This is a repost of a recent editorial from Tiger Lily, Natural Birth and Baby Care.com's newsletter. I've had several requests to repost this so here it is! More info on Tiger Lily below 🙂
One of the hottest topics you want information about is sleep – baby sleep, toddler sleep, and lets just be blunt… mama sleep!
Just over a year ago we embarked on a journey to get Galen to sleep better at night – at that time he was a young toddler. Now he's a happy, healthy 2 year old. How is Galen doing now? I've got an update with more below.
I'm a mother of four children, soon to be five 🙂 and I have seen a whole lot of sleeping situations and temperaments. My third child, Brennan, was a dreamy sleeper who cuddled up next to me and we both drifted off into a picturesque version of what the family bed should be. My second child, Asher, was an amazing napper – so amazing I had to be careful mentioning it because it always made other moms ask me “what am I doing wrong?” The reality is that Brennan was a good sleeper and Asher was a good napper. I didn't really do all that much “right.”
Children are all wired very differently – Galen was by far the worst child I've ever had in our family bed, and I've coslept with all of them. He just moved… constantly. Galen, Mama, and Daddy were all happier at night when Galen moved the first part of his night to his own bed in our room.
This took some adjustment for Galen, and I did do some “sleep training” with him. Do I think this hurt Galen? No. Like I said, I've had several children come through my family bed – some seemed like poster children for the family bed. Asher could have been a poster child for “schedule your child's sleep” because he slept like clockwork on his own!
In the end it comes down to what is right for you and your baby or toddler. I have never had a baby “cry it out” but I was comfortable letting Galen fuss a bit while I sat close to his bed. You may feel comfortable with the same. You may not – you may decide to stick with cosleeping even if you get fat toddler feet wedged in uncomfortable places 😉 What you choose for you and your child is blissfully your choice. Parenting is always a challenge. You collect the information – but in the end YOU decide what to do with that information 🙂
Sometimes you'll get information and make a choice – and you'll realize later that it was the wrong choice. I realized after awhile that my policy with my first child, Cassidy, was not working (run after her until we both collapse from exhaustion) – and we implemented a gentle but more sane routine that let both of us sleep. You may choose to let a baby cry one night out of desperation only to find yourself sobbing as hard as she is after 8.3 minutes…
Let go of the guilt for wrong choices. Children are resilient. If something is not working, change it – gather the information again, or seek different answers. Then smile, play with your baby, chase your toddler, and know that tonight is a new night and tomorrow is a new day. Parenting is a journey.. You are the best parent for your child – and your growth as a parent helps you and your precious little one.
The picture is Brennan sleeping sweetly as a newborn!
Click here for the article on Galen's Sleep Habits that prompted this editorial 🙂
This article ran in a recent issue of Tiger Lily, a newsletter focused on pregnancy, birth, baby and toddler care that Natural Birth and Baby Care.com delivers to inboxes every week or so. To make sure you don't miss another editoral or informative article, click here to subscribe!