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The first few weeks, okay it’s more like months, are such an exhausting time in a mother’s life.
For me, having my babies in my room during that time just made things easier than going back and forth in the middle of the night. We then transition them from our room to their room when they are old enough to get some longer sleep patterns established.
I think every mother is entitled to parent, sleep train, not sleep train, breast feed, bottle feed, do whatever the way she wants and there is NO wrong or right way to do any of it. All of my kids have been completely different with their own sleep patterns. So since I am currently in the thick of it with our newest addition Chloe, I thought I would share some of my must haves for both sleeping and transitioning and the steps we take to gently transition to the nursery.
Must Haves for Sleep Training and Transitioning
Nightgowns: Nightgowns are a MUST have for night time changes. No snaps or putting little legs in and out + they make for easy access and I feel it doesn’t wake up baby as much during diaper changes.
Swaddles: I swear by a good swaddled or burritoed baby!! I honestly think this makes all the difference during the night. It helps reduce that startle reflex they are born with that can so easily wake them up. Just watching Chloe nap unswaddled as I sit here typing this reminds me why we swaddle at night. She is constantly waking herself up with her squirming. And baby snores. 😉 My husband is an expert swaddle-r (made that term up) and he can get them so tight and cozy, they definitely sleep so much better when swaddled! Finding a good swaddling blanket is key!! You want one that is big, square, and breathable so baby doesn’t get to hot.
Video monitor: Look for a monitor with a high-resolution screen, trust me, in the middle of the night you don’t want the image to look so blurry you aren’t sure what you are looking at. I prefer one with soothing sounds and lullaby capabilities because with Brody we had to have both a monitor and a noise machine. Getting a combination of the two is #winning! I also look for a monitor that has two way voice, being able to talk to your baby once they get a little older is so great. We still use a monitor like this with both of the boys.
Co-sleeper or bassinet: The style you use is a personal preference. Our co-sleeper is her own little bed that actually fits right inside the bassinet and crib. We also use it when we travel so our babies don’t miss a beat. Whether we are at grandma’s house, boating, camping or anywhere in-between. That is what works best for us. When it comes time, as you will see below in steps #1 and #2 , we are then able to let baby spend time in the nursery, crib and when we sleep together in the new room with allowing that constant. If you use a side sleeper or bassinet, you can put that in the nursery for those steps.
Fully stocked diaper caddy: I love organization, and during the middle of the night is no different for me. I love having everything you need in one spot and ready + easy to grab. I make sure our caddy is fully stocked with anything we might need during the night – diapers, burp cloth, wipes, binki etc and I make sure it’s stocked before bed. So there is no searching for anything at night.
- Lay the ground work. For babies, you should make sure she has ample play time in the room and crib, so it is familiar.
- Sleep together in the “new” room.
- Sit by the crib or bed while your baby falls asleep. Sit on a chair by the crib and stay with your baby while she falls asleep. If this is tough for your little one, offer whatever comfort is necessary. Once your little one is asleep, leave. Ideally, it should take less and less time for your baby to fall asleep each night, as she grows more comfortable with the new arrangement.
- Leave the room before your baby falls asleep.
- Having a video monitor will make all the difference in easing your mind and knowing when to come back in.
When choosing a baby monitor to use during and after this successful transition, I highly recommend the VTech VM5251 5” Digital Video Baby Monitor with Full-Color and Automatic Night Vision, White. It features soothing sounds and lullabies that play right from the camera unit rather than needing a separate machine like I mentioned above, plus you can control it without going into the room.
I love the built-in temperature sensor so you can set an alert if the nursery is getting too hot or too cold so you can adjust the thermostat. You can find this monitor or many others in the VTech line of monitors that fit your needs at Target.com. Isn’t Target.com the best? Because who wants to leave the house with a baby!?
I know “sleeping through the night ” can mean a whole lot of different things to everyone and I don’t think there is any certain time that qualifies as “sleeping through the night”. We consider it sleeping 8pm- 5am with a night time “fill up” feed around 10-11pm. But we also consider a quick diaper change around 1-2am still nailing that whole sleep thing! Ha!
Our other kids have been good sleepers from the get go but with Brody, when he started “sleeping through the night”, he was a completely different baby – he was happier, more content and got super chubby!!! Sleep is such a powerful thing, for everyone!! Also, I have to mention of course I got super nervous + was a complete wreck when he started sleeping through the night in his own room, well pretty much the second we brought him home!! I get huge anxiety about my babies sleeping and something happening to them. The one thing that changed the way we slept was the VTech VM5251 monitor. Honestly, I can’t say enough about this awesome-so worth-every-penny VTech VM5251!!
And remember that this phase will pass! I know it’s hard and can be exhausting on every level. I am reminded of this quote: “To all mothers in every circumstance, including those who struggle, I say be peaceful. Believe in God and yourself. You are doing better then you think you are.” –Jeffery R. Holland.
It just reminds me that we do not have to be perfect, we just have to be trying. I love that every day we can have a fresh start!!