This post is sponsored by Pampers. All opinions are my own. Thank you for being supportive of the partners who help keep Lovely Indeed rocking!
A few months back, we wrote an epic post on our process for getting our babies to sleep through the night by 3 months. I still love that post, because it’s down and dirty and I think it’s helped lots of new parents during those really tough first weeks. But the truth is, once baby is sleeping through the night it’s not necessarily always smooth sailing. There are regressions, milestones, and interruptions that can set you back to square one and make you feel like you’re going crazy with lack of rest. So I thought it was only fair to share the rest of our sleep story, and our five no-brainer tips that will have your kids sleeping like champs.
Yes, both of our kids were sleeping about 11 hours at night by about 3-4 months. And that was rad and took lots of hard work and emotional investment. But for both of them, down the line things came up that would interrupt their sleep patterns or set them on a regression. Any time either of them would hit a major milestone (think standing, crawling, walking, talking), they would want to party all night. Teething has been a major one for Maggie, it will keep her up every hour on the hour some nights. And I can remember a span of time with Henry where he would only fall asleep if one of us was laying on the floor in front of his crib. So during those times (and lots of others), we always go down our little checklist to make sure we’re doing everything we possibly can to encourage healthy sleep.
Make Bed the Sleeping Place As fun as it is to roll around in Henry’s bed now and let him jump and play in there, that’s a relatively new thing in our house. Until we have really great sleep patterns established, we don’t encourage too much playing in the crib or the bed. We never really put toys or books in their cribs when either kid was little, and we didn’t use it as a holding pen when they were awake. All of this is to foster the idea that the crib or the bed is the place for sleeping. It’s a physical space that becomes a cue that it’s time to wind down, relax, and sleep.
Keep Them Dry Out of all of the reasons our kids have woken in the middle of the night over the years, I can’t think of a single time that it was because of a wet diaper. We’ve been using Pampers Baby Dry for both kids since they were born, and I swear by them. Pampers Baby-Dry actually just got a little upgrade that makes it even more absorbent than previous Baby-Dry, and keeps dampness away from baby’s little buns. I love them too because they don’t feel bulky, rigid, or overly squishy like some other diapers we’ve tried. They just feel soft and comfy, and our kids have always had the best nighttime sleep because of that. Henry’s out of diapers now but Maggie still uses these and will until she potty trains.
Anticipate Discomfort Along the same lines of keeping baby dry, make sure that you’re anticipating any other circumstantial issues they may be fighting. Dress them in jammies that are seasonally appropriate (Henry would always wake if he was too cold). If they’re teething and your doctor allows it, put a little teething gel on their gums to head off any tooth pain. Both of our kids always take a sip of water before bed and it seems to keep them hydrated through the night. Learn your kids’ quirks and anticipate what they might need.
Discover their Sleep Style Our kids are totally different when it comes to sleep. Henry has always wanted a song or a story in bed. Maggie just wants to be held for a couple of minutes before being set down. Discover your own babies’ sleep style and cater to it to encourage a great night. Pampers even has the #SleptLikeThis sleep quiz that you can take to figure out their style! It nailed our kids — Maggie is a koala, so we always do lots of extra hugs before bedtime. Henry is a starfish (I’ll let you check out the quiz to see what that means). 😉
Encourage Routine We started bedtime routines with our kids as early as a month old. And to be honest, it’s as much for us as it is for them. Early on, it encourages them to wind down at the end of the day in whatever way you choose — bathtime, stories, songs, prayers, rocking, and so on. As the months and years go by they start to look for that routine to signal bedtime and impending sleep. It’s particularly great to have a routine if you’re traveling, so that no matter where you are you can go through the routine and get them sleeping just as well as they would at home.
Hope some of these tips help you keep your littles snoozing all night long! Because I think we all know: rested kids mean rested parents. 😉 xoxo