some people call me the sleep nazi, and they're right

early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. you've heard it before, blah blah blah. but is it true?

for me it is, but in our case, makes you SANE. phoebe has been sick this entire weekend, which means more night time feedings, more holding, and more fussing. she is just not her usual happy self. and it's not just because of the fever, she isn't SLEEPING enough.

and as a parent, my entire household and parenting skills revolve around one thing, schedules, naps and early bedtimes. i do not, nor ever have, think that this works for everyone, parents do their thing and if you're happy i'm chill with that. but for ty and i sleep means everything.

happy baby, happy children, happy parents. happy happy happy. which brings me to what we refer to as the "sleep bible" around our house. yes, it sits on my bedsite table right next to my scriptures. it is marked and flagged and dog-eared and worn from many readings. why do i read it so much? because i always forget, or start to slip back into bad habits. it will start to show with the girls, and i realize i've got to get back in the saddle.

the book is HEALTHY SLEEP HABITS, HAPPY CHILD. and that aint no joke my friends. this is a book you should judge by it's cover. sure it's a little disorganized so you have to read it over nad over and over again. i've talked about it before on the blog but can't remember when and where. i'll find it later.

it all happened when lucy was 10mos old, she wasn't on a schedule and going to bed at 10pm, but that wasn't such a big deal as we only had one child. but she was getting fussier, and fussier, shorter attention span, more of a temper, and just not as fun as she used to. and i always have been able to say, "wow, this sucks. maybe i'm doing something wrong?" story of my life. so i talked to a bunch of people about it, & my cousin recommended this book. oh, it is the most blessed thing to happen to me as a parent, besides birthing my monkeys.  and ty agrees wholeheartedly. when we have a friend have a baby shower i ask, "should i give them an outfit or THE BOOK?", he always says, "THE BOOK". because for him as a husband, our schedule goes like this,

  • -phoebe is in bed asleep by 5:30-6pm. last night is was 5pm. she nurses once between 2-4am, and wakes up between 7-8am. it's amazing. every night i don't believe she is going to sleep that long, but guess what fools? she does!
  • -the girls go to bed at 7pm-asleep by 8:30 (they talk a lot-hmmm, must get it from ty)
  • -ty and i get 3-4 HOURS every night alone before i hit the hay. 3-4 HOURS people. yeah, it's pretty amazing. sure he does homework and i read, clean or watch a movie. but it is a relaxing, quiet time. it is a sacred time. it is so very amazing. ( i know i already said that, but it is)
the most important aspects of this book is it covers all different types of parenting styles, whether you cosleep, share a room, want to let the "cry it out" or use a graduated method where you slowly move out of the room a little each night, it works  for everyone. but it this is the crappy part, IT IS ALL UP TO YOU AS THE PARENT. i know right? more stuff to have to work on. the more consistent i can be with keeping their schedules and getting home on time to give them their naps in the day, & a bath and read books at night before bed. the better it is.

i am fortunate enough to be a stay at home mom, where i have complete control over their schedules, routines and being home. they get naps because we are always home, very annoying for some, but it works for us. they go to bed at the same time every night, because i make sure we are always home. kind of a buzz kill on your social life, but we save money with babysitting because all she has to do is sit and watch tv while the girls sleep.

so if you ever come up to me and say,  "wow, your kids are so happy, and so well behaved," or "they go to bed AT WHAT TIME?" i'll smile and say, read this book!  but it's just like any other quality of living. anyone can ask, "wow, how do they get so trim & healthy? they'll tell you, "i exercise and eat good foods."  well crap, i knew that, tell me something i don't know.

it's the DOING that's the hard part. because it's a habit, which means you conistently are choosing that habit, over your old ones. and any time you choose to do something good for you, ( keeping a clean house, going to church, reading your scriptures, serving others, getting an education, going to the dentist, cooking your own meals, etc. etc. etc.) it ALWAYS gets worse before it gets better. you crave the sugary foods more than ever, you want to sleep in instead of going working out, you want to go to the lake instead of church, you want to eat out, you want to go out and do stuff all during the day instead of coming home and giving the girls a nap, you want life to be EASIER.  but once you see RESULTS it is so worth it. healthy people make the choices they do because it's more worth it to them than to choose otherwise. people attend, and graduate from college because they know, that even though it sucks, it will be worth it in the end. we have been having the girls on a schedule for so long we see the RESULTS and it is more worth it for us to have a schedule than to not. it's the doing, not just the saying and thinking about it.

as my mother always says, the proof is in the pudding.  


