August 7, 2006 at 7:28 pm #2009
Hi, I have read many books on getting babies to sleep through the night, but I’d like to know from actual mommies what worked for them.
Thanks in advance to anyone who shares her tips with me!!!!!!!!!!!August 8, 2006 at 1:57 pm #3046
We’ve never had sleep issues with our kids (we’ve been very blessed!)
From the very beginning, we lay them in the crib, give kisses, say night night and turn out the light. We do it the SAME EXACT WAY every night. They come to associate that pattern with time to go to sleep.
Of course, there may be some rough patches at the beginning, but we are among the parents who tend to (***GASP***) allow them to cry for a little bit and learn to comfort themselves.
I don’t mean to say that we IGNORE them if they’re absolutely hysterical and at the verge of a complete breakdown….it’s harder to get them to settle down if they get that wound up. We will go back in, pick them up, and repeat the pattern of kisses, night night, light off. They get the idea very quickly. May not work for some….but it has worked for us with four children thus far. Each time I have to do this, I always check to make sure nothing ELSE is wrong, too (diaper dry? Hungry? No fever or perceivable illness?)
I want to add that the children are usually in the room with us right next to the bed during the “frequent nursing months.” (Until 6 months or so?)
After that, we transfer them to their big crib in their own room.
Like I said, our method is not for everyone….probably not suited to really strong AP proponents…..but it DOES work for us.
I guess it’s sort of a loose, modified Ferber method?August 16, 2006 at 4:57 pm #3047
We pretty much do the same thing that Michelle does. We kept our 1st in the room w/us – even in the bed for most of the night when she was nursing a lot. Then when she got to where she slept about 4 hours, we put her to bed in her own room, in her own crib without any detachment problems. When she woke up after the 4 hours to feed, I did usually keep her in my room from then on because I, myself, was too tired to get back up when I was done nursing. However, once she started sleeping through the night, there wasn’t a problem. I think it only took 2 nights of biting the bullet and letting her cry if she woke up. The more you go in there, the longer it will take to break your child of the habit of screaming. However, don’t give up! Despite your emotions, know that it is not going to harm your child to leave her/him screaming for one night. (They know to cry harder and make you feel bad and you’ll come in!)
My DD is now 2 (well, she will be tomorrow) and a few weeks ago we started having her throw fits about bedtime and we went back to the basics of being totally consistent with the bed time, getting ready for bed and saying the prayers and if she was good and put her head on the pillow and didn’t cry, daddy would read her a short story and then good night. It only took about 3 days and we’re now not having the crying fits anymore – probably because we stopped falling for the million requests for kisses and coaxing, etc. We also had to get a little mean. I told Sofia, “you have 2 options, you can put your head down or you’re getting a spanking and you can go stand in the corner until you stop crying.” Obviously, the lesser of 2 evils is putting her head down. (Yes, we do swat her at times and she very well knows what the corner is. I hope I don’t get chastise for admitting that!)
The more consistent you are, to begin with, the easier it will be later!
-JosieSeptember 13, 2006 at 6:42 pm #3048
Hi there! And hi everyone! It’s been ages since I’ve posted – so busy – now 36 weeks along and trying to finish a bunch of transcription before baby arrives.
You don’t say how old your little one is. Would you share a bit more info with us? That may help a bit in strategies.
I will say that my eldest son, who is now nearly six, has just never needed a lot of sleep. He is the energizer bunny. He dropped naps by 2 1/2, goes for broke all day, loves to be up by 6 or 6:30 at the latest no matter how busy the previous day was or if bedtime was later, and only sleeps about 10 hours (most of his little pals are more still around 12 hrs). So sometimes it may just be natural body rhythm. I’m going to gleefully wake him when he’s a teenager!!!!!!
Note: Some people get fixated on babies sleeping through the night very young. Not reasonable. A newborn’s tummy is the size of one cooked chickpea. Can you believe that? At 3-6 days the size of a cherry and from 7 days to 6 weeks to up to 6 months depending on baby, averages about the size of a walnut (or tablespoon). That info is from a resource sheet for nurses and lactation consultants prepared by Best Start at http://www.beststart.org and incorporates data from the World Health Organization, Breastfeeding Committee of Canada, Ontario Breastfeeding Committee, Registered Nurses Association of Ontario and the American Academy of Paediatrics. So they *need* frequent feeds.
Josie, I would never chastise you, you’re being truthful and sharing from your heart what works for your family. But I will say that I do not advocate any hitting or spanking of children ever. I know Texas has a very different approach even in the schools (my Dad’s late first wife was from Texas – have family near Ft. Worth) than we do up here in Canada, so culturally, that’s a **huge** difference. My son’s Catholic school is so loving and promotes gentleness among students I can’t imagine a school that would have paddling as a punishment. Corporal punishment is outlawed in Canadian schools completely.
