*This post contains affiliate links and links to items that were given to me to post about as well as links to products that I enjoy using and paid for myself. All opinions are my own.
Let’s be real: for the first year of your baby’s life your sleep schedule is going to be just as erratic as it was your freshman year of college (or maybe you’re like me and you’re having a baby your freshman year of college- if so congratulations & welcome to the club!)
Baby’s aren’t the best sleepers. For the first few months their little tummies get hungry so quickly that sleep can be rare and inconsistent..especially if you’re nursing. When they get older and go through different growth spurts and developmental periods, getting them to sleep is just as challenging. I remember with Easton going why are you waking up twelve times a night…you were sleeping 12 hours two days ago.
Lincoln has just crossed into the 6-8 hour stretches and I am telling you it’s probably the most refreshed I’ve felt in a year.
While baby sleep patterns are unpredictable, there are some really easy things you can do to help your babe sleep and awesome products available to make night time even better. I’ll tell you all about our kid’s nightly routine and share the best baby sleep products.
Our night starts later than most others with littles. That’s because my husband works the evening/swing shift and usually works from 3pm-11pm or 4pm-midnight. Because of that I stay up late. Since we currently are not going to school or doing things that make it necessary for the boys to have an early bedtime, I prefer that they go to bed later so we can sleep later.
Our bedtime routine goes a little something like this:
8:30 pm – Get Easton in the bath tub
9:00 pm – Everyone in pajamas and Easton’s teeth get brushed (okay lets be real that means the baby is in pjs and Easton is only wearing a pull-up because he refuses to sleep clothed)
9:10 pm – Easton in bed with a cup of warm milk by his bed
9:15 pm – Read stories, say prayers, sing songs
9:30 pm – Nurse/rock Lincoln to sleep
10:00 pm – Mom gets house work/other work done
Like I said our nights are a little later than most- but it works for us right now. We have the kiddos on a routine that they’re used to, and they get a good night sleep (and we get to wake up at 8/9 instead of 6/7).
The great thing about having a 3 year old is that Easton pretty much goes to sleep on his own. I mean some nights he’ll come in and out of his bedroom for about 30 minutes and try to stay up, but he’ll usually just play with his cars in his bed until he falls asleep.
Lincoln, on the other hand, sleeps better if things are a particular way. He needs set things. If he’s fussy and tired, I can count on a bath and getting his jammies on to calm him down- he knows that means its bedtime and that he’s going to get to nurse and snuggle with mama.
So what do I use to make bedtime easier on both Lincoln and I?
Here are my go-to baby bedtime products:
- HALO SleepSack OR HALO SleepSack Swaddle: These are the best for bedtime because first, I’m not worried about Lincoln’s blanket covering his face. They also zip from the bottom, so if I need to unzip them and change his diaper or adjust his Owlet monitor (which sometimes I need to do because he rubs his little feet together) I can do it without undressing him entirely. They are so convenient and keep Lincoln the perfect temperature.
- Baby Sleeping Gowns (the kind with the elastic stretchy bottoms): Again, the best for bedtime. I love these because you don’t need to worry about snaps for bed. The elastic bottoms are a lifesaver. We have about 10 of these and we go through them fast. Must have right here.
- Owlet Monitor: I have such amazing things to say about the Owlet monitor. It’s a little on the pricier side, but if you can afford it I 100% recommend it. It’s saved my sanity at bed time. I used to sit up and worry about if Lincoln was breathing, but now I feel so much better.
- Auto Rock ‘n Play Sleeper: This is the one I have and it rocks itself. Lincoln sleeps in a cradle in our room right now. In a few months or so he will sleep in a crib. When Lincoln wakes up at night to nurse (usually somewhere between 4-6) I bring him into our bed so that I can doze off comfortably, and so that he can fall back to sleep. I don’t love sleeping with him in our bed, so I typically try to keep myself awake enough that I will know when he’s done nursing, and when he’s all done I set him in the rock n’ play until we wake up for real a couple of hours later. It sits right beside our bed and it makes my life so much easier.
- This inexpensive Glider: We had a faux leather glider before Lincoln was born and I hated it. It was uncomfortable and made weird noises when you rocked in it. I got rid of it, in the last few months of my pregnancy and put this one from Amazon on my registry. It looked so soft and comfortable, but it was also cute. My in-laws bought it for us and I’m pretty sure I have used it every single night since my dad & brother put it together (they put it together while we were in the hospital having the bebe). It’s the most comfy glider, and it’s perfect for our little apartment bedroom.
Bonus must-have’s for mama:
- Netflix/Audible Membership: I have listened to sooooo many books and watched sooo many series since having Lincoln. I did the same thing with Easton. Because I’m rocking and nursing for a little while each night I need something (other than just staring at Instagram on my phone) to keep my attention. Especially if I don’t want to fall asleep. Having Netflix and Audible have really helped me in that regard. I’ll typically watch an episode or two of a TV show while I getting him to sleep, then when he wakes up and wants to eat in the middle of the night I’ll listen to a book (Also if you join Audible through THIS LINK you get the first month free with a book of your choice!)
- Cute, Comfy Pajamas: Confession…I have never been a pajamas sleeper. It’s usually just leggings and Jake’s tee shirt for me. For my shower my mom gave me some comfy pajamas and a few other gifts just for me and they make such a huge difference in sleeping. Like guys, I’m so much more comfortable. I can’t believe I didn’t sleep in pajamas like this before.
So there you have it. Our baby bed time necessities. It’s a pretty short list, but babies really don’t need a ton and they’re all relatively inexpensive (aside from the Owlet which is a splurge but again- worthwhile).
I’m not saying they’re all going to work for you and your current situation, but for us with the help of these great baby products, sleep is coming easier these days!
What’s on your list of baby sleeping must haves? Anything you can’t live without?