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Category Archives: Sleep

This Kid is Taking FOREVER to Fall Asleep! Eight Reasons Why.

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Not tired

It sounds too simple to be true, but in order for sleep to take over, the child actually needs to be tired. Read on.

Putting to bed too early.

Some kids just have their natural sleep time. When my first was a baby, if I tried to get her to bed before 8pm, it never, ever worked. She’s six years old and I still don’t bother trying before 8pm, even when she’s exhausted. Anything after 10pm (which is pretty late for a child) and you have to be careful because the child can actually become more wide awake. The same rule applies for adults, try to go to bed before 10 and it’s easier to fall asleep. Read the rest of this entry

Why I Would Worry if My Baby Slept Through the Night

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When my older daughter was about three months old, my grandmother told me over the phone that all of her babies, at that age, were sleeping 12 hours through the night… TWELVE HOURS?! OMG! Margo was barely sleeping longer than three hour blocks, how the hell was she supposed to sleep for twelve hours straight?! And, if she did sleep through the night at that age, I think my boobs would have exploded!

Warmth, Security and Co-Sleeping
We co-sleep in our house. My 4 year old has a toddler bed right next to ours and our nearly 2 year old sleeps right in the middle of us. They never have to wake up and climb into our beds, because they’re already IN our bed. When my girls were babies, they had this sort of warmth/body radar. If they stirred and there wasn’t a warm body that they could roll around and smoosh up to, they would almost always wake up in distress. And, it’s for good reason! Babies have only been sleeping away from their parents, in separate rooms for the past hundred or so years. Before that, babies would only have slept right in their mother’s armpit, lest the wolves got to them or something. Night time is dark and scary. Having a trusted carer there, (at least in the same room), gives a strong sense of security and trust. Like, “Yes, I’m here. If you need anything, I’ll help you.” Trust that inevitably carries on for the rest of a child’s life!

Easy Access to Nutrition
Young babies need to feed several times throughout the night. Whether you’re breastfeeding or not, having your baby right next to you allows you to respond to their needs very quickly, before they become distraught. I mean, even if they don’t have a huge feed, they might be thirsty and need a little sip. Um, hello, I get up in the middle of the night for sip of water! I wouldn’t expect a baby, whose digestive tract is way shorter than an adults, to make it through the night without a little something to eat or drink!

Babies need to pee and poo!
Before I had my first, I remember watching a video that distinctly told you NOT to change a baby’s nappy if they were asleep! Even if they had done a poo, that you should leave it for the morning, unless they had a really bad rash.

Call me crazy, and I know it’s not for everyone, but I’ve been taking my babies to the toilet at night since they were born. They’ve never sat in their own waste at night. Taking a baby to the loo is called ‘elimination communication’. I also used cloth nappies, so if I did miss something… wet meant wet! Even disposables never worked to mask the dampness because my girls were so used to being dry. So… when I hear that a baby has been sleeping 10 or 12 hours through the night, my first though is, “OMG! Yeah, they were sleeping through the night in their own pee and poo!

Babies Breath and Heart Rate
It’s been proven that babies who co-sleep have less overall apnea (periods when they stop breathing) and also their heart rate does not drop as low [1]. Since a baby’s lungs and circulatory system are still developing, it’s actually not good if they go into such a deep sleep for a long time!

My Own Peace of Mind
Despite everything I’ve just said, it all comes down to how I would feel if I didn’t see or hear from my baby for 10 or 12 hours. It just wouldn’t seem right. It’s so unfortunate that these tiny little people, who are still adjusting to their world and are very dependent for every need, are expected to be out of sight and out of mind for so many hours in a row. Babies are not ‘some thing‘ that should be put off in another part of the house. They are members of the family and their needs should be responded to promptly. Sure, some babies sleep ‘well‘ at night. Mine certainly did for the most part. But, they really didn’t ‘sleep through‘ the night until they were about 20-22 months. And, for some kids sleeping through the night comes earlier or later or really never at all! It’s actually a myth that people should sleep 8 hours through the night in the first place! The eight hour ‘sleep‘ only came around during the industrial revolution with the 8 hour work day. 

So, when people tell me that their young babies sleep through the night. I raise my eyebrows and say, “Really?! That’s strange!

If your baby is waking up excessively, like more than 3 or 4 times a night, you might want to read this one I wrote 🙂

*Note- In the title, I’m mostly referring to babies sleeping through the night alone in another room*

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[1] McKenna, Thomas. ‘Why Babies Should Never Sleep Alone: A Review of the Co-Sleeping Controversy in Relation to SIDS, Bedsharing and Breastfeeding’. Pediatric Respiratory Reviews (2005) 6 134-152

Why I Would Never EVER Let My Babies Cry It Out

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I can’t believe I’m writing ANOTHER post on sleep training. But, every time I hear someone talk about how *great* sleep training is, or Ferberizing, or cry it out, or whatever, I just can’t help it. One day, my dream is that people will sit around, scratching their heads, wondering why on earth anyone would ever leave a young baby in another room alone to cry. Read the rest of this entry

Tired and Touched Out With Your Kids? Twelve Ways to Bring Back the Love

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Energy reserves start to plummet into oblivion and the room starts to spin.  The demands from my kids get louder and more persistent… I look at the time… “SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP ME!!!”, I scream in my head!  I know all of the things I ‘should’ be doing, to be a caring, attentive and loving parent… but it’s just not happening.  My body is there, but in my mind, I want to be crashed out in bed with the covers pulled over my head…  Do you know the feeling?! Read the rest of this entry

Train a Dog, But Don’t Train Your Baby to Sleep!

