Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Back to sleep basics - via mom to mom

An old high school friend dropped in this week for a little visit with her two boys, and we had such a great catch up. Albeit short... and having three kids (and two pregnant bellies) to compete with, I think we managed a nice visit. Lisa is pregnant with her THIRD baby, and is already a mom to two super cute little fellas (Owen 4.5 and Liam 2).  Her calmness is inspiring. My neurosis over being "ready" for two definitely seemed a bit ridiculous after our time together.

Anyway, we obviously got to talking about our current sleeping challenges with Rory, and a few other lovely stages we're hitting as my child approaches the TWO milestone.  I'll be honest, I felt RELIEVED and refreshed with courage about this sleep stuff when she left.  Relieved in the sense that boys definitely are different than little girls at almost every age, and that she went through the exact "stage" we're going through with Rory right now with her boys. And refreshed with courage about Rory's sleep because she reminded me of a few important things that got me thinking.

I've spent a ton of time reading about sleep in the last two years. And fluke or not, I thought we had set Rory up for sleep success early on.  I did and didn't do things purposely to create good sleep routines for all of us...sometimes hard things... and at 21 months I have completely abandoned every single one of them.

My conversation with Lisa reminded me of something important. Sometimes, most of the time, babies and kids are just better left to sort things out on their own. So we're going back to basics. I re-read a sleep book that I used to follow like a text book today.  The book basically sticks to a few key principles -

1.  We are the parents, which means WE are in charge here.
2.  That the golden rule of sleep for babies and kids generally means the LESS parent interference the better.
3.  There are a few important things you can do to help your kid sleep through the night.  (1) Make sure they're tired/have gotten lots of exercise and fresh air during the day, (2) Make sure their room is quiet, (3) have a consistent bed-time routine that relaxes them before bed. (4) Teach/let them learn how to self sooth

In recent weeks, it's number two we're the most guilty of. In an effort to get our child to sleep again, we've being doing it all. I have broken every single rule of "good sleep" out there.  We've being going to Rory multiple times a night,  I have fed him through the night, we have changed the place he was put to bed - so he is waking somewhere different, we've brought him into bed with us, we have gone into his room and slept with him... the list goes on. And on.

So... today I went out and bought two fans. One for our room, and one for Rory's, and we're going back at it the hard way. The hard way, but the only way it's worked for us in the past, and the only way the experts seem to agree it's going to work for us again.  Rory is going to need to figure his sleep schedule out himself, and eventually he WILL do it.  In the meantime, the fans and the white noise will help alleviate some of the anxiety I get when I hear him for hours at night... and hopefully our broken sleep as well.

Wish us luck.

OH! And nursing chair update!!!  As of Friday (cross your fingers) I am going to be the very EXCITED and PROUD new owner of my very own Monte Luca glider.  I got a great tip from my sister in law that Monte often sells their floor models and seconds and was able to get a great deal on one for myself. HOORAY! It should be here by the end of week. Happy nursing days are ahead. I can just feel it. HA.

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