I have no idea who coined the term “sleep like a baby,” obviously it was someone who never had a baby. Many babies have a very difficult time sleeping for extended periods of time, especially through the night. “Sleep like a teenager” is probably a significantly better term. I’ve seen teens go to bed at 10 pm only to wake up the next day at 2 pm. Now that’s some good sleep!
Obviously a baby isn’t going to be expected to sleep for 14 straight hours but us tired parents can dream, right? In all the parenting groups I’ve seen and online discussions I’ve read the top discussion always seems to revolve around sleep. The baby often isn’t getting enough, which means the parents aren’t getting enough, which means no one is happy.
The two sleep conversations I always seem to see are: how can I get my baby to sleep through the night & how can I get my baby to fall asleep better. Everyone seems to have an opinion and every opinion seems to be different. Your baby would be a teenager by the time you tried all the ideas out there. Who is a tired parent to trust? Well, one of the leading authorities on baby and toddler sleep is The Baby Sleep Site.
They have helped countless families through both their free online resources and their one-on-one personal consulting services. They were kind enough to offer me a free Express Sleep Plan to try out on my own kids. The Express Sleep Plan is an appealing option because it’s a customized plan that is budget friendly. You answer a survey and very quickly they give you a printed personalized plan.
I particularly appreciated one of the questions which wanted to know how much crying from your baby was acceptable to you during this process. The options ranged from “As long as my baby is safe, dry and not hungry I don’t care how much she cries” over to “I don’t want my baby to cry for even a moment.” A lot of debate goes into how much crying is acceptable during this process and I appreciate they didn’t ignore that and will tailor plans around your specific desires. The other benefit is you can answer the survey at your own leisure and you don’t have to coordinate speaking with a consultant.
We have been fairly fortunate that our kids have all been pretty good sleepers. We do have one kid, our wild 4 year-old, who wakes up crazy early and we constantly have to battle to have him stay in bed until it is a reasonable time to get up. 5:00 am is simply not reasonable in this house. We actually bought him a reverse alarm clock, so to speak, that lights up when he is allowed to get out of bed. I decided to put the Express Sleep Plan to the test to see what personalized plan I could get to have him sleep in later.
I have to say I was very impressed with the plan I got back. It was very informative about all the possible reasons why kids get up early and what were some of the easy things to try first and what some of the more challenging things to implement would be if the easy ones didn’t help. It also contained a daily schedule that I could use to get him on a routine that would allow him to get the appropriate hours of sleep and not wake up at 5 am.
I started adjusting his naps and I’ve already noticed he’s starting to sleep in a little later. Of course, school just started back up last week so none of us can sleep in too much but at least he isn’t waking up for the day in what I consider to still be the middle of the night. (Hey it’s my blog, if I want to call 5 am the middle of the night, I can!) I wish I would have started implementing this with all of our kids at the start of the summer. I would have had us all sleeping in until noon! That might be wishful thinking but I could have been up for the challenge!
If you have been having any difficulty with your baby or toddler getting good sleep, I definitely recommend heading over to their site. They have enough free resources that you might find the answers you need right there but you’ll also know that if you have a particularly challenging child they can provide several customized options for you as well.
And if you have read this far I am excited to let you know the best part about all of this: They are giving away a free Express Sleep Plan as well as a $25 Amazon gift card to one of my lucky readers. So enter below and good luck to everyone.
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