Whether you need to maximize space for two or more kids sharing a room, or you want to loft a bed in order to place a desk, dresser, or play space underneath, I hope you'll find this post extremely helpful!! After having just gone through it myself, I'm here to share my tips for setting up your kid's first bunk bed, along with the products I recommend most for bunks and lofted beds! We'll kick it off with a fun video we made of putting together my 5 year old's first bunk bed, with details, tips, and links below. Disclaimer: some links below are "affiliate links", meaning you won't pay more but I'll get a cut to help fund my blog - thank you!
How to choose your bunk bed:
You'll have several factors to consider when shopping for your child's bunk bed. Room layout, for one. Do you have a ceiling fan restricting the height of the bed? Do you want a ladder, staircase with storage drawers, or perhaps something more exciting like a slide. Do you want a lofted bed for one child, a trundle for one child and an occasional guest, a traditional bunk bed for 2 kids, or maybe even a triple bunk (yes, that's a thing!)?
For us, the decision was easy. A free bunk bed appeared in a local mommy group and I was the first to snatch it up! Turns out, it's one of the most recommended types for younger kids since it's very short and versatile. It's the Ikea Kura (Amazon affiliate link) and it can be used as a single canopy style bed low to the ground, flipped upside down to be a low lofted bed, or in that position with a floor bed underneath i.e. a bunk bed. Retailing new for under $200, it's also very budget friendly, has a maximum load of 220 pounds (so I can crawl up there with a kid or two if I need to), is under 4' tall, and has a few very cool tents (Amazon affiliate link) you can add on for about $20-$40.
Choosing your bunk bed mattresses:
You want your child to sleep like a baby, but also to be safe! First things first, check with the manufacturer of the bed to see if there is a maximum mattress height for use on the top bunk due to the height of the guard rail. The Ikea Kura specified the mattress should be under 6" in depth, and that was not such an easy thing to find! Ikea makes a foam mattress just under 4" ($89) thick and another just under 5" thick ($149). I also found 5" ($100) and 6" ($122) foam mattresses by Lucid. Ultimately I decided to go with the 6" memory foam mattress by Zinus ($97 on Amazon, affiliate link), which we were sent in exchange for our review!
The Zinus mattress came tightly rolled up (our unboxing video is included in the main video above, or you can see the quick 2 minute version here). I was pleasantly surprised it didn't have any strong or offensive odors, yet it does require a couple of days to air out and expand to it's full thickness. The Zinus memory foam, which helps to improve sleep efficiency by removing pressure points, meets strict standards of content, emissions, and durability, and is infused with green tea extract and AktivCharcoal to reduce odor and maximize freshness. What's more? Zinus offers a risk-free 100 night trial and 10 year limited warranty! Our son's only been sleeping on it for a couple of nights, but he's loving it, and I find it to be just as comfy as the super thick and much more expensive memory foam mattress we have on our Queen bed, ha!
Protect your mattress:
Whether you're worried about dust mites and allergies, bed wetting, tummy bug puke, bed bugs, or water bottle leakage, a good mattress encasement should set your mind at ease. After searching around, I went with Protect-A-Bed AllerZip waterproof encasement, which fits 7-12" mattress (I thought it might be way too big but actually fit the 6" Zinus great), and is a fabulous material that doesn't feel or sound at all like the plastic or rubber you might be expecting - it doesn't make any rustling sounds when moving around on it, phew! We haven't had a chance to test it out with any accidents or bugs (yet... knock on wood) but I'll come back and add to my review if we do! We have this same encasement on our Queen bed as well and love it. For our son's twin, we see it as the last line of defense. The first line of defense, a flat waterproof mattress pad by QuickZip, is outlined below!
Clever right? It was coined by my all-time favorite fitted sheet company, QuickZip (on Amazon - affiliate link). If you haven't heard of them yet, it's about time you join the club because they are ah-may-zing!!! Helpful on any bed in your house, all the way up to California King, but essential for cribs and bunk beds. Basically, whether you choose the traditional "fitted" sheet as shown in my video above, or the wraparound base (shown in my blog review and video demo here), you put the sheets on and never have to remove your mattress from the bed again. You simply zip the top part of the sheet on and off to launder, leaving the base on the mattress in bed! It's genius, and I couldn't love it more! It's wise to have at least one or two spare toppers clean and ready to go in case of a middle of the night emergency change, but since it's just a flat sheet, it folds up super compactly (unlike traditional fitted sheets which are one of the most frustrating things to fold in the entire world, am I right!? HA!).
