what felt like every 20 minutes for entire nights. We had hospital trips because she was dehydrated from projectile vomiting and it felt like she would never sleep properly, and in turn, we would never sleep properly either.
Now we have whole evenings to ourselves and we can even get in 6-8 hours sleep and feel human after a glass of wine! I’m not posting this as a brag, well maybe a little, but to let you know that one-day things WILL change.
Our new baby sleep essentials
Blankets: We have loved both *cellular blankets and also this *swaddle blanket. Cellular blankets allow us to keep our daughter warm overnight without worrying about increasing the risk of suffocation.
Our home is incredibly warm and the bedroom where our daughter sleeps is regularly 26 – 28 C. Despite this we have found that she loves the comfort of a blanket.
A cellular blanket is ideal as it isn’t too thick and if she does cover her face it is nice and breathable. We used our swaddle blanket for around 2.5 months.
We found that this helped keep Daisy still and quiet in her cot. It prevented her rolling around and also it prevented her getting cold, however, when the warmest Summer weather arrived we stopped using this, and also because Daisy was beginning to roll and we did not want to restrict her movement or cause damage to her joints.
It is a little on the expensive side, compared to other movement monitors, however, this clips on to the nappy and vibrates to help little ones remember to breathe.
I was able to leap out of bed and help Daisy with her sickness and check her temperature etc. It turned out that Daisy was having a reaction to her latest injections. Who knows what could have happened if we did not have this and I will be eternally thankfully for the monitor allowing me to be there for her during her time of need.
Cot mobile: We have this one. We love the star projection on the ceiling but Daisy particularly loves the spinning bears. So much so that when the bears stop spinning and the music continues, at around 10-15 minutes I think, if she is still awake she begins to cry in frustration.
This mobile thankfully comes with a remote control which has been an absolute godsend! I can lay in bed, and relax, and keep the bears spinning!
Daisy loves watching the mobile and the music is really calming. There are a nice array of songs and you can hit the remote, or the mobile, to skip songs if you choose to.
Washable cot mattress: When looking at mattresses initially I was just thinking about going with one that fit our specific cot. Then I started to think about what I want from a mattress and realised that I wanted Daisy to be as comfortable as possible.
We went for a thicker *foam mattress, which was vented and one that had a cover that is washable. This has been super useful at 2am when Daisy has projectile vomited and it needs wiping over urgently. We can either wipe the cover over or remove it completely if need be and get it into the wash.
Because it is such a thin cover it is dry in next to no time and ready to go back on the mattress by the morning. Of course cot sheets are essentials too – especially if they are nice and absorbent and will mop up half the aforementioned baby sick at 2am!
Dummies: We have been using these ones and we have also tried these ones in the past. Daisy has been gradually moving away from using a dummy in the last few weeks and has learned how to self soothe herself now.
As Daisy is teething there are still times that she loves the comfort of a dummy, however, we are happy for her to keep using one for another month or so.
Carobel: This is a little bit of a unusual item for a list of new baby sleep essentials. Carobel is a *milk thickener from Cow & Gate that we have been using with Daisy’s Neocate prescription milk.
Neocate is incredibly thin, as parents with CMPA babies will know and Carobel helps to thicken it up. Carobel has also been fantastic for helping Daisy sleep longer, at least from what we can tell, as we started using this when we implemented our bedtime routine.
Our not so essential new baby sleep essentials
Moses basket: We were gifted a beautiful moses basket and a rocking stand. We used this for a few days, however, as Daisy was such a sick baby she would regularly vomit into all the wicker layers and it was a nightmare to clean.
We had to buy lots of sets of bedding and then after around 2 weeks we found that Daisy slept just as well in her cot, where we could have the movement monitor running to know she was well.
Sleeping bag: We used this just once and Daisy really didn’t like it. She was wriggling all night and even the 0.5 tog was too hot. Because our home is very warm, even when it isn’t the height of summer, I didn’t like the idea that Daisy would not be able to remove this from her body if she was feeling hot.
We bought two or three sleeping bags and they were basically just a waste of money. If you want to try them out then I’d definitely advise just purchasing one and seeing how you get on!
I hope that you have found this list of our new baby sleep essentials helpful. I’ve tried to cover both the good and the bad. Some items have been fantastic for us, and others, ones that people have highly recommended, haven’t been so great.
There is nothing wrong with shopping around for second hand, for some items, however, you want a brand new mattress because you do not know how long a second-hand one has been stored for.