Encouragement for this season.
I see you, tired parent, as you sigh and drag yourself out of bed, off the couch, out of the chair, to take care of your family for the billionth time today. I want to give you a virtual hug and an air high-five for opening up this blog series. Just knowing that you are not alone in this parenting whirlwind will give you the encouragement you need and the fresh mojo to tackle whatever season of “little’s” you find yourself.
“It all goes so fast!”
Goodness, if I had a dollar every time I heard that phrase. I heard it from seasoned mothers that I trusted, but truthfully, I would usually nod my ponytail wearing head and blink my exhausted eyes, giving a wisp of an indulgent smile. I knew what they were sharing was true (sort of) but the broken sleep and the hours of my crying baby just didn’t seem to be going “fast” at all. It felt like each hour stretched to five (or more). The good news is that I made it through and so will you. I am thrilled to share a sip of what I’ve learned about raising little’s in a way that, hopefully, will be a balm to your weary soul. BTW – IT DOES ALL GOES SO FAST! 😊
1. Teething babies equals broken sleep cycles.
Just when you finally have your little on somewhat of a routine sleep cycle, those pearly whites start moving under the surface of those gums. Suddenly, your sleeping angel becomes a middle of the night terror! This stage takes a couple of weeks for each new set of teeth and some children will have multiple sets coming back to back. Mine did. Heavens! The encouragement for you, dear beleaguered parent, is that this type of teething will be mostly over before they hit that second birthday. The number of products available to help your baby with sore gums is awesome! Teething beads, frozen gummy toys, and Motrin are best friends to you and your little. Check out this article for some fantastic choices of teething products which is a few years old but oh-so-relevant still today. https://www.themillennialsahm.com/natural-teething-remedies/
If it isn’t teething waking your little up at all hours of the night and day, it’s them wanting to eat or having scary dreams. Those babies literally grow while they sleep! Like inches at a time…. almost while you are watching them! Growing requires lots of calories which means that just when you have that breast put away, that bottle washed, the dishes back in the cupboard, it seems your kiddo is tapping you on the back asking for more. I remember thinking that my child could surely NOT be hungry again. I mean I had only eaten an equivalent of one meal in the last 24 hours so surely my boy wasn’t wanting to eat again. Well, he was. Now, there were times during my nursing months that when he was teething, he wanted comfort over food, but I now know all the saliva he was creating was messing with his tummy. Having some extra milk during the night was helpful to him! Even though this was a difficult phase, I cherished those quiet times of snuggling with him, especially when he hit the next stage — running!
Let’s talk about those scary dreams that come with toddlerhood!
Dreams are a natural product of our minds trying to process the events of the day as well as normal cognitive development. Things we see on TV, conversations that happen around us, events that happen to us… all jumble together in our subconscious and create often bizarre dreams. I’ve included a link to StandfordChildrens.org. It is a very good article about the differences in night terrors and nightmares for little ones as well as techniques to soothe.
My son ended up coming into our bedroom often. At first I would tuck him back into his bed, eventually we would allow him to climb in with us, and finally he grew to the age that he stayed in his own bed and would tell us about the dream the next day. At the time, these nightmare stages seemed eternal but, in reality it was only a few short years. My friends made we aware that during this time their little experienced bed wetting. Be patient and kind and diligent with keeping this low-low-key. Your child may feel embarrassed or even scared that you will be angry at them. I promise, none of my friends are still changing sheets with their middle-schoolers or college kids. 😊 It’s just a dot of a season.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” Psalm 127:3-5