Sleep Training 101; 4-6 Months

Hey friends! If you're curious on sleep training methods from 0-3 months click here to read up on that! 

As for us, we have progressed! We hit the 6 month mark this week so I guess I'm writing this a couple of days early but OH WELL

These couple of months were rough. Right when you think you're getting to know your baby, and their exact next move - BAM they change. Seriously. They change all the freaking time and they don't do it on purpose but DAMN I need a break! (excuse my language? Is damn bad? idk????? help??) ANYWAYS We have prevailed friends! And we made it through another sleep deprived couple of months! I keep telling myself dang I can't wait for our next baby (yes I can) because I feel like I'm going to be totally prepared with my online journal aka my blog. (I know this is unrealistic haha - let me dream okay!)

I had a sleep training epiphany though, last week. I realized that at different points of her life, different sleep training methods work...... differently.

Who woulda thunk it?

SOOOOOOO the first 3 months of her life we were ALL about swaddling, and it totally worked for us! But now that she has a better grasp on rolling over, it's not in our routine any long. Ttem permanence & cry it out totally did the trick for us from 3-4 months, but it just hasn't been working for us as well lately. So last week, when I was convinced I would never sleep again, I did some research.

At 3 AM. My favorite time at night if y'all didn't already know. 

I basically found that at this point in her life, a similar but totally different (are you still following?) method is working for her. I'm definitely not opposed to doing crying it out again at a different point of her life, but right now this other method is working best for us.

*Just so you know, my posts usually contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase by pressing a link, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you.*



sleep training your baby

Basically, our nightly routine (and nap time routine - consistency is key, besides bath time, of course) goes something like this :

7 PM Bath time

I try to make sure I don't do bath time any earlier, because then it throws off her entire routine. So we do bath time, which honestly takes us a solid 10 minutes, because who knew bathing a small human was super quick, Less surface to cover I suppose! After bath time, we do our normal baby lotion massage, and sometimes read a bedtime story depending if she's really fussy or not. She is different every single day, but also the same. I know, I sound insane. 

Jammie switch up!

If you read my last sleep training post, we weren't dressing her in those warm footie pajamas everybody swears by, because she was swaddled and we didn't want her to overheat! Well you guessed it! We are now in the footie pajama stage. I still stick to my word on 0-3 months about not doing it, but like I said before - she changes constantly! Since we are no longer swaddling, we have now switched to those warm and fuzzy footie pajamas! Not only are they absolutely adorable, but they keep my girl nice and warm at night (since we are not letting her sleep with blankets because of the risk it raises for suffocation and SIDS). 


Nurse

For us anyways. If you're formula feeding, this is where your bedtime (or nap time) bottle would come in. So we sit in our rocking chair, while I nurse. I usually turn her bedroom light off and nurse in the dark to set the calm atmosphere vibes. 

Independent crib time

I used to be pretty huge on rocking her to sleep, and then putting her in her crib and tip toeing to sleep, but more often than not she would wake before I could even leave the room. I thought she was regressing or maybe her "startle reflex" wasn't quite gone yet. Turns out, she just wanted to self soothe and be left alone. Since she can now understand item permanence and knows when I am no longer there, I talk to her. I know she doesn't understand exactly what I'm saying with my words, but she can sense my emotions and the different tones in my voice. So I coo at her, and turn her mobile on, and she smiles and coos back. Then I tell her that I'll be back to check on her soon. I quietly escape to our room, and watch her on the baby monitor. She continues to coo and play with her pacifier, as well as puts the pacifier in her mouth on her own when she wants to. Most nights, I go in her room about 3 times, just to let her know I am there and I am checking up on her. Then I tell her again each time that I will be right back in a calm happy manner. Make sure you are taking lots of deep breaths - even if this takes forever! Remaining calm is huge! 

Now, that being said - she does have bad nights when we try to do this. Where I leave the room, and she screams at the top of her lungs. In this case, I kind of let her cry it out. BUT by cry it out, I mean I let her cry and when she stops for a moment, I rush right in. I am trying to basically "reward" her for not crying. Does that sound terrible? I feel like it does - but it really works! These nights are far and few between and I feel like it's because she knows that if she doesn't cry and scream that I will be more likely to come in. Maybe I'm crazy who knows. But it's working. And usually, after about 3 times in and out of her room, she falls asleep on her own. I mean out of nowhere passes out, and doesn't wake up for 3 - 4 hours. (she still eats a lot throughout the night - we are working on that!) When she does wake up, I nurse her, she passes out, I put her down, and that's all.

