If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself since becoming a mom, it’s that I am not the best version of myself when I’ve had little sleep. It’s not something I knew or even thought about prior to having a baby because I was always a very good sleeper. Before Edwin I would enjoy a blissful 8-9 hours of solid sleep a night and sometimes napped during the day. When baby came along, like most new moms, my sleep went out the window. Because I was breastfeeding, I had to wake up with Edwin every 2 1/2 hours for months and that really affected my mental health. I remember in the early days feeling so tired, overwhelmed, and as though I wasn’t doing anything “right”. I constantly worried, Googled and overthought.
When Edwin was around 4 months old, I knew something had to change in the baby sleep department for all of our sake. We needed help when it came to sleep training. We decided to seek help from a sleep coach because I didn’t feel like I knew where to begin when it comes to schedules, sleep training hacks and new routines. I am simply not a schedule person, but I assure you when there is a baby involved, even the most schedule resistant of people will want to get on one! After our sleep coach gave us infinite amounts of tips (which I’m sharing below) and support, I started to feel really good about the direction we were headed in with Edwin’s sleep.
However, even with all of the advice, I knew in my heart that the biggest thing that was going to help Edwin with his sleep was transitioning him into his crib. Up until the crib transition, Edwin had been sleeping beside us in his bassinet. I started to notice that he was moving around a lot more and because the bassinet was so small, he would wake himself up when he tried to move. Jamie and I decided to move him into the crib and while I knew it would be the best decision for all of us, I was quite anxious that we were moving this tiny human who had been by our sides for 6 months into a room of his own.
Enter the Cubo AI Smart Baby Monitor
I knew that for my own peace of mind, we had to get a video baby monitor and Cubo AI Smart Baby Monitor has been a game changer! Before Cubo AI, Jamie and I were using a different monitor that had to be propped on a tripod on the floor, it constantly went in and out of service, and the battery always died on us. I didn’t really trust it and with Edwin alone in his room I needed to trust my camera.
Not only does Cubo not do any of the annoying thing the previous camera did, but it also has AI integrated into it which detects a covered face and rollovers. Now that Edwin is almost 11 months old, I don’t worry about the rolling since he rolls all over the place, but he does have a lovie in his crib. If his lovie ever covers his face too much I like to know. Cubo also has incredible image quality, takes sweet photos of Edwin and has 18-hour video playback.
Cubo is also very aesthetically pleasing. It is shaped like an adorable little bird and the stand is like a perch hanging over his crib which I find so cute! The actual camera also easily comes off the “perch” stand and can be moved anywhere in the house and placed on the base. This is one of the reasons why I love Cubo so much! Edwin sometimes wakes up early and when that happens, I will usually bring him down into bed with me. While I feed him in bed, Jamie will get the Cubo off the perch and bring it down onto the stand in our room. He usually gets himself ready for the day and watches us on the camera while doing so. Sometimes Edwin will fall back to sleep with me and others he wants to play so Jamie will come and take him, so I get an extra 40 minutes of sleep! I love that Jamie can see us if Edwin falls asleep too because I’m always nervous when he’s asleep in bed with me.
Cubo AI’s User-Friendly Features
Cubo AI also had temperature and humidity detection, a built-in night light and two-way audio. The app is extremely user friendly and I enjoy that the camera is on my phone and doesn’t need a separate monitor taking up space. All in all, I’ve really enjoyed using Cubo AI and have so much trust in it to watch our precious baby boy.
If you’re in the market for a smart baby monitor, I highly recommend Cubo AI.
I’m also offering an additional CA$10 OFF when you buy from either the Cubo AI website or Amazon.ca. This code can be used in conjunction with other offers, meaning a total saving of $130. Code Valid until 1/30/2020
Now, onto baby sleep and every sleep training hack we used and swear by!!!
The 12 Sleep Training Hacks That Worked For Us
Did you know babies need 12 hours of sleep a night!? I had no idea that this was the case until we hired a sleep coach. I didn’t even think it was possible for a baby to sleep 12 hours straight without a feeding. Edwin is almost 10 months old and typically he sleeps for 12 hours. However, he is a human and not a robot, as are all babies. Sometimes he wakes up for one feeding and goes back to sleep, others he sleeps straight through for 12 hours. Some days he will only sleep for 11 hours. Why am I telling you this? Because the most important thing is to not be hard on yourself if your baby isn’t sleeping 12 hours straight through. They didn’t fail, you didn’t fail, that’s just the way it is.