This item addresses another mother’s sleepless little one and was in a really cool newsletter I got from Babyvibe.ca today; it has sleep strategies from a wonderful proponent of mothering, Ann Douglas. I’ll paste it (hope it helps!!):
What’s the vibe today . . .
Sleeptime solution – Q & A
Today’s answer provided by Ann Douglas, best-selling Canadian pregnancy and parenting author.
Q. My daughter is now coming up on six months old and she is still waking up regularly during the night, more so in the last month. She was at the point of sleeping almost seven hours (from 8 p.m. to about 3 a.m.), but in the last month has started waking up around midnight. She used to nap in her swing and would do so for two hours in the morning and one to two hours in the later afternoon. In the last month, I have started putting her down for her naps in her crib and she has only been sleeping 45 minutes to one hour. Could this be why her nighttime sleep has changed? We have started her on rice cereal and vegetables, and she has been eating them very happily. She also has been very drool-y and we think she is probably teething although we have not seen any teeth yet . . . .
A. When I read about your daughter’s sleep situation, a couple of things jumped out at me. (As always, playing “Sleep Detective” for someone else’s child involves a bit of guesswork and a bit of reading between the lines, particularly since I haven’t actually had the pleasure of meeting your baby. So I’m going to take my usual approach and run through a laundry list of possibilities. Hopefully, some of what I’m going to suggest will make sense, given what you know about your baby).
You mention that your daughter used to nap for about two hours in the morning and for an hour or two in the afternoon when she used to take her naps in her swing. The swing may have helped to lull your baby back to sleep when she was moving in and out of periods of lighter sleep â€“ something her crib isn’t able to do for her. This may explain why your baby’s naps aren’t as long right now as they were previously: less than an hour each, as you noted.
Your baby may not have figured out how to get herself back to sleep when she stirs during naptime. When she wakes up, naptime is over, period. You can encourage her to nap longer by using a room-darkening shade; making sure her room is a comfortable temperature; and providing a “sound blanket” of white noise or soft music so that she won’t be jarred into wakefulness by the doorbell or some other intrusive sound.
You might also want to either give her an opportunity to settle herself back to sleep if she wakes after a very short period of time or try to settle her back down to sleep by patting her on the back or providing some other type of reassurance. (The approach you take will vary according to her temperament. What works with some babies is a disaster with others.) Of course, with some babies, there’s no room for negotiation on this whole going back to sleep issue. Once they’re awake, they’re awake!
The real bottom-line issue is whether your baby is getting enough sleep. If she’s tired and cranky by the time dinner hour rolls around, you know you’re dealing with an overtired baby. Likewise, if she’s so overtired that she’s not sleeping properly at night (overtired babies are prone to more night-waking because they’re too “wired” too sleep properly), that can be another sign that your baby would benefit from more daytime sleep.
As for the teething issue, pediatric health authorities are no longer telling parents that there’s a proven link between night-waking and teething. So if your child starts waking in the night at some point and seems to be miserable or in pain, don’t just chalk it up to teething: find out if there’s something else bothering your child.
I hope this answer is helpful and that this provides you with at least a few clues in figuring out what’s going on with your daughter’s sleep patterns.
Symptoms Associated With Infant Teething: A Prospective Study
Ann Douglas is the author of Sleep Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler, and Preschooler, Mealtime Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler, and Preschooler, and the bestselling titles in The Mother of All Books series: The Mother of All Pregnancy Books, The Mother of All Baby Books, The Mother of All Toddler Books, The Mother of All Parenting Books, and The Mother of All Pregnancy Organizers. She is also a proud mom of four. You can read Ann’s pregnancy and parenting articles at http://www.having-a-baby.com and check out her blog at http://www.anndouglas.blogspot.com.
KarenSeptember 24, 2006 at 3:53 pm #3049
Thanks for replying everyone! Karen, the tips you included are especially helpful since I will not let my son cry it out (I’ve read too much of Dr. Sears’ writings for that). I have many friends who have let kids cry it out, so I’m not bashing anyone who does, however.
Lately, I have been doing better, after taking Dr. Sears’ suggestion to co-sleep and nurse whenever he wants. I don’t even keep track of the wakings, but since I’m not getting up, I don’t feel that I’m losing that much sleep. And my son is one happy baby all through the day and night. It’s pretty rare for him to cry, and he’s 9 months old.
In case anyone reads this looking for help, I think _No Cry Sleep Solution_ is pretty good, but in the middle of the night, I have a hard time implementing any sort of “plan,” so I can’t say that I have followed it completely.
Thanks again– what nice moms post on this site!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!September 26, 2006 at 5:19 pm #3050
Honestly it was simply time. I let them decide when they were ready, and it just so happened to work out that for DD it was 6m and for DS 8m.
I tried putting them down in the crib and did a modified CIO. If they were seriously crying, screaming, red faced…I didn’t leave them there. I figured they weren’t ready, they needed more comforting. But most of the time, it was a fussy, whiny sort of cry, the kind that meant they were just tired. So I would let them “fuss” it out.
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