Thursday, 1 June 2017

A Little Sleep Update featuring the Antipodes Merino Sleeping Bag

It's been absolutely ages since I've posted any sort of update on our baby boy. Of course, life gets busy and while I used to be so good at writing little updates and letters for LO when he was little, with Little L, I've not kept on top of it so well. Of course, with two little boys to run around after, a big house move and then spending much of our time trying to get the new house sorted, I've been a little slack with posting any sort of updates on him. He's nearly 17 months now which I really can't believe. I will probably do a dedicated separate post before he turns 18 months, but I thought I'd do a separate little sleep update first. If you've read my blog for a while or follow me on social media, you'll probably know that over the past 17 months, we've had quite a few issues with sleep. But over those months, we have tried and tested different methods and routines, in order to try and establish better sleep habits so the whole family can try and get a better night's sleep. 

Little L's sleeping habits have really been all over the place to be honest. When we first moved house, when he was around 10 months, he was in no fixed routine at all. Combined with a prolonged episode of teething he was spending every evening downstairs with us, falling asleep at around 10pm on a fleecy throw on the carpet and then I'd transfer him up to bed. He sort of grew out of this habit and then the routine was for him to have a bath at around 7:30, get into his sleepsuit and sleeping bag and fall asleep with his bottle in my arms while I read him a story. More often than not I could transfer him into his cot asleep, though some evenings he just wouldn't nod off and would come downstairs with us until he did. 

This routine, which for the most part worked ok, carried on until around 2 months ago when I decided to make a more concerted effort to get him to go down in his cot even if he wasn't asleep. I've read numerous times that it's better for a baby to go down to bed awake as they learn to get themselves to sleep rather than falling asleep by being rocked or by having milk. It's easier said than done though. Anyway, the first evening was the hardest, and I tried various methods- pick up put down technique (which he's never been a fan of), rubbing his back, and letting him cry but sitting next to his cot and letting him rest his head on my shoulder so he could see I was there, but not actually picking him up. This worked the best for us, and after a couple of minutes he was totally settled and laid down and cuddled a toy. The following evening he was even better and settled really quickly. 
The biggest change though, is that since putting him down in his cot using this method, Mr F can now do his bedtime too, which he was never really able to do before. It was a lot of pressure on me and Mr F was missing out on getting that time to bond with him too, freeing me up to also get the chance to put LO to bed and read him stories. We now alternate and take it in turns to do each boy's bedtime  each night where we can. 

Little L had even started to sleep through the night at one stage, and was sleeping regularly from around 8pm till about 6:30am. The lighter mornings have meant he's been waking earlier and earlier (it's now around 5am on average) but for the most part, he is sleeping through. One thing which has affected his sleep lately though is the change in temperature. His room seems to get quite warm at night in summer (and freezing cold in winter), so I've been finding it hard to know what to dress him in at night time. He had been using a couple of different Tog baby sleeping bags, which I'd alternate dependent on the night time temperature. But I was finding that while he felt warm when he went to bed, he would wake up cold in the night. I am convinced this is what has been affecting his sleep lately. 

Little L really isn't keen on being in his cot unless he's asleep (!!) so I got some photos of him after he'd woken up on my bed instead..

And so recently, we have been trying out a new sleep bag from Antipodes Merino as they claim that Merino wool can actually promote a better night's sleep for baby, so we were really keen to see how this sleep bag gave him a more comfortable night's sleep. I wasn't sure what to expect with a Merino wool fabric- I was expecting quite a heavy weight, thick fabric, but this was soft and incredibly light weight. I did wonder whether it would keep Little L warm enough as it felt quite thin. However, the sleep bag is designed to be worn all year round, and so in changing weather, the Merino wool lining naturally regulates the baby's body temperature. The Merino wool means that like just on a sheep, it's warm in winter by trapping air between the fibres, and in the summer the same fibres wick away sweat and moisture, keeping baby cool. As a parent, it's really reassuring to know that merino wool can reduce the likelihood of a baby overheating too. 

While the Antipodes Merino sleep bag at £75.99, is a little more pricey than some other sleep bags on the market, this one is designed to fit babies from 3-24 months, meaning it can be used for many months, and also throughout the year. In the long run, you would save money by just investing in this one sleep bag, plus you won't have to store a whole range of other sleep bags in different togs. I k w that altogether, we probably own around 5 or 6 different sleep bags in various sizes and togs, most of which Little L can't now use as they're too small for him. Less is definitely more when it comes to the Antipodes Merino sleep bag. 

As well as feeling really lightweight and soft, I also loved the simple striped design of the sleep bag. We got ours in blue, but they also do a pink and an aqua colour too. The sleep bag has a zip which goes around the outside edge and shoulder poppers which feel strong and durable, and then underarm poppers to use with younger babies so their arms can't wriggle out of the arm holes. 

Another fantastic feature of the Antipodes Merino sleep bag is that Merino wool is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-odour, perfect for those occasions when your baby's nappy leaks. It is also completely machine washable. Because the fabric is so lightweight, it dries quickly but can be tumble dried on low if needed.

I am so impressed with our new sleep bag, and it really gives me reassurance knowing that at least if Little L is the right temperature and comfortable, then that's a huge factor in him being able to have a better night's sleep. 

Have you tried a Merino Wool sleep bag for your baby or toddler? How many sleep bags do you think you've bought over the years? I'd love to know!

For more information about the sleep bag or to see where you can purchase one, please visit Antipodes Merino

*Collaborative Post


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