As you might imagine, I get a lot of questions about baby gear. Specifically, questions like, “Do magical products exist that will ensure my child will sleep til 9am every morning?! Where do I buy them!?”

While nothing can guarantee great sleep, there are definitely some products make it more conducive for your little one to get some ZZZs. Below are my favorites, all of which I’ve personally used (unless otherwise noted).

Books


I’m certainly not the only authority on sleep and it always pays to be prepared before your baby is born (or afterwards if you run into trouble). Hands-down, my favorite sleep “bible” is Marc Weissbluth’s Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child. It’s not the easiest read but the content is gold. (For parents of multiples, there’s also an edition of the book for you).

Setting up the nursery


I’m a huge fan of white noise–it will help babies (and parents!) sleep better. I’ve tried a few different options, including a free app for my smartphone, but my favorite is the Marpac Dohm All-Natural Sound Machine. We currently have one in my preschooler’s room and in our room. #bettersleepforall

If you’re planning to use a humidifier in your baby’s room, steer clear of those that have lots of lights. We’ve just started using the VAVA Cool Mist Humidifier and love it.

I recommend using a video monitor, even if your baby is just across the hall and you can hear her every movement. Why? Because it’s incredibly helpful to be able to see when and how she falls asleep and wakes up. (Does she wake up and hang out in the crib 10 minutes before she starts to fuss? That’s an awesome sign of self-soothing!). There are a lot of great options out there: I recently crowdsourced recommendations and the winners were Nest Cam and iBaby (for wifi/cloud-based systems) or Philips Avent if you want a traditional child- and parent-unit system.

For newborns


Most newborns like to sleep in cozy places–big cribs can seem intimidating when you’re used to being in your mama’s belly for nine months. We had great success with the Baby Bjorn Bassinet. While it’s not inexpensive, I loved that the sides are mesh and it sways slightly with the baby’s movements but not enough that she becomes dependent on motion in order to sleep. (I’ve also heard good things from clients about the SNOO and the HALO Bassinet Glide Sleeper, though I haven’t used them myself).

Speaking of coziness, I highly recommend swaddling your newborn. We loved the idiot-proof HALO Sleep Sack Swaddle. I’m also a fan of MORI’s newborn swaddle bag and the aden + anais easy swaddle (especially for families living in warmer climates) .

For babies


If you’ve been swaddling your baby but he’s beginning to be too big for it, I’m a huge fan of Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit. (Silly name, genius product). I recommend it to almost every client with babies around 4-6 months who can no longer safely be swaddled but aren’t quite ready for a proper sleep sack. While your baby may look a little funny sleeping in it, he’ll be sleeping.

For older babies who have outgrown both the swaddle and the Merlin suit, my loyalty remains with the HALO Sleep Sacks. They can be used well into toddlerdom and are a safe and easy replacement for blankets.

For toddlers and preschoolers


Around 2.5-3 years of age, many kids begin to feel afraid of dark. Totally normal! Using a very dim night light can help them to feel a little less afraid. We’ve had good success with the Vava Nighlight. (Just be sure that you use it on the dimmest and orange-white settings!)

Around the same time, you might consider using an “ok to wake” clock to begin to teach them that the day starts when you say it does… not at 4:30am. There are loads of options depending on what you prefer. We landed on this one, which depicts a rabbit sleeping or awake and it’s worked well!

For travel


If you’re ready to invest in a travel bed, hands-down I recommend the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib. I’ve tried other similar travel cots but found this one to be the perfect hybrid between lightweight and easy to set up (key after a long journey!). If you’re traveling with a smaller baby who is used to sleeping in a bassinet/Moses basket, the BRICA Fold N’ Go Travel Bassinet is awesome. (Bonus: You can also use it for outings to the park, etc. when you want to contain your baby!)

If your child is accustomed to sleeping in a dark room but your Airbnb apartment is super bright, consider The Gro Company Gro-Anywhere Blinds. And if you use white noise at home, Marpac makes a great travel white noise machine that’s small but powerful.


Some of the above links are Amazon affiliate links. I promise that I’ve personally used each and every one of these products, unless otherwise noted.