Sleep Schedules, Late Naps, Cranky Kids – Oh My!

“What am I supposed to do with this kid?” I have heard it over and over. Moms tired, struggling, and frustrated. Kids don’t come with a manual, especially when it comes to their sleeping habits and schedules.

Moms get tired and confused, trying to do the same thing that worked yesterday, and not understanding why Johnny just won’t fall asleep because he’s overly tired.

Moms will resort to about anything, just to get their little one to fall asleep for nap time. You may think it’s crazy. They do not! Some of the favorites I’ve heard are setting them in a seat on the running dryer, hoping the vibration will lull their bundle of joy to dream world. While others resort to using an entire tank of gas just to get their baby to doze off. Unfortunately, with most of those, as soon as you stop or turn the engine off, your little one is staring you down from the back seat… wide awake.

Of course, as they get older, kids’ napping habits change – seamingly overnight – without telling a soul. It’s up to mom (or Mister Mom) to figure it all out. Sure, there are the What to Expect When You’re Expecting books and plenty more to read. However, when the rubber meets the road, there is no one cookie cutter answer because each child is different, as well as their situation.

Take twins or any multiples for instance – in order to have any kind of life, they MUST be put on the same schedule. I remember laughing so hard reading Juggling Twins while I was still pregnant with mine. Having only had two singletons up to that point, some of those things the author was describing, I just couldn’t imagine. Now, having lived it, I TOTALLY get it and understand why people without multiples don’t quite “get it” either. In order to get both kiddos on the same nap schedule, you are bound to, almost daily, put someone in a crib before they are ready to sleep, while the other one may crash out instantly. Of course, half way through the first one’s nap, the second decides he’s going to fall asleep finally, after playing happily for an hour. And, trust me, trying to remove one to let the other sleep is not a good answer! Most of the time, whoever decides to stay awake knows the routine and is a happy little clam just to play in bed and watch his brother sleep.

As they get older, their naps change. Every child I’ve had has put me through a phase of “do they need one nap or two?” and even “have we moved from an early nap to a later one?”

My boys went through this around 2 1/2. They were getting therapy through Babies Can’t Wait, and I was doing therapy with them daily when the therapists weren’t here. There were days that we completely wore them out. They were cranky, rolling on the floor crying, or screaming at me. However, once they were in bed, they would get quiet. Several times, though, I would find an hour into it, they weren’t actually sleeping, but playing quietly. By then, they really WERE tired and would drift off to sleep. Then, the following day, I’d try to hold them off, thinking they would need sleep later, but by that time, I would have even crankier kids!

It sure was a fine balance… some days they wouldn’t nap at all, and others, they would be in there for hours on end because of their crazy play-sleep or sleep-play opposite their brother!

Fortunately, since then, they have started Special Needs Preschool which wears them out most days, coupled with them being a bit older – I think we have finally found a better napping schedule.

You are never guaranteed a constant nap time or schedule, though. They are real human beings who you can’t just turn on and off. Their bodies are changing and growing at such a rapid pace during the years from birth to four. Because of that, most kids still need some sleep, even if it only goes down to two naps per week. Even my 6-year old still takes naps when he really needs them. And I trust that he will slow down when he does. It works every time. However, because my twins are not like the typical 3-year olds out there, they have always required more sleep than my other two did when they were the same age. Their pediatrician isn’t worried, and neither am I. I think it’s like the difference between an adult needing 6 hours of sleep at night and they are good to go versus someone else needing 9 hours.

And then there’s the late napping dilemma. If you put them in bed too early, they may not nap. If you wait too long, they won’t go to sleep at bedtime. There is certainly a fine balance between finding that sweet spot where you aren’t dealing with cranky kids… because anything off the sweet spot can lead to cranky in a heartbeat!

So, what’s one to do? You pay attention to the cues your little one is giving you. Are they already cranky? Rubbing eyes? Laying down? My boys have even gone into their room, pulled their blankets and bears out of their cribs, and laid down on the floor with them. If that isn’t an obvious clue, I don’t know what is!!

Just remember, they will survive this period and so will you. Just keep taking your cues from them, but also know that you may need to step in to do what’s best for them whether they want to or not. You know they are happy when they wake up, after they have rested. But I’m sure they aren’t thinking that when all they want to do is play with their new toy truck. Stick with what you know, don’t sweat the small stuff, and be sure you always show a good attitude towards nap time. It will make it that much easier and them more willing to lay down, whether sleepy or not.

