With Rhayn starting school this week, we have been busy. It seems like the days zipped by!
Gwen is not taking very well to Rhayn at school. I am pretty sure it has caused a resurgence of separation anxiety! She follows me around crying "my mama" and it just breaks my heart. The worst was on Friday Will took the day off, and he went to pick Rhayn up at school. Gwen put on her shoes and reported that she was going, but daddy said no. So she stopped in her tracks and cried "My DaDa!" until I was able to distract her.
I borrowed a book from the library called the "No Cry Sleep solution" Her ideas follow mine in parenting, from breastfeeding to co-sleeping. She doesn't talk down to bottle-feeders, and every thing I have read in the book so far seems perfect for the way I feel. I need to get the Toddler version of it, though. Last night I tried to use some of the ideas she has for getting Gwen to sleep. I have always gotten discouraged because she cries when I remove nipple from her mouth. She cries, "No! No! No! need GUP!" Mrs. Pantley has suggestions on how to slowly take that away, and make nighttimes easier.
The main thing that I found last night was that Gwen is terrified of the dark. We brushed teeth, then read a book and lay down in her bed and had gup for a few minutes. Then when she slowed down I took it away. She cried, we shooshed and talked a little. Then I turned off the light, she panicked. I pulled out the glow worm, but turned off its music. She didn't like that. So I turned the music on and we listened to it for about ten minutes. After that she was pretty calm. We snuggled and had more gup. I kept taking it away every minute or so, giving it back if she was upset about it. Then finally after 30 minutes of bedtime routine, she was asleep.
The book states that we let our children get overtired before settling them in for the night. We found this with Rhayn. She goes to be at 7 pm. It was a bedtime suggested by her school for kindergarteners (and first graders) because it takes them time to relax from a long day, and children age 6-9 need about 10 hours of sleep at night. Most American children get barely 8, we are causing a lot of the ADD and ADHD problems for our children because they are overtired. So since I know that Rhayn's demeanor changed drastically when we started implementing an earlier bedtime. Why wouldn't I do that for Gwen? What is it that made me think she didn't need that? I mean we usually brush teeth with Rhayn and read a story all together, but then, Gwen comes with me downstairs to hang out with dada and watch tv. I need to make her go to bed at that time to. The reasons are two-fold. One, Gwen will get better sleep and therefore be more likely to be good all day the next day (and nap better which will in turn help her sleep the next night) and also if she is asleep I will get to snuggle with Will on the couch while we watch tv, and our relationship could use that!
This is the beginning of a journey. I know it will not be easy, but it will be worth it, so very worth it.