Categories
family

Tech savvy and baby gadgets for parents…

Here are a few of the gadgets I am currently loving! I often wonder how I even managed without some of the cool inventions with my first son eighteen years ago!
InstaTemp
Years ago when Braedy was born I bought one the the latest thermometers. It was an ear one. Let me say that although it was much better than the regular style it was not easy to always have them stay still or I hated waking them to check if temps came down. I still have the oldie kicking around since it is not something we tend to upgrade often. Well, finally I upgraded! And boy this is dreamy compared to my old style. InstaTemp is a non touch thermometer that you simply point and click. No waking babies, no holding arms down to try and hold it under the armpit, no ears needed! So simple. I reccomend if you are a first time mom or even if you have a few kids. Upgrade. You will thank me next fever you wake up to at two in the morning! (you can even pick these up at Target! linked photo)

BUY THE INSTATEMP HERE
Owlet Care Monitor
This still makes my list for best invention, tech item, baby gift item, overall awesome product. Well, at least in our house it sure helped!! My stress was less and we got sleep knowing there was a little extra help monitoring baby. I am linking my original blog post HERE it also includes a savings link. (click photo for link to Owlet)
Marpac Dohm
This is my first baby I have had the need for a noise machine. Maybe because we now have a house full of noise and doors slamming! Boys are not quiet that is for sure. The Dohm has a clean white noise sound of rushing air but not actually pushing air around the room. It stays on through the night or nap and that was important since it was mid naps the boys were waking her. Tip: when I was buying mine and had talked on Snapchat about my search, I got recommended to go to Bed Bath Beyond and sign up for a twenty percent off coupon. You can save moola! (and no I don’t work for BB&B lol!)

BUY THE DOHM HERE

Wiithings Baby & Home Monitor
I was looking for a monitor that was simple. This fit perfectly into it. It is a clean looking monitor that uses wifi to feed to my phone. While not everyone wants this style I feel perfectly comfortable using the style to my phone and prefer it. I have monitoring available at all times and even when I am runnign to the grocery store. I like that it will alert me to the noise then I can open the app and check if she is up or if is another door slammed by the boys. When I am done using the monitor for her room I can set it up for security in our main part of the house and know it will still look great with the included wood look cover. (It comes with a blue, pink and wood look slip cover.)

BUY THE WITHINGS HERE

Baby Scale
While this isn’t totally a tech savvy item since scales have been around for years. My simple Babies R Us model is for sure an upgrade to the basic scale. You can adjust the setting back to zero by placing a blanket or diaper on – remove the diaper and lay baby on with a clean new diaper. Saves stripping them down and peeing all over. It also has a weight hold button that helps with a wiggly baby. (click photo for direct link)

BUY THE SCALE HERE

Categories
family life

Breastfeeding and drinking..

I get asked often about nursing and alcohol. This is again one of those personal choices mothers need to make for themselves. I don’t say what I do is right but I often like to research and read a lot when I make choices. Of course this is one of the topics you’ll see arguments for both sides.
Here are my thoughts..

