Sweet dreams

Now that Frances happily drifts into slumber unassisted, (finally!!) I have more time and good energy for extracurricular activities. Two nights ago I knit this hat:

knitting3

the pattern is called Kiddie Cadet, found on Ravelry. A super easy little project knit in the round with a worsted weight yarn. I used a pretty pink wool/ alpaca blend found in my cache. I’ve also been plugging away on another knitting project which I am certain will make it to completion as it’s past the half way mark and I haven’t put it down yet.

knitting2

I firmly believe a good nights sleep is fundamental to a persons mental and physical well being. I also believe children need to learn the importance of good sleeping habits. Choosing an appropriate bed time, setting up a routine and keeping it consistent is a good place to start when your baby seems ready. I can’t remember how old Frances was when we started the seven o’clock  bath, book, bed routine, but it is a nice time of the day that we (the mom and dad) look forward to. Well that was until a few months ago. It was beginning to take at least an hour for her to settle and fall a sleep (that’s after a bath and a few books) and I was becoming a cranky mother. Josh started to share in the dreaded task and the two of us were becoming grumpy parents. Not a good thing! Something needed to change before I pulled all my hair out

Changing a child’s routine is not easy and I think, should never be approached in a drastic way. Baby steps are required and lots of self assurance that you will soon reach your goal. Nap time was my starting point. We would read a book, have a cuddle, then I made her comfortable in her bed with some favorite books and a stuffed friend. From another room I listened to her freely chat away until… all was quiet. That was easy! Let this settle in for a few weeks, then we shall start on night time. Not so easy. I’m sure her biggest fear was that we would leave her in bed alone all night. I just kept reassuring her that we would come when she needed us and that she could still get in bed with us later when we went to sleep. It’s so hard to understand when you are so little, but I knew that once we got her through the first few nights she would understand. I do not feel comfortable with crying it out, but I’d be lying if I said there were no tears. I think we worked through it in a sensitive way making everyone feel good about this transition.

I can’t tell you how much happier this adjustment has made us. Frances sleeps well and when I ask Josh if he would like to put her to bed he gladly obliges. Now I actually look forward to bedtime, where we have a nice snuggle and read some good books. I even feel better on a daily basis, more cheerful, which makes me feel like a better mother.

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9 responses to “Sweet dreams

  1. I’m a little confused. What did you change in the bedtime routine? Did you use to rock her to sleep and now you say “good-night” and leave?

    I am 100% behind a good sleep schedule! It’s essential! But I was also a fan of crying-it-out and Cam became a good sleeper pretty quickly.

    I coddled him more at nap time, for awhile. But by night it was bath, story, kisses, see-ya!

    Only now, at age 6 1/2 will he sneak out of bed b/c he’s curious as to what we are doing. I usually bring him down, show him, and then put him back in bed and he zonks off.

    He takes after me, in sleep I’m a Viking!

  2. I must say, that is one cute hat! I am a fan.

    And I’m jealous of Miss F.’s nap time. I need a nap time too – no storied necessary, just a pillow and a blanket and some quiet. But where does one find quiet?. . .

  3. Julie, we would lay down in bed with her till she fell asleep, now she gets in her bed and falls asleep on her own (an important thing to do). I think I must have jinxed it though because she’s having a hard time tonight and daddy’s up there with her right now 😦

    Cam must think you guys do fun stuff when he goes to bed, maybe you get the karaoke machine out and throw a party!!

    Rebecca, all in good time. Maybe Mike could build a napping nook in the new place!!

  4. What lovely colors that you just happened to have on hand. I think that beet red is Frances’ color! Ah yes sleep. It seems to get easier as they get more “rational”.
    Blessings + a

  5. Auntie Sayer

    Sleep is over rated…. Ha,ha,ha! If I don’t find it soon, I’m gonna be one CRANKY Mama for the LONG ride to Nova Scotia tomorrow morning 😉
    See you on Monday! Keep working on Ms. F’s “Auntie Sayer”!

  6. That hat is awesome.
    I want one.
    I don’t know anything about children and sleeping habits but I hope it all works out for you guys.

  7. I forgot to add – that hat is kickin’.

  8. Your last post was July 17th!?! Is this setting a good example for your sister?

  9. Auntie Sayer

    YA JESS!!!!!! (You tell her, Julie!)

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