I learn so much from parenting sites on the Internet, especially from Dr. Sears and Elizabeth Pantley. From them I found out that sleep for babies is not only their way of reviving their energy but a whole lot more. In fact, it's almost everything! It contributes to babies appetite, health, intelligence, information retention and most of all, to their happiness!
Ella and I: breastfeeding days
Knowing that sleep is VERY IMPORTANT to babies, I incorporated a sleep schedule for Ella according to Elizabeth Pantley's "No Cry Sleep Solution" book. This includes a 1-2 hour nap in the morning and another one in the afternoon. This was very successful that Ella slept through the night since she was 3 months! I just had to make sure that when she is not in her usual still sleep state (...approximately every 3 hours), I should give her a milk bottle.
I had problems when Ella turned 1. It was easy to make her nap at 10 in the morning but was very difficult to get her to nap again at 4:00 in the afternoon. I turned to Ms. Pantley again. And from "No Cry Nap Solution", I found out that I needed to switch from 2 naps to only 1 nap. AND IT DID WORK!!! I just tailored the nap to start a little later than her previous 1st nap...around 12nn. She now sleeps for 2-3 hours during her nap and sleeps the whole night again!
This whole time that I was sleep training my daughter, she was sleeping in our bed: Co-sleeping, Bed-Sharing and Sleep-Sharing in more popular terms. She'd usually take the side nearest the wall, followed by me and then my hubby. I know this is something common for people here in the Philippines as a way of life (small house, few rooms, few beds, etc...). But we may have overlooked that this has a lot of benefits.
Here the benefits we personally experienced with co-sleeping:
1. Easier Night-Time Feeding, therefore...
2. A Longer and Better Quality of Sleep for Both Parents and Baby, and...
3. A Longer, Well Rested and Happier State of Awakeness.
4. Better Memory Retention for the Baby.
5. Tight Parent-Child Bond.
6. Easy Coping with Separation Anxiety for the Baby.
I am a call center agent who has an ever changing schedule but I still get to rest a lot. Sometimes, I schedule my rests/sleep to go with Ella's naptimes/sleeptimes. If I cannot join Ella in her sleep, I instruct the nanny to still maintain Ella's sleep schedules and sleep with her. Also, I don't know if it's just us, but there are times when Ella would stick out a hand or a foot out of her bed space just to find out if there's anybody beside her while she's sleeping. If she doesn't feel anyone, she'd wake up right away.
I'm planning to keep this style of sleeping until Ella finds out what's going on while she's asleep. *winkwink*