You guys are probably wondering: “What else is there to know about being a mom?” I can tell you with certainty that there are many factors into raising great kids. There are so many styles of parenting that it can get confusing to be a particular one. I’ve only been a mom for 3 short years; however, I have been extremely hands-on and proactive through it all. I have read many books, blogs, articles, magazines… (you name it) to try to be the best mother that I can be. So when I say you can trust me, it’s because I’m confident and certain in what I’m doing. Here’s what I have discovered that works so far:
Sleep training: it’s something I recommend for every parent and household. My daughter was sleep trained by 6 months. Once we did, her mood improved and consequently, so did ours. Now that we have our son Rocco, (and that I know exactly what I’m doing), we began teaching him to sleep on his own at an early age. As I mentioned in my previous “Motherhood Unlocked” post, we decided to move him to his own room and crib when he turned 4 months old. Although he still sometimes wakes up once in the middle of the night for a bottle, I’m happy that we have finally survived the 3-month newborn mark and the so-called “4-month sleep regression”.
** For more sleep training information, head over to my Sleep Training post.
Having a separate room helped us all sleep better.
Newborns tend to make all kinds of noises when they sleep. They snore, sneeze, and grunt all. night. long. They also even cry while they sleep. As first-time moms, we freak out and wake up with every little noise thinking that they need immediate attention. That’s not always the case because sometimes they’re still asleep. It’s completely normal for them to make all of these “weird” noises, so wait a few minutes before picking them up. Keep in mind that they’re learning how to breathe and adjust to their new environment. Once we moved Rocco to his room, we all slept a lot better.
Don’t worry. Middle of the night feedings will come to an end.
Also, our pediatrician recommended waiting until he’s at least 6 months of age so we can eliminate the middle-of-the-night feeding altogether. I was OK with the “crying” method when I trained Julianna. I’m not going to lie, it was hard to deal with for the first night, but her crying time was less and less each day. By the 3rd or 4th day, she stopped crying when we put her to bed. Until this day, Julianna is probably one of the best sleepers out there. She goes to bed at 8:00 P.M. and she wakes up at 9:30 a.m. every. single. day. (Blessed!) We plan to do the same with Rocco. You know why? Because it works.
The chart below changed my life!
This chart explains everything you need to know about naps, wake times, and bedtime. I didn’t know that babies need to sleep in different intervals according to their age. When I became a mother, I had no idea any of this existed. Now, I’m sharing this information with you. You’re welcome.
I was putting Julianna down for naps at the wrong times; therefore, she would take crappy and short naps resulting in a cranky baby. She was usually overtired or not tired enough to take naps. I was also letting her sleep past 5:30 P.M. which in turn affected her nighttime sleep. Nobody explained this to me. I had to research everything on my own. Using this chart seemed to work AMAZING for us and I now hope that it works for you too.
Being consistent and strict on schedules is what’s going to give you great success!
Here’s an example of Rocco’s schedule (since he’s 5 months old) it now looks like this:
Wake Time: 7:30-7:45 a.m.
Nap #1: 10:00 a.m. (drinks a 7 oz. bottle)
Wakes Up: 12:00-12:30 P.M.
Food: 12:45 PM. or 1:00 P.M. (I just introduced oatmeal. He’ll eat around 2 oz.)
Nap #2: 2:45 P.M. (drinks a 7 oz. bottle)
Wakes up: 4:45-5:00 P.M.
Food: 5:30 P.M. (Oatmeal – 2 more oz.)
Bath: Starts at 7:15 P.M.
Bedtime: 7:45 P.M. – 8:00 P.M. (drinks a 7 oz. bottle)
** Wake times sometimes change; therefore, I make changes respectively according to the chart.
Once we figured out a set schedule for the kids, I felt extremely relieved. It took so much pressure off my back. I felt like I was slowly getting my life back. Now, you may think: “there’s more?” Yes. There’s more. Trust me. What about our toddler? Yes. She needs tons of attention too.
I figured all of this out by trial and error. I now know how IT ALL WORKS.
Julianna was showing a lot of jealousy signs when Rocco was born. She was trying to get attention in every way possible. She would cry over everything, wouldn’t change her diaper, didn’t want to get dressed, or even get in the car seat. It was HO-RRI-BLE. Once I had Rocco’s schedule down to a science, I began dedicating a lot of my time to Julianna. I spent more one-on-one time with her which I knew she really needed – more than I thought, actually.
Leave your phone behind. Seriously.
Spending QUALITY time with my daughter was crucial. We are so consumed with our phones, social media, TV shows, routines, and our normal daily lives that we ignore what’s actually in front of us. Kids can tell when you’re not paying full attention to them and that’s when they start acting up. I once read an article that explained that a child’s behavior can improve tremendously when you dedicate at least 15 minutes of one-on-one playtime. During this time, we play with her toys, I teach her colors, shapes, numbers, puzzles, build Legos, and much, much more. We have also been going to the pool throughout the summer, visiting indoor playgrounds, attending birthday parties, and having playdates. Don’t forget that these times are precious. Kids learn everything from us. Try to make every moment memorable. At least I like to do so. I never take any second with my kids for granted.
On the upcoming post, I’ll be sharing 3 things that are crucial when having kids. Unfortunately, I had to find out the hard way.
Share this post with anybody that you know that’s expecting, a new mom, or anyone you think it could help. I am happy for your constant support and I’m also happy that I’m able to guide you on this topic. I know it can get very stressful and confusing.
Please leave your comments and questions below. Let’s get the conversation started!