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20. March 2015

Sleep… or what else?!

Sleep… or what else?!

What haven’t you tried when your loved little ones don’t sleep through a night at six weeks old. When the time between sunset and sunrise has more activity in the house than a parent can take? When you wake up in the morning with a buzzing headache like in the best party years of your previous life? With our two kids we tried a lot of things. The practices of the book mentioned above were not part of it since even reading about the „controlled letting them cry“ method were impossible to take for my mothering heart. Even when the author’s promise „ … every child can learn in a few days how to fall asleep without any help and sleep through the night“ sounded very intruiging.

Right after birth both of our babies barely let us put them into their expensive cribs protesting loudly and it was unthinkable that they’d fall asleep in it.

According to a non representative inquiry amongst my girlfriends I wasn’t the only one with these kinds of problems…It is impressive how different babies sleep and how parents react to it. They comfort, sing, carry, jump around on the pezziball or even drive them around the block in their cars, only to send their little ones to the land of dreams. But they do exist - the low maintenance kids, who let mom and dad sleep for eight hours and that even at the tender age of a few weeks. But that seems to be the exception. I once read that parents lose six months of sleep in just the first two years of parenting because they are being woken up, can’t get back to sleep or walk around the dark apartment with a crying baby on their arm….But somehow you pull through the continuous lack of sleep as a new parent – probably the hormones doing their job …

So what helps? Well first of all, the perfect solution for quiet nights does not exist. The best advice surely is: patience. I don’t think you’ll need any special training programs. You don’t need those either for learning how to walk and eat. Just have a look what eases the life for everyone involved. For us it was the family bed. Which is also very convenient for the breast feeding mommy.  And after about two years our oldest one managed to fall asleep in his own bed with a nice ritual (reading, playing the music toy, waiting at the bed until his eyes are closed). Night after night 2 little bare feet were sneaking over the hardwood floors towards our bedroom and we shared a blanket for the rest of the night. But even a king bed gets too small for 3 people at some point, especially when mommy is pregnant again. We agonized to find a solution after the birth of our daughter …. In the end it all came like no one expected: After the first night with the four of us in our bed together with his newborn sister our oldest preferred to sleep in his own bed from now on without a peep  between 8pm and 7am the next morning. He’s even really hard to wake up in the morning now  - especially since he’s going to school :-) The little one is almost three now and she still wanders into our bed every night. Sometimes we don’t even notice her and we’re surprised waking up hugging a cuddly toy that she brough over.    :-)

Yours, Marie

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