Sleep Studies

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

As I’m sure any parent can testify, developing a child’s sleep schedule can be one of the most rewarding, yet at the same time most frustrating challenges of parenthood.  And while not every parent opts to schedule out naptimes and bedtimes, with three, Missy and I weren’t really given a choice.  Agree or disagree, Missy and I schedule the girls days like clockwork, and it all starts with their sleep.

Trying to figure out nap schedules in our house has at times proven harder than solving a New York Times Saturday crossword puzzle.  A breakthrough one day usually leads to a set back the next, leaving us continually scratching our heads searching for the “right” answer.  At night it seems that the kids can sleep through just about anything, but during the day, sometimes the slightest sound (from teething…to fevers…to road construction) can arouse them from their rest.  We cringe at every squeak from the monitor we hear before the 45-minute mark.  Most of the time, naps are interrupted when one (usually Sienna, and sometimes Jovie from the third floor…) usually wakes the others up and a 90 minute nap/parent down-time turns into a 30 minute nap and three tired babies.  Tired babies make for cranky babies, and cranky babies make for cranky parents.  It also leads to many unplanned catnaps…

Asleep before nap time.

Our girls are also serious car sleepers, but once we are at our destination, the girls are up; no matter if the journey was fifteen minutes or fifty minutes…getting them back to sleep is a usually a futile battle.  So, we have to plan on trips accordingly, but most of the time we usually just end up staying home.

Sienna sleepin' in the car.

Rowan is asleep while Jovie is wide awake.

Luckily for us, the night time has been the right time, as we have been extremely blessed when it comes to the night time sleeping habits of our babies.  We’ve developed a pretty solid evening routine which includes a meal at 5:30, play time with Mommy and Daddy, and finally a bottle and bed by (hopefully) 7:00PM.

Silly time before bed time.

Rowan, Jovie…look up at the camera please

Big smiles from Rowan!

And goofy faces from Jovie!

Thank-you!

It’s been a long road of cry-it-out sleep training, but now once we manage to get them down, the girls will remain in bed for 10 to 11 hours.  Although more often than not this makes for extra early mornings, the additional mommy and daddy hours in the evenings make it more than worth it.  On a typical evening, the babes are down just after 7:00 PM like I mentioned, giving Missy and I time to clean, catch up on some missed TV, or even go out for a late dinner once in a while if we can convince grandma and grandpa to “listen” for cries while we’re gone.

The Third Floor?

Yet sadly, the gals do not all sleep in the same room.  There is a third-level loft with a separate small room and crib {Tennyson’s nursery when the Flo-Bix clan visits from the Jersey Shore Princeton} which we have turned into a “Cry-It-Out Cave”.  At first, this was Rowan’s realm, as she would always have the hardest time falling to sleep.  Each night after feeding the three of them together, either Missy or myself would walk her up the stairs to put her down, where she would cry for extended periods of time before crashing.  These were NOT fun nights for us, especially not for the mama.

Now, Rowan is back downstairs in the nursery (where she has turned into by far our best sleeper) and Jovie has taken up residence in the Cry-It-Out Cave.  The thing is, Jovie doesn’t have a hard time falling asleep; she just has a hard time staying asleep…and when she’s up, she always lets us (and her sisters) know about it with her lioness-like holler.  She can usually fall back asleep on her own; it’s just that she doesn’t do so without waking everyone else up first.  So up to the loft she went.

Lately we’ve been trying to move her back down stairs with the other two, but that ended last weekend when we were all up with her at 4:15AM.  Although I was able to get up and quickly move Jov back upstairs, her sisters were already stirring and, unfortunately, never fully made it back to sleep.

And so…we continue our search for the right answers.

Sign on our nursery door.

Such is the life with multiples.

{End note:  This is the type of thing that Missy deals with on a day-in/day-out basis, while I’m only home to help out on the weekend.  Another reason why she is, indeed, Super Mom.  Too many cranky days would be enough to drive me crazy, yet she is able to handle it all in stride.  She is just…awesome.  Make sure you give her a big hug next time you see her :-)}

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About Tom Hardinge

Loving husband to my wife Missy, loving father to my four daughters Sienna, Rowan, Jovie, and Lola. I'm a chronic over-packer who loves good coffee, good music, running, waffle tee's, fleece pants, and Jesus Christ!

6 thoughts on “Sleep Studies

  1. Oh my! I am crying as I read this because I can’t imagine how Missy does it! It is hard enough with one. I know the Lord will bless her for her incredible patience. Consider her hugged from me!!!

  2. Pingback: May 17th, 2010 – How I lived the time up to it and the 364 days after. | living in pursuit

  3. Pingback: May 17th, 2010 – How I lived the time up to it and the 364 days after. | living in pursuit

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