I want to nurse Apple exclusively for two years. (As I did before with my older kids.) Exclusively meaning her milk is from my boobs but she’s getting solids and people food too.
~ Now! before you think I’m all judgy on breastfeeding, I’ll repeat the words I’ve said before “Feed your baby however you want to! Your baby is yours. My baby is mine. Breast, bottle, formula, even friggen chocolate milk.. I don’t have any opinion to what you do. I’m neither here nor there on that topic!” ~
Now back to me and my choices. I want to have a successful run at giving up my breasts for the tiny person I gave birth to. (hint, my baby not anyone else’s to raise.) I think success is enjoying what I’m doing and not defined on perfection while doing it. Most people that follow our lives see I eat pretty healthy, I’m active and take care of my well being pretty great overall. What they also see is I consume alcohol. In the beginning, when I had a needy baby to care for, I would have half a glass of wine then eventually moved to a full glass and so on. We are now at a big change where she sleeps through the night so I’m not feeding at all past eight until the next morning. From history of driving this path already with older kids fed via breast by me; I know that after they start to sleep better I may consume more at night if we have friends over. Or if there is an event to attend I will have more than a glass or two, I could have two beer then a glass or possibly more if it was a really long night out and I was eating. When we view alcohol and nursing we panic! They must be a bad mom and that has to be unhealthy somehow. However, we don’t say anything to the mom consuming cola all day long or eating fast food or other known health issues. (Again no judgement! Eat whatever you want and do what you want!) What I consider to be successful in my parenting role is to be the best mom I can be. I want to have some of my fun side and all of my mommy side blended. I don’t want to reject Apple because she’s consuming my life or any of my kids for that matter. I want to be Kurt’s wife and friend like we’ve always been. So I choose to live it up at times and to feel great that I am being a well rounded human. I drink. I breastfeed. I eat well. I love my kids just like you. (I would like to think even more.) Why do I think its ok? Because I’m going off the well written studies and facts that I’ve researched. Yes, I am choosing what side I am on and we can battle all day long if you are pro-not drinking. But here I am standing up and opening up. I drink and feed. No pumping and dumping. And I feel zero guilt. Just as you should feel if you choose to have a drink or two or …
This “faux pas” in some peoples eyes is not often spoken about. Who wants to put themselves at risk for being bashed or called a bad mom? I surely must be crazy to add the potential stress to my life. It is the secret lives of the breastfeeding women. It is the hush, hush, ok’s by the midwives or the lactation consultants who tread lightly, figuring out how to explain the advice without being misunderstood.
I am going to link a very easy to understand and read article on breastfeeding facts. I have handed this out to many women who want to be equipped with information.
Note : We are a zero tolerance family. What does that mean? We talk to our kids about safety and drinking. We show them any consumption means it’s not ok to drive! We are the parents who taxi or uber home. Yup, we buckle the kids in the taxi and feel great! To us its not a loser status putting your kids in a cab. It’s being a great role model for children that are highly impressionable. We are showing them the cost to get home is never worth drinking and driving. Ever! ~ That I have an opinion about! If you can afford to buy alcohol out, you better be affording that taxi service home! My kids are on these streets.
Things not to do that really should not need explaining ::
DO NOT co-sleep intoxicated
DO NOT over consume any alcohol beverages
DO NOT take any recreational drugs
 (can I say this is OBVIOUS and not like alcohol!)
DO NOT drink and drive
When consuming alcohol best to drink light items like lighter beer or wine. Hard alcohol can hit a nursing mom differently since we are not use to it.
DO NOT drink enough to be hungover
(more of a joke. I recall circa ’02 baby and toddler to care for. Needless to say toddler destroyed the house!)
THIS IS NOT Medical advice in any way!! I am not a doctor and just stating how I manage my life.
last … DO NOT bother telling me I am a shitty mom.
(because I am damn awesome! I have a perfect graduated son, another son who is the most amazing teenager people would die for, the most intelligent young son who is beyond smart and now a beautiful and thriving daughter. I am pretty confident in my parenting skills. This is for those who will disagree with my choice to do what works for me.)
Categories
family fashion

