People are always asking about sleep. Grandparents, family friends, even strangers. It seems a bit like a test of weather or not you’re a good parent – ‘is your baby sleeping through the night?’. At fifteen months, our peanut sleeps through the night, (almost) every night. It’s bliss. I feel fortunate to be getting good rest. I can barely remember when she didn’t. Even though she only started sleeping 12 hours recently, she’s been a great sleeper from the start. What does that even mean? In a non scientific poll of friends with kids, they all have a different story of sleep and it ranges so greatly, I can’t believe that any of the sleep methods prescribed in books out there really help anyone.
I started writing this in January 2012, finishing it a year later!
O slept with us for the first 8 months. We were able to put her down on the bed in the evening around 6 months and surrounded by pillows and with a baby monitor we got a little time to ourselves.
After she started crawling around 9 months I wanted her to be safe and I started putting her in the crib. First it was just from 7pm until we came to bed and then she would sleep with us the rest of the night.
She slept great and the transition was easier than I expected. At 10 months I started putting her back in her bed after her midnight feed and she stayed and slept well!
Naps are another story.
Once she started sleeping 11-12 hours a night it was a whole new world of rest. Only interrupted by teething, traveling, colds, more teething, moving to a new house, teething, etc.
My only advice is this:
Do what feels right for you and gets everyone the most rest.
Don’t pressure yourself or your baby to do something they aren’t ready for. At almost two years old I can barely remember rocking O to sleep!
Rest when you can and don’t feel the need to do so much while they sleep.
They will get there eventually!
A nap/bedtime was key for us. Book, milk, sleep sack. Whatever you do, do it every single time!
‘Your children want YOU’is a great post from the power of moms website. Along with this article on being more present from the science of mom blog it got me to thinking about the simplicity of times before smartphones, etc. Being a good multitasker is key as a mom, but I’ve been trying to be more in the moment lately and I’m seeing some significant differences with little O.
When my peanut was newborn everything was so fresh and fascinating that I tried to savor every moment (when I wasn’t sleeping). I was reminded to do so by grandparents, strangers, and friends with older children more times than I can count. As the first year passed though more and more I was finding myself trying to ‘get things done’ when she’s in her highchair just because it’s easier, or checking my email while feeding her breakfast.
For the past few days she’s been napping in her crib (which is still new! more on that later) and I’ve been sitting down with her for meals. These things might seem unrelated but it’s kind of a breakthrough. Since I have a whole hour to myself while she naps I’m doing email, etc during that time instead, and I’m really focusing on enjoying a meal with her during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She seems to be eating more, playing with her food less, and is happier to play on her own afterwards.
I’m feeling way less stressed by doing one thing at a time and not scattered and trying to do too much at once.
I might actually be accomplishing more!
It seems so simple and yet somehow it’s taken me a year to figure this out. I guess that’s the journey of parenthood!
We are off for a mini-break to the other side of Maui tomorrow. Very excited!
Little O has been eating food for 6 months now, but I had an ‘Aha!’ moment yesterday. This may not come as a something new to most people but I hadn’t considered it yet. I know that many mothers, grandmothers, aunts, etc. would say “don’t eat that snack, you’ll spoil your dinner”. I however, love to eat, and I don’t think I’ve ever ruined my dinner with too much snacking. I’ve been thinking (and reading) a lot lately about food and feeding little ones. Blogs, recipes, etc. Mostly about veggies and figuring out how to get her to eat them.
Most of the time when I’m preparing food for O I give her a little snack, mostly just a rice cracker or a piece of banana. I thought this was a good plan to keep her happy while I cooked! Then I finally put it together, maybe her snacking is ruining her appetite…..Duh.
Two credits here – one, I was reading the book ‘French kids eat everything…’ by Karen Le Billon about how differently kids eat in France. I don’t think we’ll be serving three course meals for lunch anytime soon, but the idea that kids are exposed to all different kinds of ‘adult’ food from a very young age sounded like a smart plan.
Two- I was reading some food blogs yesterday and a post on One Hungry Mama really stuck with me. I don’t want to have to hide veggies to get my daughter to eat them either. By serving veggies first and showing that we eat them too, hopefully it will catch on!
Once or twice doesn’t cut it, says the author Le Billon, serve a veg at least fifteen times(!) before you can tell if they really won’t eat it. Luckily, so far O loves (most) of the things I serve her. I guess we have to just keep trying new things to see what she likes best. Today I waited to feed her a snack and she ate more lunch than I’ve ever seen her eat before! So, maybe this is a good plan after all! (Spinach, cheese and avocado scrambled eggs first, then whole wheat bread with hummus second, then yogurt and strawberries, yum!)
Food blogs I love for recipes:
One Hungry Mama (recipes organized by age!)
and any books by Annabel Karmel.