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sleep help

Swaddles Galore, But Which One Is Best?

Image courtesy of ErgoPouch

Image courtesy of ErgoPouch

When second bubs came along I thought it was a good opportunity to test out a few different sleeping wraps on her. Yep, I put my baby to work as soon as she came out of the womb!

Since doing this review, Ergo Pouch have changed their sizing options, so just keep that in mind when reading.

I checked out 5 different wraps, newborn sizes. I was interested to see them side by side and compare roominess and perceived comfort.

Plum Pod

  • Nice fabric to touch
  • Bamboo
  • Snug top, keeping arms in while legs were in more roomier bottom half section which allowed for plenty of leg movement.
  • I liked that the top part had some give so baby could move arms underneath
  • BUT, the fabric came apart after 1 wash, it split at the seam and the fabric started to unweave.  Yikes.  Would not recommend based on this

 

Wombie organic swaddler

  • Lovely fabric, and organic
  • Snug fit, very much like a cocoon
  • I liked it for a newborn as it would be as comforting as traditional swaddling
  • Once baby starts growing and moving around I do prefer something which allows for more movement

 

The Gro Company Grobag

  • Fabric was nice but not as nice as some of the other bags
  • I loved the design of it - the rounded bottom half allowing for lots of leg movement
  • Really convenient to change – especially the night changes
  • Snug top part but flexible enough for some arm movement
  • Comes with clips on the arms if you want to let them lose, which for me at a newborn stage was not so important but late on it is a good feature to have

Ergo Pouch Cocoon - bamboo + organic cotton

  • This is one of the longer pouches that I tried (and now with new sizing, it will be even roomier)
  • I love the fabric that Ergo Pouch have – they are soft to the touch, plus they age well even after so much washing
  • Snug top part but flexible enough for some arm movement
  • Bottom has more than enough room for leg movement
  • Comes with clips on the arms if you want to let them lose, which for me at a newborn stage was not so important but later on it is a good feature to have
  • This was one of my favourites, and I used them again in the larger sizes

Love To Dream

  • I mainly used Love To Dream with my first, I loved their fabrics and the arm design
  • The butterfly arms are my favourite feature particular for smaller babies that still have their arms inside.  I like that they can suck on their little hands which is something they like to do.
  • Bottom has more than enough room for leg movement
  • Overall the swaddle has a snug fit but the fabric has a lot of stretch in it
  • My only gripe with the dream baby is that it didn’t wash well -  I found that it looked quite tired very quickly. But it’s for sleeping in, so it’s hardly a major issue.  There was never any issue with seams or anything coming apart – and I have had a lot of these swaddles.
  • This is one of my favourites

Please note the gallery below is sorted in order of the text above. First image - all, 2.baby wearing Plum; 3. Wombie; 4 & 5. Grobag; 6. Ergo Puch 7. Love To Dream

The 3 best pieces of advice I got about better sleeping habits for my newborn

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Everyone has their way of working through sleep habits of a newborn.  I have tried most of them. I did slightly different things for my first than I did with my second. I think with my second baby, as I had seen the after effects of not listening to the right people I was a lot more open to trying different techniques.  All babies are different and will respond to different things. For example, my eldest loved (and still loves) tapping at bedtime. My second one doesn’t seem to be too bothered.  You have to find what works best for you and your family but I found the below really made a difference to me with my second baby.

But a quick note before I start.  I absolutely believe in a bedtime routine, i.e. the same things every night/day as they are going to bed.  And I try to keep to a time schedule as much as possible. It’s not as easy with two but I do what I can, when I can.  And for me that works, for now.  Even the little things, like keeping the same night time buddies, (her Kitty Kippin and Fabelab cushion bunny) in her cot with her always; and her shusher is always switched on as soon as she goes in the cot. I was using the badger sleep balm but I have now stopped as I don’t think she needs it.

 

1.       Give it 2 minutes

At about 2 or 3 months I started to be a bit more committed to establishing good sleep patterns for my little Anni.  We were very lucky because she was a great night sleeper.  But I was struggling in the day time and what I was doing was not working.   The maternal health nurse booked a sleep consultant for a home visit.    Most things I had been doing in line with what her approach was.  But there was 1 difference.  I was running in as soon as she would start crying. So, I would put her to sleep, give her a tap and leave the room.  As she got older she would wait a bit and then start crying. I would come running. Now, just to be very clear about this, she was not crying hysterically, just grizzling and low intensity cry. The sleep consultant recommended that I wait for 2 minutes (or around 2 minutes) to give Anni a chance to settle herself. But if she doesn’t or if the crying intensifies, go in give her a tap or rub, make sure she is comfy and walk out.  For 2 or 3 days I did this (during the day, no issues at night) never letting her crying get intense, and it did the trick.

At the same time as I had this advice, I also was given advise number 2 which I did in conjunction with the above. And it made a world of difference doing these two things together.  She went to sleep quickly once in the cot and she is now 1 yr old and sleeps like a trouper!!!

 

2.       Be consistent

A friend of mine went to Masada sleep school with her second, who are absolutely amazing.  And for anyone really struggling, a sleep program like this one can make a massive, positive change in your life. But the key piece of advice which she imparted to me, was be consistent when going in to the baby. When you are settling the baby, it is as important to be consistent as in the earlier routine you implement. I was being consistent at the start but not when I was coming back in to resettle. Sometimes I would shush, sometimes I would tap for a bit, rub a bit. So, I found a number of taps (80 slow taps) that seemed to work. At first it was 50 but it wasn’t enough time with her, so I increased it to 80.  I would be quiet, no shushing, I would walk in, check her (ie smell her bum), tap her and then walk out.  If she didn’t settle, I would wait the 2 minutes or more (or less) and then go back in and do exactly the same thing.

Worked!! Loved it. I love consistency. But more important - babies love consistency!

 

3.       Give her milk 30mins before lunchtime nap

So, getting to sleep was working well. Morning nap, lunch time nap. Getting to sleep was great.  But, I was really struggling with the lunch sleep timing - Anni would not sleep for two hours.   She was getting to sleep ok, because the getting to sleep methods had worked well. But she was waking up after one sleep cycle.  This concerned me because resettling is a really important tool for babies, and if they don’t get enough sleep because they can’t fall back to sleep – it’s not good for anyone!  A friend of mine had tried the Little Ones sleep techniques which had worked really well for her bubs and she suggested I try feeding Anni 40min-1hr before I put her to bed - a top up feed. 

BINGO!!  That did it. It was the final piece of the puzzle for me with Anni.  Once I started to do that she started to have her full 2-2.5hr day sleep. 

As I said, you have to find what works best for you. All I can do is share what worked for my family. And as you can see, it wasnt just one method or one piece of advise. Don’t be shy to talk to different people and find out what worked for them as you might just find a little hint will make a world of difference.