How is the baby sleeping? How well do they nap? Are they sleeping through the night? Are you getting any sleep? If you’re a new parent, sleep — or lack thereof — is the number one conversation starter. And while, unfortunately, it’s not possible to request a kid who sleeps through the night when you conceive, new parents can wisely invest in some essential sleep gear designed to help everyone score some more Zzzs. Baby monitors that track breathing (so your mind is at ease), pajamas with magnetic fasteners (to make late-night changes a breeze), and convertible cribs. Here 3 you don’t want to go without.
READ MORE: The Fatherly Guide to Sleep
Cocoon is a ‘smart’ baby monitor that not only lets parents watch live high-def footage of their baby snoozing, but also track their vital signs and breathing using computer vision and artificial intelligence. And it can do both from across the room, without requiring the child to wear any additional gadgets. Not only that, but when your baby becomes a toddler, the camera’s motion sensor will alert you when they’ve climbed out of bed and are making a run for it.
Zippy Jamz Dual Zipper Sleep Sack
Ain’t nothing worse than finally getting your kid ready for bed only to realize that ooops-they-crapped-their-pants and, guess who’s starting the whole process over again? If they were wearing a ZippyJam, however, that diaper change would be a breeze. These sleepers feature an ingenious, patent-pending two-zipper design: one zipper runs from foot to collar for dressing, the other along the inseam for easy diaper access. They’re made of organic cotton, use lined zippers that won’t pinch, and are available in a number of colorful styles with fun names like Go Go Geometric and Sleepy Clouds.
All-In-One Soothing Center: HALO SnoozyPod
This “all-in-one soothing station” is equal parts white noise machine, bassinet vibrator, and nightlight. It includes two levels of soothing and vibrations, three types of sounds, and an LED starry night ceiling projector. It’s designed for newborns to 2-year-olds and it’s obvious why ⏤ with the controls right on the side of the crib, it’s only a matter of time before your kid starts playing DJ/light tech instead of going to sleep.
Sleep ‘N Feed All-In-One Pillow & Bed
Billed as a multifunctional pillow that grows with your baby, the Sleep ‘N Feed goes from nursing pillow for newborns to a tummy time mat to travel bed for one-year-olds. All parents do is reattach the stain-resistant, temperature-regulating fabric pillows in any one of nine different configurations. Better still, with a fold and a click, it can be worn like a backpack and easily taken on the go.
Here’s the big sell with the SwaDo Swaddle: It’s got a new type of patented fastener that uses friction, rather than Velcro-styled hooks and teeth, to adhere. Essentially, the soft micro-fiber fleece material sticks to itself ⏤ and it’s cool. It also holds snug and makes zero noise when opened and closed, so there’s little chance of accidentally waking up the baby in the middle of the night with a loud rip.
Stork Craft Tuscany 4-in-1 Convertible Crib
Not only does the Tuscany 4-in-1 exceed all US and Canadian safety standards (CPSC and ASTM) and is JPMA certified, but it’s made out of solid wood, has a beautiful classic design, and, is a bargain with a price tag under $200. Better still, the Stork Craft’s a one-time purchase and grows with your child, converting from crib, to toddler, day, and then full-size bed.
Tranquilo Soothing Mat
Assuming the Snoo Smart Sleeper is a little too pricey for the baby registry, the portable (and much cheaper) Tranquilo Soothing Mat is also based on Dr. Karp’s five Ss. Created by a maternity nurse and certified Happiest Baby Educator from Boston, the roll-up mat (which was featured on Shark Tank) calms babies using three levels of vibration and two heartbeat modes. It can run for an hour at a time using the built-in timer, and the batteries reportedly last up to 60 hours before needing to be replaced. Tranquilo’s washable, water-resistant, and comes in two sizes ⏤ one for the crib, and one for the stroller, carrier, or car seat.
Magnetic Me Baby Clothing
Because zippers are a pain and nobody’s ever explained why they put snaps on baby clothes, Magnetic Me is an ingenious line of infantware that fastens using magnets sewn into the material. They pop open, they pop closed. No struggle to snap that baby’s onesie up after a late-night diaper change. They’re available for newborns thru 4T and styles include everything from footies and PJs to lightweight dresses and heavy fleece overcoats.
The Nose Frida is the weirdest most gimmicky-looking product out there for kids. It’s essentially a booger-sucking straw that parents use to suck mucus out of a baby’s nose. Yes, the concept is disgusting. But here’s the thing: It works. And when your baby is out cold and not crying because their nose is stuffed up, you’ll be swearing by it.
The beauty of the Remi is that it starts as a ‘smart’ baby monitor ⏤ with two-way walkie-talkie, adjustable nightlight, and speaker to play lullabies or preprogrammed music ⏤ that also tracks an infant’s sounds at night and produces a daily report on their sleep. For toddlers, it’s a sleep-trainer that uses colors and facial expressions to let kids know when they can get out of bed. And for older kids, it’s a Blue-tooth speaker and alarm clock. All for $100.
Dohm Sound Machine
The Dohm is an “old school” mechanical sound machine that uses a two-speed motor and asymmetrical fan ⏤ rather than synthetic white noise through a speaker ⏤ to create the sound of “rushing air” without, well, any wind. To adjust the sound you simply twist the acoustic housing. It’s lightweight, plugs in so you don’t have to worry about the batteries dying.
Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light
Ease of use is paramount when it comes to portable travel cribs, which is why the 13-pound Baby Bjorn’s one-motion set up is so attractive: simply pop the frame and the legs automatically swing into place. It has a slightly tapered pyramid shape for added stability, and your baby monitor shouldn’t have any trouble seeing through the mesh sides.
Moonlite Bedtime Story Projector
Moonlite is a portable projector that uses a smartphone’s flash to shine bedtime stories up on the wall or ceiling. Just insert the 12-image reel into the ViewMaster-esque device, snap it onto the smartphone, and read the book inside the free iOS/Android app. Words display on the phone’s screen, HD pics show up on the wall. It uses “page detection software,” so when you manually rotate the picture reel, the pages on your screen turn. Not only that, but each story includes relevant sound effects so you don’t have to continuously make elephant noises every time the story involves … well, an elephant.