There is so much conflicting advice out there about what is worth buying for your baby, and what is a waste of money. I am sure that every mother has a different experience because every baby is different. I read a lot of stuff that said that the so called ‘sleeping aids’ for babies are a waste of money, but here is a list of tried and true things that worked for us in drifting Lil Z Bear into dreamland.
Disclaimer: We have been very blessed with a baby with a sweet temperament, who is a good sleeper. If we are blessed with a second child, and the baby has a feisty temperament or is simply not a great sleeper, I know some of these methods just may not work.
Swaddle: Swaddle your baby. Swaddle your baby. No, seriously, swaddle your baby. Make sure you do it right. Baby’s arms should be relaxed and near his sides, and his elbows should not be poking out. If not, no matter how tight you swaddle, baby’s arms will pop out. And speaking of tight, don’t be afraid to wrap the little one up nice and tight. Yes, the baby may struggle to get his arms out. But once he falls asleep, he will stay asleep much longer. And swaddling the baby will keep him comforted and content. The other trick: CONTINUE to swaddle your baby well after 12 weeks. We swaddled Lil Z Bear for a little over 5 months, and it worked out great. We used Aden+Anais muslin Cloths and SwaddleMe (Make sure you get the right size of the swaddle me, we used a small for the first 3 months and the medium for the following 2 months.)
Sleep Sheep: Lil Z Bear’s sheep is called “Gulbi” and she is a true pal. The gentle white noise in the background has been a lifesaver to drift him to sleep and to keep him asleep. We used the heartbeat sound when he was a wee little thing, and now use the ocean waves and the whale sounds, both of which he loves. Thinking of splurging? Get the full size one for the crib, and the travel size to take with you. Because the familiar sound will help the little one fall asleep in unfamiliar surroundings.
Fisher Price Aquarium: There are a few on the market, but this one is the best. It’s no longer made, so we had to do some serious internet searching before we found one brand new. And we paid a premium for it. But it was totally worth it, because Lil Z loves it, and we love the convenient remote it comes with. I’d recommend using it after at least 3 months, when baby will be more interested in it.
Twilight Turtle: When I opened this package up, I was a little disappointed that all the little turtle does is light up. But now, after using it for nearly 5 months, it’s the perfect night light, with soothing colors, and the projected stars are quite pretty.
My Little Lamb Swing: We LOVE this swing. We only use it to for Lil Z’s naps when we need to get him to fall asleep quick, or when he is overtired and cranky. It works like a charm every single time. I am going to miss it when he outgrows it (which is coming up soon!). Tip: Once baby has fallen into a deep slumber, you can turn the swing off. Then, if he wakes up and you need him to sleep a little longer, just turn the swing back on and baby is often lulled back to sleep for a bit longer.
Cry-it-Out: I know this one is controversial, and I truly believe that every parent should find their own path on what is the best method for putting your child to sleep. For those parents who are all about No Cry, I say kudos to you since this method requires a lot of hard work and patience. In our case, we use a mix between Cry-it-Out and Check and Console. This method works for us: we place Lil Z in his crib sleepy but not yet asleep, and he never whimpers for more than 10 minutes before falling into a deep slumber. On nights when he is overtired or overexcited, or just moody, he does cry for more than 10 minutes. When it has been more than 15 minutes, we pick him up, play with him for 10 to 15 minutes, and then put him down again. It usually doesn’t take long for him to fall asleep after that.
Every day we are thankful to be blessed with such a happy and healthy baby.