I am a mama of 2: an almost 8 year old who always had trouble to sleep and a 5 year old who was always a sleep through the night easy one. and I am expecting a 3 rd one soon.
As for most parents one of the major parenting subjects of concern is sleep (or the lack of thereof) and especially bed time routine and habits and of curse the occasional (or everyday) struggle. I have tones of books and e-books on the subject and as time passes I keep on evolving and adapting...
I went from the super strict mama with a "sleep in your own bed policy" to a more flexible and understandable one. I spent the first year of motherhood like a zombie with a colicky baby going crazy over trying all the "no cry sleep solutions"... unfortunately my first born did not respond to any of my attempts or good advice I could gather and is still today a kid who needs lots of down time before bed, a nice routine and even with that there will be times he will come over in the middle of the night. He will also wake up early no matter how early or late we put him to bed.
My younger one slept in our room for over one year, mostly in our bed attached to my breasts. But he never has trouble to fall asleep or keeping sleeping through the night. Despite the fact he gave up naps very early he would generally do his nights and likes to sleep in a little more.
I am curious to see how the 3 rd one will come out in that department, and I must admit I am a bit anxious as I work quiet a lot, I have the two older brothers to care for so I really really hope not to add "advanced zombiness" to my soon to be new mama status :)
Here are a few tricks and tips which worked for us:
- always do what works for you and your family no matter what family, friends and even experts say or write on the subject: the goal is for you, your kid and the rest of the family to get the rest everybody needs nothing else really matters.
- it is ok to co sleep and feed during the nigh and you do not really have to sleep train your baby or toddler, no really!
- each baby and kid is different so what woks or worked for one might not for the other one so keep trying and keep adjusting your own formula.
- some kind of a routine is always good, try something simple adaptable to every circumstance and especially travel and holidays.
- I try to see our bed time as privileged moments with my little ones and I do not mind laying with them every night so that they fall asleep. Its our snuggly times most of the time.
- take the sleep off the punition and negative side of things. I don't know why ALL kids see it as a negative thing, we are trying to enforce it as a positive along with good food and nice activities...
- its ok to fail, there are always days nothing works, there is struggle and screams... tomorrow will be better!!!
Kuddos to all of you mamas out there!