I surveyed my Facebook and Twitter friends and drew from my own experience and came up with these five must-have crib items:
1. Swaddle Blankets
These are my absolute number-one must-have. I didn’t learn about swaddling until my second baby came along, but she absolutely loved it and we swaddled her until she was 11 months old. My third baby, my son, had his first birthday two weeks ago and he is still being swaddled. He loves it. He only needs it to fall asleep and doesn’t get re-swaddled at night. I have a super-large generic receiving blanket that I use with him, but these aden + anais Muslin Wraps (US$50 for 4, available online and from various Canadian retailers) are similar and beautiful.
2. Sheet Savers
A friend of mine gave me a huge load of baby items just before my son was born and a sheet saver was among them. The only thing is, I didn’t know what it was. A couple months ago another friend was dropping off some hand-me-downs and a sheet saver was among them. I finally learned what they were for: to put across the top part of the crib mattress to save on sheet changes. Between colds, stomach viruses, and everyday drooling, these things are a lifesaver. (Teddy Bear Terry Sheet Savers, US$4, available from amazon.com)
3. Sleep Sacks
I used a sleep sack with my eldest daughter, she who would kick off blankets constantly, but I haven’t used one in about ten years, what with the swaddling and all. Many of my friends swear by them, as the sleep sack can replace loose blankets, which can can restrict a baby’s breathing. (Halo SleepSack, $22, available from Babies ‘R’ Us)
I keep meaning to finally pick up a sound machine, especially for when my son moves into the kids’ sleeping room with his sisters, but the thing that has been putting my baby to sleep for the last year has been the Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Aquarium ($50, available from amazon.ca). The best part about it is that it comes with a remote control, so I can turn it on without my son seeing me, and therefore getting (even more) upset.
My second daughter has a blanket that she prefers to sleep with, with a “favorite part” that is the place where the outside lace has broken, but none of my kids have had a blanket or toy that they had to sleep with. My nieces and my babysitting charge each have a special stuffed animal or blanket that they cannot sleep without and it is the most adorable thing. (The latter-mentioned little boy has something similar to the Gund Baby Comfy Cozy Tucker Giraffe ($42, available from amazon.ca). I’m told that when a child gets super-attached to an item, the best thing to do is to buy a dozen of them, just in case the original goes missing.
What are your crib must-haves? Does your child have an item they need to have to be able to fall asleep?
Jen Wilson is a married mother of three super-awesome children—two girls and a boy—who range in age from 0-10. She enjoys photography, organizing, reading, TV, and sarcasm. She drinks her coffee black and dreams of one day owning a dishwasher. You can also find her on her blog, Hey Mrs. Wilson, where she has been writing about life in Saskatchewan since 2004.