Motherhood Problem #1: Sleep

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I had a friend send me a meme/message today about the “sleep when baby sleeps” saying that you get fed as a new parent. I responded with the question of “what do I do if the baby is sleeping and I want to sleep but the preschooler is still awake and crazy?” Because that was my real life situation.

Truth is sleep is the holy grail of parenting, the key to happiness and success often teeters on the scale of how rested you are. The more kids you have the more you adapt to interrupted and fewer overall hours of your eyes being closed.

Not going to lie, some days I roll my eyes at this whole scene about becoming parents and losing sleep but is it because I was lazy or I’m now just so used to it that, as long as someone isn’t sick throughout the night, I actually think that I am sleeping like a normal human being?!

And let me just warn any not-quite-parents-yet out there that motherhood does start at pregnancy because I remember losing sleep when I was pregnant with Harper and other moms telling me “oh you should sleep now while you can!” What a bunch of shit advice that was. How can anyone forget the immense uncomfortableness of a baby moving inside you, punching your cervix, kicking your ribs, spreading your hips apart mixed in there with the having to pee every 2 hours. From now on I’m just going to tell newlyweds “sleep now while you can because the from the moment you know your pregnant  you’re screwed until they all learn how to get themselves breakfast and turn on netflix themselves.” That’s real advice.

So now to my main point. Sleeping with babies. Everyone has their own journey. With baby 1 we had a crib and bassinet/pack n play combo. I was so paranoid about him breathing I couldn’t put him in another room where the crib was, he hated the bassinet so he slept next to me. Perfectly safely. But then again I never fully slept pretty sure I didn’t enter any form of REM sleep until he was 1. Baby 2, we bought a king size bed because baby 1 kept coming into our bed here and there. It worked alright but now we have 4 people in 1 bed 3 nights a week. Somehow, baby 3 happens and I’m at a loss. I felt that I couldn’t safely sleep with a baby in our bed as long as there was the potential for the other 2 to come in (usually they would sneak in). Also, I was far more sleep deprived now as a mother of 2 already that I didn’t feel my state of sleep was as reliable as it was when 1 was born- basically, I could no longer trust myself to sleep lightly around a newborn.

I started researching (shopping) around for ideas on how to keep this new baby safe and I found the Halo bassinest. Once I found it I felt it was the answers to my prayers from the beginning because it was easy to get baby in and out of, literally could by baby right next to me without them being in the bed and best of all it swiveled so I could get up in the night without scooting down to the edge of my bed. Plus it had a sweet nightlight and vibration and other stuff that I didn’t really use. Overall best baby sleeper ever, I slept thoroughly and safely next to Iver every night, even when he was waking up every 2 hours straight for 3 weeks….we used this until he could sit up on his own, around 5-6 months.

Second purchase I made towards sleep was the dockatot. Originally I made fun of the “baby raft” but in the end it was my best friend and the hardest baby item I’ve ever had to say goodbye to. I’d put Iver in the dockatot and he would put himself to sleep. That baby pillow hugged them just right so they felt safe and secure and I felt safe and secure with him in it because I knew it was snug and it was breathable. Add in the fact that it was his bed when we traveled and it was well worth it’s price tag. I used it all the way until he was 10 months old.

Third thing toward a decent night sleep with baby 3 doesn’t work with all babies but a good swaddle. I was grateful that a friend lent me her Ollie wrap, it was the best swaddle I had ever used because you could really wrap those suckers (babies) in there and it had enough give that they could squirm but it never un-hugged them. Iver was golden in it. We used it until he grew out of it and could wiggle out, probably at around 4 months, which is a pretty long time in the swaddling world.

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the holy trinity of sleeping babies

Ollie wrap+dockatot+bassinest= at least 4 hours of sleep at one time even with a colicky baby that you haven’t figured out is actually dairy sensitive yet.