How have you struggled getting your little one to nap?

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Implement These Critical Steps Tonight and Your Little One Will Be Sleeping Through the Night in No Time

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JessBio200 Sleep Schedules, Late Naps, Cranky Kids   Oh My!Jessica Stone is a wife, mom to 4, and owner of her own businesses in the fitness and essential oils industries. She has 3 special needs children, one which has an undiagnosed neuro-muscular condition that limits her mobility, and her twins are currently receiving therapy for sensory defensiveness, physical mobility, fine motor skills, and speech. She enjoys sharing what she has learned through her trials, experience, research, and tools that have helped her children’s health with other parents who are looking for support, encouragement, and helpful information. Get her FREE gift to you, 30 Easy Snacks Your Kids Will Devour: Eating Healthy Never Got So Simple, to help you feed your kids quick & healthy! Connect with Jess live today on Facebook!

Sleep Schedules, Late Naps, Cranky Kids – Oh My!

Sometimes We All Need Some Fun

Living in the world of special needs can be exhausting. With all the communication challenges, the physical demands, and even the emotional ups and downs, we can ALL use a break sometimes.

Even the twins understand that!

The other night, after eating, playing, brushing teeth, and knowing it was almost bedtime, the boys decided they needed a stress reliever, and this is what we got…

Just within the last few months, both boys have gotten comfortable physically playing with each other like this. It’s so nice to see the therapy they have been going through working well and getting them out of their sensory processing shells!

It’s also good to see that the boys can find ways to relieve stress, as well. Of course, they feel the same frustrations that I do when I can’t seem to guess what they want or need. They can’t communicate it very well either.

Watching them get in great fun like this does a mom’s heart good.

Now… just to figure out how to relieve MY stress… I’m thankful to have my essential oils to help!

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SHARING IS CARING.

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JessBio200 Sometimes We All Need Some FunJessica Stone is a wife, mom to 4, and owner of her own businesses in the fitness and essential oils industries. She has 3 special needs children, one which has an undiagnosed neuro-muscular condition that limits her mobility, and her twins are currently receiving therapy for sensory defensiveness, physical mobility, fine motor skills, and speech. She enjoys sharing what she has learned through her trials, experience, research, and tools that have helped her children’s health with other parents who are looking for support, encouragement, and helpful information. Get her FREE eBooklet Five Steps to Losing Those Last 10 Pounds today for simple steps to help you trim up and fit into those fashionable clothes you’ve always wanted to wear! Connect with Jess live today on Facebook!

Sometimes We All Need Some Fun

Implement These Critical Steps Tonight and Your Little One Will Be Sleeping Through the Night in No Time

The sleepless nights. The exhaustion. Not thinking clearly. Not remembering what you ate for breakfast. Or wait… did you eat breakfast?

Or even those times you fall asleep on your way to the pillow because you know in three hours, on the dot, that little one will be screaming for more food, to be changed, and to be rocked back to sleep.

The great news is that there are steps you can implement tonight that will get your child on track to good sleep habits and sleeping through the night quickly.

1: Create a sleep-friendly environment

Make sure you have turned down the lights, the room is quiet, and your little one knows it’s bedtime by the change in your mood and body language. When you are hyped up and noisy, it makes children get hyped up, too. Change conversations to whispering, if anything must be said at all.

Turn off as many lights as possible. God made our bodies to sleep while it’s dark and rise in the morning with the sunlight. Don’t assume that they need a nightlight. In most cases, with our four kids, we would only turn on a small light (or even light from another room with the door cracked works, too) when we got up once they were awake for a mid-night feeding.

2: Create a routine

Babies and kids, alike, thrive on routine. They get in a groove and start knowing what to expect, even at the tiny age of just a few weeks old. Create patterns and schedules. If you feed first, the change diapers, then get dressed in pajamas, do it in that order every evening. Also, do your best to start the routine at the same time each evening. I realize in some cases, that’s just impossible because someone is having an off night or is extra hungry.

However, the more you stick with it, the faster they will get it and anticipate it.

It won’t take long to associate sleep with that routine, as well. It’s just the next natural thing in the progression in the routine.

