Let’s talk about sleep. One thing I have learned by having kids is that sleep is extremely precious. We had a system for sleep when Alex was first born. It wasn’t pretty and kinda messed up but we all got sleep.
Alex grew out of his Halo swaddle very early – he is crazy tall. Unfortunately we did not have a suitable replacement swaddle on hand. Most parents would go out and buy the next size up in the swaddle he likes. We are not most parents. We are stupid. Learn from our mistakes.
In our sleep deprived state, we thought the swaddles that James loved when he was little would work. Alex HATED those swaddles. Why it took us 2 months to figure out he hated them, I cannot say. All I can say is we were stupid. Anyway, we spent 2 months trying to figure out what system would work for him. Nothing seemed to help. Trying to figure out an environment that someone, who cannot communicate with you other than crying, wants is extremely difficult.
I turned to some mommy friends of mine for help, and clarity. They are not sleep deprived. They are smart. They are our lifeline. They are our savior. They gave us some swaddles to try. In the heap of swaddles I found our savior swaddle – the Halo swaddle in the next size up. Last night we put him in that swaddle. He slept from 10:00 PM to 6:30 AM! No grunting. No shimmying. No crying. Just sweet sweet sleep. The entire house got sleep we haven’t had in months. All I can say is it was amazing.
Alex and Louie cuddling together for a nap. I am right next to them watching over.
The next step for us is transitioning to his crib in his room. Previously he was in a bassinet in our room. Wish us luck on that! Side note: I highly recommend this and suggest you look into the 4th trimester. Not only is it a life savior understanding why your child is acting the way they are, it helps you adjust what you’re doing to help them get what they need.
Here are some things we found our kids need in order to sleep. Maybe this list will help you.
1. Swaddle – both our kids needed some sort of swaddle to sleep. Obviously take the swaddle away when they learn how to roll over. However, until then, soak in the sweet sleep the swaddle gives them and you. If you have a child who doesn’t like a swaddle – I pray for you.
2. White noise machine – not only does this lull our kids to sleep, it drowns out most (if not all) noise in our house. Meaning mom and dad can enjoy time to themselves once the kids are asleep. This is the one we have. I highly recommend it. It works plugged in or with batteries. It plays continuously too.
3. The perfect temperature in their room – it took us a long time to figure out what temperature our kids needed in their rooms. Each room has a different flow of heat or cool air. Adjusting vents, figuring out PJs, eventually blankets, etc. took a lot of time. However, when we got the perfect environment, our kids slept longer and much better.
4. A lovey – James had a paci when he was younger. When he turned about 13 months we transitioned the paci to a lovey. We picked out a small Ewok from Build-A-Bear. It’s not a bear from there but a companion animal. So it is much smaller. Easy to take places or have in the car if needed. James transitioned very well. We are extremely thankful.
5. In James’ case he needed complete darkness. We blocked out all light. We used blinds and curtains. When that wasn’t enough, we put cardboard on his window. When we turned a year, we took away the cardboard and never looked back. Pretty sure our neighbors thought we were insane. James got sleep. That’s all that matters.