Monday, 4 December 2017

Sleep Saviours At Eleven Months Old

I don't really subscribe to the whole 'rod for your back' motherhood rhetoric. If something gets you, and the baby, through today, or more importantly, tonight, and it's not harming them, why wouldn't you use all the tools available? Sleep makes me a better mother, a more energetic one, and there are a few things that help me get it. Things have definitely got easier as she's grown up too, here are our sleep must-haves at eleven months old:

Sleepyhead Grand
We upgraded from the smaller sleepyhead when she was around eight months old and became a little too snug for it (you can read about that here), I tried her without for a while but she moves lots in her sleep so spent a lot of her time with her legs through the bars of the cot, which would be trapped as she rolled over and wake her up. Nobody has time for that at 3am. We welcomed the Sleepyhead Grand with open arms and half-shut eyelids! Yes, it helps her to feel snug, but more importantly, it stops her becoming trapped in the cot bars, she still rolls around a lot but as she can't trap herself, she doesn't wake up. I lay her in the centre on her back, but she rarely falls asleep there. I sometimes find her using the bumper as a pillow, especially useful when she has a cold as it helps her feel less congested. The Grand is suitable until the age of three years at which point she'll change to using duvet and pillow so hopefully the transition will be without drama, but I'm not going to worry about it. As long as she's happy and sleeping, the Sleepyhead stays! Find out more.

She's become less fussy over the brand as she gets older but she mostly uses an Avent, they come in a minimal clear plastic and Aldi often have them on offer during their baby events. I try to avoid giving her a dummy once she's up but she always has one in her cot or buggy if I'm trying to get her to doze while we're out. It relaxes her and lets her know it's time for sleep. I'll also willingly use it to keep her quiet if we're somewhere that's not conducive with a whinging baby. It might be frowned upon but I'd rather use that than ply her with snacks, not least because I don't like to let food anywhere near the
car seat or buggy. I just can't deal with anything else to clean!

Sleeping bag
We have two on the go right now, the Ergo Pouch and the Grobag because you can't risk one being in the wash when you need it. Sleeping bags are perfect for wriggly babies for a few reasons, they're warm and cosy and can't slip off, meaning that she doesn't wake during the night because she's chilly. They both come with a room thermometer and guidance about how many under-layers to apply depending on the temperature so you can sleep safe in the knowledge that you're not cooking a boil-in-the-bag baby. They also restrict them from standing up too easily, call me a meanie but I quite like that she can't get herself straight up onto her feet to voice her disinterest in bedtime by hanging on to the cot bars! Find out more about Ergo Pouch here and Grobag here.

We have the VTech pan and tilt baby monitor which has been a god-send for my naturally panicked brand of motherhood. I check on her all the time without disturbing her and it allows me to see the reason behind noises that I hear. If she's cried in her sleep, she doesn't need me rushing in there,  waking her up and the video function lets me do that. The camera comes with a wall mount which means that it can be positioned over the cot (surprisingly not a feature that all baby monitors offer). The monitor part allows control of the camera so that if she moves to the other end of the cot in her sleep, I can follow her with the camera (not neurotic, honest). It has a thermometer which displays the temperature on the screen, a music function that plays nursery rhymes and a talk-back feature which lets me speak to her through the camera. This absolutely terrifies her so I've stopped using that feature. Perhaps when she's older it will come in handy, once she understands that the disembodied voice is not a ghost! The camera quality is reasonable, I think we're all used to such a crisp screen that I was disappointed at first but the night vision and daylight functions both do the job, if a little grainy. The battery life is good, so I can take the monitor into the bathroom with me without having to plug. The charge lasts for around two and a half hours. The Vtech monitor is available here.

I wrote a blog post back when she was brand new about the amazing hypnotic effect of this white noise bear and he still perches on her cot each night with his magnetic feet. He's soft so that if she does pull him into the cot it's safe but more often than not, she leaves him where he's been since she was born, perching on the edge of her Snuz Pod and now her cot. The Whisbear has become a part of her routine, something that she associates with sleep. Find out more here.

Vicks Sweet Dreams Humidifier
We only use this when she has a stuffy nose but it really does seem to make a difference, you fill the tank with water and it fills the room with a mist which helps to loosen her chest. It projects still images onto the ceiling too, we usually turn this off so she's not stimulated by it if she wakes in the night but she is mesmerised by the star projection. You can insert vapour cartridges that emit that Vicks fragrance but as she's so young we leave the cartridge slot empty, the mist seems to be enough to do the job. It's very quiet, easy to fill and lets out a fine mist all through the night. Find out more here.

Putting the iPhone to bed
I am terribly guilty of the late night scroll. On my latest update I found that the iPhone has a feature called bedtime. It is as simple as it sounds, you tell it when you need to wake up and how long you want to sleep for. It remembers this information and gives you a little nudge each night to 'put your blooming phone down, woman'. It helps, a bit.

I hope you've found this helpful, I'd love to hear your sleep saviours in the comments below.


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