Relactating After the Flu

Wednesday, April 16, 2014



I know this may seem like a strange topic, but this was a pretty big deal in my life for a little over a week and I thought that maybe it could help someone else who encounters this same issue because it is STRESSFUL.





Last week I got slammed with the stomach bug and it all but destroyed me. Okay, maybe I am being a LITTLE overdramatic, but it was BAD. Sorry to be graphic, but I was throwing up every 45 minutes for almost 24 hours straight. I was severely dehydrated and I was unable to take care of Eli. My husband stayed home with him and I tried to nurse him as much as I could, but my body just ached so much and I was so tired that I attempted to sleep for most of the afternoon while my husband gave him bottles of my pumped breast milk (very thankful I had a freezer worth of pumped milk and probably the one and only time I wanted to praise the breast pump!).

The following morning around 4:00 a.m. when Eli usually wakes up to eat I felt decent enough to breastfeed him. I immediately noticed a decrease in my milk. 

1. I did not have a letdown and I have ALWAYS had a strong letdown that I have always been able to feel to the point that it has been almost painful.

 2. Eli was getting frustrated and kicking and pulling off. I did not feel full in my breasts and I just knew my milk had diminished. 

Dang you FLU! 

So, I did what any mature 28 year old mother would do. I PANICKED! I started to cry and moan to my husband that my breastfeeding days were over and that the flu destroyed me and everything about me and that I would never be able to breastfeed again. I have never denied being dramatic! But I seriously was so scared that I would not get my milk supply back to where it was and it’s been really important to me that I am able to breastfeed Eli to a year old. 
So, after Dane talked me down a bit I began to research on what to do and found out that this is actually very common after the flu due to how dehydrated you are. I became determined to get my milk supply up and guess what? I can proudly say that a week later it feels like it is back to normal. I know a week does not sound like a long time, but when you nurse your baby 4-5 times a day every day then a week can seem like a lifetime! Here is what I did and what worked for me to get my milk back up after that evil and nasty flu temporarily stole it: 

1. Nurse, nurse, nurse! I went back to nursing Eli every two hours. He was not too excited about this. Eli is not the most dependent on nursing and never really has been. I won’t be surprised if he weans himself soon, but the more you put the baby to the breast the more your body will know that it needs to be making milk. 

2. Pull out that pump. I had just retired my pump literally the day before I got sick. I remember smugly packing up all the parts and thinking how done I was with the pump. Yeah, the evil little sucker (literally) showed me! I pumped after Eli went down for the night each night until my milk came back up. Again, it told my body to make more milk!

3. Mother's Milk Tea. LOVE this stuff. I buy mine at Target. I had three cups a day and always have mine with about a tablespoon of honey. It makes it more tolerable for me! 

4. Fenugreek. Along with the Mother's Milk Tea I took about three Fenugreek pills a day. 

5. WATER. I am really bad about drinking water. I admit it, I don’t like water. I don’t like the way it tastes and I think it’s boring and I can list 100 other things I would rather drink before water. I know, I’m bad. I gave up my coffee and all other drinks that I prefer (soda, juices, etc.) for that week and literally spent my days chugging water to make sure I was well hydrated. Eli, if you are ever reading this I hope you see this large sacrifice I made for you -  DRINKING NOTHING BUT WATER FOR 7 DAYS!! ;) I kid, I kid, but seriously…. I do not like water …

6. EAT. This one was hard for me. I did not want to eat much after that flu came in and wrecked my body! I mean, I had lost 6 1/2 pounds after the flu was done with me! It was so important for me to get a lot of calories in and to keep my energy up and get back to normal and that was SUPER important for my milk supply. I could not eat whole meals so I snacked a lot and all day long. These foods helped a lot with increasing my milk supply:

- Steel cut oats
- Spinach
- Garbanzo beans
- Sweet potatoes
- Brown rice
- Garlic
- Nuts - I ate a lot of almonds and macadamia nuts! 
- Salmon

I started to notice a big difference in my milk supply on day three, but I continued to do all of these things for a week to be on the safe side. I have always enjoyed breastfeeding and knew it was something I wanted to continue, but did not realize how important it was to me until I felt like we were nearing the end when I about lost my supply. I am so thankful my milk is about back to normal and am really hoping we can make it to my goal of a year nursing - we are so close! 

