We’re finally getting somewhere with the sandman. Our baby Leigh is 11-weeks-old and nowhere near sleeping through the night, but that’s okay. Most nights he falls asleep between 8 to 9pm and wakes up for a mid-night nursing at 1am. He usually stirs again around 5am to get a little snack in before passing back out for another hour. He’s wide awake between 6 to 7am. I’m thankful that he wakes up in the middle of night, otherwise, I’d have to go pump. Hooking myself up to a machine is not nearly as nice as cuddling a sleepy baby.
In more groundbreaking news, Leigh is finally sleeping in his crib. When he first got home, he slept in his crib, but it became such a trip for me to feed him in the nursery several times a night (“all the way down the hallway!” – said with sarcasm). So he started to sleep next to our bed in a Rock ‘n Play. This way, I could easily pick him up to nurse in our bed and then fall back asleep without having to walk around. I also enjoy having him close to me so I can check on him through the night.
All the baby registry websites, including my favorite, Lucie’s List, mention these Fisher-Price sleepers as a must-have item. To be honest, it’s one of the most used baby things we own. It’s nothing fancy. All it does is vibrate, and we don’t even use that component. Other ones have infant inserts, play music, and rock themselves.
I didn’t know it when we started using one, but there is a negative stigma with letting your baby sleep in a Rock ‘n Play. Moms like me who use them whisper about it when we get together and talk about sleeping arrangements. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends only letting your baby sleep flat on their back on a hard mattress and this chair is definitely not flat, nor hard. Apparently, sleeping in this baby swing also creates flat spots on their head because it’s soft and their head can’t turn properly.
Here’s the thing: when your baby gets used to sleeping bundled up in your arms and you put him down on a rock hard, flat mattress, they wake up! But with the Rock ‘n Play, the baby stays cuddled in by the sides of this sleeper chair. We’ve kept using it because after hours of trying to get him to sleep, I need to guarantee that he’ll stay asleep when I put him down and this does the trick. If I could do it again, I’d register for this modified Rock ‘n Play that magically turns into a bassinet. The only reason why we haven’t upgraded to this model is that Leigh is a big baby and he’s going to be above the 20 lb weight capacity before we know it.
The day is quickly approaching when he’ll be able to roll over and sit up on his own. Once that starts, I can’t let him sleep in the Rock ‘n Play. It’s too big of a risk that he’ll sit up in the middle of the night and somehow maneuver himself out of the chair. So we’ve been working on napping in his crib for a week and he’s doing great! So great, that the last few nights, I’ve been laying him down in his crib after he nurses to see if he can put himself to sleep. I click on our owl noise machine and sit in the nursery reading from my Kindle until he stops moving his arms and legs and I know he’s asleep.
I had a hard time with this big move out of our bedroom and into his nursery at first. I still do. And that’s why after he wakes up at 1am, I bring him into our room and let him spend the rest of the night in his Rock ‘n Play next to me. Baby steps, right?