We’re well into our second week of following the directions of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and I have three happy children. Well, my oldest had a meltdown yesterday, but overall they are better rested and on a pretty strict schedule. This book not only changed the sleeping habits of the baby, but for all of us. Jeff still goes to bed too late, but he’s had over 40 years of little sleep. No changing him now!
I refused to let my baby cry it out. But, after reading this book I thought I’d give it a shot. It is not his only option, but I have tried everything else and we’ve established some bad habits that need to be broken “cold turkey”. Nothing else worked and I had two other poor sleepers. Apparently, I am not doing something right. I really thought I had children who didn’t need as much sleep as all of the books said. After all, we’re all different, right? Not when it comes to sleep. Kids and babies need way more than eight hours a night. They need at least ten-twelve. There’s a reason teens sleep until noon! And if I had it my way, I’d get ten-twelve hours, myself. I barely have time for seven-eight most nights.
Baby Q now takes a regular 9AM(ish) nap each day and another one around 1PM. They’ve gone from maybe thirty minutes to at least an hour, if not two. I then put her down for the night between six and seven depending on after school activities and if she’s falling asleep in her high chair at dinner. She cries for five minutes and rolls around for another couple and then flips onto her belly and goes to sleep. That part was really easy to establish. The hard part is not going in there when she wakes up. We’re teaching her to soothe herself and go back to sleep. Furthermore, we’re teaching her that it is bed time and not time for Mommy and Daddy to come in there. This is the hard part! She is doing really well with the early wakings. She fusses for a few minutes and goes back to sleep. The hard one is in the middle of the night. Is she hungry or just in a bad habit of waking up? We try to give her a bottle if it has been four or five hours since dinner, then we let her cry if she wakes up again. The first night she cried an hour, forty-five minutes the second night and I have no clue about last night. I am getting used to her waking up and I’m not as disturbed by it. I am extremely sensitive to my children, but there are some things that I need to let them figure out on their own. Good sleep habits are one. We’re getting better every day.
Easton began to wake two to three times a night and crawl into bed with us. After reading this book, I realized he needs an earlier bedtime. I cannot tell you how convenient it is to just put him in my bed and let him watch Disney Junior until I can get the kitchen cleaned, lunches made, house picked up, etc. Jeff is busy doing the daily 80 loads of laundry and we’re both dealing with Syd trying to help her with homework or keep her on track with chores and homework. But, we decided that the family getting more sleep needs to be a priority and we have pretty much stayed on track with the boy. The girls are a little tougher. He only wakes up if he has to potty. He just doesn’t realize that’s why. That is a whole different self-help book series! Now, when his one show is over, he comes and finds me to tell me it’s bedtime. Before he’d cry and beg for one more show. Not even two weeks and we’ve changed our nighttime routine. Sweet Bud is so easily adaptable.
Then there’s the Sydster. She told me that she’s actually falling asleep within thirty minutes of her 8:30 bedtime. She says that she doesn’t feel like she’s falling asleep in class, and her headaches and stomach aches are gone. I am enforcing this even on the weekends until we can really establish a good routine. It will take longer to undo the years or bad sleep habits, but I cannot wait to see how this changes her moods and meltdowns. Mondays are tricky. She has choir and doesn’t get home until 9:15. This week I had her do her homework, shower and all of her chores so that when she got home all she’d have to do is brush her teeth and get into bed. Well, that didn’t happen and it was probably closer to 9:30-9:45. Yes, that is only an hour, one time, but with years of bad sleep habits we need consistency. She does not handle change very well. She is not one to just go with the flow. By the following Wednesday, we had a major meltdown, complete with tears, and complaints of not falling asleep easily. I put her to bed at 7:30 to get caught up and reestablish our pattern. Next Tuesday, I’ll just put her in bed at 7:30 to make sure this doesn’t happen again. She is going to grandma’s this weekend, so we’ll probably spend the week undoing all of the fun. I think we can, I think we can, I think we can. Sunday will be an extra early night. Sorry to force something so uncool upon my girl, but it’s better than her melting down in public! Meltdowns are not cool at all.
I highly urge all parents to read this book. It talks about ADHD and how it may be related to sleep. There are so many things related to sleep and this book covers most scenarios. It is good for babies and big kids. I found it on Amazon for like $4 after shipping. I will gladly lend my copy to anyone who has a tough child and wants to see if getting a better night’s sleep will help with his/her mood. Just putting the kids to bed 20 minutes earlier help most kids fall asleep easier, quicker and sleep longer and better. I moved my bedtimes up a full hour and it has been awesome. The only downfall, which is a big one, is that I only get a few hours a night with my kids. And, Jeff doesn’t get to see the baby at all on the nights he works at STAGE. But, the days when he’s home with her, she’s well rested and a super happy girl. It is so worth the trade off. Besides, one day we will be self employed and have more time with our children. This is just temporary!
My Daily Prayer: God, please walk us down Your path, gently guiding if we get off course. Please open our eyes, ears and hearts to You. I pray that I see where You are leading and not get off track onto my own path. Your path is much easier and fulfilling! AMEN!
Daily Thanksgiving: I am thankful for an uninterrupted night of sleep or an uninterrupted nap of at least an hour, when I can catch one.
When I Have Kardashian Kash: I hate to admit this, but I probably won’t see mornings anymore. I’d rather stay up late and get up late, but who knows. I am not a fan of 5 AM, but it is a very quiet time of day and not hot.
Making Whoopie Flavor of the Day: Amish Paradise. Original chocolate cookies and vanilla crème filling. Get little QTs, Big Whoops or a Whoopie Cushion (birthday cake sized!). I’m hungry just thinking about them.