Has this happened to anyone else? Any other tips on increasing your milk supply after the flu? 

with love,


Kristin 

share this on »
{Facebook}
{Twitter}
{Pinterest}
Add a comment »

Little Man's Easter Basket

Monday, April 14, 2014


I have been sorting through everything that I got for Eli's Easter basket and decided to throw up a last minute post sharing all the goodies that he will receive! Maybe this can give someone some last minute ideas? Here's hoping!

I cannot believe it is already almost Easter. This time last year I was VERY preggo and VERY uncomfortable. I remember thinking about what it would be like in a year when I would have my little man and we would be celebrating Easter together. I LOVE Easter and I love that I can have fun with putting together some fun things for him to discover in his very own little basket. Holidays are infinitely better with kiddos. It is just SO DANG FUN. 

I seriously had to practice some legit self control when buying stuff for little man's basket. I still think I probably overdid it a bit, but whatevs!




1. I seriously could not resist buying Eli this Angora Duckling by Jellycat. I found him in Anthropologie of all places. I seriously love how random some of their stuff can be and I find it ironic that I walked in there fully planning on buying stuff for me and I walked out with only stuff for Eli.

2. Eli is really REALLY into anything with wheels right now. I love how much of a boy he is! I really was looking for any excuse to get him a new truck of some sort (I mean, I could not POSSIBLY wait until his birthday next month right?) and I found one, Easter! Easter and recycling trucks go hand in hand right? ...er... well, any way it is going in the basket and he is going to love it! I absolutely love the company that makes the truck, Green Toys. They have some seriously great stuff and all their toys are made from environmentally friendly materials. Win! 

3. Eli goes to the weekly Book Babies at our local library and they have a time during it where all the babies get these Egg Shakers and Eli goes nuts for them! I think he is going to be a musician like his daddy :) ! I thought it would be fun to have a few at home so I ordered this set from Amazon. Perfect for Easter! 

4. I found these fun little things while I was at Learning Express the other day (why do I even go in there? Too much temptation). They are called Hide N Squeak Eggs and the shells crack open to reveal six different chicks! When you press on their heads you can hear them peep. Eli goes gaga for stuff like this! They can also practice learning their shapes and where things go by sorting each shell into it's own carton spot. You can also find them on Amazon HERE. 

5. Okay, another stuffed animal that came home with me from Anthropologie. This picture does not do him justice. He has really long arms and legs and I just really liked the look of him and he had to come home with me. This is why I am not allowed to go into animal shelters anymore and also why I have four animals - everything comes home with me! 

6. I had to add a book and why not a classic? The Tale of Peter Rabbit!

7. I love these Odd Ducks from Boon. They are PVC free and do not hold water so they won't mold in the bathtub. A-W-E-S-O-M-E! They are super colorful and have fun designs on them and I know Eli will flip for them because he is obsessed with bath time and is equally obsessed with playing with his bath toys during bath time. Cannot wait to break these bad boys out! You can also find them at Amazon HERE

8. Had to include some bubbles! One of my new favorite things to do is sit outside in this almost awesome weather (forecast is calling for snow showers tomorrow. whaaa??) and blow bubbles while Eli chases them. I like these because they are not messy with the whole dipping your fingers in the bubble solution to get the wand thing. I got this bottle at Learning Express, but you can find similar ones here at Amazon. 

Okay, I think that covers Eli's first ever Easter basket! So exciting! He will probably glance it all over for a good ten minutes and move onto something else way more interesting like an empty Gatorade bottle or pulling down my window curtains, but it is so worth it! I seriously am going to have to be restrained come Christmas time. How am I not going to buy him EVERYTHING?

