No Routine....a routine?!


It's been 5 days since I blogged about letting go of the "perfect" schedule. When I decided to do this I was really stressed that things would be more difficult on me and on him, however, I am finding that while we are not on an exact time table every day, he is working himself into a rather predictable routine and that is nice. We've also had a lot less crying in our house. And I think that the chronically overtired child that I had is a thing of the past. Praise the Lord!

Reading the book, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" has really helped me to understand sleep, especially in babies. The author, Dr. Marc Weissbluth, is a pediatrician, sleep researcher, and a father of four sons. I'm still working on getting through the book, but some of the things that I like that I am implementing in our home are as follows:

  • Let sleeping babies sleep.
  • Don't wake a sleeping baby. (Obviously, this isn't for a newborn the first two weeks, because they would sleep their days away and not eat.) Babies naturally develop sleep rhythms just like we have our natural sleep rhythms. It makes sense that they will nap best when they are most tired.
  • Daytime sleep is different than nightime sleep. You will have to read the book to see what I mean about this.
  • Follow your babies sleepy cues and don't get into the "overtired zone." Sleepy cues are: decreased activity, slower motions, less vocal, sucking is slower/weaker, quieter, calmer, appearing less interested in surroundings, eyes less focused, doopy eyelids, yawning. Overtired zone: fussing, rubbing eyes, irritable, cranky.
  • 80% of babies do not cry when going to sleep if you follow their sleepy cues and put them down in that time frame - I didn't believe this at first, but after a week of doing this, Micaiah falls asleep almost instantly if I time it right and there's barely any crying, even at night going to bed. He also will cry if I do NOT take him to his room to sleep. THAT's a change from a few weeks ago!
  • Babies who nap well, spend more time in the quiet alert mode, which means they are learning more/better than other babies, which continues into their childhood.
  • Nighttime sleep gets organized before daytime sleep.
  • Morning naps are often better than afternoon naps because morning naps are easier for children to continue in their REM sleep cycle.

He covers so many sleep problems and issues from a researcher's point of view. The book talks about sleep throughout a child's entire life. The chapters are broken up for easy reference for where your child is in age. It's an interesting read to learn more about sleep.

So far, Micaiah is turning into a GREAT sleeper and I am very pleased. He has went from 45 minute naps to 1.5 - 2.5 hour naps! The only issue I am really facing right now is that in the evening to late evening he will take these mini naps (an hour or less), but by about 10:30-11 pm he is ready to be fed and then is out for two four hour stretches. Morning naps have been going pretty well, too. Working like clock work to be fed every 3 hours. I would like for his bed time to be earlier, obviously, but I can't force him to sleep and he is spending a lot of time in that quiet alert mode looking around, listening, and taking a lot in, so I know he is learning from us and what we are doing. So for now, that time is family time, or daddy time, because by this point, mama is ready for bed and dad can give a bottle!

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