Now, if you're just tip-toeing into crib transitioning, I suggest doing the 3-5-7-10 minute method. Put the baby down in their crib, leave for 3 minutes. Go back, soothe them, lay them down, repeat, but this time for 5 minutes. Then 7, and finally 10 minutes. The hope is that after that 10 minute mark they will be asleep! 

Remember that attitude is everything!

If you remain calm, and tell yourself this is something you can do - then you totally can do it! Babies can 100% sense our anxieties & our stress, so once we calm down, they tend to as well!

Back to bed for mama.  AHHHHHHHH

 

Final thoughts

 

  • Reward not crying
  • Dress in warm footie pajamas
  • Self soothing in the crib
  •  

     

    This is what's working for us right now, but I'm sure it will change for 7-10 months!

     

    Happy sleeping!

     

    Xo

    -MMM

     

    Postpartum Realities

    As a new mom there are so many different things constantly running through your mind. A new problem I never expected to have postpartum arises every single day. You think you know, but you have no idea, until you are actually in that spot. 

    Last night my daughter slept through the night in her own crib in her own room. This wasn't the first night this happened. But still, somehow I am exhausted this morning. Why? Because I sat and stared at the monitor as every single minute  passed.



    postpartum realities

     

    1. Sleeping through the night

    WOW. Nobody warned me how miserable this was/still kind of is. Is it just me mama's? Am I crazy? Don't get me wrong- I totally enjoy my evenings with my other half. But 3 AM hits, and she still hasn't made a peep - and I am losing it. Why did everybody talk about this moment like it was magical? I know I SHOULD be taking advantage of this moment right now, but I can't because every fear in the world is currently setting up camp in my brain. Then she rolls onto her belly - and now I'm really hyperventilating. This is NOT all it's cracked up to be. I miss her, I'm worried about her, and I'm still exhausted the next morning. I feel like this is really a lose lose and I should prob go pick her up and cuddle with her right this instant, right? 😩

     

    2. THE CLOTHES.

    So I knew she had a huge wardrobe even prior to our baby shower, but WOW. Nobody can prepare you for the amount of decluttering you're going to be doing AT LEAST the first 6 months of their life. It doesn't just happen in spurts like you would think. I'll go through her clothes at 3 months, then 6, so on so forth. Nope. Every. Single. Day. I go through clothes. I have a permanent gift bag in her room that I am forever throwing things into, so I can pass it down to my friend who is having a baby next month., And don't even get me started on YOUR clothes. You find something comfortable, that fits, and then your weight fluctuates AGAIN. You go from super preggo, back down to 3-month-preggo look-a-like postpartum, and then kind of back to normal... but not really? Clothes = clutter = madness = I-dont-have-time-to-declutter = AHHHHH!!!!!!

    postpartum recovery + healing after birth

     

    3. Unwanted parental guidance + Negativity

    Okay, third time is the charm. WOW. I can't believe the things people say to you as a new mom. I mean I heard horror stories prior to being a mom, but it's an entire other level when you are actually a mom. Let me break it down for you in the simplest terms - you will never win this battle. It doesn't matter how long your kid is rear facing, or how often you homemake their baby food, or whatever it is you do. You will never be able to please everybody. People are going to constantly question every single method of your parenting. Why don't you cut their hair? Why don't cut their nails? Why don't you feed them this way? Everybody has something to say about everything. Accept it early on, and ignore them. Don't let it consume you! Why are we so negative towards each other? Why do other moms feel the need to constantly tell me "Oh, it's only just started" or "It gets worse" Like??????????? Can we stop?! And how about the judgement and questioning? Why do we feel the need to question each other about how we parent? I am all about advice from other mama's who have struggled before me - educate me! And I love to educate others from my experiences as well! It's why I started blogging! But do we have to be so negative? Stop putting each other down, or telling people that it gets worse! Seriously?! We can do better mama's! This goes for all of you, I don't care what generation! Grandma, aunts, cousins - it's not okay! 

     

    With everything in life, "this too shall pass"!

    But until then, I'll be enjoying my growing babe, staying up all night watching the monitor, and ignoring the negativity! I hope you choose to do the same!

    What kind of postpartum surprises did/do you run into? 

    Xo

    -MMM

     

    A new mom's guide to : TUMMY TIME!

