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Best Baby Sleep Products – 9 Essentials for New Parents

I can’t think of a single aspect of becoming a parent more complex and confusing than understanding baby sleep.

SNOO-smart-sleeper-bassinet-91

I get it because I know what kind of information is out there.

There’s a lot of conflicting “noise” that raises more questions than it answers. For a new parent, it all gets overwhelming very fast, especially if you already have a restless baby.

Today, we cut through that clutter and look for clarity on which of the baby sleep products can actually make a difference from the first day.

Below is a table of baby sleep products we’ll go over.

ImageBest Baby Sleep ProductsFeaturesPrice
Smart bassinet
SNOO Smart Bassinet
SNOO Smart Bassinet
  • Soothing motion triggered by cry detection
  • Safety swaddle and sleepsack
  • White noise imitates womb sounds
BUY NOW ON HAPPIEST BABYBUY NOW ON AMAZON
Sleep Tent
SlumberPod
SlumberPod
  • Blocks out light completely
  • Windows for air circulation
  • Easy setup and take down
BUY NOW ON SLUMBERPODBUY NOW ON AMAZON
Blackout Shades
Redi Shade
Redi Shade
  • Blocks out 99% of the light
  • Can be trimmed to size
  • No-tool installation
BUY NOW ON AMAZONSEE ON REDI SHADE
Sound Machine
Yogasleep Dohm Classic
Yogasleep Dohm Classic
  • Natural white noise (fan-based)
  • Adjustable, non-looping sound
  • Two speeds for tone and volume
BUY NOW ON AMAZONSEE ON YOGASLEEP
Humidifier
Frida Baby 3-IN-1
Frida Baby 3-IN-1
  • Multipurpose - humidifier, nightlight, and diffuser
  • Creates mist through vibration
  • Large, BPA-free water tank
BUY NOW ON AMAZONSEE ON FRIDA BABY
Baby Monitor
Nanit Pro Smart
Nanit Pro Smart
  • Full-HD video - bird view
  • Two-way audio
  • Temperature and humidity monitoring
BUY NOW ON AMAZONSEE ON NANIT
Bedside Bassinet
Mika Micky
Mika Micky
  • Adjustable height - 17-26 "
  • Attaches to the adult bed
  • Robust wheel, built-in
BUY NOW ON AMAZONSEE ON MIKA MICKY
Swaddle and Sleepsack
LoveToDream Swaddle up
LoveToDream Swaddle up
  • ArmsUp design - true self-soothing
  • Breathable 1 TOG fabric, single-layer
  • Machine washable
BUY NOW ON AMAZONSEE ON LOVETODREAM
Swaddle Transition
Nested Bean Zen One
Nested Bean Zen One
  • Three weighted sections
  • Inner elastic band for newborns' arms
  • Removable sleeves
BUY NOW ON AMAZONSEE ON NESTED BEAN

Top baby sleep products – an overview of features & benefits

In the section below, we’ll go over the key features of each product on the curated list.

I’ll try to clarify what’s unique about my top picks compared to the competition.

Let’s get to it.

Smart bassinet – SNOO

SNOO-smart-sleeper-bassinet-42

If someone told me I could choose one piece of baby gear, SNOO would be it.

Not only does it work miracles in terms of soothing through motion and white noise, but it also ‘recognizes’ fussing and starts the calming cycle on its own.

It’s also the safest baby bed in existence, with over 100 million logged sleep hours without a single case of SIDS or even injury. 

For you, all this comes down to two things – extra sleep and peace of mind.

Features

  • Swaddle and sleepsack – keep the baby on their back.
  • Swaying – gentle, soothing motion, 5 intensity levels.
  • Responsive – detects crying/fussing and initiates motion.
  • White noise – imitates the calming sound of the womb.
  • App-controlled – you can change most settings without getting up.
  • Preemie mode – extra gentle movement for premature babies.
  • Weaning mode – facilitates the bassinet-to-crib transition.

Why I love it

SNOO transformed our lives, especially with my son, who was a little Tasmanian devil when it came to sleep.

My wife and I were at the end of our ropes.

It felt like someone was sneaking double shots of espresso into his formula.

SNOO changed all that.

Our son started sleeping an hour more within 3 days in the SNOO And he was on a tidy sleep schedule within a month.

My perception of the SNOO’s price changed from “dumb expensive” to “totally worth it.”

With all that said, the one thing that stands out compared to any other bassinet is the unparalleled safety. It’s the only one out there that keeps the baby on their back at all times.

It’s hard to put a price tag on that.

You can see my full review of the SNOO here and a list of top smart bassinets here.

Sleep Tent – Slumberpod

front windows slumberpod

If you’ll be sharing a room with your baby, a sleep tent is a must.

Your baby needs darkness and a distraction-free environment for proper sleep, and you need to go about your day.

Those two clash in shared spaces.

Moreover, even if you’re not sharing a room, the baby room might not be dark or quiet enough for sleep.

A sleep tent plays the role that used to be reserved for closets or bathrooms. It gives your baby their own dark oasis and gives you the freedom to do your thing.