What is in your little ones Easter basket? Would love to know and maybe I can sneak in a few extra things! ;)

with love

Kristin 






share this on »
{Facebook}
{Twitter}
{Pinterest}
2 Comments »

Five on Friday!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Happy Friday! 

I have been on somewhat of a blog hiatus, but I am back! I have a lot of fun new posts and series coming up the next couple of weeks so keep a look out for those! I have missed you blogging world! I thought I would kick off being back into the swing of things with a fun Five on Friday post!


ONE
I got slammed with the stomach bug on Tuesday night. It was bad. very very bad and very very ugly. I have never been so sick in my life! It made me feel so thankful for my husband who was able to stay home from work on Wednesday and take care of Eli and it made me so thankful for my health once I started to recover on Thursday. I think I should be covered on getting sick for the rest of the year!

This was the day after I was sick and I was able to be with my little buddy again! Still was looking a hot mess!

TWO
I cannot believe how much my sweet baby is growing each and every day and how much he is learning! It’s such a trip to watch them learn something new every day and to see how smart these little humans are. Eli has started to say “Jack” (our pup) and “banana” (along with mama and dada). His birthday is almost one month away! I just cannot believe he is already almost a year. Seriously, mind blown!

This picture just melts my heart.




THREE



Have you guys read this book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt? It’s the boooomb! (yes, I just said that. I know I’m cool!). I highly recommend it for bloggers, small shop owners, mompreneurs, really anyone who is putting themselves out there in some form. It has been huge for me and I have learned so much. Tiffany from The Austin Diaries and I are diving into a fun new adventure and business together (more details to be revealed soon) and I have learned SO much from this book, but it has also taught me so much just as a blogger! Go get it now!

FOUR
Birthday planning for Eli is about to be in FULL SWING! I am SO excited to get started with planning his birthday. I can’t wait to share you all the fun details. Anyone have any advice on first birthday plannings? Anything you did that you LOVED or did not do that you regret? Any must haves at the party? 


FIVE
I know I have said this a lot in my recent blog posts, but thank you to everyone who has showed support, interest, or just shared kind words in regards to what we are doing with our auctions. Please if you do not follow the IG page do so now so you can get all the new updates. We have some fun things coming your way! 

I’ve missed you all and I am glad to be back! 

with love,


Kristin

share this on »
{Facebook}
{Twitter}
{Pinterest}
2 Comments »

Living Fearless

Monday, March 31, 2014


When I started 2014 I started working on Lara Casey’s PowerSheets and was coming up with all these ideas and goals for my new photography business. I was ready to take this year on by storm! While navigating being a mother for the first time I was also hoping to start a photography business and rock it! Don’t get me wrong, I am still working on my photography business, but lately things have taken a different turn and I have found myself on a slightly different path than planned. A good path, but a different one. 

When the PowerSheets asked me to choose a word for 2014 I decided on “fearless”. I have lived most of my almost-28 years of life being afraid. If you don’t know me then you should know I am a VERY anxiety-ridden person. I get nervous in social situations, I stress easily, I worry ALL the time and I am so afraid of putting myself out there. After I had Eli I realized that I need to conquer these fears because I do not want him to see me being so … afraid. I want Eli to be a confident man when he grows up and to not let the fears of what others will think hold him back. So, I stepped out and I started my little photography business, something that I have always wanted to do, but so afraid to do so because what if other people think I'm terrible? It’s been fun and actually going pretty well and I have learned so much about it and so much about myself. For example, it’s not so scary to put yourself out there! Okay, it’s a little scary, but the first time you step out it gets a little easier each time you do it thereafter. 



Any way, my whole point of this is that I started to want to do more and more that had nothing to do with photography and instead of holding back - I chased after it! I wanted to really give blogging a go. What will people think of it? People are going to think I’m writing in an online diary and make fun of me. Yeah, all of those thoughts and more scattered through my mind, but I went with it any way. Does the world need ANOTHER mommy blogger? Probably not, but I went for it and boy, am I glad I did! I have met so many amazing women and received so many amazing opportunities all because I ignored my fears and tried something new… something I have always wanted to do! Punching fear in the face!

