Raquel Tara

Baby Sleep Essentials: 4 Must Haves For Baby Sleep

28 December by Raquel Tara 4539
Baby sleep essentials

If you’re experiencing difficulty getting your baby to sleep, think about the routine you’ve established at sleep time.

Are you consistent – is it the same routine each time? Once your baby can predict the sleep time sequence, she will be comfortable with the process and will quickly learn to self-soothe.

One of the most helpful things you can do to help your baby sleep is to include sleep cues with your bedtime routine. Sleep cues signify to your baby that rest time is about to begin. Once her sleep sequence is triggered by the cue, she’ll enter bedtime mode automatically.

4 ‘must haves’ for all baby sleep times


Include these elements in your sleep routine to help your baby sleep deeply and confidently, whether at night or during the day.

  1. A sleeping sack

    If you’re on a budget I recommend this one for Newborns or this one for babies over 3 months in the warmer months. My favourite is this one for 2 months to 2 years of age.

    Use one even for daytime naps. Sleep sacks become holistic sleep cues. Just the action of changing into her sleep sack signals sleep to your baby.

  2. A bedtime book.

    The same book forever at every bedtime. My two favourite sleep cue books are Sweet Dreams, Peter! and Goodnight Moon. They both tell a lovely story, and will serve you well right through to preschool. You can add books as your baby becomes a toddler – just make sure you always read your sleep cue book last, just before “goodnight”. Once it’s an established sleep cue, you will literally see older babies begin rubbing their eyes when you pick up your sleep cue book.

  3. A brief lullaby you can sing.

    That anyone can sing. A calm lullaby that talks of sleep. I have a great one to share. Check out Ra Ra’s famous sleepytime song here.

  4. 6 months and beyond – introduce a comforter

    … made of quality breathable fabric.


How to introduce a comforter to your baby


Note that a comforter should not be left inside the actual sleep space before 6 months. Begin establishing baby’s relationship with her comforter much sooner.

When you get one, get two identical ones – so you have a spare. Before introducing your baby to her comforter, leave them in your bed for a week so they smell like you. Place it in between you and bub as you cuddle and calm her for rest. Do this at every nap and bedtime.

Then put the comforter to the side, out of reach, and ideally within eyesight until she is 6 months old. When she reaches 6 months, offer it to her at bedtime to cuddle as she falls asleep. She will already have a positive association with her comforter by this stage. This continuous buddy that smells of you becomes a healthy, predictable, sustainable sleep cue. We have some adorable comforters in the Raquel Tara online store.


How to use sleep cues for baby sleep


Go through your normal feeding and bathing routine, eg feed, bath/shower, top-up feed. Showers and baths should be quiet, relaxed times.

Calmly tell her invitingly what is happening, and what will happen next.  “You seem to be enjoying this relaxing bath, after bath, I will put you in your pjs and read you a story. After that you will be able to enjoy a lovely night of rest”. 

Talking to our babies calms us and them. There is nothing more soothing and reassuring to your child than the familiar sound of your voice.

Once baby is settled in her sleep sack, read her sleep time story just before you put her in her sleep space. If she has a comforter, offer it to cuddle while you read.

Say goodnight, then end with your lullaby.


Are you using a dummy or pacifier to help your baby sleep? Read my thoughts on why you should lose the dummy for better baby sleep.


Having difficulty getting your baby to sleep? Please join my private Facebook group, Baby Talk Australia, where I do regular Q&As with parents like you.

About Raquel Tara – Baby Sleep Support


Infant sleep is major parenting puzzle. Inspired by Magda Gerber’s RIE approach, I’ve been advising families for over 20 years on how to put the pieces together. I’d love to help you too.

Work 1:1 with me through my Baby Sleep Support packages. I also host a free private Facebook group for parents of infants, Baby Talk Australia.

Last modified on Thursday, 26 July 2018 at 10:42 am
Thanks for sharing !

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