Shape wear by Belly Bandit and my favourite underwire nursing bra …

If you are like me and want a nice smooth look under your dresses and outfits you need to check out these shape wear pieces by Belly Bandit! I have tried many brands and can say the Belly Bandit brand fit is one of the best!! They aren’t too tight, the material doesn’t make me sweat and my shorties do not roll. If you are breastfeeding like me it is hard to find a slimmer tank that is easy to nurse in so this style made me so happy! You can also wear the nursing tank not nursing. (They do make a full coverage option but of course I just wanted the nursing one.)
Valid now through August 26 use code ModernM82016 to save 15%
I’ve linked the photo’s for easy shopping!
Belly Bandit shorties
Shown is the slimming nursing tank and shorties by Belly Bandit. Bra is by Bella Materna
One of the best underwire nursing bra’s on the market! I swear bhy this bra. Best fit, good breast shape, washes well and folds properly. Doesn’t flip back on baby! Click the picture to save 5.00 off your purchase.
A close up of the double hook system. Easier fits and can wear comfortably on last hooks while pregnant. After baby comes and you start to lose weight it simply tightens. Also adjusting the sliders on the straps will help perfect cup size fit! (was a best seller by far in my store I owned)
Shown you can wear your Belly Bandit nursing tank with a bra under. 
Full slimmer coverage in the nursing tank and shorties. The nursing tank can be worn by women not nursing too! 
The corset for even more shape! Get the hourglass look. I  wear this if its a real special night out!
Adjustment hooks on the corset.
Shown is the nursing tank with no bra under for easy access.
Not photo’d in the flat lay but here are my slimming leggings on. I pretty much feel like I lose 10 pounds by wearing these babies!! This photo was when Apple was a couple months old.
Stroller : Orbit Baby
Diaper Bag : OiOi Baby Bags
Categories
family

The boys are off to school…

It has been a quiet week. The big boys are gone to school now and it is just Apple and I around the house. I am not going to lie, I love it! I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I loved homeschooling Kaeden (the fourteen yr old) for the first year. It was amazing to have my best friend at home with me. We truly enjoyed spending time together and little Kingsley always had his hero home to play with. Last year though the homeschool was a challenge, We were overrun with moving from Canada to USA, having a new baby, going back and forth to Canada and opening our corporate location for the future of our restaurant brand in California. 
Homeschool can be amazing and I get asked often how we decided. I suggest finding a local based school so you will have a support team near and your children can interact with the other HS kids in the same curriculum. If you feel like you have a lot on your plate like I did last year I do not suggest adding school to that plate. It may go falling and smash to pieces! I felt like that by this spring. 
Thankfully, we have two wonderful schools the boys are now attending. Kingsley had no trouble meeting new friends and getting to know all the teachers and principle. He is a perfect blend of his mommy and daddy’s social side. LOL! Kaeden is doing amazing in his new high school. I couldn’t be a prouder mom of that boy. He has never complained and goes with the flow. I truly love my Kade so much and seeing his positive outlook in milestones and moments confirms I am loving him right.
A few back to school pictures of course are needed!
(ps. sorry I don’t do at school you get the ones laving the house for the safety of the boys. Like what mom wouldn’t want to steal my perfect teen and possibly leave their monsters behind for me?)

Kingsley loves being in a uniform. He says it’s the easiest to get dressed in! We both love Pediped shoes! They make such good quality for baby to kids! I recommend checking them out!

King and Kaeden’s new favourite school snack variety of chips is Simply7! They are doing school lunches so thankfully it’s just snacks and fruits I need to add to their bags. 
King uses the Zoli insulated for his extra water. He so far isn’t a fan of the fountain for water. The teachers “one, two, three that’s enough for me is lame” he has told us! Lol so he packs his own liquids. 

Daddy is very hands on even though he is busy! He does the school drop offs and pick ups.

