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Baby Sleep Essentials

7:35 AM

When I was pregnant, I went through all my favorite bloggers who had been pregnant and read through all their pregnancy posts + new baby posts.  I just had no idea what world I was coming into so couldn't get enough of reading about other's experiences.  I thought it was really helpful to read through their lists of their "must haves" for newborns and I also asked my sister and my friends what their favorite items were.  Now that Layla is 5 months I wanted to share our favorites + essentials and hope that my posts are helpful to other new moms and mom-to-be's!  I thought I'd start off with sleep essentials as any new moms know, the sleep (or lack of) is the most crucial part of having a newborn.

Our sleep experience: the beginning was just like it is with any newborn, waking up every 1-3 hours to eat but starting at about 8 weeks she was sleeping 6 hours a night, waking up once to eat.  At 12 weeks we dropped her middle of the night feeding and ever since then she's been sleeping 9-10 hours a night.  We just went through her 4 month sleep regression which lasted about 2 weeks.  We were waking up at least 5-8 times a night which luckily were just cries for her pacifier so at least I don't have to stay up to nurse her but still brutal nonetheless for me.  Thank goodness we are past that and she is sleeping well again.  The one thing that I've always followed (advice from my sister) is to always make sure not to rock her, hold her or feed her to sleep.  She always goes down awake but sleepy and has learned to fall asleep on her own since she was born.  I feel like that plus the essentials listed below are what has helped her become a good sleeper.

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1. SwaddleMe - Layla was a teeny one when she was born at 5lbs and because of some problems at the beginning she was losing a lot of weight (it is normal for newborns to lose weight in the first few days but she was losing a lot more than normal) and to find anything to fit her was impossible.  The SwaddleMe wraps are like a pocket for the baby and with the velcro you can just wrap it around them until it fits.  Because of how small she was, no other swaddles would fit as well as these.  These were perfect for about the first 2 months until she out grew them (and they also shrunk in the dryer so they were getting smaller as she was getting bigger!).  They do come in different sizes but once she outgrew them I wanted to try other options.  A warning about these: the velcro is strong!  We mostly use the aden + anais blankets (I like the bamboo ones better than the muslin ones) which are super soft and a bit delicate.  If the velcro got caught onto the blankets it basically pulled all the threads of the blanket and ruined the blanket. 

2. aden + anais Easy Swaddle Blanket - We then moved on to the these swaddles which I love because it has snaps and it comes in pretty colors and patterns.  We stopped using these when she started to be able to move her arms more and would try to break out of her swaddle.

3. HALO SleepSack - At the same time as the a+a easy swaddles, I also ordered these sleepsacks which we are still using today.  The HALO SleepSack has the ability to swaddle with the arms in or out so when she started breaking through her swaddle I just switched it to arms out and she's been happy with it. 

4. Cloud b Sound Machine - It's basically a white noise machine but in a cute stuffed giraffe!  My sister got this for us and I just love it.  Every night I put Layla in her crib and turn this on and let it run for 45 minutes which is on a timer so it just turns off automatically.  She's always asleep within minutes of turning it on but I like to leave it on for the long period of time as I think it helps keep her in her deep sleep.

5. Old Navy Sleep Dresses - Layla loves to go crazy with her arms when she sleeps and she would always wake up to scratches on her face so I bought her these sleeping dresses to put her in as they have little mitts on the sleeves that you just turn over to cover her hands.  You would think more places would make these kinds of pajamas but Old Navy is the only place that I've been able to find them! The dresses are so easy to put on and great for diaper changes. 

6. Soothie Pacifier - Nightime pacifier use can reduce the risk of SIDS so Layla has gone to bed with a pacifier since she was about 2 months old.  The hospital gave us these kind of pacifiers so that's what we stuck with and she loves these. 

7. Honest Diapers - We've used Huggies, Pampers and now Honest Diapers and I do love the Honest ones the best.  Not only because they are eco-friendly and they come in cute patterns but they fit Layla really well and she can sleep 9-10 hours a night in one and not have any leaks.

8. Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Michael Jackson - At nap time I like to leave music on for her because she can't sleep in silence during the day.  I think it's because she's so used to our dogs running around, me working in the office with my music on or my husband and I talking that when I put her in her crib to nap, it's too quiet and she can't sleep.  I love the lullaby renditions of popular music and Rockabye Baby makes the best albums.  The Michael Jackson album is my favorite and we also love Coldplay!

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5 comments

  1. How do you put your baby to sleep w/o rocking, nursing, or holding her? How long do you let her cry it out? At what age did you implement this policy? My baby is 3 wks old and often cries to be held while she sleeps during the day. She cries when we put her down or if she wakes up in her bassinet. I sometimes rock her to sleep, gently put her down, and hope she doesn't wake up crying.

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    1. oh naps are hard for us too but if she wakes up during her nap and I can tell she's still tired, I give her the pacifier, pat her tummy and make the "shhhh" noise. I try not to interact with her like talk to her or pick her up as I don't want to wake her up fully and just keep her in the crib. If she is getting more upset and I can tell that she's not going to go to sleep then I just pick her up and take her to another room until she gets tired again. It can take a bit of time but watching for sleep cues like eye rubbing and yawning and putting her in the crib as soon as I see that she is getting tired has helped a lot.

      Layla has always been good at sleeping when I put her in her crib so we haven't had to do the cry it out, she mostly has trouble staying asleep so that's why I started to do the white noise or the music during her naps to keep her asleep.

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    2. You're so lucky that Layla is a good sleeper! Which blogs did you follow for baby stuff? Now that I'm a new mom, I'm always interested in reading other people's stories on new babies.

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  2. Hi Tiffany, has Layla been able to sleep through long stretches at night? I have a small newborn, she was 4.7lbs at birth but now she's 8lbs (2 mos old). She is now sleeping between 3-4hrs stretches at night but was wondering what your experience has been since Layla was pretty small.

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    1. I wrote about our sleep experience in the 2nd paragraph in case you missed it :) But yes she does sleep lots now 9-10 hours but when she was 1-2 months she slept about the same as your baby. She started sleeping 6 hours around 8-9 weeks, waking up once to eat and then at 12 weeks we dropped that middle of the night feeding so she started to sleep 9-10 hours at night.

      I'm sure you'll get there soon! :) Things got so much easier when she reached 3 months.

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