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Go Ask Mom

New mom: Sleep products that worked for this baby

Posted June 21, 2010

We have no sleep routine. Not, really. What we do have is a little method using various baby products that we've fine tuned over the last month of sleepless nights.

To recap, Asher was born with his nights and days seemingly mixed up. He'd be wide awake at night. Not crying, just looking around and eating and chilling. Well, and crying a little, too. Somehow, over time, we shifted and I think he maybe knows night from day now. During the day, all lights are on and TV is on and life is happening all around him. Around the 7 p.m. feeding, lights go out, volumes lowered and bedtime begins. Now, he's very groggy at night and more active during the day. So, fingers crossed this means he really is on track to a better sleeping pattern.

OK, so, on to our sleeping ritual. Here are the products that passed the Asher Test, and I'd highly recommend them to new mommies out there. Please note: All products were researched online, all reviews read and weighed according to my OCD ways.

Fisher Price Rock 'n Play Newborn Sleeper: Best $50 spent. This little bed meets the criteria for bassinets (whatever that means, I'm assuming something safe) and keeps Asher at a nice angle, while being snuggled by the sides. This is what he sleeps in at night because he (so far) isn't a fan of sleeping flat on his back. (Much to my dismay, this means the adorable bassinet/convertible toy box in our room has not been used except for storage.) When he was in his swaddle days, we'd just swaddle him up and plop him in. It scoots right up to the side of the bed, and sits just a little lower, so I can peep over the side to check on him as often as my paranoia requires. It rocks, manually. So, I just reach over and touch it with my fingers to rock it, or if we are elsewhere in the house, I'll rock it with my foot while doing something else. It's awesome.

Halo Swaddle Sleepsack: I don't know where I've been hiding, but it was news to me that I'm not supposed to put Asher to sleep with a blanket. There are suffocation and SIDS risks, they say. And while I know some of these things are getting a little ridiculous, as a mom I hear them and obey as best I can for my sanity's sake. So, off I went to Babies 'R Us for a sleepsack and swaddle. (Asher was too big to be swaddled in the hospital blankets and kicked his way out of all of our blankets here.) This product is two in one. In the first few weeks, we used the swaddle addition. Now, he sleeps in the sleepsack portion with a long-sleeved oneside underneath. Make sure when you get one that zips open from the bottom up for easy middle of the night diaper changes. The velcro on this one holds up well despite multiple washes and the fabric is oh-so-cozy. (We also like the Kiddopotamus velcro swaddler.)

White noise maker: We use our iPhones (shocking, I know) for this. The Happiest Baby on the Block (a must read or must watch DVD if you are too busy to read like us) says white noise helps to calm a baby. And darn, he's right! We use our noise makers when he's fussy or when he's settling down for sleep. I prop it up on the edge of the cradle and turn it off after he's nice and sound asleep. My iPhone app wasn't free, but it came with noises like blow dryer and vaccum which I think work better than Rusty's free rain iPhone app. But, I think I'm just making excuses for my fancy app purchase. :) Lesson here - find a white noise, rain, blow dryer, something noise maker. A lot of the bouncers and swings come with sounds, but none work as well with Asher and the sound works better when it's right next to his sweet head (as opposed to on the top of the swing or the bottom of the bouncer).

Looking for more? Check out the original post on Kira's blog Grits, Grins and Gripes for more recommendations and links to the products.

How did you make it through the night in those early weeks?

 

10 Comments

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  • gsmbaby19 Jun 23, 2010

    We used the halo sleep sack too, once he could roll over. Prior to that, we used the Miracle Blanket. That is the best thing ever. From the first night we got it forward, my son started sleeping a minimum of 6 hours in a row. He could break out of the hospital blanket swaddles, and would wake himself up every 1 - 3 hours by punching himself in the head. The Miracle Blanket kept his arms in and we all slept better.

  • Kira Jun 23, 2010

    Thanks for all the additional suggestions! I'm going to look up a Sleep Sheep, and a fan is on my to-buy list for the nursery.

    I've read the books about sleep, and we are taking pointers from them here and there. I found a lot of them to be a little too 'harsh' for me as a first time mom. There are parts of them that work for us and parts that don't. So far, since writing this post, he's going 7 hours between night time feedings. So, that's definite progress!

    Oh, and the yellow hammock bed folds flat for traveling. Awesome feature.

  • kittiboo Jun 22, 2010

    We used the Sleep Sheep- still do and she's 2 and a half! We would take out the little sound box and take it to grandma's or on trips and it was familiar. We got it when she was a few weeks old and she knows when the waves come on it is sleepy time! I always get a sleep sheep for new mommies. We swear by it!

  • TriangleMommy Jun 22, 2010

    We too used a fan pointed away from our child as white noise and it worked great! As she got older we have switched her to music playing on an older mp3 player instead (we upgrade ours, she gets our old one).

    The best thing to do is to let your child determine their own sleep patterns and not let any book, website or person tell you what is the "right" way to do things. Suggestions are great, but "right" for me could be wrong for you. Parents need to accept that.

  • wakeresident Jun 22, 2010

    Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child says to just let your kid scream no matter what. I would never do that with a 4 month old. I will never put my child in a room, shut the door, and come back 8 hours later. That's what this book essentially recommends.

  • StrollinMama Jun 22, 2010

    Reading "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" changed my life for the better when my son was just 4 months old. He started napping regularly and sleeping 12-13 hrs at night. I recommend it to all moms... hope its helpful for you too! (I get no kickbacks from endorsing this book- just the satisfaction of helping other moms get some rest!)

  • Mugu Jun 22, 2010

    Whiskey on the gums seemed to work for me.

  • wakeresident Jun 22, 2010

    I have found a sleep routine to work with my children. It's also free. When you rely on products, you have to take them with you to travel. While that rocking thing looks nice, I'm imagining trying to cram it in the car. When you actually help your children develop a routine, you're not dependent on stuff.

  • tigger870 Jun 22, 2010

    We used a floor fan instead of white noise maker. We just kept it pointed away from her so it wouldn't make her chilly. Worked like a charm. My daughter will be 3 in a few weeks and she still sleeps with a fan on in her room every night. We had to buy a replacement a few months ago!

  • jczroach Jun 22, 2010

    We used and had great results with the white noise as well! Not a product - but something else that will help your baby get back to sleep is NOT changing his diaper when he wakes up(unless he's dirty of course). If he's wet, it's ok. He's going to be wet when he starts sleeping through the night anyway. If he wakes up, check on him as quietly and with as little stimulation as possible and try to get him back to sleep. Trust me, it will help! :))