I’ve been living in this tension lately of whether or not I let my child sleep too much. He’s a newborn and newborns sleep a lot but the book I’m reading says only keep them awake for two hours and then soothe them back to sleep. That doesn’t seem like very much time awake.
A couple of days ago Mac literally slept most of the day with hour to two hour windows of “wakeful time.” I started worrying that I’m not interacting with him enough. I began thinking, “Maybe his brain won’t develop well because I’m not teaching him things. Or, maybe he’ll be in therapy because I never bonded with him as an infant.” However, I recently became a big fan of lots ‘o sleep.
I realized that the biggest way I can love my child right now is by giving him the gift of sleep. When he doesn’t sleep well he’s miserable. Today we had repair people coming in and out of the house to fix things still under warranty – one of the things being a big crack in the corner of the nursery so he can’t still in his crib right now. Yesterday I ran out of eggs in the middle of preparing a dinner for someone and had to run to the grocery store waking him up to run my errand. What I’ve noticed through these two scattered nap days is that sleep is the best thing for his little brain to develop. When he’s well rested he’s happy when he’s awake. He looks me in the eyes more and smiles a ton. I am starting to feel less guilty for putting him down so frequently. It’s not just for me to get a break (though that is a bonus), but it’s what’s best for him.
Here he is in his favorite sleep position – arms above head just like his momma.
My book, Beauty in Broken Dreams: A Hopeful Handbook for the Early Years as a Special Needs Parent, is now available on Amazon!
Also be sure to check out my list of Favorite Books on Disability!