I’m sure you can relate to the yoyo of sleep that you have when you are a mother. Or should I say lack of sleep…
I have been on a sleep preservation quest since day one of motherhood.
I am a big fan of sleep. Sleep is good. I am good when I sleep. It was actually one of those things I worried about BEFORE becoming a mother…
when would I sleep?
Because I read approximately 432 parenting books while pregnant (amidst the 983 pregnancy books), I had that answer when the BABY arrived.
You sleep when the baby sleeps!
This seemed to be the ONLY statement that all 1,415 books agreed on – go ahead and check my math. Every guru, doctor, or nanny who has ever written a pregnancy or parenting book promotes the catchy sleep while the baby sleeps slogan.
Made sense to me. Made sense to me PRIOR to childbirth. Made sense to me AFTER childbirth except for the small detail that my firstborn appeared to prefer SCREAMING to SLEEPING. You sleep when the baby screams! Is less catchy, hard to do without earplugs and not in the books.
Obviously I needed another BOOK or another baby…
That is when I found the Sleep Bible aka Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, MD (affiliate links used throughout that support Kids Activities Blog). Dr. Weissbluth has fancy graphs and schedules to tell you EXACTLY when to lay your child down for a nap, when to wake or not wake him and then when to put the child to bed – for every stage, age and temperament.
Hallelujah! I followed the book EXACTLY. My baby actually did what the book said!*
*I should mention that I now call my oldest my textbook baby because he was a baby by the book. He responded the way books suggested. He hit milestones ON TARGET to perfection. He even started walking on his first birthday – just like the book predicted. In a cosmic let’s-all-watch-and-laugh-at-Holly-as-she-tries-to-figure-it-out my subsequent children did not respond in any book-related manner.
The good news was I got some sleep as Dr. Weissbluth’s pie graph suggested.
One of the things mentioned in the Bible of child sleep is that in some cases children will awaken at the same time in the morning no matter what time you put them to bed.
I have found that I parent three such cases.
If I put them to bed at 6 pm, they awake at 6:12 am.
If I put them to bed at 8 pm, they awake at 6:12 am.
If I put them to bed at 11 pm, they awake at 6:12 am.
It is a freaky phenomenon and so I try to error on the early side…really, is 4 pm too early?
I do try to get them in bed by 8 so that they get their sleep and I get some quiet time. *angel choir softly singing in the background*
All summer I have gotten the boys to bed at a regular time so the theory went untested. And then there was the fourth of July and last Saturday night. Both nights had boy’s bedtimes exceeding the 11 pm hour. Both nights had the following morning waking time at…6:12 am.
Both following days contained fireworks of tantrums, whining, fighting and general discontent… and I am talking about MY behavior. Because while the boys can pop out of bed at 6:12 am with vigor for the day, I cannot.
Which brings me back full circle to the parenting dilemma – when do I sleep?
In the meantime, here are the best sleep tips…
And, if you need help with sleep TODAY, then check out Sleep Hacks written by one of the Kids Activities Blog editors who has personal experience with sleep deprivation! Download & read it right now to get your whole family back to sleeping well.
Now that my kids are older, I can more clearly see how lack of sleep in my house caused problems that should have never been there. Everyone needs their sleep…