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The Best Sleeping Advice for Babies
One huge reason why I wanted to start blogging was that I wanted to help other mommas. Whether it was trying to find the best sleeping tip (I found it, keep reading to find out more!!) or dealing with a picky eater, or just unsure about parenting in general. I want to be the bigger sister that I never had to navigate this crazy journey of motherhood. I didn’t have an older sister who could give me the ins and outs of what to do when your baby is teething or not sleeping. Google and Ask Dr. Sears’ became my best friends and I researched everything. After I had researched I would pray to see if I had found the right answer for my babes. So today I thought I would share with you the best advice on getting baby to sleep!!
Dear Precious Sleep, Where Have you gone?!
Now, sleep seems to be on my mind lately probably because I am not getting much of it! It seems when you have three littles you lose sleep because of nightmares, or sneaky naps (when your 2.5 yr old decides to hide somewhere and go to sleep), or wanting to nurse ALL night long, or stuffy noses. Many nights I count how many hours I have slept. On a good night, I get 7 hours on a rough night it is 4 or 5.
You are probably thinking now wait just a second! What more can be said about sleep! But I want to approach it from a different angle.
We don’t sleep train!
Right now there is a huge debate on sleep for babes whether you should let them cry it out, sleep train your baby, or stay with them until the little angel nods off to dream land. Please know I am not here to tell you what to do because you are the momma and oh puh-lease you’ve got this!! But I won’t be talking about cry it out or sleep training. I go to my babes when the first cry out because that’s what is best for me and my littles. I didn’t always have this confidence though and I wanted to tell you how despite being sleep deprived I am happy with my decision.
Why I Hate Sleep Training!
When I first had Big Girl I definitely had to pick my parenting style and beliefs fast because she came via emergency c-section four weeks early. Big Girl was shipped off quick to the NICU (Neo-natal intensive care unit) and was in a little pod because she weighed in at only 3 pounds 15 ounces. I had to decide right then if I was going to stay in my own hospital room for healing or motivate myself to get out of bed after feeling like I had been hit by a truck.
I chose right away that I wanted to be a hands on momma and with my little pea. For eight hours we were separated and I didn’t officially get to meet my little until I was transferred to her hospital and got myself out of bed. So for me, the sleepless nights came as a welcome sign and one of gratitude that I got to be a momma. My small but Mighty Mouse 🐭 taught me that life is so precious too precious that motherhood was a gift, not a right. So I try to treasure each moment and minute I have even if it is during a temper tantrum or they have broken my favorite dish or lamp.
Sometimes though as a momma we lose sight of what we believe or want. As a recovering people pleaser, I would lose sight and listen to what others were wanting me to do.
Crash, boom bang!
It was probably around the year mark when I started to get A LOT of pressure from family members for Big Girl to be sleeping the night through. They would pressure me with the belief that she should just lay down on her own and go to sleep and I was spoiling her by rocking her every night. Our sleep routine consisted snuggling on down in the rocking chair, singing lullabies and nursing until those piercing brown eyes would doze off. They believed it was the time that she needed to do it herself. And I am so ashamed to admit but I caved. I fell to the pressure. Only one time. But it is one of my biggest parenting regrets still to this day.
We did her bedtime routine. We brushed her teeth, read stories, said prayers and then I laid her down and I left her crying in her room. I closed the door because it was truly breaking my heart but I thought these family members were older and wiser so I was resolved to try. It was ten minutes of her crying in her crib. And then I hear a huge crash. And more crying. I rushed upstairs to find that Big Girl had somehow figured out how to pull herself out of her crib. She sat by the door and knocked and cried and knocked some more. I still to this day do not know how she got out!
I ran up as soon I heard the crash. When I opened the door it broke my heart that my little girl was sobbing and inconsolable. I had left her. I had broken that trust for my babe and I couldn’t do it again. And I haven’t!
It’s then that I set out on a different journey of figuring out attachment parenting and sleeping.
The Best Sleep Advice for Babies
This is when I discovered the No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. She is such a gem and a peach!! I adore her philosophy surrounding children. And I can assure you that after this I have never had to even consider a method that didn’t feel right to me or my chiclets!
The best advice I received right away was that if it works for you then keep doing it. It’s not what works for your momma, your grandma, aunt, sister or friend. At the need of the day if you aren’t happy with how sleep is going with your babies change it. If you are happy, leave it. Don’t fix what isn’t broken despite what others are telling you.
I can assure you that if you rock your babe to sleep she will one day sleep on her own. She won’t need you forever and time passes in the blink of an eye! Cherish the moments they are little and squishy and fit in your arms because one day they won’t!! So momma in terms of sleep and telling you what to do, trust your instincts. You don’t have to let your baby cry it out or sleep train them if you yourself don’t want to! The best tip that I can give you as a momma is doing what works best for you and your little one. You know best so trust those dear instincts!
Because, oh puh-lease!! You’ve got this momma!!