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The REAL Baby Sleep Essentials

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Sleep is a hot topic for parents. Even before your new little human enters the world, the shopping list quickly grows with items that just might give you an advantage and maximise your rest time.

Some of these products might be helpful. Some might not. Like you, your baby is unique and what works for some babies might not work for yours. So, what is actually ‘essential’ for little ones to sleep safely and comfortably? The list is shorter than you might think!

What does a baby need for sleep?

Essential: A responsive caregiver

There’s an old saying that the single most important thing your baby needs is you, and that’s true no matter whether it’s 10am or 2am. They are new to this world, trying to figure it all out, and the one thing they know is you and your presence.

Having a trusted adult nearby helps regulate babies’ nervous systems and reassure them that they’re safe. It also helps reduce rates of SIDS, as responsive adults in close proximity are more likely to rouse, and constant adult presence may prevent young babies from slipping into very deep sleep (which is thought to be protective against breathing abnormalities). This is why Red Nose Australia recommends babies share a room with a responsive caregiver for at least the first 6-12 months of their life.

Being responsive isn’t always easy, especially in the trenches of sleep deprivation. If you’re in the thick of sleepless nights caring for your little (or not so little) person, we see you and we hope you have a village of support around you.

Essential: A safe sleep space

A safe sleep space can look different to each family based on the space they have available in their home and what is culturally normal for them. Cots and bassinets are commonly used for babies to sleep in, as they are designed with firm mattresses and other features that are recommended for young bubs. For more information on safe sleep environments for babies, the Red Nose Australia website has a range of fact sheets and articles to help.

Bassinets and bedside sleepers

Bassinets and bedside sleepers are typically designed for newborns and helps keep them safe and nearby until they’re ready for a cot. Their smaller size makes them easier to move around the house as you go about your day, which makes it easy to keep your little one under your watchful eye. A bedside sleeper is designed to align to the height of your bed, enabling you to have your baby in arm’s reach and make those overnight wakes easier.

Thoughtfully designed to convert from a stand-alone bassinet to a bedside sleeper, the By My Bedside Foldable Co-sleeper can do it all through those early months! Wheels make for easy manoeuvrability, and 6 height adjustments adapt to most adult beds. Plus, mesh panelling for improved air circulation helps to keep your little snoozer breathing easy while you enjoy peace of mind.


A cot is bigger than a bassinet and can last your little one up until they’re ready for a toddler bed. Some cots even convert into toddler beds when the time comes, so they can last you for years to come.


Linen is the final element for your sleep environment. Fitted sheets should be snug and secure, and up until at least the toddler years, there should be no pillows in the cot. It’s also important to minimise blankets and use the proper layering of sleepwear to help keep your baby at the right temperature.

Other sleep related items that some families find helpful

Outside of those essentials, there are other products that some families find helpful for bedtime. Your baby won’t be disadvantaged without them, but they might offer a touch of extra comfort or convenience if you are looking for that.

Nice to have: Bilbi Bamboo Wrap

Wrap your baby in luxuriously soft bamboo for super soothing swaddles in the Bilbi Bamboo Wrap. Made from stretchy and moisture-wicking material, this wrap helps you easily swaddle your little one while helping to keep them comfy in breathable bamboo.

Bilbi is a brand found only at Baby Bunting. Discover nursery needs from Bilbi including elasticised fitted sheets that fit snug on most cots or bassinets or charming rope or wicker baskets for easy organisation and storage.

Nice to have: Swaddle Sleeping Bags

On those cooler winter nights, it can be tricky knowing exactly how to keep your little one warm without overheating them. A swaddle sleeping bag (such as the Nest Designs Bamboo Swaddle Sleeping Bag 2.5 Tog) can be a handy option for layering while keeping bub cosy and cuddly.

Nice to have: Oricom Monitor & Babysense Breathing & Movement Monitor

The Oricom Video Monitor with Remote Function & Cribmount Nursery Pal Skyview OBH650P offers an unobstructed overhead view of your little snoozer, plus room-temperature monitoring for even safer sleeps.

For peace of mind, pair it with the Babysense7 Breathing & Movement Monitor. The Babysense monitor is unique in Australia as the only recognised sensor device on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG No. 97479). It’s designed to continually monitor the breathing movements of your sleeping baby, and if your baby’s breathing movement slows to a rate of less than 10 breaths per minute, or cannot be detected for more than 20 seconds, an audible alarm is activated.

Help your little one drift off to pre-loaded lullabies and bedtime stories with the Oricom Video Monitor, exclusive to us, especially for you.

Rest Easy

Sleep won’t always come easy, but rest assured that ups and downs in sleep are normal and it’s not because you don’t have the latest gadgets or you’re doing something wrong. More than anything else, your baby needs you – so taking care of yourself is part and parcel of caring for your little one.

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