Sleep, Baby, Sleep

I am no expert when it comes to babies…clearly…but I do feel like I put in my fair share of research when it came to getting Brooks to sleep through the night. I was so nervous about lack of sleep when I was pregnant that I was going crazy before the little guy even got here. He is now a STELLAR sleeper and I can say as of now that we haven’t had any hiccups, bar sickness, that has caused him to regress or wake at night. The kid just turned one, so there’s plenty of time. Anyways, expert or not there are a few thing I truly could not and do not live without.

  1. I read a couple books but wasn’t set on following a strict plan with Brooks. I figured I would see how he is and go from there. The first couple of weeks he was not a great sleeper. He was very clingy to me and slept great as long as I was holding him but other than that he didn’t exactly fit the mold of the always sleeping newborn. Eventually, maybe at 2 months, I started trying to be more scheduled about his awake and sleep times and really help him get into some healthy sleep habits. The book that I absolutely LOVED was Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. It really was a game changer. I read it again when B was a bit older, I would say about 3 months, and kept having these crazy “AHA” moments. I put some of the suggestions in the book into practice and VOILA, he has been sleeping 11-12 straight hours a night ever since. He was a pretty good sleeper off and on but this was insane! My biggest take-aways were the early bed time and the rigidity of nap schedules. Seriously. Who knew a 6:00 bed time would be my magic cure.
  2.  Swaddles. Really. Tight. Swaddles. This kid loved to be all snug as a bug when he was itty bitty. He also flailed around a lot so I think this helped keep his arms contained and kept him nice and cozy. Seriously, the second he started outgrowing these (you can get these babies really tight), we moved on to this, then this, and eventually now he sleeps with nothing. The kid flails around that crib like he’s a gymnast but never bats an eye.
  3. This sound machine. We’ve been on a couple overnight trips since B was born and I will not send him anywhere without this thing. Our house is generally really quiet so at first I put him to sleep in the living room with the tv on and as much noise as Mack and I can make, but when he started napping in his crib I always turned this on. Now I use it when putting him down for a nap and bed so it signals to him it’s time to sleep and drowns out any noise we might be making. We are in the middle of renovating our upstairs so that comes in quite handy at times. You can choose all different sounds and it also has a soft blue light you can turn on for those middle of the night wakings. I swear sometimes it puts me to sleep…
  4. These blankets. As I mentioned before I love a good swaddle. I ordered several of these and got some for my shower but was never very good at using them to swaddle Brooks nice and tight. They became more of a comfort thing for him and I am just fine with that. He likes to hold things when sleeping and these are light and breathable so I really don’t mind him having them in his crib. Plus they’re super cute, can be used for many other things throughout the day like spit up, milk spills, and nose wiping. #momlife
  5. Any video baby monitor, but this is the one I have. I absolutely could not have survived without this thing. I didn’t want the whole breathing, oxygen level type of thing because I didn’t need more to stress about than I already was. I just wanted to look at him every once in a while (or 2 minutes) and make sure he was there, safe, and sleeping. That is enough for me. This was a God send when we were sleep training because I could literally look at him and see he was totally fine, safe, and eventually sleeping. Now a days I can hear him laughing and talking to himself in his crib so I turn on the video portion and watch him looking around, standing up, and being adorable as always.
  6. A routine. If you have done any research at all on getting babies to sleep at night I’m sure you already know you need a bedtime routine. I do think this is super important, but I can say that there have been a few nights where we were WAY out of routine, and Brooks still slept fine. He does sleep the longest and best when we have a consistent week at home following our solid routine so that is certainly saying something. Ours is bath, books, bottle, bed. I also rub this on his chest because I read smells are very important to the bedtime routine and I think it smells great. Also, the first night I put it on Brooks he slept 13 STRAIGHT hours. It was amazing. I also lotion him up after every bath and use this bubble bath and shampoo to incorporate more calming smells.

As I mentioned before, I am not an expert but this is what worked for us. I love sleep and because of these things Brooks seems to love sleep too. #canigetanamen

See, he was just as concerned as me until we got this figured out…

IMG_0490

Shea