Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Send your questions to jorja.davis@gmail.com. I will answer questions on Tuesday each week. If you need a quicker response than a weekly blog post, just let me know! .... should I be concerned and call my pediatrician if my now 7 month old absolutely WILL NOT sleep for more than 13 hours in a 24 hour time period??? She isn't cranky or fussy she just refuses to sleep. I will even put her in the crib and leave her there for a full hour and all she does the entire time is coo, talk and roll over. I have also tried wind down time 20 minutes before I want her to sleep where we read a book and rock in the rocking chair and that hasn't worked. So, I know, according to the internet, she should be averaging 14-16 hours .... but if she is only getting 12 is that bad???? (FYI I am sure this is probably only a first time mom question). Thanks! First I praise your concern. That is a good sign that you are doing a good job as a mother. Think about the way the internet phrased their information. Do you see the word “averaging?” That could mean some children sleep as much as say 10-12 hours and others as much as 16-18. Do you remember when your teacher averaged your grades in school? You didn’t have to make 90 on every test to end up with a 90 average. I must say that I have seldom met anyone or anything where average is a good descriptor. You are certainly not “average!” I know that for a fact. Look at the other sleep patterns in her family. Do you regularly require 6 or 10 hours of sleep to function at your best? Probably the most important thing you can do for your 7 month old is to keep her on a fairly consistent schedule. If she is sleeping through the night, you are already ahead of the “average” family. That hour of “coo, talk and roll-over” are important for lots of reasons: processing information, practicing skills she has learned, and trying out new ones. That is an important hour for you as well. The “20 minutes … where we read a book and rock in the rocking chair” is also important for both of you. It is the best wind down for both of you and it is important for learning to read (eventually for her, not for you – I know you do that well). Once she is down, listen for a change – she might fall asleep, she might get restless and begin to cry. Remember that any child who is crying should be responded to, even if it is just to let her know that you are there, console her, acknowledge her emotion (change her diaper, feed her, rock her) – you know what she is asking for then put her back down if you need to, or move her to a blanket on the floor where you are resting or working. You are doing a GREAT JOB! And so is she!

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