Thursday, March 5
Did you know that studies have proven healthy sleep habits for your child now can directly impact their health for the rest of their lives? Or that a child not wanting a nap and not needing a nap are not one in the same?
But let's get real: While our intentions may be great, real life doesn't always allow for step-by-step approaches to getting our kids the daytime rest they need (and the sorely needed breaks we get while they nap!). Crabby kids, relatives popping in unannounced right before nap time, teething, upset bellies, that doctor appointment you can't miss, that 15 minute car nap that ruined little Johnny's afternoon siesta that led to an even more difficult bed time fight because he was so overtired...we've all been there, done that, and were all ready to pull out hair out by the end of the day.
Best-selling author and parenting expert Elizabeth Pantley recently shared with me her newest book, The No-Cry Nap Solution: Guaranteed Gentle Ways to Solve All Your Naptime Problems (Pantley), and I can't recommend this book enough.
There's a lot of great information in this book for parents of newborns through toddlerhood, and I made plenty of notes while I read. And there was also plenty of information that did not apply to our situation, some of which I skipped entirely and some of which I just skimmed (because I do plan on having another baby eventually!). But that is what is so great about Pantley's book: it's not a one-size-fit-all solution. Whether you co-sleep, nurse-to-sleep, stick to a by-the-clock schedule, or fly by the seat of your pants (like I do), you and your nap-fighting child will benefit greatly from the little bit of time it will take to sit down and read!
A few very important lessons I learned while reading Pantley's book included:
* Buttercup needs 12 hours of sleep a night and 1 to 2 hours of nap time per day for 13 to 14 hours of sleep total. Oops! I had been cutting her short by about 2 hours. We have been working on remedying that situation and I am already noticing improvements.
* Night time sleep can help make up for naps but naps cannot make up for night time sleep.
* No matter what ANYONE tells you, newborns cannot be spoiled. So baby-wear, cuddle, and hug to your hearts content.
* I am not the worst mother in the world.
* What works for us is fine. A parenting expert says so. So if Buttercup and I are happy with our she-holds-my-hand-until-she -falls-asleep-for-every-nap-and-bedtime situation, then so be it. It doesn't mean I am spoiling her and it doesn' mean I did something wrong. It just means that this is what is right for us. (I'm not sure why I needed an expert to tell me this to make me feel better, but thank you, Elizabeth. You don't know how much better this makes me feel.
I should also point out that I actually read the book. As in cover to cover. And that is a big flippin' deal because I haven't read a book since before I gave birth. This one mattered. And I think you'll agree.
Elizabeth Pantley's The No-Cry Nap Solution: Guaranteed Gentle Ways to Solve All Your Naptime Problems (Pantley) is available at Amazon.com.