So we’re thinking about what to do for our babysitter-enabled evening this weekend, and we realize that what we really want most is to have someone get our kids ready for bed. The bedtime routine of prodding, cajoling, and (usually) threatening the kids into their pajamas is a brutal gauntlet at the end of a long and tiring day. Can we hire a nanny to just get the kids ready for bed, then we’ll come in and sing or read to them? That would be awesome.
Our babies always had trouble sleeping. The first one didn’t sleep through the night until he was six months old (though now he could sleep through an earthquake). The second one slept like a dream for three or four months and has woken up at least once every night since then.
We swaddled and breast fed and cradled and sang and walked and did everything we could to get them to sleep. Of all those things, what helped the most was swaddling. Now, swaddling is a bit of an art. You need a big blanket (like the one you stole from the hospital), and you need to be none too gentle with how tightly you fold your baby up. Invariably we wound up using a blanket that was too small, or our boys would manage to get an arm out (with which to whack myself over the head, Daddy!).
But we found something that helped. The Miracle Blanket is a blanket designed for swaddling. It has special flaps for the arms and a pocket for the feet, and it is truly miraculous. It comes in two sizes (last time we checked) and really does work. Don’t be thrown off by their “As Seen on TV” style web site.
The other problem we have run into with baby sleeping is how cold it gets at night, especially when we lived North, and during winter. At some point (ask your pediatrician when) you can put a blanket in the crib with your baby, but even then it will be a while before they get the idea of snuggling under it to stay warm. Enter the SleepSack. We bought these in two sizes, too, and both our boys used them. Now with the second boy, we have just ordered some SleepSacks for toddler sized kids, which include foot holes.
These two items are a bit expensive for what you get, but we love them so.