Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sleeping through the night

Thankfully, we have resolved most of our "kid sleeping" issues.

We put Wardie down for a nap and typically, about 5 minutes later, he's out cold. (Except for that one time last week when he was doing laps in his crib and giggling. But, that was a fluke, I think.)

At night, we have a routine of songs and milk in a sippy cup and a binky (yes, I know he's getting a bit old for it) and he goes to bed. And he sleeps. Hard.

I think a few things have contributed to this.

1. We REALLY try to tire him out during the day. Outside play is a MUST and he needs space to run. And run. And run.

2. We have a consistent bedtime routine. Typically dinner, play, bath, more quiet play, binky, milk and songs, bed.

3. (The real key). We stopped listening to everyone else's advice about sleep a long time ago and decided to do what works for our family.

Usually Ward sleeps through the night (about 8:30pm to 7:00am) in his own bed. Except when he doesn't. About every 2 weeks, he ends up in bed with us in the middle of the night for some reason or another. Maybe he had a nightmare. Or he's getting a tooth. Or he just won't go back to sleep in his crib.

We figured out early on that we are not a "cry it out" family. I just can't do it. And Bryan thinks he can, but he can't do it either. And, clearly, Ward doesn't want that. So, we're flexible. When he needs us, he snuggles up in between us and we all love sleeping together. Except when he kicks me and I turn over. Or he pushes Bryan up so close to the wall that he can't sleep at all. But, generally, we just love that snuggly time and wouldn't trade it for anything. But, we also love the nights when he sleeps in his own bed. ALL night. It works for our family.

I have lunch with a great group of moms with young kids at work every month or so. One of the best things I learn from them on a regular basis is that all moms want the same general things for their children: love, happiness, health, good overall behavior, etc. But, each of us travels the road to those ends in such different ways. I love talking about what works for us because it takes away so much guilt and also helps me not to judge other moms.

I'm learning, slowly but surely, to make decisions on what works for us and to enjoy our family.

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