Baby's First Year

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The way we sleep

Tuesday, 22 October 2013 16:52
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It’s half past six. My daughter, Bianka starts screaming. I know it’s time for bath. If Daddy is at home, it’s not a big thing – one parent, one child, not more than 45 minutes and everybody is clean. But when I’m alone it’s a madhouse. If I put the bigger one into the tub, I worry about what he is doing, if I bathe the smaller first, the bigger is making the great-grandma crazy. Not to mention that Bianka has the Pavlov reflex for getting out of the tub – "Mummy gives me boobs.” Anyway, somehow everybody becomes clean (even me).

After dinner and bath, it would be good to sleep. At least I think so. In my dreams, they go to sleep at a normal time and I have time for myself. With my daughter it’s not a big thing. Bath – boobs – sleep, it works. She sleeps from 7:30pm to 4:00am, then she “refuels” and goes back to sleep … in her own bed. But Milán … well, he is a long story.

Before he was born I was very determined that everybody would sleep in his own bed, and we wouldn’t co-sleep. Then my little son was born. The first days were idyllic. Then he started waking up during the night and everything changed. I realized that he hadn’t slept in his crib for two weeks, not to mention he was very satisfied with this situation. Then I read The Baby Sleep Book by Dr. William Sears. It was “based on the experiences of the author and several mums. We, mums like if we are strengthened in listening to our hearts. This form of night care is not a panacea, not a special method, just most natural and easiest thing in the world: love and attention. However, it works very well; we get a lot more energy from it than the amount we put in it.”[1] After that I believed that the child was in a good place in our bed. But I started thinking about the function of the crib. I tried to find a solution that was better for us than co-sleeping the whole night. After a while it started working out that after having a bath, I breastfed him in our bed and after the “full knockout” we transported him to his own bed. It sounded great, but when he woke up once or twice (6-8 times) and the “take – bring” method collapsed … I fell asleep before the child. To avoid it, at night I breastfed him in his own room, so I could just put him back to the crib. To make all of this more “problematic” I became pregnant and the 10 kilos of my son were not so easy to put into the crib. What’s more I decided to wean him at night. (Fortunately it was not difficult at all – but that is another story.) He started to sleep during the whole night without waking up. At the same time with the total weaning he got a “big-boy” bed and I read a bedtime story. After some weeks the Bremen Town Musicians was very boring for me, but Milan loved it, so I read it every evening. The method was successful. The child slept in his own bed. At night he didn’t wake up, and if he woke up, I could make him sleep in the bed. Then the time came when I couldn't sit on the floor reading bedtime story because of my pregnant belly, and Daddy wasn’t at home so I offered him to listen to the tale in our bed, go to sleep there and Daddy would put him back into his bed. At this point my lovely son noticed that it was better to sleep with Mummy and Daddy than alone in his own room. We could put him back when he was totally ‘knocked out”, but most of the time it was impossible. It we could do it, it was just a half-success, because at night when he woke up first he just shouted for me, then knocked on his door, and when he learned to open the door he left his room for ours. Meanwhile little sister was born and he didn't want to hear about going back to his own bed. The worst thing was he got used to watching TV. We switched it for ourselves and he also watched it. He went to sleep later and later, much later than his sister, so we can’t force (not even want to force) him, as he cries and wakes her up. Fortunately the TV problem is solved (again a good topic:)), and I hope sleeping will also be solved.

Nowadays the program is dinner, bath, watch his favorite cartoon, then we read bedtime story and go to sleep. In our bed. We transport him to his bed, he learned it. So if he realizes it, I stay with him for a while, wait until he falls back to sleep. At around midnight he comes back, climbs between us and sleeps. He sleeps, we sleep. Somehow it’s good. For him and for us as well. I have never heard about teenagers climbing into their parents’ bed in the middle of the night.

With this small writing I just wanted to show that there is not only one good way. Only WE know what the best is for our children and for us. As a mother of two I already know that what works for one child, doesn’t work for the other. Don’t let others influence you, listen to your heart. Everybody has her own way; we just have to find it!

[1] Remete Angéla Dr. William Sears: The Baby Sleep Book. Book review. HírLLLevél: 2006/2-3http://www.lll.hu/node/251

 

Read 3141 times Last modified on Tuesday, 05 November 2013 06:02

Dear Reader,

First of all, I'm a mother of a 2 and a half-year-old boy and a 9-month-old girl from Hungary (a small state in Central-Europe).

I was born in 1984 and from the time I remember I wanted to be a mother. As a profession, I'm an English teacher, so I work with children between the age of 6-14. I met my husband in 2002. We would like to have three children.

When I expected my son I thought that birth is very simple. I go the hospital, give life than after 3 days I go home with my baby. But for me it was not so simple, I have genetic, uncontrolled pain weakness. So I had both of my children with c-section.

Fortunately, life compensates, I have never had problem with breastfeeding. I breastfed my son for 16 months. He stopped it when I was half-time pregnant with my daughter.

I'd love to help other mothers find the bright side of having children. I'm very thankful for TBS for the opportunity to write, and for "Édes Terhem" Baby Carrying group in my hometown because they taught me a lot of thing about natural child raising which I can share with you.

If you had any questions, just feel free to ask. I'll try to answer.

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