Since day one, bedtime has been one of the most important times of the day. Getting into a nighttime flow that works for us is super important as the little one and I both need rest, but it also keeps our day to day routine consistent and predictable. As a first time mother, I’ve been lucky enough to have a baby that adapted well to a bedtime routine and sleep training. I attribute a great deal of that ease to being mindful in creating an optimal bedtime environment from the very beginning. This could not have been achieved without the right bedtime essentials. I’m excited to share my favorite baby and toddler bedtime essentials with you all today. My daughter and I have lived this list for 18 months now and it works amazingly well for us.
My favorite go to for pajamas is an easy footed onesie. They come is light weight and warmer fabrics, adorable prints, and keeps those little toes warm all night. Warm socks are a must when I choose non footed pajamas. Mittens were very useful between 0-4 months old. They kept little hands warm, but I used them mostly to protect the little one from her sharp nails — I swear I could never keep up with how fast those tiny nails grew! Cute and soft baby caps are great for keeping tiny ears warm through the night and just make you say awww :).
Swaddles were great for keeping my baby warm and feeling secure through the night for the first 2 months. After that she’d always find a way to bust out of them disrupting her sleep. During that time I discovered this awesome sleep sack, which is probably my favorite bedtime essential of all. Sleep sacks are wearable blankets for newborns and toddlers, that keep them warm and cozy while also protecting against SIDS. They are an all around safer alternative to loose blankets. The newborn versions have a swaddle option that we loved and at now 18 months old, my little one uses a toddler sleep sack every night.
To calm and relax my child for sleep I moisturize her skin immediately after a warm bath with my diy whipped baby butter. My baby butter has soothing lavender essential oil and applying it gives her a short relaxing baby massage.
Reading a short book with rhythmic text and plenty of cuddles has always helps to calm her down and gives us bonding time before bed. From 3-5 1/2 months a pacifier at bedtime was a lifesaver. Prior to offering one, my baby used my nipple as a pacifier which made actually putting her down for sleep at times impossible. Offering a pacifier made the nightly transition from boob to bed super easy.
Keeping a bassinet in our room during the first 3-4 months worked really well for us. During this time I was breastfeeding every 2-3 hours and baby had a lot of reflux issues. Keeping her close to me not only gave me peace of mind, but it also made waking to feed a breeze. At 4 months I began sleep training and transitioned baby to her crib. I chose this beautiful convertible crib because it will grow in stages with her to a full size bed. I chose this durable mattress and this comfortable waterproof mattress cover that have worked well so far. They will be put to the test during this up coming potty training period — fingers crossed.
Another one of my very favorite essentials is a white noise machine to drown out other noises and lull and keep baby asleep. We used one in the hospital after my daughter was born. It worked so well that my mom purchased the same one for us the next day when we were discharged. My daughter has always responded well to the soft rain setting and still uses it today.
Nighttime Feedings and Changes
For the inevitable nighttime feedings and diaper changes, a night-light is a must. I love this adorable bear night-light. It casts the perfect amount of soft amber light; just enough to see what I’m doing, but not enough to startle my daughter awake.
A soft comfortable changing pad like this one and having diaper essentials close by makes nighttime diaper changes a breeze and comfortable for us both. I love my super comfy and quiet nursing chair to rock in during feedings. The best part is when I’m done breastfeeding sometime in the distant future, this chair is versatile enough to be used for years to come.
From those frequent cluster feedings during the newborn stage to the one or two night feedings during our current growing toddler stage, my breastfeeding caddy as been a lifeline. I keep it right next to my nursing chair just in case I should need a quick snack, water, tissue, or any other item to get through late night and early morning wakings.
A comfy back pillow is great to help maintain good posture when I’m too tired to think about it. This nursing pillow has also been great in helping me maintain a good posture while breastfeeding at night and puts less stress on my arms. The last bedtime essential we use and I’d totally recommend is a baby monitor. There are so many different types to choose from; high tech systems, monitors with phone apps, video monitors, etc. We use a basic audio monitor.
Before I used one I found myself checking on her all the time to see if she was still sleeping, in a good position, still breathing! I was a nervous wreck and couldn’t sleep. Once I could hear her snoring, moving around, and waking from the comfort of my bed, it was easy for me to to gain some peace and well needed asleep.
I hope this helps some of you Mamas out there struggling with your baby nighttime flow. Wishing you all calm nights and more sleep!
Do you have some bedtime essentials to add? Comment below and let me know! @alovelymommy