Tip #3 – Preventing Tired and Cranky Babies
Here is another tip in my Tips for Mom series – this week I’m sharing a way to help prevent tired and cranky babies. Of course, we can’t always help it and can’t always stop or prevent it, but sometimes we can!
When I was a brand new mom our church was very very active. We had activities almost every single night. I was used to participating in all of them, even through pregnancy. We had worship and bible studies and out reach/evangelism nights, fellowship times, along with reaching out to the students on campus (we were in a college church that was very evangelical). It was a total culture shock to be fairly isolated at home with a baby.
So, like any guilt-ridden new mom, I kept up with all the church events with baby in tow. I figured the baby could sleep wherever and didn’t worry much about it. Well, in the beginning things worked out fine. She did sleep whenever she was tired and I missed very little. But as she began to get older, it was harder and harder for her sleep and she began to miss naps. This also was coming around the time she was old enough for child training to begin.
In case you didn’t know, when babies miss their naps they get cranky! They fuss and cry and say, “NO” to everything, they hit and kick. Life can get quite difficult with a cranky child!
I remember one particular day when we were at an afternoon outreach picnic (we’d missed her nap) and my little one was a fuss-pot and being quite rebellious. I was beginning to lose it. One of the moms (we only had 2) came up to me and said, “If our babies are cranky and disobeying because they are over tired, the fault is MOM’S!”
OUCH! Major reproof!
For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust. Ps 103:14
She was absolutely right! My baby was cranky because of ME. I was the one not wanting to miss out. Instead of me sacrificing my wants and desires, I sacrificed my baby’s well being. My job was to meet her needs as best as I could and I was setting aside her need for good solid naps so that I didn’t miss out on activities. Now, I’m not saying those activities were bad. But (as I’ve repeated one of my disciplers for the past 37 years) for the believer, the Good is the enemy of the Best. Those Good things (bible studies, fellowship times, even evangelism outreaches) became enemies to me as I forsook the Best thing God had for me in my making sure my baby got her essential nap time for her health and well being!
God knows what our weaknesses are, He is mindful (always understanding) what we are and are not capable of. We must learn from our Father and see the weaknesses, limitations and needs of our children. We need to know their physical maturity and what the needs are at given times of their lives. We need to be mindful that they are but babies or toddlers and where their limits lie.
So, my tip to you new moms is: make sure you make naps a priority for your little ones. And remember, if we allow them to get overtired and they get cranky, the fault might very well be ours! Of course (after having 8 babies) I believe that naps are ALWAYS a good idea!
All Scripture quotations are taken from the NASB.
Unless otherwise indicated, photos from pixaby.com