So. I have a confession. However, for MANY of you (ahem, like my friend Kate) it comes as no surprise…
I am sometimes a little bit, WEE bit, overly worried over, OBSESSED with baby sleep.
Why? I really have NO idea. I know they need sleep, don’t get me wrong. That isn’t it. I worry too much about the following:
3) nap location
4) nap length
6) how long it takes for baby to go to sleep
7) what time they wake up
and so on and so on…
I mean it REALLY is ridiculous. I know I shouldn’t obsess so much. I have told myself OVER and OVER again, especially in the first 6 months, it just DOES. NOT. MATTER that much. If a baby wants to nap in the swing, let them. If they take half a nap in the bed, wake up, play 30 min, then take the rest of the nap in the car seat while you are out doing errands. GO. FOR. IT. I mean really? Does it matter as long as they sleep?
I think the reason I am always so stressed is because I stress to much. HEH. Go figure. It should be obvious, right? I stress myself right out of enjoying the parts of babyhood I should be enjoying because I am too busy stressing over things I shouldn’t be stressing over. I think part of it is when Katie was a baby I took a lot of BAD advice. I listened to and tried to implement things that didn’t work for my personality, or my babies. All babies are different.
You know what else babies are?
Yup. They are. WAY more than we think. I think us mama’s are the ones who are not, when if we were, if we went with the flow more, we would be better off.
So. These are my thoughts on baby sleep. I will probably forget them tomorrow and stress again, but that is why I am writing this. I need ya’ll to remind me. Writing this gives me some sort of accountability. So friends. KEEP. ME. ACCOUNTABLE. Remind me to STOP. STRESSING 🙂
So. anyway. These are Emily’s thoughts on baby sleep. Take it or leave it. Use it or loose it. Love it or hate it. Agree or Disagree. Whatever floats your boat.
1) I think nighttime sleep is more important than naps. I mean, really? Naps eventually go away anyway, right? The first year especially, just isn’t a big deal. The amount of naps they need changes so stinkin’ frequently that stressing over it just is really not worth it. Right?
2) I think it IS important to have a nighttime routine. Have a bedtime and stick to it, but don’t be obessesive. We have a set bedtime, but give or take 30 min for babies. Now that the girls are older, the window is sometimes up to 1 hour. They do fine.
3) Whatever time they go to bed, do the same routine, even if you have to shorten certain aspects. If you always sing a song, still sing song. If you always read a Bible story (like we do) read one. If we are late getting to bed, we sing a shorter song and read a shorter story.
4) Especially for the first 6 months, let the baby nap wherever they sleep. The better the daytime sleep, the better the nighttime sleep. If a baby naps best in a swing in the living room…. as Nike says. Just do it.
5) Do not be a slave to your house, especially with multiple children. Simon is our 3rd child, and while I am introverted, I also get cabin fever. I ALWAYS take the girls out, even if just for a drive, in the mid afternoon while Simon sleeps. I cannot and WILL not be a prisoner in my own home just because baby books or “they” say a baby HAS to sleep in the crib or your suck as a mother and your baby will suck as a sleeper forever and always, and go to college having to sleep in their baby swing. BLAH. BLAH. BLAH, and vomit now. BLAH.
6) When you have more than 1 child, you need to be flexible. I need to YELL this at myself. I tend to forget this.
7) Now, who has catnappers? I DO I DO!!! Just go with it. Why they call it a cat nap, I am not sure, cause most cats (and my dog) can sleep ALL. DANG. DAY. LOL. This is probably the thing I stress the most over. Lately, Simon wakes after only 45 min (babywise people would refer to this as the 45 min intruder). He is WAY too young to sleep train. So, I REALLY need to learn to just go with it. If it wakes up and plays for an hour, takes another nap, then gets up and eats. WHO THE HECK CARES?!
8) If you baby is happy and healthy. Don’t stress.
Yup. So there you have it. Our goal as parents shouldn’t be to raise perfect sleepers anyway. It is to raise adults who love, serve, and follow Christ.
So now, friends, if I stress and freak out again about yet ANOTHER 45 min intruder nap… please refer me to my own words 😉