Categories
family

Feeding baby with the Baby Breeza …

First of all I must say life is crazy busy! I have been trying to get this post up for six weeks!! What do I feed my kids and how do I prep my baby food is a big question we have been getting asked since Apple started eating solids.
I am going to start by saying not all babies are the same! I know this first hand! Having had four kids I can tell you that each one has had different likes and dislikes and they all accepted food differently. 
I will start with Braedy (the almost eighteen year old!) This boy could EAT! He still can eat! Pretty much was a food beast to start and at a few months old recognized meal time. He would grab at my plate or drool looking at anything people around him would put in their mouth. I started him just over four months on solids. (back then that was delayed feeding!) Since he was number one he got the special treatment. Slowly introducing a new food, monitoring his reactions, absolutely starting him on vegetables because what kind of bad mom would I be to give him fruit first?? He ate so well and life went on merrily!
Then Kaeden came along and it was time to feed this petite “mama’s boy”. I of course waited until six months because all the new books said this was recommended. We started on rice cereal and that was a great start. It was time to give him more so I cooked up a storm of baby food like I had with his older brother and gave him his first bite of the real deal. Veggies? wtf! That was his reaction!! No way would this boy open up for the healthy by the book foods. He was all about the perfectly warmed rice cereal with the sweet mixed store bought fruit layered on top dish. This is what he loved and I gave in.
Kingsley, was the adventurous one! He was ready to eat around five months but I waited until six. Avocado to start was the new way of feeding your baby and of course I wanted the best for his start to foods. I also had to make up for the bad parenting on the last child who lived off rice cereal and fruit. He loved the avocado..then easily accepted the nice steamed or roasted veggies.. of course gobbled all fruits .. then started on hot chicken wings at daddy’s restaurant! I did say adventurous right. At least he did make a good clean start with avocado. At a year old Kingsley tried mussels at a nice restaurant we were out at and LOVED them. That became our go to when dining out if it was on the menu. You should see the looks you get when you pass your baby the plate of mussels they think you ordered for yourself!
Now miss Apple has come along and boy did that six months fly by. It was like I was bringing her home from the hospital and introducing solids. She wasn’t a lover of foods to start because her addiction to milk is strong! It has been a struggle getting her to ear and avocado was a no-go for her first bite. We tried cereals and that did’t work, then went to mixed foods and that helped a lot. If you want to hear a baby scream try and give them something they don’t want. She can make the faces I didn’t think were possible off things as easy as rice cereal. It has been a work in progress getting her to eat but this time I didn’t worry. I knew she would come around eventually. Although, we did find out in Mexico she loves a perfectly cooked churro! 
After having four kids, I now understand how important the flexibility of parenting and feeding them is. I went from doing things by the book and cooking all the baby food to store bought foods then to homemade everything and now in between. The thing that I can say is; they all turned out OK. Each child had a different start but around a year old when we got over the humps and they started to eat more and more regular people food. By toddler years they ate everything from sushi to Indian foods and all the healthy home prepped meals in between. The big boys even had the great experience of their breakfast cereal having added omega oils! (They gagged those bowls down for over a year!! hahaha!) 
Here are a few of my recommended items when it comes to feeding baby.  
I am not doing a recipe post as I think you can really create anything you want and can’t go wrong if you blend foods you would eat together.
To address meats being added – I do not puree my baby’s meat. I finely cut it up starting with chicken and turkey then on to other meats. This has helped introduce texture to foods and who wants to have meat ruining those nice vegetable and fruit blends?

The Baby Brezza. This nifty blender not only purees but it steams all in one! Perfect for the busy mom who wants to throw everything in and feel like they accomplished motherhood by making baby food from scratch. (I won’t mention to your friends a nine year old could do it in this simple unit!)

I am using the glass Brezza.

Puree as long as you want. More for those new eaters and less and less time as they get used to the chunks and textures.

(the food buzzing to puree perfection)

Don’t be afraid to add flavors and spices to your baby food once they have sampled the simple foods. I love to add nutmeg to the roasted root vegetables or cinnamon to the apple mixes.
Typically, if it is something that works well for you in flavour profiles it will enhance the baby food. This helps grow their taste buds!

For a baby needing more fats and to add sweet appeal to the food try roasting the veggies in coconut oils. I roasted a mix of root vegetables last night while baking my chicken for supper to add to my baby food today.

I don’t want to waste money on containers I won’t use again but need smaller portion size for food prep.

from left to right :

My favourite container for everything in the kitchen including my baby foods (and family cut up veg and fruits in the larger rounds) is Wean Green!

Centered are my breast milk storage containers. The food easily warms from the freezer and if you run them under hot water the frozen food can be warmed quick in a bowl.