3: Create a happy kid by creating a happy tummy

Infants fill up more at night. All four of my kids did this. Around 8pm, they would start their “dinner” feeding, but then only go about 1 1/2 hours before the next feeding. With my first child, I questioned it and thought maybe there was something wrong. However, since then, I realized it’s a built-in gift from God to mommies – babies know they need to be extra full so they will sleep in longer chunks of time (remember, the goal is to get past just the 2-3 straight hours of sleep to the 6-10 hours range). Mommies can function a WHOLE lot better with a longer chunk of sleep at once. If you’ve been there, you know what I mean… you feel refreshed, revived, and like you can face anything after that first night you get six hours of straight sleep! If they want to eat more and more often, let them.

It may feel like you are attached to them for three hours, but the six hours of sleep you’ll get will be worth every minute.

4: Learn to let go

One of the hardest things for a mom to do is let their children cry. I know. I’m a mom… four times over. I get it. I know that burning, sinking feeling in your heart to race in the nursery and rescue your little one. After all, you are MOMMY! You are THE Nurturer! It’s YOUR job!

Well, when it comes to getting your little one to sleep, let yourself off the hook. There are just some times they need to cry themselves to sleep.

It will not hurt them. It will not scar them. If anything, you will be teaching them that all is well, it’s ok, they can do this on their own. Were you planning on rocking them to sleep in their college dorm? The quicker you let them self-soothe, the faster they will catch on and learn how to get themselves to sleep rather than being dependent on your or daddy to make it happen.

Now, I can see you squirming in your seat, and that’s ok. Let me clarify something. The only way this step works is if you have, first, make sure all other needs are met. If they start to cry after you have put them in bed (hint, hint: this works for toddlers, too… however, you have to do this much less with toddlers if you start when they are infants), run through the checklist – clean diaper? full tummy? warm enough? dark enough? quiet enough? pacifier? feeling ok?

If you know all their major needs are met, more than likely, the current crying is stemming from being over tired or they just want you to soothe them instead of learning to soothe themselves.

I’m not telling you to let them cry for an hour straight. However, sometimes it may take them a good 15 minutes (or less!) to figure it out.

It will be hard. I know that. If necessary, ask your spouse if they will help you with willpower to not go into the nursery. Also, if you must, wear ear plugs. Trust me, you’ll hear the “I’m starving! Come feed me!” cry that comes hours later even with ear plugs!

I have successfully done this with four children, including two babies together, at the same time, every night, consistently. You can do this, too, and get the same results I did! Three of my kids were sleeping through the night at 6 weeks old and one of them was around 2 weeks old and have been great sleepers since (current ages 10, 6, 2 1/2 and 2 1/2).

You can do this. I believe in you, and I believe that baby or toddler of yours will be sleeping through the night before you know it, and you will be getting that much-needed rest you deserve!

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SHARING IS CARING.

Don’t forget to pass this along to your other mommy friends that struggle with their little ones getting a good night’s rest! Simply use the sharing buttons below.

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JessBio200 Implement These Critical Steps Tonight and Your Little One Will Be Sleeping Through the Night in No TimeJessica Stone is a wife, mom to 4, and owner of her own businesses in the fitness and essential oils industries. She has 3 special needs children, one which has an undiagnosed neuro-muscular condition that limits her mobility, and her twins are currently receiving therapy for sensory defensiveness, physical mobility, fine motor skills, and speech. She enjoys sharing what she has learned through her trials, experience, research, and tools that have helped her children’s health with other parents who are looking for support, encouragement, and helpful information. Get her FREE eBooklet Five Steps to Losing Those Last 10 Pounds today for simple steps to help you trim up and fit into those fashionable clothes you’ve always wanted to wear! Connect with Jess live today on Facebook!

Implement These Critical Steps Tonight and Your Little One Will Be Sleeping Through the Night in No Time

What’s Your Kid’s Personality Have to Do With It? Everything.

“Don’t do that!” “Stop hitting your brother!” “Go clean your room!” “Didn’t I tell you it’s time to go? Now, let’s GO!” “Focus.” “It doesn’t need to be perfect. Just leave it.” “Stop climbing the furniture!” “No, you can’t jump from up there!!”

Have any of these phrases come out of your mouth?

Did you know that you are most likely saying them because of your child’s personality and not because they are being defiant, lazy, competitive, or even rebellious?

