Tag Archives: baby

Bedtime With Cora

I posted a couple of weeks ago about our supposed “sleep nirvana” that we had reached after doing some sleep training with Cora. Nirvana is definitely not where we are at but there is a night and day difference between how Cora sleeps now and how she slept a month ago. She is putting herself to sleep for naps and bedtime with no stress and no tears, she sleeps through the night, and she wakes up happy! So guess who else is sleeping… ME! Sometimes… Josh and I have developed a habit of staying up super late because we hoard our “just us” time like my mother hoards See’s Candies. BUT, on the nights that we are responsible and go to bed at a reasonable hour, it’s now totally worth it because we can keep sleeping until morning instead of waking up an hour later to a distraught baby. Life is wonderful! Sleep is super important guys… but that’s a whole other post. Though we went through a lot of trial and error, frustration, and experimentation trying to get Cora to sleep better and feel more comfortable in her own bed (Co-sleepers anonymous member over here), I attribute a large part of our final success to our bedtime ritual. Cora was ready to sleep on her own a long time ago but because she was so used to sleeping with us (not to mention being on my hip ever moment of every day), when we put her in her crib and left the room, she kind of panicked. Or maybe she was just ticked… Regardless, I know that the reason she does so well now is because we take those 15-30 minutes before her bedtime to do a few things as a family, the same things every night, to make her feel comfortable, loved, and of course, sleepy. It’s made a world of difference for Cora. Our nightly activities not only are great ways for us to spend time together, but they have become cues to her that it is about time to go to sleep. We’ve actually been having to rush through the tail end of our ritual lately because she’s been winding down and getting sleepy right at the beginning! So if you think you’re kiddo is ready to go to sleep and stay asleep on their own but things aren’t working, read the rest of this post and try to dial in your bedtime routine. If there’s one thing I’ve learned since becoming a parent its that babies thrive with structure and consistency bundled up with a heck-ton of love! So give it a try. I’m going to make this simple and just write out what our nightly routine with Cora is. Here goes:

6:30- Right after dinner, I nurse Cora for the last time of the evening.

6:45- Cora gets in the tub and plays for 10-15 minutes. Then I get her all washed up.

7:00- Dad gets Cora out of the tub while I get her pjs ready, bedroom blinds closed, and pick up any stray toys. Then we lotion her up, get her dressed, comb her hair, and brush her teeth. We also always use my homemade sleepy-time lotion or put diluted lavender on the bottom of her feet.

7:05- We turn her white noise machine on, kneel/cuddle for family prayer, and Daddy says goodnight. I then read her one story and say a “personal prayer” while she cuddles with her lovey and favorite blanket.  After a song or two I tell her that her Daddy and I love her, that we’ll be here if she needs us, and lay her in bed. Then I walk out and shut the door. And she goes right to sleep!

That’s it! We don’t do a ton and everything is super simple but I know that Cora feels comfortable with the consistency and that it’s working for us. Bedtime routines don’t have to be hours long or have to be anything grand. Just take those last few minutes to love on your kiddo before you put them down for the night. I know I’ll never regret these times because Cora has been such a busy-body lately those cuddles right before bed are all I ever get!

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you guys do for your bedtime routines or what has worked for your family.

Hint: I do the same routine for naps I just skip the bath and all the shenanigans with Dad.

My Thoughts On “Sleep Training”

If the last three months of your life have been anything like mine, you’re probably looking at your screen through blood-shot eyes that are underlain with enormous, purple bags. You probably haven’t gotten more than a few hours of straight sleep in weeks, and those hours of “sleep” have most likely been on the recliner (or worse, the floor) of your child’s bedroom.

I have been putting off “sleep training” Cora for months for a few reasons. First, I’m a wuss and hate to hear her cry, and refuse to do so when it’s my fault. Second, I didn’t want to force anything when I knew she already wasn’t feeling well and we are still having a daily struggle with major digestive issues that no one can seem to find the answer to. Third, I wasn’t ready to give up my precious time with my sweet infant when she still liked to cuddle (Really, I’m still not). BUT, despite all of these items being continually true, my wish to mother my baby through the night was impeding my ability to mother her during the day. I have literally had days where, once finally in bed, I cannot remember what I did that day, what I wore, or what I ate. I felt like that if I was even being an acceptable mother, I was unaware of it. I was living in a fog. I needed some flipping sleep. After this realization, and a few more stubborn sleepless nights that would hopefully give a bit more time to get Cora’s tummy under control, I decided to attempt some version of sleep training (again).

My biggest holdback with sleep training, really, was that I always want Cora to know that I love her and am here for her, whenever and wherever but I felt like “sleep training” as I knew it would conflict with that goal and require me to  leave her in her crib for hours on end and create some catastrophic psychological issues down the road. Though, I have been told repeatedly that that is false. Though that method is the solution for some people, I couldn’t do it.  I really did want Cora to learn to sleep on her own and to feel comfortable in her bed without me, but I didn’t want her to feel totally abandoned either… After talking to a good friend and fellow new mom who told me what she had been doing with her daughter, I found a compromise. The goal was to do my usual bedtime routine, tell Cora that I love her and put her in bed, and leave for only one minute. After a minute of crying, I went in and reassured her however I felt was necessary. I sang, held her hand, rubbed her back, and even picked her up when she wouldn’t otherwise stop crying. I would stay in her room for thirty seconds, then leave again, this time waiting two minutes. I continued this, alternating comforting her then leaving for increasing amounts of time, until we reached five minutes of crying. I knew that this was an amount that we could both handle. After that, I went into her room and held her hand and sang to her until she fell asleep. We did the same thing for both of her naps the next day but only ever got up to one minute of crying. By that second night, she was falling asleep on her own without a tear and last night she slept completely through the night!

