In partnership with the Smart Sleep Coach by PampersTM App.
As every parent knows, people just love to give you advice before your baby comes. Do this, definitely stay away from that, and don’t even think about going here. It can be totally overwhelming to take in everything coming at you – and even harder to discover what works for your kiddo specifically. Sleep is one of those things that other parents just love to tell you how to do. While we tried a bunch of things people advised us, our zombie new-parent-brains decided ultimately it would be best to seek help from the pros. A couple of Google searches later, my husband and I landed on trying the Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers App.
- The AI powered schedule fixed the majority of our sleep challenges, delivering longer naps and less overnight wake ups in a matter of days
- A truly custom sleep plan personalized to my baby’s sleep challenges
- Smart push notifications helped me stick to the schedule and look for sleepy cues
- Substantial Knowledge Center with ﾠvideos, articles, tips and tricks from experts on baby sleep
- Even though it’s a paid app, it’s incredibly cost effective vs other baby sleep solutions
We don't like
- Not available on Android (iPhone only) but I hear they’re working on it
- 7 day -free trial only available on 3-month and annual subscriptions
- Supports sleep for only one baby at a time (may be challenging for twins & multiples)
- Only suitable for babies up to 24 months old
- Only available in English and my nanny speaks Spanish
Meet Your Coach
The Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers App ($8USD/month on an annual subscription, including a free 7-day trial) aims to help solve your baby’s sleep problems, ultimately helping your sleep, too! It starts with a 3-minute quiz, a simple sleep consultation to help better understand your baby’s sleep rhythms and struggles, from there you download the app. The info from the quiz, along with daily data entered about baby’s sleep, creates a fully-customized sleep plan just for you and your baby. Beyond creating a plan for sleep training, the app provides daily coaching through mini-modules on how to help your baby rest easier.
The app is impressively scientific in nature, having been based on over 65 years of experience with babies from known and trusted diaper brand, Pampers. Pampers paired this experience with help from pediatricians, sleep specialists, and mindfulness experts to develop this all-in-one solution to solve your baby’s sleep issues for good. One such expert on the team is Mandy Treeby, who is a certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant. To obtain her certification, she spent over 250 hours completing an accredited course through the Family Sleep Institute and has now been working with parents & babies in the field for over 10 years!
The app also helps you understand the mysterious science of baby sleep. One of the mini-courses I took shared about how there are internal and external factors that affect how my son Nicolas sleeps and how they play into his circadian rhythm (a.k.a. our internal clock). Mandy shared with us that in her experience, it’s “the little things can make a HUGE difference when it comes to sleep – things like when your baby sleeps, ensuring your baby is getting enough (but not too much) daytime and total sleep, and making sure their sleep space is conducive to sleep.”
Our Sleep Journey
Our baby’s sleep situation is a little unique, as we adopted him when he was 16 months old. In that time, he had been through some sleep training by a family he was staying with, but it wasn’t consistent due to his frequent changes in homes. Now that he’s home forever with us and in a routine, we still struggle with some several-hour-long midnight wake up calls and naps that are far too short for us, which the Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers App aims to to help with. Getting Nick’s routine down was especially important to us, as we are (hopefully) welcoming a second child, Nick’s sibling, via adoption in November. Sleep will become even more precious and critical with two kids, especially a newborn, so getting it right now was a non-negotiable for us.
Getting Coached Up
I get really frustrated and admittedly a bit reactive when I am sleepy, especially when I can’t get Nick to calm down or go back to sleep. When I first started to use the app, I was really hopeful it would help me use logic to have a plan of action and directions to lean on. Unlike a book that you might read once and put down forever, the app’s customized plan reminds you each and every anticipated sleep that it’s time for bed. Custom is a key operator here – and is what most differentiates the app in my view. Mandy echoed that sentiment: “falling asleep is actually a learned skill,” which is why a method tailored to each child is so important. We all learn differently!
