La Tela di Carlotta
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The only tip you need if your baby is not sleeping

Jun 20, 2017

Last night Emily woke up every 30/40 minutes from 2.30 to 6am. At 6am she was wide awake, smiling and chatting away (I have to give her that, her happy attitude makes everything much easier!), but I was determined to put her down again and get some more sleep. At 6.50am, after 50 minutes of intense conversations, she fell back asleep. At 7.26am she was back up and ready for the day.

Last night comes after several (tens of) crappy nights (pardon my French!). And when I say crappy, I mean ridiculously annoying and highly frustrating, to a point that often I lay in bed fantasizing about washing my hands of the kids and checking into a hotel room to get even just 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Yes, that crappy!

This morning while eating my breakfast in zombie mode, staring at the void, I thought out loud, “How much harm can sleeping pills do to a baby?”. Yes, I’m that exhausted! And no, I’d never ever give sleeping pills to my children.

But that made me think back at all the times in these almost two years when my friend Amanda would tell me that Gabriel “didn’t sleep again last night”, and every time I’d tell her “It’s just a phase, it’ll pass!”. Back then I had never really experienced sleep deprivation the way I’m experiencing it now: Oliver was never a great sleeper, but he was always a decent one, waking up every 3-4 hours and going back to sleep in within minutes.

Now that I now what it means to have one better night in months, now that I have read the whole internet, tried everything acceptable under the sun, and spoke to many many mums about lack of sleep… well, I’d tell Amanda exactly the same thing. Because even if I hate nights at the moment, I hate going to sleep tired knowing that I’ll wake up as (or more) tired, I think I now know the one and only secret for a child’s sleep—and if you’re not sleeping either at the moment, sorry, you’ll be greatly disappointed:

Go with the flow.

That’s it, folks! I believe there’s nothing else to it. You can try whatever you want—as a matter of fact, I’d still like to try some camomile to see if it relaxes her, and I’m so tired I even thought of trying homeopathy even if I don’t believe in it at all—but nothing will make a difference, not the three-minute trick that worked on Oliver, nor the magic pillow that worked on my friend’s baby.

Because babies have their own times and their own (sometimes mysterious) needs, and they learn at their pace, you can’t force the learning. Ever. And no children—none, not even those who “sleep through the night”—sleeps through the night, and if you don’t believe me, please please read this old post.

I tried for two years to create a night routine for Oliver so he’d be in bed by 7pm:  was consistent with it, but I never managed to put him down before 9.30/10pm. One day, a few months ago, he skipped his afternoon nap and asked to go to sleep at 7.30pm (yes, he ASKED!). He’s now sleeping every night between 7 and 7.30pm, 12/13 hours straight. HE did that, not me.

So even when it comes to sleep routine, like in everything else baby and child related, there’s one and one rule only: follow the baby.

Good luck everybody (and to me too!).

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The blog

I write mainly about Montessori, parenthood, and multilingualism. Here are some recent posts.

Montessori
One day a few years ago my husband came home and said, "Why don't we put a mattress on the floor in the baby room? It'd be much more natural". "Never" was my reply. That's how our Montessori journey started. Since then we've been living, breathing and applying the philosophy at home day in and day out, starting from ourselves. Because educating children starts from the parents.
An example of how I practice empathy with my kids
How I show empathy to my children
Happy 4th birthday, Emily
Montessori New Year's tradition
Montessori Peace table
Audiobooks of real-life stories for kids
10k on Instagram!
Terrible twos
The organs of the body: workshop for kids
Kids understand if you give them honesty
Living sustainably
Living sustainably for me doesn’t only mean to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It means to make decisions that are sustainable for our planet, the people on it, but also for our life, our lifestyle, and our happiness. It means to take any daily chance to evolve and be happier, healthier, kinder, more responsible and more caring human beings—the only sustainable way for a meaningful future.
Face yoga is an act of self love
Why you should wear the same outfit twice on Instagram
The power of creating habits (and why you should do it, even if you then break them!)
Responsible eating is the diet of the future (Would you like to teach it to your kids?)
The power of NOT complaining: can you do it for a whole month?
Clean up your planet, please!
Infographic: 8 steps to switch to cloth nappies (a guide for reluctant parents)
A personal note on happiness
A personal note on social media
A change of life always widens your horizons
New to La Tela?
I’ve prepared collections on various topics that I’ve written over the years. Perhaps you’ll find one that interests you.

Travel

We sold everything to travel the world for two years. We're currently in New Zealand.

Books

In 2020 I wrote 4 books for the Italian collection “Gioca and Impara con il metodo Montessori” curated by Grazia Honegger Fresco. The collection is a project by Il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport.

We also implemented the workshops of the last 15 volumes of the collection with Oliver and Emily.

Podcast

On my podcast, “Educare con calma”, I talk about various topics, from Montessori to sustainability. Only in Italian!

Jan 15, 2021 • 20m
Come "montessorizzare" la casa per dare indipendenza ai bambini
In questo episodio di Educare con Calma parliamo di come offrire indipendenza in casa attraverso l'ambiente. Vi parlo dell'importanza dell'ambiente (anche nelle scuole Montessori), di quanto sia importante apportare piccoli cambiamenti in casa per dare più indipendenza ai bambini, e anche di come purtroppo questo non sia sufficiente… Questo tema è uno dei primi che avevo in mente di trattare sul podcast… meglio tardi che mai! 🌸 -- Come appoggiare il podcast: Io non faccio pubblicità e non acc...
25
Jan 13, 2021 • 05m
Montessori in 5': Un metodo per smettere di criticare
Ho deciso di creare una piccola rubrica sul podcast in cui vi parlo di Montessori, educazione consapevole, disciplina dolce, disciplina positiva (chiamatela come volete, io la chiamo "educazione a lungo termine" 😉) e in ogni episodio tratto un tema in soli 5 minuti. In questo primo episodio vi suggerisco un metodo (infallibile) per smettere di criticare continuamente i nostri figli (a voi piacerebbe sentirvi sempre criticati e corretti?). L'episodio è nato da questa riflessione che ho fatto s...
24
Jan 8, 2021 • 31m
Viaggiare a tempo pieno: domande e risposte
In questo episodio di Educare con Calma rispondo alle vostre domande (più ripetute) sul nostro stile di vita di viaggiatori a tempo pieno: perché lo abbiamo scelto, come ci manteniamo, come permettiamo lo sviluppo sociale dei bambini e molto di più. Vi lascio anche alcuni articoli relazionati a ciò di cui parlo nell'episodio: I bambini devono uscire dalla propria zona di comfort  Vuoi un cambiamento nella tua vita? Trova la grotta! Se ti va, lasciami un commento sotto gli articoli per farmi s...
23

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I update Instagram almost every day to be "close" to my family far away.

Why La Tela di Carlotta?
I dreamed of the name La Tela di Carlotta. One morning I woke up and in my dreams I had created a blog named just like the American novel (Charlotte's Web). Many years and endless ups and downs later, this web of thoughts and stories is my work. It took me a long time to understand what kind of online presence I wanted and today I know: I'm transparent, I show real life, I don't advertise, I only recommend sustainable brands (and not only because they pay me) and I believe in the value of my blog and my courses—because if we don't believe in the value of our work, no one will believe in it for us.
Carlotta
Carlotta dreaming of La Tela
I know! I don't want it to be over yet either.