TOOLS

Baby 4-12 Months

The following contains affiliate links. We may receive a small commission when you click the links provided and make purchases. We try our best to suggest quality products in an effort to help you make the best decision for you and your family. Obviously, these tools do not have to be purchased to ensure a good night's sleep, however, they are merely suggestions that will get you thinking in the right direction and certainly may make the process easier. They can be used to help facilitate the implementation process as well as a gradual process.  

 

  • LOVEY: Find a lovey, whether it is a small stuffed animal, a very small lovey blanket or even a ripped up old t-shirt of yours that your child can become attached to and thus associate with sleeping. You can also put your child’s crib sheet into your t-shirt drawer for a day so it gets your smell on.  “Wear” this lovey (place it in your bra for a couple of hours per day for a few days before you implement the schedule changes so that it gets your smell on it, or sleep with it). The lovey should be something that is portable and easy to replace if needed. It is good if you have several so they can be switched out if needed if one is soiled. Even if your child doesn't need or want a lovey, simply use it daily with each nap and bedtime during the pre-soothing period (when you are rocking and singing to them) so they start to associate it with sleep. This should be done as soon as possible. Feel free to use wubbanub (paci loveys) listed below or something that you have already. This lovey should stay in your child’s room (or where they sleep) at all times. It should not be used as a play object outside of the bedroom. Most importantly the lovey should NOT be put into the crib with the child. Rather, it is used so that the child connects and associates the lovey with the potential of sleep during the pre-soothing process before the child is placed into the crib. 

Paci Lovey

Lovey Blanket

  • PACIFIERS: It's good to have multiple pacis. Use this or any kind your child likes. Even if the baby is unable to put the pacifier into their mouth on their own, litter the crib with lots of pacis so they can be used as needed by the caregivers and the child can also ‘practice’ with the pacis while laying in the crib. During the day, have your child practice with the paci while playing or while sitting at the high chair. 

  • BUMPERS: Remove traditional bumpers from the crib for safety reasons; including mesh bumpers and crib slat bumpers. 

  • SOUND MACHINE: The sound machine listed below, although expensive, is preferred because the quality of the sound can be controlled. It’s useful for the gradual phase as well as once the implementation process is completed. A simple box fan or an app on your phone can be used in its place as well. The sound machine will help drown out extraneous noises from cars, dogs, siblings, etc. Keep the sound machine close to the bed at medium ‘volume’/speed for now. Eventually, though, eliminate the sound machine (after a few months of the child sleeping through the night). The idea is that once the child is ‘trained’, small noises, even if they wake your child, will not interfere with them soothing themselves back to sleep. It can be used occasionally and intermittently once it's eliminated for many scenarios including if there are guests at the home while the child is sleeping, there is a thunderstorm, the TV is on for the parents, or to use during travel. The sound machine is not something that should be used ‘forever’ because it becomes a crutch, eventually, that the child comes to depend on and cannot sleep without. Therefore, use it at the beginning of establishing good sleep habits but ultimately eliminate it by turning the sound down every few nights until it's completely off. 

  • TIMER: These timers can be set: 

1. Once the child wakes so the next sleep interval can be determined. If cues are noticed earlier, the timer can help determine what those intervals are and similarly see how long your child was able to stay awake (60, 90 minutes, 2hr15min, 3hrs, etc).

2. Each time a caregiver comes out of the room, during the implementation phase, so that it can be known how long you must wait before going back in the room to soothe (1, 3, 5, 7, etc minutes). 

3. Once the child falls asleep so it can be known how long the nap length was. 

  • ALL TRACKING APP: This list of apps track sleep, diapers, feeds, it’s a makeshift monitor and has a sound machine app as well. Check it out and see what calls out to you.

  • SmartPhone Tracking App

  • Baby Connect

  • NIGHTLIGHT: It is good to have a basic night light in the room. There is an example below but any will do. You want it to be bright enough so your child can see where they are when they go to sleep as well as when they wake up in the middle of the night. Ensure that it is not too bring that it hinders your child from falling asleep. Avoid blue nightlights. 

  • BLACKOUT CURTAINS: Make sure to use them in the room for naps AND bedtime. The room should be pitch black, even during the day for a nap, with the exception of a night light. The goal is that the child should be able to ‘see’ where they are when going to sleep as well as upon waking. Once the child is sleeping through the night for a period of 1-2 months, allow some light to enter the room, but not a lot. Below is a link for blackout film which can be used temporarily in your child’s room to block out any light that comes in on the sides of current curtains and darken it more so. Or simply use black garbage bags to block out the light. Turn off any other lights especially lights from electronic devices and keep them off during cuddling time and bedtime routine with the exception of a lamp that can be on during book time. If your child is used to sleeping in their room for naps and it's not too bright, getting new curtains may not be necessary. ​

  • VIDEO MONITOR: It is a good idea to have and keep the video monitor close by during the implementation process as well as during the gradual process in order to visualize your child at all times to help determine why they are crying or if they are sleeping or not. If your child is crying because a limb is stuck in the crib or they are fussing because they want to be picked up, you will be able to determine the situation best if you can see the child but the child can't see you. Of course, if they are crying because a limb is stuck, go in and help before the interval is up during the implementation phase.

  • BOTTLES: These bottles claim to help babies who are gassy and report that babies do similarly with this bottle as they do when breastfed. If gassiness is not an issue, any brand baby bottle is fine to use. Attempt to use a smaller nipple to help your child to drink less in the middle of the night and a larger nipple size during the day to help increase intake. Eventually, the goal will be switching your child to sippy cups for milk and water once over one year of age.   

  • SIPPY CUPS: These cups are great to use when the baby is ready to transition to the use of a sippy cup once the child is 6 months of age or older. One type can be used for milk and the other for water.   

  • INFANT TOOTHBRUSH: Use this, without toothpaste, to brush your child’s gums and eventually teeth after the feeding before bed. It is a good habit to get into now and it will help wake your child up if they are trying to fall asleep at the bottle/breast after a feed before bedtime. 

  • INSTANT POT: Use this cooker to make fast and nutritious meals that can be ready so less time has to be spent on dinner and bedtime can be on time.