Do I look like a dog?

Do I look like a dog?

I was fuming. Yes, me. Yogi, surfy, zen-mama Kate, was exhausted. I had a throbbing headache, my house was a mess and my 14 month old was up for two hours in the middle of the night.   Read the rest of this entry

Do You Follow the Golden Rule When Your Kids Take a Nap?

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Sweetness is...

Sweetness is…

I sometimes call myself the ‘Nap Nazi’.  Getting my kids down for a mid-day sleep at the same time is sort of my priority and I confess, I don’t like it when it doesn’t happen.  My girls are 3 1/2 and 12 months, and since the little one was born, I’ve been pretty diligent at getting them to nap at the same time.  Now, I am fully into gentle parenting, I would never do ‘Cry It Out‘ (or chuck ’em in the crib as some would say).  We cosleep, babywear, do EC (elimination communication), tandem breastfeed (you see where I’m going with this).  But I have to say, I am pretty stubborn when it comes to making sure that everyone gets some rest or ‘time out‘ and at the same time.  Since it’s just me at home with them all day (everyday) without the help of a village or extended family (curse you industrial revolution), I feel like it’s all the more reason that I consciously make an effort to get my kids to sleep at the same time so that I can rest too!  I think most mothers would agree that it’s really nice to have that time of peace… although, I know that many times the ‘peacefulness’ doesn’t always happen for various reasons… Read the rest of this entry

Keeping Young Children and Babies on a Schedule (With Lots of Room For Spontaneity)

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Days like these, when routine goes out the window!

Days like these, when routine goes out the window!

We were just getting into the car to go home at 2:45 pm and Margo (almost 3  1/2) was starting to get delirious.  You know, speaking tongues and crying over everything… end of the world things like  wanting mommy to buckle her into the carseat instead of daddy, etc.  By the time we got home and inside, it was about 3:00pm, she cried some more about not wanting to take a nap, or that she didn’t have to pee before she went to bed (even though she did), etc.  We all got into bed (queen size, can you say squish), Art rubbed Margo’s back for about 2 minutes, and probably by 3:03pm, she was out like a light. Read the rest of this entry

Sibling Spacing from an Attachment Parent Perspective… Is Three the Magic Number?

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The only double trolley at Coles!

The only double trolley at Coles!

My girls are two years and four and half months apart… just to be extremely exact. Margo was 20 months old when I found out I was pregnant. Early pregnancy exhaustion and nausea set in soon after I took that pregnancy test, and stayed there for about 2 or 3 months. I spent a lot of time laying down on the couch, reading Margo books, or half dozing while she toddled around in the living room. The first trimester was during the hottest summer months, and the heat made me stick to our vinyl couch… the thought of opening the fridge to cook something made my stomach turn and I made sure that every time Margo had a nap, I was passed out along side of her. It was pure luck and a huge blessing that the exhaustion happened just at the start of school holidays, so I was off from work until the worst of it subsided. Looking back at the whole thing I can draw a better picture of what it means to have two kids relatively close in age. I know some people have kids much closer together than I did, or some even have twins or more on their hands, but it was still ‘2 under 3’ and it was a bit of juggling act to get started (still is). Read the rest of this entry

A Yell and a Threat… But, Only In My Back Pocket

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Would you ever think these two could make me go all batty?

Would you ever think these two could make me go all batty?

Have you ever been so mad that your blood starts to boil and you feel like your eyes are going to pop out of your head!  Normally, I’m Miss. Cool-Calm and Collected, gentle parenting advocate, attachment parent who nurtures and explains and validates,whenever there is a problem, and yadda yadda yadda… But NOT this morning!  Nope!  I don’t know what it was… maybe it was the food I ate, the chai tea I drank, the weather, the planets?!  Whatever it was, I really gave to Margo this morning and here’s the story… Read the rest of this entry

To Nurse to Sleep or to Not… Does it Need To Be a Question?

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Little babes at play and at sleep

Little babes at play and at sleep

There’s all this silly controversy in the baby world of debaters and ‘experts’.  The attachment parents (AP) say, ‘nurse your baby to sleep‘.  The anti-AP (Is there a term for these people?) go on to great lengths warning parents that if they feed their babies to sleep that their baby will never learn to ‘self sooth‘ or whatever that is supposed to mean.  In fact, the anti-AP’ers are probably concerned that your teenager will still be nursing themselves to sleep when they come home from high school (joking….).  Ok, anyway, if you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you would know that I am adamantly AP. I co-sleep, breastfed a 3 year old (and her baby sister), baby wear, etc. etc.  I was having a chat today, at one of our baby wearing meets, with a lovely mumma to four girls.  At the moment, two of her girls are 6 months old twins, and we were talking about night waking/night feeding and how our babies fall asleep, etc.  So, I thought I would share a bit on how differently I’ve put my girls to sleep. Read the rest of this entry