The Halo swaddlesack was our lifesaver too…I specifically didn’t put any on my registry becuase they’re only useful for a short period of time. The hospital gave us one and I ran out and bought 2 more when I finally figured out that it worked on day 4. My first two nights were in the hospital and I barely slept. I tried putting him in regular swaddling, and those little velcro swaddlers and I just wasn’t good at getting it to fit right. Also I think he was getting cold at night, and that’s why the fleece swaddlesacks helped so much.
Also, I tried to co-sleep with our baby in the pack n play bassinet at the end of my bed. I had it in my head that it would be so great. He’d sleep there and when he got hungry I’d just roll him into bed, feed him in the dark, change a diaper here and there and he’d go right back to sleep. NOPE. that did not work for me at all. Every little noise he made woke me up…and I was never falling into a deep sleep. I kept having these half awake dreams that I had accidentally fallen asleep with him in the bed, and then I would panic and search the bed for him only to find that he was in his bassinet…or I would think that my pillow was him or I’d wake up realizing I was trying to nurse my pillow…yea… And, it was harder to get him from the bassinet to the bed than I thought, and even though my baby is a great latcher, I wasn’t exactly skilled enough to get him on there half asleep, in the dark…and it was a diaper change every hour or two, which meant turning all the lights on and both of us waking up, and I honestly hate the diaper station on the pack n play.
I finally caved after the first week and gave up on having him room with us (even though I know it’s recommended). I put him in his crib with our baby monitor. That helped me so much. It made it easier for me to only get up when he actually cried, and not from every little sleep murmur, plus I stopped having those weird half-asleep dreams.
LO is now 6 weeks, and we’ve gotten into a somewhat reliable rhythm. Here’s what works for us…He goes into his crib between 9 and 10…I still use the swaddlesack or a sleepsack, over a long sleeve onesie. I keep the house at around 70 degrees. I put him in there after nursing even if he’s awake, and he self-soothes with either a pacifier or just by sucking on his hands. I don’t use any kind of noise machine and I don’t try to make the house quiet…I want him to be able to sleep with normal household noise. He’s usually fine in there until between 1am and 2am. Then, I nurse him until he’s satisfied, and I just do a quick check on his diaper (just a smell check so I don’t disturb him if not needed). If it’s dirty I change it, and nurse him a second time to get him tired again. If not, I just lay him back down. Then he’s out until 5am, and it’s the same, nurse, check, change if needed routine. Then I can usually get him back down for another hour, which is when Darling Husband gets up for work and he will snuggle with him for an hour or so, and puts him back down so I don’t have to get up until 8 or 9am.
Time helps, because you get to know your baby’s noises. I know what’s just general fussing/wakefulness, and what’s real, “I need you mom” crying now. I attend to the crying, and I let the other noises go. I’m not going to lie and say I never did anything I wasn’t supposed to in the early days…I put him on my chest to sleep when I was desperate. I felt bad about it…but I did it. The one good thing is–it gets easier every day. He’s able to eat more, and therfore sleeps longer intervals, I’ve learned how to meet his needs. We still have rough nights (5 week growth spurt…OMG)…but most days I’m able to feel at least mostly rested.