disclaimer: I was provided the Zen Sack from Nested Bean in exchange for my review. As always, my opinion is authentic and I would not share a product I did not personally love.
We got a lot of unsolicited advice as expectant parents, but the most frequent “tip” we heard was “get your sleep now, before baby comes!”
Not only is this not a tip at all, it makes becoming a parent sound so negative.
I’m happy to say that, with a few exceptions, Leo has been sleeping through the night since 9 weeks old!
Leo is nine months old now and sleeps from 8:15 p.m.-7:15 a.m.
If his mama is losing sleep, its because of the politics in this country, not a fussy baby!
It goes without saying that all babies are different, and not all tips and tricks work for all babies, but these are the things that have worked for us, and I hope they work for you too! Sleeping is as much about the environment as anything else, and I try to incorporate all the senses and comforts into his sleeping routine.
House of Navy’s 10 Tips to Get Your Baby to Sleep 10+ Hours
1. Wind Down Time. We try to keep the timing the same for bedtime to establish his routine. He’s starting to rub his eyes, yawn, and get a little fussy around 7:45. We start to get ready for bed around 8 p.m. with hugs and kisses and story time. A little infant massage helps him relax and unwind, and he is super cuddly during this time.
2. Lotion. I like to apply lotion to Leo’s skin before bedtime. We use a calming lavender lotion that smells amazing and makes his skin feel even softer. I know a lot of parents that are able to fit in a daily bath routine which is also calming and relaxing, but for those going every few days for a bath, this works for us! We use Honest Co. lavender lotion.
3. Bottle. Leo will not sleep through the night if he doesn’t have a full tummy. I breastfed for 9 months, but now he takes a bottle of formula and loves to hold it himself. Often during this time he will reach for my hair or play with my nose. He loves to make eye contact and connect during this time. We use JoovyBoob bottles.
4. Clean Diaper. A fresh diaper is crucial before bedtime. We also established a rule early on that if he wakes up in the middle of the night having gone #2, we will change him. Otherwise, we will leave that diaper overnight as he falls back asleep. (unless it has soaked through of course.) Getting your baby up and out of bed and changing them unnecessarily will start to wake them up and might take much longer to settle them down again. We prefer Pampers Swaddlers.
5. White Noise. We have a fan running in Leo’s room to drown out the street noise and creaks of the house or wind during the night. We also sleep with a fan in our room and swear by it. We will run a humidifier near his crib so that the circulated air from the fan is not drying him out overnight. The humidifier also helps with decongestion from those frequent colds babies get. Our humidifier is by the brand Crane from Buy Buy Baby.
6. Pacifier and Mr. Penguin. Leo loves having his pacifier for night time after he is done with his bottle. If he does wake up in the night, he will feel for it and put it back in his mouth. It is very calming to him as is his stuffed animal. His stuffed penguin is a sleep time only toy, and he loves to cuddle up with it. We use the Mam pacifiers and found Mr. Penguin at Target.
7. Pajamas. Having the right clothing on for sleep time is very important, especially as it is not recommended that babies sleep with blankets because of the risk of suffocation. We do not have A/C in our house (built in 1900!), so regulating the temperature throughout the seasons can be especially tough. A soft cotton onesie is fine for the summer (or even just a diaper on those really hot nights), and fleece for the winter. I personally love Burt’s Bees brand pajamas.
8. Zen Sack. We often use a sleep sack over Leo’s cotton jammies. The sack is appropriate for babies up to 12 months (but they also have the Zen Swaddle for newborns-6 months!) This product is like a 3-in-1! It acts like pajamas, a warm blanket, and is weighted down with beans over the chest which resembles your comfort and touch and soothes baby back to sleep if they wake. Once your baby can roll over and prefers to sleep on their stomach, the Zen Sack can be reversed to be worn backwards and have the beans over the middle of their back. The first time we tried the Zen Sack, Leo slept 13 hours!
9. Sleep Dock. We use the Dockatot and have brought it on trips and to friends houses to put Leo down. It is easy to travel with and can be placed almost anywhere. Leo likes to curl one leg over the side and snuggle his face into the curved top.
10. Keep Him in the Crib! This one may sound controversial, but our pediatrician recommended that if Leo wakes up in the night crying, do not immediately go to get him. We will wait a few minutes to see if he falls back into sleep himself, which he most often does. If he cries for a few minutes, we will go to him and see if it is his diaper, hunger, a nightmare, etc. We try to keep him laying in his crib and put our hands over him if he just woke up and doesn’t need a bottle or a diaper change, rather than picking him up to rock him immediately. That usually works too, but of course we will pick him up and rock him if that does not work.
Do you have any tips on getting your baby to sleep through the night? I’d love to hear what works for you!