Kids have personalities built into them from birth just like adults do. Some are more obvious in others, just like adults. You have the very focused, driven, bossy kids. You have the fun, energetic, want-to-get-into-everything-and-go-everywhere kind of kids. You have the laid-back, easy-going, peaceful kids. And even the OCD, perfectionist, tidy and orderly kids.

Personalities may also drive their interests. Some kids like bugs. Some like sports. Some like books. Some like the dramatic arts, like acting and dance.

You may have done research already on personality types. A lot of companies have potential employees take one or more tests to determine their personality prior to hiring them to see if they will be a good fit for the company and the job. You may have heard of them as animals, like oxen or lions, or perhaps colors. Or even some weird words like Sanguine and Phlegmatic, or even GEMS, like multi-millionaire, Dani Johnson, teaches.

Each of these personalities is based on a dominant neurotransmitter in their brains that they have from birth, which Dr. Eric Braverman talks about in his book, The Edge Effect. Those four neurotransmitters are GABA, acetylcholine, dopamine, and serotonin.

Why is this important, you ask? Because knowing your child’s personality-type will open up a whole new world to why they act the way they do, seek the things they do, how to motivate them to do what’s necessary in the household, and how to respect them and their role to play in your family.

Here are short explanations of what each personality may look like in a child:

An acetylcholine-driven child will be the one wanting to go out and do things. They will be fairly popular in school. Unfortunately, these are also the kids that tend to be labeled ADD or ADHD because of their difficulty staying focused on tasks and their learning style. They tend to be the risk-takers ~ the ones who want to leap from the top bunk onto the floor, rolling when landing, and get up pretend sword-fighting with their siblings. They love playing team sports. They are hardly ever on time.

A GABA-driven child will be the one who is fairly quiet, thinks Science and Math are cool, and get great grades most of the time. They are perfectionists when it comes to just about everything. They are orderly. They may or may not have a clean room, however, if you ask them, they will wish their room was clean and probably, even in the mess, know exactly where everything is. They are very particular about things, especially when someone else moves something of theirs out of place. They prefer things neat and tidy. And they may need to be taught how to get along with others. They are almost always on time.

A dopamine-driven child is extremely driven to excel, both at school and in sports. They prefer one-on-one sports, such as fencing or wrestling rather than baseball or football. They love name-brand things and feel like they always need the greatest and the best of whatever item they are looking to buy. They are helpful and are always seeking out the next thing to accomplish.

A serotonin-driven child is one of the easiest to raise. They are extremely easy-going, relaxed, and definitely a people-pleaser. They don’t like confrontation. They are the peace-keepers. They also love animals and are very helpful, even sometimes without being asked. They are very compliant and don’t need a lot of reasoning behind things.

Are you starting to understand your child better?

In a family of 6, I have, I believe, 3 acetylcholine dominant natures, 2 GABA natures, and 1 serotonin nature. However, I personally have some dopamine tendancies in me, so I’m very familiar with the way that one works, as well. And just because each person has a dominant nature, it’s not good to be deficient in any of the neurotransmitters. However, a dominant one will almost always show itself through your child’s personality.

Of course, there are several combinations of these personalities in people. Children can be groomed to be more of a people-person or not be easily offended and hold a grudge, for instance, if that’s not in their nature. However, raising kids works best if you let them be them and work WITH their personality-type. For example, an acetylcholine-driven child is motivated by fun! Next time he needs to clean his room, try telling him he has more time to play soccer with his friends if he will cut his cleaning time in half than normal. See what happens! A serotonin-driven child is motivated by a cause. Tell them you need their help with some kittens found in your backyard, but only after they clean their room.

Above all, don’t try to change your children into you. They are who they are. It’s built into them. You can try to fight them on things all you want, but you aren’t able to change the chemical connections and dominating neurotransmitters in their brains, no matter how much you bribe, yell, nag, or repeat yourself. Some of these tendancies are built into them. You just need to learn to embrace who they are and figure out the best way to work with that, encouraging them in their strengths and training them in their weaknesses.

They love you for who you are, just as you are. Never forget that!

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SHARING IS CARING.

I hope you realize how precious your child is, just like they are… and that the best way to support and encourage them is through building on their strengths and grooming into them their weaknesses. I know other parents need to get this information, too. Please partner with me to get this to your family & friends. Simply use the sharing buttons below!