Then I heard Nella’s story and wanted to help. I was so afraid to reach out to Grace, Nella's mama at first because I thought she would think I was a crazy person to want to blog about Nella, but she didn’t and she was so excited for Nella to be featured. So, I did. I wrote a feature about Nella and was FLOORED by the reception. Of course, the majority of the positive reception mainly had to do with the fact that it’s IMPOSSIBLE not to fall in love with Nella, but people were reading. People were listening. People were becoming aware of Nella’s disease and were becoming educated and they were supporting Nella’s family and praying for them.

Then the Insta-Auction idea came about. This was a big deal for me. What if no one bid? Seriously, I was so afraid this would be a flop and I would have to go to Nella’s family empty handed with no money raised. There were those fears again. I knew I needed to punch those fears in the face again and try this thing with everything I had. More could be lost if I didn't try than if I did, right? I emailed, emailed, and emailed some more. The word got spread and people started to listen and wanted to help because people are so powerful. People are so beautiful and people are so kind. That is something that is OFTEN forgotten in this world. People are kind.

This thing became bigger than me because it was. It was bigger than me. This had nothing to do with me. This had everything to do with Nella and how she radiates God’s love and affects those that learn about her. How cool, right? 


So, we did it. We made the auction live. I prayed and prayed and prayed that God would show up big and guess what? He did. We made $5,670 dollars within 2 days of the auction being live! We had three weeks to plan this auction and get it organized and we did it. YOU did it. God showed up. God showed up through YOU and boy, did you show up. 




You showed up big. 

I have learned so much through this experience. I have learned to push my fears aside and power through. How silly it would have been for me to allow myself to worry about what others would think and to allow that to stop me from moving forward? It’s so scary to step out there and try something new, but boy have I learned that it’s so worth it. 

What’s next? Well, a lot hopefully! Hopefully a lot of living and a lot less fearing. God spoke big to me during these past few weeks. He showed me people want to help. People want to love and all you have to do is open those doors! We want to open those doors. We want to make these auctions more of a permanent thing. Maybe once every few months, once a month? Not sure. We are looking into what we need to do to make this more of an actual organization that can help families in need raise funds. 

Have ideas? Want to brainstorm with us? Know of a family that could use an auction? Please email me! soundsofmypitterpatter @ gmail dot com. We hope to have so much more in store for you! 

You guys are incredible. Humanity is incredible. Just when you think it’s not - you show up and you show up big and you show me how much love there is out there. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Please continue to pray hard for sweet Nella. If you still feel led to donate to Nella's sweet family you can do so HERE



with love,


Kristin 

share this on »
{Facebook}
{Twitter}
{Pinterest}
2 Comments »

Nella's Insta-Auction !

Sunday, March 23, 2014

So, if you follow me on Instagram or any of my amazing and wonderful blogging buddies then you have probably heard about the Wonderfully Made Prayers for Nella Insta-Auction we are putting on!! …oh, you haven’t heard about it?? Well, you probably should go check out my Instagram HERE or the auction’s Offical IG page HERE to see the latest happenings! I posted a bunch of items for a sneak peek and have PLENTY MORE that will be posted throughout the week.



I wanted to dedicate a post to the auction because I have had a lot of questions regarding how the auction will work, where the money is going, etc. 

So, I am going to clear all those questions up for you right here and now! 

Listen up! 

The auction is going to be put on to benefit Nella and her family. If you have not read Nella’s story you need to read it HERE. It is important you know why we are throwing this auction because one of the main reasons is to help spread awareness for the disease that Nella has! So, go read up on it if you have not already! 

All of the money will go straight to Nella’s family and will be used to help pay for Nella’s medical bills. Expenses can be massive (even with insurance) going through something like they are going through and any little bit helps! 



This is how the auction will work:

1. There will be a picture of the item that is placed for bid and typically the vendor who donated the item will be tagged in the caption (please go show them some love! All of these vendors have been beyond kind and generous and we would not be able to throw this auction without them!). 

