You don’t need a lot of stuff in a bedroom while you’re sleep training, but these are the basics that make a huge difference.
The five things I recommend for every kid’s bedroom while they’re sleep training are a white noise machine, a swaddler (if age appropriate), blackout curtains, a baby carrier (if age appropriate), and a wake-up clock.
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- This white noise machine on Amazon. Having a white noise machine is often the difference between successful sleep training and another sleepless night.
- These Zen Swaddlers and sleep sacks on Nested Bean. Lightly weighted sleep clothing can make the whole sleep training experience better, especially if your baby needs constant touch to sleep well.
- These blackout curtains on Amazon. They’re the ones I use and they’ve survived four kids who like to pull on them.
- This hands-free baby carrier by Ergobaby. This baby carrier is where my children took most of their naps until we finished nighttime sleep training and switched our focus to naps. I recommend this one because it’s comfortable and breathable for both wearer and baby.
- This little kid GroClock by Tommee Tippee on Amazon. Or, for bigger kids, this alarm clock with a wake-up light for kids on Amazon.
White Noise Machine
The white noise machine I recommend is the Marpac Dohm Classic (click to see it on Amazon). It’s perfect for a child’s bedroom!
- This white noise machine works amazing no matter what.
- It takes abuse (my kids have played with ours for years).
- And because it’s so simple, it’s almost impossible to mess up the settings.
Click here to read my article about white noise machines, including why I pick the Marpac Dohm – and what other white noise machines or apps are must-haves for traveling.
Swaddlers and Sleep Sacks
There are so many specialized swaddling clothes and sleep sacks out there – it’s crazy. And, with four children who all had difficulty sleeping, we’ve tried a ton of them.
My go-to recommendation used to be the Miracle Blanket Swaddle, but I’ve found something better: the Zen Sleep Sacks.
You see, the miracle blanket works really well for children who just need to be swaddled. But if they also need to feel held? It didn’t always cut it. The Nested Bean Zen line took a great product and added in the sensation of touch via some light weights.
Plus, they added those lightweight poly beads to sleep sacks, too. This means that the transition out of a swaddle isn’t as difficult anymore. In fact, it’s easy. It’s amazing.
So now your baby can have the sensation of being held even while laying down, thanks to the lightly weighted poly beads in their sleep clothes. And they can have it at any age – making the whole sleep training process that much easier.
These are also available on Amazon (click here to check current prices).
Fun fact: it’s easier to sleep when it’s dark.
Those outside lights may help deter the bad guys, but they’re also interfering with your baby’s sleep. But let’s keep everyone safe and leave the lights. So, let’s install some blackout curtains to keep bedrooms dark and sleep ready.
The reason why I picked the blackout curtains I did was for several reasons.
- They work – they block most of the outside light. No blackout curtain will get 100% of the light – but these get enough of it that it’s a non-issue.
- They’re durable. They’ve hung in our kids’ rooms for years and they’re still going strong.
- They’re machine washable, which is just a must with kids. Especially once kids with sticky fingers start grabbing the curtains.
- They come in a variety of sizes, meaning I didn’t have to do any sewing to get them to the right size. I just had to measure the window, find the appropriate size, and click order.
- They’re thermally insulated, meaning they’re also blocking out the heat. This keeps bedrooms (and the house!) cooler, which is perfect for summer daytime naps.
I held out far too long on ordering quality blackout curtains for the kids, thinking my kids needed the light to manage their sleep.
Once installed, my kids’ sleep became so much better. Naps became much easier and much longer. Also, bedtimes became easier, thanks to the ability to make the room dark. It’s an especially handy thing during the long summer days!
Please don’t make the same mistake I did – get some blackout curtains installed ASAP.
Okay, so technically the baby carrier won’t be limited to just the baby’s bedroom. It’ll be used anywhere you need it. But here’s the thing: most babies, especially newborns, can’t nap sleep train until they’ve managed nighttime sleep training.
At least, that’s how my kids were – and how a good chunk of other kids are, based on talking to hundreds of parents. In fact, I found that nap training became a whole lot easier in general if I gave in and just wore the baby (in this carrier) for one nap per day.
The reason why I recommend the Ergobaby 360 is this:
- The best core and back support – I can wear this for hours at a time with zero effort or pain when taken off.
- The most flexibility – with the newborn insert and a tummy-to-tummy carry, my newborns rode with me all day. They could even nurse while in the carrier. As my kids got older, it’s easily switched to front-facing, backpack carry, and side carry.
- Easily stored and stashed – so that I could smash it down inside my diaper bag, making sure it’s there when I need it.
- Breathable and cool – babywearing gets sweaty fast – especially if you’re actively working (or gardening) while wearing them. But the breathable mesh kept both of us significantly cooler than other baby carriers.
I tried other baby carriers, balking at the cost of an Ergobaby. They worked okay – but I couldn’t wear them very long. So once I broke down and bought my Ergobaby, I was appalled I’d waited so long.
So if your baby has difficulty napping or you just need a way to help them nap on the go, get the Ergobaby 360 carrier from their site or on Amazon (click here to check Amazon’s price). It makes a huge difference.
Much like an alarm clock, a wake-up clock lets your children know what time it is. However, it does so by using images and color, rather than relying on your child’s knowledge of how to tell the time.
The wake-up clock we use and recommend for our little kids, toddlers, and preschoolers is this GroClock by Tommee Tippee (click here to see availability and pricing on Amazon).
When we first got it, it was only available via the UK Amazon site – so we ordered it, spliced in a plug that would work here in Utah, and haven’t looked back. Here is why we love this wake-up clock:
- It’s simple and easy to use.
- The clock face locks – meaning my kids can’t change it and make it wake-up time in the middle of the night.
- The big blue star means it’s sleepy time, while the bright yellow sun means it’s okay to get up.
That being said, once your children do learn to read, they may want a big kid wake-up clock. My big kids prefer this alarm clock with a wake-up light for kids (click here to see it on Amazon).
They like that it has alarm clock noises with the wake-up light, even if we only activate the wake-up noises on school days.
There are other wake-up lights and alarm clocks, but these two are (in my opinion and experience) the two best.