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JessBio200 Whats Your Kids Personality Have to Do With It?  Everything.Jessica Stone is a wife, mom to 4, and owner of her own businesses in the fitness and essential oils industries. She has 3 special needs children, one which has an undiagnosed neuro-muscular condition that limits her mobility, and her twins are currently receiving therapy for sensory defensiveness, physical mobility, fine motor skills, and speech. She enjoys sharing what she has learned through her trials, experience, research, and tools that have helped her children’s health with other parents who are looking for support, encouragement, and helpful information. Get her FREE eBooklet Five Steps to Losing Those Last 10 Pounds today for simple steps to help you trim up and fit into those fashionable clothes you’ve always wanted to wear! Connect with Jess live today on Facebook!

What’s Your Kid’s Personality Have to Do With It? Everything.

These Two Things Will Take Your Child Further in Life Than Anything Else

Children these days seem to be less and less appreciative. Have you noticed or is it just me? Next time you are out shopping, take a look around. Listen to what kids are saying to their parents, to their friends, even to strangers.

What has happened?

As I was growing up, boy, you bet I said “thank you” and “may I please have” and all the other similar words that my parents expected out of me. I think that’s the kind of generation in which we grew up.

But what happened? What happened to our kids that made them so angry, so disrespectful, and so assuming that things are OWED to them?

Unfortunately, parents, it falls on us.

We have done a poor job of instilling in them the two things that will take them further in life than anything else:

~ Loving People – ALL People
~ Being Polite

And guess what? Neither one has to be hard.

Recently in my house, we have had a breakthrough with our 2 year olds finally starting sign language. They are so happy when they do it now, they even reach out for a high-five afterward. It dawned on me the other day that whether they understand it yet or not, we NEED to have them sign “thank you” after they receive something.

They are never too young to learn.

And just think, if we start now when they are two, how do you suppose they will grow up? Like a stuck up brat or like the thankful and respectful child that they are called to be?

Frankly, I want the latter for my kids.

And let’s talk about this “loving people” thing. Why are people, generally, so judgmental these days? I mean really, do we need all that publicity about Angelina Jolie’s right leg from the dress she wore at the Oscars? Or the fact that, oh my goodness, Madonna could be marrying someone again and she is eight years older than his mother?

Let me ask you this… so what? What does that have to do with you? Why do we care so much to point out others’ flaws?

Now here’s the hardest question: what does pointing out their flaws do for YOU and do for THEM?!

God designed us to love all people. That’s the second greatest command, actually. Did you know that? And loving all people includes the grumpy man in line ahead of you at the grocery store, the teacher who is vague and rude, the mailman that left your package out in the rain, the other soccer mom that practically cussed out your kid for blocking her kid’s goal shot, and even the person who talks behind your back about a simple mistake you made that they can’t forget.

It can be difficult. There is no doubt about that. However, if we are looking to extend people grace, then loving them doesn’t have to be hard.

What are you teaching your kids when you fly off the mouth at someone, complain about what they did, and disrespect them by sharing their mistakes with others?

And which type of adult do you think their boss and co-workers will want to work with one day? Do you think a potential wife or husband is going to want a selfish, bitter, and resentful spouse?

As parents, aren’t we supposed to make this a better world by what we instill in our kids as the next generation of leaders?

I want to be proud at the end of my days for raising loving, respectful, polite, obedient, and trustworthy kids. How about you?

Share your experience and thoughts in a comment below.

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SHARING IS CARING.

Partner with me in getting this message out to parents, encouraging them to raise respectful, trustworthy, honorable kids! Simply use the sharing buttons below.

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JessBio200 These Two Things Will Take Your Child Further in Life Than Anything ElseJessica Stone is a wife, mom to 4, and owner of her own businesses in the fitness and essential oils industries. She has 3 special needs children, one which has an undiagnosed neuro-muscular condition that limits her mobility, and her twins are currently receiving therapy for sensory defensiveness, physical mobility, fine motor skills, and speech. She enjoys sharing what she has learned through her trials, experience, research, and tools that have helped her children’s health with other parents who are looking for support, encouragement, and helpful information. Get her FREE eBooklet Five Steps to Losing Those Last 10 Pounds today for simple steps to help you trim up and fit into those fashionable clothes you’ve always wanted to wear! Connect with Jess live today on Facebook!

These Two Things Will Take Your Child Further in Life Than Anything Else