“Lorelai, please stop tooting on your Tinkerbell colouring book!”
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A month or so back we were going through a rough time with our youngest in regards to his naps. On the recommendation of a fellow blogger and another friend, I decided to get in touch with Leslie Black from A Kiss Goodnight sleep consulting. She was immensely helpful in guiding us in the right direction and gave me the confidence that what I was doing was right for our child.
And now in light of all the upcoming holidays, I asked if she had any tips for my readers about what to do with all those late night events that come with the season. She was gracious enough to write up a guest post and pass along her wisdom. Trust me, this woman knows her stuff!
The next few months are filled with the excitement of the holidays. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, there are often so many fun but exhausting things to do. Many of you may have already worked tirelessly to get your babies or older children sleeping well throughout the night and the impending holiday season may have you worried that the excitement will ruin all your hard work, but you don’t want to have to stay home and miss all the festivities. If this is you, you’re not alone! Here are my best tips for enjoying your holiday season without a negative impact on your child’s sleep.
1. Respect your child’s sleep schedule. Skipping naps or having late bedtimes once and awhile is fine. However, if you miss naps more than one day in a row, you will set your little one up for a rough night, which may then throw your schedule off again the next day! If you plan to be out for the whole day, bring a pack ‘n’ play and allow your child to nap while you are visiting with your friends or family. When you go out for the evening, try bringing along your child’s pajamas and have them ready for bed before you return home. If you will be out very late, this is another time to bring along your pack n play so that you can put your child down at their regular bedtime and transfer them to their crib or bed when you return home.
2. Avoid overscheduling. Trying to pack too many events into a short time can exhaust your child. Holiday events are usually very exciting for children, but can be physically draining. Allow your child time to relax between events so that you don’t have a child who is crying or fussy.
3. Take advantage of offers for babysitting. If you are lucky enough to have a great babysitter or family members who are willing to help you out, do it! Having time alone with your spouse is important for your relationship. Using a babysitter also means you don’t have to worry about rushing home to get the kids in to bed and you can just enjoy your evening out.
4. Don’t give in to pressure from others. I often hear from parents that others think they are too “strict” about their child’s bedtime schedule. If you have a child who falls asleep easily and sleeps all night, why would you want to mess with that? Don’t feel bad about telling people that you may need to leave early to get your kids to bed or arrive late after naptime. It’s important to remember that YOU are the one who has to deal with a cranky, overtired baby, not them! Having a child who is crying through dinner because they are supposed to be in bed is not fun for anyone, so don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself.
5. Pay attention to what your child is eating. During the holidays there are often lots of extra sweets or candies around for children to eat. Too much candy can lead to trouble falling asleep and even bad dreams. Try to avoid allowing your child to eat sweets at least 1.5 hours before bedtime to prevent bedtime struggles and nighttime wake ups.
Staying consistent with your child’s sleep schedule will allow you to have a more enjoyable holiday season and can prevent bad habits from developing that you will have to break later. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Leslie Black is a Registered Clinical Counsellor with a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology. She has lived in North Vancouver since age 7 and continues to reside there with her husband Jason and two young children William and Charles, along with their energetic companion Sully the Boxer. Leslie has been a family counselor for 6 years, specializing in parenting. After successfully using the Sleep Sense Program to teach her boys how to be great sleepers, and working with countless tired parents who wondered how to get their children to sleep, Leslie decided to become a certified Sleep Sense Consultant.
I refuse to be ashamed of this.
I won’t be embarrassed by it, keep it quietly to myself or act like everything’s fine.
To get through it I will require support, encouragement and yes, maybe even a bit of medication.
It doesn’t make me a bad person or a bad mother and it’s not my fault.
But I am battling borderline postpartum depression.
As you know, my 4 month old has not been sleeping well between the hours of 3 and 5am. Because I have an active toddler running around (who no longer naps) I haven’t been able to make up for that sleep anywhere. I’m exhausted. And when I get exhausted, I get emotional. Yeah, my poor hubby…
I am usually a very happy outgoing person. Some days I still am! But I have begun to feel myself being dragged down. I’ve had no energy and doing things like making dinner or cleaning my house have been a huge struggle. We’ve eaten a lot of take out this past week. Gross.
So today I decided enough was enough and I went in to see my doctor. I will be getting blood work done tomorrow to rule out any issues with my thyroid (I’ve had hypothyroidism since I was 15) but I have also been given a prescription for a low dose depression/anxiety medication.
My doctor doesn’t believe I have a severe case of postpartum, but he does think I need to seriously catch up on sleep. And when I mentioned that I’ve only been away from my children once in the past four months that concerned him too. So I have also been instructed to get out of the house (without the kids) and have more me time. Time with friends and time with my husband if possible.
Maybe you find it weird or crazy that I am sharing this with you all, but I don’t believe healing will come from keeping it to myself. Parenting is hard sometimes and I don’t want anyone else who goes through something like this to feel like they cant talk about it. You need to talk about it.
So there you have it. No secrets here. I’m taking things one day at a time right now and looking forward to things getting awesomer. Yeah, I’m making that a word.
Thanks for the love all. Keep it coming. I’m going to need it!
My dearest little cuddle bug,
I get that you are trying to master this whole “I can roll” skill and I am super proud of your determination, but here’s the deal. Mommies kinda tired…
Scratch that, Mommies REALLY tired.
You probably wouldn’t notice cause you only stay up for about an hour at a time, but we adults really like our sleep too. You know that big cup of coffee Mommy drinks every morning? Yeah, that’s cause of you.
And maybe a little because Mommy is addicted… Mommy needs that cup of coffee to stay perky and functional. Trust me, mommy without a coffee is not a pretty sight at this point.
