Turn bedtime battles into bedtime bliss
Let’s face it, having a good night’s sleep is one of the top items on the parenting agenda.
After all, if your little one has a happy night, chances are the whole family will wake with much more of a spring in their step.
It might not seem like it, but newborns can sleep for up to 16 hours each day, while an 18-month-old toddler could be on 13-14 hours a day, of which night-time sleep makes up about 11.5 hours.
And while that might seem like a far-off fantasy, there are ways to help make night-time – and those precious hours you might get in bed – a tad easier.
We’ve got a whole series of guides on bedtime, from safe sleeping to different methods of getting your baby off to sleep, and how to cope with a disrupted sleep routine.
And why not try some of the 10 products we’ve picked out to help bring a bit more calm to the bedtime routine…
1. Merifor Tranquillity Mattress, £250, MadeForMums Awards Joint Gold Winner
This super-tech cot bed mattress has a clever design that helped it not only become the first cot mattress to receive the Allergy UK seal of approval, but also win gold award in ourhero health products for children category.
While parents may barely remember what their own bed looks like in those busy first months with a new baby, their little one can enjoy a luxurious snooze from birth.
You can choose which side to use depending on your child’s age – one side has superior foam, perfect for a baby. When they weigh at least 10kg, flip it over to the other side, which has micro pocket springs.
The mattress boasts a sealed inner core to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria (helping to earn the Allergy UK seal of approval), and there are crush-resistant side walls for added strength and stability.
You can also remove the outer cover and wash it at 60°C to eliminate allergens & dust mites.
What our MadeForMums Awards Judges say about Merifor Tranquillity Mattress:
“Wow, this mattress is really high quality. You can see the breathable air holes across the top and it feels so soft and comfortable to the touch. I have obviously not slept on it myself but my little one happily slept, and I wish they did an adult size!” Mum of 1, Claire
“The mattress was so soft and felt really good quality. I was a bit dubious at first, but after over two years of restless sleep I was just about willing to try anything. All I can say is: amazing! I only wish I had known about these mattresses sooner. My little boy has slept so much better. It may be slightly on the pricey side but for a good night’s sleep I’d happily pay the money for it over and over again. The fact the cover is removable for washing is even better.” Mum of 2, Victoria
You can buy the Merifor Tranquillity Mattress from: Huggle and Merifor
2. Ollie the Owl, The Gro Company, £34.99, MadeForMums Awards Joint Gold Winner
Little ones will love this gorgeous soft owl, who is as useful as he is plush and cuddly, and well deserves to be joint gold award winner. Suitable from birth, wise old Ollie is equipped with CrySensor technology, which means he senses and activates when the baby stirs.
He plays four comforting sounds (Brahms Lullaby, heartbeat, rainfall and white noise) for 20 minutes to help your little one gently settle back down to sleep, encouraging them to learn to self soothe. His light-up tummy also glows as a comforting nightlight.
Ollie also comes with a secure Velcro hook to strap him to the pushchair in case your little one wants to take him out on their daytime adventures.
What our MadeForMums Awards Judges say about Ollie the Owl:
“I really like the look of this cute soft and squishy owl, it’s really sweet to look at. I like that it can be attached to your car seat or pram, which is great for soothing baby while out and about. I would recommend this to family and friends, even if it was just playing in your room as part of the evening routine while baby is having their feed.” Mum of 3, Nancy
“Ollie the owl is a beautifully made and designed baby toy. The colour, design and fabric would suit any nursery and the bright glowing tummy is a lovely feature. The noises are pleasant and not too loud. The sensor feature is a great idea, as seeing mum and dad can sometimes make baby wake up if they were only stirring.” Mum of 2, Jennifer
You can buy Ollie the Owl from: Boots, Amazon and Argos
3. Aden + Anais swaddle, from £15, MadeForMums Awards Joint Silver Winner
This supersized cotton muslin is perfect for new babies who like the comforting sensation of being swaddled at bedtime.
Made from prewashed 100% cotton, it is extremely soft and will retain its huge 120cm x 120cm size wash after wash.
As well as being gentle and machine washable, the fabric is breathable, which helps reduce the risk of overheating, and has a natural give so you can tuck your little one really snugly.
Of course, it’s not just useful at bedtime – it works just as well as a pram or nursing cover, burp cloth, tummy time blanket, changing mat cover and so on.
What our MadeForMums Awards Judges say about the aden + anais swaddle:
“Wonderful size, perfect swaddle blanket and great to use as a general ‘all purpose’ muslin too. I will certainly be keeping a spare in my changing bag! Beautiful designs and presentation in box is lovely, certainly the perfect gift for baby shower/new baby.” Mum of 1, Emma
“I love the feel, quality and look of this product. My little one liked being swaddled in the first few days of her life, and now she no longer seems to enjoy it as much I use these as muslins, which they are perfect for. I have also found useful to use when out in public and breastfeeding. I cannot recommend these enough.” Mum of 1, Kayleigh
You can buy the aden + anais swaddle from: Amazon and Natural Baby Shower
4. myHummy Teddy Bears, from £59, MadeForMums Awards Joint Silver Winner
These cute bears have a high-tech secret to help newborns to sleep, earning them the joint silver position in this category, as well as our bronze award for top nursery accessories. They emit soothing white noise for up to 12 hours and have a sleep sensor that reacts to your little one waking up.
There are five sounds and 15 volume levels to choose from, and parents can use a mobile app to change the settings or receive alerts when baby stirs. Machine washable.
