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Thursday, October 25, 2012

lexi's personality & her sleep schedule

I have received many questions regarding Lexi's sleep schedule.
So I am going to try and touch on this broad topic today.
First you should know, Lexi is 2 years & 3 mo.
Up until 18 mo. Lexi NEVER would fall asleep anywhere other than her crib
-no matter how tired.
After 18 mo. she has slowly become flexible and lets herself fall asleep wherever.


i am not one for books.
but in times of crisis, or during a lot of melt downs..
i will check them out for advice.
one thing i did learn was lexi's personality through the book.
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Secrets of the Baby Whisperer for Toddlers
It helped me pin point a lot of things that I other wise wouldn't have necessarily put together.

There are supposedly 5 "types" of children & they can be mixed portions of each category
Angel, Textbook, Touchy, Spirited, & Grumpy
What does this mean?
Well I am not one for labeling kids.
But, the book said it best:

"Each type has advantages as well as challenges. Also, its less important to figure out a label per se, than to know what to expect and how to deal with your baby's particular temperament. In fact, labeling is not a good idea. All humans have many faces, and children, like adults, amount to more than single aspects of their temperament."


There was a quiz with 20 different questions of "who is your toddler"
I answered them, and my answers scored lexi as:
Angel Baby=5
Textbook Baby=4
Touchy Baby=5
Spirited Baby=5
Grumpy Baby=0
keep in mind, i tried to answer these as accurate as possible but moms opinions may bias some.

This quiz touched from newborn-current
I honestly feel like she applies to all of them at some point or another,
but i feel she is a pretty good match to Spirited & Touchy

She is by no means an extreme spirited child from reading all of their characteristics,
but she definitely has a good enough amount in her!

She is very active. always getting into things or wanting to do something, go somewhere.

Temper Tantrums although they have lightened a lot since we stopped traveling and being on the go - we still have them in this house- lack of naps are sometimes the cause, but if I were to force naps every day - then we would with out a doubt have one EVERY SINGLE time. So instead of forcing her to nap - i give her plenty of opportunities during the day to have "resting time" where we will lay down watch tv - sometimes it works, sometimes not. No nap days can be very frustrating on my end because I do need ME time. But, I just deal with it.

the book says about spirited children:
"Once they start crying, these toddlers have stamina and staying power, so you're in for a long haul if you don't have a good routine at night."
umm yes this is the part in the book when i knew we had a bit of a spirited child on our hands, especially on the sleep issue. It made it all that much easier to recognize her personality and realize forced naps are absolutely not her thing. (more on that later)

We do have nightly routines: read, prayer, sing - and then straight to bed.
Photobucket We luckily don't have problems putting her down at night anymore. I honestly think its because we wait later anywhere from 9-10:30.. ok maybe 11 latest? depending on the day and our schedules. But we wait for her to be tired and ready. If she's not tired, thats when we run into problem and she will fight it.

I figured out quickly that it is soooo much easier for a mom to put down a tired child/willing child than one who kicks and screams- a mom can only take so much torture. Yes I literally for a while would feel like i was just torturing my child to put her down for a nap in her crib. She went through a period where she fought naps so much so that she would bang her chin down on the crib bar because she knew I would come right back in there and get on to her or "calm her" - it took two different times of her doing this (leaving a scab, now scar under her chin) for me to realize naps weren't going to work - it just wasn't worth the fight, even though some books say children need naps up until 3 years.
She was a month away from turning 2yrs when that stage started.
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I would much rather hang out with her and put her down peacefully
than have it be sooo dramatic.
She has a bit of that in her too :) 
I can't even remember when it was that nights became easier for us.. but it hasn't always been.
She does sleep through the night, which we are very thankful for. Ever since 8 months.
I had a long first 8 months of not getting any sleep-  I posted about that here.

This stamina in spirited children also pertain to tantrums.
We have had plenty of melt downs over the past year..
I honestly think we started seeing them after age 1.
Airplanes have been nightmares because of them and Target has seen the worst of us.
They are just a bit embarrassing when you are out in public.
I now try to avoid too much of an overload of going to places if I can.

I would also consider her to be Touchy
She is by no means shy, until she is introduced into an unfamiliar environments or into situations that she doesn't feel comfortable with.
(this varies from a party with friends to nursery at church).

