Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Nighttime Necessities

Nighttime can either go one of two ways in our house, usually there is no in between.  Ellie is either deliriously happy + giggly, wrestling us to cover our faces in slobbery kisses and enjoying every last second of stumbling around the house like a drunk person she has before she goes to sleep... or, she's the biggest grump ever.  I mean, complete meltdown city.  We've tried to make her nightly schedule pretty similar each day and have found a few things that have helped make what could be the longest couple hours of our day + overnight go a little smoother for both us and her.  Seeing as though my child is not the greatest of sleepers, you might want to take this post with a grain of salt. ;)  Regardless of that tidbit, today I thought I'd share some our nighttime necessities - things that we've been using lately as well as since Ellie was born.



Body wash - We're still operating a two baths a day schedule, which might seem a little excessive but we both seem to like it.  For her nighttime bath, it's usually pretty quick - just enough to rinse the day's dirt off her feet and dinner off her face.   I generally don't wash her hair or use much soap again at night unless I need to because I don't want her skin to get dried out.  I do, however, give her a back, neck + shoulder massage with a little of this body wash.  I know, rough life for Miss Ellie.  I don't know if it actually calms her, but I like to think it does a teeny bit.  Plus, it does smell really good!  More bath time essentials will be coming in a future post. :)

Baby monitor (out of stock, similar here) -  I'm honestly not sure how parents survived before the days of video baby monitors.  I check this approximately 17 times a night to make sure Ellie didn't somehow escape out of her crib or doesn't have her entire head covered in blankets.  It always scares me when I happen to look over and she's just standing around in her crib like it's no big deal. Obviously she's fine, but it definitely makes me wonder how long she's been hanging out there, especially when she's so quiet because that is so not the norm.  I also use our monitor during the day when she's napping, so I can be anywhere in the house or outside without worrying about what she's up to.  It's a lifesaver for sure!

Jammies - One of my favorite things in the world!  Ellie hasn't liked the adorable footie pajamas since around the time she started crawling (just before she turned eight months old).  They were so sweet for the first part of Ellie's life, but the two-piece jammies are equally as cute and even more functional when it comes to getting Ellie's diaper changed and getting her dressed.  Just the thought trying to wrestle Ellie into one-piece pajamas at this point is a little stressful. ;)  As far as jammies go, Old Navy and Gap are my go-tos!  If you wait for a sale, you can get some awesome deals and stock up.

Gloworm -  Ellie loved this thing when she was just a few months old and we recently brought her back into our daily lives.  We used to sing her to sleep (keep in mind, you will 100% not find us auditioning to be the next American Idol), but gloworm's music helps put Ellie to sleep like a charm and seems to go on for just the right length of time before automatically shutting off.  I turn her on for both nap time and bedtime, as well as when Ells walks up in the middle of the night.  It's super calming to her, plus it's so sweet to see her reach over and hug her gloworm! :)

 Fan - As I've mentioned before, I've grown so accustomed to sleeping to the sound of a fan year-round; therefore, Ellie is now accustomed to sleeping to the sound of a fan year-round! ;)  The white noise is so nice for sleeping and the circulation of air is a plus.  The sound of it also helps drown out some of the noise in the house while Tyler and I are still awake.  Ellie is not a sound sleeper by any means, so this enables us to still live our lives without tiptoeing around the house after she's in bed.  I know sound machines are very popular with babies as well.  I haven't gotten one yet, at this point I'm just going to keep the fan going for the summer since we don't have a/c, but am thinking of getting something like this one when the weather gets cooler again.

Books - I try to keep Ellie from completely bouncing off the walls after bath time.  Sometimes she'll need to run off a little energy between dinner and her bath; but afterwards, I'm all about trying to get her to keep calm-ish (as calm as an Ellie gets) until she goes to bed.  Books are great and she loves to grab one, bring it over to us and plop down in our laps to read.  She got "I Know a Monkey" for her birthday and I'm pretty sure we read it at least 528 times a day.  Toys that don't make a ton of noise (like some cute puzzles) are also good quiet play alternatives, but I guess anything that doesn't involve playing tag up and down the hallway works!

Nightlight - An obvious must-have for nighttime, especially when your baby isn't sleeping through the night (still)!  This one is really cute, but any one would do.  Overnight diaper changes are super rare these days, but a nightlight definitely beats changing a diaper by the light of my cell phone like I did when Ellie slept in our room every night.  Nightlights are also sleep stalking necessities and make it easy to see when you sneak in your babe's room to kiss them just one more time before you head to bed yourself. :)

Pacifiers - Oh, the binkies.  Ellie's most prized possessions perhaps.  Still no plans to ditch these things, although I wouldn't complain if we used them just for sleeping and not so much during the day.  Ellie loses her mind a little bit if she starts to wake up and can't find her pacifier in her half-asleep state.  They are a definite must for our nightly routine (and sanity)!  She has a few glow in the dark ones that are especially great for overnight use.

Quilt - I was so scared of leaving Ellie with a blanket in her crib overnight at first.  In case you're new here, Ells slept in our bed pretty much every single night for the first nine months of her life; so, of course she had blankets on her all the time.  Regardless, leaving her alone with a blanket made me nervous so I would go in and take hers off before I went to bed every night.  After she turned one (and not a day before, because you know there is a huge difference between one year and 364 days old), I let her sleep with her poppy quilt overnight.  It's super breathable - you know I tried to see if I could breathe if my entire face was covered by it!  Plus, it's cute.  If it's hot, I put one of her Little Unicorn swaddle blankets on her instead.

Not pictured? The umbrella stroller that is sometimes the only way to get Ells to sleep!  This seriously might be the best $20 my mom ever spent on Ellie. Girlfriend needs to be moving to fall asleep most of the time and this has been a lifesaver.  Plus, it's better than taking a spin in the car or sitting outside in the dark on the hammock when nothing else works.  I honestly couldn't even tell you when the last time Ellie fell asleep having a bottle for me was.  Usually when she's super sleepy, I'll be able to cuddle her back to sleep when she wakes up during the night, but sometimes the stoller is a necessity.  Ellie might be just a little bit high maintenance when it comes to getting her to sleep. ;)

hair clip c/o Finn & Pines (use code JUST4YOU for 30% off) // lovey c/o Stella & Lu

Ellie has also really taken a liking to her new lovey.  She almost always has it when she's sleeping and loves playing with it when she's awake.  I've been waiting for her to have "that thing" that comforts her... something that's not human contact or her binky, and this may be it! :)

What are your nighttime necessities?  I'd love to hear! There's always room for improvement in that area over here. :)

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