We’ve always been huge on the babies’ sleep environment, and I think it’s made all the difference. It’s almost like there’s a formula that we know will work to get them to sleep, and I love that! Here are some things we cannot do without in the babies’ room:
Sound machines – We take these sound machines EVERYWHERE. The girls LOVE them. I have recommended this exact one to SO many people who have also loved it. It’s super loud (which is what you want), portable, and rechargeable.
Blackout curtains – Melissa from Sleep Shop originally recommended these to me – seems like a funny option at first glance, but they’re cheap and they get the job done! I love that they’re easy to pull off the window.
Sleep sacks – For a long time we used these Merino wool sacks from Woolino and I loved them. They are great for regulating temperature. Recently, the girls grew out of them and I needed a bigger option, so I switched to these from Ergo Pouch and LOVE them just as much!
Loveys – Romy and Piper have slept with their “loveys” since they were in the hospital. They eventually ended up replacing their binkies, and now they can’t sleep without them. I am a HUGE fan of them. They totally help them self-sooth while they’re falling asleep or if they wake up in the middle of the night. Also, watching them love/snuggle them is SO sweet! I LOVE these from Jellycat – there are so many animal options and they are so soft. Romy has the owl (we call it Hootie) and Piper has the giraffe (Riff Raff!) I have two of each to swap out in case one is missing or dirty. I’ve washed them several times and they’ve held up really well.
Nightlight – When the girls were smaller, the girls slept in pitch black and that worked best. I’ve noticed that now they really want a night light on, which I realized is normal for their age after reading Megan’s sleep guide. We have this pink Himalayan salt lamp that I love!
Room Temperature – make sure the room isn’t too hot! A lot of people think a room needs to be extra warm for a baby, but the ideal temp is between 68-72 degrees. There have been a few times the babies can’t sleep and I realize their room is too hot/stuffy. Air circulation is important, too! We have a little fan in their room to keep it moving!
When we travel, I try to recreate the sleep environment as much as possible. Most of the things above are easy to travel with. I always, always, always bring their sounds machines, sleep sacks, and loveys. I love how light and easy this crib is to travel with/set up, and if your babies are little I also love this twin crib by Joovy. You could throw both dockatots in there and have them sleep side by side. (My girls would never sleep together now, but this would have worked when they were tiny!)
If you aren’t sure if there will be a night light, I love these mini pink Himalayan salt ones and you can easily take one with you. Usually, the toughest part of traveling is creating a dark room. If you’re in a hotel, they’ll usually have blackout curtains. Otherwise, you could try these travel blackouts. Side note: I’m actually so mad I just found those cause I wanted to invent the same thing! Oh well, maybe I still will, and I’ll make them cooler ;).
Thoughts on Dockatots
As for my thoughts on Dockatots…here you go, for what it’s worth! We had the Dockatot Deluxe when the girls were small. We actually didn’t use them much at home since we had the Snoo, but we loved using them when we traveled when the babies were tiny. (I love the travel bag that goes with them!) I never thought I’d get the bigger Dockatot. but a few months ago the girls started waking themselves up in the middle of the night because they were smacking into their crib bars. I tried some dumb crib bumpers from Amazon that ended up being more annoying that helpful. I finally decided to try a big Dockatot, and they instantly started sleeping SO much better. Now their bed looks so comfy, so I’m going to go with it!
Hope that’s helpful! We are so particular about their sleep environment but I believe it’s paid off BIGTIME. Our girls are such good sleepers! If you have a baby/toddler who’s having a hard time, go down the checklist above. If you’re missing anything, I promise you that tweaking it will make a huge difference!
For more toddler sleep help, check out this post with Megan Pierson. For help on transitioning a baby to their own room, read this post!