Thursday, June 26, 2014

now I lay you down to sleep

Shortly after Emerson was born and was waking once every two hours to eat during the night [and during the day for that matter] I knew that I not only needed to but wanted to start getting us both sleeping better through the night and for Emerson to be taking regular naps during the day. I was only a little sleep deprived during those first few days weeks months. I had talked to friends and read many a book and blog about how to teach your baby to sleep better at night and during the day. I also knew that for both of our well beings I needed to start a routine sooner rather than later. Plus, I was used to school bells running my life and was having a rough time adjusting to life without a set schedule. I need routine. So I decided to make one at home for me and the babe and try to start sleep training him. I realize this post/link up is about toddlers sleeping, but we started a routine when he was a wee one so I just have that to go by. 

Once Emerson was old enough to bathe, I started giving him a bath each night, reading a Bible story and a few other books to him, then I'd nurse him and lay him down for the night [so basically for the next two hours until he would wake up hungry]. I was consistent with his bed time routine and soon he was used to the routine as well.

Nap time was a little bit different. We stuck to a "Baby Wise" eat, play, sleep routine and it worked for us. I figured out how much time after he finished eating until he would start to be sleepy and then I'd ready him a story and lay him down for a nap. In the beginning he would fight it a little [or a lot] bit, but with patience, prayer, and persistence he was finally falling asleep on his own and sleeping in his bed. I found a book that I read every day at every nap time; it was short enough so that he wouldn't conk out while I was reading it to him and long enough that he would be nearly asleep by the time I finished reading. This book with cute little Pip the Penguin is what helped us have no more crying and tears at nap time. 

Because we started a nap and bed time routine when he was so small it has helped him fall asleep on his own and without a fight these days. Any more I let him pick a book to read at nap time and after we read it together I give him a kiss and lay him down. Usually he'll go right down without a peep; sometimes he'll fuss for all of five seconds and then he's out. 

We still have the same bedtime routine, I stopped letting him nurse to put himself asleep when he was around five or six months and just fed him before his bath. But the routine is the same: he gets a bath, we brush his teeth and hair, read a Bible story together, he chooses another book to read [though these days he just toddles around his room while we read stories], say prayers, give hugs and kisses, I'll sing him a song, then I lay him down for the night. And down he goes without a fight. If for some reason he wakes up in the middle of the night we will usually sooth himself back to sleep. Though there have been times when he's woken up screaming and I go in to rock with him for a him to calm him down. It's rare, but it happens. 

I'm definitely no expert on this matter, and it took us quite a while before he slept through the night, but as far as getting him to sleep on his own I think the key thing for us was to start getting him in a routine from when he was just a wee lad and being consistent with his routine. And thankfully we don't have to battle with him when it comes to bed time. 

What are some of the things you do for bed time and nap time? What ideas or thoughts do you have to share when it comes to getting your toddler to bed? I'd love it if you'd share! 

I have enjoyed doing this series so much with all of you and am so thankful for Sarah and Heather for all of their hard work! Even though this is coming to a close today we are doing a round two and I couldn't be more excited to share more of our stories and insight with each other. I know I've learned so much from all you mamas; I hope you've enjoyed it too! 

From Here to EternityWords About Waverly
my delicious adventure Photobucket
My Delicious Adventure                  The Life Of Faith
Running From The LawThe Olive Tree

May 8:          Taming the Temper Tantrums
May 15:        Weaning from Breastfeeding or From Formula to Cow’s Milk 
May 22:        Dealing with Mommy Guilt
May 29:        When People Share Their Opinions and How to Lovingly Handle it
June 5:         Traveling with your Toddler
June 12:       How to get your toddler to eat their veggies…or their food at all
June 19:       How to make time to blog in the busyness of motherhood
June 26:       Bedtime Battles (nap or bedtime)


Alisha said...

Getting them to fall asleep by themselves is key, I believe. It took us a LONG, LONG time to figure that out, but now that he does, it is wonderful!

Sarita @ it's a girl's world said...

Baby wise is great! I used something similar- the EASY technique but same tenets. I swore by it!