They provided us the fitted sheet ($60), and a white minky topper ($40) that we have been using and WOW, it's so super soft and luxurious. My son is in love and I secretly want one on my own bed!
The twin size QuickZip fitted sheet is 6.5” deep and stretches to fit up to 11”, so I was nervous if it would be too baggy for our 6" ZInus, but it actually fit perfectly, as you can see. The elastic they use is incredibly strong, so there are no worries of it popping off the mattress in the middle of the night! Though, if you're paranoid or simply prefer the other type, they also make a "wraparound" option for twins and cribs, it full encloses the mattress and this is the type we have on all 3 of our cribs - they're great!
QuickZip also sent us their waterproof mattress pad, which you can simply lay flat right on under the zipped on sheet, or use the elastics straps to secure it under each corner, but there's no wrap around skirt to mess with. This will make middle of the night emergency changes from (knock on wood) tummy bugs or bed wetting super quick and easy - simply zip off the fitted sheet topper, pull off the mattress pad, and put on a clean mattress pad and topper and you're done! You didn't even have to lug the mattress out!!
You can see QuickZip's full lineup for play yards and cribs through King mattresses on quickzipsheet.com and Amazon (affiliate link).
Other fun children's bed accessories:
My son has been sleeping in our room most of his 5 years of life. He generally wakes up around 5:30 and starts nagging me about "Is it time to wake up yet? Can I get up???" and O.M.G!!!! It's the worst!! If this sounds familiar, check out the OK To Wake Clock ($23 on Amazon, affiliate link), which we just bought and are loving! The child can push a button to get a night light for 30 seconds or so, and you can set an alarm for night or nap if you wish, but the key feature is you can set an "ok to wake" time on the clock and when it hits that time, it glows green! So, even before your child learns to tell time, they can understand when it's OK to get out of bed. SO COOL! It can run off 4 AA batteries, but also comes with a USB cord which you can use with any USB plug like an extra one you have for your phone laying around.
Here are some other cool accessories we haven't tried out yet, but you may wanna check out!
Have you tried any of these products? Have some others to recommend? Have a fun story about your child's (or your own) experience in a bunk bed? Leave a comment below!!
Disclaimer: Though I was provided products free of charge by Zinus and QuickZip, all thoughts and opinions below are my own and completely unbiased - I'm no sell out :)
**Hot Topic Alert!! Keep an open mind if reading, and kindly refrain from unleashing unnecessary judgement. Thank you!! #EndTheMomWars**
When our twins started climbing out of their cribs at 19 months, we were terrified. Terrified they would fall while climbing out half asleep, terrified that they would get into trouble in their room or elsewhere in the house in the middle of the night, and terrified that none of us would be sleeping ever again. We immediately converted their beds to toddler beds, and bye bye went their beautiful naps and stress-free bed time. Bye bye went sleeping through the night. Bye bye went having my bed for just me and my husband. The next 2 months were tough, to say the least. We quite often ended up co-sleeping with the twins and our older son (who shares a room with the twins). In that situation I can't sleep well because someone is always kicking me, and I'm scared one of the kids will fall out of bed, not to mention the girls don't sleep well together - one will wake and be pissed the other is next to mommy and bite her and then they're both up screaming! Sigh.
I'd been venting on Facebook and one of my friends recommended a crib tent by Aussie Cot Net Co that saved her sanity - it had been recommended to her by a sleep consultant who basically told her that children this young just don't have the will-power to stay in bed.
I mean, it makes sense. There's a reason they make seat belts for high chairs and strollers. Do you really expect a 1 or 2 year old to stay in one spot when the world is calling to them to come and explore, or all they want is to cuddle up with mommy? Nope. And as far as laying down the law with rules and rewards and consequences, yeah, not so much working with my wee ones just yet. I watched many Super Nanny clips to no avail. I was in their room for 90 minutes each night putting them back in their beds, as soon as one was in, the other would jump out. If I left the room to end the "game", they would climb up to the windowsill and started jumping around and banging on the glass, or they would bang on the doors and scream, or start opening and slamming shut the kitchen door (and our downstairs neighbor would break out her broomstick and start banging on her ceiling). It wasn't safe and I was seriously at a breaking point (as were our neighbors, yay city living...)
