Sleep Training 101; 0-3 Months

So you spend 40 weeks of your life growing a tiny human, about 20 (give or take - hopefully take for your sake!) hours in labor, 2-3 days recovering in the hospital with countless visitors and being woken up what feels like every 5 seconds for meds and vitals, and then they send ya home and tell ya to "rest". Let's laugh together, ladies. If you are in this stage right now I have two things to say to you :

1. It is not forever. I know it feels like forever, but it is not.

2. You will sleep again, I promise.

I know if you're reading this  you're probably just desperate for these tips and tricks so let's just get right into it!

*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

Okay, so first things first. Your newborn is not going to completely sleep through the night. They need to get up and eat. This is normal. There is no magical method to make them not do this. BUT you CAN use my method to help them sleep in longer stretches. My baby would do 3-4 hour stretches at night on average. She would more-so do a 5-6 hour stretch, wake up, eat, and then do another 3-4 hour stretch. 

New Mamas : How does 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep sound?! Woot Woot!

I cannot guarantee this works for absolutely everybody, but it did work for us, as well as some friends we have suggested it to. I also am not going to lie and say she's a perfect sleeper every night. She definitely has had her gassy or colic-y nights, But all babies do! I found that if I can do something that works 90% of the time for us, that the other 10% is not so unbearable.

1. Routine

THIS IS CRUCIAL. I had a "friend" one time look at me like I was a lunatic and say "Why do you already have her on a schedule?" with a nice little eye roll to follow. Routine is SO IMPORTANT. At every stage of their lives! It helps them THRIVE! Our routine went as such :

7 PM - Bath time 

7:45/8 PM - Story time

8/8:15 PM - Nursing (or bottle)

8:30/9 PM - SLEEP.

I know they say "don't bathe your baby every day" but I felt that for routine purposes it really helped us, so that is obviously up to you. But I would suggest filling that space with something else familiar on the nights you chose to not bathe them. For us, bath time insinuates to her that it's time to settle down and get sleepy. Although she does not personally tell me that, I can tell, as her mother, that during bath time she really relaxes and starts to settle down slowly. During bath time, we use Lavender Shampoo and Lavender Body Wash as well. When actual bath time is complete, we do a short baby massage with Lavender Bedtime Lotion. Lavender is everything. It is said to help babies soothe and the one we use, which is fairly common, is formulated with "NATURALCALM" essences, which release a blend of gentle and calming aromas.
sleep training

Now the clothing is tricky. Did you know that heavy clothing can increase the risk of SIDS? How you dress them for bedtime is REALLY important for what's to come in the next few steps. We found that the onesies, that are long sleeve, and have the flip over mittens on the end work best. See what I'm talking about here. After we got her all dressed, we would read her a quick story book, and I would nurse her in the rocking chair in the nursery. A bonus tip : make sure you are spending plenty of time in the nursery! It's very important to get them comfortable and familiarized with their room, if you ever plan on them sleeping in there. If you don't plan on that, or that isn't an option, I just suggest at least nursing or feeding in the same spot every night. Usually she would get very sleepy, but not quite asleep, after eating. Now it's time for the real key to the equation.

 

2. Swaddling

Okay don't exit this screen! I know you probably think you know everything about swaddling, but so did I! Like every other mom out there, you're going to come home, try swaddling them, and come to the conclusion that your baby "doesn't like to be swaddled." This is normal. They absolutely fuss and fight the swaddle, no doubt. But once they are swaddled - that's where the magic happens. There's a reason they are swaddled and quiet in the hospital, people!! Aden + Anais Swaddles are a must, they are thin and light but still get the job done, and I absolutely consider this a necessity for all new moms. Practice also makes perfect! Once you get past the fuss and the fight, it is so worth it, I promise!!
The swaddle method can be tricky, but this image I found on  buzzfeed  is really a huge help!

The swaddle method can be tricky, but this image I found on buzzfeed is really a huge help!

... but wait, there's more!

 

3. Double Swaddling

Okay this was the real magic for us. She would easily kick and punch her way out of the single swaddle. I don't even mean using another muslin blanket to add the double, you NEED one of THESE!!!!!

Make sure you have the correct products at hand, because The Swaddle Me is another necessity!! Not only are they going to fight being swaddled, they still have their Moro reflex, which is their "startle" reflex. This will wake them up out of a dead sleep! Double swaddling them is nothing new, though! They also do this at most hospitals as well! The double swaddle method helps them feel secure and supported, similar to the womb. and although they will fight it at first, a couple of rocks and bounces later, they will be passed out! 

 

Final Thoughts

  • You need Aden + Anais Swaddles
  • You need a Swaddle Me Sac
  • Do not dress them in heavy clothing when double swaddling.
  • Don't sleep on this method!!! It may not work instantly on night one, but NOTHING does!! (except my baby acne cure)

    Hang in there, mama! Your baby is going to be sleeping in no time! 

    I hope this method works for you, too! Subscribe to my blog, and look out for my next Sleep Training 101 post on 4-6 month babes! (Currently working out the kinks on this method with my 4 month old!)

    As always, please feel free to reach out to me if any of this seems confusing or you need any extra help! Mama's gotta stick together!

    Until next time!

