As the Infamous Night Owl, I thought I’d share my super powers of extreme patience and endurance with you, so that next time you’re deep in the trenches with a baby who refuses to sleep, you’ll know that you’re not alone, and that it’s going to be OK. This is all just temporary.
Our sleep journey has been a rocky one right from the start. The first week went alright and I think I even Tweeted that “my son loves to nap, just like his mommy”. The following week, I wondered if I’d jinxed myself and by the third week it got so out of hand that I went to the GP to ask for help. Ultimately, my son was diagnosed with a rare medical condition and sleep pretty much went out the window for all of us.
To say it was anything other than harrowing would be a lie. I was in survival mode for so long that I don’t remember much of the first six months. Along with the months of sleep deprivation came severe post-natal depression and a whole lot of anxiety. I got the help that I needed mentally, but I still wasn’t able to sleep much, so I had no option other than to dig deep and persevere for my son’s sake.
I found the whole situation to be very isolating. I had many friends who had children around the same time as we did, but they only experienced sleep issues while their babies were ill or teething. It would come in stretches of two days to two weeks before it would ease up. For us, it only ended when he was 18 months old.
We had no issues with bedtime as such – It was the constant waking that we battled with. I’d say 80% of the first 18 months involved relentless crying and me rocking him until I couldn’t feel my arms anymore. There was nothing else we could do. (We have a team of doctors taking care of him, so you don’t need to worry.)
Now that he’s almost two and his condition is better managed, our nights have gotten much easier. He does however, suffer from bad dreams and night terrors, especially after hospital visits, but we’ve found things to help with that and his Slumber Buddies Deluxe is one of them.
As I mentioned, we didn’t have trouble with bedtime, and I’m convinced it’s because we were diligent with our routines. When people hear the word routine they tend to think fixed, immovable time frames, but that’s just unrealistic. No day can go exactly to schedule. Just do the best you can and be kind to yourself when things aren’t going to plan.
Here’s what worked for us
Found a daily routine that works for OUR family
It sounds simple enough but planning nap times around school runs, work, social events etc is tricky. I kept reminding myself that there’s no “right” nap or bed time just because a book or a friend said so. Instead, I took my cues from my baby and my daily obligations.
Avoided “danger naps” as much as possible
A danger nap is when you child is so tuckered out that they need to nap just before their usual bedtime. These naps usually end up with a child who’s wide awake and super cranky late at night.
If the day was busy and it was a once off thing, I let it slide, but if it was happening a few times in a week, I tried to make the necessary changes because it was clear that our current routine wasn’t working anymore.
Being consistent with our bedtime routine
This is so, so, so, soooo important in my opinion. We stuck to our bedtime routine religiously and it’s paid off well. My son now packs away his toys after dinner and even stands by the stairs saying “baa-aah”, meaning it is time to go bath.
Found something that soothes him when he wakes up (that’s not me)
My son hated his pacifier. By about 5 months of age he just refused it point blank. Some have said we dodged a bullet, but this meant that he wanted me to comfort him every time he woke up… which was all the time. I started experimenting with soft taglets, safe teddies etc. In the end the combination of music and something to cuddle worked, so when I introduced the Slumber Buddies Deluxe Dino to him, which is soft and plays music, it was like hitting a home run.
How the Slumber Buddies Deluxe has helped us
A Slumber Buddies Deluxe is a plush character that helps soothe children. It has a colour-changing starry night display, a set of five sounds (such as lullabies, heart beat and white noise) and cry activation technology which automatically turns on the Slumber Buddy. There is an auto off timer as well that you can set in intervals for 15, 30 or 45 minutes.
Now that we have his condition under control, he sleeps like a champ. He does wake up every now and then, but he drifts off a few minutes later with this Slumber Buddies Deluxe tucked under his arm.
We had a light up, musical mobile above his cot when he was smaller, and even though it did work at the time, there was no way for him to escape it if he didn’t want to look at it anymore because it was always in view and he couldn’t reach it if he wanted to put it off. With his Slumber Buddies Deluxe, he can simply turn away from it or put it off himself by pressing the buttons.
He’s at the age where he understands that the different buttons change the lights and the music, so I just hand him his Dino at night and he picks what he wants. It’s usually the green starry night and the second lullaby song.
Not only does the Slumber Buddies Deluxe help him to fall asleep and stay asleep, it also comforts him when he wakes up in the mornings. Instead of opening his eyes and demanding to be picked up RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND, he now plays with the Dino and I can hear his giggles coming from his room. It’s a much better way to wake up in my opinion.
I’ve also been taking the Dino along to his long hospital stays and it’s helped comfort him so much. When we get home, the nights are always rough, and this is when the cry activation technology is a godsend. Before, I would have to sleep on the floor in his room and shush him back to sleep every hour or so but now I don’t need to. I’m so grateful for this because I really need the rest too when we get home.
My favourite things about the Slumber Buddies Deluxe
What I really like about the Slumber Buddies Deluxe is that it’s so versatile. Your child can benefit from it right from birth all the way through toddlerhood.
In the beginning, you can use it as a night light and play the heartbeat sounds to soothe your baby. The cry activation technology will no doubt come in handy in these early days.
As your baby grows, they will snuggle with it. They they’ll start playing with it and discover the buttons and learn to control it.
If your child out grows it, it can still be a night light for many years to come.
They are also super cute and there’s a design to match any personality and room décor.
The best part is that it’s really affordable. It only costs £25
You can get 20% off if you use the code SUPERHERO20 at SummerInfant.co.uk
Offer valid until 14 October 2018. Excludes sale items.
Don’t forget to checkout what the other #SummerFamilySuperheroes get up too!
Win your own Slumber Buddies Deluxe
Summer Infant have been kind enough to let me give away one Slumber Buddies Deluxe to one lucky reader. To stand a chance of winning your own, simply follow the instructions in the widget below.
Terms and Conditions
Open to UK Mainland residents only.
No purchase required.
The competition runs from Monday, 8 October 2018 to Thursday, 18 October 2018.
One winner will be announced on Friday, 19 October 2018.
The winner will have seven days to supply a delivery address. If an address is not supplied, a new winner will be chosen.
The winner will receive one Slumber Buddies Deluxe of their choosing. (Dependent on stock availability.)
The prize is not transferable for cash.
Prize is sponsored by Summer Infant and will be sent to the winner by Summer Infant. Please allow 30 days for delivery.
This is not a sponsored post.
Product provided for review purposes.