Tuesday, March 8, 2016

BFBN Week: Babywise FAQ's

The ladies who blog with the Babywise Friendly Blog Network are answering your frequently asked questions for practically implementing babywise principles into your daily life and routine. Each of us are taking a day of this week to be "spotlighted" so to speak, and every other day of the week we will feature a summary of another blogger and link you to their blog! Tuesday is my day! Here goes!

One of my favorite things to do is to help troubleshoot little one's sleeping problems and find a direct (or sometimes, not so direct) path to helping those sweet babies find and want the good sleep they NEED. My close personal friends know that this is a passion of mine, and so I get asked lots of random questions throughout the week, and I always try my best to help. I also am on several online mommy forum's and several fb pages for moms to go and ask questions - and I always see a lot of the same questions being asked there as well. I never will have all the right answers, but when I can help a mom help her baby to sleep better my heart swells with joy. I know the joy of getting those kids to sleep!

I get asked a couple of questions a lot, and most of them have one answer. Those questions are:
1. I can't get {insert cute baby's name here} to nap longer than 45 minutes at a time. He/She won't take a full nap!
2. {insert cute baby's name here} takes FOREVER to fall asleep for naps. He/She will never settle down, and just keep talking to themselves (or crying) when I lay them down!
3. {Insert cute baby's name here} keeps waking up WAY early in the morning. Like at 4 or 5 am and I can't get them to fall back asleep!
4. {Insert cute baby's name here} wakes up from a nap SCREAMING. He/She never wakes up happy.

Most of the time, these questions lead me to the same root problem: Overtiredness. Having an overtired baby or toddler can make a mom feel like she is running around in circles - and coming to no real resolution to the problem. A baby who wakes mid-nap, wakes up early in the morning, or can't seem to fall asleep in a normal/appropriate amount of time are usually all signs that the baby has fallen into an overtired cycle. At some point, the baby has fallen of track a little, and is missing out on some sleep that they need. Those are classic signs of overtiredness - so lets look at signs of being tired so that you can avoid the "over" part of being tired.

Signs of tiredness
The first thing I try to do is keep the clock in the back of my head. I try to think about the appropriate amount of time my baby should be awake. I know that a newborn probably can't handle more than 45-55 minutes of being awake. I know a 9 month old can hang out for 2ish hours or so. Keeping my baby's age and the amount of time they can handle being awake is key for me. At around the time I think they should start getting sleepy - I look for a few things:

1. Not being able/interested in a toy. If I hand my baby a toy, and they bat it away - or fuss at it, I know its probably time to start winding down for a nap.
2. Not giving me eye contact or smiling back at me when I try to interact with them.  If they were happily smiling and connecting with me, and then they begin to become blank in their stares and uninterested in any interaction then its probably about that time.
3. Rubbing their eyes. Watch out on this one. This can indicate that its a little late in the "get me in bed" game - but if you see this happening early on and its not necessarily paired with fussing - then its a good time to put baby down. This is certainly flirting with that line though - so be forewarned!

Late signs of tiredness are: crying and fussing, yawning, and sometimes - like I mentioned before- rubbing their eyes. Its quite possible that you have missed their "happy window" of time to get them down easily and smoothly if you are seeing these signs. Some baby's are so sensitive to their window - and really will refuse to take a good nap if you miss it. Personality wise, some baby's will be/can be stretched to be a little more flexible - so watch your baby's patterns  and as you learn your baby  you will know where they stand and you can follow suit for them accordingly.

If you feel like your baby might be in an overtired cycle, I suggest a nap/sleep bootcamp. This simply means making their sleep your priority and putting other things aside to stay at home and work it out. For several days don't let them miss a single opportunity for sleep when they need it. Pay close attention to the clock and their cues. Watching both the clock and their cues can really teach you a lot about your baby's sleep patterns and you will quickly learn what they do to tell you when they are tired and ready to lay down. You will likely find what their "happy window" is and if they can be stretched a little or a lot before naps. You will also be able to tell as they grow when they need longer amounts of time awake. Sometimes, moms can be in such a fog that we can't see past the problem to move to a solution. Taking time to look a little deeper into what is going on will usually give us the answer!

Here is the schedule for this weeks bloggers! Check them out at the links below!

Also today, Kimberly is blogging about being a TWIN MOM! Something I will never pretend to know a thing about. Her twin daughters are still newborns, and so she is in throws of implementing babywise with twins and why she feels like having her twins on a nice routine will benefit her family. She implemented this with her older son, and found that it worked well - and she talks a lot about why it makes sense to her. She also tells you how she is getting started with it from the get go! Head on over to Team Cartwright - especially if you have multiples to check her out!

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