Must-have Sleep Gear on your Newborn Baby Checklist

Author Name: Heidi Holvoet, PhD

Prepare for the most sleep for your baby and yourself with this dedicated newborn baby checklist. It has the basic must-haves and must-reads plus ideas for optional comfort items, all reviewed by myself and other experienced parents.

Newborn baby checklist must-haves

The 3 items that I wouldn't start without:

1. A good night light

Newborn must have: simple nightlights

As a newborn, most babies don't really care about being in the dark or not. So having a dim little light near her is not so much for baby's comfort or reassurance during the night. A night light has a very different function right now, and it's just as much for you as it is for your little one.

With a good constant dim light, you can tend to your baby for night feeds, diapering and soothing without switching on any extra light.

That is crucial to get both you and baby back to sleep after the awakening.

Because if you have to switch on extra light our body receives wake up cues ...

Light tells our body it is time to wake up, the brain starts to function to get ready for the day, ... which makes it simply more difficult to get into sleep mode again.

A dim light that is on constantly avoids that. It helps you both to stay in a dim dozing state. And that supports better settling in the middle of the night.

Halo Newborn Back is Best Sleepsack

2. A wearable blanket or sleeping bag

A sleeping bag is the safe and convenient option to keep your baby at a constant temperature all night long. Over-heating is a key risk for newborn babies.

But being cold from getting uncovered is a typical wake up cause too. A well-adapted sleeping bag helps avoid either issue.

It also takes away the risk of suffocating under sliding covers. And it can help keep a young baby on her back, equally important as per the SIDS prevention guidelines.

Most crucial when buying is to get the right size for your newborn baby so it fits well and gives enough leg-moving space.

Halo Innovations has affordable prime quality. I love their Halo Innovations Sleepsack Swaddle where you can choose to use the swaddle feature or not.

3. A safe crib or a safe co-sleeping arrangement

Arms Reach ClearVue

Safety is crucial to protect baby from injuries and from the risk of cot death (SIDS).

A safe crib has a firm mattress and no pillow or any toys at all lying in it. It is recommended to have baby in your room in the first 4-6 months.

This can be a cute moses basket at first or a standalone regular baby bed , or a handy sidecar crib or cosleeper, as in the picture to the right.

Such a cosleeper gives you what we call the golden mean between co-sleeping and baby safely sleeping in her own space, that's why I recommend it so often.

Make sure to get a convertible one, like the Arm's Reach 3-in-1 Co-Sleeper , because at any time when you decide to detach baby from your own bedside, it converts into a good standalone crib.

Review the crib safety and SIDS guidelines and the crib mattress guide to help you make the best choices.

Must-reads on your newborn baby checklist

1. Newborn Sleep Book

Helping your baby sleep well from Day 1 is important. Now is also when you set the stage for good sleep in the months and even years to come.

That's why I wrote The Complete Newborn Sleep Guide for you, and offer it free to all new parents. It gives you the facts you need to understand your baby's sleep and the techniques to get your baby in the right habits from the start.

Key tasks to apply from the first day, no complicated "tricks", no "methods" that involve leaving your little one to cry. Just the no-nonsense techniques to get into those good sleeping habits from the very start.

You also learn how to prevent and deal with the most common newborn sleep issues such as waking all too often due to short sleep cycles, difficulty settling, colic, gas, common colds, acid reflux and sleep apnea.

2. Breastfeeding Book

If you breastfeed, Dr. Jack Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding is the book to have: Dr. Newman and Teresa Pitman (former executive director of La Leche League Canada) explain the things you simply need to know about breastfeeding.

It all starts on the first day with your newborn. How to latch well, how to deal with typical problems like too much or too little milk, sore nipples, colicky baby, jaundice, ... and goes all the way to how to wean from breastfeeding when you are ready to stop.

All of this is discussed in very clear, caring and understandable words. A breastfeeder's best friend!