I have seen her throw a huge tantrum in a plane due to sleep interruptions 
(it was on a recent early am flight)
I literally just had to let her scream and cry-maybe lasted 10 minutes?
she wanted nothing to do with me, didn't want me to touch her,
I couldn't do anything to soothe her.
She just needed to calm herself down on her time.
Don't get me wrong I would periodically try everything,
and I made sure to not make eye contact with anyone because I really didn't want to see what anyone else had to say (through their eyes of course) on the matter...
haha the joys of motherhood :)

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I have also seen her wake up from naps (that she got good enough sleep from)
to straight crying and throwing a fit - eyes still closed with kicking legs....
leaving me dumbfounded as to where it even came from.
once again I had to let her calm her own self down, luckily they don't happen often..
but she isn't always a happy camper when she wakes up.

She doesn't like to be forced or rushed to do things, another characteristic of touchy children.
i no longer force naps, they are always on her time table- when and if they even happen.. like i talked about earlier.. at some points I make it a "slower process" if I am in a hurry to get her dressed and out of the house.. or else it can turn into melt downs.

the book was giving scenarios - and this one scenario talked about "over scheduling your child" of course the book gives the extreme case vs the way low key, stick by the book kinda mom.
Well in this scenario I was looking more like the "bad mom" letting her child sleep in the car to and from places. Yes, I am guilty of that. no, i don't over schedule my child with activities one after the other but she does go everywhere I go.. and she does take naps in the car.
But, ya know what? that is sometimes the only way my child will willingly fall asleep
so in that certain scenario I was clearly the "bad mom".

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BUT, my child is NOT the child in those two scenarios.
She is her own, and I would highly suggest taking what books says lightly.

Books can help only so much - because each scenario will be different for each child- they can't touch every single characteristic about your child to deal with your child accordingly. It was then that I found myself never picking that book up again, until I wrote this post- still never finished it.. but I did browse the book and found things I thought were useful to our situation.

Books, blogs, internet sites, and moms, can only offer so much value to your kids situation.
It is however, helpful and reassuring knowing that there are other kids out there with possibly the same characteristics as your own.. or other moms dealing with some of the same things you deal with.
It's a comfort thing, knowing you are not the only one.
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Lexi has about a million different qualities & characteristics...
and we wouldn't trade a thing about her!!
She is so energetic, sweet, loving, needy, caring, dramatic, entertaining, funny, and this mom could go on! My point is - she is a normal two year old little girl and we deal with her situations according to her own little personality and the personalities of tyson & I..
that is why we may do things a little different from everyone else

and holy cow,
who knew i had such an obsession with taking pictures of my sweet baby girl sleeping!?! hah

6 comments:

  1. She IS a normal, beautiful, healthy two year old and don't let anyone make you think differently! My "spirited" 2 year old is just six months older than yours and everything you said and described and experienced in that post we have been there. We have months of excellent going to bed then we changed her to a big girl bed and it was down hill from there. I pulled out the pack and play and that helped us for 5 months then she summer hit and we had a lot of traveling and routine schedules. Bottom line I just want you to know you aren't alone! You are doing a fantastic job and I'm in the same boat as you are. We just want our little ones happy :) and do what works for your family! Love your blog btw

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  2. Thanks for sharing, my three year old has been the same way lately. Your post has been reassuring.

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  3. I just want to say that Lexi is gorgeous and I love how you dress her. My little girl is soon to be 2 and everything you talked about in the post we are going trough right now but by the end of the day I just laugh about the tantrums and little things that children do. Thanks for sharing and I really enjoy reading your blog :)

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  4. She is so cute! Love the last pictures of her in that cute white dress!
    Happy Friday! xoxo

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  5. OMG, adorable sleep photos!The one in the shopping cart is great.

    My daughter hates going to sleep at night. Naps, she is slowly starting to take on her own at 15 months. At night to get her to sleep she needs to lay in my lap. She will not sleep any other way. As much as I love it, I really hope she starts to grow out of it when she hits 2ish. Luckily our tantrums now only last a few minutes.

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  6. Lexi is beautiful! I am curious about that book, id like to learn my kids personality.

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