My kids hate sleep. My 3 year old kicks up a fight if you even say the word “nap” or “bed” so we just call it “quiet time.” (As in quiet down or Ima loose my mind.) Any my youngest is a good sleeper NOW but it took a lot of work to get him there. So let’s talk sleep tricks....but first can we take a moment to appresh this AMAZING new crib sheet from Rookie Humans. It’s so magical and fun for a camera mama like me.
Beanie: Beau Hudson (Stone)| Shirt: Little Bipsy (by Little Urban Apparel) | Pants: Stripe Harems by Wylo &Co | Crib Sheet: Rookie Humans | Swaddle Blanket: Oak & Navy Baby | Teether: Otherware | Wood Rattle: Martina's
Here are 3 things I’ve learned through trial and error, so many sleep books (like this one, and this one, and this one), advice from girlfriends and a baby sleep coach (yes, that’s a thing). I learned about REM and NREM, swaddling, attachment parenting, "crying it out" and on and on. Be warned: I am NOT a baby sleep expert. I’m just a friend sharing my experience, so please just do what’s right for your baby.
Good kiddie sleep habits are ALL about establishing a routine (and sticking with it...for us it's bath, pajamas, book, go the F to sleep), but here's a few tricks that can help out:
1. Use Black Out Blinds. Getting baby’s room dark will help their bodies start to produce melatonin and get nice and sleepy. We use IKEA blackout roller blinds. They’re simple, inexpensive and work great.
2. Turn Up the Sound Machine. A white noise machine can cancel out loud noises that wake baby. They will also start to associate the white noise as a sleep cue. We’ve used this $20 machine (here in Canada) since our first baby was born. It has been even more valuable with second baby, because toddler is LOUD while baby naps. It has different sounds (we used “white noise”), it’s reliable (not like silly Sleep Sheep) and it can take batteries if you want to take it to-go.
3. Make Sure They’re Fed. Okay, this sounds so obvious but my kids will wake up in the night if they're hungry. So we do a little snack right before bed. It can be a bottle of milk or a banana and it definitely helps. My new favourite nighttime sippy cups for milk are these (here in Canada) because they’re small at 9 oz (so no overindulging) and they seriously don’t ever spill. Both my kids get one of these full with milk before bed.
Oh, and maybe this isn’t a trick but I find giving them a security “blanket” totally helps. This can be anything that helps to comfort them and they can associate it with sleep.
For my youngest it’s his soother (here in Canada) and Dockatot and for my eldest it's his Little Giraffe Blanket and his Giant White Tiger (here in Canada) to "protect him."
Real Talk: We tried sleep training but found it to be a horrifying experience (probably for me even more than the kids). Call me a pushover, but I need to comfort them when they cry. I just do. Even if there’s no good reason for the crying.
Sleep has not been an easy road for us. Both my boys took until about a year to really sleep through the night on a regular basis. These tricks have made a huge difference for our sleep life.
Sending you all the sleepy vibes!