What our MadeForMums Awards Judges say about myHummy Teddy Bears:
“Absolutely wonderful product. My nearly 12-month-old baby who is fairly decent at sleeping but staying asleep is the issue and this product has straight away helped her with her nap times. She goes down straight away and is asleep for a couple of hours!” Mum of 1, Katy
“The myHummy is a great shape and design, and I really liked the fact that I could control it from my phone. The choice of sounds is good and varied, and it was easy to use. I have been trying to get my seven-month-old to self-soothe for naps and with the myHummy he drifted off in about ten minutes so this really does work.” Mum of 1, Emma
“I would recommend this to all new mums. My daughter is nearly 12 months and I wish I’d known about it sooner. Naps are great as the volume of the white noise can be turned up and we can go about our day jobs whilst my daughter is asleep. The app makes it so much easier to control sounds rather than the click button. The designs of the bears suit any nursery. I love the fact that the sensor turns on when baby is stirring and she quickly settles back to sleep.” Mum of 1, Katy
You can buy myHummy Teddy Bears from: myHummy and Amazon
5. Rockit, £39.99, MadeForMums Awards Bronze Winner
This innovative gadget is a godsend for parents whose little ones prefer to nap in the pushchair but wake up the minute you stop rocking (in a bid to pop into the kitchen to make a cheeky cuppa, for example!). Our testers loved it for its simple – but crucial – role in helping their child sleep, awarding it this year’s bronze award, as well as naming it the top must-have pushchair accessory.
To use, just clip the device onto frame, push the button and it will gently rock the stroller or pram to soothe your baby and maintain their sleep.
The cycle lasts for a blissful 30 minutes, and you can adjust the speed to find the perfect motion to make the most of naptime. Scientific tests show the vibration level closely mimics the normal hand rocking of a pushchair and the calming movement is gentler than a pushchair moving over paving stones.
Suitable from birth, Rockit fits all makes and models of pushchairs, prams and strollers, and is totally portable and showerproof. The battery lasts for up to 60 hours (two months of average use).
What our MadeForMums Awards Judges say about Rockit:
“Really good idea. Initially I thought it was a bit frivolous but I was wrong! I have two babies with an age gap of 14 months, and this has been really helpful in soothing my newborn whilst I deal with my eldest. Great idea!” Mum of 2. Kimberley
“Fantastic innovative product! Does exactly what it is supposed to do. It enabled me to be hands-free whilst rocking my baby to sleep in no time. What more could I possibly ask for!” Mum of 1, Julie
“I love the Rockit rocker, wish it had been available a few years ago! Found it very easy to install on a pushchair, though can be harder to tighten the strap on a very compact, slim chassis buggy. What an ingenious product, the level of rocking was great and I could see this being a game changer for parents!” MFM Reviews Editor Magda Ibrahim
You can buy Rockit from: Amazon
6. Whisbear – The Humming Bear, £49.99
Our testers were impressed with this little bear’s soothing qualities and sensory-developing features.
Made with high quality and machine washable fabrics and filled with hypoallergenic stuffing, Whisbear has CrySensor technology, meaning it will respond automatically when your baby needs soothing. The gentle shushing sound helps reminds babies of the safe environment of their mum’s womb, and plays for around 40 minutes before gently fading out.
The bear’s paws have magnets inside, so it can be safely attached to a cot or a Moses basket. By day, encourage your little one’s sensory and fine motor development by letting them explore the different fabric textures and rustling elements inside the paws and ears.
Whisbear The Humming bear is suitable from birth, making a lovely gift for a newborn.
You can buy Whisbear from: Amazon
7. Neals Yard, Organic Baby Massage Oil
Baby massages are known to calm an unsettled baby and build bonds
And this 100 per cent organic, vegan baby massage oil contains vitamin E-rich sunflower oil to moisturise skin, along with calming aromatherapy scents such as rose and lavender.
Try following MFM’s five baby sleep tips – including using this Neal’s Yard baby massage oil.
You can buy from: Jarrold
8. Slumber Buddies range, Summer Infant, from £19.99
With their soothing lullabies, this appealing range of soft animals make for perfect naptime and bedtime companions.
The plush characters play soft tunes and nature sounds, and parents have a choice of 15-, 30- and 45-minute auto shut off.
While your little one winds down listening to the calming sounds, they can enjoy a starry night sky display projected onto their ceiling and walls in one of three colours. Options include a bee, butterfly and elephant.
You can buy Slumber Buddies from: Summer Infant, Amazon and Asda
9. Gro Anywhere Blackout Blind, £20
This blackout blind fits directly onto window glass using suckers, and each side can be shortened to ensure a good fit on most size windows.
This blind is the ideal way to block out light on long summer evenings and it even packs into a handy travel bag. Weighing just 740g, you can take it away on holiday with you too!
You can buy from: Gro-store, Amazon and John Lewis
10. Tiddley Pom baby night time CD, £10
Tiddley Pom is best known for its baby spa products but as well as advocating baby massages, it also has a few music CDs to help soothe your baby too.
This hour-long Baby Night Time CD, recorded on guitars and wind chimes by Icelandic musician and composer Fridrik Karlsson, has been described as mellow, relaxing and very calming – and that’s just by our mums.
You can buy Tiddley Pom baby night time CD from: Amazon and Tiddley Pom
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MadeForMums product reviews are independent, honest and provide advice you can have confidence in. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links. However we never allow this to influence our coverage. Our reviews and articles are written by parents who are professional journalists, and we also include feedback from our parent community and industry experts.