Hi! I’m Becky from Your Modern Family. I am excited to be writing for you today! Paula and I have children similar in age, so we can relate to each other when it comes to sleeping, as I’m sure many of you can, too.
With our children being so close in age, I think that it is very safe to say that I have not slept more than six hours at a stretch in the past 6 years. Our 6 year old sleeps great and so does our four year old. Our little boy, 2 years old, gets terrible ear infections. His poor little ears bother him a lot. All of our kids have had ear tubes twice, so its nothing new, but his ears hurt him the most. He wakes up at least once a night, cries for a minute and tells us about a ‘boo-boo’ in his ear and we kiss him and he goes back to bed.
Our super-adorable-super-chubby baby girl wakes up a lot, too. She is given breast milk and I have heard that breast fed babies tend to wake up more often. I tried giving her formula at night, but it made no difference. Our sweet girl is just like her brothers and she has the same ear troubles. Her ears are actually just about the worst of all of them. She had tubes put in around six months and has not stopped getting infections yet. So, I hate to let her ‘cry it out’ at night. I just can’t stand the thought of her having a messy diaper (she gets a lot from the medicine that is given to treat her ear infections) or being uncomfortable in there, wondering where I am. Normally, I am not opposed to this (crying it out for 20 minutes), but when it comes to this little one, I just haven’t been able to.
Let me preface this next part by saying that our baby was sleeping 9 hours a night until the ear infections started. (Her first 6 weeks, she was completely backwards, but then she became a great sleeper! Her first ear infection started around 3 months and they just got worse, as did her sleeping habits!)
On a typical night:
12:00 (midnight)- I finish up “talking” to people on my facebook page for Your Modern Family while my husband gives our baby a bottle of breast milk (we “dream feed” her, without waking her). When he finished, we both turn in for the night.
1:00- Our 2 year old makes his little cry for the night. I run in, cover him back up, kiss his ears and face a few times and go back to bed.
3:00- If we skip the dream feed, she will normally wake her. If we do Dream Feed her, she will usually just cry for a few minutes and go back to sleep. (Just enough to wake us up, I jokingly tell my husband!)
6:00- baby cries again- I run in and feed her. I try to get her quickly at this wake-up because the kids are usually starting to enter into their lighter sleep and I don’t want her to wake them. After she eats, she goes back to sleep for a few more hours.
7:00- The older boys are up for the day and so am I. I do have a rule about staying in bed until 7:00 once they are up for the morning – here is the post on how I taught them this rule, so they never come in “for the day” before 7:00.
So, as you can see, my sleep is minimal these days. I really try not to complain about it. “This, too, shall pass.” I honestly don’t mind it all that much. Yes, I’m a little tired. Yes, I’m a little crabby on those days (as much as I try not to be).
Right now I am a Mom to young children. I am soaking up all of the extra hugs and kisses that I can get. When our older boys come sneaking into our room in the middle of the night because they had a nightmare and needed me to lay with them, how can I say no? It doesn’t happen often. We go back to their room and they always ask me to pray that the “Angel Soldiers” (as they call them) will come to their room to stand by their bed while they sleep to “keep guard”. How can we complain about that?
If you are up all night, just remember that you are not alone! You can do this. This will pass. Just work on teaching your kids healthy sleep habits. Have a ritual at night (bath, bible, bed) and then get them into bed on time (we do 7:00 because I like our kids to have 12 hours of sleep). When our baby was new and she was completely backwards (up all night, asleep all day), I would use that time, in the middle of the night, to do laundry, dishes and clean up. I loved waking up (again) to a very clean house! haha!
My grandma used to tell me that when her four kids were little, she would no sooner get her baby (my Mom) to sleep when her two year old would walk out and say “Good Morning!” I guess that things don’t change so much. Our parents did this with us and now we will do this for our children. One day, they will lose sleep for their children. Hopefully, they will remember these nights with fondness, as I hope to.
Some day soon, when your children are teenagers, you will look back at those days where you had close to no sleep and remember them with a little tear in your eye, as you walk into your teenagers room at 12:00 in the afternoon to wake them up for the day!
So for now… enjoy these little moments…
Thanks for letting me share with you!
~ Becky at Your Modern Family
So what about you? Are you facing sleepless nights or reminiscing back on them?
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