Danna Banana said...

amen and amen

Anonymous said...

OK, you musy be phycic! I was on my phone at 4:30am going through your blog trying to find the name of tis book. I knew you had mentioned it before and so I was searching with no luck. Thank you for making my tired morning a little easier by posting this. :)

Trent & Tara said...

oh i didn't realize you found your sleep solutions after Lucy was 10 months old. It happens to all of us. You think your child will sleep perfect and then you end up wanting to pull your hair out. A solution and sleep schedual is a must. And Evelyn is just like your kids...if she doesn't get her sleep she is a monster. I think all kids are like this...but most parents don't want to go through with the hassle of putting them on a schedual. But, it is sooo rewarding and amazing when they can comfort themselves and are happy from getting the sleep they need. This is a good book you recommended, it is similar to the program Sleep Sense that I use. Its like I want to shout it out to every parent....put your children on a sleep schedual. For both your sakes. Other moms are always asking me how I can sacrifice my social life for Evelyn's sleep...its worth it to me. And the most important thing ever. Ok so I will stop typing now...well said though:)

Trent & Tara said...

oh and one more thing... here is a link to the website of the program I do: In case you ever wanted to know more about mine...but you seem to have your own solution down. I hope this post helps other moms realize its very important.

Tiffany said...

I'm big on schedules too! If it weren't for regular naptimes and bedtimes, I think I would fall apart. (I am not a fan of sleep training or crying it out however...that's just me.) But regular schedules for sure! We started putting both our kids on a schedule at about 3-4 months old and it really works wonders. Going out of town is a nightmare though, because they get thrown off so badly. How do you guys do it when you have to go somewhere? I haven't read the book you are talking about but it sounds interesting!

The Good Ol Days said...

Sweet, when the children come, we will be following this book!

Be Warned: This is a long comment
So your last post about going domestic, Im want to be as well. We are trying to go green and maybe in a SUPER green way. Chase and I have a secret desire to "go of the grid" one day with solar panels and everything. It might sound crazy but we enjoy being self-reliant. We’re sick of getting ripped off. Anyway, I’m so into the homemade soap. If you have any other good ideas please share. I thought I might tell you about a few of my favorite "going all domestic" books…..I think you may like them.

Organic Housekeeping-Ellen Sandbeck
Eco Chick- Starre Varton (this ones a little wild, and Im hoping Starre is a pen name)
Go Green Get Rich-David Bach

They're full of recipes for organic household items, ways to save money and be green, and scary facts about chemicals.Just a thought. You can disregard if you think its to eccentric. I just really like to share ideas
Your a good lady and I love your blog! Thanks for being a great example! And Im glad someone loves Fraggle Rock!

Rach said...

When I am a mom I am TOTALLY all about good sleep and schedules. I can tell when kids are all over the place, and i hate it. I am not even their mom!

ThE McNEiLs said...

You've gone and inspired me again.

annie (the annilygreen one) said...

amen! this book was a lifesaver. it's been revised and edited so much that there are some hilarious contradictions, but the principles are sound, and the research is fascinating. people don'[t realize that they're not the only ones who suffer when their kids are tired and crabby....the kid's poor little brain needs rest to grow! i'm just glad we have all single friends so the parties are all at our house. otherwise, we'd never do anything at all after 7pm.

Jennifer said...

Sometimes I think we are living double lives. My husband has that same hat (above post) and its all faded like that and I live by this sleep book.

And we are both ridiculously good looking. And funny.


Were we separated at birth?

Jennifer said...

Oh, we also did the Sleep Sense stuff. Genius stuff. Genius!

Kay Barlow said...

I know this is an old post, but I just read it today. I need to read that book and find out what you do when you have older kids (teenagers) who are busy and involved in early-morning/late-evening schedules. I had all my kids ASLEEP every night by 8 p.m. when they were all little. My youngest two are now more often than not being dragged home from some late activity and eating a late dinner of frozen pizza and falling into bed at 10 p.m. (or later) and the climate in our home reflects this. TEENAGERS need lots of sleep too-who designed the teen-aged school schedule anyway??-no wonder teenagers all have "attitudes" -They are chronically TIRED!

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