We did something the other night that we don’t think twice about anymore: slept.
My little ones (we got Sunshine at seven weeks, and Teeny at three days and then back at two months) had some basic middle of the night crying for milk, diaper change etc. but we managed for the most part.
Renting an apartment with what we have lovingly referred to as a “witch” living upstairs, makes it very hard to sleep train but now I can say with both babies at a year and a half, sleep through the night.
They need a bottle when they go down (working on this) but when we buy a house (sans witch), I plan on fully weaning them off… when we buy a house.
Just FYI – Part one of this series will be general sleep tips and tricks to get your baby to sleep, part two is for toddlers having trouble sleeping.
Here are some tips that were instrumental to getting our little ones to sleep through the night and can help you too:
PUT THEM IN THE CRIB/BED!
My cleaning lady (sounds fancy, but we get her twice a month for sanity purposes and she does floors and bathrooms, highly recommend this!), gave us the best piece of sleep advice ever the day my first ones arrived.
She said, “Miranda, put them in the crib. Don’t put them in your bed. Even for naps. Let them get used to it right away.” She’s had five girls, who all turned out sweet and smart and well-behaved, so anything she says, I listen!
I think this has made a huge difference for them. We kept it really simple with our cribs, with a pretty thin mattress so the girls can go anywhere and sleep okay. There’s no Princess and the Pea situation.
One time, Sunshine was teething really badly so I was half alive holding her in my arms at three am in my bed. It was her first time there with me and she literally pointed her finger towards her room as to say, what am I doing in here?!
THE MAGIC MERLIN SLEEP SUIT!
When the girls were little we got them to sleep through the night mainly due to our lord and savior the Magic Merlin Sleep Suit.
The biggest life changer/sleep changer for all worn out tired mammas. I seriously wish I owned stock in this company, that’s how much I believe in its miracle work. We literally ran around Los Angeles one night to find two more because the others were dirty.
It’s basically a weighted suit that keeps littles from twitching in their sleep and waking themselves up. We went from zero sleep to sleeping through the night with these little gifts from heaven.
Wrapping and swaddling is scary for me, with the exception of the zipper swaddles which I also love for really little ones. I always feel like with swaddling, they are going to have a flap of blanket go over their faces and suffocate. Isn’t it fun to be a mom?!
MAKE IT AS DARK AS POSSIBLE
We discovered early on that making it as womb-like as possible for our babes was the best way to go.
A big part of that was making it absolutely as pitch black as humanly possible. This meant buying blackout curtains for their room.
I was doing a white thing so I didn’t want dark curtains and believe it or not they do have white blackout curtains that actually work, so I was pretty excited about that find.
I also velcro them to the side of the walls so no light came through. That was kind of a game changer living in an apartment where we had a lovely view of a street lamp.
Some people don’t like white noise because they feel kids will have to have it for the rest of their lives but do you want to sleep or do you want to sleep?!
If you live in an apartment or on a busy street or both you will need to block out that noise. People screaming and stumbling home from bars used to annoy me enough but now it wakes my kids up and that just won’t work.
So, I bought a kind I saw at my doctor’s office. It cancels out the sound of anyone walking by so we don’t have to hear each other’s diagnosis. I took a picture of the brand and bought it online. You can check it out here.
I also found a song on YouTube that we put on our old iPhone and left on a shelf. I like this because it’s portable and we can play it at an unfamilar sleep situation in a pinch. It’s pretty amazing how well it works. I put myself to sleep with it as well.
This is something that sounds frivolous to those of us with three screaming children but it really does help.
We bought an aroma essential oil diffuser (this one is super stylish and simple) and a special oil (you can check it out here) that is supposed to smell like sleep or something, and guess what? It worked.
And it gives that over all cozy vibe to their room. I also bought two more diffusers to clean up the various disgusting smells that occur when you have three toddlers.
LET THEM CRY
There are differing schools of thought on this one, but a little whimper here or there is no reason to wake up and disturb their sleep.
Babies at this stage are learning to self-soothe, which is a very good thing in my book.
Now, I can’t let them get hysterical even if I wanted to because of our living situation, but letting them cry for a few minutes and giving them time to calm themselves down worked for us.
If you have toddlers who need to learn to go to sleep on their own or a kid experiencing night terrors, click here for part two.
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