Among the sleep tents, Slumberpod stands out for a few reasons:

  • It’s bigger than your average sleep tent (extends beyond a pack and play).
  • It’s pitch black – it’s totally dark inside even if the light is on.
  • The materials are premium – everything about it feels high-end, but it still allows unrestricted airflow.

Features

  • Extra pockets for the fan and camera.
  • Complete blackout material – no light goes in.
  • Tested and safety certified – compliant with all safety standards.
  • Easy set-up – takes under two minutes.
  • Big enough to fit over a standard pack n’ play.

Why I love it

Space is not my reason for using the Slumberpod. My reasons are all about travel.

I love the convenience of taking the Slumberpod out wherever we go and setting up a dark space for sleep before you can say Jack Robinson.

Follow this link to see the full review of the SlumberPod and this one to see some SlumberPod alternatives.

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Blackout Shades – Redi Shade

Redi Shade Inc 1817205 Blackout Pleated Paper Shade, 48 in x 72 in, 6 pack, Black

Whether your child is restless or a calm sleeper, darkness is your friend. In the former scenario, it might be the solution because less stimulation might be enough to calm and settle the baby.

In the latter scenario, it means deeper and better sleep even if there’s no change in the sleep schedule.

Among blackout shades, Redi stands out because it’s THE top value for money.

You can trim Redi to a perfect fit at home, you don’t need tools to install the shades, and they block 99% of light.

In a word, Redi does it all at a lower price point than competing shades.

Features

  • Block out 99% of the light.
  • Made of durable pleated paper – doesn’t yellow or crack.
  • No chords – you use clips to lower and raise the shades.
  • Paper can be easily trimmed to a perfect fit.
  • No-tool installation – takes but seconds.

Why I love the Redi shades

I love the idea of getting a blackout shade that costs a fraction of the price you’d pay for fabric or plastic and installs in minutes.

It’s a simple product that does what it promises – blocks (almost) all the light.

Sound Machine – Marpac Dohm Classic

Marpac Dohm Classic The Original White Noise Machine Featuring Soothing Natural Sound from a Real Fan, White

The womb-to-world transition is the most significant change of environment that ever happens to a human. If you think about things like that, you can begin to understand the fussing and the crying.

One of those massive changes are the sounds – in one day, the calming whooshing and swishing is replaced by all these ‘who’s-a-pretty-baby?’s.

It’s too much too fast.

That’s where white noise comes in.

If you don’t have a good bassinet with an integrated sound system, a white noise machine is the way to go.

There’s a reason I’m saying “good bassinet” here. It’s because the sounds of most bassinets can’t be compared to a standalone white noise machine.

Marpac Dohm stands out as the industry classic with a storied history (in production since 1962). The white noise is fan-based, making it closer to the natural whooshing of mom’s blood than a sound played from an audio file.

Features

  • Natural, fan-based white noise
  • Non-looping sound – you twist the top to customize it
  • Adjustable – two speeds for tone and volume
  • Simple design – 7 ft. cord, one plug, and one button
  • Classically designed – will seamlessly blend with most spaces

Why I love it

I’m a fan of airflow-based white noise because it’s the closest you can get to natural sound. The constant hum does a great job of blocking the environmental buzz.

Humidifier – Fridababy 3-in-1

Frida Baby Fridababy 3-in-1 Humidifier with Diffuser and Nightlight, White

EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) recommends keeping the humidity in the baby room in the 30-60% range. And some baby sleep experts say the optimal spot is towards the higher end of that range – around 55%.

But how exactly do you get there?

For new parents, I’d recommend a cool-mist humidifier. These are often made with babies in mind, feature a nightlight, and produce a very fine mist at the lower settings.

One humidifier that ticks all those boxes without breaking the bank is the Fridababy 3-in-1.

Features

  • Multipurpose (3-in-1) – humidifier, nightlight, and diffuser
  • Use vibration to create a cool mist
  • Prolonged use – can run up to 12 hours
  • Mist’ size’ is adjustable – from gentle to rainforest
  • The diffuser covers up to 320 square feet
  • The water tank is free of any BPAs

Why I love it

Finding a good diffuser-humidifier combo is a tall task.

By ‘good,’ I mean one that does a good job at actually diffusing baby-safe essential oils.

There are similar products, but most of them aren’t great at evenly diffusing the essential oil mist, so most of the mist stays around the unit.

Fridababy does a great job as a humidifier and a decent job as a diffuser.

(which is as good as it get switch combo units)

The humidifier can go on for half a day at the lowest setting, which is a massive plus for busy parents.

Baby Monitor – Nanit Pro Smart

Nanit Pro Smart Baby Monitor & Floor Stand – 1080p Wi-Fi Video & Sound Camera, Sleep Coach and Breathing Motion Tracker, 2-Way Audio, Compatible with iOS and Android Phones, Includes Breathing Band

There are nice baby monitors, there are good baby monitors, and then there’s the Nanit Pro.

Getting a constant view of what’s happening in the crib is essential for any new parent. Actually seeing that everything’s OK is the only way to calm a racing mind.