But how did we get Edwin to sleep for AT LEAST a 10-hour stretch without waking!?
#1. We started a schedule
Ah, the schedule. The one thing that I resisted but, in the end, having a schedule for my baby gave me more freedom than I could have ever imagined. We started a true schedule for Edwin around 4 months of age. However, I think we could have started a bit earlier. Of course, newborns are difficult to schedule because sometimes they want to eat every 30 minutes, sleep a lot during the day and don’t want to sleep at night because they haven’t figured out night/day yet. I’d say 2/3 months is the perfect time to establish a true baby schedule. Once you have a schedule figured out, you’ll know when your baby is most likely to be eating, sleeping and in a good mood to go out and do the things. I never wanted to be trapped at home by our schedule so I made sure that Edwin could still sleep in his stroller, in the car or wherever so that I could have a life too.
#2. We Paid Attention to Edwin’s Sleep Ques
I remember when Edwin was still a newborn and I read somewhere that babies should be awake for 3 hours at a time. THIS IS CRAZY and is where I believe I messed up when it came to Edwin’s sleep. My thought process was “if baby is awake longer during the day, he’ll sleep better at night.” WRONG! Edwin is 10 ½ months old and still his MAX wake time 3 ½-4 hours. When he was a newborn, I should have been trying to get him down to nap anywhere between 1 ½ -2 ½ hours after waking, with 2 ½ hours being the very tipping point.
With babies, SLEEP BEGETS SLEEP. They need so much of it so definitely try to give it to them often. Try to notice your babies sleep cues. Are they rubbing their eyes often? SLEEPY! Are they yawning? VERY SLEEPY! Aside from those signs, Edwin in particular becomes very fussy when he’s tired. He also pulls down on his head and ears when he’s showing signs of tiredness. Pay attention to these things as they likely mean your little love needs a nap.
#3 We gave Edwin An Early Bedtime
One thing I learned from our sleep coach was that babies need an early bedtime. She suggested 6:30 for bedtime but Jamie and I like to sleep a little longer than that, so Edwin’s bedtime is now 7pm-7am (unless he wakes up at 6). However, sometimes we have days where we’re out late and Edwin naps in the car on the way home (usually waking at 5-5:30pm). When this happens, I will push his bedtime to 7:30 or 8. If Edwin happens to go to bed at 8pm and hasn’t woken up by 7:30am, we will wake him in the morning to reset his circadian rhythm. Either way, babies need an early bedtime which is amazing because it gives the old adults time to reset and relax during the evenings.
#4 We Have A Very Strict Bedtime Routine
The bedtime routine was another thing that I was hesitant about because it just seemed like more work to me. However, Edwin’s bedtime routine is now my absolute favourite part of our day. It looks just like this:
-30 Minutes before Edwin’s bedtime I will bring him up to his bedroom and turn on his lamp (it has a more yellow, calming light).
-I play soft music and feed Edwin in his diaper. I usually sing and rub his back and tummy while doing this.
-After feeding Edwin, I give him his bath. Every second night we do a full hair and body wash but for the nights in between I just wash his face/body.
-After his bath I dry him off, do diaper change, baby lotion and massage.
-I then bring Edwin over to his chair and read him a couple of bedtime books.
-After his books, I bring him over to his lamp, turn it off with him and place him in his crib. I then turn on his sound machine, say goodnight and shut the door.
Some nights Edwin cries a little when I leave the room and others, I don’t hear a peep from him. It really just depends. His crying never lasts more than 2 minutes now but I always check Cubo AI on my phone as soon as I leave him and watch him doze off.
#5 We Keep his Bedroom Very Dark During Sleep
This is self-explanatory. If you can, get black out shades for your babies’ room so that they’re sleeping in as dark of conditions as possible both day and night. Cubo took this into account and designed a monitor with no blinking red light so Edwin’s sleep is undisturbed by any light.
#6 We Have Sound machine on during Naptime and Bedtime
We’ve had a sound machine going since Edwin was a newborn. There’s something about white noise that keeps babies calm and help them transition from one sleep cycle to the next. I couldn’t imagine not having his sound machine on at this point.
#7 We Gave Edwin a Lovie to Snuggle up With
This is a controversial one since it is recommended that a baby’s crib should be completely empty for the first year (no blankets, bumpers, toys, etc.). However, Jamie and I both decided when Edwin was 6 months old to put a Lovie in his crib to bond with and snuggle up to. At first, I was really nervous about this because of all the warnings. However, we have CUBO AI that alerts us if it is covering his face. There haven’t been any scary incidents thus far and he really does like to snuggle his lovie for comfort.
