Of Socks and Sleep

Here’s my first official Socktoberfest post. I’ll get to the questions this weekend, but I did make progress on the Mountain Peaks sock:

See the heel? It’s on the way!

On to mothering…..

It seems that a lot of time in our house lately is either spent dealing with three year old drama and tantrums, or dealing with sleep. And although three year olds are naturally prone to drama and tantrums (it helps us get ready for the middle school years!) good sleep can help all that drama be less, well, dramatic. With a baby, trying to help them sleep can be a project in itself. Every now and then when I find myself getting too crabby and short with my kids, I really try sit down and think about what’s going and how we can reevaluate how we’re handling things, So, this week I’ve resurrected an old favorite of mine, The No Cry Sleep Solution and checked out two others, Unconditional Parenting and Sleepless in America.

The No Cry Sleep Solution is by far one of the top parenting books I’ve ever read. It’s not a “sleep training” book. Instead, she really teaches you to understand sleep and to figure out your child’s needs and sleep patterns. It is time consuming to do. You really have to commit to it for at least a month, if not more. But it has worked for us whenever sleep (or lack of it) has started to get difficult for us. The best part is that she covers all sleeping situations, so if you’re a cosleeping family like us she has very specific suggestions. She also has a lot of great advice for nursing and sleeping issues. She truly values each child as an individual. As I’m sure you can guess from the title, there is no “cry-it-out” involved, which makes me a happy mama; as frustrated as I’ve been at times I could never understand that philosophy. Sleepless in America promises to be similar, but seems to have a lot of research based information as well and be more in depth.

Our current sleep problems revolve around Knittybaby in the daytime. Like his big brother, he’s a great nightime sleeper. But our wacky schedule has not left us with much consistancy, which leaves him catnapping a lot of the day, getting overtired and crabby and unwilling to sleep. Today I felt like I spent half the day trying to get him to sleep. The Amby is great once he’s sleeping, it’s getting him there that is the problem. So it’s time to reevaluate and figure out something that works for him.

Little Man’s sleeping had been a big problem this past summer, but seems to have resolved itself in the last couple of weeks. You see, he’s made the big move into his own room. He slept in our bed until he was two, then in a toddler bed in our room until the baptism weekend. I don’t think he ever really got the concept that the other room was “his” room. But a couple weeks ago we set up a new bookshelf in there (he loves his books) and my mom brought up this quilt:

I thought I would give you the realistic unmade bed look we have going on.


Isn’t it beautiful? I love, love, love this quilt!!! The colors are much more vibrant than the picture shows. She’s spent the last couple years working on it and he was thrilled to have it. He’s been sleeping in there ever since.

I have mixed feelings about this. We both have loved cosleeping with our kids. I couldn’t really imagine having them anywhere else, and there is nothing we love more than all falling asleep together at the end of the day. Plus, no one has to get out of bed in the middle of the night. I miss having him in there. But at the same time, I’m thankful he was able to make the decision himself when he was ready, and it does seem to be taking the edge off during the day. This past week has been a lot better and I think it is because he is sleeping better at night since he’s in a bigger bed. I’m sad though, as he seems to be doing more and more “big boy” things lately and I can hardly believe he’s at that stage in his life already.

Wow, I wrote more than I planned. But it’s been on my mind lately as I’ve been getting frustrated, and I know how hard it can be for moms to deal with, especially those going through sleep issues with their first babies. I’ve found it to be one of the most challenging things to deal with as a parent. But I’ve also found that when you really take the time to figure out what your child needs to be a good sleeper, naptime and bedtime can be one of the nicest parts of the day. Every child will be different and will need different things, and it can take work and time to encourage good sleep habits with our kids. There is not one right way to do it except to follow in your own heart what feels right for your child. Because eventually they won’t need a nap anymore, and they’ll stop letting you tuck them in or read them a story or sing them a song, and believe it or not, I know we will miss all these rituals with our kids. I have nothing but fond memories of bedtime with my parents. I never felt lonely, or scared, or sad. They read, they sang, they sat, even though I know by then they were ready to call it a night and try to sneak in some time to relax themselves. I hope when my boys are grown they will be able to look back and say we did the same thing.

