So I finally had a moment to sit down and write out my thoughts on motherhood + life with four little people. I also wanted to try and answer a bunch of questions that you all have been asking for a while.
First of all, how do we balance at all? To tell you the truth there really is no balance. I think the whole thing with balance is — we are always trying to find it. As long as we are putting the people we love first and our priorities are in the right order, then I think that’s pretty dang good!! I swear there’s just never enough time in the day. (anyone else feel the same) I am continually trying to find the balance and the minute I think I’ve figured it out, something changes and I’ve got to rearrange things, focus on my people, and just try again to find that balance or peace with myself.
I always go back to this quote: “To all mothers in every circumstance, including those who struggle, I say be peaceful. Believe in God and yourself. You are doing better then you think you are.” –Jeffery R. Holland.
It just reminds me that we do not have to be perfect, we just have to be trying. Our little people are so forgiving and loving and they see the best in us. I love that every day we can have a fresh start!! That yesterday is over (and most of the time your little people forget that it was one of those crazy days where you lost your temper + the house was a disaster) they won’t remember that. They’re going to remember the time you spent with them, like when you read a story or snuggled them after they were hurt or scared. Motherhood is one of the toughest, most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
OK, now let’s chat about sleep… I posted a couple months ago about how I was “sleep training” Houston and the response I got was insane! I had no idea that it would light such a fire under some people. I think every mother is entitled to parent, sleep train, not sleep train, breast feed, bottle feed, do whatever the way she wants and there is NO wrong or right way to do any of it. All four of my kids have been completely different with their own sleep patterns. Hunter, my oldest, slept through the night at six weeks and we never had to do a thing. With my other little people I had to get them on a schedule. Houston, on the other hand, was super colicky and none of us were getting any sleep. After checking with our doctor and getting the okay for him to be sleeping long we made a plan, that we thought would work best for Houston.
With my first baby I read a ton of sleeping books and from each one I took bits and pieces that worked for our family and our needs. I personally don’t think any one book has ALL the right answers. A few of my favorite books are ‘Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child‘, ‘Baby Wise‘, and ‘The Happiest Baby on the Block‘. ‘Baby Wise‘ was way too strict for me so I took bits and pieces that I felt OK using for my babies. The book I absolutely loved — Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy ChildHealthy Sleep Habits, seemed to be the one that fit best with our family.
I know some people completely jumped to conclusions when I said “sleep training” — and sleep training can mean a bunch of different things to a bunch of different families. Some mentioned that it meant letting your baby cry it out for hours and hours through the night, but that is not what it meant for us. I think what works best for you and your individual baby is what you should do (also I am not claiming to be an expert, I am just sharing what worked for us and our family). We decided to let Houston cry on his own for FIVE minutes at a time. Then we would go in and comfort him, check if he was poopy etc., but we wanted to see if he could self soothe or comfort himself back to sleep. (Also we would watch him on the monitor for the entire 5 mins). Hence, he was super colicky for nearly 6 months so we had never let him cry past a few minutes without swaddling, wearing him in my Solly Wrap, or bouncing him. It only took him three nights to be able to soothe himself back to sleep and the maximum time he ever cried was 15 minutes. We were completely okay with this because we felt that was a safe amount of time for both Houston and us as parents to handle. After that, he was sleeping through the night!! And our “through the night” was from 9 pm to 5 am.
I know “sleeping through the night ” can mean a whole lot of different things to everyone and I don’t think there is any certain time that qualifies as “sleeping through the night”. Haha. We knew this was the right thing to do for Houston as he was a completely different baby after the three nights – he was happier, more content and started gaining weight!!! Sleep is such a powerful thing, for everyone!! Also, I have to mention of course I got super nervous + was a complete wreck when he started sleeping through the night, well pretty much the second we brought him home!! I get huge anxiety about my babies sleeping and SIDS. The one thing that changed the way we slept was the Owlet Baby Monitor. Honestly, I can’t say enough about this amazing-so worth-every-penny monitor!! You can read my post about it HERE and how we have used it since the minute we brought Houston home from the hospital.
Also, a ton of you have asked about things we used for sleeping. Some items that helped us a ton was our Dock a Tot!! We’ve traveled a lot since we’ve had Houston and the Dock a Tot has been a big lifesaver as far as sleep goes! Our other kids have struggled the first night or two when we travel because, of course they’re used to sleeping in their crib rather then a pack n’ play. The Dock a Tot fits right into Houston’s crib so when we travel we just put it on the floor or into a pack n’ play and it didn’t seem any different to him. So he hasn’t skipped a beat with sleeping on the go at all!! It was the best option for us.
He moved up to the Grand Dock a Tot a few months ago and it too has been amazing!! It’s a lot bigger which I like because he is growing a lot now. I love this company so much that I called them and asked if I could get a discount code for you guys!! Dock a Tot was so kind that they are offering all of my readers a discount!! Use the code HERE at checkout to receive $10 off any Dock A Tot!! Also, I will be doing a HUGE GIVEAWAY on my Instagram account tonight with BOTH companies around 5:30 pm PST and trust me, you don’t want to miss it!! So be sure to check it out.
Let me know if you have any questions at all or if there’s a specific blog post you’d like me to do!! Thank you all for your support here!! We truly feel it everyday + are so thankful for you all!!
xx – kailee