Ingredient of the month: Cream of Chicken Soup

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We have major sleep issues around here. I blame it on our small apartment and light sleepers. But it seems like I've been hearing a lot of moms ask questions about how to get your kids to sleep! I have one in every phase... my 7 month old won't sleep at night for longer than a couple hours at a time before waking up crying. And for naps he usually only gets 30 minutes before one of the other kids loud voices wakes him up. My 2 yr old is finally staying in her toddler bed at bedtime but wakes up frequently during the night crying. And my 4 year old wakes up really early in the morning and climbs into bed with my husband. And it seems like none of them are getting enough sleep!!
So my question this week is... how have you gotten your kids/babies to sleep? Whether it's training a baby to sleep through the night, training a toddler to stay in his new "big boy bed", helping a child who wakes up a lot during the night, or how to keep your baby/kids asleep through the noise of everything else that's going on.


Christine Archibald said...

We have had our sleep issues too! I just got Ian sleeping through the night again. We moved him to a toddler bed and he wouldn't stay in it and he would also get up several times a night until we got tough! My Pediatrician told me to put him in his bed and shut the door and not go back in. (We had to put a baby gate in the door since he can open the door and unlock it if locked). He also said that going in every 10-15 min works for babies but not for toddlers, it makes them mad. He told me to let him cry until he falls asleep. It was agonizing for me but it worked. He still woke up at night so I tried the same thing, I just didn't go in. After a few nights he didn't wake up at all. Now we are back to normal. I don't know how all of that works with multiple kids, probably more tricky. I have had to sleep train Ian probably a half dozen times in his two short years. Good luck, I know how a good night sleep can make the day so much more pleasant for everyone. Let us know what works!

The Mortensens said...

Cassi, I think this is a great question. I'm interested to see responses because we just ordered a toddler bed for Will.... YIKES....! And, he's already not taking great naps, so I am afraid I'm going to be tough like Christine and just shut the door, for naps and at night. Wish I could be more help, but the only thing that has worked for us is being very consistent and letting him cry it out. That's the hardest thing to do, but it seems to work for just about every child.
One more thing, I huge part of Will's good or bad sleep is how "tired" he is. If he gets over tired, he doesn't sleep well. When he's sleeping well, he sleeps more (I know it sounds really weird, but it works for him). Like yesterday, he took a 2 1/2 hour nap (something he hasn't done in months) and still went to bed at 7p. He didn't wake up until 7:30 am!

Cassi said...

Good luck with the toddler bed! Something that helped us was switching the door knob so we could lock the door from the outside. It sounds mean but really after a couple nights of not being able to get out they realize and stop trying. We also unplug the light because Mayli will turn it on and play. And we used to put our kids to bed at 8 and they would stay up for at least 30 min to an hour yelling and playing but then we started putting them to bed at 7 and somehow (doesn't make sense to me) they go right to sleep!?!?! It doesn't help them STAY asleep all night but it is nice to be able to put them down and have them actually go to sleep right away. Toddler beds are hard at first but they do get it... eventually! :)
Oh... and Parker did ok taking naps once he was in a bed but once Mayli was in a bed nap time disappeared! Even if I locked her in there she just played/destroyed things in her room and didn't sleep, and after cleaning up some crazy messes I eventually gave up. So good luck with that.

Mike, Anna, Mikelle and Kaylee said...

Honestly, we bribe!!! For the time being anyway. Mikelle would scream and scream when put down, but then when she lost her tv privilege repeatedly she finally decided against throwing a fit at bed time. We don't watch tv on a regular basis anyway but for her to know that its not even an option on a day when she lost the privilege seemed to do the trick. I also don't go in there after she is put down. Unless the baby needs me. Now as for said baby, she usually whines and fusses herself to sleep. But going in there repeatedly for her doesn't work anymore, she gets more mad when I go in there and don't take her out with me. If I try to lay her down she just pushes my hands away and sits back up. So as long as she doesn't get to mad I leave her alone. And now she doesn't fuss to much before falling asleep.

Bridget said...

Ahhh, to get a good night's sleep is seriously my wildest dream. Sad, huh? We have had serious sleep issues with Rachel since day 1 and so I have no advice to give because I feel like we've tried it all. Since we've moved, she is back to being wide away for about an hour in the middle of the night and now that her and Ian share a room she wakes him right up too. So, I have to admit we're being a lot more tough with Ian and have let him cry it out earlier and he sleeps much better (could just be an easier temperament, though). I'm excited to say that I'm not nursing him at night anymore and we got rid of that by having Justin rock him in the night instead of me feeding him. Yippee!

Some of the things that have worked on and off for us with Rachel are:
1) Sleep rules and sleep chart. From Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child we wrote up the "rules" and put them by her bed. We then role played what would happen if she got out of bed in the night (we don't talk to her, just lay her back down). If she never got out of bed she got a sticker. She nevere missed one night while we did this.
2)Pediatrician talk. Our pediatrician was awesome to just sit and talk to Rachel about how important it is to sleep at night and stay in bed if we do wake up. For some reason this actually worked (for about a month).
3)Show chart. Now we let her pick the t.v. time she wants the next day (I just made strips with her favorite shows) and if she gets out of bed she looses a strip. Needless to say, she's not watching much t.v. anymore, but it's nice to let her see a visual of how she's doing.

Sorry, this is so long, but good luck! I just keep dreaming of when they're teenagers and I can sleep in on Saturdays. Okay, maybe I don't really want teenagers yet!

David and Shelly Myers said...

I second the "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" book. Kara introduced the book to me and I've followed it pretty faithfully. Charlie (13 mo.) is still taking two 1-2 hour naps a day. He goes to bed by 7 pm (sometimes 6:30) at night and sleeps until 7:30-8:00 am every night. I haven't gone in to him at night for a long time. (He also weened at 8 mo.) We also started using a fan (white noise) when he was very young because we lived (and still do) in close quarters with thin walls. Whenever we go somewhere and stay the night, he sleeps in his pack-n-play with the fan on just fine...all night long. Anytime he gets even slightly behind in his sleep we have to cry it out a little. But he knows the routine by now and only cries for 2-3 min. before he gives in. Haven't gotten to the toddler bed yet and wondering how it will actually all pan out. As you all get various strategies to work, please share!