Using the app is pretty simple. You have daily mini-modules to review, which take less than 5 minutes to complete. Each module has unique information that can help to educate even the most knowledgeable parent. The app generates a sleep training plan unique to your baby based on your child’s sleep, which you enter. Try to be as accurate as possible so that the algorithm can give you the best plan possible.
Once it's time for bed or a nap, and your baby has fallen asleep, you press 'start' on the schedule and it logs the sleep in realtime. When the sleep is over you simply press 'stop' and the app automatically updates your schedule for the rest of the day to best promote sleep! In addition to sleep, you can add a feeding as well. You simply enter the start and end times of the sleep, as well as any wakeups your child had throughout it and how long they lasted. I was admittedly a little nervous about remembering to do this, but the push notifications help and it takes 30 seconds to complete each sleep log.
Features I’m Dreaming Of
While it is quick, this step is probably my biggest grievance with the app; you have to enter both a start and end time, when most of the time, I want to just enter a start time and stop the clock later when he wakes up. Right now, my workaround is either estimating when he wakes up what time he fell asleep or entering a bogus wake up time in the interim. It does work like I’d expect when you press “start” on the event on the app calendar, but I just wish it worked that way when I press “New Sleep,” because that feels more intuitive.
I also really wish there was an opportunity to track more than one child on here. I know not many people are wild enough to have two babies so close together, but several couples in my circle have “two under two” – not to mention twins. Having the opportunity to track multiple kiddos on the app would be really nice.
The Test of (Nap)Time
By using the app, I realized we had to make a few changes in order to help us… erm, Nicolas… sleep better. First, we had to start paying better attention to his “sleepy cues,”such as turning his head side-to-side and rubbing his eyes, which we thought were just cute things he did around 6:30 at night. Secondly, we had to invest in some blackout shades to support his body thinking it is in fact time to sleep. We learned we were doing well with the sound machine and temperature of his room, which was nice to hear we got some things right!
Once we entered enough data, we could start to see some trends on the dashboard. One of the first things the app predicts is estimated wake up times. As we went on and entered more data, we found the estimated wake up times were generally accurate to within 10-15 minutes! For nap time, this feature was especially helpful so I could plan what I needed to get done during the nap. It also displays the estimated wakeup time right on your home screen, so you can see it front and center while the baby is sleeping. The app also shares some average stats for the week, such as his night sleep time, his awake time at night, and his average number of wakeups.
Better Sleep is a Few Taps Away
Over just a few weeks of usage, I have already seen a reduction in his overnight wakeups and longer nap times. The other day, we even got a solid 3.5 hours for a nap – it was glorious. And as I write this, Nick is going on hour 3 of a nap! While some of that may have been his activities that day, the app certainly has helped me as a parent in a few ways. First, it helps me to have an actionable plan, instead of being tired and reactive with my baby. When I’m frustrated, I can turn to the data and modules to figure out what might be wrong and how to make it better. Second, it has helped remind me of the importance of routines and sleep environments. We now stick to our routines more intently and have improved his bedroom’s environment to be more conducive to sleep. Sure, I could’ve scoured the internet to find those things, but having the app is like having access to a sleep consultant in your pocket at all times to remind you of what you’ve already learned. And hearing from a few friends that consultants can cost north of $3-5K for support over just a few months, it’s incredible to have a cost effective solution that taps into similar methods of success.
Despite some key wishlist features, I’m quite amazed with our experience with the Smart Sleep Coach App. You can’t put a price on great sleep for your family, but if you had to, I’d say it’s worth far more than the app’s price of just $8USD/month (for an annual subscription). As a brand continuing to focus on innovation, I’m sure the app will only continue to improve over time, both in its algorithm, as well as its usability. If you’re struggling with your baby’s sleep, take heart in what Mandy says: “when we give [babies] a chance, with some consistency and a little persistence – every baby can be a super sleeper.” Now that is a sweet dream.