So, in my second post today (yay for you) I thought I would offer a solution. I mean discussing a problem without taking measures to fix it, is just complaining...right?
Ok, by now you know the problem...lack of sleep!! So, here's what I plan on doing about it (that sentence sounds so 7th grade science fairish.)
1. Be More Consistent: We have a strict bedtime routine that sadly does not work, and although we are consistent with the progression of events, we lack a definite bedtime. It's usually between 8:00 and 9:00 but can very depending on what's going on, mainly on the weekends when I put him to bed late so that I can sleep in on Saturday. Let's face it, 4:48 comes WAY too early! Anyway, the experts say that consistency is key to more peaceful rest. Looks like 9:00 will be the new bedtime through the summer and 8:00 during the winter. That way I won't have to condition him to the time change...smart thinking if I do say so myself.
2. Get The Bedroom Environment Right - we have tried everything we can think of where this is concerned. Light and no lights. Sound machine and no sound machine. Covers and no covers. Thin pillows and thick pillows. Security toy and no security toy. Warm room and cool room. You name it, we've tried it. I've talked with his daycare and they play lullabies before nap-time. Can you guess what I'm picking up on the way home?
3. Create A Relaxing Environment - as you can imagine, my frustration and anxiety over bedtime doesn't help Eli's mood. I'm working on remaining calm and less tense. Additionally, I plan to use some aromatherapy to help. I'm a big believer in holistic medicines and natural remedies, so I think some eucalyptus oil in the bathtub and some lavender diffusers in the bedroom may help.
I also plan on letting him feed Nemo before bed because he really looks forward to that. Additionally, I intend to read him a story nightly since hes likes books so much. I think those are relaxing yet rewarding activities that will easy the tension of bedtime.
4. Watch The Diet - I believe what we eat directly effects our mood and our bodies. I know, I should be a rocket scientist....ha! I'm not stuffing Eli full of candy and Mt. Dew before bedtime, but I'm not exactly monitoring every bite he eats either. I plan on reducing sugar (even in fruits) after 6pm. This means no more Sprite...poor guy! Additionally, warm milk releases natural serotonin levels into the body. He'll be drinking a heaping cup while we read the books mentioned above.
5. Prayer - and lots of it. First of all for me. God didn't give me this challenge for giggles, although I'm sure he's had a few. He gave me this situation to bring Him glory! Whether it's learning to lean on him for strength or to encourage another momma in her time of need, rest assured, HE WILL BE GLORIED!! I need prayer for wisdom in when to be disciplining and when to be nurturing through this process. I need prayer for patience in the process of training a child. I need prayer for strength on the days I nearly fall asleep driving.
I need prayer to be a part of the bedtime process so that I can teach my son how to talk to our Heavenly Father, and to show Him that true peace (even from Captain Hook and bad dreams) comes from Christ alone.
I feel like I'm walking a fine line here. One between obsession and discipline. I need daily wisdom in teaching my child to sleep. There is a difference between not being able to catch shut-eye, and not wanting to. I so need discernment in those areas of gray. Please pray for me, Eli and Eric as we once again start this journey toward rest that is so very needed in out home.