Baby and Toddler Sleep
- March 2, 2015
- by Melissa Lawrence
I often think back to what having a new baby in the house felt like. We don’t really have a baby anymore (my youngest Marielle is now 4) and this gives me pangs. I can tear up when seeing a baby on the street or even when a friend tells me she is pregnant. Why do I miss the baby years? Well, I miss the feeling of the warm baby settled on my shoulder, I miss nursing the baby, swaddling the baby, looking at the baby for minutes and hours on end. Sitting in my nursing chair with each baby, I felt so safe and secure and wrapped in love, as if the world were simple and pure and my decisions clear and easy. So unlike the mental state of chaos and indecision that accompanies parenting toddlers and kids.
But when I’m honest with myself, I also remember crying a lot during each newborn phrase. Crying on the phone to my sister, to my friend, to my Mom — to just about anyone who would listen. Too tired to exercise, I felt bad about my body and not being able to fit into my jeans. Too depleted to put on make-up or blow dry my hair, I felt ugly and gross and avoided looking into the mirror. When Marc would walk into the door at the end of the day, I often would collapse into tears while handing him the baby and saying “HERE! HE’S YOURS!“, ecstatic that I could at least take a bath or call my sister and feel like a normal person again.
Getting Baby to Sleep
Having gone through the newborn phase five times, I can say that this state of frustration and sadness stemmed largely from extreme fatigue (thankfully, I did not suffer from postpartum depression). In fact, new mom exhaustion was the only common denominator that ran through all of my newborn experiences. Each baby was completely unique and threw me different curve balls: cluster feeding, growth spurts, mastitis, rejecting solids at 6 months, the list goes on. What all my babies shared was the tendency to wake up earlier and more frequently than I could handle. With each, I would lie in bed muttering to myself “My baby WON’T SLEEP. Can I possibly get my weary body out of bed again to feed this infant AGAIN?”
Once I did hoist myself out of bed, while feeding, rocking and singing to the baby during the night hours, I would pour through books with the hope of finding the perfect answer. Instead, my mind remained too drained and dulled to allow me to distill the important information. Rather than feel enlightened, I remained bewildered and felt as if I were wading through, utterly ALONE, completely lost, and helpless.
Getting Toddler to Sleep
Since I was so exhausted, and as we continued to add more children to our family (ha ha), a sleep schedule grew to be one of my priorities with each child, and I did get better at establishing one with each of my five children. Yet still I struggled. What should I do when my two year old toddler skips her nap and wants to nap at 5pm? How do I handle a four year old who wakes up two hours earlier than she should? These kind of questions reared their head time and time again and I didn’t know where to look for the answers.
A Customized Sleep Schedule for Babies and Toddlers
Because of my own struggles with babies, schedules and sleep, I was thrilled when The Baby Sleep Site reached out to me regarding their Express Sleep Plan and offered me a chance to demo it. Within a few minutes of filling out a profile, I had what I craved with each of my babies: a road map telling what to do in what circumstance. Early wake up time? Your plan provides an infant sleep schedule for this tricky day. Night wakings? Your plan serves up strategies for helping baby sleep through the night. Little Mr. Toddler has skipped his nap? Well, here’s what time you should put him to bed. Based on your input and your baby’s challenges, your tailored plan provides practical tips for structuring your baby or toddlers sleep routine, and is easy to follow and implement.
I am so excited to announce that this month’s contest includes a FREE Express Sleep Plan for two lucky winners provided by our lovely sponsor The Baby Sleep Site! National Sleep Awareness Week begins today, March 2, and how terrific that two of you will win a tailored sleep plan for your baby. A clear schedule, savvy answers and … REST. There’s nothing a new mom wants more.
This month two lucky winners will each receive an Express Sleep Plan (learn more about it here) and one $50 Amazon gift card! Below are the giveaway details:
- Two (2) Express Sleep Plans.
- Two (2) $50 Amazon gift cards.
- Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
- Open to U.S readers.
- You must be 18 or older to enter.
- You have seven different ways you can enter to increase your chances of winning.
- You can use the “Tweeting a Message” option once each day for additional entries.
- The giveaway ends on Monday, March 16, 2015 at 11:59 PM (Eastern Time).
- Full terms and conditions are available in the widget.
Thanks so much for reading and crossing my fingers for two of you new moms!
This is a sponsored post. CloudMom received monetary compensation for this post. The opinions reflected in this post are my own.