THE SEASONS OF SLEEP
It's a new month and I've teamed up with the #letsbehonestmamas group again for a subject that gets talked about constantly in this new season of motherhood: sleep. And it's a subject that certainly gives me the most anxiety, but I also know it's a season that won't last forever. Now if only we could remember to remind ourselves of this every day... because for everything, there is a season.
1. How well does your babe(s) sleep? Sleeping through the night? Taking good naps? None of the above?
I will start by saying, Faire is now a great sleeper. We definitely had a few rough weeks and months when she was first born, but once she transitioned to the crib it was more of smooth sailing. How easily you forget the trenches of those newborn days. Honestly, I don't ever remember a time that she was a really good sleeper when she was younger, though she has been sleeping through the night since around 6 months. Exclusions, of course, anytime she comes down with a virus or cold, she's up for most of the night. And at her current age of 21 months, we have had a few occasions of night terrors - which usually happen before we have gone to bed, so it's pretty easy to calm her back down to sleep.
Nap time is an ebb and flow, but for the most part she's a good napper. Some weeks can be consistent two to three hours, and then a week will hit where its a 45 minute kind of nap, or a notorious "team no nap" day.
2. Have you or are you planning to “sleep train”? How did you go about it?
We never followed an official sleep training method, which I feel most parents attempt before one year. I'm pretty sure we broke all of the rules when it came to rocking your baby to sleep, and I totally get the consequences that come from that down the road, but it's so hard to resist a soundly snoozing baby in your arms. #AMIRIGHT? We are getting better at just rocking her until she is calm with heavy eyes and then placing her in the crib, and most nights she will put herself down with no problem. So that method is working for us now, but I think you just kind of go with what works for the time being, and what may work one month might not the next. Such are these seasons that come and go.
3. Describe your baby's bedtime routine. Are there any products or methods you do to promote sleep?
Faire's bedtime routine always starts with a bath and teeth brushing before PJs (two of her favorite activities), so it helps to do both of these first to get her in a good mood. Some nights if we have the extra time, I will give her a light massage with Tubby Todd's lavender lotion. Then we read a book or two, turn on the lullabies, do a little rocking, then it's night night.
For sleep products, we use a sound machine nightly and swear by the Dohm. I'm sure I'll be paying for it later, but for now it gets all the praise hands. Faire sleeps in a sleep sack every night, too, which helps with added warmth (her room is typically colder than any other room in the house) and also preventing her from climbing out of the crib. We love these breathable muslin sleeping bags by aden + anais. For a round-up of our favorite sleepers, view this post here.
I've shared this on Instagram before, but I cannot say enough amazing things about the Lullaby Renditions of Beatles songs on Spotify. It really helps to calm and soothe Faire for a good night's sleep. Click here for a link to the album.
4. Did you try to create a “sleep schedule” or is it more flexible around your day?
Since I run a small business at home, I typically "work" while Faire naps, so it's been crucial to keep her on somewhat of a sleep schedule. Some days, especially the weekends when we have more free time and we're typically out and about, there's flexibility with her naps (i.e. if she sleeps in the car or stroller while we're out, great. If not, I don't sweat it.) When she started school last September at 13 months, we were sort of forced to drop the morning nap and move to one nap a day. However, there were days if Faire woke up too early, or got tired pretty quick before 10 AM, she would sneak in a morning nap and take a shorter nap later in the afternoon.
Now at 21 months, we have a pretty good sleep schedule down. Nap time falls anywhere between 11 and 1 PM (and on a good day lasts for two to three hours) and bedtime is between 7 and 8 PM. She typically wakes up every morning between 6 and 7 AM.
5. How do you feel about co-sleeping? If you do co-sleep, how and when do you plan to transition to a crib/bed?
I'm a huge advocate of co-sleeping (as in having baby sleep in the same room as mom) for at least the first few weeks after birth, making it much easier for those late night feedings. We transitioned Faire to her crib in the nursery at around 4 months. Surprisingly, it was a pretty seamless transition, I think due to the right timing (not too early and not too late) and I have to give credit to the DockaTot for helping with such an amazing transition from bassinet to the crib.
We plan on moving her to a toddler bed once she either successfully climbs out of the crib or when she's around 2.5ish - crossing fingers on the latter. This transition, along with potty training, are in the not so distant future and we are slightly anxious/excited/terrified with it all. Forewarning, I will be seeking any and all advice from you seasoned pros!
This post was shared in partnership with aden + anais.
All content and opinions are my own.