Reid is a magnet for conversation while we’re out and about. With his role poly arms and chubby cheeks, I mean, how could you not say something to this handsome little man?
Conversations are pretty cookie cutter though. First, they say he is cute, so very cute! Then they say something about how big he is, which I know all too well because I carry this heavy little man around all day every day. If they’re wary of talking about his chubbiness, they circumvent the truth and joke that I’m starving him or that I must make cream instead of milk. We both laugh and I aim to make my transition, but they reel me back in with the age old question, “Is he sleeping at night for you?”
I want to scream, “No, no he doesn’t sleep through the night! He’s 12 weeks old and it wouldn’t be normal if he was sleeping for super long stretches! Don’t you know how fast breast milk metabolizes? He wakes up hungry, just like he should. He wakes up cold sometimes, or needing a burp, or just because he feels alone and wants to snuggle close to his mom. All normal. All ok. All part of the season we’re in right now.”
I don’t scream though. I smile and usually say, “He’s sleeping well enough,” and then we go on our merry way, quickly, before another well meaning question is asked. Here’s the thing, it’s not that I don’t want more sleep – I do, but the reality is, we’re just not there right now. And that is ok!
With Reid being my third, I have learned how to make sleepless nights easier though. I don’t expect him to sleep through the night, but I do have a few tricks up my sleeve to help him sleep as much possible. That is my goal, plain and simple — a little more sleep for everyone. Because, if Reid sleeps more, I sleep more — win, win! If you’re struggling with your little one’s sleep pattern, no matter the age, let these bits of my experience aid you in getting through your long nights!
CHOOSE TO BE GENTLE
First things first, accept the fact that your little one most likely won’t sleep through the night. Once you’re over that hump, the reality of being awake at 2am comes a lot easier. Be gentle with yourself and your little one. I also highly recommend the book, The Wonder Weeks to learn more about your baby’s development and how different stages impact their sleep cycle.
PREP THE RIGHT NIGHT OUTFIT
Set yourself up for night time success by strategically dressing your little one for bed. I am a huge fan of Huggies Snug & Dry diapers because they offer 12 hours of protection thanks to the triple layer that helps stop leaks. Disposable diapers also pull moisture away from your baby’s bottom, making them feel more dry, and thus reducing wake-ups due to discomfort. Over our dipes I love to dress Reid in a sleep sack or zip up jammies to keep him warm.
BE IN TUNE WITH THE 5 SENSES
Think through the environment you like to sleep in and then put yourself in your baby’s shoes. Imagine what makes them feel safe and cozy. For my little ones, this means I have black out curtains in their room for maximum darkness, a fan or sound machine for calm background noise, and lately I’ve been snuggly Reid up with a shirt I have recently worn so he can feel close to my scent as he sleeps.
STAY SANE AT MIDNIGHT … AND BEYOND
Once you accept that you’ll be awake a few times each night, plan ahead to make the times you are awake more enjoyable. Have a comfy place to sit, keep a water bottle close by, and have a book downloaded on your phone or e-reader. Learn how to safely cosleep and go that route if you feel like you’ll get more zzzz’s with baby close to you. Whatever you do, take a deep breath and know this season of seeing all the wee hours of the day will pass.
Bedsharing has been our saving grace lately. It’s just easier to side lie nurse and attend to Reid’s needs throughout the night with his close by. This makes avoiding leaks even more important. I DO NOT want to be changing king sheets thanks to faulty diapers every morning – no way, not on my watch. So, thank you Huggies for keeping us all happy and dry … even if we aren’t sleeping through the night yet.
If you need to stock up on Huggies Snug & Dry for your sleepless nights shop at Fred Meyer during the “Baby Me” Event going on between 3/20/16 – 4/2/16 and spend $40 on participating baby items so you can receive a $10 off coupon good towards anything at Fred Meyer (while supplies last).