Now that I’m pregnant with baby number two, like any experienced mom I’m looking back at our parenting style and time with our first to learn from our mistakes. The first thing we focus on, of course, is the sleeping! Like any newborn, Brielle slowly built up better sleeping habits, going from 1-4 hour sessions to 7-9 hour ones. By 15 months she finally achieved those 11-12 hour “sleeping through the night” stretches that are so amazing. For all those current or soon-to-be sleep deprived mommy readers, here are some quick tips to get your baby to sleep, based on what I learned.
- Make sure their tummies are full. Once I figured out that Brielle was a “snacker” and did better with cluster feeding, her sleeping habits eventually became increasing better since she her tummy was more full. With this comes one piece of advice: try to avoid the dreaded nursing to sleep habit! It seems easy to just have them latch on, nurse and gently fall asleep so you can lay them down. This habit becomes tiresome on mom and delays baby’s ability to develop that coveted “falling asleep on their own” skill.
- Develop a nighttime routine. Try to stick to a range of time that is appropriate for baby and routinely do the same things before bed. Books are always a good option but at the very least create quiet time with low lighting and noise. Eventually these familiar cues will help calm down baby and get them ready with what happens next.
- Use a wearable sleepsack instead of a blanket. Our hospital gave us a sleepsack which we used from the beginning to help keep her warm, comfy and safe at night. We continued to use them and grew into the different stages and styles of sleepsacks for safe sleeping opportunities. Being zipped into her sack became Brielle’s familiar nighttime routine, which also helped her get ready for bed.
- Keep the room temperature consistent. Brielle has slept in 68-72 degrees in our home, no matter if it’s the middle of winter or the hot summer. On those REALLY cold winters we’d put a space heater in the hallway upstairs to help keep all our rooms regulated or put our ceiling fans on low in the summer.
- Dress them appropriately. Baby feet are notoriously FREEZING so make sure they have socks. For cold winter nights, get comfy fleece zip up pjs and cooler summers she wore light cotton zip ups or two pieces sets once she was older.
- Use a sound machine to cover any household noise. SOTD readers already know of my LOVE of our Cloud B Sleep Sheep. There are four sound settings but we love the “waves” noise the best. We have used it since Brielle was a newborn and now at almost 21 months old, it still goes on every night. We don’t put it on super loud, but loud enough so that we can still occupy the home with a toddler and her 7pm bedtime. We currently have it hung outside her door so we can creep up and hit the reset button, if needed.
That last noise muffling tip brings me to a BIG point new moms need to realize when making their registry–DON’T FORGET THE BATTERIES! When signing up for your store registry, make sure you check off the “batteries are welcome” option on the sheet. Go even one step further and make sure to add Duracell batteries to your registry so it’s clear which type and brand you trust for the items you’ve added.
Besides all those daytime entertaining toys that have movement or musical components, I always made sure our batteries were charged and stocked in our beloved sound machine for those precious nighttime hours! Before we went on our recent Disney trip, I had a big packing list for me and “to do” list for Derek. Number one on his list was to change the battery on our sleep sheep so we weren’t without it’s magical powers while away.
Honestly, I don’t even know why I did that as the Duracell AA batteries we’ve used in our sheep have lasted a long time! In fact, they say they *last longer in 99% of devices vs. the next leading competitive brand, and I believe it from experience! The over prepared side of me wanted to make sure everything for our trip was new and stocked. Now my mind will be at ease for plenty of sleep sheep filled nights knowing that we have our Duracell batteries inside! While we’re done with our family after 2, it’s good to know that should we pass along our sleep sheep in future years to another family, they will be able to enjoy its use based on what’s powering the device!