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We put a lot of thought into where our little one would sleep as a newborn. We knew he would be housed in our room, both because we thought it would make the middle of the night feedings easier and also because this is what is recommended by the AAP. However, we have a small room. With our queen size bed, there isn’t even enough room for my husband to have a nightstand on his side of the bed! So, we knew our little guy’s sleeping place couldn’t be too big. For awhile we were thinking of getting a bassinet, but I wasn’t super excited about spending money on an expensive bassinet only to have the baby outgrow it in a few months (from what I’ve read, many babies outgrow theirs around 3 months). A standard size crib was too large for our room. Play pens fit the dimensions requirement but looked too clunky.
I then came across the idea of mini cribs. I had no idea these existed before my research, but they were the perfect solution! The elegance of a crib, with the slim profile we needed to make it fit in our room. They even have mini cribs that fold up and can be stored in a closet, to create more room when not in use. While these would be perfect for a grandparent to purchase for their house so they can store it away between visits, we decided to buy a more traditional mini crib. The one we bought has three different mattress heights so we can adjust it to a lower level as our baby starts to sit up and stand up. The tallest height was great for after my delivery, as it wasn’t too low for me to be able to pick up the baby. The crib also seems like it is sturdy enough to last him a good amount of time, so that by the time he’s outgrown it, he could possibly be ready for a floor mattress or toddler bed. We also purchased mini crib sheets (I prefer the jersey ones because they are soft and easy to clean).
Once he turned three months old, we also went out and purchased a mobile. We hadn’t really seen a need for one, but my mom was adamant that we get one because the baby would enjoy it. Sure enough, as soon as we installed it, he was captivated. This made for cry-free evenings and allowed me to get things done upstairs while he was staring at his mobile friends and listening to music. The particular mobile that we bought plays 40 minutes of continuous music and cycles through different themes, including world music, nature, lullabies, and white noise. At night time, we set up the lullabies and white noise to put him to sleep, and the more energetic themes are what I use during the day.Another thing we purchased before the baby was born was a travel bassinet for him to nap in. Since I had a c-section, I knew I wouldn’t be able to go up and down the stairs very frequently while holding the baby, and I wanted to have a place for him to take his naps downstairs. I like the one we bought because it folds up to be compact (it can fit in a carry-on bag), is super light, and also has backpack straps on it to make it easy to carry around. It is also machine washable, which was key due to all of the blowouts and spit-ups we had during those first months. Although we were hoping to use this for about six months, our baby outgrew it (in length) after about three months. We were able to take it one trip with us, though, and it fit very nicely in our carry-on and provided a nice cushion for my breast pump. Once we retired the travel bassinet, we moved on to the Lotus travel crib. We’ve only flown with it once, but like it so far and were able to carry it on a plane and safely store it overhead.
The final piece to add to our newborn sleep purchases are swaddles. We had heard about the benefits of swaddling in our Lamaze classes, and it’s really true– newborns really do have a way of startling themselves, either from background noise or from just being new in the world and feeling different sensations. The swaddles help them keep their arms and legs secure so that they are less likely to wake up. That being said, not all of the swaddles worked for us right away. I thought I had prepared by ordering these newborn velcro swaddles from SwaddleMe. We also got a nifty Halo sleep sack and Gerber sleep sack from the hospital. However, they were actually too big for our little one and didn’t fit properly for five or six weeks. For those weeks, we used these aden + anais muslin swaddle blankets, instead, and did it the old school way by wrapping him up. I was never quite able to get the hang of this, so I was happy when the baby started to fit into the swaddles. The swaddle blankets were awesome for the first few weeks, though, and also helped as a blankets to use in the car and as burp cloths. The amazing thing is that they get softer the more you wash them, so they became soft pretty quickly with the amount of laundry we did! Even now, at 4 months, although the swaddles are packed away because we don’t need them, anymore, we have the swaddle blankets out to use for other purposes because they feel so nice.
At one month old, we also decided to finally install a baby monitor in the room. We spent a lot of time researching these and went back and forth between whether or not we wanted a monitor that we could check from our phone or that my husband could look at while at work. We finally decided to go with a simple one with no wireless capabilities, and are very happy with it. If you buy one that goes online, your expenses would probably increase in this category.
To sum up, here are our sleep expenses:
- Mini crib: $140 at the time of purchase
- Mini crib sheets: $23 at the time of purchase
- Mobile: $43 at the time of purchase
- Travel bassinet: $40 at the time of purchase
- Travel crib: $200 at the time of purchase
- Swaddle blankets: $35 at the time of purchase
- Swaddles (two packs): $40 at the time of purchase
- Baby monitor: $164.99
TOTAL FOR SLEEP EXPENSES: $686.28
This cost could go down if you decide not to buy additional swaddles. If you plan on having your baby take naps in the crib, you probably won’t need the travel bassinet and/or travel crib.
If your hospital didn’t supply you with any swaddles, you may have to buy them all, which could increase your costs here. Other increases could include a more decked out baby monitor that you can check on your smartphone, or a full size crib (and crib sheets).