A few days ago I wrote a plea for help. I needed ideas on what to do with Monkey’s horrible 3:30am wake ups! It had been going on for just over 2 months that he would cheerfully wake up between 3 and 4 am, every.single.morning and I had had enough! Taking care of the 2 boys on 4 hours broken sleep at night was not funny. I didn’t feel like Supermom anymore and it was time for change.
I got so many possible things to look at. Possible changes to consider and routines to adapt. From him being under stimulated, over stimulated, needing solids, taking out for a stroll late afternoon, giving a dummy (pacifier), taking him to a chiro to even advising me to stop my intake of coffee as well as not co-sleeping anymore. The interesting part of it, is that as a mom asking for advice on Facebook on mommy forums you are bound to find some advice that is just not for you. Things you know won’t work, things you have tried or at least considered before. And it’s not because you don’t appreciate the advice given or that you take it for granted or anything like that. It’s purely because when the right why? gets found, then the bells will go off and you know that you have received that one golden comment where you go Ah-ha! That’s it!
Of course I knew that when we found out I was pregnant, we were bound to get less sleep, have sleepless nights with a sick little one or just a fussy baby fighting the things you know they need; you know, like food and sleep. I was all prepared for the possibility of these things. But once you start running on fumes on a daily basis, your instincts get clouded ever so slightly and you start comparing your baby to other babies.
What I’ve found though from this episode was that it usually is the simplest thing that needs changing. I had to look at it for what it was/is and see what could be changed and done differently.
Let me explain; Monkey was getting the correct amount of sleep that he needed for his age, based on all the research I could find. Plus or minus 30 min either side of the amount.
He was gaining more weight than he “had” to. Was happy and cheerful throughout the day. Wasn’t unhappy when he woke in the middle of the early morning when even the birds were still sleeping. On par with all his milestones. So what was wrong?
The golden advice given: Move his bedtime. He gets the correct amount of sleep, but he’s going to bed too early and thus by 3:30 am, he has had his sleep.
How did I not think of that?
Oh my woooooord!!!
We’ve been so focused on having Monkey in the same routine as Bunny and both being in bed by 18:30-19:00, that we completely missed the pot to remember that Bunny wasn’t getting naps during the day and that he was older thus needing a bit less sleep than Monkey and that he needed to go to bed a bit earlier in order to get his amount of sleep for the day, with him waking up at 6am.
And so we’ve moved Monkey’s last nap for the day to a bit later, allowing him that nap from 17:30 to 18:30, which does give us time to sit down for supper as a family with Bunny and by the time he wakes, the boys can have a bath together, Mr. Bear can read them both a bedtime story and then both can be in bed by the time they should be, with Monkey peacefully drifting off into Lala Land by roughly 20:15. The result of the past few days? A lovely early morning sleep-in until at least 5am. Which makes one hell of a difference compared to 3:30am.
PS! As we are still new in this routine, I am keeping track of his naps to make sure he still gets enough. And I have found thee best and easiest App to do just that. It’s called Baby Daybook for Android. (I’m sure Apple has it too).
Anyway, you can literally track everything, although I’m just using the sleeping “stopwatch” for now. But have a look at the other things you can do. I’d say perfect; especially for those mommies trying to figure out where things aren’t going right or for mommies whose little ones are being cared for by a nanny and who’d like to know what happened with their sweet peas.
So for all the moms that gave advice; Thank you! Even if I didn’t take that specific advice to solve the problem I had right now, it was still appreciated. I might just need that exact advice at a later stage. For the moms who just sent words of encouragement, thank you. And most of all, for those moms who are going through the same thing; download the App I’ve suggested. Compare your day’s entries and look at it from an outside point of view. The problem will usually then be clearer. Well, fingers crossed at least.
Many more peaceful nights to you all