Menu
baby sleep

Immediately following those cozy, cuddly moments of skin-to-skin just after your bundle of joy is born, you might have a moment of worry when you realize that they need to eat around the clock. Or, when you realize that getting baby to sleep more than a few consecutive hours at a time is... challenging, at best. While there are no one-size-fits-all solutions (sleep training and how you tackle it, after all, is a very personal decision!), there are a few products that you can get to help ease those sleepless nights and get baby in a full REM cycle.

We asked the Motherly team for their most-prized sleep-inducing possessions—and good news they're all available to register for at buybuy BABY®. Plus, we circled up with our resident sleep expert Rachel Gorton, certified pediatric and maternity sleep consultant and founder of My Sweet Sleeper, to understand why, exactly, each is so magical.

Here are the items you'll want to register for right now:

Marpac Hushh™ portable sound machine

marpac sound machine

"I am a huge fan of a noise machine with ocean sounds for my baby. It's super soothing and blocks out any noise from his older brother stomping through the house." —Ashley, Strategist

Sound, like so many aspects of your little one's first months of life, is all about familiarity, says Gorton. "Contrary to popular belief, babies don't sleep best in a completely quiet environment. For 9 months they lived in a pretty noisy womb, which is why white noise machines not only help promote self-soothing but give babies that familiar sound for sleep."

$34.99

Woolino® 4 season baby sleep bag

woolino sleep sack

"[I love] Woolino sleep sacks to keep them cozy all year long but also contained so they don't try climbing out of the crib. They even come with a slit for the sleepsack to be worn in the car seat which makes driving at night and transferring into crib soooo easy." —Conz, Editor

Not only are sleep sacks ultra-comfy, but they're also a really safe option, according to Gorton. "The AAP does not recommend the use of a blanket for the first year of life, so sleep sacks/bags are a great way for your child to stay warm and give them that snug feeling. Many babies will create a positive association with sleep sacks which can help promote longer stretches of sleep, as well."

$99.99

Ergobaby™ Original Swaddle

"New Mom Nightmare #234: A child with startle reflex in full swing that 'hulks' out of every swaddle you have in the house. My lifesaver? The Ergo Swaddle. It allowed my baby to sleep in a natural arm position securely while having the free movement of her legs that she clearly wanted. After a few weeks, she was also able to sleep with one arm up while still remaining swaddled. The versatility and strength of this swaddle were just what she (and I) needed to rest well."

—Mary, Sales

This, Gorton raves, is a tried and true tactic. "Swaddling is an art that has been around for hundreds of years and for good reason! It's a great way to help your newborn sleep soundly by recreating that feeling they had in the womb and helping to manage the moro reflex (that startling motion babies make with their hands during sleep) which is most prevalent in the first few months of life."

$24.99

Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier

pacifiers

"When my son was a few months old, we quickly learned how useful a pacifier could be (they don't call them pacifiers for nothing!) to soothe him when he was fighting sleep. The aptly-named Soothie one in particular was great because it was similar to the form factor of his bottles so he caught on pretty quickly." —Renata, Editor

It may not be obvious, but offering a pacifier to your little one for the first 12 to18 months of life is a great way to teach them the skills they need to help get themselves back to sleep on their own eventually. "Pacifiers not only help promote self-soothing," explains Gorton, "but the Soothie is made in one piece, not two, per the AAP guidelines."

$4.99

HALO Bassinest Glide Bedside Sleeper

bassinest

"My daughter loved the Halo Bassinest. Plus, having the mesh siding helped me feel better about her sleeping, and the fact that it swiveled made those nighttime feedings easier." —Elizabeth, Account Manager

Bassinets are a wonderful option for sleep in those early days, says Gorton. "The AAP recommends that you room-share (not bed-share) for the first year of life and these types of bassinets that give you quick access to your newborn to feed or soothe, which can make a huge difference in the first few months as you are all adjusting."

$189.99

Tommee Tippee® Groclock Kids Training Alarm Clock

training alarm clock

"My toddler was waking up super early and struggled with understanding when it was an okay time to get out of bed. Once we got this clock, it put things into perspective for him and he started to understand when it was okay to get out of bed or call for us. It worked wonders for naps, too—even if he was awake, he knew he couldn't call for us until the clock turned on." —Katherine, Marketing

"I am a huge fan of okay-to-wake clocks as it helps promote independence for your child and include them in the process of routine, especially when early risings are a concern," Gorton agrees. Trust us mamas, when those toddler years hit, you're going to relish every last minute of time they spend quietly in their beds!

$39.99

Miracle Blanket® Swaddle

miracle blanket

"Both of my kids were sleeping through the night (I'm talking 12 hours, 7 pm to 7 am!) by 8 weeks, and I'm convinced the Miracle Blanket Swaddle was a huge part of the reason. Yes, great sleep training helped, too, but this is the only swaddle that I both felt confident doing myself (I never mastered the real, from-scratch wrap) and kept both little ones snug all night long. It's my baby gift of choice to all new mamas now." —Daisy, Writer

"I am personally a huge fan of these types of swaddles, which are not only easier to use (especially for those of us who aren't skilled in the art of swaddling) but they also tend to create a tighter swaddle for ninja babies who can break out easily," says Gorton. Because the last thing you want to be doing is laying in bed wondering if you swaddled your baby tightly enough. Best of luck, mamas, and sweet dreams to you both.

$29.99

Make sure to shop these items during buybuy BABY's Spring sale starting 3/27-3/29.

This article was sponsored by buybuy BABY. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

1. Go apple picking.

Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

4. Have a touch-football game.

Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

The one thing your family needs to practice gratitude

And a tradition you'll want to keep for years.

Gracious Gobbler

I think I can speak for well, basically everyone on planet earth when I say things have been a bit stressful lately. Juggling virtual school, work and the weight of worry about all the things, it's increasingly difficult to take even a moment to be grateful and positive these days. It's far easier to fall into a grump cycle, nagging my kids for all the things they didn't do (after being asked nine times), snapping at their bickering and never really acknowledging the good stuff.

But the truth is, gratitude and appreciation is the kind of medicine we need now more than ever—and not just because the season is upon us. For one thing, practicing gratitude is a scientifically proven way to boost our happiness, health and relationships. More importantly, we need to ensure we're cultivating it in our children even when things are challenging. Especially when things are challenging.

I'm ready to crank the thankfulness up a few dozen notches and reboot our family's gratitude game so we can usher out 2020 on a fresh note. So, I've called in some reinforcements.

Enter: the Gracious Gobbler.

Keep reading Show less
Shop

Do you need a family emergency kit? (Hint: Yes, you totally do)

It only takes a few minutes to be better prepared for emergencies.

Right now is understandably a time for concern, but the same message applies: Prepare, don't panic. We parents have a responsibility to care and provide for our children, ensuring their well-being before and after any disruptive event, whether it's a natural disaster or an outbreak that forces temporary shutdowns and closures in our community. When it comes to emergency preparation, I always tell parents one thing: You want to have a plan just in case the worst really does happen.

As a mom of three young kids with a firefighter husband, I'm constantly anticipating potential problems—and thinking ahead about how to cope. Thinking ahead and planning has saved me many nights of pacing the floor, and has made me feel more confident as a parent.

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play