The first question anyone asks me when they know I have a new baby is “Are you getting any sleep?” and to be honest, I am. I think with baby number 2, sweet Everly, I’ve learned from some of my mistakes with Ranger and it has made a world of difference with her. So for you new mommas, here’s what’s worked for us, so you don’t have to wait for baby #2 to get it right.
**Disclaimer: Every baby is different, and this is just what has worked for us. I hope it works for you too, but if not, keep looking for sleep solutions that work for your baby. I used these books to formulate my own sleep solution: Secrets of the Baby Whisper and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child **
Both of my babies loved the swaddle! And I sware by the swaddle. They may “fight” it a little bit in the beginning, but it’s because they don’t know how to soothe themselves. The swaddle helps keeps their uncontrollable muscles contained and they can sleep more soundly for a longer time. So if they seem like they’re fighting it… give it some time. My babies may be fussy and I will swaddle them and they are instantly soothed and typically fall asleep shortly after.
We use the Ollie World Swaddle for night time and it’s by far the best one I’ve ever used. Everly has yet to break out of it as long as it’s tight enough. It also comes in adorable package AND a wash bag so all of your other clothing items don’t stick to the velcro when you wash it.
For nap times during the day I use the Love to Swaddle so she can have her hands close to her face which is a way babies self soothe.
Another swaddle I’ve seen, but yet to use that looks awesome is the Ergo Baby Swaddler. It looks like it would be hard one for baby to get out of and keep them soothed. I promise, it’s not cruel… you’re helping your baby by helping them sleep, rest and grow!
Photo: Ollie World Swaddle Website
2. Dock A Tot
I’ve used the Dock A Tot with both babies and I LOVE it. It’s in my top three items I recommend to expecting moms. It has truly made a difference in the way my babies sleep and have made transitions so much easier.
I have swaddled both babies and placed them in their Dock A Tot and they have felt secure and like they’re being held. I place it in the mini crib outside of our room (because Everly is such a noisy sleeper) and then when she moves to the big crib in her nursery I will put it in there. The crib seems so big and this will help her feel like she’s in a safe and familiar space. I love it to travel too. It makes them feel like they’re at home, no matter where they are.
FYI: I got the travel bag for it, the toy arch, and always get an extra cover (in case they spit up… we’ve used ours way more than once!)
Click here for safey information.
Click here for my full post on the Dock A Tot.
They’ve come out with some ADORABLE patterns!
Another key to sleep we’ve used with both kids is a sound machine. I only use the “white noise” setting for the kids. After reading all of the books, this was the one consistent suggestion. This not only simulates the sounds your baby hear in your womb, it also helps to buffer other sounds in the house. It also lets them know that it’s time to sleep. This is another easy way to help them feel more secure and familiar when you travel to take it with you.
The scariest thing about being a parent is when you first come home from the hospital and you put your baby to sleep, and you’re always checking to see if they’re still breathing. I did it with Ranger when we first came home multiple times a night, but then I got the Owlet, and sleep changed. I was no longer getting up to check his breath, I knew I could sleep soundly and would be alerted if anything changed. So when we had Everly it was a no brainer to use it with her. We actually upgraded to the 2.0 version. I don’t know what I would do without it. If you’re worried about using the Dock A Tot, this could help ease your fears. It also made transition to the crib a little less scary having them farther away knowing that I would be alerted if something was wrong and I wouldn’t have to keep sneaking in to check on them.
The best piece of advice I could give would be to stick to a routine. Every night try and set a routine to let them know it’s bedtime. I would suggest starting this around 8 weeks. We start by giving a bath (using soap every 3 days when they’re younger), then read stories and rocking. Now this is all with Ranger these days so Everly comes back down stairs and hangs with us for a few minutes and then we put her down… but she knows the drill. But just find whatever works for you and make it “bedtime”. Also, try and stick to the same time every night. I promise the adjustment to your schedule will pay off in the end. I have amazing sleepers and it’s worth the sacrifice to keep them on schedule so everyone is happy!
6. Crying is okay.
The last thing I think has helped, is to let Everly cry a little bit. She sometimes puts herself back to sleep and sometimes I have to get her a pacifier. But after 6-8 weeks I would try a pacifier while I warmed up her milk and she would go right back to sleep, so then I realized she wasn’t hungry so she would go back to sleep. As a new mom I always thought Ranger was hungry so I just tried to feed him every time and then he always expected it. With Everly I really let her wein herself from feedings and it has worked for us this time. My other bit of advice on this, is to try and leave them in the bed and just offer them a pacifier to self soothe. Try not to pick them up every time and rely on you to put them back to sleep. I’m the first person who wants to cuddle their baby, but if they learn to sleep on their own they will in turn sleep better, be a happier baby and you will be a happier, better parent.
I hope some, if not all of this helps some of y’all! I know the desperation of wanting more sleep and maybe this will provide you with some more shut eye. Maybe try a combination of your own.
You can shop some of my suggestions below:
What are your sleep tricks?