Welcome to , an ongoing series at Mashable that looks at how to take care of – and deal with – the kids in your life. Because Dr. Spock is nice and all, but it’s 2018 and we have the entire internet to contend with.
We’re not going to tell you that you can actually buy your way to better sleep with a newborn. If that was true, parents everywhere would have far less disposable income, but find it a lot easier to get out of bed in the morning and function like normal human beings. But sometimes the deep desire to try something, anything wins out and you fire up Amazon looking for a solution.
The baby sleep gadget market is huge. You’ve got rocking baby beds and vibrating mattress pads. Noise and light machines more sophisticated than anything else in your home. And let’s not forget the cute plush creatures that take snuggling to a whole new level. Hopefully – and for the sake of our sanity, we must keep hope alive – one of these gadgets might just have the magic touch and turn your baby’s bedtime into the stress-free, harmonious operation you’re longing for. Or you might just have to wait it out the old-fashioned way.
1. Infantino GaGa Musical Soother & Night Light Projector
This looks like a couple of sweet foxes but is actually an all-singing, all-dancing sleep gadget combining a nightlight, light show and range of melodies and nature sounds. The idea is that your little one will be so entranced by the soothing sounds and slowly drifting, colorful stars and clouds that they’ll soon nod off.
2. Baby Shusher
If you’re sick of the sound of yourself “shushing” – or simply too exhausted to do it anymore – hand the ropes to the Baby Shusher, which makes a sound that mimics you (and hopefully tricks your little sleep depriver into believing you’re still shushing away). Basically, it’s a white noise machine with a twist. You can pre-set the time and cross your fingers that by the time the noise fades away, your baby is asleep.
3. Suzy Snooze
Aside from looking the part in any contemporary nursery, Suzy Snooze provides lights and comforting sounds and even acts as an audio baby monitor when you connect it to an app. When your baby wakes up, Suzy Snooze’s cry sensor helps get them back to sleep. For toddlers and older kids, it’s a great nightlight.
4. Galaxy Clock by MomKnows
The Galaxy Clock is packed with features to help you encourage good sleep habits in your baby – and it’s a hit with toddlers and older kids too. There’s a star projector (choose from a favorite color or a rainbow selection), white noise to mimic the sounds your baby listened to inside the womb, nature sounds to suit all tastes (forest birds, rainfall and ocean waves), and possibly the coolest, least-offensive alarm clock ever: the star projector comes up naturally to make your baby feel like the sun is rising and help develop a natural sleep rhythm. If that’s not enough, the Galaxy Clock is also a high-quality music player, compatible with iPhone, iPod, Android and MP3.
5. Lulla Doll
The Lulla Doll by Roro caused a social media sensation when she first appeared on the scene, and for good reason. Parents swear this soft, sweet little doll has the magic touch when it comes to baby sleep issues. She works by playing a real-life recording of a heartbeat and breathing, for up to eight hours. Tip: hug Lulla close to your body for a few minutes before placing her inside or close to your child’s crib – your scent provides even more comfort.
6. Baby Einstein Sea Dreams Soother
This soothing device combines lights with the sounds of the sea to help get your baby to sleep – and ensure that she stays that way. As well as four different combinations of motion, lights and sounds, it has a “Drift-off” feature, which slowly darkens a room like the fading light of a sunset. It comes with a remote-activated start, meaning you might not even have to get out of bed to soothe your little one back to sleep.
7. Hatch Baby Rest
Rest works with a smartphone or tablet app to let you set nap times, bedtimes and acceptable wake-up times (the clock changes color to let a toddler know it’s okay to get up). It can also play white noise or soothing sounds. The real beauty of Rest is that if you need to change your schedule (for example if your baby needs some extra time to fall asleep), you can do it from your smartphone without setting foot in the nursery – perfect for those of us who have a kid who’s wide awake as soon as you as much as breathe in their direction.
8. Cloud b’s Twilight Turtle
You can’t get a cuter sleep gadget than Cloud b’s Twilight Turtle, but this little guy and his sleepy plush face brings so much more than the “aww” factor. His hard shell has eight constellations that project on the ceiling in three colors, and when you hook him up to Bluetooth you can program a customized selection of melodies for him to play, for up to 24 hours.
9. Lulla-Vibe Vibrating Mattress Pad
If your baby likes motion to fall asleep, try the award-winning Lulla-Vibe Vibrating Mattress Pad from Munchkin. You simply pop it under a crib mattress or bassinet and let it gently vibrate your infant to sleep. It has a 30-minute timer that shuts off gradually to avoid waking your baby, a durable, easily cleaned cover, and is portable enough to take wherever you go.
10. Marpac Dohm Classic White Noise Sound Machine
It might look like a smoke alarm, but appearances can be deceptive and this white noise sound machine is a favorite with kids and adults alike. This clever gadget is basically a fan inside a plastic casing, which actually produces white noise (instead of just playing a white noise track). When you turn the outer shell, holes open and close along the side, which lets you adjust the volume and pitch of the white noise. Hopefully, it will take your baby back to the comfort and calm of the womb – and encourage them to nod off along the way – regardless of the background noise in your home.
11. SNOO Smart Sleeper
If you really are willing to pay anything to make sure your kiddo sleeps through the night, check out renowned pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp’s responsive bassinet, SNOO. This clever baby bed responds automatically to your baby’s cries, combining unique womb-like rocking and white noise to soothe back to sleep. It claims to calm crying in under a minute, so it’s basically magic – albeit with a hefty price tag.
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