Listening to my girls retell of their evening brought back memories of the sleep troubles we had with our first child.
By the time we had our first child, we were eager to try all we had learned with her. As a newborn we wanted to get her on a predictable schedule. We used the sleep, eat and wake time principle we had learned about in Baby Wise. Things did not go smoothly; there was a lot of crying. Fortunately, this was our first child and we were convinced she was perfect. It was my mother who pointed out that she was not a happy baby.
In hind sight what happened was we pushed to follow the letter of the plan. We lived by the clock, not leaving room for our baby to need flexibility. This clock watching led to over stimulating our baby in attempt to keep her awake longer. Her being overtired caused our bundle to be unable to settle down when we wanted her to sleep.
Thankfully with the following children we realized the order of the schedule worked for us, but our children needed more sleep. Instead of keeping them up for long wake times, we laid them down at their first signs of being tired and wow, what a difference.
After our children were out of naps and early bedtimes, someone gave me a book called: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, M.D. The premise of this book is that in general children need more sleep vs. less. When babies fuss and act like they don’t want to sleep, they probably needed to go to sleep earlier, not later.
Admittedly, there is no cure all for miserable, teething babies; they will almost always experience some loss of sleep.But, if you are struggling with general sleep issues, try earlier sleep times.
For more detailed ideas for specific age groups, even up through adolescence, perhaps a look at Marc Weissbluth’s book would be a good place to begin.