One of the most common posts in our Facebook group lately is “what’s everyone’s favourite ___”, as it relates to sleep. We totally get it, there are SO many different types of sleep products out there and for every category it feels like the options are endless. Before we get to our personal favourites, we want to remind you that there are very few “magic ticket items” when it comes to sleep. There are many things that can help promote sleep for your family, but none of these items will “fix” all sleep challenges, because sleep is so dynamic. That being said, some of these things in combination with other sleep foundations make a big difference! Today we want to give you a list of our favourite per category - and trust us, we’ve tried a few. We hope you find this helpful in narrowing down your search when it comes to sleep stuff.
What to look for when picking a sleep sack: When it comes to picking a sleep sack there are a few features we like to look for. First, what material is it made from? We want to ensure it’s very breathable and gentle on babies’/toddlers’ skin so cotton, wool, or bamboo are usually your best bets! Then we want to consider the TOG rating. Now if you’re anything like we were, you might read TOG and think what on earth is that!? TOG ratings are simply how warm the sleep sacks are. In the summer you probably want 0.5-0.7, but in the winter you can go up to 1-2.5, depending on how chilly it gets in your home. Finally, you want to consider the design features. Does it zip from the bottom? Can you easily transfer a sleeping baby into it if they fell asleep without it? Would middle of the night diaper changes be easy? We like to check where the zippers and buttons are to make sense of this!
Our Fave: Woolino All Seasons
Why we love it: We have tried many different sleep sacks on the market and this is our favourite because it’s just so well made! As the name suggests, it’s made of wool, which means it’s not only super breathable, but it helps to regulate your baby’s temperature as well. It doesn’t have a tog rating because it is made for all seasons, so while it’s a bit pricier than some others on the market, you don’t need to worry about having different ones for the summer versus the winter. Plus, it has buttons on the shoulders and under the arms to make for a seamless transfer, and has a double zipper for easy diaper changes!
What to look for when picking a sound machine: With so many different options on the market, what you look for and what is important to you will depend on your own preferences and needs. A few things to consider are: do you like the digital sounds or would you prefer a more natural sound? Is it important to have a battery as backup? If digital, are the loops obvious (which can be really annoying to some people and babies)? Do you need it to have extra features like bluetooth, a clock, or a night light? How much light does it emit at its lowest level?
Why we love them: If you’re looking for a reliable and natural sound machine, the YogaSleep sound machine is made with a real fan inside the unit. That means it’s not a digital sound but rather the wooshing of the fan you hear when you turn it on. It has two main sound levels, plus the ability to adjust the pitch and volume slightly by turning the top layer of the sound machine. We love that it’s a natural sound because the digital ones can leave our highly sensitive ears ringing at times, but it is really just a solid sound machine. If you need more than a sound machine, and are okay with the digital sounds our second pick is the Hatch Baby Rest, or Rest+. Both have a variety of sounds you can use, act as a nightlight (and a clock for the Rest+), and have a programmable option to set it to turn on and off at different times of the day or night. If you like the features, Hatch is your best bet! If you just want a great sound machine, go for YogaSleep.
OK to Wake Clock
What to look for when picking a wake clock: Wake clocks are great tools to use in conjunction with loving limits when it comes to toddler sleep. They are typically programmable on the device or from your phone and can help signal to your toddler when it’s okay to get up for the day (it’s always okay for them to come to you or call for you, of course). When picking a wake clock, most will do the trick, but here are some things to consider: Can you turn the light off all the way when toddlers are sleeping? Are they easy to use for you and your toddler if they have extra features? Do you need it to have a nightlight or a clock visible? Would you like it to be just a wake clock or would you use it for other features?
Our Fave OK to Wake Clock: Yoto Player
Why we love it: So we know that when you search for wake clocks, Yoto isn’t likely coming up in the top list, but it ABSOLUTELY should be, because they’re one of the coolest things ever! Yoto players are kids audio players that are designed with little ones in mind. They have a nightlight and clock feature that are both fully programmable with night and day modes to limit what is accessible at different times. You can change the colour of the lights, plus a moon and sun help to differentiate between night and daytime. If those were all the features, they’d still be pretty neat, but their beauty lies in the fact that they are audio players, and audiobooks are one of our best tools for toddler bedtimes! You can buy preloaded cards that will play stories when inserted into the player, or make your own recordings to help your toddler relax at bedtime. Plus they have children’s podcasts, sleep sounds, and nighttime sleep music to further support sleep. They also are an amazing tool for during the day, especially for families looking to reduce or eliminate screen time.
What to look for when picking a travel curtain: Travel curtains are portable blackout blinds that you can bring with you when on vacation or even just for a trip to a friend’s or grandparent’s home that happens to be during sleep times! Of course many babies and toddlers are happy to sleep in so many different settings, but for highly sensitive little ones, they really thrive in a darkened room with limited distractions, so having a portable option can be super helpful. When looking for a travel curtain, some features to watch for are ease of use, portability, and ability to stay up for the duration of your baby or toddler’s sleep. There’s nothing like a crashing curtain to wake baby!
Our Fave Travel Curtains: SleepOut
Why we love it: SleepOut curtains are our fave because they are SO easy to use. They come with two suction cups that physically lock onto the windows and then all you have to do is attach the curtain to the velcro-like top piece. They’re extremely portable and have no issue staying up all night because of the lock into place suction cups. If you have a highly sensitive kiddo and travel often, be sure to check them out! (You can save 10% with Connected10)
What to look for: It’s no secret that we LOVE floor beds around here, you can read all about why in our blog here! When looking for a floor bed, a mattress on the floor can be enough, but many families appreciate the aesthetic and functionality of a frame as well. A few things to consider when making a selection are: Do you need rails or sides that raise from the top of the mattress to prevent baby or toddler from rolling off the side? What kind of style do you prefer? What’s the longevity of the floor bed for your family?
Our Fave Floor Bed: Sprout Kids
Why we love them: They’re so incredibly well made and easy to assemble! They come in a visually appealing natural wood look or you can get them in a white painted option as well. They also have the option to have high sides if you’re worried about your child rolling off the sides. But one of our favourite features is that you can flip the frame as your toddler grows so that it can grow with them! When you flip the frame it turns into a low profile bed that is raised up off the floor, so it’s usable well beyond toddler years! (Save 10% with Connected10)
We hope that this is a helpful resource for you and has helped you sort through your needs when it comes to sleep stuff. Remember though, you are all your baby really needs!