Let’s be honest, we all want more sleep. Whether we you are waking up around the clock to take care of a newborn, or you’re reminding a toddler to stay in bed until the sun rises, sometimes we just need to know that we are all in this together. That’s why this month, as part of the monthly series hosted by Hannah Renee, my mommy friends and I have huddled up and decided to share our secrets on sleep!
The best part, you are going to be able to pick the brains of a handful of different women, all going through different seasons of sleep, who all approach the topic in their own unique way. Because if there is anything comforting that I have learned about parenting, it’s that there is no one size fits all. So settle in and get ready as we share our approaches to all things sleep. Enjoy!
(Dream Blanket c/o aden + anais.)
How well does your babe(s) sleep? Sleeping through the night? Taking good naps? None of the above? When we first brought Noah home, it was an absolute nightmare. That kid HATED sleep. JD and I used to take turns at night staying up with him, and we would switch off when it was time for me to nurse him again. Seriously – we took shifts. I would nurse and then bounce him on our exercise ball until our next feeding, then JD would take over.
To say that phase of our life was difficult would definitely be putting it mildly. A few weeks in to parenthood, we decided that sleep training was the way to go; which was the best decision we ever made.
Once we had Noah on a routine, everything else just fell in to place. So when Emmett came along, it was a no brainer to train him as well. Now at ages 2 and 3, they both still take afternoon naps (Noah about 2 hours and Emmett around 3), and sleep 11-12 hours at night with zero issues.
Have you or are you planning to “sleep train”? How did you go about it? 100% yes (see above). When Noah was a couple of weeks old, I read the book ‘Twelve Hours’ Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old‘ and it was an absolute game changer. The book was pretty self-explanatory, and made logical sense to me, so we set an “ideal schedule” and applied it. It didn’t take too long for either of the boys to catch on, and honestly, it made parenting for us so much easier. I will say that my biggest takeaway (with anything in parenting) is consistency. Raising kids is hard and can be exhausting, but if you stay consistent with your kids even in the hard times, it always pays off in the end.
Describe your babe’s bedtime routine. Are there any products or methods you do to promote sleep? It has gotten a little more relaxed the older they have gotten, but we still stick to a similar routine every night.
Since we brought the boys home from the hospital, JD has happily claimed bath time as his territory. So about 7:45 every night, he handles the bath while I pick up the house. Afterwards, one of the boys come to me, where I lotion them down, put on a night diaper and their jammies while JD is simultaneously brushing the other one’s teeth and hair. Then we switch. We all end up meeting in my oldest son’s room where we will typically read a story and say our prayers together as a family. We each exchange our hugs and kisses, then it’s off to bed. Both of the boys sleep with a Cloud B Turtle light that projects the stars on their ceiling. Thankfully it shuts off after about 30 minutes, but this just gives them something to look at as they wind down without leaving them in complete darkness. They also have their own form of a lovey and a favorite blanket. My current blanket preference would definitely be the dream blanket from aden + anais – it’s crazy soft and cuddly.
Did you try to create a “sleep schedule” or is it more flexible around your day? We absolutely stick to a schedule. Obviously life happens and there are days when we aren’t down for naps by 1:00pm, but our family functions best on a routine. JD and I prefer structure when it comes to raising our kids, and overall they are much happier when their day is “predictable” and their sleep tanks are filled.
How do you feel about co-sleeping? If you do co-sleep, how and when do you plan to transition to a crib/bed? We have never been big co-sleepers. For us, we just never sleep well with a kiddo in our bed. I will say that the first few weeks after bringing them home from the hospital, we are big “survival mode” people – which is pretty much just our way of saying, “whatever works, goes.” The only other time we have had our kids sleep with us is when they are really sick and struggling to sleep through the night. There is just something about snuggling your mom and dad when you don’t feel good that makes sleep come easier. Either that or it helps me keep my sanity from having to get out of bed every hour…
So what are some questions you still have? Anything you want to know in particular about how we handle the sleep situation in our house? If so, leave your questions in the comments below and I would love to answer them for you!
Also, don’t forget to check out these incredible mama’s below as they share their knowledge on all things sleep!
Hannah Renee // Amanda Krovic // Sophia Johnson // Mary Salas // Kacie Ellis // Victoria Schneider // Tanya Taylor // Carla Thompson // Kymberly Janelle // Emily Lindsey // Britt Havens // Stephanie Pollock
PS. Here is the part you really don’t want to miss. You’re going to want to head over to Instagram (you can click right here), because these ladies and I have partnered up aden + anais to giveaway a $100 shop credit to TWO lucky mamas!! So check it out, as the giveaway is running all week (May 8, 2017 – May 13, 2017). GOOD LUCK!
PSS. If you missed our welcome post to our monthly collaboration, you can find it here: Let’s Be Honest Mamas.