2. If you want to bid on that item you leave a comment with the amount you are bidding in dollar increments. No cents - just whole dollar increments! You ALSO leave your paypal email address next to the amount you are bidding in your comment. This is very important because it is how we will send you the invoice when the auction is all wrapped up. 

3. Now, if you are bidding on an item that has already been bid on you do everything in the above step, but you ALSO tag the person you are outbidding. This is so that person knows they have been outbid and can come back and rebid on it if they choose to do so. 

4. If you have been outbid and still want to bid you just repeat steps 2-3 until you secure the item you want with victory! 

5. Bidding ends on March 29th at 10:00 am and I will post STOP BIDDING and will tag winner. Please stop bidding once you see us say "stop bidding"! I also have some great helpers who will be posting STOP BIDDING as well. I will tag them when the bidding starts so you know who my helpers are and who to look out for! 

5. Voila you are done! Wasn’t that easy? 

6. Once you are done and declared winner you can immediately start bragging about the amazing item you won! I will send you an invoice of the total cost of the item you won and you need to pay that invoice within 24 hours of receiving it. If the invoice is not paid then the item will go to the bidder before you. So, do not let that happen! 



FAQ:

1. Are shipping costs covered?

Shipping is covered on the MAJORITY of all items within the US! Aren’t our vendors amazing?? If shipping costs are NOT covered it will be stated in the description of the item. 

2. Will you ship outside of the US?

Yes! We will ship outside of the US, but it will be up to the bidder to pay shipping! Don’t let that hold you back! These items and (more importantly!) the cause are so worth it. I promise!

3. What if my Instagram is on private?

If your Instagram is on private then you cannot receive tags and notifications when you are outbid, but that is okay. Just check back frequently to see if you have been outbid on the item you were bidding on!

4. What if I do not want any of the items but I still want to donate?

That’s great and you’re awesome! We will have an option at the end of the auction where you can donate monetarily to the Grutter’s! 

5. Why is the auction two days long?

        That's a great question, mother! (yes, my mom is the one who asked this question) The auction is two days long because we have so much stuff up for bid that we want everyone to be able to take their time to look at everything and we want people to be able to have ample time to find the auction page! We have some great websites promoting the auction starting the day the auction goes live so we want plenty of time for everyone to come and place their bids!

6. What if I do not have an Instagram and I want to participate in the auction?

     Excellent question! I recommend creating an Instagram account even if it is just for the event. It's super easy to do and you can shut your account down immediately after the auction if you want (but why would you want to? Instagram is AWESOME!)! If you are really against creating an Instagram account even if just for the two days of the auction then I recommend having a friend or family member with an Instagram account bid on the items you want for you and have them place your paypal email address with the bid! 




Important Points to Remember! 

There are a couple of things I want everyone to remember and the first one is that ANYONE who participates in the auction - that means anyone who donated or anyone who places a bid (even if you are not the winning bidder) - will automatically be entered into a random drawing to win a $300.00 gift card from Etsy! HOLLA! Winner will be announced the following Monday after the auction ends on my IG page and on the Official Auction IG Page! 

Secondly, please remember the auction begins March 27th 10:00 am (EASTERN TIME) and ends March 29th 10:00 am (EASTERN TIME)! 


One of the most important things I want everyone to remember when participating in this auction is that this is for an amazing cause. This is to help spread awareness for SMA, to benefit a beautiful and well deserving family, and to come together as a community to help lift up and support the Grutter’s! I am so thankful and appreciative to everyone who has donated and helped out and participated in this auction, but this auction is so much more than winning or purchasing a new piece of clothing or accessory for a bargain. If the item you want goes above retail price and you still want that item and are able to donate more money then please do not hesitate to keep bidding until you win! If the item is $4.00 and you end up spending $40.00 in order to win it then praise God! How amazing! You get a really cute item AND you get to give back to a beautiful family and a precious baby girl. 

I know that not everyone can spend a lot of money, but the best way you can help is to support the auction, share the auction, and bid what you can if you are able! 

