Baby Registry Must Haves: Sleep Edition

When it comes to newborn sleep, you want to make sure you are prepared with the proper products to help them drift off to dreamland (and even more importantly, stay asleep).  

We know all the stuff out there can be overwhelming – so Moms at Odds is here to help.

Here’s what we’ll be talking about:

The Ones We Both Agree On

Velcro Swaddles
Rock n’ Play
Sleep Sacks
Amazon Baby Registry

Jo and Rachel’s Favorites

Baby Monitors
White Noise
Mattress Protectors

Things To Skip

Miracle Blanket

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The Ones We All Agree On

Some things are just so awesome that we can’t debate their value. When it comes to sleep, there are a couple items that we both agree are necessities:

Velcro swaddles

Regular swaddle blankets work to contain your baby for the first week if you’re lucky.  Most babies wiggle so much they learn how to break out of those things in a matter of days.  

The solution?  Velcro swaddles! For starters, these are so easy to use even dads can do it.  They also stay so much snugger than traditional swaddling.  As a bonus, they have holes in the back so you can swaddle while strapped in a car seat or in the rock n’ play, speaking of which…

Rock n’ Play

The RnP is the single most recommended baby sleep item, and for good reason.  

The hammock-style environment it creates is very soothing to baby as it hugs their sides.  The incline makes it a frequent choice for infants suffering from reflux.  Since it folds up almost flat it’s ideal for travel.  The curved bottoms allow you to gently rock your baby to sleep (or even in mid-sleep if they start to get fussy).  

There is some controversy as it’s not technically designed for overnight sleep, however many feel comfortable using it beside their bed for the first few weeks to months. Many variations are available including the basic model, vibrating model, and autorocker.   

Halo SleepSack

The sleep sack is the perfect solution for that time after your baby has outgrown the swaddle but isn’t old enough to keep a blanket at night.  

The sleep sack is a wearable blanket that signals to your baby that it’s bed time and keeps them cozy all night long.  They are available in a bunch of cute designs, lightweight and fleece materials, and the sizes range from newborns to toddlers.  

They are the safe alternative to loose blankets and are recommended by the AAP.

Amazon Registry

Additionally, we both agree that Amazon is one of the best places to create your baby registry (or any registry for that matter). You can getting EVERYTHING you need for baby in a place that’s very convenient for your friends and family to purchase from.

For it’s registry clients, Amazon gives an extended 90 day return policy window. You also get a 10% Completion Discount (or up to 15% if you are an Amazon Prime member) 60 days before your due date for the items you haven’t received.

It’s also VERY easy to sign up.  Click on the banner below and in less than a minute you can start adding items. 

Rachel and Jo’s Faves

We didn’t do everything exactly the same.  Here are some areas where we each had our own specific favorites

Video Baby Monitor

My husband tried to convince me that we didn’t need a video monitor, but now even he admits that it is one of the best baby purchases we made.

It puts my mind at ease being able to see and not just hear my son. Each coo or whimper I can see if he’s lying down, standing up, or trying to vault the sides of the crib and this helps me gauge whether I need to intervene or let him sort himself out.

Also, despite being a relatively light sleeper, I don’t trust myself to hear him without the monitor. Though his bedroom is only across the hall, there’s enough ambient noise from his sound machine that I doubt I would wake up to his cry. 

This one in particular is the most recommended and reviewed on amazon, and for good reason.  It has great picture quality (even in the dark), great sound, and is very easy to use.  You can pan/zoom the camera from the parent control (rather than having to sneak into baby’s room and physically move the camera itself). 

Lastly, the most amazing thing is that the parent unit comes with 2 charging stations.  So you can leave one in your bedroom and another somewhere else in the house where you’ll spend time when baby is napping during the day.

Home Security System

Unless your house is huge, you really don’t need a baby monitor with sound.  You’ll hear them, trust me.  It’s a mom thing, our brains are wired to hear our babies. 

I had a regular video baby monitor in the beginning, but I found myself turning the volume down on it constantly (it was making me wake up with every coo and cough) and relying only on the video function.  

After we realized this, we invested in a home security video system instead, and I couldn’t be happier.  We got this one with 4 cameras, one for each of the kid’s rooms and two for outside.  I love being able to turn on the TV in any room in my house and check on the kids or check who’s at the front door. 

