There are tons of baby sleep products out there, ranging from the more traditional baby sleep sacks, noise machines, and calming diffusers to the more innovative bassinets that rock themselves, weighted blankets, and vibrating mattress pads.
The question is, which of these are worth investing in? You could try them all, but some of them cost a pretty penny. And what about the products that promise to be the “silver bullet” to all of your little one’s sleep troubles? Will they actually deliver?
Here at Lullabub Sleepers, we’d broadly classify baby sleep products into 2 categories: those that inhibit independent sleep and those that don’t.
As your baby sleep consultant, I’d encourage you to give products in the former category a miss. Let me explain.
Falling asleep independently is a skill. And whilst the ability is innate (like your baby learning to walk, talk and crawl), to get properly good at the skill of falling asleep takes constant practice. Constant practice of your baby getting from 100% awake to 100% asleep all on his/her own.
When you have a product that does some or all of the work for your baby, for instance through rocking, then it means to some degree your baby is reliant on the product to fall asleep. If that product is something sustainable in the long term, then no issues. But lots of these products get outgrown. Then what?
In our honest opinion, you’re much better off teaching your baby to sleep by him/herself. Instead of treating the symptom, you’re getting to the root of the issue and teaching your child to “fish” for his/herself.
In addition to the apparent advantage of having a well-rested child (and, by extension, parents), there is another significant benefit once your baby masters this ability: he/she’ll enjoy doing it immensely, because like with any skill when we become proficient at something, we take pleasure in practicing it.
How about products that don’t affect independent sleep? Broadly speaking these are the products that are “good to haves” as opposed to “must haves” for your baby’s sleep. For instance, your baby might possibly get better quality sleep with the product but regardless of the product, your child falls asleep all on his/her own.
If you’ve got any questions on which category the sleep product you’re considering falls under, or if you’d just like for your baby to learn to sleep through the night with the guidance of a sleep coach, just give us a call, and we’d be happy to chat.