I want to say that this “method” is a miracle-worker but I know that it isn’t. I think that the key to our success this time around, (this most definitely was not our first attempt) was that Cora and I were both actually ready. I had read about this “being ready” bologna a few times before and never understood it. I thought maybe it just meant that both of us were sufficiently sleep-deprived but it turns out the opposite is true for a baby… My advice to anyone who has wondered at this same question is to take a guess and try to sleep train now. For me, more than one or two nights of hysterics was too much and meant I needed to wait a while longer. For others, a week or more may be the limit. You pick an amount of time, try it out, and if it doesn’t work, try again later. Sleep is just around the corner! Or a few… but you’ll get there.


Life-saving Apps (and tech) for New Moms

I’m going to start this post by sharing something personal about myself.

I am a hypocrite!

I have a vivid memory of myself, from a year or two ago, ranting about how technology is taking over the world and ruining our lives… bla bla bla. Maybe it is. In fact, I think it is in a lot of ways… But here I am now, typing out a post on my blog about how iPhone apps and other technology has totally saved my sanity as a new mom.  And a few of these things really have! So here they are!!


Baby Tracker

Baby Tracker is most definitely my number one app as a new mom! With this app, you can track feedings, diapers, sleep, growth, medications, and even vaccinations. It makes it so easy to keep track of all the little details that your exhausted brain really just doesn’t have room to remember anymore. When I first brought Cora home from the hospital, I could hardly remember my name, let alone what side I started nursing on last. This app saved me. Especially now that we are working out allergies and feeding issues, it has been a great help as I have needed to really keep track of Cora’s diapers and other reaction symptoms. Another thing that I really like about this app is that you can record pumping and keep track of your milk stash but you can also track formula feeds. It works for any feeding situation! Bonus: It is available for Android and Apple and they finally made a companion app for the Apple Watch!!!!

What to Expect

This app is a given. Not only does it bring up articles relevant to your baby’s current developmental stage, but it is linked to a great community of other moms where I have found tons of validation and support! The app also has an integrated photo journal, monthly writing prompts, and is an awesome app for pregnancy.

Cloud Baby Monitor

It took me a while to find this one, but I am so glad I did. Mr. F and I had been battling for a while about whether or not to buy a baby monitor. Our house is tiny so we can hear Cora no matter where we are in the house so it seemed silly to spend the money, but I can’t count the number of times I impulsively went in to check on Cora, when she was sleeping peacefully, and woke her up. Cloud Baby Monitor has totally put my mind at ease because I can peek at my baby whenever I want and she can sleep in peace.

 Rain, Rain

All I can say about this app, Rain, Rain is this: I wish I had known the value of white noise to a baby’s sleep from the beginning. Like I said, our house is tiny and Cora sleeps so much better when she’s got  something to drown out the noise of me doing dishes. I actually use an actual white noise machine in her bedroom now (I wanted my iPad back) but this app makes it really convenient to bring white noise with us when we’re traveling or on the go.


If you are a stay at home mom, and especially if this is your first baby, this app will be particularly useful. Though the app is free, the actual books require an Audible subscription which I have found to be well worth it. When Cora is awake and my house is full of squeals, giggles, and laughs I hardly remember that I am the only adult around. But, when Cora goes down for a nap, and everything is eerily quiet, Audible is my best friend. I’ve listened to a few books that I hardly remember the name of the main character but it is just so nice to have voices in the background to keep me company until Mr. F comes home.


Everybody needs a good photo-editing app, especially when you’ve got a new face at home to document. After-light is my favorite because it’s so simple! It let’s you edit brightness, contrast, etc. when you really want to but has some great go-to filters as well.

The Owlet

The last bit of tech that has saved me since being a mom isn’t an app (it comes with a companion app) but it has been so essential to my sanity that I felt I had to include it. The Owlet monitor keeps an eye on your baby’s vitals (breathing and heart rate) while they are sleeping and lets you know if there are any problems. This tech comes with a high price tag but it is so worth it!!! I waited until Cora was almost three months old to buy the Owlet and I wish I had had it the night we came home from the hospital. Of course, I am going to be sleeping with one eye open until all of my kids are out of the house and “sleep” just isn’t the same. BUT, this monitor has made it so I can rest a little easier and know when my sweet girl really needs my help.

I hope you find some of these apps helpful! They certainly have saved my bacon a few times. When Cora’s doctor asks, “how many wet diapers has she had today?”, I am set (both because I’ve got it recorded on Baby Tracker and because I’ve actually gotten some sleep thanks to the Owlet)!

What apps and baby tech have saved you as a mom?