I recently became a second time mama, with the birth of baby boy #2 a few weeks ago, and things are definitely different the second time around! With our first son, I was the typical first-time-mom: anxious, wanting to do everything right, Googling WAY too much, and not sleeping at all. We also had a very hard time with achieving the happy, sleeping baby the first time around. I desperately wanted the baby who slept through the night, and though our nap time routine was glorious, the night time sleep was never quite solid. So, this time around, I was intent on making that priority #1, especially with a toddler to chase after too!
I’ve quickly learned there are some keys to the happy, sleeping baby that I didn’t really have in place with our first kiddo. Creating a consistent sleep environment is a primary difference in our sleep success this time around, coupled with a consistent routine, which I am achieving with the help of a few key products that we also didn’t have (other than one!) for our first son. While it’s early, I can say, I’m getting 3-4 hour stretches at night between feedings and solid naps during the day from this little man already, so, things are already very different than they were the first time around.
So, if you’re looking to pave the way for a happy, sleeping baby in your house, here is what I would recommend:
#1 – The DockATot
Mamas – this is pure GOLD! The DockATot is a multi-functional lounger, co-sleeper, and playtime lounger. It’s portable, which makes it the perfect product to help you achieve that consistent sleep environment anywhere. We use this in our room for night-time sleep, and during the day for naps. It can be moved anywhere, taken in the car for traveling, and used for sleep wherever you are.
It is made in Europe, designed in Sweden, and is all natural, 100% cotton (so important to me!). It’s also been tested for breathability. The cover is very easy to remove and wash too – huge bonus! There are also two sizes, so you can choose when to transition out of it (the Deluxe is designed for 0-8 months and the Grand for 9-36 months). This is a baby product we see everyone talking and posting about, and I’ll be the first to say, it’s worth every penny!
#2 – The Homedics SoundSpa Sound Machine
This is the one product we did have for our first baby, and I swear by it! My toddler still uses this in his room, and it’s still a “cue” for sleeping time around here. So, we definitely wanted a second one with our newest little bundle, and we use it anytime he’s getting ready to fall asleep. This particular sound machine has the option to run until you turn it off, so while it has a timer, you don’t have to use that feature, and I love the fact that it can stay on all night. Additionally, it can be run by batteries and is small, and portable, so this is another easy product to throw into your bag or suitcase for travel. It has great sound options, lots of volume range, and it’s $20 – you can’t beat it!
#3 – The Ollie Swaddle
The Ollie Swaddle, known as the Smarter Swaddle, is something I really wish I had with our first baby. It’s SO easy to use, with velcro that stays in place so the swaddle isn’t moving over night when your baby moves and wiggles. It also made of great moisture wicking material that helps reduce the risk of overheating, and the bottom can stay open for easy access for diaper changes. It’s also one size, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing another swaddle as your baby grows. The Ollie Swaddle comes in the most adorable packaging, which makes it ideal for any baby shower gift, and they include a bag to wash it in, which I love. My son definitely knows we’re prepping him for sleep when we swaddle him up; so, this too, is adding to that consistent sleep environment.
#4 – The Owlet
There isn’t anything worse than parental anxiety, and I had it in abundance when it came to worrying about my first baby breathing while sleeping, even in a perfectly safe sleep environment. So, when I learned about the Owlet, which wasn’t until my first was almost a year old, I really had this on my list of “wants” for baby #2. The happy, sleeping baby makes for a happy, sleeping mama and the peace of mind that this brings is irreplaceable.
We have the Owlet Smart Sock 2, which is designed to track and monitor baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels and alerts you if something appears to be wrong. The technology is very intuitive; you can use the sock through 18 months (there are 3 different sizes that come with the product), and you can absolutely travel with this too. I can’t tell you how nice it is to open the Owlet app, and see my son’s oxygen and heart rate levels at any point during his sleep.
I found Cara when my first son was 9 months old and he still wasn’t sleeping through the night. Remember when I told you I was set on baby #2 sleeping? Well, this is why! Long story short, after a consult with Cara, and a few nights of implementing the “plan,” our 9 month old non-sleeper was sleeping 11 hours each night, and has since then. So, this time around, I was intent on taking her “Will I Ever Sleep Again?” course for newborns. Let me tell you, it’s life saving! AND you don’t have to be local to Arizona to enjoy it, because she has an online class too.
In essence, Cara gives you the “big picture” about what to pay attention to and what to implement, starting at four weeks, to achieve healthy and consistent sleep habits so that you get that happy, sleeping baby without all of the tears and frustration that come when you have the 9 month baby who isn’t sleeping. Remember the routine I mentioned previously? She has great tips on how to achieve this, and how to make it work for any family. She also has courses for babies through 24 months, so be sure to seek her out as a resource if you’re in need. I’ve referred countless friends to her and each of them has had nothing but amazing things to say.
So, there you have it. My (not so in-a-nutshell) tips on how to use these products to help you achieve that sleeping baby we all want. These fit together like a puzzle piece, with all of these products being used in tandem. Hopefully you find this helpful. Are there other products you swear by? If so, let me know in the comments!
Newborn photos courtesy of Brianna Anderson Photography
Disclaimer :: The last photograph included was taken as part of a newborn photo session, in case any of you are wondering about the belly sleeping!