We Love Baby-wearing
Again, I love baby wearing. I love holding my baby close to my heart and snuggling and cuddling with them at moments throughout the day. I love the ability to be able to wear my baby’s but still have my hands free to do dishes, fold laundry, or various other household tasks. It is extremely valuable for their healthy physiological development and growth. Having contact with a parent, especially skin to skin contact is very beneficial to a baby and reduces the level of cortisol, the stress hormone.
But on the other side, I don’t wear my baby all day long. I believe it is important for baby to take most naps on their own in their own bed. But when we are out and about, at church or other events, baby will often take naps in the carrier. From an early age, I also would take along my pack-n-play to friends/family’s homes, so baby could learn how to sleep in different places and environments. This enabled us to have freedom to stay later if desired because baby could sleep nearby. But there have been numerous times when baby just wouldn’t go to sleep in his/her own bed, so I would carry them for the nap period. So there was grace to adapt as necessary even when there was confusion over baby’s needs.
Check out my review of my favorite baby wrap, for the newborn to 6 month range, the Moby Wrap carrier. Another favorite for the older infant and toddler is the Ergo Baby carrier. These are the two carriers we always have on hand. They are also wonderful to use when you are in crowded gatherings and a stroller would be too much work to maneuver, or when shopping with multiple children in tow and having your infant in a carrier gives you two hands free to hold other things.
I also value the importance of them learning how to entertain themselves, so from an early age, each of my children has short periods where they are laying on the ground with their own little toys and playing on their own. Since their infancy, they have always had alone time in this manner and my little ones now can entertain themselves sufficiently for much longer periods of time. We just recently assembled some fun sensory baskets for my 7 month old and she loves them. It’s so much fun to watch her touch and explore with basic household items.
Afternoon Nap Routine with Multiples
As the children grew, we would adjust the schedule so that the kids would nap at the same time. I found this essential so mommy has the option of taking a nap or spending some time to herself during rest periods. Sometimes this would require us to stretch a tired baby just a bit longer so they both could be laid down together. Often I would actually wake the baby early from their morning nap so they had sufficient awake time and were tired at the same time as the older child for an afternoon nap.
That being said, we plan on having our children nap until they are at least 5 years old, if not longer as needed (usually from 1-2:30 or 3pm each day). I believe they really need it to this period. My little girl will be a mess of tears for the rest of the day if she doesn’t have a short afternoon nap. If they ultimately do not sleep (which certainly happens at times), they can have a quiet rest time looking at books or listening to a book on tape. We have had our nearly 5 year old and 3 year old taking naps together until recently. We now have found taking rest times in separate areas of the house to be much more successful. The older kids go to sleep each night at 8:00 pm and sleep till their nite lite comes on at 8:00 am (granted they often wake up before this period, but we train them to not come out of their bedroom till 8am). These practices allow this Mommy to have a rest period in the afternoon and so focused Daddy time in the evenings. They thrive on this routine and it works very well for our family.
Sleeping Multiples in One Room
Now the question has been asked, “do you have any tips for getting multiple children to sleep well together in one room?” Ultimately, no. I have not found a secret formula for this. It certainly takes some work. We have found it helpful to use a electric fan in their bedroom to help mute any extra noise that may result from one or the other waking up in the middle of the night. We also cover the windows with a blanket to keep it dark to encourage longer sleep periods. Finally, we have found a good nighttime routine to be essential for helping them both wind down together.
Our nighttime routine includes going potty, brushing teeth, singing worship songs, and finally praying over both of them individually before giving hugs and goodnight kisses. Honestly, most nights one or both of them is up multiple times for random reasons and need resettling, but in the long run they do sleep surprisingly well together. and with the use of the Good Nite Lite and a little discipline to train them to stay in bed until the light comes on…I think it is not as scary and some would imagine.
We’d love to hear your tips and suggestions for helping little ones sleep together well…
Thus concludes our short series on what infant routines we practice at our house. We pray the Lord would give you wisdom for what method might be best for your family!
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