Suffice it to say I reached out to get two of those crib tents for review ASAP! Our "Baby Crib Safety Nets" (also called Crib Popup Safety Net) came the next day, I reinstalled the 4th crib rail on both cribs, and installed the crib tents (the latter of which took all of 5 minutes for both cribs - it's SO EASY!) - just watch my demo below to see me unbox the tents and give a demo of how they work!!
The zippers are stiff so they're not easy for little kids to work, plus they can be pulled to either the inside or outside and completely shut, so their little fingers can't reach the zipper or poke a finger through to pull it down. The tent is made from a tight-woven mesh that is breathable and see through, and the wire frame literally pop right back up if you pull them down, so there really doesn't seem a way for them to come down on the child to entrap them. The carry-case gives instructions on how to twist the tent back into a flat circle for easy storage and travel (they also make a version specifically for mini cribs and pack 'n plays if you prefer traveling with that).
There are two ties for each corner of the crib, made of thick mesh fabric. The crib tent fits snugly down under the corners and sides of the mattress (the material is satin down by the mattress), but does not go all the way across the bottom, so if you needed to you could untie the corners and yank it up and off from above without removing the mattress from the crib. More likely you would be utilizing one of the two windows to get your child in and out, and pulling out the mattress for changing sheets. Though, if you don't already know about QuickZip, these sheets are amazing and even more helpful if you are using a crib tent or bunk beds - you just zip off the top of the sheet and don't have to take the mattress out to change the fitted sheet!! (See my QuickZip review here!).
The Baby Crib Safety Net meets all US Consumer Product Safety Commission baby product requirements, however I would recommend carefully checking your crib tent daily for any tears in the mesh, because a child could possibly get caught in a hole if they managed to make one. There have been several other kinds of crib tents that have been recalled due to injury or death of children, so, be reminded it's not advised to put anything in the crib, even a bumper, pillow, or crib tent, and choosing to do so should not to be taken lightly. Also, it should be noted many of the other "hacks" parents try to keep their toddlers in the crib longer have risks as well, for example, when wearing a sleep sack or pajamas that have been altered to make climbing harder, a child is more likely to fall head first if they manage to get over the rail. Yikes!
All that said, you do what you gotta do and what you feel is best for your children and family as a whole. You feel me?
So, how has it been going for us using the crib tents? We've used them for the past 3 nights and each night has been better than the last!! The first night, our twins laid down and went to sleep in the tents without a whimper, but they were up screaming at midnight and I brought them to my bed. The second night one of the girls screamed for about 10 minutes before laying down, but she slept through the night! Her sister woke around midnight and I brought her to bed. But last night, one of the girls whined for 5 minutes at bedtime and woke crying at midnight (but I was able to sooth her and put her back down into her bed quietly) and they both slept in their beds til 6:30AM (10.5 hours)!!! Ah-may-zing!!
So, the crib tents seem to be working to help the girls realize they need to stay in their beds to sleep, and that nighttime is not the time for exploring or cuddling with mama. We talk about how everyone sleeps best in their own comfy bed, with their own pillows and stuffed animals and no one bumping into them. We talk about how they can cuddle with their baby dolls and have a sip of water if they wake up. Of course, they're not even 2 years old and talking about this alone just doesn't cut it. But together with the crib tents, we may be on to something. I really really hope these crib tents are the solution I'm counting on them being!!
There are also a couple of other reasons you may want to try out a crib tent: 1) they can keep pets out of your child's bed, 2) keep bugs out of your child's bed, and 2) protect a newborn baby from an older sibling (for example, a toddler who wants to "take care" of his little sister - you can flip the zippers to be inside the tent, and a toddler won't be able to open it from the outside).
You can find the Baby Crib Safety Net for sale on their website, and the owner warned there are some knockoffs on Amazon with paid reviews - these knockoff crib tents have not undergone the scrutiny of testing and she warns they may be using inferior materials and design, so be careful!!
Because many of you reading this review are having trouble with your child's sleep, I want to give a shoutout to my friend and AMAZING sleep consultant, Achieve with Carolina!! She has helpful (free!!) Facebook chats and seminars here in NYC, and offers fee-based consulting over the phone or in person. She doesn't believe in a "quick fix" but rather to look at the whole child and family - including the sleeping environment, sleep routine, and even the child's diet!
Have you encountered any sleep troubles with your baby or toddler? Have you used the help of a sleep consultant or any sleep aids? I'd love to hear from you - leave a comment below!!
