"How did your kids learn to sleep so well?" If I only had a dollar for every time someone has asked me this question! However, the answer is surprisingly simple. I taught them.
But first let's rewind. I received my undergraduate degree in Human and Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University and my Masters degree in Social Work with a Clinical focus from The University of Texas at Austin. I had big plans to work with children and adolescents in a therapeutic setting and eventually to have a private psychotherapy practice. However, God had bigger plans for me to be a Mama.
I didn't know anything about babies. I didn't babysit when I was a child and I didn't sit around dreaming of what my children would look like. However, there was one thing I did know, sleep. I can still remember my Dad once telling me that I should be able to put "ability to sleep 12-14 hours" on my resume. So when I was pregnant with my first child my overwhelming anxiety came not from imagining labor but from hearing the horror stories about never sleeping again. So I read and I researched and I prayed that something would work. Sure enough, much to my surprise, our first daughter arrived and I was a natural. I was shockingly calm and collected and within weeks she was sleeping and I was too. I thought "Wow, this isn't so bad, I want more!" So, we have since added two more little sleeping munchkins to our happy home.
In the process I have developed what many might call sleep secrets but in essence are just simple tips and routines to help any baby learn to sleep. Many came from my personal experience. Many came from my developmental and clinical background. Many just came from my gut instinct. Ultimately though, while each baby is different, one thing remains true: babies NEED sleep. It facilitates the core developmental processes and makes for a healthier environment for the entire family.
Some might ask why not just read all the books? You are welcome to and I encourage you to find ones that peak your interest. But I can assure you that while many books are indeed helpful, real questions always remain and can leave you feeling overwhelmed and not sure where to turn. And that's why I'm here. I want to be a supportive and encouraging resource to help guide you through those frantic and unsure moments. Like I said, I do know sleep.