Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Our wonderful little sleeper.

Baby Linna right before bed with her Wubbanub and blankie.
GIVEAWAY WINNERS (1/29/13): Congratulations to Mary Beth Kuenzli and Amy Reichel! You have both won a copy of Minnesota's The O'Neill Brother's Lullabies by Request CD

Original Blog Post (4/3/12): We have been blessed with such an amazing little sleeper, and over the last few months I've received a few emails and questions from other moms, about our bedtime routine and how we get Linna to sleep so well. The truth is, I have no idea, but here's what we do at bedtime and before naps...

Ever since Linna was about three months, she's been a great sleeper. Yes, she's had her "off" nights (sometimes a few in a row), but don't we all?! For a most part, Linna is a wonderful sleeper! She's almost eight months old, and is sleeping from 7pm - 8am, and still taking 2-3 naps each day lasting anywhere from a half hour to 2 1/2 hours.

Video monitor: Linna learned to self-sooth by sucking on her fingers or thumbs at around three or four months. We have a Summer Infant video monitor, which I feel is a "must-have" for any parent. The video monitor allowed us to let Linna "cry it out" without panicking about whether or not something was wrong. Before the video monitor, we tried to let her cry it out, but we always ended up going in to check on her because we couldn't SEE that everything was safe and sound. With our video monitor, we were able to let her cry and eventually watch her find her fingers and thumb, and self-sooth her way to sleep. We can also see what's going on in her crib if she starts fussing in the middle of the night, and most of the time it's because she's uncomfortable, but she falls right back to sleep. By us not always popping our heads into her nursery, Linna has learned that when she's in her crib, it's time to sleep. She knows mom and dad don't always come in when she cries or fusses (unless we can see that something is actually wrong with her). She also knows where the camera is, and when she wakes up she doesn't cry, rather looks at the camera as if she's saying, "ok mom and dad, I'm ready to get up now".

"Toys" and blanket in her crib: When we lay Linna down, we give her a Wubbanub and her blankie. A Wubbanub is basically a green pacifier attached to a little stuffed animal. Her blankie was given to her by Auntie Julie, and it's a teddy-bear head attached to a blanket. I don't know if she's attached to her blankie, but she loves it. Linna can find a tag on anything, so she usually gets fixated on the tag on her Wubbanub or blanket, and does this funny humming noise while she plays with it. We're not sure if that's a concentration or sleepy "hum", but she generally falls asleep a few minutes later. She likes to cover her face with her blanket too.

Music and lighting: Every night and for every nap, I turn on the O'Neill Brother's Lullaby CD and the sound machine. We "stole" Linna's sound machine from my husband's parents house, and it must be 20 years old! It's a black Homemedics Sound Machine (they don't sell the one we have anymore, but they do sell newer machines) that plays an ocean sound the entire night. We take the sound machine everywhere we go. It drowns out any noise outside Linna's door, so we and other people don't have to live the life of "shhhhhh, that baby is sleeping". Daylight Savings Time kind of threw Linna off, because it's been light outside at 6:30/7pm when we put her to sleep. But after a few days she's learned that that is ok to fall asleep when it's light outside. We don't really use a night-light unless it's super dark when we put her to bed (i.e., coming home from a road trip, etc.), but then we shut her night-light off when we go to bed.

Bottle, Books & Bath: Linna has a bath most nights, but sometimes we skip it. If we don't do a bath, we just put her in her pajamas, put her on her Boppy in the living room and feed her a 7 oz. bottle (breast milk). Sometimes she finishes it, and sometimes she doesn't. Sometimes Papa reads Linna a book before bed, but it's not every night. To be honest, we don't really have a "quiet time" before bed either. We both give Linna a kiss and one of us brings her in her room, plays her music and the sound machine, lay her down in the crib, give her the Wubbanub and blankie, rub her tummy for a minute or so while saying "night night", and then we make our exit. Sometimes she watches us leave the room and she cries, but that only lasts a minute or so. Usually she fixates her attention on a tag, starts to hum, and we make a quiet exit while saying "night night".

No matter what other people say, the "cry it out" method isn't as easy as it sounds. It's hard to just sit and listen to your baby cry! But our video monitor has given us a sense of peace, since we can SEE her, rather than just hear.

Every so often, Linna will wake up in the middle of the night. If she's fussing for a few minutes, one of us goes in her room to pat her on the butt while saying "night night". There's been a few times where she looks right up at us, smiling, as if she's ready to get up to start her day. But sorry sweet pea, we don't start our day at 5am:) We don't pick her up, we just pat her on the butt until she falls asleep. We've tried really hard not getting into the habit of "giving in", picking her up, and bringing her into bed with us. There has been a few nights that we've brought her into bed with us, but that's when she's been teething, or had a cold. We didn't make it a habit, even though it's the easiest thing to do at the time. And let's be honest, who doesn't love snuggling with their baby in bed?!

As a mom, I've asked other moms for advice when we had our "rough nights", but the biggest thing I've learned is to do what works for US! Every baby is different. The above is just what has worked for us!


  1. We use pandora's Enya station

    Gwen Kocher
    St. Paul Park

  2. My daughter listens to a combo of Return to Pooh's Corner and Jewel

  3. Pandora lullabies station and baby massage!

  4. My sons turtle star night light! He loves it!

  5. Hanna Harchol lullabys every night!
    Mary Beth Kuenzli

  6. My children both love having a fan on while they sleep.

    Laura Wales
    Maple Grove

  7. Congratulations to Mary Beth Kuenzli and Amy Reichel! You have both won a copy of Minnesota's The O'Neill Brother's Lullabies by Request CD! Please email me with your name, phone number, and address so we can get you your CD:) Thanks everyone. - Melissa Saigh, Minnesota Baby Founder (info@minnesotababy.org)