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:
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:
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?