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post #141 of 577

starling - thanks for your parenting advice! :) i appreciate it.

post #142 of 577
Thanks for the suggestions! I'm going to start noting her distress and explaining why she can't have things and see if that helps--it sounds like it would help me, at least.
post #143 of 577
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by starling&diesel View Post

And then they learn that the tantrum serves no purpose except for them to feel feelings, and that it doesn't change the outcome that you have thoughtfully and respectfully decided beforehand.

Gordon Neufeld is very big on the idea that so many kids aren't allowed to experience loss and move from mad to sad.
I think being able to just 'be' through disappointment is so key to kids developing resilience and for understanding their role in the family.

Are kids not allowed to experience disappointment?

Also, I've noticed that my boys tantrums right now don't seem to be, "I think screaming will change the course of events" as much as, "I'm upset!" They cry if I put their clothes on or take them off. They cry if the dogs next door are inside instead of outside.
post #144 of 577
Lots of folks try to fix the 'issue' or avoid the demonstrative feelings that seem so messy in the moment.
I'm all for letting my kids freak out if need be.
As for changing the course of events, one minute H might want his hat on as badly as he doesn't want it on the next. He might invest in a tantrum for either outcome, but he definitely has a desired outcome, no matter how fickle or fleeting.
post #145 of 577
Thread Starter 
Hmm, a lot of our tantrums are for things like glancing at his feet. The candy throw downs have an obvious desired outcome, but many are less clear. Perhaps I don't recognize the squashing of disappointment because I feel like I see a lot of uncensored child angst.
post #146 of 577

Our issue is rarely tantrums (we average one major one a week--totally doable)  We have mostly gotten through the "yucky voice" and DS (3) does not (as of yet and hopefully never) bite or hit.  


Our struggle right now is the testing--oy, the testing.  


"that okay mama?"  as he mushes his peas on his plate "yes, that's fine."  Then, "that okay mama?" as he puts the mushed peas in his milk, "as long as you're going to eat/drink that" (sometimes he does and declares it "yum").  Then "that okay mama?" as he pours the peas/milk onto the table.


We are trying hard to be non-reactive, and ignoring loads of stuff that we normally wouldn't.  But, that seems to escalate things.  He clearly wants attention (which he gets PLENTY of)...and we are riding this phase because we totally get that it's about having a new baby in the house.


BUT the sleep.


Sh*t, he's suddenly gone from sleeping a solid 12 hours to waking up multiple times a night OR waking up and babbling loudly for hours.  


Bribes have worked (but I don't like them), we tried a star chart last night and he got up 3 times and then woke for the day at 5 am. I'm trying to impress upon him that the natural consequence of waking up the household in the night is that we will be cranky and unable to have fun (and that he will be too tired to have fun)--but I'm not sure that's working because it's a bit abstract.  


Thoughts?  I DO suspect this is a phase--but we will be traveling a bunch in the next couple of months and I don't want the travel to cement the multiple wake-ups/sleeping in the same room as us (which, note the babbling, is not an option--but we aren't going to pay for a two bedroom suite).  Help?!

post #147 of 577
wishin--oy, indeed. a friend of mine did the too tired to have fun thing when her daughter was 3 to get over a bad whiny spell and it worked well, but i can see how the time lag might make it hard. I'd say to keep at it and see if he gets the idea. Does the star c1hart wo`rk at all?

v ab n Edie is helping me respond. SHE doesjrn't have any advice, either, but since she's up at 5:30 rarin to go these days, my guess is that we'll be int your shoes soon! smile.gif
post #148 of 577
Thread Starter 
I'm sorry, I have no suggestions. The babbling in the night makes me think of my own guys, who are learning to talk. Your son is getting much better at talking now, too? Do you think he's doing that thing where they practice a developmental milestone at night? On top of a new baby? Maybe if that's the case it will be short lived.

I feel like DD (7) had an increase in wake ups after S2s birth but that was short lived. I don't remember what we did differently. She has a handheld nightlight so she can go to the bathroom or get water on her own. She still wakes up once or twice some nights, but we don't get woken unless she's sick or has a bad dream.

Our oldest has had a harder time falling asleep on an off since the same time. I think it's partly because they go to bed later at their other house and partly because he's a bit anxious. He reads in bed after bedtime and occasionally stresses about the fact that he can't fall asleep. I usually have him eat a carb and he falls asleep after that or climbs out of bed every 5 minutes to report that he hasn't fallen asleep yet lol.

So maybe those are my suggestions? Opportunity for independence at night and carb rich bedtime snack? My kids are a lot older, so the issues are probably different.
post #149 of 577

Hi Wishin ...

Is your DS still napping?  If so, kibosh that pronto.

