Who understands the phrase ‘sleep deprived’ better than a new parent? But don’t despair. There are a few items, aside from the standard ones that can help you and your little one get a good night’s sleep.
A monitor is a transmitter and a receiver, which allows you to listen to your sleeping baby from another room. Receivers work best when placed within two metres to three metres of your child, but they can transmit sounds as far as 50 metres to 200 metres away. The most basic models have an on/off switch and volume control, whereas more expensive ones have light displays to show how loudly your baby is crying. The most sophisticated monitors use infrared video cameras so that you can keep an eye on your baby in the dark.
Sensor pads are placed under your child’s sheet and monitor their breathing. They are usually only recommended if there is a high risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), also known as cot death, in your family.
Night-lights can be useful if your toddler is afraid of the dark, but babies don’t really need them and may sleep better in a dark room. Night-lights often come in fun designs and some models also play music. If you’re forgetful, you may want to opt for a light that is programmed to automatically turn off during the daytime.
Cot separators are useful if you have a small baby sleeping in a big cot. The cot separator is placed horizontally across the cot, keeping your baby in the ‘feet to cot-foot’ position and helping to stop her wriggling under blankets and covers.
There are all sorts of soothers on the market to help your baby get to sleep, from teddy bears with simulated heartbeats, to toys that play sounds of ocean waves and lullabies. They can be expensive and your baby may not like the one you opt for. If you would like to buy one, try borrowing one from a friend or asking for recommendations before you splash out.
Cot mobiles attach to the side of the cot. Some mobiles play tunes while the mobile toys rotate. You can also buy mobiles that project light and shapes on to the ceiling. You should stop using a mobile when your baby is old enough to pull herself up, in case she puts the toys into her mouth.
Bed rails ease the transition from a cot to a big bed by stopping your child falling out. Buy two rails, one for each side, if your child’s bed is positioned in the middle of the room.
Sheet and mattress protectors
Sheet and mattress protectors are made from absorbent cotton with a vinyl backing. They are useful when toilet training because they can absorb the occasional accident!
Duvet grippers clip on to the side of a duvet or blanket to keep it in position, stopping your child from getting cold in the night.