We have been so blessed with both of our boys being super sleepers, although I did have my fair share of sleepless nights with my eldest boy Maximus, especially around teething time and when he was feeling poorly. Admittedly, Max was sleeping through from about 12 weeks but he still had a bottle and his nappy changed during the night.
On the other end of the spectrum is Kaiser and he has been fantastic (although I'm probably going to jinx myself now!). He has been sleeping through from about 8 weeks and rarely wakes for a night bottle.
Don't worry it amazed me as well.
Kai sleeps from 7 pm till around 8 am which is fantastic; having 2 kids it makes my life easier if I'm not a deranged sleep deprived mess.
It's not a brag...
You never really see bloggers posting about how great their children sleep. People are much more interested in hearing about the sleep thief than the sleep lover.
Because my kids are good sleepers I sometimes feel like I should be apologising for this. Occasionally though it doesn't always go according to plan. There are days when I have a baby who enjoys a good lay in but a toddler who likes to get up when my husband goes to work.
I really do feel for the parents of babies who just do not sleep, it must be hell and I take my hat off to you. We have friends whose children still don't sleep, so I do kind of understand.
Stages and advice:
Babies: Your baby may not want to sleep because it is hungry or over-stimulated. I can't offer much advice for breastfeeding mums but we fed both our boys on demand. What I mean by this is that they told us when they were hungry (via cues such as licking their lips) and how much they wanted to drink (they'll fall asleep when they've had enough). Some people don't agree with this type of feeding program, especially the older generation, but it worked in our favour as it meant our boys were fuller during the daytime and didn't need to wake for a feed during the night.
Toddlers: You'll find with toddlers that they don't want to sleep because they feel like they are missing out by going to bed. You need to take no prisoners when it comes to the rascals. My advice is to stick to a routine before bedtime and start to wind down. Then once they go to bed, it's lights out. After a couple of nights, they'll understand what bedtime means and then it's finally peace and quiet.
When looking back at some of the old posts I wrote about Max's routine I can remember how much we didn't know. By 3 months Max was going to bed at around 10.30 pm and waking between 8/9 am. Crazy. Now that he's 2, he's in bed by 7pm each night whether he's tired or not, with Kai following shortly after.
We never did the whole bath-bottle-bed with our kids. Their routine is bed at the same time each night, with Max getting a story of his choosing. Kids love routine and we really enforce it in our house. If Max messes about he'll get a telling off from Dad and that's usually enough to get him back under the covers. If he cries though we tend to ignore him. He wants a reaction and if you don't give him one then he soon gets bored and takes himself off to bed.
We are strict with the boys and this helps with their sleep pattern. Not everything works for other parents and you have to do what is right for your family.
It's so easy to get into bad habits when your babies are young, especially when they are your first born.
If I could give anyone advice it would be to enjoy your baby but don't make a rod for your own back, it will only cause you more work in the long run!
*This post was first seen at http://maxandkai.co.uk
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