3 Products That Help My Toddler Sleep Better

by Charise Rohm Nulsen

Welcome to the February 2013 Natural Living Blog Carnival: Addressing Sleep Challenges.
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project through the Green Moms Network. This month our members have written posts about how they address sleep challenges in their homes.

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3 Products That Help My Toddler Sleep Better

We have had more than our share of sleep challenges in this house. Our son, now 2 1/2 years old, has always struggled with getting a good night’s sleep. (You may remember my posts about my son’s parties in the middle of the night as a baby, the wonders of co-sleeping, and all of the gentle methods we’ve tried to better his sleep.) Shortly before he hit the age of two, things started to come together for him, but he has had a few bumps in the road since then that have led to bedtime becoming a time of high anxiety and stress for him. Thanks to the products below, we are back to a mostly calm and peaceful nighttime experience.

I am in no way affiliated with these products. I’m just sharing three products that have really made a difference in our little guy’s life – and believe me we’ve tried it all!


1. OK To Wake! Owl With Night-Light & Music

Our son was having a really hard time with knowing when it was okay to wake up. Wake up times could range from 4:30 am to 7:00 am. He also struggled with waking in the night and then feeling scared. The Wake Up Owl has made a huge difference for him (and us!). You can set the time inside of this soft and cuddly owl for whatever time you want your child to sleep to. We set ours for 6:30 am. At this time, the owls face gently glows green. When our son wakes and presses the owl’s button, it plays happy music and tells him it’s okay to wake up now. If he wakes too early and presses the owl’s button, the face will glow yellow and tell him to go back to sleep. It will then play some comforting music. Big Brother loves interacting with the owl, and it has really helped him to learn how to comfort himself in the night and sleep later in the morning.

2. Indigo Dreams: Relaxation and Stress Management Bedtime Stories for Children, Improve Sleep, Manage Stress and Anxiety

I have to thank Melissa from Vibrant Wanderings and Julia from A Little Bit of All of It for recommending this CD! Big Brother went through a really difficult phase where falling asleep was so, so stressful for him. We bought him a small CD player and this CD, and almost immediately, he went from taking up to an hour and a half to fall asleep to under a half hour. During the half hour, he would be calm and relaxed as he listened to this meditative CD of stories about children and animals. The narrating voice is very unobtrusive and hypnotic. It actually reminds me a lot of the Hypnobabies CDs I listened to in preparation for my son’s birth.

3. HoMedics Sound Spa Nature Sounds Machine

White noise seems to be a go to sleep solution for most babies, and we used a regular white noise machine or cool mist humidifier for a while, but the choice of nature sounds that this machine offers is much more appealing to my son, and I would guess that would be the case for most children. Depending on the week, Big Brother usually favors the ocean sound or the thunder sounds. Having the choice of nature sounds is a fun way for him to customize his bedtime experience.

Have you had a toddler or preschooler face sleep challenges? What recommendations can you share?

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Visit Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project to learn more about participating in next month’s Natural Living Blog Carnival!
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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 mrsgreen @ littlegreenblog.com February 21, 2013 at 6:18 am

Sorry to hear you’ve had so much stress surrounding bedtimes but I love how you’ve embraced this challenge and come up with some solutions that work for you. I love the sound of that friendly wise owl and its great to hear the cd was such a success for you; I’m a huge fan of meditation / hypnosis. I’ve been very fortunate in that bedtimes weren’t stressful for my girl; now she’s 11 it’s quite a different matter – she’s a night owl and I’m a lark so we’re pretty incompatible!
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2 Julia February 21, 2013 at 9:00 am

I’m so glad the CD has worked so well! It reminds me of Hypnobabies, too! Marcella still listens to hers every night and we occasionally hear it come on in the middle of the night so we know she puts it on when she wakes in the night. :)

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3 AlannaB February 21, 2013 at 10:34 am

I couldn’t help but notice the “Violet” in the picture. I have two toddlers, 2 and 4 that CANNOT sleep without their Scout and Violet! :-)
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4 Mandi February 21, 2013 at 4:48 pm

We used white noise for my daughter when she was a baby. I love it. I never heard of the CD’s before. Thank you so much for sharing!

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5 Tracey @ Dont Mess with Mama February 21, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Yep, we have a sound machine too. We’ve used it since my 1st son was a newborn. He used to sleep in the room with us but none of us slept because I woke up to every noise he made. Now we have sound machines in my room and my boys’ room.
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6 CelloMom February 21, 2013 at 8:40 pm

I never knew about these! Maybe I should try a sound machine for CelloPlayer, who is going through a bit of a rough sleeping patch right now. Maybe even the portable cd player I use when doing construction, with a rainforest cd, hmmmm…. Thanks for the suggestion!
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7 Melissa February 21, 2013 at 11:42 pm

So glad the cd has worked well for you! That owl is much less expensive than some of the ok to wake products I’ve seen Very cool!
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8 Ashley Allman February 22, 2013 at 8:50 am

We have used the Zazoo Kids photo alarm clock to help our early riser better understand bedtime (the clock turns to moon and stars) and wake time (the sun rises on the clock). It’s the same concept as the owl, and has other features that can grow with the child, including the ability to load music (or white noise) and personal photos to use it as a digital photo frame. Also love the Cloud B sleeep sheep, gentle giraffe and twilight turtle products, all of which help to create a calming setting for sleep time.

On a similar note, does anybody have any tricks for helping the little ones stay covered up at night? Our two-year-old moves all over the place and wakes up cold often in the night. The large toddler sleep sacks seem to bother him, and since we turn the heat off at night, his footie jammies aren’t always enough to keep him warm if he kicks off the covers. If there is some secret trick I don’t know about, please share! :)

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9 Brittany @ The Pistachio Project February 23, 2013 at 1:07 pm

You know I always thought relaxation cd’s (kid or adult) were silly but after using Hypnobabies for my birthing method, I can totally see how they would help you sleep. So glad they help your little one.

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10 Natural Intuition February 25, 2013 at 8:09 am

We LOVE the sound machine! My daughter still uses it at 19 months on the ocean sounds (& I wish I had one too!) And I’m glad to hear the owl works.. our son wakes up so early and we’ve been considering getting one to help get him to sleep (or at least stay in bed) until it’s light out and more acceptable wake up time!

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11 Diane Cooper February 26, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Thanks for these helpful tips. Bedtime is quite often traumatic here- I am going to implement some, if not all of these things!

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12 rachel- even one sparrow February 26, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Oh my gosh – YES to that owl! What a brilliant idea! Thanks for sharing it. Our daughter is 20 months and wakes up between 5-7 (usually around 6 though). Lately, however, she’s been waking up at 4:30. If it continues, when we move her to a big bed, I think this is just the right thing for her (AND us!).
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13 Thats 2 Cute February 5, 2014 at 12:22 am

My mum told me that she used too put the tv on a channel that was just static and I used to fall asleep straight away. However if you don’t want a electricity bill the size of mount Everest I wouldn’t suggest it.

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