little star

If you were to ask me what the hardest thing about parenthood so far is, hands down, it would be the sleep factor. On the one hand, I’ve learned that I can survive, even function, on far less sleep than I thought possible. (Most days, anyway.) On the other hand, it’s driving me absolutely bonkers that most days, Hobbit will either barely nap at all, or literally only nap when I’m holding him. Believe me, I’ve tried putting him down, and it usually results in waking up the second his body touches the crib mattress and then crying if I put him down the rest of the way. It’s a good thing I’ve been trying to embrace the slow crafting lifestyle…

As you can imagine, I’ve gotten a myriad of advice from well-meaning people. I won’t get into that here. The relevant tidbit is that one of my best friends, who is on her second child (3 days younger than my own, they were meant to be friends!), suggested that I try this swaddle blanket thing. It’s basically supposed to be this miracle thing that instantly improves the baby’s sleep. I thought about it, I really did. But given how many different things I’ve tried so far, I just couldn’t bring myself to pay almost $40 for something that might not work. Especially since it looked like it really wouldn’t be that difficult to come up with something similar. After asking around on a boy sewing-specific group on Facebook, someone pointed me to the Star Sleeper from Koerbs Bros.

zippie zipSo this is my version. I modified it a little, mostly to straighten out the lines between the feet to make it more of a sleep sack. But I also added a tab to go behind the zipper stop, because I was afraid it would scratch up his neck– the separating zipper was pretty stiff and plasticy at the ends. I had to buy the grey fabric, because I literally didn’t have enough yardage of any knit that wasn’t straight-up polyester. And Hobbit gets hot easily, so natural fibers and breathability was a must. The blue bits are scraps from this top, which has been languishing in my recycle bin ever since it started developing holes almost right away.

zippie zip

And here it is on him. The verdict? Well…. I’m not sure yet. The first time I tried it on him, his first stretch of sleep was longer than it had been. But then he was still waking up every 1-2 hours after that. I have gotten him to nap in it, but only for about 45 minutes, tops. And lately, it’s all been out the window, as we’re in teething hell and he will literally only sleep for longer than 45-60 minutes if one of us is holding him. So maybe once these two teeth pop out, I can really try again and see if this thing actually works? As it is, I’m really glad that I did this $18ish version instead.

zippie zipOh, yeah… I actually finished this on December 31st, so this is the real last project of 2015. Hopefully it won’t be too much longer before I actually can start on a project this year! I’ve spent most of the time lately getting my fabric stash reorganized and updating my spreadsheet, and it looks much better now. Not to mention much more accessible, since I made sure to put all of the fabrics that I know what to make them into out where I can easily get to them, and paired with the relevant patterns when at all possible. I counted up at the end, and I easily have my next 50 projects here, so I’d better get some sewing time soon!

16 thoughts on “little star

    1. We did use a swaddle blanket for the first few months, and it worked pretty well until he started pulling his arms out of it all the time. I haven’t quite figured out a good solution since!


  1. Aww, he looks so cute there. I feel your pain, my eldest wouldn’t sleep in the house in the daytime, even if I held him. He would only sleep in pushchair/carrier when I was walking around outside and would usually wake when I got in sight of the gate or failing that withing 3 minutes of being in the house, regardless of what I did (left him in carrier/pushchair or transferred him to cot). In the end, when I went back to work his nursery trained him to sleep and after that he would nap at home. Good luck staying sane till you get it figured out!


    1. Thanks! His big thing is that I usually have to nurse him too get him to sleep, and then he’ll wake up the second I lay him down. I’m still not sure if this will work, as I have to wash it often enough that I can’t put it on consistently. But hopefully it will help.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yeah, remember that one, he used to fall asleep still attached and then wake and start feeding again if I tried to, err, unattach him. πŸ˜‰ Sounds like you’re still alive and hobbit is alive and growing, so you’ve ticked off the important things on the to do list, the rest are just extra’s!


  2. gilliancrafts

    I made one of those for a coworker a few years back, who daughter scratched her own face while sleeping… I really hope it works for you! I don’t have any advice to offer you, but I’ll send you my sympathy instead! πŸ˜‰


  3. oh boy…I agree wholeheartedly about the sleep being the hardest so far. my lil’guy has been through all the phases – wont sleep unless being held he grew out of thank goodness but now he’s doing cat naps…i cannot get him to do more than 30-40m during the day. night though is a breeze only waking once for a feed. i could give you some advice but i guess you’ve probably heard it all πŸ™‚ I think we all just have to find our groove as every baby is different. good luck hun.


    1. Good luck to you, too! I know he can sleep longer, he does regularly if someone ‘s holding him. It’s just figuring out how to get him ok at night, mostly, because I have a very hard time relaxing enough to sleep if I’m holding him.


  4. Kat H

    Super cute!! (Both the sleeper and the baby. πŸ˜‰

    The sleep thing will pass. It always does. It’s just completely horrid while it’s happening!!! 😦 I’m glad you’re finding time for yourself and crafting amongst it all – I found it was about the only thing that really got me through the especially bad months with our youngest! (Lucky they’re cute, isn’t it?!?!)



    1. Yes, that! I don’t think my husband quite gets how important crafting is to my sanity sometimes. Especially on nights like this past one, where he got me out of bed 6 times and never let me get more than about 4 hours’ sleep combined. If that. Yes, he’s lucky that he’s cute!


      1. Kat H

        Hah, yes, it took my partner quite a while to accept that crafting is a need for me, rather than just a ‘nice to have’! It ties in with that ‘do one thing each day that can’t be undone’ idea, to counter the unending rounds of laundry, rocking a baby, more laundry, etc….
        Ugh, your little one sounds like my little one. It really is a form of torture. 😦 Hang in there – it does get better, I promise! *hugs*


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