These past two weeks have been absolutely loco! My work life has been so hectic which has made me want to do nothing but be a blob when I get home. But then I see that smushy little face running at me when I open the door and it’s like work never even happened, in the best way.
The small amount of time I get to spend with our little guy when I get home is so priceless. It’s great being able to feed him dinner every night and put him to bed. I know my hubby wishes he could be around more for that stuff, but Adulting is hard, and schedules don’t always work in our favour.
On the lucky days for my hubby, he is able to join in with the bedtime festivities for the little man before going for a run or crashing on the couch with me for the rest of the night.
The “S” word…
Baby’s need sleep. Parents need sleep. Everyone needs sleep. I think the thing I envy most about my son is sleep. The kid gets two naps a day and then 10-12 hours of sleep a night. No wonder he’s so cheerful!
We get so caught up in sleep training methods. You know, the debate between attachment parenting and cry-it-out. It’s a never ending battle. Frankly though. Whatever you choose to try or do, it’s ultimately your call. You’re the mama or the papa, and it’s your baby.
If you want to read more about sleep training, check out my previous post about the topic. I break down the five main methods, what worked for us, and also some other really great info for you to consider when making your choice.
What I really want to talk about is baby gear. Specifically, baby gear that helps get our little ones into that oh so peaceful slumber. Aka, the magic hours. Many of us think more about how we’re getting our little ones to sleep mainly, but how much do we talk about items we love for bedtime?
When you think about bedtime for yourself, think about the things that make you drift off the best. Is it the sound of a fan? Maybe a certain texture of blanket or maybe even the material of your jammies. Regardless, we all have our things.
So how is it any different for our munchkins? It isn’t. Babies know what they like, and they certainly know what they don’t like.
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Start ’em young…
If you are in the newborn stage, you and your baby are still figuring each other out, and that’s okay! Do you know what helped us the most when Peyton was really young? Keeping to a schedule. He is so about that schedule now, it’s like he can tell when there’s something not quite right. Know what that schedule enforces? Bedtime.
So other than putting pen to paper, let’s talk about the most popular sleep aid. The swaddle.
If you don’t know what a swaddle is, you’re either living under a rock or I just plain don’t know what to tell you. But if you really need me to break it down for you, here goes. Swaddling goes back hundreds of years, maybe thousands, whatever, it’s a long time. Swaddeling is how you wrap a baby for them to feel comforted, safe and secure, which aids them in sleep as it feels like they are still in the womb.
There are so many different ways you could go with a swaddle. Muslin, cotton, wrap versions with velcro, and some with zippers. Try out a few and see what works for you.
We tried plain old muslin swaddling, but honestly, after enough all hour of the night wakeups, it got to be taxing to unwrap, and properly rewrap in the dark. I’m sure it sounds like woe is me. But you try it when you’ve been up for days on end. Trying to human is disorienting enough, let alone trying to wrap a baby burrito while you’re up to your elbows in meconium and just want so badly to go back to bed and pretend that shit-astrophe never happened.
I wasn’t speaking from example there at all was I? Wink wink.
In our home, when he was really young, the thing we used most on Peyton was a Woombie. It was so perfect, especially for those nighttime wakeups and feedings aforementioned. No fumbling around trying to make sure everything is tucked and wrapped just so. All we had to do was zip him back in and we were good to go. Also, when the temperature was cooler, we could layer with a sleeper, or even a muslin swaddle within it and he would be snug as a baby bug.
If you have mastered the conventional swaddle wrapping situation, all the power to ya! I just like easy. Easy is good. Scratch that, easy is mandatory in our household, haha!
Woombie, as a company has quite a few swaddles to choose from. Anything from swaddles to suit your newborn baby, right up to the sleepsack phase.
I love that with these types of swaddles our little guy was still free to play with his hands to self-soothe at night. Also, the peace of mind that he wouldn’t unravel was something that frankly helped my husband and I sleep better at night. Eventually… Because the first few weeks as a parent you always think the worst.
Two-way zippers make diaper changes much much easier. This means your baby’s arms are still secured while you are dealing with the messy stuff so you can get in and get out in a timely-ish manner.
Another thing, swaddling promotes back sleeping. I’m sure you already knew that though, need I say more? Woombie’s also come in so many cute colors and designs. We had about four on the go in case of “accidents” because face it. They’re going to happen.
To this day, with Peyton being over a year old, we couldn’t possibly do bedtime, or naptime for that matter without a sleep sac.
The reason why we still use it is that it helps let him know that it’s bedtime and not just hang out in the crib time. I know, he’s a baby. But if you use a playpen or if you ever use their crib to let them play while you’re doing chores or whatever, it’s nice to have the distinction. We feel like sleep sac’s help with that.
Know what else is great about sleep sacs? When your little one starts rolling or trying to poke limbs out of the crib, you won’t have to worry about legs getting stuck and twisted between the bars. Especially when they’re so young and don’t know how to get unstuck.
Having a bedtime routine is just as important. If you make an effort to take the same steps every night, in the same order for bedtime, they will get used to it.
Funny story. When Peyton was about 4 months old, I was giving him his bedtime bath and I noticed that he was lifting his head up when I was coming in to wash his fluffy head. Every night, like clockwork, he knew that I would wash his hair first. So every night, in the bath, he’d hold his head up for me to wash his hair. They’re smart little buggers!
Our routine for naps is: take pants off, diaper change, sleep sac, crib. Then bedtime is the bath, massage, diaper, sleep sac and a onesie, bottle, crib. Simple. But he’s been used to this since he was really young. For more about our schedule, you can read this post.
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