In this age of technical advancement, you'd be hard pushed to find a parent that hasn't got a ready list of apps on their phone for all kinds of parenting emergencies. But which apps are actually any good when it comes to settling baby to sleep?
We've been doing a little research and have come up with a top five. So here it is- what makes a good baby sleep app and what parents look for when they download. These are our top five baby sleep apps.
What does a baby sleep app need to do?
Unfortunately, no app in the world will get your baby to sleep through the night, so forget that one right now. And you'll be lucky if they are a magic cure too. If your baby isn't sleeping well, baby sleep apps may help to calm and soothe, but they won't teach her how to fall asleep. As always, parenting cannot be done remotely and there are some skills that only you can bestow upon your little ones. That said, baby sleep apps do have a valuable place in life now and then. We think a good baby sleep app should:
- help to settle baby ready for sleep
- help baby to sleep a little longer
- help baby to drop off when tired enough
So like we said, no magic cure for sleep issues, but a good place to start!
What to look for when you download a sleep app
The more apps you have on your phone, the more potential you have at your fingertips! But it's worth looking out for:
- Size of the app- will it run things down on your phone, or run slowly/ freeze?
- Has it got good reviews?
- Is it easy to use?
- Is it free? Or at least reasonably priced?
The top five baby sleep apps
In our opinion, these are amongst the best baby sleep apps- by all means, check them out and see if you think they'd work for your baby. As with anything, only you know your baby well enough to know what she would respond to best.
This is available here on the Apple store, and it's a really lovely app. It's free, and very simple to navigate, using the concept of lullabies to soothe baby to sleep. There are 12 panio tunes to choose from, and the option to add information such as how long baby takes to fall asleep, and how long she sleeps for too.
The lullabies wind down in energy towards the end in the anticipation that by the time they are finished baby will be relaxed and soothed enough to fall asleep. Each 'concert' lasts 25 minutes, which is usually long enough for baby to fall into a deep enough sleep so that you can creep out (if you stay with her).
In addition to the lullabies, the app also has the option of playing a variety of noises to fill the silence as baby sleeps- which can be really great for some babies, particularly when newborn. The app creators call this 'soundscape' and when in this mode the app will detect baby's cries in the middle of the night and automatically start up again. Of course, it is not intended to be a replacement for you, but it is a good feature for unsettled babies that struggle to sleep without sound. The diary feature is also handy, with options to add relevant information such as teething so that you can get a clear picture of your baby's sleep.
If you have a baby that responds well to music, and likes to have constant sounds during sleep time, this app is great for you. It's free to download so worth a try?
This is another free app, available to download here, again from the Apple store. Another app that relies on baby's need to overcome the silence of this strange world, this app has LOTS of different sounds to choose to help baby to settle off to sleep. From a car's running engine, to the sounds of a busy market, to gentle rainfall. You know your baby, you know what sounds she'll respond well to.
White noise is well known to help babies to sleep, and there are also options to replicate sounds from inside the womb too. There are three modes: Play, to help baby fall asleep, Listen to help her stay asleep, and Track, to help you keep a handle on the sleep. During listen mode, the app will detect when baby is awake and crying, and will automatically start up again in the hope that she will settle off again.
Each sound can be volume controlled within the app, and if you upgrade to the paid version, you can control how long the play sessions are. Once the session is up, you can choose the listen mode, and each sound can be paused at any time. There's also the option to record your own soothing sound, although with the variety on offer we'd be surprised if there wasn't one in there that suits.
If your baby likes white noise, this is the app for you!
Baby Sleep Instant
This is another white noise app, this time available for android devices and once again free of charge. This app is simple to use and works on the same principle as Sound Sleeper- some babies just sleep better with some background noise! You can also record your own sounds onto this app too.
Another great app for white noise fans!
This app is available for both android and Apple devices, and it uses the age old shushing method. The idea is that the shushing sounds help to stop baby crying, and instead soothe her to sleep. Apparently great for fussy babies, and an excellent way to preserve your own voice if you're used to shushing for a long time!
The app is not free (it's £3.00) , but it is good. It has the option of setting how long you want it to shush baby for- from 15 minutes up to 8 hours!) and also allows you to record your own custom shush too. There is also a handy feature that listens to baby, and adjusts the volume of the shush accordingly.
If your baby responds well to shushing this app might just save your voice night after night!
A simple app that allows you to keep track of sleeps, available from the Apple store. We like this one because it helps you to keep a check on how long baby sleeps, and with this you can spot any patterns or issues as they arise. If baby sleep is an issue, this can be a really helpful app.
There is a note taking function which allows you to add in things such as teething or illness, and the simplistic nature of it means that almost anyone can use it easily. All you need to do is enter start time and stop time of sleep, and because you can also enter feeding information it helps you to get a bigger overall picture of baby's sleep. It's easy to use and handy to have.
If you like to keep a track of baby's sleep this app is perfect and very easy to use.
So that's our top five. What are your favourite apps?