essentials: sleeping the first three months
I would say that there is nothing that preoccupies new parents more than their baby's sleep. Why isn't my baby taking a nap? Why can't my baby sleep for more than 4 minutes when I put on a new episode of Nashville? Why does my baby looks like a demon with glowing eyes on the monitor?
Unfortunately, I can't answer any of these questions, but I CAN share what's worked for us to help Avvie take better naps and have longer stretches of uninterrupted sleep at night. Do you have gadgets you love? Leave them in the comments!
places to sleep
While Avvie sleeps every night in her crib, occasionally she takes her naps in other places. If you're pregnant, I'm sure someone has already shared the genius of Fisher-Price's Rock 'n Play with you. It -- yes -- rocks and also plays music, nature sounds or white noise. We make sure it's not rocking if she's sleeping, but when she's awake she loves the movement. It's also great for after she eats; since it's on an incline it helps her to spit up less. We started putting her in it almost from birth.
The Boppy Newborn Lounger has also become one of our favorite baby docking stations. We started using it when she was around a month, but I think that was only because we forgot we had it. If I need to pump and feed her at the same time, I pop her on this pillow right next to me. We'll also put it on the couch or the bed when we're having family hang out time. Again, it's on an incline, which is good for her digestion.
Her crib is where she spends most of her rest time. As I mentioned in the last post, she's been sleeping in there since we brought her home from the hospital. We bought this mattress from Buy Buy Baby (it's eligible for one of those 20% off coupons!) and also use a mattress protector underneath her sheets as well as a sheet saver on top. However, now that she's moving around a lot in her crib, the sheet saver isn't quite as useful because it only covers a small area. I found it was great in those first 6-8 weeks though, when she was still swaddled and didn't move as much.
I LOVE this mobile. Like the Rock 'n Play, it also plays music, nature sounds and white noise. The little woodland creatures rotate and there's also a projection of colorful shapes on the underside of the green dome. You can mix and match or have everything going at once. The best part is that it's wi-fi enabled, meaning we can control it from our phone from another room.
The Sleep Sheep was another one that I forgot we had until about three weeks ago, when she was 10 weeks. It's pretty rad: it plays everything from the sound of a heartbeat to whale noises, because, babies love whales? I don't know. But, if she's a little bit fussy when it's time to sleep, this definitely helps to calm her down.
Swaddles were a big part of Avvie's first 10 weeks. She slept in one for every nap and then at night. I loved the Summer Infant SwaddleMe version the best, but different babies like different ones, so you can always buy a few brands and see what works best for you. We stopped using the SwaddleMe when she started to bust out of them. Some mornings I'd wake up and she'd have both hands out and would look really confused, so we figured it was time. We switched to the Miracle Blanket for another three or so weeks, but I felt like I was never wrapping her up the right way and soon she was wiggling out of that one, too. Around the same time she rolled from her tummy to back, and we decided to go cold turkey from all swaddles. It was a rough five or so nights, but now she just sleeps in footie pajamas and seems to be loving it.
For some reason, I had always thought pacifiers were terrible for babies. ERRONEOUS. Our baby nurse recommended getting the Soothie type, which, if you take a peek at most babies, is probably what they're sucking on. They're cheap, you can find them at any pharmacy and, at least for my baby, they will stop her crying instantly a large majority of the time. I find them especially useful for when we're taking a trip in the stroller and she's unhappy about being buckled in. 90% of the time, as soon as I pop one in her mouth, she's content. They're also great at nap time, when she's having trouble falling asleep on her own. Sometimes, as soon as I put it in, her eyes glaze over and she's asleep in literally seconds. It's magical.
While she was still swaddled, we put her in a baby nightgown every night. And no, it wasn't just because I like saying the phrase baby nightgown. They're extremely useful at three AM when the dexterity required to unsnap a onesie has abandoned you like your last good hair day. I liked the ones from Carter's because they came with matching hats. Not that she ever ended up wearing them, but, hey, it's the thought that counts. After she rolled over and we stopped swaddling, we switched to footies for nighttime, since the nightgowns could possibly ride up and cause a suffocation hazard.
We got all of our bedding from RH Baby & Child. I knew I wanted a pink and grey theme for her nursery and RH gave us a ton of options. Also, I'm pretty sure she sleeps better knowing how much effort I put into decorating. Right?
I think that about wraps it up! What worked or works for your baby?