    Xo

    -MMM

    SLEEP TRAINING

    5 Tips for Boating With Babies + baby boating accessories

    Summer is here y'all! And in Florida, we pack up our things and head to the boat ramp! Boating with your baby can be a very safe and fun activity in the summer, as long as you are well prepared and follow certain safety regulations, such as always having a life vest properly sized for your babe! If you're looking for a life vest for an infant under 30 pounds, Amazon (the place that has everything) has this one which is the most comfortable. We have a similar one, that was handed down to us but the size range is different, and we love it. I don't consider this a tip, however, I do consider it a NECESSITY!!

    BOATING WITH A BABY

    Just so you know I use affiliate links to keep my blog up and running. This means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I might make a profit, at no additional cost to you.

    1.  BE PREPARED FOR BOATING WITH A BABY/TODDLER

    As a momma, this is basically the number one tip/rule in your life regardless of where you are going. Always be prepared! I can't stress this enough for the boat! You are basically in the middle of the water somewhere, and the last thing you want to do is have to go back to land every so often to get whatever it is that you forgot. 

    When I'm packing my bag/diaper bag my essentials go as follows :

  • Diapers (duh! BRING EXTRA!!!)
  • Wipes (another obvious - never go anywhere without these!)
  • SUNSCREEN!! (an absolute necessity! Baby skin is so sensitive, this is a must!!)
  • Towels (my favorite are the hooded - but anything works!)
  • Extra onesies (I usually bring just plain white onesies, that I'm okay with getting salty and sweaty!)
  • Reusable swim diaper (oh my goodness- this ones the best!! So easy for a dip, especially since the smallest size disposable swim diaper is 16 pounds!)
  • Jelly shoes (since infants do not walk, this provides enough feet protection, with the ability to still get wet and cool when going for a dip in the water!)
  • Hat (keep that babe nice and shady!)
  • Fan (battery operated - but nice to give the babe cool relief in the heat!)
  • Bouncer seat (not to be used when the boat is in motion at all! We use it when we are either anchored out and not moving, or anchored up to an island and we bring it onto the island under our pop up tent!)
  • boating with a baby

     

    2. WEAR YOUR BABY ON THE BOAT

    I love this bit of advice. Baby wearing is basically the best, for so many different reasons and this is one of the atypical reasons! When getting on, and off of the boat - wear. your. baby. It is so important that during this transition from the land to water and vice versa that they are almost literally glued to you! NEVER pass your baby from person A to person B to get onto the boat! For mom it is SO much more comforting knowing that are right on you and basically can't move without you. Accidents can happen in a split second, so always be extra cautious even with baby wearing them onto the boat. Make sure there is somebody on the boat guiding you down, and somebody on land behind you kind of hovering you! Safety is obviously key here, so you can never have too much help! Continue to wear your baby until you get from point A to point B! NEVER pass them around during the time that the boat is in movement. 

    boating with a baby

    3. FIND YOUR SAFE SPOT ON THE BOAT

    If you're like us, and have grown up on a boat/the water you probably have never really thought about sitting in the "safest" spot because to us they are all safe! Which is true! But it's very important that you sit in a sturdy seat. Mostly for the comfort of the baby aspect, but it does also make you feel much safer and more secure! Usually, depending on the type of boat you are on, there is a seat, kind of like a captains chair, just not behind the steering wheel! Usually this seat gets splashed by water the least, and is a little higher up so you don't feel the boat hitting the waves as hard! If you sit in those lower seats, your little babe is going to be constantly bouncing up and down, and constantly shaken, which obviously is not good for their fragile bodies/heads!

     

    4. KEEP YOUR BABY COOL ON THE BOAT

    The Florida heat is no joke, and I'm sure wherever you are located 80+ degrees, is 80+ degrees! HOT HOT HOT! A risk factor of SIDS can be overheating, so it is so important that you keep your babe as cool as possible! Depending on the degree of the water, we will put a reusable swim diaper on her, and dip her in! Make sure you change them almost immediately after a dip in the water to protect against infections caused by sitting water, such as UTI's (yes - boys can get them too)! Most boats have some type of Bimini or covering that you can set your babe under in their seat. If the boat you are on only has a T-Top or nothing at all I highly suggest bringing an umbrella and figuring out how to bungee cord it to the center console somehow (Haven't had this problem yet, so just spit balling ideas here)! Shade is crucial in keeping them protected from the sun (as well as sunscreen)! and in turn keeping them cool! We also bring a handy dandy 02 Cool fan with us. It is battery operated, so it's great to face towards her when we feel like that she is getting too hot! ALWAYS supervise fan use, never let your child hold the fans themselves! Their little fingers are the perfect size to get caught in those slits and get hurt!

     

    5. HAVE FUN WHILE BOATING WITH YOUR BABY!

    I know, such an obvious one! But really y'all! Have a blast! I know sometimes being a parent in these situations is nerve-wracking, because again, accidents happen in a split second! But enjoy these moments with your babe while they are still little! They grow up so fast, and these memories are ones you don't want to miss! Take lots of pictures, as always! As long as you are being as safe as humanly possible, you should be just fine, and completely able to enjoy yourself!

     

    All of these tips are based off of boating with experienced boaters and passengers. If this is your first time on a boat, or your operators first time operating a boat, then leave that babe at home until you get comfortable and familiarized! 

     

    Xo

    -Amanda