Hi Everyone, Happy Friday!
I’ve been planning this post for a while, and I’m so excited to share the tips and tricks I’ve learned the last year on how to get a good night’s sleep when you have a baby, or in my case, an infant, in the house!
I learned these tips the hard way — by losing out on sleep, trying new tactics, and making adjustments. Put these tips into practice, and I guarantee you’ll see improvement. Now, I don’t like to over-promise and under-deliver, so I’ll just be upfront — these tips are not full-proof … babies, like all people, can be unpredictable from one day to the next! But … when practiced consistently, these tips will almost always help get your little one in a sleepin’ mood. So … without further ado … here you go!
Tip One: Routine, Routine, Routine …
If there’s one single thing I would tell you to do for your baby, it’s to get into a routine! Babies thrive on predictability … it’s comforting when things are familiar in this brand-new, big, overwhelming world! For Livi, this means an after-dinner bath, post-bath bonding time (usually some tickling and giggling), and a bed-time story.
Think about it — what do you like to do to unwind after a long day and get in a “relax and sleep” mind-set? If you’re like most people, it’s a soothing shower or bath, some down-time doing whatever activity you like (and for babies there’s nothing better than interacting with mom, dad, or siblings), and maybe a final wind-down in bed with a not-so-engrossing book! Babies are no different — your little angel is just a mini-version of you and your partner — they like the same things!
The Bath. It’s soothing, it melts away stress, and just makes you feel calm and relaxed. Baby’s love it too. Indulge baby afterwards with some yummy smelling body lotion (Livi adores her Aveeno Vanilla Lavender lotion :))! This is also a great time to cuddle, tickle, and giggle. Enjoy this time — one day you’ll miss it dearly. My own mother tells me this all the time, and now as a mother myself, I can see 20 years into the future, and I know she’s right (mom, are you reading this? yup, I said you’re right!).
Bedtime Story. When babies are this young, the particular story you choose is unimportant — it’s just the routine! That being said, do be mindful of what baby may like (you don’t want to be reading Tolstoy to to a 10-month old!) Livi has a few favorites — this gorgeous copy of the Velveteen Rabbit, which my mother actually purchased for me when I was a baby (and then re-furbished it for me as a gift for Livi 🙂 ). Livi loves it so much because the illustrations are absolutely beautiful. Another option is a music book that Jacob frequently reads her — there’s a song that plays in the background as you read along. He tells her, “press it honey!” and she dutifully presses the music button as he reads along, at the end of the song, he says it again, and they go like that back and forth until he makes it through the whole book. It’s seriously the cutest stuff I’ve ever seen 🙂
But remember, don’t get too caught up in finding the perfect book, this is really all about establishing a routine. After a short time, the bedtime story will signal to baby what comes next … lights out!
Tip Two: Comfy Bedding
As I said above, babies are just like us! They want a welcoming, comfortable place to sleep too! For baby, this just means a soft, warm, soothing environment. Purchase some pretty bed sheets, put a colorful mobile over baby’s crib, and if baby is old enough, purchase a baby pillow!
About a month ago, despite adhering to a schedule, Livi started having trouble sleeping through the night. On nights when we’d stay up late, we could hear her rustling around in her crib — it was like she was just uncomfortable. And then we thought to ourselves, maybe she needs a pillow! So, we got one from Little Sleepy Head — and Livi loves it! Not only is she sleeping better at night, but she literally carries her little elephant pillow around with her all day!
We loved how Little Sleepy Head makes pillows with two different levels of fill — we got Livi the toddler pillow with less fill to start, and it’s perfect! And these elephants?!?! So adorable. Livi loves elephants, so the pillowcase was an easy pick. You can check out all their pillows and cases here … and you can use code MYDEAL15 to receive 15% off your entire order!
Tip Three: Little Helpers
Ok, so …. there are some nights when Livi is just not havin’ it. She doesn’t want to sleep, we can adhere to the schedule, we can rock her, cuddle her, promise here boatloads of candy the next day (kidding) … but she just won’t go down. On these nights, it helps to have a few key products at the ready to help get you through the night.
Baby Swing. Ok, this thing is a life-saver! If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you probably saw my post on the top twelve products you need for baby’s first year, here. This puppy made the list, and it’s by far one of the best products Jacob and I purchased, hands down. It’s magic — baby goes in . . . baby goes to sleep … every … single … time. No joke. So if the crib is just not getting the job done, this works in a pinch for difficult nights.
Baby Einstein Sea Dreams Soother. This is another great product that we started using when Livi was about 6 months old. It looks like a mini-aquarium, and it hooks inside baby’s crib. It plays music or ocean sounds, lights up, and little fish “swim around” inside. Once turned on, the music or sounds gradually decrease over time until it completely turns off about 20 minutes later — with the hope of lulling baby to sleep. It really does work! Livi really enjoys it, particularly the ocean sounds — what can I say, her daddy is a surf-loving Californian — the ocean is already in her bones! The best part — it comes with a remote control. So, if baby wakes up in the middle of the night, you can use the remote to turn it on and stay out baby’s view — 9 times out of 10, Livi fell right back to sleep!
And there you have it ladies — my three tips for getting baby (and by extension you) a good night’s sleep! What tips and tricks have you discovered with your little one? Send me a note or share in the comments section — I’d love to hear from you, and give them a try!
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