    A new mothers worst nightmare! Tummy time! I used to dread this part of the day, every single day.  I would watch the clock and time it 5 minutes exactly while I laid on the floor trying to soothe my little girl. I finally got my niche and stuck with it, and now my girl has already learned how to roll over at 3 months old! Not that it's out of the ordinary, but I feel like it's all because I was persistent and diligent with tummy time!

    There is no exact age to start at, but they say as long your baby was full-term and healthy that you can start as early as day 1 home from the hospital! We let her settle in a little before starting. Like most things in life, starting is the hardest part! 

     

    *Just so you know, my posts usually contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase by pressing a link, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you.*



    tummy time

    Tummy Time Mats

    We have this tummy time mat, and it honestly does work great! But not for beginners! That was our first mistake! Thinking that miraculously putting our newborn on this mat was going to get her to perfect her tummy time skills... ummmm no! You definitely have to be on a professional level to use these mats! It can be scary for them, just facing the ground struggling(sort of) to breathe! And as a mom, you are obviously freaking out and uncomfortable when they're uncomfortable! We put the mat away until she was much more advanced and now she absolutely loves to play on it and grab for the toys! I definitely suggest purchasing one forsure! 

     

    A Nursing Pillow

    A nursing pillow has been such a lifesaver in my life as a new mom for so many different reasons.  It's a nursing pillow, so it obviously was amazing for that when I was just starting breastfeeding and really awesome even for other people to use when holding her! But I really felt like we got our moneys' worth when I discovered its uses for tummy time! When she was still learning how to get better function and control of her head, the boppy pillow really helped due to the extra cushion put under her chest. It propped her up a little higher, making her more comfortable and able to see around her better. I think part of being uncomfortable with tummy time is them only being able to see the ground and that's all. If your baby is anything like mine, I'm sure they love to look around and see their surroundings. The nursing pillow really helped her get better control and was a complete game changer for her tummy time routine! We prop her on her pillow, put her flashing singing turtle in front of her, and let her gaze in awe at the colors and sounds! She loves it! Of course always supervise your child while using the nursing pillow!

    *P.S. use my code : "MMM100"  @ Nursingpillow.com for a FREE nursing pillow :)* 

    tummy time
    tummy time

     

    Time Increments

    Ugh this was the worst. I wanted to pick her up the absolute second I put her down. She hated it so much! We started with 3 minute increments at a time. Honestly, I couldn't bare to hear her go crazy and scream like she did for more than once a day so we really only did it for a couple of minutes once a day. Once I felt more healed from delivery, comfortable and able to really focus 100% on her (about 3-4 weeks in) we really tried making up for lost time! Tummy time is apart of our daily schedule now and can sometimes last up to 15 minutes! She really enjoys being on her tummy and reaching for her toys. I think the best way to handle time increments is to start low at 3 minutes per time to get acquainted, and then increase from there. 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes. By the time they are comfortable, you can almost put them anywhere that's soft on their tummies! We do tummy time on the carpet, our tummy time mat, in our pack and play - pretty much anywhere! Always supervised of course!

    This same night she rolled over for the very first time!

    This same night she rolled over for the very first time!

    Hopefully you found this post helpful, and your babe is on their way to successful and less stressful tummy time! 

    Xo

    -MMM

    Hiya!

    So here I am… a girl with a dream right? This past year I am so utterly lost. But here I am - tryin’ to find my passion and what not! My little girl, Abigail was brought into this crazy mess we call “the world” this year, and that has simply just made life the best and craziest time so far — and i’m only 12 weeks in! So one day (aka multiple days, and constantly battling and going back and forth) I decided - what the heck! Start a blog they said, it will be fun, they said! Mimosa Monday mom is just that - Startin’ on a Monday, postin’ every Monday, and drinkin’ mimosas whenever I can! ( aka not just on mondays, but also not excessively bc LOL I’M A MOM NOW!) This is a place for me to open up about my life and hopefully make you feel a little less crazy about yours. So welcome to this hot mess express that is my world! First of all - let’s get one thing straight; This is NOT a place for judgement. Take that bologna to Facebook! If you feel that my opinion is different than yours, that’s cool! But you’re wrong! (Kidding of course) I value all of your opinions! My mother once told me that children do NOT come with instruction manuals and man, aint that the truth!  SO PLEASE - tell me if i’m about to like, I don’t know, unintentionally poison my child or something because I mean - that’s helpful! But do NOT make me feel like a moron. Another great quote I love is “Educate me - Do not belittle me”. 

     

    I hope you enjoy hearing about my life, and hopeful I can help a few mommas along their journey!

     

    Xo

    -MMM