Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's Time To Sleep, My Love

"It's time to sleep, it's time to sleep,"
the fishes croon in waters deep.
The songbirds sing in trees above,
"It's time to sleep my love, my love."
"It's time to sleep, my love."

We picked up It's Time To Sleep, My Love on Sunday evening and as soon as I saw it, I feel in love with the beautiful pictures and sweet rhymes. I decided to make this Sebby's bedtime story!

I noticed that since turning three months, Seb's ability to sleep anywhere had diminished and so had his ability to sleep longish stretches at night. He began waking every 2 to 3 hours and by Friday, I had hit a wall of tiredness.

That morning, I resolved that it was time to begin putting serious thought into helping Seb (& me) get more sleep. Over the past several days, I have been pouring over books and websites to the point that my head is still spinning with information overload but at least for now, I have chosen to focus on a two key principles that I believe are true:

Babies need a lot of sleep!

Some sources say that babies Seb's age should be awake no longer than approximately 2 hours at a time before going back to sleep since there are serious downsides to them becoming overtired! They become cranky, sleep for shorter time periods and have a harder time falling asleep.

Babies crave routine & consistency.

Routine is an order in which things happen and doesn't necessarily have to be tired to the clock (phew!) but it helps babies know what to expect and to cope better with changes.

So we made a few a LOT of changes in our lifestyle over the past several days and have seen drastic improvements in a very short time!

1. I began to pay very close attention to tired signs and have been amazed to discover that Seb often begins to get tired within a half an hour of wakefulness!

2. I stopped putting Seb in the carrier to go to sleep! I now try to put him down in his bassinet for every nap. This means temporarily canceling almost all plans that take me out of the house so that we can be at home for his naps.

3. As soon as he starts to show tired signs, I begin our newly-designed bedtime routine. Ours is pretty simple: read a book, swaddle,  nurse & put down.

4. I'm working on putting Seb to bed earlier in the evenings, even if that means eliminating evening activities, at least for the time being.

Reading It's Time To Sleep, My Love before putting Seb to bed puts things into perspective for me! It nearly brings tears to my eyes as I read it because it reminds me of how much I love him and how these sacrifices to my social life are so worth it for the health of everyone in our family!

PS: It's Time To Sleep, My Love is illustrated by Nancil Tillman and written by Eric Metaxas.


Maggie said...

On a slightly random note, Eric Metaxas also wrote a fantastic biography of the German theologian and anti-Hitler conspirator Dietrich Bonhoeffer, which I highly recommend... although probably not as a bedtime story. :-)

Tarren said...

Maggie - That IS random...interesting variety I suppose!