Being a mom to three young children I can tell you that while I’m raising them the same, they are not. From their taste buds to their sleep schedule, they all have a mind of their own.
My first child was great at sleeping. She slept through the night at 7 weeks and napped everyday until she was 3.
My middle guy didn’t sleep through the night until after he turned one, and still at 3 years old, wakes up intermittently at night.
My youngest, who is 20-months-old was kind of a combination of the two. He has one or two naps a day now and sleeps through the night.
When you’re juggling a newborn and other children, life is a blur. My biggest obstacle every day is feeling tired. Oh how I wish I could be on a nap schedule. Imagine what else we’d be able to accomplish?!
Speaking of nap schedules, I actually just read a new book about sleep and infants. It’s called The Natural Baby Sleep Solution: Use Your Child’s Internal Sleep Rhythms for Better Nights and Naps.
The author is Polly Moore, Ph.d., and the concept is based on the human rest and activity cycle. Dr. Moore indicates this cycle occurs every hour and a half, and it’s this cycle that is used as your guide to helping your child get a more restful sleep.
Throughout the book, Dr. Moore explains how her method, The N.A.P.S. Plan works, and why it works for babies aged two weeks to one year.
The N.A.P.S. Plan:
- Note the time your baby awakes – from night or nap.
- Add 90 minutes.
- Play and pursue other activities with your baby.
- Soothe your baby back to sleep after 90 minutes is up.
Parents of infants may see a plan like this and say “well, that’s great for babies it works on, but my kid is different.”
There’s a chapter of this book that I love that touches upon all different scenarios and Dr. Moore has a course of action for common sleep problems like:
- My baby cries unless I hold him
- My baby takes short naps
- My baby won’t take naps at all
- My baby won’t transfer from my arms to the crib
- My baby only sleeps in the car seat/swing/stroller/sling and more!
This chapter lists additional sleep issues and parents are bound to find a scenario they can relate to. I can relate to the baby not transferring from my arms to the crib. In fact, my 20-month-old won’t transfer from the car without waking!
I love that Dr. Moore recognizes how hard it may be to try something new. She said it will in fact “seem odd to you at first, but it quickly gets easier as you get into the rhythm.”
This book is a simple read and even offers a sleep journal for your baby. The goal of N.A.P.S. is to improve the sleeping and waking lives of everyone in the family.
There was only one part of the book I couldn’t agree with, and that was using “controlled crying” to self-soothe. I didn’t let any of my children cry it out because it’s not what I personally wanted to do.
However, scientists have backed this method and it has proven effective.
If you’re looking for a natural method to try, give this book a quick read and see what happens. The Natural Baby Sleep Solution is also a great book to gift a new parent. They’ll thank you even before their sweet bundle arrives!
Was it easy to sleep train your children?