While you're here, don't miss the chance to enter to win my $300 value Back to School Goodies Giveaway, running through July 26!!! Clickity Click Here!!
Disclaimer: Although I did receive this product free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
Looking for a sleep sack, swaddle, or wearable blanket to help your baby sleep better? You've come to the right place! The following are products I have either personally tried with my own babies or have seen recommended time and time again by members of my online mommy groups. You probably don't have the budget to buy and try all of them, but read through and perhaps one will jump out at you as sounding like the best option for your little one!
The Halo SleepSack Swaddle is probably the most well-known swaddle out there. It's very very simple and easy to use, and you can swaddle baby with arms in or out. You can swaddle them super tight or just barely, whatever they like! Personally, I love this swaddle and have used it for all 3 of my children. The fleece one is nice and warm and I have a secret special use for it - in the winter I used it in the stroller because they couldn't keep on mittens and I didn't want their hands to freeze! When in the stroller's bassinet you can use it as a regular swaddle with hands in. When in the stroller seat, I put their arms through the vest but kept it unzipped with legs out (in the BundleMe), put their arms through the stroller straps, and then wrapped the swaddle around them to keep their hands in. Definitely a big no-no in the carseat, and I'm not a professional so I'm not sure if this is safe in the stroller or not, but it worked for us!
They retail for about $20 and you can them find on Amazon and in just about every baby store out there.
Bitta Kidda's sleeper and sleep sack provide built in "lovies" which a child can learn to use to sooth themselves. The awesome part is that it's safe because it's attached to their pajamas, as opposed to a loose lovie which can present a risk of suffocation (which is why there should be absolutely NO loose items in the crib with your baby - no stuffed animals, blankets, lovie, etc!). Another awesome feature is the crotch strap that keeps the sleep sack from getting twisted when they toss and turn - I haven't seen this feature in any other sleep sack and it's pretty awesome! They're also thin material so they can be worn with a thick pajama in winter or a onesie in summer. My girls have been wearing the Bitta Kidda sleep sacks, though they're are a bit young to use the lovies for comfort just yet. You can read my personal review here.
The Bitta Kidda sleeper goes for about $25 and the sleep sack for about $34 on Amazon or BK's website.
Nested Bean makes a swaddle and sleep sack that has a little weighted area on the chest, which is supposed to simulate the comforting feeling of a parents hand resting gently on them. The sleep sack can be warn backwards, for a child who sleeps on the belly and needs the weight on their back instead.
The swaddle retails for about $30 and the sack for $35 on Amazon of NB's website.
I've never tried or even seen Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit in person, but going by the way it gets recommended time and time again in my mommy groups, it must be pretty amazing. It's very thick (eliminating need for a blanket) and is supposed to "muffle baby's startle reflex". I've also heard it will delay the child rolling over (to tummy) since they're not quite as mobile in it, so many moms will graduate their baby to this when their baby learns to roll since a traditional swaddle isn't be safe at that point.
This one goes for about $40 on Amazon.
Other awesome sleepy-time stuff:
Lullaby Breeze Breathable / Washable / Waterproof Crib Mattress Cover - when baby starts rolling to tummy, it's terrifying!! But this mattress cover is breathable, giving you peace of mind to let baby go ahead and stay on their tummy if that's what they like. Check out my review here.
QuickZip Sheets - just zip the top part on and off to wash, no need to take the whole mattress out of the crib! They make sheets for all sizes up to California King, and also make pillow cases and waterproof crib mattress covers. Check out my review here.
Have you tried any of these sleep sacks? Or love another? Share in a comment below!!
Cloud b Stay Asleep Buddies
Struggling with your child waking up waaaaaay too early? Or maybe you are facing the opposite problem and you have trouble getting your child up and ready for school or day care in time? If either of these cases sound familiar, I have a cool product for you!
Cloud b's Stay Asleep Buddies are sleep training plush pals that your child (and you) will love!
Here's how it works:
Watch my YouTube video below to see and hear it in action:
Acting as a night light, soother, and sleep trainer all in one, Stay Asleep Buddies are battery operated, super soft, and simply adorable. Your child's buddy also comes with a story book and adoption certificate, how cute is that!?
And now for some really awesome news... you can win one of Cloud b's Stay Asleep Buddies as well as over $300 worth of fabulous sleep-related gear for the entire family in my Get Your Sleep On Giveaway, running til Feb 25!