If he's not napping, here are some questions:

1. What time does he wake up?

2. What time does he go to bed?

3. Does he wear a pull-up or dipe to bed or can he hold it?

4. Does he go to bed at the same time every night?

5. Do you have a bedtime routine?

6. Does he get a lot of exercise during the day?

7. Does it make any difference if his room is dark or not?

8. Any food reactions possible?  Refined sugar?  Food colouring hidden somewhere in his evening snack?

9. When he wakes in the night, do you turn lights on?

10. Where does he sleep?

11. Does he sleep by himself?

12. What's the temperature like in his room?

13. Have you tried Nature's Calm, or Rescue Remedy Sleep, or camomile tea or the like?


I could go on.  Answers to those will give me a better idea ... we have had so many sleep issues (like any parent), I'd be happy to chime in.

post #150 of 577

I LOVE the question list!

Originally Posted by starling&diesel View Post

Hi Wishin ...

Is your DS still napping?  If so, kibosh that pronto.  He hasn't napped in about a year, unless he's been sick.

If he's not napping, here are some questions:

1. What time does he wake up?

Anytime between 5:30am and 7:30am (6:30-7 is ideal)

2. What time does he go to bed?

Between 6:30pm and 7pm

3. Does he wear a pull-up or dipe to bed or can he hold it?

He can hold it

4. Does he go to bed at the same time every night?


5. Do you have a bedtime routine?

Three books, prayers, two songs

6. Does he get a lot of exercise during the day?


7. Does it make any difference if his room is dark or not?

YES!  We have aluminum foil behind the black out curtains

8. Any food reactions possible?  Refined sugar?  Food colouring hidden somewhere in his evening snack?

We've had more ice cream lately...maybe 3 times a week.  I'm going to stop allowing chocolate (he gets maybe a piece every other day).  We are fairly strict about no food coloring.  He is allowed a cookie/treat at after church coffee hour (or if I make them, which is rarely)

9. When he wakes in the night, do you turn lights on?

Lights stay off

10. Where does he sleep?

In his bed, in his room.

11. Does he sleep by himself?

Yes, he's the world's lousiest co-sleeper (we've offered it as an option several times over the past 3 years, it never goes well).

12. What's the temperature like in his room?

68-70 degrees

13. Have you tried Nature's Calm, or Rescue Remedy Sleep, or camomile tea or the like?

Have not tried these...but I think we're going to get some Rescue Remedy 


I could go on.  Answers to those will give me a better idea ... we have had so many sleep issues (like any parent), I'd be happy to chime in.

post #151 of 577
Originally Posted by wishin'&hopin' View Post

I LOVE the question list!

Okay, so, armed with more info, I would try the following, with the caveat that I have no idea what will work, but this is what I'd try:


  • Nature's Calm or Rescue Remedy Sleep.  I'd use both.  I find the magnesium in the Nature's Calm helps SO much with growing pains and restless kids.  You could also add epson salts to his bath at bedtime.
  • Later bedtime, by an hour or more, even.  I'd aim for lights out at 8pm.  You could use that extra hour to take him out on his bike or let him dance his sillies out.  He'll likely wake at the same time as he does now, but hopefully after actually having slept better.  We've had to say goodbye to our long evenings alone with each other.  Kids go to sleep around 830pm here, both of them, and wake around 7-730am.  Sigh.
  • Or add back in the nap.  This worked for friends.  Would NEVER work for us though.  They added back in a short nap, and their kid's bedtime went so much better.  This was from about 4yo for a few months only.  You never know!
  • More physical activity throughout the day.  If this is truly accomplished, it will knock him out.  Like, 2-3 hours at the park would be ideal. What about having a sitter take him to the park and wearing him out before supper? 
  • No chocolate.  If H has chocolate at any point in the day, he sleeps like crap.  
  • No refined sugar after ... what, lunch, maybe?  I really notice that if we have a sugary treat in the afternoon, bedtime is that much harder.  We don't offer dessert after dinner except for fruit, or perhaps 1 homemade cookie.  Any treats are had waay earlier.
  • No liquids (except a sip or two) after dinner, and not that much at dinner either.  I find E is restless if she has to go pee.  She'll wake, or toss and turn, or cry out, but it's not so much that she gets up and asks to go.  It's just enough that she can't sleep deeply.
  • I'd also consider taking him to the bathroom when you go to bed.  Do you think he'd stay half asleep?  This worked for a while when E was more restless at night (as mentioned above).
  • What about someone in his room with him for a bit?  When he wakes, do you go to him or does he come to you?  If you go to him, you could try a mattress on the floor beside him for a few nights and see if you can get him back to sleep more easily that way?
  • What about giving him a little ipod or cd player and a couple of soothing stories that he could turn on and listen to in the dark when he wakes up?  The George Winston / Meryl Streep "Velveteen Rabbit" is stunningly beautiful and very mellow.  
  • Another approach would be to let him do whatever he wants to at night, within his room.  If he wants to play, then rock on.  I imagine that this wouldn't last that long.  His fatigue during the day would catch up to him and would perhaps reset his inner clock.  This wouldn't work for E, but I could imagine it working for H.  They're totally different kids.
  • