HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all the beautiful mommies out there! Being a mommy is a 24/7 job. I hope your day if filled with love and happiness, but not just today every day!
Here’s something special for Mother’s day. Our secret sleep solution…
My little one slept in a bassinet until 4 months, of course waking every 2 hours to breastfeed. Then he outgrew his bassinet and we transferred him into a small crib that fit into our room. Yes, call me crazy but I’m one of those moms that will stand and check if he’s breathing while he’s sleeping so he had to sleep next to me. We decided that we would try to do sleep training because we heard it really works and some of my friends’ babies were doing really well with it. I kept pushing it back though, saying we would do it next week or the week after but for us we couldn’t find a perfect time. With sleep training you have to have stability, and we were constantly in the process of finding a good nanny. Besides, I was also balancing school so I wasn’t home all the time. When I finally decided to try it out at 6 months I felt like it was too late. I read about how infant’s separation anxiety peaks at 5.5 to 6 months, so we decided to wait a couple of more weeks. Honestly, there wasn’t a perfect time to start and I think hubby and I were starting to get frustrated; our little one was taking over our bed. One night when I was exhausted and my husband decided to put our little one to sleep, he decided to put him on our bed, and he fell asleep right away. He was about 4 months. We stacked pillows everywhere and let him sleep. Transferring him wasn’t an option because he would wake up right away so we decided to co-sleep, it was easier on me too because then I could just feed him and go back to sleep. Little did I know it was going to be a hard journey to change this habit.
At six months when we began to introduce solids, my husband and I decided we wanted our bed back. We put his crib next to our bed and tried to sleep train. Sleep training lasted five minutes. I couldn’t let him cry. Cry out method was horrible. It was just plain torture. So we had to do something else. We started to put him down in the crib and teach him it was time to go to sleep. We would do a routine. Always starting at 7pm. First, was bath time (not every day of course because babies’ skin is too sensitive), feeding, a book, and then music. I would lie next to him and pretend I was sleeping. It took maybe a week but then he understood that once I closed my eyes it was time for sleep. We played music on his mobile but as he got older we turned on Pandora lullabies. Jewel was his favorite singer, and still is. As soon as he fell asleep I slipped away. As he became older and stole my pillow from me around 9 months it became easier. He knew the routine and he knew it was bedtime. Once I started to decrease breastfeeding, especially night feedings we transferred him to his own room and to a big crib. We started getting him used to the big crib by first playing in there and then napping. Finally when he was ready to sleep there by himself we decorated the room. His love of cars made it easy. We threw car decals onto the walls, a car picture, and a car night light. We added music and he was ready to sleep on his own. The routine stayed the same and I still pretended I was sleeping when I put him to bed and I lay on the couch. Yes, there were still screams sometimes but only for a few minutes and then he plumped back on his pillow held onto Elmo and went to sleep. That was another important aspect of bedtime, was to find the right toy. I went through 3 toys until I found one he loved to cuddle with. It also helps if the toy has a melody. Knock on wood but we’re pretty lucky. Probably our next one will be the loud one.
Starting at 13 months old we continued our routine, said goodnight, and closed the door. I no longer have to stay in the room. Try it out with your little one if you can’t get them to fall asleep. It’s not sleep training but it’s our sleep method. There’s no wrong or right. Do what works for your little one and you. It was a way that we got him to sleep through the night early on, actually very early on. We made him Mr. Independent from just a few months and now I miss my cuddle bug. Too late to look back we have a little man running around in toddler’s shoes.
SLEEPY DREAMS METHOD
- Establish a bed time routine
- Start early around 4-6 months to make a routine. Even if your baby is small, you can still read to them. Reading can help them with their vocabulary later on, as well as provide some quiet time together. I started reading to my little one around 4 months and his love for books has grown tremendously.
- Time matters. Estimate an hour of bedtime routine and falling asleep. I always started at 7pm to make sure he was asleep by 8pm. Many sources say that babies will get cranky by 8:30pm so putting them to sleep before that is very important.
- If you are breastfeeding, expect the baby to wake up in the middle of the night no matter what, that’s just how it is.
- After the routine, lay them on their crib and turn some quiet music on. We love Pandora!
- Rub their head. If they are older and sleeping on their stomach then rub their back.
- Lay next to them and close your eyes.
- If they cry reassure that your next to them and say it’s sleepy time
- It will take a week or two to get used to the new sleeping method but if it works then the next steps are to let the baby fall asleep on their own.
- Happy baby! Happy Parents!
This is just our way and what worked for us. Wishing you nights filled with many hours of sleep!
Quick & easy SUMMER SALAD FOR YOUR TODDLER
1 handful of mixed organic greens cut into small pieces
5 chunks of cooked organic butternut squash
5 organic cherry tomatoes
(add cucumber if your toddler likes it)
1 teaspoon of olive oil
Pinch of pepper
Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix
Boil an organic egg for the side of protein!
*Note if toddler doesn’t like salad, make it into an egg salad sandwich using organic multi grain or whole wheat bread. Cut the egg into pieces. Add a teaspoon of mayo. Add to the bread and the salad on top. Cut into slices for your little one to enjoy. Love to listen to “mmmmmmmm YUMMMY” from my little one as he stuffs his face with mini egg-a-licious sandwiches!