Disclaimer: Although I did receive this product free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
My son put us through the ringer with sleep. He did great from 2-5 months and then it went downhill fast. He wouldn't take a pacifier. He threw his lovie out of the crib in anger. Nothing helped him fall asleep except the boob. Apparently my child is not alone. A couple of exhausted yet genius parents came up with a brilliant idea - the wearable lovie - and BittaKidda was born!
Basically, a lovie can be an amazing sleep aid that children learn to use to sooth and calm themselves. But a lose blanket or stuffed animal can make its way across the crib becoming out of reach for the baby, can pose an increased risk for suffocation or SIDS, or can be tossed in anger out of the crib. So, BittaKidda provides lovies that are built into their sleeper or sleepsack! They also have clip ons for daytime wear. So awesome!!
We recently got the BittaSacks for our 3 month old twins. They just learned to flip to their bellies so we had to stop swaddling them - making it the perfect time to introduce them to their new sleepsacks!
They're a bit young to really get the idea of the lovie, but when I put them down for a nap or for the night, I bring their hands to the little lovie swatches and they hold on to them for a few seconds. I think you just have to keep at it and they'll catch on eventually.
The BittaSack is a really unique product, and here are some features I'm especially loving:
You can purchase BittaKidda products on their website but... you can WIN a BittaSack (as well as over $300 in sleep gear) in my Get Your Sleep On Giveaway running from February 15 - 25!! Enter to win here!!
Disclaimer: Although I did receive this product free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
Sleep... We could all use more of it, am I right!? There are a bazillion and one products out there claiming to help you or your kids sleep longer and better. Do they all work for everyone? Nah. Are they all safe? Unfortunately, no! You gotta do your research and listen to your gut. In the meantime, you're in luck because I've put together a fabulous giveaway of sleep-related products for the entire family! YAY!!! The jackpot is valued over $300, here are the prizes one lucky winner will receive:
QuickZip is a game changer in the bedding department, revolutionizing how we change our sheets! QuickZip is a two-piece fitted sheet, so once it's on the mattress you simply zip the top part off, launder, and zip back on - it couldn't be easier!! Our Grand Prize Winner will receive one Crib Premium Starter Pack (base + 3 zip-on sheets - $79.99 value) and our 2nd place winner will receive a Twin Premium Starter Pack 200 Thread Count (base + 2 zip-on sheets - $89.99 value). Check out my personal review and demo video!
You! Lingerie carries bras, panties and sleepwear for pregnant and nursing mothers. All are comfortable, supportive, convenient for breastfeeding, and seriously stylish! Our Grand Prize Winner will receive a Maternity & Nursing Sprinkles Chemise in her choice of size and color, a $48 value. Check out my personal review here!
Achieve with Carolina is a Certified Pediatric Sleep Specialist who helps parents solve a multitude of sleep issues, from multiple night wakings to creating a schedule to toddlers not staying in their beds. Our Grand Prize Winner will receive a 15-minute phone consultation with Carolina, as well as a copy of her new children's book, "Goodnight Melanie. Good Morning Corey!" in which Melanie Melatonin and Corey Cortisol teach Crabby Cornelia how to be a Master of Sleep!
Provided by Saira of Bath Time Fun, our Grand Prize Winner will receive a Disney Sofia the First Costume Nightgown ($49.99 value; Size 2, 18-36 months), featuring a satin bodice, glittering organza peplum and puffed sleeves, and screen art appliqué. Great for sleeping, playing dress up, or even for Halloween!
Provided by Allaya at Babydroppings, our Grand Prize Winner will receive Graco's Sweet Slumber Sound Machine ($44.99 value), featuring 12 high-quality soothing sounds, jack for mp3 player / iPhone / etc, soft glow nightlight, timer, and easy control buttons!
Bitta Kidda provides unique children's sleepwear with built-in lovies, which help babies learn to sooth themselves but cannot be lost, tossed out of the crib, or become a suffocation risk! Our Grand Prize Winner will receive one BittaSack ($44 value), with a choice in color and size (for babies 10-36 pounds). Check out my personal review here!
Cloud B has been providing products that help families sleep better and live healthier for over 13 years nationwide and in over 42 countries! Our Grand Prize Winner will receive one of their Stay Asleep Buddies ($30.95 value), interactive and plush pals that teach toddlers when to sleep and when to wake, using gentle melodies and glowing lights. Check out my personal review here!
