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When I was pregnant with Max I registered for ALL. THE. THINGS! I had so many clothes, burp cloths, blankets, towels, bottles… you name it, I had it. It wasn’t long after he was born that I realized I didn’t need half of the stuff I had.
For instance, I would have been fine with two towels instead of five.
While I am not an expert on all things baby, I am an expert on all things baby sleep.
It is so VERY important to follow the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines for safe sleep. They recommend infants under the age of 12-months be placed Alone on their Back in their Crib.
They also recommend room sharing with your little one for the first six months, ideally the first year.
Keeping those guidelines in mind, here is everything you need to make sleep a breeze!
1. Sound Machine - White noise is essential. It should be mild, boring and continuous, and placed at least 6.5 feet from the crib or bed. The volume level should be similar to a running shower when you are standing in the bathroom. I recommend the LectroFan Kinder for white noise. Its size makes it perfect for travel.
2. Blackout Window Covers - Making your child's room as dark as possible helps your child produce sleep-inducing melatonin. The room should be between an 8 to 10 on a scale of bright and sunny (1) to pitch black (10). Black out curtains are a simple and inexpensive way to help achieve this. I recommend the Blackout EZ Window Covers
3. Bassinet – It may not be realistic to have your child’s crib set up in your room, so having a bassinet is a great option. The Halo Bassinest is a safe option. It is for babies up to 20lbs, but note that once your baby shows signs of rolling, they will need to be transitioned out of the bassinet.
4. Crib & Firm Mattress – Once your baby outgrows their bassinet, they will need another place to lay their head. Make sure you are purchasing a firm mattress, as that is what the AAP recommends.
5. Fitted sheet & waterproof mattress pad – This is the one item I recommend getting at least two or three. Infants and babies are prone to making messes during the day and in the middle of the night. In the event you need to do a quick change, it’s nice to have back up options.
6. Swaddle – In those first few months, swaddling is life! It helps prevent the startle reflex from getting the best of your little one while they sleep. Most infants like the feeling of a tight swaddle. I recommend using The Ollie Swaddle. One of the things I like the most about this one is the diaper is easy to access so there is no need to un-swaddle for middle of the night diaper changes. Once your little one starts to show signs of rolling, it is time to transition out of the swaddle!
7. Swaddle Transition - Transitioning out the swaddle can be challenging! I recommend starting at night and working into naps the next day, as the drive to sleep at night is much higher. It is best to register for a swaddle transition because you don’t want to be stuck without one when your baby starts to roll. I love the Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit for this!
8. Zen Sack – Once your little one can roll in the Merlin’s suit, it is time to step up to a sleep sack. I recommend keeping them in a sleep sack until they are out of the crib, as it is a good way to prevent climbing out of the crib! My favorite is the Nested Bean Zen Sack.
What can you skip?
You can register feeling confident that there is no need to buy a bumper or mobile for the crib. The mobile will be a distraction to your little one while they are trying to sleep. Babies are notorious for getting fixated on something (light shining in or a mobile), so the best thing is to just not have one.
Remember that the AAP guidelines recommend nothing be in the crib with your little one while they sleep, so the crib bumper is a no-no, even the mesh ones. Keep in mind that bumpers are a no-non even after 12-months of age.
Additionally, there is no need to register for a Dock-a-tot, Snuggle Me Organic, or any other sleep positioner, as they pose the risk of strangulation, suffocation or entrapment. Safety is always the most important thing when it comes to sleep!