Top 4 of 4… Fourth of July style

Hopefully you’re relaxing and spending some well-deserved quality time with your family and friends during today’s Fourth of July holiday. My husband and I are taking the plunge and keeping our two-year-old up for fireworks. Thankfully we can see them from our patio. Our plan of action is to put him down for a late nap, fireworks at 9pm, then it’s straight to bed.

Today being a holiday, I didn’t schedule a new post, but to tide you over until Friday, below are a few posts that I’ve dubbed Top 4 of 4… Fourth of July style. In honor of the holiday, I’ve highlighted the top four posts from the last year that generated the most comments and conversation, starting with…

Number 4: Are you sharing too much of your kids online?
Most parents have their children’s privacy and security in mind, and this topic didn’t contradict that idea. As a blogger who writes about her son, I’m careful to balance sharing the tidbits that define my parenting with the need for privacy. Some of you feel fine sharing on blogs and social networks, while others remain completely anonymous, sans pictures and names.

Number 3: Dads are co-parents, not babysitters
This post garnered a ton of discussion, especially from the subject at hand: dads. While moms continue to perform most parenting duties, dads are stepping up to the plate and helping to balance the gender divide often found in our homes. I especially loved hearing from stay-at-home dads who completely skew the mom-as-caregiver, dad-as-breadwinner stereotype.

Number 2: Why forcing kids to say sorry may not be a good idea
We often see forced apologies as good manners, or we don’t normally consider saying sorry as a bad thing; either way, this post got you talking. Some of you were able to look into your own parenting and rethink a few methods. Others provided examples of forced apologies gone wrong. For me, any chance we can get to consider the world from our kids’ point of view often proves eye-opening.

And the number 1 post of the Top of Four of Four 2012 is…

Winner: How late is too late for your child’s bedtime?
I write some posts thinking, “This is going to be epic!” only to collect a few comments and hits. Then there’s the opposite, where I write mostly for my own curiosity, only to be surprised by the ensuing conversation that follows. This was one of those posts, and you really chimed in, from parents with set bedtimes to others who sleep a bit later. Go figure that a post with the least expectations ends up with the most dialogue.

Hopefully these links will give you some food for thought as you chomp on potato salad and barbecue. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your day, and Happy Fourth of July!

Did you like another SSBE post that didn’t make the Top 4 of 4? How are you celebrating the Fourth of July holiday? And did you decide whether your kids will stay up for fireworks?

p.s. If you liked what you read, you can subscribe and receive free full-text posts from Sleeping Should Be Easy in your email inbox. Or, tell us what you think about this post on Facebook and Twitter.

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How can we improve Sleeping Should Be Easy?

How can we improve Sleeping Should Be Easy?
With a parenting blog, I never seem to run out of ideas on what to write about. As my toddler continues to grow, I’m thrust into new experiences (how to encourage pretend play) as well as revisiting old ones (hello again, cranky naps). And LO isn’t the only one growing—this blog is, too. As it does, I try to vary the types of posts I write, whether they’re lists, infographics, thought-provoking topics, flashbacks into the earlier days of parenthood or interviews with experts and other bloggers.

I think I’ve done a decent job of covering topics that seem helpful or insightful (because I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who has dealt with tantrums or wondered about labeling our kids), but in an effort to ensure that you’re getting what you’re coming here for, I’d like to ask you explicitly:

What would you like to see here at Sleeping Should Be Easy?

In order to improve this blog, I’d like to know what topics and posts you like. While this blog covers my personal experiences and all that I’ve learned, a large part of its growth is because of you. That said, I want to make sure you like what you read and aren’t disappointed with what you take away from the posts. So I’d like to know:

  • What posts have you enjoyed in the past?
  • Are there types of posts you look forward to more than others?
  • Conversely, are there posts you skip over?
  • What topics would you like addressed more on the site?
  • What do you like about Sleeping Should Be Easy?

If you could even point to previous posts in the past, that would be helpful as well. Any input you can provide will help build a better blog and provide posts you’ll read and enjoy.

Subscribe to SSBE

And since we’re talking behind-the-scenes blogging, please support and subscribe to Sleeping Should Be Easy if you haven’t already done so. You’ll only receive emails when a new post is published (no spam from me!) and it’s one of the best ways to make sure you don’t miss any posts. And rest assured, you can unsubscribe any time.

(Belated) weekend links

In other news, I wanted to feature some interesting discussions around the blogosphere, including:

Sleeping Should Be Easy turns two years old!

Two years ago, I started Sleeping Should Be Easy to document my son’s milestones and daily moments as well as my thoughts on parenting. I wanted a place to write down how much he has grown, what he has accomplished, and the challenges and joys of being a mom.

I love reading through previous posts and reminiscing on what we were going through, from sleepless nights to his first words. I also like sharing what I’ve learned with others and appreciate every click and comment that the blog has received. So even though this blog is very (very) small, I’m still amazed that it has gained a trickle of readers along the way. It’s pretty awesome that others are enjoying my posts, telling others about it, and coming back for more. So, thank you so much for following along!

That said, I know I must love writing in this blog because even if my husband was the only person reading this (which wasn’t uncommon not too long ago), I would continue writing. I love sharing what my toddler is up to and everything I’m learning so far about being a mom.

So happy second birthday, blog! Here’s to many more posts ahead.

zzzzzzz…

You would think that nature would instill in our infant bodies the ability to fall asleep because we’re sleepy. But no. For some reason our brains left out that part and required mamas and daddies to employ all sorts of techniques to get little baby to sleep. Tactics that include: 1) bouncing on an exercise ball until his eyes are closed, then continue to bounce for 10 more minutes before settling him down in his crib, 2) shushing, 3) loud static noise on constant replay throughout the night.

The worst is when you hear about other babies that can just be put down on their back, sucking on a pacifier and zonking out minutes later. Lucky poopyheads.

This blog is dedicated to my Little World, my little booger, the sprout. He is 4 months old, my first baby, my biggest challenge in life, and along with his dad, my most rewarding gift.

Did I mention my biggest challenge in life?

As most other blogs like to do, this one will chronicle his growth, his day to day activities and new events that babies do (“His poop is mustard color now!”). Hopefully friends and family will follow along and see what he’s up to. And it won’t just be about sleeping. Daddy thought of the title because, well, right now it really is the biggest hurdle with him, considering we’re pretty lucky in all other aspects with him. And in the bigger picture, he’s actually a pretty good sleeper, since he sleeps long stretches at night in his crib now. I just think it’s odd that sleeping isn’t as easy as, say, eating or breathing or pooping and other natural things babies do.

Dear Readers, please feel free to chime in on the comments. It’s nice to know that people read along.

And dear son, thanks for going along on this journey with mama and daddy. We’re constantly learning new things about babies, about you, and about ourselves. Hopefully in later years, you will understand why we had to strap you in to the carseat despite yelling your head off, why your crib couldn’t have a soft, comfortable mattress or bumpers to keep your hands and legs from poking out, and why diaper changes were necessary despite your apparent nonchalance about sitting in your pee and poop.

And why you needed to stop smiling / squirming / crying / curiously looking around  / (insert any other action here besides sleeping) and go to sleep already.