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« ADHD Q&A | Main | Gentle (aka No-Cry) Sleep Method »

Comments

Kat O+

I'm not a routine follower as a rule but bedtime is one of the few times in our house where we stick to a routine. It's like magic - one minute my son's refusing to say goodnight to Thomas (the Tank Engine), and the next minute he's closing his bedtime book early so he can get to bed. One thing I learned about the routine is to alternate between Mum and Dad. That way, you're not trapped into being the only person who can help your child to bed. This is especially important if you travel for work and may need to be away overnight. Also, it's a wonderful bonding experience that all parents should enjoy.

I have a question, too. My child sleeps from 9pm to 7:30am (give or take half an hour) with a midday nap of between 1.5-3 hours. Is this sufficient? We have great difficulty following a routine where he sleeps before 8:30pm simply because of the time it takes to feed him, feed ourselves, play with him and bathe him (we get home from work no earlier than 7pm).

Laura S.

Kat -- you are so right! Both parents should definitely be involved in the night routine so one parent isn't always "trapped" into doing it. Thanks for that reminder!

Regarding your son, sounds like he's getting at least 12 hours of sleep per 24-hour period, which is good. Kids around this age generally sleep around 13 hours in a 24-hour period (your son is 2 right?). I guess the question is, do you notice a difference in his behavior when he gets 13 as opposed to 12 hours of sleep? If you don't notice a difference (he's not cranky or overly whiny on 12 hours), then he's probably getting enough sleep. If he is more cranky, then he may be better off with 13 on a more regular basis.

To us, it seems like 1 hour shouldn't make a difference, but to these little guys it can!

Kat O+

Phew! Thanks, Laura. :-)

shiso mama

sleep was a really huge issue for us, because our baby seemed to have difficulty falling asleep from day one. he's been sleeping really well for some time now, but it was a tough battle to get here.

i don't have anything new to add to your list, but just wanted to mention that for us, the most difficult component of sleep training was getting our baby to fall asleep on his own -he rarely if ever drifted off to sleep without a long bout of crying, even in the days right after birth, so it didn't feel possible to ever just set him down awake. maybe it would be helpful to others to hear some advice on how to teach babies to fall asleep on their own?

Laura S.

Shiso Mama, you bring up a really good point! We'll be covering that with our next couple of installments on this sleep series.

Krista

I have heard that since babies have no way of communicating their stress, that a period of crying can be helpful at the end of the day. THIS IS NOT LETTING THEM CRY IT OUT. YOU ARE NOT LEAVING THE CHILD ALONE IN THEIR ROOM. After attending to the baby and making sure that all their needs are met, full tummy, dry bottom, etc. sit and hold them in the rocking chair in a dimly lit room. Rock and hold them close, but do not have any music playing. They may cry for a little while (I know, even one minute is an eternity when your child is crying) but eventually will "talk" about their stress and calm down. Then you can transition them to bed, or for one last feeding, etc. I haven't had the chance to try this since I learned about it after our son was already a toddler. Of course not all babies will need this, but some seem to feel the stresses of their day more deeply than others.

hazela

The only other comment i would make is that swaddling and shsshing eased my 11 week old into sleeping on his own at around 6 weeks, and we put him in the crib for his night sleep almost from day one (mainly becuase he was almost too big for the bassinette!), with two rolled blankets below his arms so he wouldn't move around and wake himself up.
I used the 'Baby Wisperer' book a lot for working out how to read the signs (PIP was not around then :>))
I know I found the lactation consultants excellent at helping with breast feeding, but what the world needs now is 'sleep consultants'

Kate

My mommy friends and I have been pondering this -- what are the reasons why child should give up a pacifier? Is there any downside to just waiting until they lose interest? (Assuming they don't use when awake and so it isn't getting in the way of language development.) Thanks!

Laura S.

Kate, this is a good question. I used a pacifier with my first son. The problem I ran into was that when it fell out in the middle of the night, he'd cry if he couldn't find it, and more often than not, he couldn't. I even tried clipping the dang thing to his pajamas, but it'd still get lost in his crib! So, in the end, I had to just take the thing away from him.

Also, more likely than not, it may be a loonnnnngggg time before they actually lose interest in it -- especially if they're using it to fall asleep.

Kristen

These were great - I used the majority with my kids and I can attest to the fact that they definitely work.

I was intrigued about your friend with the three-year-old going to bed at 6:30 p.m. - we're having some issues with Quinn, and this makes me wonder if I should try moving his bedtime up dramatically (currently 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., with a 1.5-hour nap most days).

On the pacifier, I WISH we had had the wherewithal to remove it from our youngest when he was a baby - unfortunately at the time we were sort of in survival mode since we had a high strung 18-month - two-year-old living among us. But now, our youngest is 3 1/2, and has not yet decided he's tired of the pacifier. He never has it during the day, but he ALWAYS sleeps with it. Argh.

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