Friday, February 10, 2012

My first failure as a mother: sleeping

Sleeping sells more baby books than any other topic (I looked it up) and I can tell you why. Sleeping determines everything for your child, if you will have a happy child, or a sad grouchy child, a child able to have a fun day, or a bad day, what errands you can run with your child, or what activities you can do with your child. Studies show a well rested child performs better academically. Everyone has a technique on how to put your child to sleep and how to keep them to sleep, and everyone is an expert.
As Niah's mom, I feel like I have made my first of many failures, I am sure. Lets face it every parent fails their child thousands of times in their lifetime. Niah was a wonderful sleeper up until the holidays with traveling and activities I became more relaxed. She had started going to sleep on her own with little to no crying at about 4 months and did so till november. Then we went on a trip in November and had a new surroundings and new people which puts Niah on overload, I felt bad for her and would rock and nurse her to sleep. She was not going to bed at her normal time and stayed exhausted she was waking in the night, so again I would rock or nurse her to sleep. This would have been fine but it continued because she liked it and protested going to sleep any other way. In fact even now when she wakes up she sobs and cries so hard until she gets in my arms, if someone else goes to get her (even Matthew) she cries harder until she sees me and gets in my arms. Then at Christmas we went on another trip and the habit got worse and more night wakings. She was till an excellent napper taking two, two hour naps but again lost the ability to go to sleep on her own.
After vacation which she did fairly well on and I had finished my research on the importance of sleep, I decided that I was hurting her rather than helping her without making her have good sleep habits. The process has began again on making healthy sleep habits. My favorite book on sleep is "Healthy sleep habits, happy child" and he says, "You do not stop changing your child's diaper because they cry and sleep is the same way." So my approach now is that this is the best for my child and I hate that it is harder on her now because she is older and more aware than when I originally trained her and there was no tears. There have been a few more tears but it is working.
Niah has been sleeping through the night not waking up till after 7 for over a week now. She may wake up in the night and I see her on the moniter adjust and move to a new sleeping position and goes right back to sleep!! Niah has a 7 to 7:30 bedtime(with the exception of wed. at 8), a 9:30 am nap sleeps till noon or 12:30, and an afternoon nap of 2 or 2:30. I have to tell myself when she fights sleep, I do not want a child that can not sleep as a teenager or adult because I failed to teach her to self soothe as a baby. I am so proud of my little one for learning to self soothe.

1 comment:

  1. This is great inspiration for me. I have a 5 month old who is a fairly good sleep but we're trying to get her to sleep through the night now. It's hard to know when they're crying because of discomfort or whether they're just over tired!