i’ve knocked on wood a couple times in the last week. writing this post is kinda freaking me out and i’ve become quite superstitious. as if me giving advice on my baby’s sleep schedule will suddenly revert him back to a terrible sleeper. but i’ll be courageous and push through bc superstition is bizarre and i’ve never really believed in it and well, i want to share my advice on sleeping, dangit!
Let me first begin by saying: THIS IS MY BABY’S SCHEDULE. every baby is different. how many times have you heard that statement since becoming a mom? lol but I do believe a few simple steps and a few simple pointers can actually work for any baby. Another point I must make is that I’m BIG on intuition. I believe God gave us a true dose of intuition the minute we conceived our children, every mother and every father and therefore, we really do know what is best for baby. So, read this post with the light, fun, and truly entertaining purpose that it is intended, and raise your glass to our babies sleeping through the night, bc honestly, that’s what we all hope and pray (beg!) for every night as we lay those sweet babes down to sleep (no matter what age!)
ok, here’s some backstory. Stone is a good sleeper. Always has been. Can sleep in a sun-filled room with the tv blasting and his parents in full-blown conversation. He loves to be swaddled, for the most part, although he does love to work his hands up to his face and is pretty good at it. He sucked his thumb briefly in those first couple of weeks, but hasn’t done it since. We have never used a paci, although not opposed, just haven’t needed it.
When I was pregnant, my friend Tori told me about the SNOO. She went on and on about the SNOO. I was very sick during my pregnancy and while many women love to daydream about when baby arrives and they spend hours filling their registries with the essentials and all the most adorable accoutrements, I never got into that. Grant actually made our registry. I couldn’t even think about it. From being sick to being stressed at work, to worrying about labor to moving house, I had zero brain space to pick out bibs.
But that conversation with Tori kept creeping back into my head. She said the SNOO saved her and her newborn baby in the sleep department. She kept saying he slept soooo good. I didn’t even know what that meant and I truly didn’t appreciate the conversation for what it was worth, but I did remember that SNOO = sleep.
So I told Grant about it and after picking him up off the floor after seeing the price, we decided to retire the idea of the SNOO. but only for a little bit. Grant somehow checked the SNOO website on this random day and it was on sale (FOR $750!!!!). He asked if we should just go ahead and get it, and I said, go for it (having no real idea what this meant for our lives . . . ). The SNOO arrived a week before Stone arrived, and literally the night I was induced, Grant had randomly pulled the SNOO out of the box and assembled it.
So fast forward to today. The SNOO is pricey, but IT IS WORTH IT. I don’t know newborn life without it, so please know that I’m so extremely spoiled by this thing and it is worth every penny.
That’s tip number one: get yourself a SNOO. The best way to describe it: a motorized bassinet that has a built-in swaddle, built-in white noise machine, and 5 soothing settings. We started using the SNOO around week 4, when I felt like Stone had gained some weight and would fit nicely in the swaddle. If Stone starts to wiggle, or gets restless, the SNOO knows. it knows everything. if he starts to cry, the SNOO knows. the soothing settings change based on his movements and cries. Usually, Stone is just restless, and the SNOO rocks him right back to sleep. If Stone is actually hungry or just wants his mom, the SNOO will go through all the sooth settings and eventually shut off the bassinet completely. This is our cue to get baby. It takes like maybe 4 minutes (if that) to go through all the settings, so don’t worry, he’s not crying for long. the sooth settings just give him a chance to fall back asleep on his own – and he usually does.
We have learned so much about Stone over the last six weeks of using the SNOO, and we rarely even put Stone in his SNOO if he’s still hungry or needs a diaper change. so the need to go get Stone out of the SNOO because of crying has happened only a handful of times.
Tip number two: put SNOO in a dark room. Ok, so we had Stone in our bedroom for the first 6 weeks of his life. We don’t have curtains in there, which is fine at night, but for daytime naps, he would sleep in the bright sunny room. By 6 weeks, I decided it was time to move the SNOO into his nursery, where we have black out curtains. Game changer. His daytime naps have been amazing. he sleeps the full nap and honestly could sleep longer if I didn’t wake him up.
