There are a million and one baby sleep products out there promising to help your baby sleep better. Sad to say that most of them are just marketing gimmicks taking advantage of sleep deprived parents. Gross, but true.

The truth is, there is not really one magic product that is going to be an instant sleep-fix for your baby. While certain sleep products can be helpful in improving sleep, the majority of great sleepers have 2 things in common:

  1. They are on the right feeding + sleeping schedule
  2. They can sleep independently

If you are considering sleep training to help your baby become an independent sleeper, there are definitely a few products I would recommend having on hand. Obviously, none of these things are going to be the magic fix; instead, they are tools that can improve your baby’s sleep environment and create positive sleep associations. These are things that will supplement and enhance the work you’re doing to change sleep habits and can make the sleep training process easier on your baby.

Sleep Environment

Crib or Pack ‘n Play
It is important that your baby is sleeping safely, and this begins with where they’re sleeping. We want your baby to be sleeping in an approved bassinet, crib, or play yard (like the Pack ‘n Play).

Your baby should be sleeping on a flat, firm mattress covered only by a tightly fitted sheet. This is my favorite crib + mini crib mattress and these are my favorite crib sheets. If you are using a travel crib/play yard, please use the mattress that came with your product.

Your baby shouldn’t have anything additional in the crib with them, not even bumpers. As your baby begins to sleep independently, they will likely wiggle themselves all around the crib and even wedge themselves up against the bars or into corners. This is normal and is not unsafe or concerning in any way.

Room Darkening
We all sleep better in a dark environment so give your baby a leg up by making sure their room is nice and dark – the darker the better! I have a few favorite blackout shades depending on your room configuration and budget.

Best for room sharing – SlumberPod (use code ohbabyconsulting for a discount!)
Best cost-friendly option – Redi Shades
Best true-blackout solution – Sleepout Shades (use code ohbabyconsulting for 20% off!)
Most aesthetically pleasing while also being effective – roller shades + room darkening curtains + light blocking strips

White Noise
A sound machine is a versatile investment that has a number of benefits. White noise is very soothing for newborns and older babies as it is reminiscent of the sounds they heard in the womb. There are studies that show that sleep is improved when using white noise machines as well. Additionally, white noise helps to block out external sounds that may be disruptive to sleep. And finally, white noise machines can be used on the go as a positive sleep association to help your baby prepare for and sleep well away from home.

This is my favorite white noise machine because it is fan-based and non-repeating. If you go with a white noise machine that has more bells and whistles like the popular Hatch make sure you are using a true white (or pink or brown) noise setting vs. rain, ocean, or any other sounds.

Bedtime Essentials

A consistent and predictable bedtime routine is an essential part of sleep training. Here are some of my favorite items that I use and recommend during bedtime routines.

Sleep Gear

Nighttime diapers
Now that you’re sleep training and your child is going to start sleeping all night long, you want to make sure their diaper is ready to hold 12 hours worth of liquid. I’d recommend doing one of more of the following:

  • Sizing up in your daytime diaper
  • Using a nighttime diaper
  • Using Coterie diapers (try them for 20% off with code ohbaby20)
  • Using Sposie Pads

Sleep sack
Sleep sacks are a great addition to your child’s sleep routine for several reasons. Because your child should not be sleeping with any blankets or bedding, a sleep sack keeps your baby safely warm and cozy. Sleep sacks are also a great sleep cue for your baby since it’s something they put on before every sleep.

My very favorite sleep sacks are these from Kyte Baby. They are an investment, but they’re very worth it. Other alternatives that families like are Woolino, Halo, and Burts Bees.

The two most important things when considering which sleep sacks to get are:

  1. Your baby’s arms are free
  2. It is not weighted

For more information on sleep sacks, check out this post.

Optional Items

Nightlight (for toddlers 2.5+ only)
Toddler Clock
Cool Mist Humidifier

All of these items are helpful pieces of your sleep puzzle to use in tandem with sleep training. If you’re going to spend money, spend money on things that are going to support your sleep journey and things that will give you long-term, lasting changes.

Ready to put the puzzle together?