Thursday, December 3, 2009

It's the miracle of sleep

Sleep begets sleep.

You read that line on every parenting blog, website, and book you come across in the early days of a newborn. How in fact, the more sleep and rested the child is, the easier they will be to get to sleep and sleep for a longer period of time.

As a true type-A rule-follower, I took this theory to heart.  Spending hours of my life trying to get Maddie to sleep the minute she looked the least bit sleepy.  Trying to predict schedules, cycles, any kind of pattern.

If you've read this blog over any period of time, you'll know that I was a failure (CAPITAL F!) at getting any kind of solid sleep for the first 1.3 years of Maddie's life. Sometimes she'd sleep thru the night. Usually when my mom would be visiting (I called her my sleep charm during the 6-12 month stage).

And then all of a sudden, she started to actually sleep through the night, consistently (oh, the allusive c-word). It was bliss. It IS bliss. I love not waking up several times throughout the night. And when molars or a fever or a random coughing cold interrupt that status quo, I go a teeny bit mental.

But you know what is one step beyond that bliss? (What is one step beyond bliss? Rapture? Euphoria? Yeah, I like euphoria)...

That one step - is called learning the "Magic Window".

What is the Magic Window you ask? Well, I'm sure any seasoned mother will roll her eyes at this post, as really, in many eyes' what I've figured out (and lovingly named) is no less obvious to them than 2+2=4. But for me? It's like finding shangrila.

The Magic Window is that special period of time in the evening in which we start and end the bedtime routine. For us - it's no later a start than 7:10pm and no later an end than 7:45pm.

Bedtime routine consists of bath (preceeded by fight to get clothes off, chasing naked baby down hallway, pleading for her to get in the bath, avoiding splish-splashy-wetness of tub-play and then pleading for her to actually get out of the bath); pj's; books; bottle (yes, judgy-mc-judgers - she still gets a bottle - I've found my shangrila, you think I'm messing with it now?) + bed.

This entire routine used to take much closer to an hour or more. My talented Hubs has whittled that down to a solid 30-minute window. Just one of his many talents...

And what happens if we get her to bed between 7:30-7:45pm? She sleeps for 12 hours.


In fact - we're having to wake her up at 7:30am most days, so she gets to daycare on time... looking back at a year (or 6 months) from now ... that's more than a little ironic.

Although, as always when I post any kind of comment about enjoying the good sleep, it only means she'll revert her ways and start awakening at 6am on the dot again...



Joanna and Marcus said...

You just blogged about my life,
but we get up at 5:00am these days. Or 5:15 to be exact.
Gooooo Maddie!

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