sleep training essentials

sleep training essentials
so baby henry is now a bona fide sleep through the night baby. typically he only wakes once a night for a feeding and then goes back to sleep. the night before last he went down at 7:30, woke a little after 4am for a feeding (which he pretty much slept through), then went back to sleep until 8am. i’m bragging here. a typical night is more like down about 6:30, wakes up a couple of times and finally settles by 8pm, then wakes around 1 or 2am for a feeding, back to sleep until about 6:30am when he gets up. but the amazing sleep until 4am then again until 8am thing happens a couple of times a week. mind you, this boy still pretty much refuses to nap, and getting him to sleep at night is always a cry fest, but it’s fine by me as long as he keeps up the long night sleeps. i feel incredibly proud of this, because everything else with the boy has been difficult.
here are my essential things for sleep training.
  1. the no cry sleep solution by elizabeth pantley. i love this book. it has a lot of great ideas for sleep training, most of which worked for my colicky baby. i highly recommend it.
  2. Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit. this thing is amazing!! we call it his major tom suit, because he looks like a little space man. or a little toasty marshmallow that you want to squeeze and squeeze! it really does keep him from jerking himself awake and you never have to worry about him tossing blankets off, this thing keeps him plenty warm without any blankets.
  3. a sleep sheep. these guys are honestly the sweetest things. they are super duper soft and play little heartbeat or ocean noises. the travel sleep sheep has a little strap on the back which we use to keep him propped in the crib. some nights we find baby gently petting him.
  4. a rocking chair. we have a sweet little rocker that we scored at the thrift store, but it sits really low, so getting up out of it with a heavy sleeping baby in your arms is tough. i have long lusted after these eames-style rockers.
  5. a sound machine. we got this awesome sound machine/projector and we love it. it plays lullabys, mozart, white noise, ocean sounds and rain sounds. i love that it has a timer feature or NOT. a sound machine shutting off will always wake my baby. the best thing about this is the projector, it projects an ocean scene on the ceiling and the dimness of the blue light is like a starry sky. baby loves to stare at it, much better than a mobile.
  6. a baby monitor. so they make these snazzy monitors now that have a special technology that only picks up certain “awake” noises and puts them through instead of just constant broadcasting. it also has a “vibrate” feature and is portable so you can take it with you outside if baby is snoozing in his crib. pretty neat-o.
  7. a bottle warmer. although nursing, i’ve found that bottles are better for night feedings as they keep my baby snoozey. i thought that nursing at night would remind him of sleeping in bed with me and make him wonder why he wasn’t in our bed. i give him bottles at night and we nurse when he wakes up in the morning. i got this munchkin bottle warmer and i hate it. hate it, hate it. it is messy, either there is too much water and it doesn’t heat or not enough and it is melting the bottom of the bottle. it also leaks water. and the timer still ticks when it is not plugged in, many times i have waited the two minutes thinking it was heating only to discover it was not plugged in. not to mention the timer makes a loud ding sound. i wish i had read the reviews and bought a better warmer.
  8. one of the tips i love most from the no cry sleep solution is to make the nursery a place baby (and you) want to be. we recently rearranged to make it more cozy and put in things like a new rug and soft flannel sheet for the crib. i bought this aromatherapy spray, it has chamomile & lavender and smells really pretty. i have no idea if it helps baby sleep, but my boyfriend likes the way it smells so it’s not a total loss. we also put in blackout blinds, although i make sure to open them in the daytime so baby knows the difference between night & day, they do help to keep streetlights and sensor lamps from waking him. i got these paper ones from amazon (6 of them for $38!) and they do the trick.
  9. a cozy pair of pjs for yourself. my men’s flannel pajamas keep me warm on my trips down the hall to feed the baby.
  10. and last but not least, a pair of slippers with a little cushion for standing over the crib. i love minnetonka slippers.

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