Top right are mini jars. These can be used for so many things after baby like screws holders, sorting your junk drawer, spices and the list goes on!

Bottom right are simple portioned Baby Cubes. They are great because you don’t lose the lids! These aren’t as good for transporting liquids but do work for dry goods later in the kids lunch bags.

From left to right :
Metal tiny feeding silverware by Kleynimals
Silicone covered metal spoon by Oxo (my go to for King)
Munchkin plastic spoon. Nice shape and amount.
Baby Bjorn wide spoon. (my fave for Apple because she limits her bites and I can get more into her on the 6-8 times she will open here mouth before she is tired of playing feed the baby.)
Kipiis are perfect to throw in your diaper bag. They make any napkin a bib! Simply clip it on and slide the slider to adjust around baby’s neck.

When they start eating themselves the EZ PZ Happy mat. This was King’s and I plan to get a borl and the smaller one for Apple that they came out with too.

Baby Mum-Mum’s the BEST cracker and go to!

To help them with dexterity and to give yourself some freedom from your baby when you are trying to cook in the kitchen or wash dishes try puffed rice. It is simple and melts in their mouth. Very inexpensive too!

A mat under their high chair during the throw everything off stage helps. If you happen to not clean up the mess they made it makes you feel better because your floors are totally clean right?! It is just the baby mat that has crumbs. Shown is Prince Lionheart.
Hands down my favourite bib is the soft silicone by Make My Day. I bought this green one for Kingsley and so glad I still have it for Apple! It tightens perfect and works like a charm on!!

Shown is our Baby Bjorn high chair. Super compact and easy to wash!!

Categories
family

The Cossato stroller…

We just got back from a great little event for the launch of the double stroller in the USA for Cosatto. WOW!  Cosatto sure know how to create a beautiful party. From the food to the wonderful people and great products shown it was an all around success.
I have eyed up Cosatto strollers for a little now. I love my big strollers so much but to be honest there are those quick in and out trips I would love to have a light go-to. Oh, and the prints they also captured my eye!
Being a girl who has owned more strollers than I would like to admit I have always been picky about my umbrella style. They must have a good solid frame, proper handles with a good height, a reclining seat and premium quality fabric. Cosatto checked off each item on my list and some. They are so sturdy and push like a dream. The fabrics are beautiful and the hidden extras are such a bonus. They sold me at the iphone/ipad pocket built into the hood and speakers!
I have included some fun photos from the event and below showing all the features of the stroller we have. I can totally recommend them!

Babies saying hi photo credit Katee Grace Photography

Some Cosatto Facts ::

Suitable from birth
Lightweight aluminium chassis with carry handle
Adjustable handle height
Integral hood sunshade protection
Cup holder which can be used on either side of the frame
Multimedia gadget pocket with speaker
One hand recline with 4 recline positions
Adjustable calf support
Spacious storage basket
Free-standing feature when folded
Compact umbrella fold with Auto lock
Fully removable seat unit for easy cleaning
Lockable front swivel wheels
Chest pads and headhugger  
Reversible 4 way Cosy Toes with kangaroo pouch and reversible zip-off fleece liner (suitable up to approx. 2 years).
Raincover

Categories
family

Getting your baby to sleep through the night in the crib…

Recently, I transitioned Apple from our bed to the crib. It is a bitter sweet achievement for my baby girl. She feels so young and tiny to be leaving my bed! I didn’t push the older boys out so young but Apple was going down a path that was mixing our days and nights up badly. It really hit me a few weeks ago; I realized I was lacking sleep so badly and this was starting to affect my temper to Kurt and the boys, it was shortening my patience with everything.
Her sleep digression happened slowly from about three months old, she was increasing her feeds at night and waking more. Around that time the summer heat had started, our nursing sessions were shorter and less during the hot days and nights were a feeding party. Apple’s health and weight gain were important to me and if she was getting most of her calories at night, then I was up for the late night feeds. I figured I could handle it until we adjusted to the hot days and she started eating solids. 

