It’s as if the youngest understands that in order to be in my family, he needs to live a scheduled life. Even at the tender age of almost six weeks, Noah seems to crave a schedule. And I’m extremely hungry for the structure myself, so it works out rather nicely. That is…until it doesn’t.
The last two Saturdays, although we haven’t exactly been out clubbing, have had a little more excitement that has kept us up a little later and have thrown our schedule just enough. Part of me expected more sleep as a result, or at least hoped. Part of me thought that it would have little effect since I’m up every two hours anyway. What I didn’t expect was that it would be the worst nights all week.
So after my experiment, I have come to the conclusion that children, even at the youngest of ages, need routine. I know nobody is thinking that this is rocket science, we have always known that children need routine (especially to get into a rhythm). But how much structure, how much routine is a good thing before it takes over your life to an unnecessary amount?
When I first had Drew, we were far more religious with naptime. And although we have stayed relatively consistent with Gabby’s (out of nothing more than shear exhaustion and needing some downtime from balancing two children), she definitely got slighted with her morning naps and has had to learn to be more flexible than Drew. Now that Noah is our third, I’m really counting on him to be more “go with the flow.”
I understand that we are in that very delicate phase where we are teaching him how to sleep. I understand that he’s not going to have this whole night time/day time thing perfected for a while. But how much rigidity is appropriate? If you surrender to the structure (i.e. prioritize bedtime at a certain time every single night regardless of what you are doing), are you committing to certain habits? Or is it necessary to follow a certain structure for a certain period of time just to get off on the right foot?
Say what you will about my kids, once they started sleeping they have been good sleepers (knock on wood). They usually wake up after 7:30am, night time awakenings are at a scarcity, etc. I cannot at all tell you what has made them that way, but I’m very grateful. I certainly know plenty of parents that do not have children that are good sleepers. And I’m not sure they can tell you where they went wrong.
So what does that mean for Noah? Keep doing what we’re doing? Well, I’ve never had a baby while having two other children. And I’m not sure what was the magical thing with the other two. Rather I think that they are so wound up, crazy during the day that they knock themselves out. Or maybe someone up above sees the beast I become without sleep that they blessed my children with the good sleeping gene?! Whatever it is, I want the recipe so I can recreate it!