Thursday, 4 January 2018

Sleep Issues with Kiddos

I remember when it felt like I would never get a full nights sleep.  Parker slept through the night from about 4-8 months old, and then stopped until a few months ago.  Cooper, as you may recall, was nursing up to 4 times a night until he was 11 months old.  I didn't know how to night wean him and couldn't imagine that he would ever sleep well.

I considered going to a sleep consultant because I was so overwhelmed with the idea of getting him to sleep.  Parker had always slept fairly well, and just woke once a night, drank some milk and went back easily.  But Cooper was obsessed with eating all night long!

But I knew what a sleep consultant would say.  Put them to bed earlier (like 6:30pm early).  Have a routine.  Give them a bath before bed, read 47 stories.  Make sure nap times are consistent.  And that's not us.  I value sleep, I don't want my kids over tired or cranky, but I also enjoy our flexibility.  I don't want our entire lives to revolve around sleep.

I'm not here to give advice at all.  I don't really have any.  And I'm not here to knock sleep consultants, as I think what they do is amazing if you are willing to follow the sleep rules!  My kids just magically started sleeping better.  Once I weaned Cooper he actually became an incredible sleeper and only wakes up in the night once every few weeks. But I kind of hate all this sleep advice that's out there.  I find that with your kids, you have to find what works for you.  And maybe that means that you don't get great sleep for the first year of their life.  (Which I know sounds crazy).  But I also recently read some advice that said there is no reason for a baby to eat during the night after 5 months.  First of all, I don't believe that's entirely true with breastfed babies.  But secondly, I also read something that once said that we have been given a gift with the ability to soothe our babies by feeding them.  It really resonated with me.  And so as annoying as it was that Cooper ate 4 times a night, it was easier for me to nurse him for 10 minutes, than to wean him.  And that's the choice that I made.

Everyone will make different choices.  Some will co-sleep, some will sleep train, some will night wean.  It's all ok, if it works for you and your family and allows you to function.

So if you are going through a rough sleep stage, I hope it isn't long lasting and I hope you find what works for you, your family and your kids! 

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