After having a 5 year old and no other children, you think to yourself how great a baby would be (and it is).
I can do this all over again, they are sweet and cute and cuddle-able…
Until you are weeks in with a newborn, remembering how sweet sleep used to be when you realize that you are not getting nearly enough. Anyone with me on this one? Yes – A.S. and A.C. are exactly 5 years 1 week apart. My first born – intelligent, sensitive, SLEEPING (well now, not then)…
Yep, forgot ALL about those early non-sleeping days.
But 10 weeks in, I have some tips that are working for us now that may work for you too!
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Routine is a Must
The first few weeks, you want to hold that baby and basically stop it from crying. Many parents find that they are constantly holding their child (yes – I did, for about 6 weeks) to just appease them.
Remember, check diaper, check limbs (too cold or hot), have they eaten lately, and are they tired?
A.C. would fuss, and everyone wanted to stick a bottle in her mouth. It drove me NUTS. She was clearly tired and fussing because she was so tired – kind of how you are crying at 2am and 4am because YOU are tired.
So it is easier to remember that babies are small children and research shows small children do best with routines. So after all the research I did over many nights holding up my child (she has acid reflux so must be held up after each feeding), I found this, and it works!
Sleep, Eat, Wake – Repeat
Now this does not typically apply to the last feeding of the night.
However, give it a try. When baby wakes – feed, play, and put to sleep. And if you find that baby won’t sleep and he/she needs a feeding – go ahead and try the routine again next time.
Sleep Routine is Even Bigger
My first child was very different from my second child. After 16 weeks, she went in her crib for naps and bedtime and slept.
Nope, not my second (already showing how different they are). She slept for 10 minutes in her crib, and then came the screams.
Why? You guessed it – does anyone function on 10 minute naps? Well I don’t!
Babies need to differentiate between naps and night sleep.
A.C. sleeps in her Rock-and-Sleep (get it here) during the day with her Muslin Swaddle (get it here). I am literally right next to her so I always move it from her mouth and nose (but she finds comfort with it). Many people place their child in this to sleep at night – but we feel it was best to have baby on a flat surface from all the research we did.
NEVER put a baby to sleep with blankets without DIRECT supervision (I mean eyes on them at all times, or right beside you and you not napping).
During the day, our television is on, A.S. is playing (on the weekends), the laundry machines are going – you get it…it’s noisy. Not only that, it is very bright from the sun shining in the back door and windows.
Night sleep is the complete opposite.
Again, it goes back to having a routine.
Every night, around 7pm, we bathe A.C. in her First Years infant bath (get it here). She loves her bath time and we find this is the best time to administer any infant medication too.
We then put her pajamas on and one of the assortment of Halo Swaddlers Sleepsacks (get it here). Afterwards, we read both girls a book and then for A.C., she gets fed. After her last burp, we wrap the swaddle.
Newborn Sleep vs Infant Sleep
What? There is a difference?
Well in the world of bassinets, co-sleeping, cribs, etc. there can be. Many new parents want their babies in the same room. Whether it is compulsively checking to make sure they are breathing (like most moms), or easy access to the baby, babies spend many nights in mom and dad’s room. Some choose a bassinet or Pack-and-Play next to the bed or straight to the crib. When my husband was gone on missions or standing duty – I was doing this all alone.
Tired and more tired – I needed something convenient and affordable. Enter my SwaddleMe Co-sleeper (get it here). This was the best option because as you see in the picture – you can’t roll on baby, but he/she is right next to you. So I just lift and feed or put the pacifier in her mouth all while still laying down.
This also worked wonders when I needed a nap.
The Co-Sleeper will fit with one person in a Full/Queen sized bed or with two average-sized adults in a King (either between or on one side).
A.C. is 3 months, and she still fits in her co-sleeper; however we use it when we travel mostly now as she sleeps in her crib (except when she is sick).
At 8 weeks, she made the transition from the bassinet (get it here) to her crib. We have her crib in our room, which works perfectly for me.
Transitioning your child to his/her new bed can take some time. So be patient if it does not work immediately. We started everything at once as mommy needed SLEEP.
If you are putting your baby in a crib, be sure to remove all baby bumpers, blankets, and toys and only have a fitted sheet. As cute as they are, they are suffocation hazards.
If you have baby in another room such as the nursery, I strongly recommend purchasing a baby monitor – I loved my old Motorola one so much it could not hold a charge after 3 years.
Baby Sleep Gear
So what was the trick for our baby? Swaddling!
No, not swaddling in muslin blankets doing it the old-fashioned way – she broke out EVERY SINGLE TIME. We have another purpose for these.
Now, my favorite blanket is the muslin swaddle blankets, especially Cloud Island because they are big and soft. These blankets are great because they are light weight and A.C. loves to snuggle them at nap time. We use them for burp clothes, blankets, and over the stroller to block out sun. I have about 20 of these (no exaggeration).
BUT, the best ever tool that we use is our Halo Swaddler Sleepsack (seen above) – they are such cute patterns. More importantly, they kept A.C. from waking up from her startle reflex (the Moro reflex). They zip up the middle and then they velcro over. Be sure to get yours here.
Let me preface, I did not use these with my first born (A.S.) and she slept for about 3-4 hours at time starting at a two months. Let’s just say that we have doubled that.
We bought the 100% cotton ones. They are more than some other brands, but I did not care when I saw my child sleeping.
**Note – since she was missing a feeding, we started making up for it during the day.
There you have it. Have a routine that works for you and your family. Also, invest in some baby gear that helps baby to stay asleep. Click on one of the links of the products that interest you – I use and recommend all those listed, but I always recommend reading the reviews.
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Do you have any tips that work with your baby? Let me know in the comments below!
About the Author
Kelsey Ramirez is a Real Estate Broker in western Washington. She is also a veteran elementary school teacher, military wife, and mom to two daughters. She is the founder of The Military Move, a military-based website to help families in the PCS process. Kelsey loves to travel, write, and create amazing content. She has her Masters in Technology, which she uses to learn all new things digital.
With three decades of military support, Kelsey’s mission is to help new and existing military families in their unique adventures through all military topics including PCSing, budgeting, school choice and rights, housing, and especially just being a military spouse.