Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Our Babies Sleep Routine - Sleeping Through The Night at Two Months Old

Let me preface this with saying that I am not a sleep expert or doctor - obviously. I am a real mom or a newborn who was bound and determined to have her sleep well. Let's backtrack for a minute. My first go-around with infant sleep schedules was 7 years ago with my first born - and it sucked! He was not a good sleeper, I was BEYOND exhausted and desperate, but couldn't bring myself to let him cry it out. I just couldn't. Homeboy slept in his swing going at MAX speed for the first few months of his life. I slept in the guest room for the first year of his life because his dad (my ex-husband) didn't want to keep getting woken up when the baby woke up. I hung my head in shame and even lied (which i realize now is just so silly because every baby is truly different) when people asked me if he was sleeping through the night yet. My first born didn't sleep through the night until he was 18 months old and it took such a toll on me (and him too I'm sure). So, that was my driving motivation to learn some new tactics and to get my newborn this time around to sleep successfully on her own from the beginning.

Taylor for the first few weeks of her life and I felt like a pro, and then she WOKE UP and I was like, this is HARD. I'd nurse her gently to sleep and she's slumber softly in my arms, but the moment I'd set her ever so gingerly down in her crib and quietly tip toe out of her room she'd wake up and cry within mere minutes (usually around the time I would snuggle myself in my own bed after high-five-ing my hubbie for our awesome baby-sleeping skills)

We were desperate and sleep deprived and would do anything for a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. That's why I was so stoked to hear about the Zen Swaddle from Nested Bean.

No joke, Taylor slept better with the Zen Swaddle from the very first night. Her longest stretch of sleep used to be 2-3 hours and it went immediately to 3-4 hours in a  row. After 2 weeks of sleeping in her Zen Swaddle she slept a continuous 6 hours at night and by 2 months old she was sleeping for a continuous 8 hours at night - talk about life changing!

We've noticed too that the human-like weighted touch of this swaddle helps to sooth her back to sleep on her own. So during the night or daytime naps she may still wake up several times and even cry out, fidget, and open her eyes, but she almost always is able to soothe herself back to sleep. It's amazing!

As she was approaching 3 - 3.5 month old I knew that her days of being able to sleep swaddled were getting numbered. Once a baby can roll over it it is no longer safe for a baby to sleep swaddled for obvious reasons. Bound and determined to avoid the dreaded 4 month sleep regression that I hear and see posted all over social media, I began doing research on a suitable sleep transition for my swaddle-loving babe.

I came across a company that makes a product called Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit. It was designed by a mom of 4 and a pediatric physical therapist (I LOVE Mom invented products!) and was pegged as a swaddle transition product - which was EXACTLY what I needed! I couldn't wait to try it out!

The Magic Sleepsuit is an innovative design that helps babies feel secure and helps to muffle their reflective startles, helping them sleep stronger and longer (and without the swaddle!)

I also found the Zipadee-Zip and couldn't wait to try it. This is another mom- created invention (she was on Shark Tank for the Zipadee-Zip!). Here's what the creator said inspired her invention, "
"Our daughter who had slept wonderfully while swaddled, all of a sudden started waking up multiple times acting like she was no longer comfortable in her swaddle. To top it off, she had started rolling and breaking free of her swaddle so swaddling was no longer safe. The problem was, Charlotte refused to even fall asleep without the swaddle. We tried every sleep sack on the market and any swaddle weaning trick we could find on the internet for nearly two weeks and nothing worked to get her to fall and stay asleep." 

Her story sounded just like mine!
Taylor transitioned out of her swaddle and slept through the night again after her second night in her Zipadee-Zip! It worked amazing! She also takes all of her naps in this sleeper. She is loves her comfy new sleeper.

A few things about the Zipadee-Zip that I think make it stand out from the crowd is the arm and leg design. The cavities that the limbs go in for this sleeper are a little short so when the babies suddenly jolt awake while sleeping, they are instantly met with resistance from the fabric and calmed. I'll hear little Taylor a few times moan or cry out during the night but it will only last 5-15 seconds max and with the help from her Zipadee-Zip she will quiet and roll back to sleep on her own.

I also love that her hands are covered while she sleeps, especially for nap time. My baby is a mover and she often like to rub her face and eyes while she is waking up and I love that with this sleeper, her face is protected so she can't accidentally scratch or poke herself in the eye. I'll often go get her after sleeping in her Zipadee-Zip and she will be sucking on the sack where her hands are (my girl loves to hand suck!)

The Zipadee-Zip is essential for my baby for restful sleep during nap time and the night and it successfully helped transition her out of sleeping swaddled and I can't recommend it enough!

You'll also notice in all of the above pictures my baby is sleeping in a DockATot. This little piece is another tool that I think is ESSENTIAL in my baby getting a good night sleep. The DockATot creates a cozy environment for her to feel secure in as she sleeps. She is in the Deluxe size, which is the smaller size, and fits infants up to 8 month old babies.

I also wanted to highlight our routine too. During the day, I wake her up around 7am because that's when I wake up her big brother to get him ready and she rides along for school drop off. I feed her before we leave and then feed her on demand throughout the day. She goes down for a good nap sometime between 10-1 and typically sleeps for 2 hours. For this nap I always have her in one of her sleepsuits and place her in her crib in her DockATot. Oh and I always have a sound machine and humidifier going in her room during sleeping times. The rest of the day she may fall asleep if we are in the car or in the stroller and she may take a quick cat nap if she's sleepy around 5-6. I never try to "keep her up so she'll sleep better at night" I actually think that usually backfires.

If I'm able to, I love to try to feed her as much as I can between 4-6 pm to really fill her up for the long night of sleeping ahead, but that only happens about 1/2 the days because of other commitments. We usually eat dinner around 6:30 pm and then afterwards its bath and shower time for her and her brother. I get her big brother into bed between 7:30-8 and then sit on the couch and watch TV and feed her until she falls asleep around 8:30-9 pm.

I have never had her cry it out, but if she does startle and wake up during the day or night while sleeping, 99% of the time she will moan or cry for a very short time (like 15 seconds) and the turn her head to the side and fall back asleep. I don't use the EASY 3 hour time chunk method but I know many that do and love and swear by it. I actually nurse my baby to sleep and she goes to sleep, asleep. That's why the sleeping suits are so important to her sleep routine because they allow her to calm herself and get back to sleep if she does startle or arise when she should remain sleeping.

If you made it through this whole post - thank you! It's a long one, and now you are probably ready for a nap yourself, but I wanted to share every detail I could in case it helps someone get some extra sleep. Please just remember that every baby is different and just because my baby is a good sleeper and yours may not be, does not mean in any way, shape, or form, that you are doing anything wrong. Every baby is so completely different and some just (frustratingly) take longer to sleep through the night than others. I hope this helps someone is someway and I wish you lots and lots of sweet sleep in yours and your babies future!


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