One word: CONSISTENCY.
"You're sooo lucky that Logan naps and sleeps through the night. Wish my kid did that." That's a phrase we heard countless times from other parents.
If by "luck" you mean hard work, discipline, and consistency, then yes. We're super lucky.
Like CIO, sleep training is not easy. You will listen to some crying. You will cut a coffee date short to make it home for morning nap. You will be home bound for 1-3 hours in the afternoon, and 10-12 hours every evening to every morning.
Sounds tedious. Who benefits? The baby, you, and your family's (social) well being.
I want to have more flexibility with my schedule, and sleep training seems too rigid.
When you create a schedule, you actually allow for more flexibility. You know when you'll be available to attend a music class, take a trip to the park, or meet a friend for a lunch play date. Sleep training takes guessing out of the equation. Babies need their sleep, and you can provide that on a schedule.
I want my baby to fall asleep when he is tired, not when I "decide" he should.
Babies need 12-16 hours of sleep per day. If you put your baby down at a certain time, he will learn that this is his time to sleep. By nature, humans like to know what to expect. It is a comfort to know what is coming next. The same applies to babies. Click here for my nap schedule of 0-6, 6-12, and 12-36 months.
I want my kid to take good naps, but he'll only sleep with me in the room.
I do not recommend co-sleeping for many reasons: 1) you don't sleep well with a baby in your bed 2) your baby will learn to expect that you sleep with him 3) sex is hard as it is with a kid; you don't need the baby (literally) coming between you and your partner.
From one mother who slept, nightly, with her son in the guest room, I heard, "He better let me sleep with his father or he won't have any brothers or sisters to play with."
First of all, "my kid won't LET me" is a phrase I don't really comprehend. "He refuses" is more appropriate, and believe me, I get that one. Let's rephrase: "He refuses to sleep unless I'm with him." And why is that? Because that's how babies are, or because that's what this mother has taught him to expect?
"If you teach your child to rely on something or allow something your child isn't ready for, it will only cause more work for you in the future, as well as more frustration for your child. Hogg says adults, not babies, create difficult situations. Most 'problems' with your children are really your fault. They are happening because of something you are or are not doing," says Valerie at Babywisemom.com.
Valerie is quoting Tracy Hogg. After realizing that pregnancy books are dumb (because your OB tells you all you need to know), we moved on to Hogg's book, which tells you what the hell to do when you actually bring that baby home from the hospital. Sleep training, routine, and consistency are key components.
Consistency. We wanted to get Logan when he woke up at dawn, but we held firm: not before 6:30 a.m. Consistency. We wanted to play with him when he woke up after only 30 minutes of napping, but we held firm: 2 hours in the crib. Consistency. We wanted to join our friends for ice cream, but we held firm: bedtime is 7 p.m.
Now, we live our life on roughly a 7-7 schedule. With so many 7's, I guess that does make us lucky.
But what really makes us happy is looking forward to quality family time. We do outings in the morning, get stuff done during nap (or nap ourselves), and enjoy dinner time as a family.
When my husband and I go out to dinner, Logan expects his bedtime routine, even if the person doing it is a grandparent or babysitter. This person always comment on how easy it is to put him to bed. "You're so lucky!"
Yup. We are "lucky."
Filed under: Parenting