Let’s face it: we all procrastinate. I think that when you become a parent, holiday procrastination just comes with the territory, in fact. Despite your best efforts, you’re probably never alone in any store for any length of time if you have small children, which is probably why I’ve talked to so many families that are realizing that it’s nearly time to wrap everything, yet…they aren’t done, or haven’t even started, shopping.
You know by now that sleep is my number one priority. Your sleep, AND your child’s sleep, so I’ve compiled a list of gift suggestions that will help to encourage positive sleep habits, and (I hope) make sleep a little easier for everyone.
For your newborn:
White noise is such a wonderful tool to help dampen outside noise. Your baby spent 9 months in your belly listening to your heartbeat and the sounds surrounding you, so it stands to reason that sleeping in a quiet room would be disconcerting. My favorite white noise machine is the MARPAC DOHM-DS, which you can find HERE.
For your 6 month old baby:
Once your baby has good head control and can roll and push toys, you may want to consider introducing a lovey (sometimes called an attachment object). A good lovey has to be safe, and can help to enhance your baby’s sleep. To look for a safe lovey, look for a breathable blanket or a small stuffed animal. You want to make sure that there are not loose buttons, or potential choking hazards that your baby could accidentally remove. A good choice would be Aden by aden + anais 2 Pack Muslin Security Blanket, Safari Friends – Giraffe.
For your 1 year old:
Did you know that your baby needs to be active in order to sleep well? If you haven’t already, consider a push toy like this one (link to haba), or a pull toy (link to Plan) that can help to encourage your baby to walk and move as much as possible. Mastering new skills will help your baby sleep better, believe it or not! I really like the Haba Color Fun Walker Wagon.
Most sleep disruptions occur because your baby is working hard to master a new skill, once they’ve figured it out, sleep generally returns to normal.
For your 2 year old:
Some children begin to develop a fear of the dark early on, and you can help to combat this with a fun and soothing nightlight that also doubles as a lovey. If your child has trouble falling asleep, consider something like the
Bluetooth Turtle Star Projector With Soothing Sounds.
For your 3 to 4 year old:
Once you transition your child into their “big kid” bed, you may notice that you encounter some naptime resistance and even early rising. Changes to the sleep routine often shake things up, but you can help to dissuade these potential sleep challenges with a wake-up clock. A good wake up clock will allow you to control bedtime, waking, and naps. I like the Good Nite Lite:
For your older children:
For children over 5, consider putting together a “bedtime box” that includes fun items, such as a “sunrise” clock, like the Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light With Colored Sunrise Simulation, pajamas, a toothbrush, toothpaste, bubble bath, maybe even some bath toys (or shower items if your children are shower takers), and a bedtime book.
For your spouse:
For adults, especially parents, sleep is sometimes illusive. Consider gifting a new set of high thread count percale or flannel sheets to help everyone get a good night’s sleep. Other great options for adults include an eye mask to help block out light, a natural light alarm clock (not just for kids!), or even an old-fashioned analog alarm to help eliminate light in the bedroom.
Another great option, especially if you’re on a budget, is a box of Sleepy Time tea and a fun new mug.
If you are still getting up with your children, a small, adjustable-light flashlight to help avoid stubbed toes would probably be much appreciated.
For the whole family:
Did you know that blue light interferes with your body’s ability to produce melatonin? If you use overhead lighting at night, a sleep-promoting light bulb, like the Good Night Lite would make a thoughtful gift. Sleep is important no matter what your age, so make sure that your family has the tools they need to get a great night’s sleep this holiday season.
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