Thursday, March 13, 2008

Nothing brings me more joy...

...then a baby sleeping for 12 hours at a span through the night. Ethan has accomplished this task finally! He was a bugger there for awhile. Some let their kids cry it out so on and so forth, there is all sorts of sleeping methods. Mine is quite simple. Never wake a sleeping baby. (there are those that wake the newborn every 3 hours to put it on a sleep/wake/play schedule, ferberizing them). Help the child in distress. There are those that once the baby gets older they let it cry it out in their crib refusing to feed it or pick it up, just occasionally soothe it rub its belly if necessary. I on the other hand cannot not bear to hear a baby crying for me. It rips my heart out. I tried this with Kendall bc she was a terrible sleeper and it never worked and I would have my head under a pillow crying. If I know that I can get that baby back to sleep and do it within 5 minutes a majority of the time, well then I am doing it.

These methods have been adapted for one primary purpose: Mommy and Daddy getting sleep. Because I know personally if I do not get sleep, I cannot function. I have two small children to take care of that DEMAND my attention from sun up to sun down. Mind you two, 13 months apart. I know there are those with 8 babies at a time, but they get the reality show and can now afford a nanny. There is no down time, and I have tried upping the coffee consumption, I am now immune to caffeine. And Lord knows if Andy doesn't get the sleep he needs. its ugly.

It has been 2 years now of me not getting a full settled nights sleep, bc as all mom's know, that ear is ALWAYS alert. It doesn't matter if they sleep through, you still wake up to listen. So if I know how to milk the night and get 5 more minutes of sleep out of it, well then guess what?

If a certain method worked for you and your baby, well then that is just great. Just don't preach to me about it and that I am just so naughty for not doing it. Why do some people do that? If it works in your house, more power to you, but do you live with me? I think I got it, and if I don't I will soon find out.

I just want to let them be little. They only stay this way for so long. Soon enough they will be shutting their door to their room and deciding when they want to go to sleep. I think we are taught to over analyze every move our child makes and are made to think that there is some method to their madness and we as the parents need to adhere to what these experts are saying or our child will have some misdiagnosed behavioral disorder with a fancy name and big price tag.

I mean honestly, have you heard of someone who is 21 and still needs their mom to rock them to sleep? They grow out of it. They grow out of everything. I just want to hold them while I still can.

If they gave me a hard time about the rocking or I was stuck in a room for hours on end, well then yeah, obviously I would rethink things, but I'm not.

I am all for taking and giving advice. But I like to pick and chose what works for me and my children. Are we all not fearfully and wonderfully made, wonderfully meaning, unique. So one way may not work for another child. I also tend to take the advice of the person who has been there and done that.

Don't get me wrong my kids are not barbarians running around with no structure hanging from the ceiling like a monkey. I am not some hippy mom who lets them roam the house naked, letting them form the rules. I believe that children thrive with discipline and boundaries, but I also firmly believe in abundant love, fun, and comfort that we form as a family. So what works for my kids, may not work for yours. Like many things in life it is all about balence. I am learning and we make adjustments when needed.

Like I mentioned before, in my house we like to get as much sleep as possible. If this means I go in and feed a baby at 3 a.m., because he is waking and is hungry, for 10 minutes to have it go back to sleep and sleep until 8 a.m., well guess what I am doing it. And if it takes a binky to go to sleep, well then they get a binky. (the binky fairy will come soon. there is a deadline above us,ok, so don't worry they won't go to Kindergarten with it)And if they need to come into my bed at night for some comfort to go back to sleep bc their teeth hurt, or they are scared of the monsters, well then guess what, jump on in under the covers, I'll return them when they get back into that deep comforted sleep. And horror of all horrors, if I want to rock my babies to sleep at night, well then I am going to do it. Who does this affect other then me, and I like to do it. I am going to rock and rock and rock my there. I like this cuddling time, I like to have them curl into me and fall asleep in the safety of my arms. They both fall asleep in under 10 minutes, I sit in there longer to watch them sleep, pray, read a book, be alone, think, and just listen to them sleep. Kendall will be too big to do this and will soon be a big girl, she already is asking to be put in her bed right as she shuts her eyes, she will look at me and say, 'in my bed mommy?'

And sure there are times when Kendall will give me a hard time bc she is having a hard time settling, and sometimes Ethan isn't ready for bed. But for the most part, I have learned that unless they don't feel well, they are going to go down without a fight.

And we have a routine at bedtime. It is typically:
jammie time
The kids snuggle with Andy while I clean up the bath stuff, get rooms ready and a bottle for E
Kendall curls up with Daddy and reads or watches a show
I give Ethan his bottle, kiss him, and if Kendall is misbehaving he doesn't get rocked that long and he is put into bed just about asleep, or just plain tired and wants to go to sleep
I then go in and get Kendall and we go into her room and depending on the time, read a book, say prayers, I snuggle with herk and then for the most part she knows this is quiet time, and she will play with my hair, tell me she loves me, and she is either out, or says good night and I can put her into her bed, and I watch her drift off super fast.

Ethan was hungry at 3 a.m., every night, and since 3 months of age he has only ever woken up once at night, unless he is sick, for a bottle, and is right back to sleep, no messing around. He is a big boy and 7 hours was long enough to go without nourishment. I can't dispute that. So for the past 4 nights he has slept right through. Not a peep, unless I hear him searching for his binky, then I go pop it back in.

Kendall weaned off a bottle at 16 months. I then gave her a sippy cup of warm milk while we read, and then after about a month or two of that, she wanted nothing after her snack. She might want some water or juice occasionally right before going to sleep. So I plan to do the same with Ethan. He too started a sippy cup at 6 months and just gets a bottle before nap and bedtime now. So he is not attached to the bottle either.

So all in all sleep is back in the Fink house, is it time for another?
think again.

But for some reason now with the uninterrupted sleep, I am more tired.
Alright, stepping off the soap box.

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