Sleep Time Essentials

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For true connoisseurs of parental sleep, I see you and this one is for you.

Ultimately, we credit our well-rested life to the Snoo, magical device of slumber and joy. Without it, we would be sad, stressed shells of our former selves. With it, we feel like badasses who are cheating the system and let me tell you, it is SO good to be bad.

I’ve also added the other sleepy time items that have really helped us fine tune Theo’s sleep cycles into this article. Sleep with a baby is a team sport and while the Snoo is our MVP for life (#snoolyfe), there are some other players in the game that deserve a shout out.

Sleep Time Essential List

Snoo Bassinet

Marpac Rohm White Noise Sound Machine

Holmes Ultrasonic Humidifier

SugarHouse Muslin Blankets

Uppababy Bassinet Attachment

Nested Bean Zen Swaddle

Snoo Bassinet

If I could recommend only one thing to splurge on to make baby life easier, it would be the Snoo, without hesitation. I go into a lot of detail about our Snoo experience HERE, but here’s the quick recap:

The Snoo is a bassinet designed by UCLA pediatrician and author of Happiest Baby on the Block, Dr. Harvey Karp, to comfort your baby and lull them into deep sleep cycles so you can sleep too. It responds automatically to your babe’s cries and if it is unsuccessful in soothing your little one, it will alert you automatically on your phone so that you can tend to their needs. Typically, if the Snoo can’t provide comfort, it is because your baby needs a diaper change or is hungry.

The Snoo soothes babies using a rocking motion and white noise at five levels, escalating based on the volume and duration of your child’s fussing or cries. The white noise really mimics what I would think a womb might sound like and the motion is intended to replace the movement babies are using to while in utero. It’s incredibly smart and pretty much feels like magic.

Our three weeker sleeps anywhere from 6-8 hours now before needing a feeding, followed by another 3-4 hours, all thanks to the Snoo. We also don’t have to endlessly rock Theo to get him back to sleep after the early am feeding. We are so well rested that I feel like I can handle the rest of new parent life without the same stress level a lot of mamas have to deal with.

The Snoo is expensive, but so worth it if you value your sleep and ability to function like a normal person. I also created a post about how to get your Snoo for free, which you can read through HERE if you’re interested!

Marpac Rohm White Noise Sound Machine

One of the soothing recommendations from the Happiest Baby on the Block video was using a Shhhh sound or white noise to calm fussy babies. This works SO well with Theo, both when he is in the Snoo or when he is napping elsewhere. Enter: this palm-sized gadget.

We received a cute portable owl SkipHop white noise machine for Theo’s stroller at my shower, but the volume setting was so low that it didn’t really work well for him. I ended up ordering this instead because Rohm is known for the original white noise machine and it had so many great reviews. It is so much more functional and we use all the settings interchangeably, though most often we stick with the “deep white” noise setting.

It’s light and easy to use one handed and sometimes I toss it in his carseat like a grenade as he starts to fuss when the car is stopped. It also tucks into a diaper bag or can be easily hung from the stroller. As much as I loved the cute design of the little owl machine from SkipHop, this is so much more effective for us when it comes to sleep time. I do think we will use the owl for music when he’s a little older and in the stroller.

SugarHouse Muslin Blankets

I don’t use these blankets to swaddle Theo, but I LOVE to tuck one around him when he’s taking a nap in the afternoon or at bedtime in the Snoo to help keep him warm and sleepy. I also usually keep one in my diaper bag in case he needs an extra layer in the carseat when we are out and about.

They’re light and soft and come in 20 really pretty shades; I love more muted hues, so I ended up ordering terra, balsam, mustard and light gray right away and just placed a new order for charcoal and olive. The best part is they are pretty inexpensive and you can snag them for around $13 each.

Uppababy Bassinet Attachment

The bassinet is an optional add-on for the Uppababy Cruz stroller and something I was initially on the fence about.

I ended up purchasing it after reading so many articles about the dangers of babies spending too much time in carseats and the asphyxiation risk from improper positioning. Ultimately, I didn’t want Theo to always be in the carseat in the stroller until he was big enough to sit in the rumble seat at 3 months.

We like the bassinet so much that in addition to using it when we are out of the house shopping, taking a long walk or visiting the doctor, Theo takes naps in it during the day in the house. It’s so convenient and provides a nice, contained space for him to nap in without me having to always pop him in the Snoo in the other room.

This was sort of a surprise bonus function for us. I was initially considering a Moses basket so I could have him near me during some of his daytime snooze fests, but this serves the same purpose and it’s one less purchase I had to make. It’s also perfect for days when Theo joins me at the office.

I don’t use the optional base for it, but if you want to be able to elevate the bassinet, you can order this Uppababy stand to put it in (truth time: I just put it in the stroller and wheel the whole thing around the house. I know that sounds crazy but it’s SO convenient).

Holmes Ultrasonic Humidifier

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One of the things we discovered about Theo’s sleep was that it was much shorter and he was fussier at random intervals if our room was especially dry. We had a really tiny humidifier, so we decided to upgrade and see if that made a difference in nighttime sleep quality.

I spent a bunch of time on the Amazon and Target websites reading ENDLESS humidifier reviews. Recap: they were really boring. I also read through the posts in my local mom group on Facebook to see if anyone had any magic options that they loved. I came to the conclusion that humidifiers are a mixed bag and some people have great experiences, while others have bad ones with the same machines.

Ultimately, we ordered the Holmes Ultrasonic from Target because it had the fewest number of bad reviews, mostly really stellar ones and a few local mamas were also happy with the purchase. It also didn’t need a filter, is quiet, and was supposed to be decent to clean. It has a large water tank so we aren’t constantly refilling it, even though we run it 24/7.

So far, I’m a believer in this thing. Theo has been staying asleep an extra hour to two hours every cycle and we are very happy parents.

Nested Bean Zen Swaddle

Our kiddo loves being swaddled, it really calms him when he is fussing and is our go-to when all else fails. Next to the swaddle that comes with the Snoo, this is our favorite and if you aren’t going to invest in a Snoo for sleep, then this is a must for your life.

I was gifted a bunch of swaddle options at our shower, but the Zen Swaddle ended up being the one we purchased on our own after reading a lot of reviews and watching a couple videos. What makes it different is that it has a lightly weighted pouch on the front that sits on the baby’s chest too provide just the right amount of pressure. It really helps soothe them, and Theo settles a little almost as soon as it goes on. When he was a newborn and was too small to fit into any of his NB sized clothes, he lived in this all day, every day and took a lot of naps all wrapped up like a caterpillar.

We call it “the one swaddle to rule them all” – we may have done too much Lord of the Rings binge-watching during the second trimester.

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