Barefoot Books, founded by mothers Nancy Traversy and Tessa Strickland in 1992, is a publishing company providing award-winning children's books worldwide. Our Grand Prize Winner will receive a $15 credit to shop through Barefoot Ambassador Alison DuBois-Eker.
Revelae Kids produces innovative products for kids, from their Yummi Pouch reusable food pouches to their Sudsy Dough moldable soap! Our Grand Prize Winner will receive one Revelae Kids Blanket Pouch ($14.99 value), in their choice of blue, pink, lavender, or lime.
Now that you're familliar with the prizes, what are you waiting for?? Enter in the Rafflecopter box below for your chance to win!! ( Open to US residents ages 18 and over; ending at 11:59 PM EST on Feb 24, winner will be contacted via e-mail on Feb 25 and have 24 hours to respond before another winner is chosen).
For parents of little ones, a good night's sleep can be hard to come by. Without a doubt, you'll be up around the clock the first few weeks (or months), that is for sure, but after that it seems like the luck of the draw if you'll have a good sleeper on your hands or become a mombie for the next few years. But maybe it's not completely luck...
Die hard sleep training enthusiasts have many a theories that they swear by - it is such a hot topic in the parenting world!! Cry It Out vs. No Cry Sleep Solution vs. blah blah blah blah - OMG, seriously, what to do?? I've done plenty of research and attempted a few different methods myself (you can read about my experience with Babywise, Sleep Sense / CIO, and finally banishing baby to a partitioned off area of the living room!). My takeaway? Keep to a schedule, don't let baby get overtired, make a routine including cues so baby knows sleep time is coming, and eliminate sleep props that baby cannot initiate or recover himself (i.e. nursing to sleep or letting him fall asleep sucking on a pacifier that he cannot find in the middle of the night to plop back in his mouth is a no-no whereas a sound machine and a sleep sack would be OK).
Since we've had such a long drawn out drama with sleep in our house, when I came across the Bitta Kidda Sleeper at a baby expo recently I was really intrigued. What is Bitta Kidda, you ask?
Bitta Kidda is basically pajamas with a built in lovey. Putting a security blanket or lovey in the crib with a baby isn't completely safe (suffocation / SIDS), and you also run the risk of him chucking it out of the crib (as mine did) or not being able to find it in the middle of the night when he wakes up and needs to self sooth - cue screaming baby who needs your help to fall back asleep! The idea of the Bitta Kidda is that the lovey is always within reach so the baby can hold the piece of blanket for comfort and fall back asleep without your help. Sounds amazing right!?
The Bitta Kidda Sleeper is sold in two colors (yellow and green) in sizes 6 months through 3 years, but obviously the younger you can start the more effective it'll be as it becomes part of their sleep and soothing ritual. They recommend you have 2 (so you have a spare during laundry time) and that baby wears it every night and every nap time.
And guess what? They're actually going to be launching the Bitta Kidda Sleep Sack soon! Exciting stuff!!
The Bitta Kidda Sleeper is one of the fabulous prizes in my $1500 value "Mother Of All Giveaways" running through May 26. ENTER TO WIN HERE TODAY!!
**Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation, monetary or otherwise, to do this product review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and completely unbiased.
I'll skip to the chase - sleep training in a one bedroom apartment is impossible, or nearly so, at least for me! I searched the web high and low for sleep training guides focused on families in small apartments forced to share a bedroom with their little one. And you know what, I couldn't find a single one. Sure, I found the occasional question on a sleep training forum, with a few suggestions such as "put up a barrier so baby can't see you", etc. But I'll tell you, it's not easy and for us it just wasn't happening.
