A baby sleep aid can help make it easier for a little one to fall asleep. Discover everything you need to know about sleep aids in our handy guide.
The truth is, newborn babies have short sleep cycles. They wake up frequently during both the day and night. Although these regular awakenings can be exhausting for parents, they’re important for a baby’s development, help regulate their breathing, and protect against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Sleep aids can help settle babies and toddlers, but it’s important to consider their age and developmental stage when introducing one. No matter which sleep aid you choose, you should always follow safe sleep guidance.
What is a baby sleep aid?
Simply put, a baby sleep aid is a soothing object that makes it easier for a little one to fall asleep.
Electronic sleep aids use ambient light and sound to calm and settle babies, promote better sleep, and reduce night-time crying.
As well as helping baby sleep better, they can give parents some much-needed rest, too. Nine out of 10 parents say that they sleep better because their baby has an Ollie the Owl* sleep aid.
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What are the benefits of red light for baby sleep?
Bright household lights can have an alerting effect. So, specially designed baby sleep aids and night lights are a great alternative to regular bulbs.
Melatonin is the hormone that regulates the body clock and makes us feel sleepy. Our research shows that warm red light can help to encourage melatonin production. This signals to your baby’s brain that it’s time to start winding down and get ready for sleep.
Our Dreammaker has a soft red glow to help babies get to sleep faster and sleep for longer. It’s also minimally stimulating for night-time awakenings, making self-soothing and re-settling even easier.
Ollie the Owl and Pip the Panda have a dimmable heart-shaped light in their tummies, which means you can choose the right level of brightness for your nursery. Turn it up for late-night nappy changes or dim it down to resettle baby back to sleep.
A darkened room tells little ones that it’s time for rest. So, in the summer months when the sun rises early and sets late, it’s a good idea to put up a blackout blind to keep your baby’s sleeping environment dark and cosy.
How do baby sleep sound machines work?
Baby sleeping aids that play a calming and continuous ambient sound – called white noise – can be used to mask unwanted noise at bedtime, and mimic the familiar sounds your baby heard when they were in the womb. People sometimes compare white noise to the static that comes from an untuned radio or television. It can reduce a baby’s stress levels, soothes them to sleep, and stops them from being woken by loud or sudden background noises.
It’s important to remember that noise machines shouldn’t be:
- placed next to a baby’s head
- used at high volume
- used continuously or for prolonged periods.
How does CrySensor technology work?
The CrySensor in Tommee Tippee sleep aids is programmed to respond to crying or sharp sounds that may disturb your baby’s sleep. It listens out for noises and responds by playing sounds or gentle lullabies to help disguise background disturbance and settle your little one back to sleep.
When can I start using a Tommee Tippee sleep aid?
Your baby should always sleep in the same room as you for the first six months, day and night. But you can use our light and sound sleep aids from birth to soothe your newborn, and continue to use their lights and sounds as they grow.
You should place the sleep aid near your baby so that it can listen using CrySensor mode, and your baby can clearly hear and see it. Use the loop to attach it to your baby’s Moses basket or cot out of your baby's reach. Make sure it’s hanging outside the cot so that if it falls, it will land outside of the cot, or stand it upright on nearby furniture.
If your little one is having problems sleeping or you’d like advice about getting into a routine, speak to your health visitor or doctor.
*From an independent study in February 2022 by MumsViews of 82 UK mums with a 0-24m child, who currently use Ollie the Owl as their main sleep aid and have done for more than one month.