And now that I no longer have any of these but don’t have to worry as much about anyone rolling onto my baby? I was planning on buying another dockatot (there’s a bigger one) but couldn’t swallow the price on it ($260) so I did a little more research and ended up buying Iver  a sheepskin to sleep on. It is amazing, transfers (what we parents call moving a sleeping baby out of our arms) onto it are very easy and he stays asleep. Though it doesn’t snuggle him as well as the dockatot did it is SO much cheaper and now everyone in my family wants their own because they are so cuddly and comfortable to sit, stand and sleep on.

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dreaming of sheep(skin)

On one final note. I heard the statistic yesterday that the quality and amount of sleep only lessens for women and not for men.  Haven’t these babies heard of feminism?! (as my husband sleeps on the couch just fine right now…. but surrounded by 2 out of 3 children).

Neutral Baby Wish List

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Not knowing the sex of baby 3 has not deterred my online browsing. There are a few things I plan on looking at specifically (new swaddle blankets) once we know if this baby is a boy or girl but for now it looks like I love black, white and grays. Some of the things on my list:
1. HALO Bassinest– At first I didn’t think we needed a bassinet, just our handy dandy pack and play that has the bassinet option. Then I remembered what a pain in the butt it is to get out of bed past the pack and play, scooting down to the edge of the bed or squeezing my thighs in-between the bed and bars of the p’n’p. Not fun. AND THEN I found this handy dandy thing on Amazon. It has a skinny base, is easily moved and swivels in a full circle but the best part: the bar closest to the bed drops down for easy transitions of sleepy baby from bed to basinet. Now I’m thinking this might be a must.
2. Sakura Bloom chambray ring sling in Marin- Most who know me know I love wearing babies. It just makes life easier plain and simple. I love Sakura Bloom slings for quality as well as sleekness because I also love simple solids over prints. I’ve been waiting to buy a chambray for a long time and while I hope to buy a new silk sling as well, that one I’d like to wait to chose a color after we know (as much as I love purple I just don’t think I can put a baby boy in purple). Marin is a blue/white almost like denim and goes with everything I own.
3. Mabo Kids trousers- how amazing are these colors? I’ve been drooling over chartreuse forever, better believe baby 3 will live in them.
4. Mar Mar Copenhagen– MarMar makes some seriously cute stuff for boys and girls. Simple and timeless but also a lot of modern prints. I found a fun print that’s good for boys or girls, of course neutral gray and sweet rouched sleeves that don’t make it feminine as much as it makes it infant and sweet. Doesn’t hurt that it’s super soft as well (may have purchased this one already).
5. MamaROO by 4Moms– I’ve been in awe of this beauty since we were pregnant with Harper and saw it swaying back and forth at Buy Buy Baby. Fortunately the price point on this has dropped since then, unfortunately it’s still on the higher end. We did have a wonderful swing for Harper and Willem but when you aren’t sure if there’s a third child in store for you it is a huge inconvenience to store such a big baby item so I sold it at a garage sale knowing full well that if we had another I’d want this swing anyway.
6. Klean Kanteen baby bottle– because how cool is a stainless steel baby bottle?! Perfect for all the camping this baby will be doing when it’s teeny tiny.
7. California Baby Calendula Cream– I am obsessed with the smell of California Baby calendula anything, that mixed with my poor offsprings tendencies towards skin irritation and excema and this tub will be gone in no time.
8.NaturSutton BPA-Free Natural Ruber Pacifier– I prefer the term pacifier over all the other nicknames they get but this one definitely looks like it should be called a dummy. Honestly I just think it looks kind of cool and want to try it but at $9 a pop I can’t imagine we will have more than a couple when I can buy our good ol Nuk’s at Target anytime for much less.
9. Stella & Wilbur Bonnets– Love these and you can customize them with linings, poms and bear ears. I will most likely wait to get one until I know what this baby is but this denim bonnet is such a beauty I couldn’t resist in adding it.
10. Jasmine Diffuser– I’m too afraid to put essential oils on a baby but diffusing is my jam. Must get one to put close to the bassinet since the other one is in constant use with On Guard in our living area and probably will be well until next summer.