Okay, I feel better having reminded myself of that. Hope I didn’t tick anyone off. I know sleep is a touchy issue at times. Now, who’s going treasure hunting this weekend?

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Of Socks and Sleep

  1. Dharmafey

    Oh! I can so relate to the sleeping issue. My son is 2.5 and moved out of my (I say ‘my’ because the boy had kicked Daddy out months ago!–literally). I made him a quilt for his 2nd birthday and now he goes to sleep in his room. Round about my bedtime, he cries to come into my bed. I’m proud of him for being a big boy, but…..

  2. Karen

    Knittybaby may have what is commonly known as “Nosy Rosy Syndrome”. Both my niece and my friend’s baby girl had it and they fought sleep like crazy. It seems that, even in infancy, they were just sure that they were going to miss something exciting when they went to sleep. It’s a pretty easy cure. Just drag the Amby or a swing around the house with you. Snuggle baby into it and pull it up right next to whatever you are doing. Baby feels included and doesn’t stress out about being left out of something and usually corks right off. We’ve have a lot of really wild nights sitting at the kitchen table, eating cheese and crackers and chatting and many of them have included a sleeping baby in a swing.

    And about the growing up thing, don’t sweat it. For each moment, behavior, etc. that you feel like your little muffins are outgrowing, they will be replaced many times. My niece (the original Nosy Rosy) is now 12 and going to her first dress up party tomorrow night. So, although we don’t spend as much time doing things like snuggling up together anymore, we are doing things like planning her dress, hair, etc for the party. It’s still really fun, really ritualized (kids love rituals) and she still cracks me up with the things she says.

  3. irishmama

    Love the socks and the quilt.I can tell when my kids have not had enough sleep. I was lucky they all took 2 hour afternoon naps until they were 4. I too did the sleeping in our bed. We have a King sized bed, and some mornings we’ll find the 2 girls in our bed.

  4. Sarah

    I can definitely relate to the sleep thing. My three year old is a good, solid sleeper–until about 5:30/6:00 am! We’re still working with our ten month old. She’ll get there eventually. I’ve heard a lot of people recommend the No Cry book, but I’m so tired that I don’t think I could read a whole book any more! 🙂

    And I may do some treasure hunting this weekend. I got the flyer at Three Kittens Yarn Shoppe last weekend and haven’t had time to look at it properly. It looked like a lot of fun. But when isnt’ buying yarn fun?

  5. Guinifer

    Those little boys become big boys soo fast. Then there’s a whole ‘nother slew of sleep issues!

    I’d love to be treasure hunting this weekend, but instead I am cranberry festing it over in Wisconsin! Have a fun time!

    Oh, and that sock yarn is kickin’! It looks awesome (as does the quilt).

  6. jennifer

    oh my gosh – that yarn is gorgeous! so perfect for fall!

  7. Georgia

    Thanks for visiting my blog! The socks are wonderful…blend right in with the fall colors. The quilt is beautiful. What a sweet mother to do that. I get such a kick outta your blog. It brings back such memories…at the time one feels like whatever problem is at hand it will be around forever. Which of course isn’t true but it sure feels that way.

    I can’t relate to the sleeping together thing, though. My kids would “sometimes” end up in bed with us, but not on a regular basis. It was totally on a as-needed basis like if a bad dream came along, or loud scary thunder, etc. I just couldn’t imagine having sex while the kids are in bed with us and I didn’t want to have to deal with the how-to-get-them-in-their-own bed someday syndrome. Lazy me I guess. But to each his or her own. That’s what makes life interesting!

  8. Kate

    Mine never wanted to nap as a baby. He was always a great night time sleeper and even at two years old we’d say time for bed and his response was okay! Now of course he’s a teenager so getting him out of bed in the morning involves a marching band, lights, the works!! (Actually I threaten him with The Wiggles if he doesn’t get out of bed!)

  9. Diane

    I’ve always found it easier to embrace new things instead of morning the loss of old routines. Our jobs as parents are to give our children building blocks to live independent lives. The problem is that in our hearts they will always be our little babies no matter how old they get.

  10. RheLynn

    That is a beautiful colorway you are making your Mountain Peaks socks out of – I thought they were Jaywalkers at first, but had to look closer!

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