I have been BLOWN away by how much everyone has rallied to make this auction a successful event. Vendors have donated items with no questions asked! Bloggers and friends have shared the information on the auction whenever they were able. I have had so many people offer to help with emails, making graphics, organizing the event, etc. 

Seriously, you guys are amazing and I am so touched by all your help and support. I am so glad that you all have fallen in love with Nella and have wanted to help her and her family in this way. I know that Nella's mother has been overwhelmed by everyone's kindness and I am so, so thankful. How amazing is it that she gets to see everyone shower her and her family with love in this way? Again, so thankful. 

We are making our first Wonderfully Made Auction an event to remember and that is only because of you and your giant hearts! 

Let's have so much fun with this and let's do it all up big for that sweet baby girl! :) 


I hope I touched on everything regarding the auction! If you have anymore questions please email me at soundsofmpitterpatter @ gmail dot com! 

with love,

Kristin 

share this on »
{Facebook}
{Twitter}
{Pinterest}
Add a comment »

Beyond Dreaming

Sunday, March 16, 2014

I am sorry that my posts were scarce last week.

Honestly, when I posted Nella’s story up a couple weeks ago, I never could have imagined the amazing reception and feedback it would bring. Her story had almost 10,000 hits within hours of it posting. It has filled my heart with so much joy to know that Nella’s story continues to be spread and awareness is being raised for her disease. Awareness is so, so important and sometimes in a cloud of uncertainty it is the only and best thing we can do to help these precious little souls fight.

I came up with the idea of doing a "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made" series because when these families are in the thick of it is when they need their stories told the most. They need us to be fighting for them while they are busy fighting to keep afloat. 

My dad died from an under-researched cancer that offers very little hope with very little funding. In a world where there are so many platforms for us to stand on, and with so many influential people surrounding us, why is this happening? 

The difference between my dad and these children is great. My dad lived 51 years while some of the babies with these rare and unknown diseases will live mere days, weeks, months..These parents would give up everything they had if they knew it would give them more time with their babies, more years.

So much unfolded so quickly when Nella’s story was presented on my blog. I began to receive emails from other mothers and families with babies who are sick, asking me to feature their story. A fire within my heart was officially lit. I have to do more. What can I/we do? 

First of all, we need to focus on our current wonderfully made child - Nella.  Nella’s family still needs support (this month and every month, of course) and that is how the Insta-Auction unfolded. For those who have asked, I will be doing a blog post later this week going into more detail about the Insta-Auction and how it will work, where the money is going, why we are doing it, and why it’s important to take part. To everyone who has donated and spread the word about the auction -  thank you, thank you, thank you!  Your kindness is overwhelming and beyond beautiful.

So, to wrap this all up, I think this blog is going to take a drastically new turn within the next few months. Where is it headed? I am not sure. I will still of course have my personal posts and posts about motherhood because I love the idea of having this space to look back on when Eli is older and for him to look back on as well. I like the idea of this being somewhat of a virtual baby book for both him and me.

My head is bursting with ideas and dreams for what I can do and how we can turn this “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made” series into something greater. More than just a blog - more. I’m dreaming big - it’s what I do. But I want to go beyond dreaming. Could this really be something? What could we do? How can we do it? 


Let’s just say this will be more than a blog post written once a month, and while I'm not exactly sure what that means, I hope you will stay close by to find out. 

I also have been having so much fun collaborating with others and having ideas thrown at me so if you want to brainstorm with me or have some big & great idea you would like to mull over please, please shoot me an email soundsofmypitterpatter @ gmail dot com. I am now accepting all dreamers and lovers of spreading awareness {forever and always}! ;)


with love,

Kristin

share this on »
{Facebook}
{Twitter}
{Pinterest}
5 Comments »

8 Baby Sleep Products That Saved My Sanity

Sunday, March 9, 2014


Now, I know what you are thinking, “Why would I listen to sleeping advice from this lady when she says her baby doesn’t sleep?” I know, I know. It’s true, my baby is not a great sleeper, BUT he was once an even worse sleeper than he is now if you can believe that (I sometimes cannot believe it). 
When Eli first came home (and for about four months following that) he was up every hour to two hours every.SINGLE.night. We tried EVERYTHING! People kept throwing advice at us, trying to find the solution to this non-sleeping baby, but nothing worked. In my professional mommy opinion (take that with a grain of salt) I don’t think he was ready to sleep. I do not think there was anything we could have done to get him to sleep better. He just wasn’t ready! I know baby sleep can be a controversial subject (cry it out? don’t cry it out? put him on a strict schedule? no strict schedule? etc.), but this is not about any of that and I do not want to get into that in this particular post. 

