The July topic for our blog carnival is: burning the midnight oil, unschooling sleep and sleeplessness.
Enjoy Life Unschooling
Isn’t that the million dollar question. We get asked this by so many people. The short answer is that Charles carries them to bed after they go to sleep.
The latest question is “Does Samuel sleep through the night?” Someone asked me if he was sleeping through the night when he was only a week old. Umm….NO! Babies need to wake during the night. They need to eat!
Thinking back, the girls never had a set bedtime. They fall asleep when they’re tired though.
We notice when they are getting sleepy, and so do they. They have always been night owls, the whole family is. That’s just how we roll.
We used to follow a strict bedtime routine. Bath, books, snack, bed. That doesn’t work so much for us anymore, so we started trying new things. Now we are seeing where things go when we’re home. Maybe they don’t want to read books, that’s ok. Maybe they want to sit on the couch with us and watch TV, or maybe they want to color, or do a puzzle, and sometimes they do want to read books. Sometimes they want to sit and talk with us.
Since we stopped trying to force them into sleep around the same time every night with our routine, and just let the evening flow like we do during the day, we seem to have much more peaceful nights.
Driving around at night has come to be one of our night time family activities. Everything looks different at night.
We also use it to get the girls to sleep sometimes. We talk and call it our mini date after the girls are asleep while we drive the rest of the way home.
Charles took Ava for a quick 10 minute drive last night. She was overtired, and having trouble falling alseep, and staying asleep. Must be the motion of the car, and the sound.
Nakiah stayed home with me, and played some games on the computer. She beat the game and was so proud of herself. After she was done with her game, she told Charles she wanted to go to sleep on him, and that’s exactly what she did. She climbed into his lap, and went to sleep.
The other day we went to the mall, and after the mall closed we decided to take a stroll through downtown.
We came upon a band in the Town Square. There were water fountains, restaurants, and tables to sit and enjoy the music. There were also several kids out in the middle of the square dancing to the music.
Charles and the girls danced around for a bit.
We didn’t leave there until about 10pm. We would have missed that time together if we had a strict bedtime, had to be home by 7pm, and forced the girls to go to sleep.
That was an impromptu family date night. We all really enjoyed ourselves.
One time Charles took them out in the backyard late at night. They found frogs, saw the stars and listened to the crickets chirp.
Another time we gave them flashlights to explore the house with the lights out.
Some nights Charles will take Nakiah upstairs, and I’ll stay downstairs with Ava and Samuel. I’ll put a cartoon on for her. She will either fall asleep watching it, or fall asleep as the 2nd show is coming on.
I love sitting up with her watching the shows. She says the cutest things.She’ll lay across the couch, or cuddle up to me and fall asleep when she’s ready.
Samuel sleeps in the wrap for the most part during the day. Sometimes I’ll lay him down. He starts the night out in the wrap most of the time as well. He falls sleep when he’s tired, and we don’t question that.
Why do we question if and when our kids are tired as they start to get older?
We’re learning to trust more and more that just as they learned to walk and talk w/out us, they are learning to fall asleep when they are tired.Our kids are learning how to listen to their bodies.
They are learning how to listen to their bodies when they feel hungry, and when they need to potty, so why not trust them when it comes to sleep?
For those times when they need help transitioning to sleep, we’re here to help them do that.
We’re learning to quit forcing the issue, and learning how to create a quiet, sleepy environment for them.
We co-sleep. The girls in a twin next to our bed, and Samuel in the bed with us.
If you want specific details, I’m on the end, Samuel is in the middle, Charles, Nakiah and then Ava.
Since Charles started sleeping on the other end next to Nakiah, she wakes less during the night. Before she would get up and climb into bed with us, and we didn’t mind that, but now she can just reach her hand over to touch Daddy’s face.
This is what works for us right now. As their needs change, we will be here to help them with the transition.