Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Ollie Swaddle

Kess was a total swaddle baby. Tighter the better. Manning is a little less so but I'm trying to get him to come around ;) We've been using the Ollie Swaddle lately, but before it arrived we were using Carter's Swaddle blankets - which I love, but that boy kept busting out of them. Even his doctor was shocked at how many times he broke out of his swaddle after his circumcision. 

The Ollie Swaddle is a moisture-whisking, breathable fabric swaddle blanket. It can be used in a few different ways including arms in and arms out for transitioning out of the swaddle. When Manning first got here I was still trying to figure out what he preferred. He seemed to fight against the swaddle for a bit, then fall asleep & sleep good, long stretches. But I felt bad that he struggled early on. I'm a little stuck in my ways because I am a diehard-swaddler, but I just want him to be comfortable... so he sleeps longer. Because I'm selfish. ;) Now he makes the association between swaddling an sleep, which is great. He is sleeping longer stretches - hallelujah! He still goes to bed just before Matt & I do, that way I get a long stretch of sleep when he does. I need to start getting him to bed around 8:00, but if he goes to bed when I do, then he wakes up once in the night. If he goes to be earlier he will wake up twice or more in the night. He's not a great "dreamfeeder" because his long stretch of sleep starts from the first time he goes down. I tried dreamfeeding a few times & it messed with his sleep cycle. Again, I'm selfish and kinda love only waking up once per night. 

The bottom of the swaddle is open, which makes it easy to do diaper changes, but I still have to take it off entirely because Manning wears one piece jammies.  I try to change him quick before I even feed him, then swaddle him back up for his nighttime nursing sessions, so it's not really inconvenient. But sometimes that backfires with a poop session while I'm feeding him. Because I take the entire swaddle off I feel like he wakes up enough to get a long enough feeding in the help keep him fuller longer. He's usually tired enough after his feeding and a good burp that he swaddles easily and conks right out. 

I washed Manning's Ollie Swaddle today. I love that it comes with a little laundry bag to wash it in. It cleaned up really well & the laundry bag kept hair and fuzzies out of the velcro. 

For color & sizing references... We have the Ollie Swaddle in the color Stone. Manning was born at 6lbs 5oz & I felt like the swaddle was a little too big for him. I would velcro it as tight as it would go & it was still roomy. He is now about 8 pounds and it fits great now. My sister used it on her 8 pound newborn from day 1. So I think 7-8lbs would be optimal for starting to use the Ollie. 

The Ollie Swaddle will be restocking in the next few weeks. Use the link below for 10% off.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

1 month in & sleep

Manning is 1 month old & I'm happy to report that we are totally surviving. We aren't thriving yet, but I promise myself that I would give myself a little bit of grace this time around. I was super anxious/nervous/miserable when Kess was this small. Don't get me wrong I was over the moon about her and being a mom, but I had no clue how hard it would be. I had no clue how much stress I would be under. I had no clue about how anxious I would be over the little things - like changing her diaper, breastfeeding, sleep schedules. I had no clue. This time - I had a clue. ;)

My experience with Manning has been much easier. I'm chalking it up to actually have experience under my belt. It's easier to have less anxiety when it's familiar. Yes, I'm still nervous when I can't calm Manning instantly. It's still hard to be sleep deprived. It's hard to not be able to give Kess all my attention. It's hard having a little human that is totally & completely dependent on me. But, then I remember that I promised to cut myself some slack & enjoy this tiny phase of life. I didn't enjoy it enough with Kess. I wished it all away for schedules, routine & my new normal.

My most favorite thing about being a mom is "figuring out" my kid. Figuring out what makes them tick, what makes them happy, what makes them smile or laugh... but mostly figuring out what makes them sleep. Sleep is life.

I also love using our Dock-A-Tot because it keeps him cuddled up & cozy. It's made of breathable material, so I don't worry about Manning not being able to breathe if he rests his little face against the side. It's super easy to strip the cover off & throw it in the washer, cuz you know - baby spit up. Matt made fun of me for getting the "pristine white" color... I couldn't help it. It's so pretty.

We aren't big into co-sleeping, mostly because it makes me nervous & I like my space when I sleep. I've got a baby attached to me all day & a good chunk of the night so when I get a chance... I want my own space. But when they are so tiny and new I can't help but snuggle them. The Dock-A-Tot makes me much less nervous about co-sleeping if needed. It fits in between Matt and I. Granted, it doesn't give each of us a ton of space in our queen bed, but it gets the job done.

The Dock-A-Tot is easy to move around the house. Make fun of me if you will, but Manning is a super loud, grunty baby in his sleep. Louder than Kess (and I didn't think that was possible.) So, after his first nighttime feeding I grab his Dock-A-Tot & set it on our closet floor. He gets to grunt away and I get to sleep. He's close enough that I can hear him fuss or cry, but I don't hear every single grunt. This is a win on so many levels. (Insert fist-bump emoji.)

I'm glad the Dock-A-Tot is so light weight, too.  It will make our summer travels much easier. Plus it helps babies feel secure. And I swear they sleep better when they are familiar with where they are sleeping - so even if they're not in they're own home - they'll feel at home in their Dock-A-Tot. Total bonus. The majority of Kess' sleep troubles were because she was sleeping in a Pack&Play in McCall and then in her crib at home. We were traveling back and forth so much and she was always waking up in a new place. Sleep training gets tricky to do when consistency isn't there. Now... if I would have have a Dock-A-Tot maybe I would have gotten more sleep. ;)