So I will be honest, this is my second blog post about sleep and I am a little scared to post it. The last one I wrote I shot myself in the foot and Jackson did not have a good night sleep. He has been growing so much cognitively lately that I find him wanting to practice his new tricks more than wanting to sleep. So I just want to start by saying I have no idea what the hell I am doing when it comes to sleep habits and sleep patterns. I am by far not a sleep specialist or expert, just a mama who loves to sleep. Because of that it was important to us to set up good sleep habits from the beginning. Luckily for us, I think we have a baby who likes sleeping as much as his mommy and daddy. As I mentioned earlier “let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things”, we definitely have our good and bad nights. Just when you think you figure your babe out BAM they wake up and say “haha!!”. Some mornings I wake up with boulders in my bra because he hasn’t eaten all night and other nights I want to do a live reading of the Samuel L Jackson book “Go the F*** to Sleep”.
Here are a few sleep hurdles we have had to overcome so far:
1- I’m too curious to sleep- baby quickly becomes more aware of their surroundings and is curious about what is going on around them. Because of this we put a fan in Jacksons room to help drown out any noise in the house. We also made a conscious effort to not be super quiet while he was sleeping. I also try to make it dark in his room. When it is morning I try to open up the blinds to symbolize that it is morning and it is ok to wake up now. If he wakes up in the middle of the night I do not open the blinds. Therefore, he knows it is still night time. Before naps and bed we close the blinds again.
2- I can now roll and would rather sleep on my belly (This is more of a sleep hurdle on my part as I sat there all night staring at the monitor praying that my babe was still breathing.) When your baby is ready to roll this is when you should no longer be swaddling them. Sleep sacs are the way to go. If your baby likes the swaddle, Halo makes a great sleep sac that swaddles but their little arms can still be out. Also, if your baby is able to roll they are safe to sleep on their belly. This is hard to believe, I know! I went and flipped Jackson the first time he rolled in his sleep because I was scared he would stop breathing in the night.
3- Im growing and want to eat more often
4- Teeth…. grrr there are a lot of teeth to come. I keep a bottle of baby tylenol accessible on J’s night stand in case it is needed in the middle of the night. I try for this not to be a first resort but if it is needed in the middle of the night the last thing I want to do is search for it in his room.
5- I like standing- this is the most recent sleep hurdle we are trying to overcome. Saturday (the day after I originally wrote this post) Jackson learned how to stand in his crib. We quickly jumped up and lowered his crib to the lowest stage. He still figured out how to stand. So when we once used to be able to plop him in bed, and he would lay there still until he falls asleep, is now over. If he is not tired enough he quickly sits up and stands in his crib. Soon he will learn how to safely get down (hopefully…. fingers crossed!!)
Now these are only the hurdles we have discovered so far. I know there are MANY more to come. So the moral of this post is to just take it day by day. Some nights you will get a wonderful night sleep and others well… not so much. Your baby is growing so much physically and cognitively that some nights they just need a little more loving. Some days Mama may require a nap or an extra cup of coffee. Don’t stress. Do what you got to do. Every baby is different. I could give you a recipe of what we did to get Jackson to sleep through the night but that doesn’t mean it will necessarily work for you. What I have learned so far is that being a Mommy is the best job ever, but it is not easy to be a parent. So enjoy the ride, take it day by day and enjoy those extra cuddles those nights that baby needs them because one day they won’t want to cuddle anymore.