#8 We Give Edwin a Soother During Naptime but Not Bedtime
We really wanted Edwin to be able to sleep without the use of a soother, so we never offered him one during his bedtime. Edwin also never took a soother for the first 5 months of his life but oddly started to take a very specific brand (bibs) at 5 months. While writing this post, Edwin was taking a soother during nap time but in the last week or so he has actually started rejecting it again. Now, I’ve been leaving the soother beside him during nap time because he likes to play with it when he wakes up (I know this because I watch CUBO). This gives me a few more minutes before he gets fussy and I have to get him from his crib. The reason we decided to give him the soother during nap time to begin with was simply because I felt like it helped him take longer naps.
#9 Speaking of Naps, I now put toys into his crib during nap time
This is another thing that might be considered controversial, but because I am awake and have the CUBO baby monitor on while Edwin naps, I don’t worry too much about having a few toys in his crib now that he’s almost 10 months. The sole reason I do this is because when Edwin wakes up from his nap he goes right to the stuffed animal and board book I leave him. He plays with those and his soother for anywhere from 10-30 minutes and it gives me some extra alone time.
#10: We Did Gentle Cry It Out with Edwin
The most controversial method of all…Sleep training! This is a hot topic in the parenting world and can get a lot of judgement. I was very anti cry-it-out when I was pregnant and for the first few months of Edwin’s life. However, after months and months of no sleep, I was willing to give it a shot. At around 4 months we started the gentle cry it out method. What does that mean exactly? Well, to put it simply, I have never let Edwin cry for more than 15 minutes straight. If you have let your baby cry longer than that, I’m not judging you, I just couldn’t do it. Instead of letting Edwin cry for long periods, I started by letting him cry for 2 minutes, then Jamie and I would take turns going into his room and without picking him up, rub his belly and repeat the word “bedtime” over and over again. Sometimes this took Jamie and I going into his room multiple times for about an hour, but eventually Edwin would go to sleep. We’d extend his crying by a couple of minutes every night but never went over 15 minutes. Edwin eventually got the hang of going to sleep on his own and I never felt like I was leaving my baby to “cry it out.”
#11: We Make Sure Edwin is Well-Fed During the Day
Edwin is now almost 11 months old so he’s eating three meals a day, sometimes snacks and is also still breastfeeding. Edwin has milk before and after every nap and meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) an hour after each breastfeeding session. He will also have water, and a snack like fruit or crackers in between. Before solids were introduced, I would just make sure Edwin was drinking lots of milk throughout the day. He really never went more than 2 ½- 3 hours without having milk.
#12 We Moved Edwin from His bassinet to A Crib
If you’ve read this far then you already know a bit about our crib transition period at 6 months. However, one thing I wanted to mention here is that I WISH I had made the decision to move our baby into his crib at 4 months. At 4 months I could tell that Edwin wanted to move around more and was outgrowing his bassinet. I also believe that he knew that he was sleeping right beside me and therefore he knew that when he woke up, he could cry for the good stuff LOL! Everyone is different when it comes to where their babies sleep and for how long and the reason, I didn’t move him was due to anxiety. However, looking back I honestly think he would have thrived being in his crib sooner. Plus, now having CUBO AI and being able to look in on him so clearly really helps with my separation anxiety.
#BONUS #13 I Became More Relaxed About My Babies Sleep and Started to Go with The Flow
This isn’t really a sleep tip as much as it is a mental sanity tip, haha! One thing I found when working on Edwin’s sleep was that I would obsess over it and that wasn’t healthy. Now, at almost 11 months old, I have learned that Every.Single.Time I think that Edwin has got the 12-hour straight sleep schedule down he decides shakes things up, lol! I know that when this happens it is usually due to him going through a developmental milestone, or simply that he didn’t eat enough that particular day. Either way, I have come to terms with the fact that Edwin’s sleep might never be perfect, but I now understand that it is as good as it can be! If I get a 5-6 hour stretch of sleep, I am thrilled but some nights he gives me 7 or 8 and, on those nights, I wake up a whole new woman!!!
This post was proudly brought to you by CUBO AI.
Note: Edwin does not sleep with a blanket in his crib, this was just for photo/styling purposes only. It is not recommended for a baby to sleep with a blanket or anything in their crib until 1 year.