Fast forward to her six month birthday; we started solids and at this stage were baby to boob more than five times a night! I became her pacifier and comfort, not her main nutrition source. It was time to part ways on our nights together. I knew the only way for this to work was for Apple to not be sniffing the source in bed with me.
So how did I transition girlfriend? Well, easily and not easily over a 3 day period. Thankfully, from the start we had done naps awake and I would start her in the crib before transferring her to the Dockatot to co-sleep after that first wake up. If you haven’t ever put your baby in the crib or have always rocked, nursed or bottlefed them to sleep you will have a bigger habit to break. As a mom of four having gone through a lot of breaking habits (taking away soothers, bottles, crib to bed, etc) I can assure you that most only take a few days. You must have commitment though! Don’t torture them for day one and two then give in on three and go back to old ways because it feels easier. Often day three or four are the game changer days! That is when you see a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

(“nap so hard” t-shirt from www.mintedmethodshop.com)

Glow in the dark soother by MAM
I’ve simplified an outline of our nights. And how I worked through the three days it took.
Day one
I knew this was going to be the hardest of all my days. I was going to become more tired before it could get better. It was going to be about Apple all night long!
I started the night with an extra long bath for Apple, this helps to tire them out. We nursed and rocked in the chair as per our usual. At around 8:30 pm I placed her in the crib in her room. She knew something was up and wasn’t happy from the start! (she was used to our room’s crib at night) Since she can sit up quickly I needed to calm her and started the firm patting technique. I placed her light blankie over her eyes and started to pat her back/bum with a good solid pat. She calmed and fell asleep within about 5 minutes. I removed the blanket and placed it over her body and snuck out. 
10 pm rolled around and girl was up with a roar! I walked back in the nursery laid her back down without nursing and started the patting again. We needed to break the nursing and mommy picking her up. As I left the room she started to cry and this is the hard part. Not going back in and grabbing her to nurse. I sat out the door for about 4-5 minutes walked back in and did the pat again until she was calm. This was on repeat for a handful of times before she fell asleep again.
1 am came … 2 am came …. 4 am came …. all on repeat. Me in her nursery patting/leaving/patting/leaving to show her mommy is there but no boobies and no coming in my bed. Tears were shed by both of us. 
6 am and it was time to feed! Thank goodness I got to pick her up and nurse that sweet girl. She fed like a champion and was so tired I placed her back in the crib and she slept until 9am. 
Day two
I was at an all time exhaustion and thankfully had Kurt helping extra. During Apple’s afternoon nap I took one also to prepare for our second night. 
Once again it was an extra long bath and lots of playing that night to tire her out.
8pm I nursed her and rocked her in her nursery and placed her in the crib. She was about to fuss so I placed her blankie quickly on her head and started the patting! She fell fast asleep so I took off the blankie, covered her and snuck out.
11 pm rolled around and the crying was heard. This time I waited it out before tending to her for the pat and comfort. I needed her to self soothe. After some time I went to calm and as soon as I walked away she would fuss. We repeated this a few times and finally she started to relax and fell asleep. 
She slept longer this night… waking only a couple times. We repeated me waiting longer to go in each time. 
At 6:30 am I went in to the room and took her out of the crib to nurse. She was still sleeping but nursed like crazy and went back to the crib like a breeze! She slept in again until 8:30 am.
Day three
Mentally, I was questioning myself! What the hell am I thinking? Why would I want to repeat night one and two? Why would I let this baby cry and not just bring her in my bed. Feeding all night isn’t that bad.. or is it? She is my last baby! What kind of mom am I to let her cry or not cuddle her forever in my bed. I am sure by seventeen she will like her room. Like I don’t know any nursing, co-sleeping teenagers!
After being irrational and looking at my big boys who happily kissed me to sleep I realized I am not really the bad mom I thought. It was for all of our good. 
