Monday, January 1, 2007

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Everybody…

For some reason, the 14-20 week period is REALLY hard for me. I feel like a horrible mommy and my patience runs really thin at this age. It doesn’t help that with both of my boys, this season starts the week or two before Thanksgiving and continues until just after Christmas. I used to think it was because they were just naturally more fussy and couldn’t sit-up yet and play. But I’ve discovered that at this age, they have left that “sleep anywhere” phase and are in desperate need of some kind of routine. Once we settle into one, everyone is much happier.

While I’m much more relaxed and experienced with Keegan, I’m also much busier. I have a toddler to run after and a business that I’m trying to keep afloat when my kids are sleeping. So when we hit that ‘fussy, in need of some kind of routine stage’, I had a hard time slowing down. Thankfully, I was able to clear the calendar somewhat in December and worked with Keegan on finding the routine that he needs while balancing that with the needs of our family.

So re-enters the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. I discovered this wonderful book during this same difficult phase with Xander. I'm really into using my mommy instinct in parenting and this book proved to be a life-saver in that it taught me how to read his sleepy cues and get him down for a nap BEFORE he gets overtired, crabby and unable to settle down. It helped me to get Keegan to fall asleep according to his internal clock and has tons of helpful resources for developing healthy sleep habits from birth up to the teen years. Since I’ve now checked it out on several occasions, I think it merits being permanently added to our personal library.

As I re-read it this time, that same feeling returned – as if I was coming up for a breath of fresh air. Once I slowed down, it was astonishingly easy to read my little guy and get him down when he needed too. He now goes down without a fuss for each nap and I no longer have to second guess myself or stress out each evening because he just doesn't want to settle down and go to sleep. I discovered that I was keeping him up too late. Apparently at this age, he needs an even earlier bedtime than Xander did. So he’s been going down between 6 and 6:30. His schedule is still pretty irregular, so his bedtime at night varies, but it is no longer a battle. Keegan is also SO much happier and loves to giggle, laugh and play. I’m so thankful for this resource that has given me practical advice so that I can help him learn the important skill of falling and staying asleep! Next time around, I’ll plan to slow our life down before we hit that stressful stage. I’ll let you know how it goes when we get there…

No comments:

Post a Comment