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264 Main Street
New Paltz, NY 12561
Mon-Sat 10-6
Friday 10-8
Sunday 10-5
(845) 255-0624

Toddler Sleeping (Or Non-Sleeping)

Ember has now slept through the night 3 times, in her 18 month life – not 3 nights in a row, but rather once every few months we get a joyous surprise when we wake up, look at the clock, see it is 3 AM, 4AM, 5AM, 6AM and she is still asleep! But her more typical night involves random wakings, where she needs one of us to soothe her in some way back to sleep.

I know that sleep experts says, stop soothing her! She needs to learn to fall asleep on her own! Well, I challenge those sleep experts to come to my house for a week and give it a try. She will defy them. I am sure. I have (too) many sleep books all worn out from being fretted over, pages marked, read and reread. None of their methods worked.

It’s getting easier. She wakes up less often and needs less when she does wake, but don’t get me wrong - it’s still hard. For my little family, the most effective solution we have found so far is to do whatever it takes for each one of us to get the most sleep possible, and that's a moving target.

My younger self would never have guessed that sleep would be tied to my mothering identity, but somehow, it is. My self-confidence wavers. At a low, usually after a particularly sleep deprived point, I am very sensitive to judgment. I prickle when I sense people assume that if we only did this thing or that thing she would be sleeping by now. At a self-confident high, I know that we know our daughter best and know what does and doesn’t work for her and we are all doing our best, including Ember.

A gift to my daughter

NBNP081012I want to give my toddler, Ember, this beautiful gift: to accept her for exactly who she is. It’s a gift I want to give myself too.

I realized that too often I waste precious thought-time comparing myself to other moms and then comparing Ember to other babies.

It isn’t fair to either of us. The temptation is hard to resist, especially after Ember has a hard night with many wakings or when she wants me to hold her most of the day and I think of all the things I want to do but can’t manage to complete.

When I compare Ember to herself, I see how much she has grown, and it helps me to see her more for the beautiful child she is - I see that she sleeps much better than she used to! She is happier more often! She plays on her own sometimes now! Also, I accomplish more than I did when she was a newborn. I can write this newsletter! I read a novel last month!  Ember and I spend a lot of quality time together cuddling and playing!

She shines and sparkles just the way she is. I love her more than I ever imagined I could love. I always have, but I am now committed to loving her for exactly who she is – restless nights and all! And on that note, to loving myself for who I am too!

Do you compare yourself or your baby to others? If so, what are your thoughts on it? If not, how do you keep yourself from doing it???

Toddler as Travel Companion

NBNP081012My toddler, Ember, has flown between Montana and New York every 3 months of her life, and we’re about to embark on another adventure. Each time, I grow anxious wondering how she will do – Will she squirm and cry for the whole flight? Will she sleep at our new destination? Will she adjust to the time difference? And on and on.

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Teething

It’s 4 PM and I still have my jammies on. The dishes are piled high, the trash needs to be taken out, toys are strewn across the living room floor. The compost bucket hasn’t been emptied and has attracted the entire fruit fly population of New York . . .

What is going on?

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Alone Time

I remember walking into New Baby New Paltz after first moving here about 4 months ago. I saw a little sign that said, “It’s okay to want a break” or something along those lines. A little part of me inside breathed a sigh of relief. It was comforting to hear. After all the transitions that come with moving 2000 miles, my daughter clung to me ferociously, and I had lost the support system that I would turn to for a little break.

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