When Eli was around 4 months old his sleep started to be manageable and was so much better than those every two hour wake up calls. He was stretching his sleep time to every 4 hours and that was survivable. I wanted to share with you what products we noticed that really helped make a difference with Eli’s terrible sleeping habits in those early days. These are the products that helped us as parents and that helped Eli be more comfortable with his sleeping, which eventually led to those nice longer stretches of sleep.

These are the items that I will most definitely be pulling out of the storage when the next baby comes! 








Eli did not like being swaddled with blankets and we did not like swaddling him. It was always a big ordeal. He would fuss and fight it and even once it was done he just always seemed uncomfortable and even from very early on he would figure out how to bust out of his little burrito. We found the Woombie and loved how easy it was to put on him. We just zipped him up in his little pea pod and he really liked it too. I think he liked the fact that the fabric gives a little and he was able to still rest his sweet little hands on his chest while still being wrapped up tight. He was all about those hands being nice and close to him. I also love the fact that you can zip from the bottom up so that was nice during those middle of the night diaper changes and not having to unswaddle him and then reswaddle him while he’s screaming like a banshee! I'll be honest, Eli still woke up a lot with the Woombie so I wouldn’t say it was a lifesaver or anything (he did sleep longer stretches with the Woombie on than any other swaddling blanket) with his sleep, but I noticed a BIG change with his comfort level once he had the Woombie. He just seemed much more cozy.

2. Gas Drops




The Gas Drops were really helpful for us in those early days. Eli had a hard time with his tummy around two-three months old, especially late at night. Poor thing just seemed so uncomfortable and it woke him up quite a lot. When we started giving him some drops here and there we noticed a difference in his comfort level and they really seemed to help!

3. Video Monitor

This was more for the parents. Obviously, Eli is not getting any better or worse sleep with a video monitor. I found this calming to be able to see him. At first I was constantly looking at it, but now I only check it if I hear him. It is so helpful for us to see if he lost his paci or if he’s standing up (he seems to forget he has the ability to sit back down in the middle of the night even though he sits himself back down all the time if he’s up and playing) or whatever else we need to check in on. I would have worried 30x more than I already do without having the ability to check in on him every once in a while with the monitor! It’s also a plus that I get to watch his sweet and cute little self snooze away. They always look like such angels when they sleep (if they sleep…)!

4. Soft Sheets




I don’t know if Eli even noticed this, but I would like to think so. We use these sheets with his crib. We had regular ‘ole crib sheets when we first started putting him in his crib and to me he just seemed like he could never get comfortable. I don’t blame him. The sheets seemed scratchy and stiff and not very comfy. If he is anything like his momma then he is all about comfort in his bed! I felt bad thinking he could be uncomfortable on those sheets and not be able to tell us so I found these sheets online and they had great reviews! They are super soft. They are like sleeping in a velour track suit. I mean, how is that not the most greatest thing ever? He also seemed to settle better and did really seem much more comfortable once we started using these sheets.

5. This Mobile





We got this mobile when Eli was two months old. I did not rush on getting a mobile when I was pregnant because I did not know how important it would be and how much we would need one. This is very helpful in putting Eli to sleep. We like this one because it plays a little light show on the top of it and he just watches it and watches the animals spin and listens to the soft music and gets very sleepy. I think it is really comforting to him. Although, now that he is standing he likes to stand and attack the animals with all his might.

