Earlier this week I was speaking with a friend about her 3 year-old. She was worried about his current sleep habits (or lack there of) and was looking for my “expert” advice. As the mother of three, I’ve had more than a few episodes of sleepless nights beginning with their infancy when you don’t know why they’re crying to the toddler temper “I don’t want to go to bed” to the mysterious 4th grade year of unarticulated fears that kept them from sleeping through the night and sleeping over at friends. It’s enough to make a mother crazy.
In my search for sanity, I left no stone unturned. I read books. I consulted doctors. I talked to my friends. I pretty much tried every technique and solution that was offered. With that, three boys and 20 years later, here’s what I learned.
Don’t worry so much about letting them get in bed with you & not sleeping in their own rooms. People will say, “Oh, they need to learn to do that on their own … You don’t want to start a bad habit … They’ll never want to sleep by themselves! … Be firm … You have to show them who’s in charge.”
But the time goes by SO FAST! Before you know it, they grow up and they’re gone, and then you’re sleepless nights are more about where they are and what they’re doing, and you’d give anything for a few more moments of that precious quiet time together.
Besides that, have you ever met an 18-year old that still slept with their parents?! So my expert advice? Relax … Enjoy … Cherish!
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And if you’re lucky, you DO get another one or two moments of quiet time together!