Welcome back to our new Family Files Series! Today, we are talking about the one topic every new parent seems to love and hate – sleep. Actually, we’re talking about how to sleep like a baby when you have a baby! Okay, so I’m being tongue in cheek there, but for real, we are talking about sleep and safety and our bedtime routine.
Don’t hate me – but Little Bird was a GREAT sleeper from the very beginning. By about eight weeks old, she was doing 5.5-6 hour sleep stretches in her basinette in our room and now, at three months, she’s basically sleeping through the night. (I know some parents aren’t so lucky in the sleep department. I feel for you. For real. I have nothing but sympathy for you and I will not try to give you advice because I’m almost positive you’ve already researched the heck out of sleep and will just want to punch me in the face.)
I find it sorta funny that she’s such a good sleeper because it was the only thing that worried me when I was pregnant. I just wanted a happy, healthy baby who’d sleep.
A couple things we did that I believe contributed to her sleeping well was we never nursed her to sleep or gave her what is called a ‘sleep crutch’. From a very young age (we’re talking like two weeks old), we were putting her in he crib awake, but sleepy so she’d get used to feeling all the space around her as she was falling asleep. (When she was that little, we’d stand in the room with her/fold laundry or whatever and only leave her in there for about 15 minutes at a time.) Otherwise, I think it’s just that Little Bird likes to sleep.
Here’s the wrinkle. I feel really safe having Little Bird sleep in her basinette right beside me in bed. But we are now in the process of moving her to her ‘big girl’ crib for full nights. Dan and I would like to finally start making over our master bedroom for one, and we also think it’s time Little Bird fly the coop, so to speak, and sleep in her own space. But I’m SO AFRAID of her being even 10 feet away from me in another room for that long.
I’ve been obsessing about making sure she’s as safe as possible.
Enter the Owlet Baby Monitor.
This is not an ordinary baby monitor. We have one of those (in fact, we have this one) – it has video and sound and talk back and all of that, so when Little Bird is napping, I can always see her.
The Owlet Baby Monitor is designed to track your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels and is also designed to notify us if her heart rate or oxygen levels go outside of the preset threshold.
I KNOW, RIGHT? This actually exists. And once I knew about it, I knew we had to have it, especially as we try to transition Little Bird to her crib full time.
It consists of a base station, small baby sock monitor and an app that collects all the readings. Once you sync the app to the base station, the readings are collected using the little (adorable) sock monitor and it’s transmitted back to your phone. (Side note: it’s really hard to get a not-blurry photo of a kicking baby foot! haha)
The Owlet is just one component in a safe sleep environment and we’re so happy it exists to help with some peace of mind.
I’m starting to feel more confident about the ‘all nighters’, but I have a feeling it’s going to take us a while to actually get there. Right now, LB sleeps beside me from about 1030pm to her first wake up around 6am and then we put her back in her crib for a doze until around 830am. I guess I’m just going to have to buck up and trust that she’ll be okay in her crib all night by herself at some point!
Other items we rely on to ‘sleep like a baby’
- Swaddle blankets – This is the kind we absolutely love and man…we use these for EVERYTHING. Little Bird is swaddled in one (with her arms out now) each night.
- A sleep sack – we started using this one on the recommendation of one of my friends, Nicole from The Inspired Hive, who is a licensed NICU nurse. It was a bit of a transition to using the sleep sack (we had a couple nights of more wake ups than ordinary), but now we absolutely love it. It means we definitely don’t need a blanket for LB, it washes beautifully and it grows with her for at least a year.
- A sound machine – We have this one. Yes, we live by the ocean AND we play ocean sounds to Little Bird each night. I don’t know who loves it more haha
We did try LB in her crib alone last week, and well… it didn’t go as well as we’d planned. She slept, but stopped sleeping through. So we are back to having her next to us for the time being. As soon as we did that, she started sleeping through the night again. I’m looking into some other options that will help her with the transition to all-night in-the-crib sleeping and I will report back!
What are some of the things you all use to create a safe sleep environment for your baby? Have you ever tried or heard of the Owlet? Curious for your thoughts!
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