6. Sound Machine




This is another big necessity in our house. Our house is loud. It’s old. The floors creak and the dog makes a lot of noises … and so do the three cats we have. We do not have a fancy sound machine. We plug the iPad in and use a white noice app that makes static noise. I forgot to put it on once and Eli did not sleep good so, it is very necessary for us. I know a lot of people worry that if you use a sound machine with your baby they will then be dependent on it for the rest of their lives. Eh, not a big deal to us. If we have to carry around an iPad with us whenever we travel or wherever we go so Eli can get some decent sleep then that is fine with us. If he has to have an iPad on (or whatever other latest gadget is out there by the time) with him to get some good sleep as he grows up then that is fine. I think there could be worse! He can always take it with him and it’s no big deal. His college roommate will just have to get over it or else momma bear will come over and rip his face off. Just kidding …sort of.

If the iPad didn't work so well as a sound machine we would give these a try:

Sleep Sheep
Graco Sweet Slumber Sound Machine
Baby Einstein Sea Dreams Soother

7. Wubbanub





These were huge for us! Eli started using the Soothie pacifiers as soon as he was born, so it’s great that they are the same pacifiers attached to the Wubbanub. These were and still are so helpful with Eli’s sleep because he can easily find them in the middle of the night in his dark nursery and he is able to easily put them in his mouth. When he learned how to put his own paci back into his mouth that was a GAME CHANGER. We were no longer having to run back and forth from our room to his to reinsert the paci. These were a big way that he learned to put them back into his mouth on his own. He is also super attached to them and they’re really cute! He puts himself to sleep when he is sucking on his Wubbanub and playing with their little arms and legs. He LOVES them. We have the giraffe and the elephant. 

8. Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit 






Two words. LIFE SAVER. I am sure you are like me reading this and seeing the picture of this giant snowsuit and you are skeptical. I was skeptical too, but I was also desperate. The reviews on this suit are really positive and Eli was around 4 months old when I ordered it and this house needed more sleep! I remember when it arrived I was SO EXCITED. I ran down to the laundry room the second it was in my hands and threw it into the washer so it would be all ready to use that night. When it came time to try it Eli seemed fine in it. He definitely preferred this other than being swaddled and he did not seem confused at all about why we were stuffing him into a giant spacesuit. The first night we used it I did not see much of a difference and I was feeling pretty disappointed, but we wanted to keep trying. The second night he actually slept a little better! Was it the suit? Or just a good night? Okay, the third night he slept 5 HOURS STRAIGHT! First time ever! I was floored! We kept using the suit and his sleep improved SO MUCH. I have a friend who I recommended it to as well and it really helped with her baby’s sleep too! 

I ended up ordering two more when he went up in size and we enjoyed a good two months of some pretty decent sleep and I credit that ALL to the suit! It is truly what it says - magical! When Eli started to roll over in his sleep and then started standing in his crib we sadly, had to say our goodbyes to the sleep suit and I packed it up with care in the storage to go up to the attic. You better believe we will be busting out the suit whenever we have our next baby. 

Magic Merlin Sleepsuit, I love you. 

Eli’s sleep is up and down now, but when I think back to those early days I am reminded of how far we’ve come! He still wakes up 1-2 times at night, but it is such a huge difference from every two hours. If you have a baby that is not a great sleeper hang in there! I know it’s super annoying to hear from people telling you to hang in there and that it will pass because in the moment you are so tired and exhausted and just want to see some light at the end of the tunnel telling you THEY WILL SLEEP, but it really is the best advice that someone can give. This will pass. It’s hard and you are so, so tired. I know that, but your baby will get there and you will get in a nice groove that works for you and your family. In the meantime, enjoy a nice big cup of coffee and hand that baby off to someone every once in awhile (even if only for 30 minutes!) so you can get some good naps! 

You mommas are incredible. I have such respect for all of you. 


My sweet little marshmallow man. 

What baby sleep products have you found most helpful with your little one's sleep? Anything you could recommend?

with love,

Kristin 

share this on »
{Facebook}
{Twitter}
{Pinterest}
4 Comments »