This is my Abby girl. My girl who slept through the night at 3 months. Actually, the first time that she slept through the night was at a just over one month old. Talk about panic after waking up and realizing that your baby didn’t wake you up for a feed! I knew after that first night that my prayers for a child who learned to sleep through the night quickly had been answered.
At three years old her schedule continues to be a consistent, bed at 8:00pm and wake up at 8:00am. We didn’t necessarily have to sleep coach Abby. I did a few things to get her to that point but she seemed to want to sleep and, wanted to sleep on her own in her cradle/crib. I am not saying this to brag about how amazing my child is, although she is amazing for so many reasons. Abby brought other challenges that I didn’t foresee, challenges that arose because she seemed to need more sleep than most.
Some examples of challenges that I have had with Abby:
- She is grumpy in the morning. Currently my two little girls share a room. My youngest, Olivia, likes to wake up between 6 and 7. I will leave her for a bit because as someone who also needs more sleep I like to lay in bed for a bit. Abby often wakes up when I go in to get Olivia from her crib. Once she sees me she knows it’s ok to get up and wants to start her day. Most mornings when this happens she is content to curl up on my comfy chair and cuddle in a blanket until she is actually ready to start the day, but some mornings she whines uncontrollably. In this instance I send her back to bed. Even if it is just for a five minute reset. This often changes her mindset and overtime it has helped her realize that just because Olivia is awake doesn’t mean she has to be. After a few months of this, she is now more likely to stay in bed until she is ready to get up on her own. Or until she hears Daddy’s voice in the kitchen.
- Removing her nap. Up until about two months ago Abby was still napping every day. We had capped her naps to one hour at this point, (it was taking her longer to fall asleep at night) but she still seemed to need the little pick me up through out the day. However, before a vacation with my family we made the decision to remove them all together. There were some days when she wasn’t falling asleep and if she did fall asleep she was starting to wake up after about 45 minutes on her own. We knew that it would be difficult to schedule a consistent nap for her during the day with so many people around so about a week before we left we changed her schedule. During the vacation we did have her nap a couple days just to give her a break from the constant chaos, but most days she stayed up for the full day. Upon returning from vacation we instituted a rest time. We turn on a movie for her and then Mommy and Daddy can get a few things done while she rests. For the first month she still fell asleep during this time. However, now she stays awake unless we have had a busy morning with lots of fresh air.
- Being Overtired. Without a nap we find find that by 7:00 Abby gets overtired. This often results in her getting quite hyper and silly. Putting her to bed earlier isn’t an option because we have to get Olivia to bed first. We have always read stories with her in our family room before bed. I find that this helps her to wind down and focus on bed time. When we get to her room I sing her a song and talk with her about her day. There are times when she doesn’t want me to leave the room and will start crying if I say it’s time for me to go. I quickly learned that I couldn’t give in to this as it would just make it worse the next day. So, I now make the promise to her that I will check on her before I go to bed. The important thing here is that I actually do it. If she asks in the morning I don’t want to have to lie to her. I have even started putting another teddy bear beside her in bed so if she wakes up she knows I have been there.
I have very much appreciated that my child likes to sleep. We know that bedtime will be relatively easy, she will fall asleep quickly and it is very rare that she wakes up in the night. After making a few tweaks to the routine I was able to get to a place where she wants to go to bed at night with no argument.
If you have any questions about coaching your child please schedule a discovery call. I would love to help you strategize and work with your child to help them be the best sleepers they can be.