You know that saying, "sleeping like a baby"?
Many parents, especially new parents, know this saying is an oxymoron...a contradiction of itself. Because many babies do not sleep well. Do not sleep long. Do not sleep often.
Some do, and if you have/had one of those babies, know that you're a lucky parent. But, the more children you have, the higher the chances you have of having one who doesn't sleep. Maybe it'll be your second baby...maybe it won't be till your fourth baby. For me, it only took until Baby 2.
My daughter Makenna was a great sleeper. I nursed her for a year and she started sleeping through the night at 8 weeks old, and took wonderful three hour naps every afternoon.
My son took a bit longer to sleep through the night - 8 months longer. He was very insistant that he nurse 3 times through each and every night until I finally gave him a bottle of formula at nine months. He catnapped, 20 mins here, 40 mins there...while his sister continued on with her three hour naps in the room across the hall. I worked really hard to get him on to a good nap schedule, and to go to bed easily at night, before I returned to work. I had to work harder at it then i did with Makenna, and it took awhile, but we were successful.
During this time, I referred to "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth, MD as my "Sleep Bible".
I was referred to this book by an online chat room. I checked it out from the library and liked it so much I bought it. When I returned to work, we purchased it there as well.
This book is very comprehensive, in my opinion. It considers all the different child temperaments and how that affects their sleep in each case. It details the cycles of sleep in children, and how they change, from infancy - adulthood. It discusses napping, from infancy - school age kids. And it discusses various "sleep programs", including varying degrees of the "cry it out" school of thought. It is broken up into ages - sleep in a newborn - detailing the differences in each of the first 8 weeks, sleep in a 2-3 month old, in the 3-4 month old, the 5-12 month old, the 13-36 month old, preschool kids, and sleep in school aged kids and adolescents. There are chapters on sleep walking, sleep talking, nightmares and night terrors, snoring, head banging, bedwetting, changes in daylight savings time, illness, adoption, twins, triplets and more, and how all of these things can and will affect a child's sleep.
There is a lot of science, and a lot of studies, documented in the book. It discusses colic, and how that can really mess with a child's sleep. It also discusses studies on how early sleep troubles can lead to later problems.
If you have a baby that doesn't "sleep like a baby", or a child that still doesn't sleep well, try this book.
As for us, my daughter, who is now 5 1/2, still loves to sleep, and will still take 3 hour naps in the afternoon. They are just now starting to interfere with bedtime and so are on their way out. My son, who just turned 2, sleeps really well at night, and usually naps for 90 mins in the afternoon...anything over 2 hours is a gift.
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