8:30 pm the same old routine and placement in the crib. I was ready to battle but baby girl just flipped her tiny butt into the air and curled up within the first couple pats. I could’t have been more thankful to have a peaceful exit out of the nursery.
5 am and I woke to a quiet house. Something must have happened to my sweet girl or I slept through her cries were the thoughts racing through my head as I ran to her room. 
She was sleeping.
 After more than a week we now have our routine perfected and that beautiful baby girl goes to sleep without tears. She is a whole new baby on the perfect routine and I am a whole new mom!
She sleeps from around 8:30 pm to 9 am. I sneak in the room to give her a sleepy top up at 6:30 – 7 am. I could skip the feed I am sure but that sleepy feed allows me more time in the morning with her asleep. It gives the tummy fuel for those extra winks and dreams.
TIPS ::
To break the habit of nursing to sleep. Remove the breast from the baby’s mouth before they close their eyes. If you see them starting to nod that is the time! If you want to snuggle and rock you may need to change the natural hold it cradle position.
Talking about CIO (cry it out) publicly is not advised. Don’t tell even your bestest friends! This is a subject that comes with the biggest opinions! They can be sharp.
Before you make the night transition figure out your goals. Are you wanting to reduce to one feed or to sleeping through the night? Are you ready for the task?
The blankie for over the head while bum tapping should be light and you need to remove it once asleep! DO NOT cover their mouth with the blanket. See photo how her mouth and nose are free.
Butt or back taps work best with a good firm tap. For all my polar opposite babies that has been something that was universal to them liking. 
I personally do not advise no night feeds before four to six months. The size of your baby, breastmilk or formula should be considered before you take away feeds. Braedy my oldest slept through the night very young as he was a tank and fed well during the day. My next son was the opposite. (If they naturally don’t feed before four months don’t panic!)
As you work through them being upset and you walking in to soothe – try wearing headphones with music you love while timing your next entrance. Hearing cries makes minutes feel like hours and is  harder on you than them. 
I prefer the walk in and soothe to be starting at five minute intervals. The first night is the worst then you need to work on extending your time outside the nursery. If you come in too fast they will think crying brings you instantly. 
Remember if you haven’t used your crib yet and the little one can pull themselves up. Lower the mattress!
I recommend a good mattress. I use Nook Sleep because of all the benefits. It’s soft, comfortable, doesn’t have plastic sounds to wake them. (Liked HERE to read more)
I like the Westcoast Baby brand blankets for the head. So light and made from bamboo.
Back to sleep is safest. I place my babies on their backs to sleep and once they start rolling flip them onto their backs again. At six months I relax when they roll to their tummy. 
If you use the Dockatot DO NOT place that in the crib. They are not meant for moving babies in the crib.
Don’t beat yourself up if you get them on track and change your mind once they are sleeping nights. You need to be ready to part with the love of your life! With Kingsley, we sleep trained him and he was sleeping nights for more than a week. Turned out his big brother couldn’t handle the thought of a baby alone in the crib and we found Kaeden taking him out of the crib to his bed! (On our video monitor the nine year old would sneak in and pluck him out – then in the morning lie and say he just got him.) w
We all broke down in the end and King slept with us or his brother for a few years. Our training didn’t go to waste since the night feeds didn’t come back just the cuddles.

Once your night routine is solid be careful about naps too late in the day. 


 Older babies can scream louder and harder. This can make transitions more difficult and heartbreaking. Cue the headphones 

 A dark room helps. If you don’t have good curtains consider a black out blind. – Gro Company makes a great one that’s portable. Below are photos of how we work on it. These are only a representation of our night. Yes, I needed day photos for the light! But she still fell asleep perfect using our blankie – pat system. 

I covered her up and started tapping her for her nap. 

She is relaxed so I stopped tapping. Standing and waiting for the deep breathes to remove blanket. 

View of blanket. Not over mouth!

Solid breathing meant I could remove the blanket. 

Flipped her over to her back. (This is age dependent and your personal choice.)