Baby wakes up for whatever reason: transitioning between sleep cycles, a loud truck rolled by, the neighbors dog was barking, you name it. Baby wakes up just enough to start crying and stand up in his crib. Then he sees you, or if you have the barrier up or are hiding under the covers, he still knows you are there. Thus begins the process of getting himself so worked up that eventually he's dinosaur screaming (you know, where it's all guttural high pitched screaming from the throat, that sounds like he's in excrutiating pain). Maybe you are deteremined to let him cry it out. Commence torturous moments or even hours, if you have the will and heart of coal. Maybe baby gives up and lies down, but is up and at it again in 5 to 30 minutes. You finally cave, thinking something must be terribly wrong with your baby - he's hungry, teething, has a poopy diaper, is gassy, had a night terror, sees dead people, who knows!?!?! it's the middle of the night and you're exhausted and you're scared your child is crying for a real reason and you've been ignoring him! Worst mother ever!!! So you pick up your screaming child and the SECOND you pick him up out of the crib he is the most quiet and peaceful thing you have ever seen. Your mind suddenly switches from terrified to angry - YOU BIG FAKER!!!! But he's angelic and sweet and so you cuddle or nurse him and he's back to sleep in no time. Finally you put him back down in the crib, maybe he protests with a few cries, maybe not. But he's back to sleep and you know the cycle will just repeat in another hour or two.
Welcome to the #ZombieMom Zone.
I've been here for about 7 months, since my perfect little sleeper turned 5.5 months and decided he would no longer sleep 11 hours through the night, would no longer find comfort in sucking his thumb, and would begin torturing his parents on a nightly basis. #ZombieMom Zone is not just uncomfortable, it's dangerous. Your ability to reason and to have patience of ANY sort whatsoever are out the window. It's not healthy for you or your family or the world. The longer you remain in #ZombieMom Zone, the deeper you go until you don't even remember what it's like to function like a normal thought processing human being. Every cry of your child in the night sends you to the edge, making you remember the words of your discharging nurse after birth warning you about shaken baby syndrome: "no baby every died from crying - do not even go near that crib if your thoughts are anything other than warm nurturing ones".
I used to bring him into bed with us, but I broke that habit with our last attempt at CIO sleep training a few months ago (that attempt did help - he's now a great napper and goes down at night usually without crying at all, it just didn't help with not waking up every couple of hours!), and don't wan to start the habit again or confuse him with sometimes allowing it and sometimes not. I love co-sleeping actually, but my biggest fear is baby will fall out of bed in the middle of the night. He's really restless and does acrobatics all over the place. Co-sleeping is not conducive to me getting a good night's rest, unfortunately, so it's out of the question.
Yesterday I analyzed our living room and realized there is a spot by the window that I can fashion a makeshift room for Kenzo. If I put the sound machine in there, and we are super quiet when are going about the rest of the apartment, he should be able to sleep in there...
So, our plan was not to go to Kenzo unless he was crying for at least 20 minutes. How did it go??
AMAZING NIGHT OF SLEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!
I put him down at 8pm. While we were still awake and working in the kitchen, Kenzo woke up and cried for a minute or two at 9:45 and again at 11pm. There were a few more times during the night were I heard him cry very quietly for a minute, but it was the kind of cry you could tell he wasn't really awake, and thankfully he just laid himself down and went back to deep sleep. He didn't really wake up until 6:45am. Hooooo-freaking-rah!!!!!!!!!
I'll still put him down in the bedroom in his crib for naps, so I can get stuff down around the house without tip-toing around, and then we'll continue the nighttime sleep in the living room. I really hope last night wasn't a fluke and this is the solution until we move to the new home in 2 months and he gets his own for real room! Also hope this cold-turkey night weaning doesn't land me with another bout of mastitis! Eeeek!
We arrived at Montauk Station around 1pm and were met by the complimentary (well, included in your $15/day resort fee) Montauk Yacht Club shuttle which carried us to the hotel in about 10 minutes - the roads were vacant. It was totally bazaar, especially because I expect they must be jam packed during the summer!
The Montauk Yacht Club was quaint but renovated very nicely in a modern nautical style. We checked in, grabbed lunch at the bar, and excitedly explored the grounds and the beautiful views of the water!
Next up were the 2 things I was most excited for... getting Kenzo in a pool for the first time, and stuffing my face at the Thanksgiving Buffet. Thankfully in that order, cuz I don't want to get into a bathing suit after a buffet, LOL!
Because the hotel was closing down in a couple of days for the winter, things were running a bit differently than usual. The pool hours were 8am-8pm but we had to call ahead to have the lifeguard go and open it up. Our room was in a different part of the hotel, and we had to go outside to get there, so we had to go fully dressed and change in the bathroom. This was a bit challenging with a little one to get changed as well, but it worked out. I had gotten him a cheap iPlay swim diaper from Target. Not sure if he actually "tested it out" but we didn't notice any leaks or anything, ha!
