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Challenge: Sleep Solutions

Different Kids, Different Methods

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We have 3 children (7, 3, and 1) and it can be quite challenging at times. Children go through various stages as they are growing. For the most part my wife and I have had it easier with our first two children; however, our last one has given us a run for our money. It takes trying various methods to figure out what method works for each child and sometimes it becomes a juggling act.

I am a strong believer in preventing rather than having to intervene, hence this tip: DO NOT SLEEP WITH YOUR CHILDREN. There were times that I was tempted to bring our first born to the bed and my wife was firm in saying "no". Looking back at those days I am thankful my wife took the stand of not allowing our children to sleep in the bed, I've heard stories about how parents regret allowing their children to sleep in their beds.

Another tip is to sleep when children sleep. I remember when we had our first born and when she would take naps we would use that time to do everything that needed to be done in the house or even catch up on some television. When we were tired and wanted to take a nap then she would wake up. After that we learned, when they sleep we sleep.

Our routine is quite simple and we do it with all of our children. We ensure that they eat, have a time of worship, read books, and pray with them. This works for us. Each family has to find the balance and what works for them. When children wake up at night unless it's an infant, a sick child or nightmares, they are most likely trying to persuade you to get them out the bed and into yours or they want to play or even watch television. I've had my share of these moments and it's usually when you are so exhausted that children either don't want to go sleep or wake up extremely energetic at 3am.

Our 7 year old likes for me to stay in the room with her for a few minutes while I rub her hair and tell her how beautiful and amazing she is. Our 3 year old likes to have all his teddy bears arranged in order and a certain song on, he also likes his blanket a certain way. Our 1 year old does not really know what he wants yet other than to call his brother and sister's name while they're going to sleep (quite annoying to his siblings, super cute kid to me). The one constant thing is that we place them in bed early because they need to rest and mom and dad need time as well. Find what works for your child or children and remember they have different personalities and habits so some adjustment will always be needed from both parent and child.

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