Tip number three: make naptime consistent. (disclaimer: I am home all day with my baby. I have the luxury of making a schedule and sticking to it. We rarely go out. And if we do go out, his naptimes do get interrupted and we pay for it at night. So please know that this advice is based on a stay at home mom who can be very strict with her schedule. hats off to all the moms who have amazing childcare providers that keep their babies on schedule and love them all day long!! ugh, those are angels on earth am i right?!) I used to let Stone nap anywhere. Usually in the living room, with the tv on, lights on, etc. etc. This worked great for us while he was really young. By the 5-6 week mark, I was ready to give him the ultimate sleeping environment, which was actually more of a sacrifice for me than him. It took some adjusting and discipline, especially walking up the steps to put him in his SNOO, but man, it’s worth it. SIDE NOTE: I love a baby napping on my chest. When the iron strikes and Stone falls asleep on me, I do soak it in. Every single nap doesn’t HAVE to be in his nursery. BUT it does help with the full night sleep. SO when you are weighing the pros and cons, just know that there’s a HUGE pro to snuggling and napping with babe, but the con could be he has a harder time going to sleep at night. Remember, this is Stone’s story – your baby is different and lovely and beautiful and something different probably works for them. PS: The reason it could be considered a con is that Stone doesn’t sleep as long and as uninterrupted in my arms. Naps in the SNOO are 1.5 hours. When he’s in my arms, he does a good 30 minutes before he wakes up. So, that’s the difference from a SNOO nap.
Tip number four: Moms On Call. Ahh instagram. Thank you. One day my friend Brittney posted about this app called: Moms On Call. She was sharing about how well her daughter slept because of this app and even though Stone was sleeping great, I was super curious. So I bought it, and started following the schedule for his age the next day. It was actually quite similar to the schedule we were already following, but it included a bunch of tips and tricks to help as well. When I first downloaded it, I was on the 0-7 week schedule. about a week of that and it was time to transition to the next age group (which was scary bc i had JUST nailed the other schedule) We are on the 8-16 weeks schedule right now. It maps out the day from the first feeding (7A) to the last feeding (7P), and all the naps, playtime and bathtime in between. LOVE IT. worth the money in my book. Right now he eats at 7A, 10A, 1P, 4P, 7P (every three hours) and naps at 8:30A, 11:30A, 2:30P, 5:30P (for 1.5 hours each nap) & 8P to 4-5A.
Tip number five: Babytracker. My friend Rachael told me about this app while I was pregnant, and again I didn’t fully appreciate it’s power. I have been tracking Stone’s feedings, diapers and naps since day one (the hospital forces you to track diapers and feedings, on paper (ugh), so I was already in the habit when we got home). Now if you love to track things, this will help you majorly. This is how I can say with confidence that Stone sleeps 7-10 hours every night. Without the app, I wouldn’t know left from right, up from down, because the days seriously blend together. I track how much he eats during the day too – this helps me put him down to sleep after that last bedtime feeding knowing he ate good all day and there’s a slim chance he’ll get hungry in the middle of the night. It also reminds me what side he should be nursing on each feeding because how in the world am i supposed to remember otherwise? I’m no superwoman!
Tip number six: bedtime routine. Yes, we finally have one of these. Took us 6 weeks, so don’t put pressure on yourself if you still have a young babe and no real routine. We start with a bath (Grant does this mostly; it’s their time to bond and I love it!) and then a nice clean diaper, a nice warmer sleeper, coconut oil and lavender oil on his feet and legs and then his final bedtime feeding. Sometimes this feeding is an hour long. I usually read him a book while he eats and then he goes to bed. Bathtime starts at 6:30P, feeding is from 7-8pm and by 8pm he’s in bed. I don’t start hearing him over the monitor until between 4-5am. Then I change him and feed him (for about 10 minutes) and then he sleeps again until 7am. And that’s when our day begins!
Tip number seven: grace. give yourself and your baby grace. Stone loves to sleep. He’s not much into this “playtime” stuff the “moms on call” app speaks of. He’s most alert (re: fussy) from 4-6:30PM (thank god, this is when Grant is home) and we do tummy time and HE ROLLS OVER for us (still in disbelief my baby is rolling over) and we sing and dance and do all the things until bathtime. everyday is different and i have to give myself grace. Stone is a human being with needs and those needs can change day to day. as much as I wish life was planned out, that’s unrealistic. so take the structure, love the structure but be okay with a deviation here and there.
So, overall, this is how my 10-week baby has slept 7-10 hours at night since he was 6 weeks old. I really believe that these tips are what works for Stone! If we didn’t have the SNOO, I honestly don’t know what life would be like and I don’t want to think about it lol it’s a luxury item but it has allowed us to get some sleep and therefore, I believe it’s worth it.
What are some tips that work for you and your babe? I would LOVE to know, seriously! Another small tip: we use disposable diapers at night because my other friend Rachael said they are more absorbent than cloth diapers (which we use during the day). So that might also help him sleep through the night, who knows?!
Here’s Stone’s week in review! He’s 10 weeks today and weighs: 12lbs on the dot!
A couple of cute things: his back is ticklish. I found this out while nursing him today, SO CUTE. My boy is ticklish! ahhh. ALSO, he truly is rolling over. I love it and I’m so proud of him. Smiles all the time. OH, and I took away his favorite toy – my hair! haha. Chopped 10 inches off and I feel like a new woman! My hair hasn’t been this short in FOREVER.