We can also use them on our phones, so when someone is babysitting for us I can peek at my sweet babes.  After a lot of research, we decided to get cameras that were wired rather than connected to the main unit via wi-fi.  The wiring is obviously more complex to set up, but it’s a lot more reliable than wi-fi connected cameras.  Bonus, these are build to last and will continue to be helpful for years to come.

White Noise Machine

When you finally get your baby to sleep, inevitably UPS rings your doorbell or the garbage truck rumbles past and you hold your breath hoping your little one doesn’t wake. This is exactly why you want a sound machine.

This is the one we use and love. The sounds are soothing and help block out other noises in the house, loud neighbors, and barking dogs.  We still use this for our three year old, so I don’t have to worry about tiptoeing past his door.  

Our white noise machine also has a few different sounds to choose from as well as a picture projector which my son liked to stare at as an infant. It’s small enough that it is easy to travel with and perfect for noisy hotels and relative’s homes.  Even when we’re away from home, he recognizes it as part of his bedtime routine and goes to sleep better.

Download an app instead

I also used white noise but never had a separate, “official” machine.  

When ambient noise was needed, we downloaded the free “Relaxing Melodies” app on an old android phone (click here for the iPhone link).   It has settings to create your perfect blend of white noise, including ocean waves, thunder, rainstorm, traffic, vacuum, and more!  

In all honesty though, while we used the white noise when our babies were infants – we weaned off regular white noise between ages one and two.  Now we’ll occasionally bust it out when traveling but luckily we always have our phones with us so no need to pack yet another thing.

By the way, did you know that I’m a traveling with kids expert?  I wrote an entire series on traveling, check it out starting with Part 1 here

Snappy PJs

I definitely prefer the snap-up pajamas to the gowns and zipper ones.

I had a winter baby and cold house so I felt he needed the long sleeves and footies even under his swaddle. In the middle of the night, I liked not having to completely undress him for diaper changes, I could just unsnap the bottom half.

I can see the appeal of the zipper and not having to align the snaps, but don’t worry if your snaps are one-off, you can fix it when you change them again in an hour or two. While the gowns also make for easy diaper changes, he always managed somehow to wiggle the gown up to his waist, leaving his feet exposed and cold.

Kimono-style side snap t-shirts

When babies are newborns, they wear pajamas all day long (mostly because they’re sleeping all day long).  You know when you should change them out of their PJs?  At night. 

I know it may sound crazy, but when bedtime rolls around that’s your cue to put them in a comfy t-shirt.  This kimono-style one works perfectly.  For one, the snaps to the side make it so easy to put on since you don’t have to worry about pulling it over their tiny little heads with their floppy necks.

Second, having something light like a t-shirt means they won’t overheat when they’re swaddled over top.  Finally, having the bottom open makes middle-of-the-night, half-awake diaper changes a piece of cake.

Waterproof Crib Liner

To save some time cleaning up diaper leaks in the crib, I sandwich a waterproof pad between two fitted sheets. This way you can just pull off the top sheet and the bottom sheet is dry and ready to put baby back to bed ASAP.

I use flannel crib pads that I wash and reuse. I really like these in particular because they are soft and breathable so there’s no plastic-y feel under the sheet. They get thrown in the washer and dryer with the soiled sheet and have held up well through many many many washes.

I also have smaller ones to fit the pack n’ play for when we travel, but have used them in the crib in a pinch when I fell behind on laundry.

Puppy Pads

While I have a similar crib set up to Rachel (sheet, pad, another sheet) I way prefer to use a disposable pad.  I get the ones designed for dogs because they’re cheap and effective.

Between diaper blow outs and oversoaked pees, I’ve had to change them sometimes three times a week!  But instead of worrying about yet another thing to stain treat, I could just throw away the affected pad.  So much easier!

I have two kids and am halfway through my second pack of these, and they’re only like $15 each – worth every  penny.

We both agree and say, “just skip it!”

Some items just aren’t worth the hype!  Save your money and pass on these.

Miracle Blanket

We fell for the name, but please learn from our mistakes. Perhaps this is actually an amazing swaddle, we don’t really know because it is so darn hard to use. Heck, a plain blanket is easier to swaddle with than this. Trying to wrap it a hundred times around my baby but not my arm meant I ended up with a loose, twisted mess and an unhappy infant. Stick to the velcro swaddle, they are less expensive and way more effective.