Ever since we brought Charles home roughly 16 months ago, we’ve had to make several changes to our/his sleeping arrangements. I thought I’d break down what changed when for future reference (y’know, so I don’t wonder how we managed when Peanut comes along 😉 ).
The newborn phase
Since a newborn’s circadian rhythm isn’t programmed the way ours is (from my understanding, that happens around 4 months) they have no conception of the difference between day and night. Knowing this, we decided to establish a visible difference between naps and nighttime sleep from the getgo. During the day, the little guy slept in his moses basket wherever his father and I were hanging out. During nights, though we considered many options (co-sleeping, having a cot in our room…), we decided to get him used to sleeping in his own crib in his own room. Since his room is right next to ours, we just kept both bedroom doors opened and we could hear him very quickly when he awoke for a feed in the middle of the night (or, rather I woke up very quickly – often my partner didn’t even hear him).
We swaddled him for the first week or two before stopping because he just seemed to hate it.
Eventually, when the little guy started too get big for his basket, we moved him to a baby park bed for his daytime naps. We also started to swaddle again when he was about 6 weeks old and his moro reflex (startle reflex) started to kick in.
The infant phase
At around the age of 4 months, we felt that Charles was ready to do his naps in his own room and so that’s where he went. We were still swaddling (as he was still aaaages away from being able to roll) and we had started using the pacifier sparingly to help him settle down for naps when he was overtired. Except the “sparingly” part eventually led to “frequently” and so we began our road down pacifier hell.
Weaning off the pacifier and the swaddle
By the time Charles was nearly 6 months old, I was way past the mombie phase because I had to keep on replugging the darned pacifier all night long. I was also getting frustrated with my little Houdini’s ability to break out of every single swaddle, no matter how tight or how creative and so, after trying a gentle method of pacifier removal (Pantley’s gentle removal), I decided to embark on the sleep training wagon get rid or both the paci and the swaddle cold turkey with the baby whisperer’s PU/PD method. It was hard, but it ended up paying off. Oh and this is when we invested in a lovey and when we started using a white noise machine for his sleep.
Of course, the little guy was very happy with his newfound liberty…
…and he got himself into a whole bunch of weird positions…
6 months to 16 months
…so we ended up setting his mattress to the lowest setting and we decided to invest in some sleep sacks.
It took a while, but eventually, Charles started to really “get” what a lovey was meant to be used for. When he was about 12 months old, he would grab on to his lovey when it was story time and keep hold of it when I set him in his bed. A couple of months later, he would recognize it by name and go get it when we asked him where his friend the ghost (that’s what his lovey is called ’round here) was. Then, at about 15 months, he started to go and grab it by himself as soon as he was out of the tub and in his pyjamas.
16 months onwards
A couple of weeks ago, after months of pretty smooth sailing when it came to putting him down for naps and bedtime, Charles started to get into a fit when it was time for bed. Thinking that he had developed a fear of the dark, we started to turn on the little nightlight that comes with his white noise machine. Then, one night, out of the blue, he reached out for one of his blankies. I’d never let him sleep with one before because I’m a scaredy cat when it comes to sleep and the possibility that he might suffocate himself (he also doesn’t have any bumpers on his bed or any stuffed animals with him), but I figured that if he was old enough to ask for it, he was old enough to sleep with it (of course, there’s also the fact that he is super mobile now). He was very happy and now grabs both his lovey and blankie once he’s in his sleepsack and ready for bed. For the record, this is the shop where I bought the sleepsack from (seen below with a dinosaur print). I’m not affiliated with the Etsy shop owner in any way, I was just so in love with the product (I mean, it has feet holes which means that my son can walk around in it and easily move around once he’s down for sleep!) that I decided to give it a shout out here.
Another change in preparation
In preparation for Peanut’s arrival, Charles will be going through another sleeping arrangement change. We have decided that the baby will be moving into the nursery that Little Dude is sleeping in right now and that the little guy will be moving to a “big boy room”. We’ll be moving him to a floor bed so that he’ll be able to get in and out on his own and he’ll be allowed to bring stuffed animals to bed with him if he wants to. I’m really excited (and, let’s face it, anxious) to see how the transition will go. I will definitely be keeping you guys posted when we go through the move this summer.
What do the sleeping arrangements look like in your household?