My children are great sleepers. They take 1 nap in the afternoon and sleep 11-12 hours at night. They fall asleep on their own and normally wake up happy. This is all wonderful and great but let me tell you they did not come into this world as good sleepers. This mama had to work for it!
With my first I was new at it. I read some books on how to get baby to sleep and made a list of habits I did not want to make. I pictured my son as a 30 pound toddler and stopped myself from rocking him to sleep. I grinned and bared it and did my own version of cry it out for bed time. I watched for “sleepy signs” before putting him down for his naps and made sure that I did the Sleep, Feed, Play routine. It took me about his first four months to actually get used doing a routine and respecting it. I had to change my whole life so that I could get a decent nights sleep. We all know the the rule, if you don’t I am about to tell you it, “Sleep begets sleep”. He was sleeping through the night by 4 months!
With my Second child I was a self proclaimed “Professional”. I did it once, I can do it again. With this child, I had to work a little harder. But in the long run I had it down. using the same rules and after learning a few new tricks I had her sleeping through the night by age 5 months.
So what did I learn from all this sleeping training? Having Ninja like reflects is beneficial when teaching a child to sleep on their own. There were many nights when I would lay my child down in their bed wide awake hope I had caught them with the right amount of sleepiness for their little bodies. I would settle them down and slowly and quietly back out of the room. I knew that any sound would remind them that I was in the room and obviously trying to trick them into having a nap and the crying would begin. I now every spot on their bedroom floor that creeks. I know exactly how much to open their bedroom door before the light from the hall way will shine in their eyes.
I can tip toe up our stairs into either child’s room and then back into my bed with out anyone even knowing I went down stairs for a midnight snack. I really should have developed these mad ninja skills when I was a teenager. This skill is almost impressive enough to put on a resume. It is not only my body that has the skills of a ninja it is also my ears (well i guess my ears are on my body… anyways). I can hear through closed doors if one of my children is stirring in their bed.
These Ninja Ears come into play when my toddler, who is potty training, starts getting uncomfortable and frigidity at 2 am. I jump out of bed and help him wake up. He rushes to the potty and I save, yet again, another load of laundry. My daughters crying escalates quite quickly in the night if she can not find her beloved stuffed panda, “Boo”, so when I hear her little hands frantically searching around her sheets and her little whimper I leap out of bed in my ninja mom way and I am in and out of her room in a blink of an eye leaving my sweet little angel cuddling her black and white best friend.
So, in conclusion. I am adding Ninja to my resume. I think I proved I have earned it.