While I appreciate that you are trying to keep me in shape by running up and down the staircase to check on you, It’d be nice if you could decide which side of your body you’d like to sleep on. Back. Front. Side. It’s really up to you. Just don’t start hollering two minutes later cause you can’t get back.
And while I’m on it, It’d also be handy if you’d let me nurse you somewhere other than the dark quietness of my bedroom. Your older brother is hilarious, I agree. But maybe try to ignore him for 10 minutes so that Mommy doesn’t have to go into hiding to keep you nourished. Cause when Mommy goes into hiding, that older brother of yours does some not so hilarious things to my house.
So if you could kindly take a few of these suggestions into consideration I’d be really grateful.
I’ve become a tad addicted to something over the past few months. You’ve probably heard of it. Epicure? They sell spice blends (among other things) to help add flavor to your every day meals and baking.
The first thing I got into was their dips. I use to keep several bought salad dressings in my fridge but they would always expire before I could use them up. So now whenever I want dip for a meal or snack, I just add the seasoning to some mayo and sour cream and I’m good to go – and I make only the exact amount I want. Right now I’ve got ranch, Italian, Caesar, bacon & chives, 3 onion, blue cheese and herb & garlic. You can also use these items on bread, cooked veggies, potatoes or chicken.
Then I got into their seasoning for roasts, baking spices and one of my absolute favorite items, fruit dip. I literally ate an entire Costco pack of raspberries last week because of that dip. My husband wasn’t too impressed haha.
And my most recent love? Their doughnut maker! I basically made mini doughnuts like you’d get at your local fair in my oven at home. I have the option too of adding chocolate, sprinkles or any kind of spices like gingerbread or pumpking pie as well. Haven’t had a chance to go there yet but you better believe I will. Who needs timbits!? Oh, and a friends four year old told me I was the best mummy ever cause I made them 😉
I should add this too, because I know this is a huge selling feature for a lot of people. Epicures items are mostly gluten free and super low in sodium. So if you are someone who needs to be conscience of the amount of salt you are taking in this is a great direction to go in.
I’m only telling you guys about this stuff cause I love it. I would seriously consider selling it myself if I weren’t so busy already! But if you are interested in checking out/ordering some of their items, head over to my consultant Jens facebook page. She has graciously offered to do a giveaway through there for a FREE doughnut maker. All you’ve gotta do is give a product a try 🙂
Here’s a few suggestions from me:
Caesar mix – Makes the best Caesar dressing I’ve ever tasted and now we eat chicken wraps for supper all the time!
Creamy ranch – Awesome for chips and veggies.
Summer Berry fruit mix – Yum yum yum…
Herb & Garlic mix – Delicious on green beans, potatoes and bread.
Teriyaki rub – Makes dinner super simple.
This giveaway ends October 31st and is open to all Canadian residents. It is not being run by this site but instead by the Epicure consultant through her Facebook page. Please proceed to Jens page and go to the GIVEAWAY image or contact her for more info through there.
For the first time in our 4.5 years of marriage, I slept on the couch. And no, my husband and I aren’t having marital issues!
Asher woke up last night around 4:00am and once again decided that he wasn’t going back to sleep. He was fed, changed and happy but also wide awake. I can’t take no sleep anymore, so I grabbed my pillows and headed downstairs. I slept pretty good for those few hours actually!
But I just don’t understand what is up with this kid!
A friend told me about something called the 4 month sleep regression. It’s basically a developmental milestone that babies go through around this age and can often result in alertness in the early hours of the morning. Yup, that’d explain what we are dealing with.
So I guess to a certain extent we just have to wait it out? We are doing everything we can to encourage him to go back to sleep on his own, and the rest of his naps/night feedings are totally fine. He eventually does fall back asleep, it just takes anywhere from one-three hours.
Just a stage?
If it is just a stage, I guess I’ll be going through my own.
The stage of sleeping on the couch.
I must have had a few people really praying for me, cause I actually got a decent sleep last night! So thank you!!!
Asher napped really well yesterday and even got in an extra hour or so of sleep during the day. I was hoping this would set us up for a great night since I knew he wouldn’t be over tired in the slightest.
Matt was helping out at a Sunday school program so I was on my own to put both boys to bed. It can be slightly complicated to do, since Ashers routine requires a bath, nursing session and stories. I adjusted things around a bit and read the boys their books together, which Noah thought was really fun. They even held hands. So adorable!
At 8pm I told my husband we should watch the latest sermon on Radical Marriage, since I had been unable to attend the previous week. Ten minutes in I was falling asleep on the couch (and that’s in no way meant to be offensive to Pastor Mark who is an awesome speaker haha.) I’m pretty sure I was asleep by 8:30pm.
I had skipped Ashers dream feed (I’ll be writing more about that later) and he woke up around 10:30pm hungry. He nursed a lot, then promptly fell back asleep until 3:30! He nursed again, then fell back asleep until 5:45 at which point he was up for the day. But I didn’t even care. I had gotten nearly five hours in a row and probably about eight and a half hours total. I so needed that! I woke up with a clear mind and some hope that things actually could start getting better. This too shall pass!
I should also note that Asher has actually latched onto a bottle twice in the past 24 hours! He seems to favor a latex nipple and though he only drinks about 1-2 ounces at a time, it’s definitely a positive start. We’re gonna keep working at it. It’s comforting to know that we have at least finally found a bottle he will tolerate.
So there you have it, a little update on how things are going after my rough day yesterday. Thank you all for your texts, comments and messages of suggestions and encouragement. It really did help! You ladies are the best 🙂