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When it comes to fatigue, it’s tough to be more tired than a new parent. A 2013 study by Ergoflex done in the UK found that parents lose up to 44 days of sleep in the first year of their child’s life, with an average of 5.1 hours of sleep per night. A more recent 2021 study by Sleep Junkie had similar findings and reported that new parents slept three hours less than the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night during their child’s first 18 months. We’re tired just reading these stats.
Although women are typically more affected by the decrease in sleep that comes with parenthood, new dads also feel the strain of long days and short nights. While some babies will start sleeping through the night around three months, the definition of ‘through the night’ may vary. Parents likely aren’t going to bed as early as little ones, which means when a baby falls asleep at 7 p.m. and wakes up eight hours later, the parents are not ready to start their day.
Basic sleep health for new parents is largely the same as for those without children. It’s important to have a cool and dark sleeping environment, a high-quality mattress, supportive pillows, comfortable sheets, and a distraction-free area (put down the cell phones!). Noise machines can be helpful, as can humidifiers and sleep aids like eye masks and weighted blankets. But if the baby isn’t sleeping, there’s no thread count high enough to help parents sleep.
When it comes to dealing with sleep deprivation for parents, the best place to start is with the person who made them a parent. Babies, toddlers, and kids, we are looking at you.
1. Talli Baby Tracker
A big part of a baby’s first few weeks is tracking everything they do, which doesn’t seem that complicated until you haven’t slept more than two hours in a row. Talli Co-Found and CEO Lauren Longo used her own sleep deprivation to inspire the simple yet ingenious Talli Baby Tracker, which parents will use long past the first trimester (remembering the last time your baby pooped, peed, and slept never really gets easier).
“I was a new mom with a two-week-old baby who wouldn’t eat or sleep. I was so exhausted, I remember being constantly afraid that I would fall asleep while holding her,” Longo told SPY. “And when I did finally close my eyes at night, I knew I’d be up again in a matter of minutes. And I wanted to feel sure we were doing everything we could to get feedings on track, ensure she was processing nutrition properly, and work toward some kind of sleep schedule that might allow me to feel human again. ” Longo created the Talli to help parents track everything from feeds to diaper changes, with the user-friendly unit immediately sending information to the Talli app, which compiles and displays a baby’s day in easy-to-read charts.
2. New Kind
BEST SUPPORT AID
If your baby isn’t sleeping, you aren’t sleeping. But why isn’t your baby sleeping? That’s the million-dollar question that keeps parents up all night with few answers to show for in the morning. Lauren Dickstein founded New Kind, an online service that connects parents to doulas, highly trained baby specialists who can help during pregnancy, labor, and specialize in sleep and lactation issues. Users can text and video chat with their doula anytime to get fully customized help on all things baby-related. Dickstein was inspired by her own experience working with a doula named Beth.
“Having access to an expert who knew me and my family reduced my anxiety tremendously,” Dickstein told SPY. “Perhaps one of the most valuable parts of working with Beth was how she coached me and my husband on laying strong sleep foundations for our daughter, who was sleeping through the night by 10 weeks and never needed sleep training.”
BEST FOR BABIES WITH COLIC
One of the biggest barriers to sleep for newborns is colic and unfortunately, there isn’t much parents can do except wait for it to pass. Thankfully, Chicco has developed ChiccoDUO, a hybrid bottle that features an intuitive latch nipple, which helps reduce air ingestion and therefore colic. SPY talked to the company about the inspiration for their new bottles, which are safe for dishwashers, bottle warmers, and sterilizers.
According to Chicco, the ChiccoDUO is “…the first-of-its-kind hybrid baby bottle delivering the purity and safety of glass on the inside and the convenience and lightweight durability of plastic outside, in one remarkable bottle. It’s the best of both worlds with none of the drawbacks of either.”
4. Dream Weighted Wearable Blanket by Dreamland
BEST WEIGHTED SLEEP SACK
If you’ve ever slept with a weighted blanket, then you know the soothing sensation that comes from gentle physical pressure while we rest. Babies can also benefit from the same sensation, but since newborns under 12 months can’t safely sleep with blankets, Dreamland Baby Founder and CEO Tara Williams created the Dreamland Sleep Sack.
“Our gently weighted sleep sacks and swaddles are designed to help your baby feel calm, fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer,” Williams told SPY. “The ‘secret’ is our exclusive CoverCalm Technology, evenly distributed weight from your baby’s shoulder to toes. This even weight distribution is what sets us apart and harnesses the power of deep touch stimulation: increasing serotonin and melatonin while decreasing cortisol.”
Read More: Best Weighted Blankets
5. Rockets of Awesome
BEST FASHION PICK
Tired parents who have run out of energy for laundry or for the brain space to remember that your little needs bigger clothing — fear not. Rockets of Awesome is an online subscription clothing service that makes it easy to shop for kids up to 14 years old. The company recently launched a baby line for little ones ages zero to 24 months. Simply fill out a quick questionnaire on style and size and Rockets of Awesome will ship curated picks straight to your door. Keep what you like, ship back what you don’t for free, and when your little one outgrows their clothes, Rockets of Awesome will take back the items in exchange for credit on future pieces.
SPY tried Rockets of Awesome and we loved the fun designs and high quality of the pieces, which are sure to please even the pickiest customers.
6. Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs
BEST FOR WFH PARENTS
Fatigue makes concentrating more difficult, which is not good news for parents who are always exhausted and still need to function at work. For parents who work from home or in a noisy office, reducing sounds around them without totally blocking out noise can help increase focus. Vibes are high-fidelity earplugs designed for loud environments like concerts and sporting events, but we also like using them at home to help decrease loud noises, like a crying baby or loud TV programs, because sleep training and listening to Peppa Pig all day is hard.
SPY tried a sample of Vibes and we liked that they come in three comfortable sizes and helped reduce the noise around us without completely canceling out all sounds.
7. Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine
GROWS WITH CHILD
We’ve talked about the Hatch a lot on SPY and for good reason — it’s easy to use and effective. The multi-use sleep gadget is a nightlight, a sound machine, and a sleep trainer. Parents can set the Hatch using the buttons on the unit or through the Hatch app, allowing them to alter the volume, light level, and set timers.
As babies get older, the Hatch can help parents signal when it’s time to go to bed and when it’s time to wake up, or more accurately, when it’s not time to get up. Toddlers, please stay in bed past 6 a.m. Nothing exciting happens before then, we promise.
Read More: The Best Sleep Trainers for Kids
8. LoveHeld Carrier
BEST HANDS-FREE AID
The snuggle is real for parents of babies who only sleep when being held. A baby carrier is a great way to keep your little one close and keep your hands free for things like folding laundry, eating food, and waving to your bed that you miss so, so much. Large carriers with buckles, pockets and other bells and whistles are great for venturing outdoors, but sling carriers like the LoveHeld are perfect for quickly strapping baby in and moving around the house (these carriers also work outdoors as well).
Read More: Best Hiking Carriers
BEST TRAVEL ACCESSORY
If you’ve finally achieved a solid sleep routine with your baby or toddler, the threat of losing your precious schedule to travel is enough to keep anyone up at night. Thankfully, there’s the SlumberPod, an open-bottom tent that creates the dark space little ones need to fall asleep. The SlumberPod fits over pack and plays, travel and mini cribs, and some mini cots. Ventilation flaps and a fan are included, as well as a pocket for monitors so that you can keep an eye on your sleeping baby.
10. Amazon Basics Room Darkening Blackout Window Curtains
BEST FOR PARENT AND BABY
For a more permanent solution to getting a room dark, blackout curtains are a must for any room where baby or parents are sleeping. Blackout curtains will help little one’s nap during the day in a darkened room and will also provide a restful setting when it’s finally time for the adults in the house to get some sleep. Parents, nap when you can.
Read More: Best Blackout Curtains
11. Fisher-Price Deluxe Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat
BEST BUSY AREA
When parents are overtired, a screaming baby can be extremely difficult to deal with, which is why it’s important to have a safe place to set down your little one and give yourself a time out. The Fisher-Price Deluxe Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat is a great option for babies who are practicing sitting up or who can already sit. The chair provides a safe space for babies to play and comes with brightly colored toys attached to the removable tray. Lightweight and easy to move, the seat allows for parents to set up the chair on any safe, flat surface, which is helpful when parents need their little one close.
12. Cali’s Books
BEST FOR BEDTIME
Setting up a nap and bedtime routine is a key step in creating a good sleep schedule for your little one, but for exhausted parents, these extra steps can feel especially draining. While we all love storytime as a way to bond with our baby and toddler, sometimes parents are just too tired to do all the cool voices. That’s why we like Cali’s Books, a series of music books that are engaging, educational, and easy for tired caregivers. If you don’t have the energy to sing a lullaby, let Bedtime With Mozart take the lead.
Read More: Best Books For 3-Year-Olds
13. Happiest Baby Sleepea 5-Second Swaddle
EASY TO SWADDLE
Tired parents know two things about swaddling — it’s a great way to help little ones fall and stay asleep, and it is virtually impossible to properly swaddle a baby with a blanket. We’ve all watched the nurses at the hospital and the baby whisperers on YouTube and TikTok swaddle a baby in seconds and we still struggle. That’s what user-friendly swaddles like the Happiest Baby Sleepea are a must-have for tired parents. Snuggle, zip, swaddle, sleep, repeat.
14. Owlet Dream Duo
BEST SLEEP TRACKER
The newly reimagined Owlet Dream Duo is a baby monitor and sleep tracker in one. Parents can keep a watchful eye on their little ones with the Owlet Cam, which provides high-quality sound and video straight to the user’s phone. Heart rate, movement, and wake window information are sent to the Owlet app on a user’s phone to help parents learn their baby’s sleep indicators. Owlet has developed a sleep program with the help of pediatric sleep and parenting experts to offer suggestions to parents on getting their little ones to sleep longer and better because when the baby sleeps, we all sleep.
15. Goodr Sunglasses
BEST EYE BAG COVERUP
Tired of looking tired? Hide your undereye bags with some cool sunglasses from Goodr. The no-slip, no-bounce, all polarized, no sleep design is perfect for parents. SPY received a pair and can confirm the glasses not only look cool on but also are a great way to sneak in a nap undetected when possible.*
*Disclaimer: Looking for Spy Optic? Click here: https://www.spyoptic.com.