Baby sleep in the first year is, in my opinion, the most daunting task of new motherhood.
When mama and baby are tired, everything else is just more difficult.
I have compiled all of my favorite blog posts on baby sleep to give you all of the tips and tricks for surviving your first year, and possibly catching a few extra z’s here and there.
Understanding Your Baby: The Dunstan Baby Language
Understanding your baby might be the single most important piece of baby sleep.
If you are trying to put your newborn down for a nap, and they are telling you they are too hot, too gassy, or hungry, you are never going to win.
The Dunstan Baby Language is a secret baby language that lets you understand exactly what your newborn is telling you through their sounds and cries. This baby language will tell you if your baby is: hungry, tired, uncomfortable, or gassy.
By listening to your baby and knowing exactly when they are tired, you have the best chance at getting them to–finally–sleep!
Where Should Your Baby Sleep: Pack N’ Play Or Bassinet?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that your baby sleeps in your room for the first year.
They also give guidelines as to where your baby should sleep: a firm, flat space, on their backs, with nothing else in their crib.
Both full-sized cribs, bassinets, and Pack N’ Plays offer these features for safe sleep. So how do you choose between them?
For most of us, a full-sized crib isn’t going to fit in our room for room-sharing. That leaves bassinets and Pack N’ Plays.
I’ll run through the key features of both to help you decide whether a bassinet or pack n’ play is better for your baby registry. Ultimately, I would opt for a bassinet (see below) and a Pack N’ Play if you can. They both have features that you might like at different stages of your baby’s sleep in the first year. Plus a Pack N’ Play can continue to grow with your little one into toddlerhood.
Where Should Your Baby Sleep: The Best Bassinets
I recommend putting your newborn in an approved bassinet for the first few months. Bassinets are smaller than traditional cribs and offer a cozier feel for your baby.
There are so many bassinets to choose from! I have picked my favorite bassinets with all of the features you are looking for (and maybe some you didn’t even know existed) like adjustable height, folding down for travel, having a built-in changing table, and even the high-end smart bassinets that might even be able to get you a few extra hours of sleep.
What To Wear To Sleep: Swaddling In The First Few Weeks
The baby blanket game has really changed in the last few years and the options are a little overwhelming.
There are literally hundreds of different swaddled, sleep sacks, sleepsuits, blankets, and more to choose from.
As a mom who tried A LOT of these products (a story for another day), I break down the main types of baby blankets, the features you should look for, and give my recommendation on what sleeping gear you should have for the arrival of your little one.
What To Wear To Sleep: Transitioning From The Swaddle
There comes a time–a sad time–when you have to stop wrapping your baby up like a little burrito, and let them sprawl out in their sleep space.
Unfortunately, this transition (usually) comes with many sleepless nights for mom and baby.
In this guide I’ll prepare you for when you need to transition from the swaddle–hopefully, you can delay this as long as possible–and what the next sleep products are.
Spoiler Alert: The best transitional product for my son was the Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit (see more below).
Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit
If you read either of the two articles above, you know that my journey to transition my baby from a swaddle was a long and sleepless process.
Luckily, we stumbled on the Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit and it was a complete game-changer for us. I actually got my first consecutive 9 hours of sleep 🥳.
I’ll share how we found the Magic Sleepsuit, how it works, why you should consider trying it, and what to wear once your baby outgrows it.
Baby Merlin’s Magic Dream Sack
If you’re worried about using the Magic Sleepsuit because you don’t want your baby to become too attached to it like a swaddle, don’t worry.
Baby Merlin’s has created a whole line of transitional products, including the one that I own (and that my son is currently using) called the Magic Dream Sack.
Read about how the Magic Dream Sack is a serious upgrade from a traditional sleepsack and why I am so happy that Baby Merlin’s expanded their product line.
When It All Goes Wrong: What To Do When Your Sick Baby Won’t Sleep
Veteran moms have been there, and we know how sad it can be for new moms…
You just got your sleeping pattern down, your baby is finally sleeping in chunks long enough that you can function as a human being, and BAM they get sick.
Everything goes out the window.
The sleepless nights are back.
What are you supposed to do?
Here are my top tips for helping your sick baby sleep while they are sick, and how to get back on your schedule and routine once they are feeling better.
10 Best Baby Sleeping Bags With Sleeves
Here are the 10 best long sleeve baby wearable blankets. Long sleeve wearable blankets are hard to come by, and it can be difficult to know what to dress your baby in underneath them. This guide will show you my favorite long sleeve sleep sacks and explain the TOG rating system for clothing. It will also tell you what your baby should wear underneath their sleep sack.
23 Best Split Screen Baby Monitors
Monitor multiple children in multiple rooms from one parent device with split-screen baby monitors and multi-camera baby monitors.
Pro Tip: Put a split screen baby monitor on your registry with your first child so that the unit can expand as your family grows.
Bonus: Lullabies With Lyrics
My favorite lullabies to sing to my son, along with the lyrics and YouTube videos.
Knowing a few lullabies is so helpful for soothing babies to sleep. When my son was a newborn I knew if I sang “Hush Little Baby” he would be out cold–guaranteed–after 5 rounds max. It was a backup tool in my arsenal for those nights–and naps–that he just did not want to go down.
How To Choose The Best Light Bulb For Your Nursery
Did you know that the type and amount of light that your baby is exposed to before sleep can affect not only if they will fall asleep but also if they will stay asleep??!?!?! 🤯
Learn all about the best light bulbs for your baby’s nursery.
Mini Crib Vs. Crib: Sizes and Differences Explained
There is a difference in size between a mini crib and a full-sized crib. Mini cribs are not bassinets or pack n’ plays. They are their own separate category. Learn what makes a crib a mini crib vs. a standard crib and which one is best for your baby, space, and longevity.
Playard Vs. Crib: One or Both?
Are you debating between a playard (pack ‘n play) and a crib? Here’s a comparison of both. I highlight the features, pros and cons, and all the reasons why you should ultimately have both on your registry for baby gear!