You can see he absolutely LOVED the pool!! He was all splashes and giggles, but eventually also shivering... The pool was heated and was the perfect temperature for hubby and I, but I Kenzo got a bit chilled so he got a nice long hot shower afterwards. It was our first time showering with him and it was a blessing in disguise because I found out how much I love it!!! Suffice it to say, we're done with the baby bath!
Now that we got some exercise done, we were ready for the big Thanksgiving Dinner Buffet!! It was worth every penny of it's $30 charge, let me tell you! YUM!!!! You had all the standards, and then some seafood extras. The dessert bar was my favorite (if only I had more room - but I was able to have some pumpkin tart and chocolate mousse at least!). I totally went overboard but did NOT regret it!! We did get a salad plate to share, but that wasn't photo worthy...
It was actually our very first time feeding Kenzo food from the table! He only got some Turkey, which he loved, and a wee bit of bread which he messily sucked and gnawed off of the roll. But we realized how fun it is to give him real food, and we have been doing so more and more as he approaches his first birthday.
That night went as well as we could have expected. Kenzo started off in the pack 'n play the hotel provided us free of charge, but we couldn't let him cry at all because we didn't want to disturb neighbors, so eventually he ended up sleeping in our bed. You win some you lose some huh? This sleep training thing is definitely two steps forward and two steps back.
The next day we caught a cab ($16!!! yikes!!) to the Mauntauk Point Lighthouse ($8 entrance, aghhhh). Yes, it was extortion, especially when you factor in the 2nd $16 cab ride (from the lighthouse to town). But it was beautiful, and we got some more exercise walking up the tower to the top!
After the lighthouse we took a cab and walked around town which was very disappointing. We grabbed lunch and walked around for a bit. It was very old and outdated feeling, not the quaint and charming window shopping I had hoped for. On top of that it was absolutely FREEEEEEZING! Maybe some of the other Hamptons villages are better? The beach was pretty nice though, and so quiet during the winter, except the waves were HUGE! I loved watching the pipelines roll in and crash!
Our wonderful Thanksgiving getaway was coming to an end, but we had one last festivity to enjoy before heading home. The yacht club's annual children's Christmas party!! We decorated some ornaments, sang songs, hung out by the beautiful fireplace, and stuffed our faces once more - this time with cookies and hot chocolate.
So, our first mini-vacation just the three of us was a huge success!! 2 nights, 3 wonderful days. Couldn't have asked for a better trip! Yes, it was a bit sad not being with my parents and sister for Thanksgiving, but we'll be seeing them in just a couple of weeks... Yippeeeee!!!
Sleep Training - Week 1 Overview
It was bad, then it was good, and now it's bad again. Ha! I could stop there, but maybe some of you want some more details (crying and sleeping totals are for the 24 hour period from bedtime through next day's 2 naps, also I should add they're totals for the baby, not me, haha):
DAY 1 = HORRIFIC!!
Total Crying in Crib: 6.5 hours
Total Sleep: 11.5 hours
DAY 2 = MUCH better!
Total Crying in Crib: 1.5 hours
Total Sleep: 9 hrs (boycotted 2nd nap)
DAY 3 = NOW we're talking!! ^_^
Total Crying in Crib: 40 minutes
Total Sleep: 14 hours (not a peep from 8pm-6:30am)
DAY 4 = Gooooooood!
Total Crying in Crib: 1 hour
Total Sleep: 13 hours (slept 8pm-7am with just a couple of peeps)
DAY 5 = Back to Exhaustion.
Total Crying in Crib: 7 hours
Total Sleep: 12 hours
DAY 6 = Better...
Total Crying in Crib: 2.5 hours
Total Sleep: 10 hours
DAY 7: Sucky suck mc. suck alot
Total Crying in Crib: 5.5 hours
Total Sleep: 10.5 hours (boycotted 2nd nap)
So, looking at his total time sleeping he is WAAAAAAY sleep deprived. He slept through the night 2 times out of the week. We're not doing so well... He's developed a cold with some pretty major congestion, and 2 bottom teeth are trying to bust through (his 7th and 8th teeth), so I'm hoping once these 2 issues are through he'll be sleeping through the night regularly and getting his much needed cumulative 14-15 hours of sleep. After all this, I'm definitely not going to revert back to letting him pass out at the breast, even when he's not feeling 100%. If he's really miserable I will comfort him in other ways, but not by co-sleeping and not at the breast. We will get through this... soon... fingers crossed!!! @_@
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!