Am I the only mom who rejoices when the weather is bad? Seriously, today I looked out the window, saw it was raining cats and dogs, and thanked the gloomy heavens, because I knew the naps today were going to be epic. As I type at this moment, my twin two-year-old daughters, along with my infant son, are sound asleep.
I know there are probably a slew of moms who secretly (or not so secretly) are cursing moms, like me, who have children with successful sleep routines. I have had numerous conversations with multiple different moms whose children do not have regular sleep hours or routines. Honestly, I wish there were some sort of formula that I could relay, but there really are not any guaranteed success tips to getting your children to sleep. Some kids are destined to be night owls who can function on very little sleep. For those children, I would probably ask their pediatrician for help.
There was a time when it seemed my toddlers would be one of those children who would never embrace sleeping in their own cribs. My husband and I tried several routines before we landed on the set of steps that worked for our family. We tried the Johnson Baby Challenge where we bathed our children in lavender scented baby wash and massaged them with lavender scented baby lotion. We, also, took infant massage classes that taught us the correct way to relax our babies and get them ready to slumber. When all else failed, we reverted to the Cry-It-Out method, which was recommended by our children’s pediatrician. Listening to our girls wail at night when we laid them in their cribs was excruciating, but after a week of standing firm, we began to see results. Our pediatrician also recommended putting black out curtains their room so that our toddlers would not have their sleep routines disturbed due to daylight savings time and winter solstice. Today, one year later, our girls have a regular evening bedtime of eight o’clock and they usually wake up around seven o’clock in the morning.
In addition to our evening routine, we have a nap time routine as well. I usually take the kids outside an hour before lunchtime. I try to embrace gloomy weather, because some of the best naps can occur after playing in the snow. When we come in from outside, we have a hearty lunch and I lay the children down to nap. This routine has worked so well for us that I have been able to blog, nap, and listen to my favorite podcasts on a regular basis during their two-hour naps. Of course, every now and then there are hiccups. However, for the most part, this is our daily schedule.
Are you a mom or dad with small children? If so, how do you make sleep a priority in your household? Any comments or tips are greatly appreciated.