It’s time again for another Let’s Be Honest Mamas post created and led by my sweet friend Hannah Renee. But first, it’s time for a little apology for being so MIA around here. We do these posts monthly and if you look back one post, you will see that my LAST post was also a Let’s Be Honest post, which means I haven’t blogged in a month, which means I should probably not even call myself a blogger anymore (blogger card revoked!). I just love doing these posts though and reading through what some of my other fave bloggers have to say about a particular topic. I couldn’t miss out on this one because its all about SLEEP!! Make no mistake, other than liking to sleep A LOT, I am no sleep expert. You probably won’t find any life changing answers here BUT my kids were both horrible sleepers and somehow I made it out alive so, I mean, that has to be worth something.
Check out some of my answers below and be sure to hop over to the other mama’s blogs when you’re done here (I’ll link them at the bottom of the post.) Also share all your sleep tips with me – I still sometimes feel like I’m just winging it in this area.
Lastly – I’ve included links (some affiliate, some not) in this post for your convenience. I love and use all the products I mentioned on a daily basis and hope some of these things could help you or your littles in the sleep department.
K – let’s do it!
How well does your babe(s) sleep? Sleeping through the night? Taking good naps? None of the above?
Currently and finally, both of my babies (ages 3.5 and 23 months) sleep through the night (hallelujah!!).
Elle takes a 3 hour afternoon nap (which literally saves my life) around 1pm each day and Dex dropped his nap at the WAY too young age of 2.5. As soon as he moved into a bed he could get out of, it was over. Currently he does a “quiet time” while Elle naps but even that is hit or miss depending on the day. Tips for quiet time welcome!!!
Have you or are you planning to “sleep train”? How did you go about it?
We didn’t have any sleep training plans going into having either of our kids. Even after Dex was a horrible sleeper, I think we just figured each kid is different and we hoped for the best with Elle.
For Dex, I hit a breaking point (all you sleep deprived mamas know what I’m talking about) and I followed a sleep training plan that I heard from a mama on IG. She was the sweetest ever and literally made herself available to me to DM her as I was going through it the first couple nights. It was a bit of a disaster as Dex has tantrum endurance that would blow your mind. But eventually, we let him cry for short bursts of time and his sleeping got better. It wasn’t until he weaned from breast feeding that he officially slept through the night.
Elle was up WAY more in the night than Dex was but she was a breeze to put down and slept solid when she wasn’t up to eat. She was in our room for a long time, and then still up a bunch nursing when she was in her own room. At around 12 months I hit that “I’m gonna go crazy” point and we started some light sleep training. She slowly weaned from nursing and started sleeping MUCH better. With Dex I was so accommodating and did the whole shhhhing, and patting and leaning over the crib for 40 minutes or doing squats until he fell asleep, I think with Elle we just skipped all that out of necessity and because of that she was amazing at putting herself to sleep. Seriously, it’s really all a blur looking back.
Describe your baby’s bedtime routine. Are there any products or methods you do to promote sleep?
We start bedtime routine right after dinner with a lavender bath (which is a lot more chaotic than it sounds) and then Zach takes Dex and I take Elle. We brush teeth, do lotion (loving this one lately – seriously saved Elle’s skin!) and jammies and then pick some books to read in bed.
If it’s a particularly crazy night, I will put a drop of lavender essential oil on their pillows and stuffed animals before we read.
We read some books, give kisses and hugs and then it’s time for tuck in.
Something I think really does help is black out blinds. We have ALWAYS had black out blinds in both of their rooms and swear by them. It’s like a cave in there and especially as we approach summer, it helps with them going down when it’s still light out.
We also just got these about 2 weeks ago but but both of my kids sleep with a Dock-a-Tot grand dock and honestly, even at their ages this has been LIFE CHANGING!!! I wondered for so long what all the hype was about and all of the rumours are true! Dex used to come into our bed every single morning around 5:45-6 and since we put the Dock in his big boy bed, this hasn’t happened once! Elle used to wake up once a night and ask for a bottle and be hard to get back down and no word of a freaking lie – this also hasn’t happened a single time in a week since she started sleeping with her Dock.
Dex never took to a blankie or stuffie (no matter how hard I tried) but every night Elle needs her BunBun and her aden + anais Dream blanket. This blanket is made of super soft bamboo but it’s heavy enough that it keeps her warm and cozy.
Other than that, we don’t do any music or noise or anything fancy anymore.
Story, song, prayers and snuggles and it’s time for bed. Elle always goes to bed without a word but Dex will still sometimes try to sneak out of bed or ask for a bazillion things before actually falling asleep.
Did you try to create a “sleep schedule” or is it more flexible around your day?
When they were little I was all about the nap schedule. We loosely followed the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child. And we also followed the E.A.S.Y. sleep schedule after we were done with feeding on demand. The EASY routine basically means after a baby wakes they eat, then do an activity (tummy time, playing, anything really), then they sleep (and it’s important that they don’t eat to go to sleep) then you get your “you time”. Unless of course you, like me, have other children then you don’t even remember what “you time” is.
I didn’t follow this to a tee and I always, every single night nursed my babies to sleep (and it’s seriously some of the best moments of my motherhood life so far). I really just flew by the seat of my pants with the whole sleep thing and am probably to blame for them not being the best sleepers but we’re on the other side now and it truly seems like such a blip in time.
How do you feel about co-sleeping? If you do co-sleep, how and when do you plan to transition to a crib/bed?
With Dex, he was in a bassinet beside our bed for about 3 months before transitioning to his room. He’s super..umm independent like that. Not a snuggler at all, would have NEVER ever slept in our bed or near anyone else and I remember the first night in his crib he had the best sleep ever (meaning like a 4 hour stretch – don’t be jealous) and we just never looked back.
Elle on the other hand, is all snuggles all the time. That girl was either beside or in our bed from the beginning until around 9 months. I truly never thought I would be a co-sleeping/bed sharing kind of parent but with the second child, it was a matter of survival. Whatever gets everyone the most sleep each night is what we were doing and that’s that! It was nice because we never got that experience with Dex and to this day, I kinda miss having her in with us.
Thanks for reading and be sure to check out my freinds’ blogs and their answers to the sleep Q+A too!
Hannah Renee hannahreneeblog.com // Amanda Krovic amandakrovic.com // Sophia Johnson cultivatemotherhood.