Nature has a way into everything and she sure has her way about helping new parents adjust. When you bring your newborn child home it sleeps almost the whole time, and that means that the changes in your way of life are not drastic and you still have some time for yourself.
As time goes by, your baby begins to sleep less and less and your free time gets less and less until it feels like you hardly have any at all.
When it comes to having free time, your children’s sleep routines are essential. I feel really sorry for these parents that have to wait until one in the morning for their children to go to sleep. Or those whose children wake up in the middle of the night hungry for milk.
There are many ways you can ensure that your children get a full night’s sleep.
First you need to make sure that they are properly fed. We breastfed both our children and so they both ended up sleeping a full twelve hours every night ever since they were thirty days old.
Some pediatricians tell parents to wake up their newborn babies every few hours during the night to feed them, but our doctor told us that because ours were breastfed they had sufficient food to last them till morning.
Newborn children are easy to trick into sleeping. All you need to is give them a nice bath then some warm milk and before you know it they’ll be dozing away. When it comes to older children however the words to know are “sleep training.”
I recently was introduced to sleep training reading a fellow mom blog. It was really interesting and has so far helped me get my kids to slep when I want them to. You can read about it here – http://www.babycenter.com/0_baby-sleep-training-the-basics_1505715.bc
There are many methods to train your children to sleep. The one we used for both our offspring was the cry out method.
In this method you give your children a nice kiss and a hug and you put them to bed regardless of whether they showed signs of wanting to sleep. If they start crying you let them cry it out on their own for five minutes and then you go in and tell them something like:
“Daddy’s here. I love you. Go to sleep now,” without touching them and you let them alone again. If they still don’t fall asleep you let them for ten minutes and then for twenty and so on. At some point if you repeat that method they stop crying and they learn to soothe themselves to sleep.
You might feel like a little Nazi using that method and it is true that the first few times you do it, the crying is heart tearing, but most experts agree that there are no harmful effects on the child and that the benefit of having a child that goes to sleep happily on its own is worth any tears.
I can tell you that knowing that your children will go to sleep at ten and wake up in the morning is priceless. That leaves plenty of time for me and my wife to do our own things in the house.