Our Baby Bedtime Must-Haves

Getting your baby/toddler to sleep is a must, so it's good to establish a routine early on. Granted, things like teething or sickness happen and can disrupt that, but still... it's good to have a routine in place.

Here's some products we use when it's time for Jay's bedtime:

Binky and Burpie
We still let Jay sleep with a binky at night, even though we're trying to get him to wean him off using it during the day. For one, they say it helps prevent SIDS somehow, which is every parent's nightmare, not to mention for Jay it's a comfort thing - during his early days with various testing for his Failure to Thrive and then later with his Hydronephrosis he got quite attached to it as a security item. We only ever use the Nuk Orthodontic pacifiers though, just like we did with his bottles, as personally, the fact that they're orthodontic makes me feel a little more at ease about it. Plus, he's been teething for the majority of time since he was 3 months old and sucking/chewing on his binky (in addition to a dose of infants Tylenol) seems to be the only thing that helps give him any kind of relief. And well, an old dishrag of my mom's that she let us use as a burpie when he was younger somehow became his lovey (fortunately she gave us 4 of them... somehow though we're already down to 2 and I can only account for how 1 went missing!), so obviously he has to have that old thing to sleep with.

Disney Lullaby Album
We had a small sound machine with projection that we were given at Jay's baby shower, however after awhile, having to listen to the same song over and over across the baby monitor all night long got a bit old and there were only 3 actual songs to choose (in addition to waves, rain and a creepy heartbeat!). When we finally hooked up the Lego CD player my parents got him for Christmas I decided to look into getting him a lullaby CD for it and came across this one at Target. It's got a great mix of lullabies that you'll most likely recognize, however I quickly realized that I only actually know one or 2 lines from each song! Doh! Jay doesn't seem to mind it and well, it's 12 tracks so definitely not the same song over and over for us to listen to all night either! I definitely recommend this lullaby CD!

Stuffed Animal Friends
Now that Jay's old enough for us to not have to worry about suffocating himself on a stuffed animal or light blanket we let him keep several stuffed animal friends in his crib with him:

My Pal Scout, Eeyore, and Elmo

Elmo and Eeyore are more for comfort, as he was attached to Elmo for awhile and Eeyore... he often uses him as a pillow for his back or head, lol... My Pal Scout keeps him occupied for a little bit in the morning so mommy can catch a few more Zzz's!
Crib Toys
Jay has these 3 for crib toys to keep him occupied if he wakes up early in the morning or mommy's still getting ready when he wakes up from his nap - the Baby Einstein's fish tank (which I swear, since changing the initial batteries, it eats any other ones I put in it!), a Little Tikes musical pull and peek toy with other fun gadgets on it, and the baby animals touch and feel book. Sometimes he'll sneak another one of his board books in his crib with him too, which is fine with me - he's taken quite an interest in books lately!

Baby Monitor
I wrote before about how the 1st baby monitor we got from the baby shower crapped out on us after 7 months. So far, our replacement hasn't given us any problems (knock on wood).

A Nightlight
Jay can't sleep without a night light. Like most little kids, he doesn't like it pitch black in his room. His first night light, which was a gift given to us, he broke by pulling on it too much when he would escape from me in his room - the weight of the decorative part he had bent kept pulling the rest of it out of the socket. And well, when this would happen in the middle of the night Jay would wake up, freaking out about being in the dark. Broke my little heart to hear him sobbing in fear and to turn on the light to see him sitting straight up, clutching his burpie for dear life until mommy came and fixed it! We picked up a 2 pack of basic night lights at Walmart for a few bucks (the cheap, non-fancy ones can be found in the home improvement section). They're not as bright as his old one, but he's adjusted to it.

http://www.partylite.biz/sharedfiles/productcatalog/production/en_US/product/P90599-WS11-1.jpgA Scent Warmer
Okay so, maybe not a must-have, but it is nice to have! Jay has this now discontinued warmer from Partylite in his room and it's a flameless, electric one so I don't have to worry about there being an open flame in his room. I have a lavender scent bar in it, as lavender is supposed to be soothing for the little ones, however when he gets older I'll let him pick his own. And while it is a Partylite warmer, you can use any scented wax bar with it - I've used both Scentsy and Yankee Candle ones with my various warmers throughout the house. We turn this on when he's getting ready for bed and keep it on until I check on him one last time before going to bed myself. It's great for combating the stench of really stinky diapers too, as I've found myself turning it on in his room at various times throughout the day after some super stinky diapers!

Johnson's Bedtime Lotion
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41ML7De321L._AA300_.jpgIt claims it's clinically proven to help babies sleep better at night. While I'm not completely sure about that, it does smell nice and thankfully none of Johnson's lotions appear to have those toxic chemicals in them that Forbes reported on awhile back (seems only their basic shampoo and body wash have it). We often lather Jay up with this after his bathtime, which is currently twice a week (our hospital stressed you don't want to bathe a baby every day as it dries out their skin so we got in the habit of just twice a week. I'm sure we'll maybe add in a 3rd come summer time, and of course after swimming). For bathtime, in case your wondering, as we threw out all the basic Johnson's shampoo and body wash bottles we had, we've been using Aveeno Baby's natural head-to-toe shampoo and body wash as all the store brands seemed to have the same formula as the Johnson's basic (their natural formula doesn't have the toxic stuff in it, but also costs $7-10 a bottle!).

Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Once your kiddo starts getting their first set of chompers it's important to take good care of them by brushing regularly. We try to make sure to brush Jay's at night before bedtime and he seems to enjoy it (although he has a bad habit of sticking his tongue in the way, making it more difficult than it needs to be, lol...). There's a ton of different options as far as baby/infant toothbrushes and safe flouride-free training toothpaste (we've both Orajel and Aquafresh brands).

A sippy cup with warm milk, some snuggles and Sprout's Goodnight Show!
Yeah okay, I'm a bad parent cuz I let my son watch Driver Dan, Nina and Star, the Pajanimal's lullaby song and occasionally some Calliou before he goes to bed. It seems to work for us though as he'll sit there in my arms, drinking warm milk from his sippy and relaxing. We've tried reading to him before bed, but that doesn't seem to work as he doesn't want to sit there while you read. Don't get me wrong - the kid loves books, but he's currently not into them at bedtime. He does often bring me several books he wants me or daddy to read to him throughout the day though, so we do get reading time in daily!

What are your must-have items and products for your child's bedtime?

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