Nanit Pro stands out as one of the most well-rounded baby monitoring systems out there.

Features

  • Full-HD (1080p) bird-view video
  • Crisp two-way audio – listen and talk to your baby
  • Background audio – monitor sound is on even when the phone screen is off
  • Monitor temperature and humidity and receive notifications.
  • Connect through any device – iOS, Android, Kindle, or Echo.
  • Sleep tracking with detailed stats and sleep timelapse

Why I love it

I love any product that goes down the no-compromise route, no matter how much it costs.

You typically see baby monitors that excel in one aspect and skimp in others.

I’ve seen it all – from great cameras and mics mounted onto dirt-cheap plastic to monitors that just refuse to pair to your phone.

There’s none of that with Nanit Pro.

It’s a high-end (read: expensive) baby monitor that does it all. And I mean all.

Bedside Bassinet – Mika Micky

Mika Micky Bedside Sleeper Bedside Crib Easy Folding Portable Crib All mesh 2020 New,Grey

AAP officially recommends babies share the room with their parents, but never a bed. That’s fine during the day and if you have no mobility problems.

If you have the urge to sleep near your baby, the safest way to do it is by a bedside sleeper.

It’s also a great way to have easy access to the baby if you’re recovering from a Cesarean or just don’t feel like getting up 10 times a night.

Features

  • Adjustable height – seven levels, 17-26 inches
  • Attachment system safely secure it to the adult bed
  • Lowering sidewall for easy access
  • Mesh sides for unrestricted airflow
  • Generous storage – two large side pockets
  • Built-in wheels with breaks

Why I love it

Compared to most bedside sleepers, Micka Micky is of superior value. The fabrics and the finish are comparable to similar units that cost significantly more.

If you want to read more you can see the complete review of the Micka Micky here and the list of top co-sleeper bassinets here.

Swaddle and Sleepsack – LoveToDream Swaddle up

Love To Dream Swaddle UP, Gray, Small, 8-13 lbs, Dramatically Better Sleep, Allow Baby to Sleep in Their Preferred arms up Position for self-Soothing, snug fit Calms Startle Reflex

Swaddling is a natural way to calm your baby and protect them from the startle reflex. It also imitates your touch, which can help them self-soothe.

All of the above means a calmer baby that sleeps better.

The critical part here is doing it safely, and that’s not as simple as it sounds. Any loose piece of fabric is a suffocation hazard.

Swaddle Up is a trademarked, breathable swaddle that will keep the baby’s arms up, which is the natural position for most babies (around 90% of babies will keep their arms up when sleeping on their back).

Features

  • Simple, quick swaddle with no breakouts – takes but seconds
  • Fabric suitable for moderate climates – 1 TOG
  • The ideal room temperature for the SwaddleUp is between 68°F & 75°F
  • One-layer fabric- minimal risk of overheating
  • ‘Hip-healthy’ design – allows for leg and hip flexion
  • Machine washable fabric – 93% Cotton with 7% Elastane

Why I love it

I love any product that makes you go, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

If 9 in 10 babies want their arms up, why would we restrict the instinct by swaddling them down?

The way I see it – no reason bar safety.

The folks who created the SwaddleUp had the same question. Then they came up with a great answer and trademarked it all.

Read more about the benefits of swaddling your baby here.

Swaddle Transition – Zen One Classic

Nested Bean Zen One - Gently Weighted Swaddle | Baby: 3-6 Months | Arms Free/in/Out Swaddle | Helps to Reduce Moro (Startle) Reflex | Unisex | TOG 1.0 | Machine Washable

Between months 2 and 4, your baby will start to roll over, and you’ll need to ditch the swaddle.

The transition can be a real pain because it can throw them off and mess with their sleep schedule.

Using a weighted multipurpose swaddle with removable sleeves will make the transition seamless. Instead of gradually changing the way you swaddle, you just unzip a sleeve.

The ‘secret’ here is understanding what’s safe when it comes to weighted products.

Features

  • Three weighted sections – 42 grams total
  • Two weighted pads on the sides and one in the middle
  • Inner band – can hold the baby’s hands down
  • Two-way zipper with soft covers
  • Quick-drying sleeves made of breathable mesh
  • Removable sleeves – safer and easier to transition

Why I love it

Anything that imitates your touch is a great soothing tool.

Such is the case of a weighted swaddle. But there’s a caveat – the all-weighted sleepwear is deemed unsafe by the AAP.

Between the all-weighted options and the regular swaddle lives this nifty thing.

The peg of extra weight mimics your touch, and the removable sleeves make it safe as the baby’s mobility increases.

Zen One Classic is advertised as “the only swaddle” you’ll ever need. Based on everything I’ve seen, it delivers on that promise.

And then some.

Bottom line and takeaways

If you took the time to go through my picks carefully, you’re taking away some precious tidbits of information. I’d say you now belong to the top 5% of parents who truly understand what baby sleep is about.

If you’re a first-time parent and just learning about all this stuff, it might be too much to take in. 

Don’t fret because it gets easier…especially if you make the right choices.

Bookmarking this page for future reference is one of those choices.