Guys I know all too well never to tempt fate but something very exciting has been happening the last few nights and I just feel like I HAVE to share it … Jenson’s been sleeping through the night! He’s been going through from 8pm until 5-5:30am completely undisturbed and then having a bottle and going back down until 7:30-8am ish. It’s not like when I used to say that Jasper had slept through except I actually had to go in and stroke his back for a couple of minutes to settle him and change his bum … this is sleeping – 9 solid hours of golden sleep!
If you’ve followed my blog from the get go then you’ll know that Jasper was a terrible sleeper. He ‘slept through’ for the first time at 13 months and 6 days (I sound like such a broken record when I say that) but that was a one off and really it wasn’t until he was coming up for 2 years of age that he actually started going through the night consistently. Because of all the months of tired eyes and ‘mum brain’ I was determined to get things right with Jenson and even though he’s been a much better sleeper from the get go, he’s still been waking at least once for a feed.
We’d managed to get him into a pretty good routine which you can check out here and for the past few weeks he was usually waking just the once. He had a good morning and afternoon nap as well as a good amount of milk and solid food.
Now I know all too well that tonight could go back to the norm and it could even go to the extreme of #teamupallnight but I do think that there are a few things I’ve implemented that have led to this positive step and I wanted to share them with you guys now:
1 – The major change that happened over the last few nights was that Jenson moved into his own room. This wasn’t planned at all, even though at 7 months of age it’s definitely a great time to plan to do it. We did it purely because he was sick through his mattress in the cot in our room and we were out all day and didn’t have time to clean it and have it dried by that night. So into his big boy cot, in his big boy room he went. Now this could have implicated so many factors; a different room temperature, less noise or perhaps even more noise from the outside, different smells – who knows, but whatever the implications they seem to have been positive.
2 – As Jenson is such a big boy he recently outgrew his Sleepyhead which kept him nice and cocooned as if he were being held. I panicked at first as I thought he would then feel insecure and need that comfort but it’s actually gone the opposite way as he now rolls over onto his side and has seemed to have found a really comfortable sleeping position that works for him. He may have felt safe and secure in the beginning but as I kept him in it probably a bit longer than necessary he was maybe feeling more restricted in the end.
3 – Another benefit of him being out of his Sleepyhead is that he’s been able to move around, play with his teddy and have a good explore of his cot before falling asleep and also when he wakes up. I always thought that he should fall asleep straight away but it takes me forever to fall asleep – I like to check my phone, read a book and collect my thoughts so it’s only natural that he goes through a baby version of that process himself. Maybe he needs to have a little root around of his cot to familiarise himself with it and almost ground himself before he feels ready to drift off? Before he could hardly move so if he wasn’t quite ready to sleep he just had to lay feeling perhaps quite uncomfortable whereas now he can do it in his own time. This also means that if he does wake in the night and fancy a stretch and a change of position he can do it without being restricted and having to cry for me to help him. He also wakes happier as he plays in his cot until he needs me whereas before he’d just have to lay there staring up at the ceiling bless him!
4 – Something I’ve done from day one as I never did it with Jasper, is letting Jenson self settle. He never falls asleep being rocked, he doesn’t fall asleep feeding and apart from his white noise machine and dummy which he could take or leave, he doesn’t have any strenuous sleep aids. This has definitely helped towards him being a better sleeper and now that I’ve brought his bedtime bottle from just before I pop him in his cot to an hour before, he’s really demonstrating that skill.
5 – I’ve also gotten a lot better at waiting before I go to him during the night. I used to jump up at every cry, mainly because I didn’t want him to wake Jasper but I’ve realised that Jasper is a pretty heavy sleeper and if he does wake he drifts back off easily so I now wait to see if Jenson can settle himself back off. I haven’t done any kind of controlled crying with him; purely because I’ve not had the need to but I do wait to see if he’s just having a little moan or if he’s generally upset and the majority of the time he’s just lost his dummy or is trying to roll over and soon sorts himself out.
6 – Another factor that I think has really helped Jenson to sleep well is introducing solids. Jenson was having up to 3 bottles of formula during the night plus 5 during the day but as soon as we got him onto a pattern of 3 good meals, snacks between, as well as 3 bottles of formula during the day, he cut that right down to one night bottle.
7 – Something that I’d noticed over the past few days was that his poo had gotten quite hard. He never seemed in discomfort but I did worry that maybe indigestion was waking him so I started to give him water with his meals and the first day that I noticed he drank a lot of water was yesterday – could that have been the ticket? It has been suggested to me to offer him water at night as he doesn’t really need a whole bottle anymore but whilst he was drinking it all I was happy for him to just have the one – which now he may even be dropping completely!
8 – I used to worry that too much sleep in the day would make him need less during the night but at the moment Jenson has two long naps – one in the morning of 1.5-2 hours and one in the afternoon of around an hour; or he has one long nap in the middle of the day like today for example he slept from 11am-2:30pm. This means he’s not overtired for bedtime and settles well.
9 – Another big thing that I think has impacted positively on his sleep is how much physical activity he does now. I know thats it’s all relevant to their stage and age but at 7 months Jenson is now sitting, crawling and loves using his jumperoo and I really do think he’s burning so much energy which is therefore making him sleep better.
10 – My final thing I’d like to share is some of the products we use that help him to get a full nights sleep:
- White noise – I always put some form of white noise on when he goes to sleep, we have a projector that plays a variation of noises but the rain and static noises seem to be his favourite.
- Super absorbent nappies – Babies wee on average 3-4 times a night so having a nappy that first and foremost wont leak but equally as important won’t be uncomfortable is essential when it comes to sleep. If bambino is trying to move and they have nappy bulk that could cause them to wake so we always use the Pampers Baby Dry nappies. They contain MicroPearls which absorb 30 times their weight in liquid; provide up to 12 hours of dryness and have those 3 absorbing channels to distribute the liquid evenly.
- Sleep bag – Jenson is a wriggler like his big brother and a blanket would always get kicked off so we pop Jenson in sleep bags. They’re safe options as they can’t cause suffocation but they provide warmth and comfort.
- Mittens – Jenson used to be a terrible scratcher no matter how short and smooth his fingernails were. I always make sure to buy sleep suits that have the built in mittens or I pop socks over his hands as he just pulls off normal mittens! This means that he can’t scratch himself in the night which used to wake him a lot!
- Blackout blinds – Just like his big brother Jenson sleeps so much better in darkness. We have a fab blackout blind that works wonders even during a sunny day and it also means that he can see the stars on the ceiling from his projector better.
- Massage – Okay so this isn’t a product per say but we always have calming down time before bedtime with includes a massage. I use Jenson’s daily cream which not only makes for a nice massage cream but also soothes his skin as he did suffer with eczema. This helps him to relax before bedtime, gives us some nice bonding time and protects his skin over night!
Well those are my tops tips on baby sleep and why I think Jenson has dare I say it? – Started sleeping through! I’d love to hear your tips on getting your little one to sleep through and of course if you have any questions please do pop them in the comments below,
Thanks for reading!
*As a member of the Pampers Baby Board this post is in collaboration however all opinions are my own.