I received an email last week to my Baby Concierge e-mail account from a reader of the blog saying they enjoyed the posts and wanted to subscribe for more. That email inspired me to write today 🙂 I know it’s been a really long time since I’ve posted anything… but I haven’t stopped the sleep consulting part of Baby Concierge! Through dms, emails and messages that has still kept me busy. It’s actually been nice to have a bunch of parents reach out for their 2nd or 3rd kids. They know the drill from the first child but every child is different and some new questions arise. I’m happy to help if I can – reach out if you have questions! 

I looked back at some of my posts and realized I had something to share. A lot of the non 12 by 12 posts, I wrote about with the experience of my eldest children (they’re now 8 and 10!). Since then, I’ve had 2 more children and I have to say, there are a lot of things that went differently. I can only imagine how my thoughts will change as they enter their teenage years. I know it only gets harder. 

The most obvious one to me is the post The Dreaded Transition: From the crib to the bed I wrote about my son getting up multiple times during the night. My youngest is still in a crib, but my other 2 children transitions to a bed was nothing to write about. I didn’t have that same experience. Another post is about tantrums. My oldest went through a tantrum phase. My others had tantrums here and there but not full blown and often. I would have given some different advice based on my newer experiences. 

I’m here to share that at the time, those felt like BIG deals, but he grew out of them and the experiences didn’t happen with every child. Every kid is different! I’m making it sound like my oldest was a terror and my next three are angels. Not the case! My youngest, he’s 2 now, is definitely our hardest 2 year old. It’s not that he doesn’t sleep, of course we did 12 by 12! He’s just the most ‘wild’ of all our kids and we had to get used to it. He‘s non stop, has lots of energy, is very stubborn and knows what he wants. He’s also beyond adorable and has us all wrapped around his finger. He’s definitely the boss in the family. I wonder if his transition to a bed will be similar to my first… hopefully that’s not for a long time! 

As I thought about what my first blog post in a long time would be about, I decided to settle on 2 words that one could walk away with and refer back to. Neither of these are novel. Sometimes that’s the thing, the most obvious things need to be reminded (I’m talking to myself here!) 

In one word, my most important advice beyond unconditional love for training in these early years would be consistency. As I think back over the past 10 years to sleep training, toilet training, learning to read, tv/iPad boundaries, eating habits, swim lessons, the list goes on – consistency is key. There are times when consistency has to go out the window – vacations, sick children, holidays etc. but that’s ok – can always get back on track. If you commit to being consistent and follow through on what you say you’re going to do, you’re setting yourself up for success. Sometimes consistency is not enough, and you need extra supports, but it’s still a good first step. The last thing I’ll say on this is sometimes people think it’s too late to make a change and start being consistent; that they’re “in too deep.” I don’t agree with that. For example, sometimes people say that bedtime has become a disaster – takes forever and so many demands and it’s not a pleasure. Depending on the ages of the children, I would suggest a family meeting to set some of the new bedtime routine plans. Having them be a part of the decisions is always a useful tool. If they choose the order of the routine and they draw it out, they take ownership in the new plan. That’s a sleep example, but I think when something isn’t going right, and it’s time for a change, family meetings to plan together – is the way to go. And then, stay consistent with the new plan 🙂

Now, if you ask me what word I’d use for this next phase as my kids get older – it would be Modeling. How you behave, make decisions, react, work, eat, talk to your friends, interact with a worker, respect a teacher and Rabbi, host in your home – those are the most important lessons you’re giving to your kids. Far beyond what you tell them, how you do it, is what they’re watching and absorbing. 

Going into 2023 with a reminder to myself – a foundation of unconditional love, with consistency and modeling. There’s no shame in needing a reset and getting back on track.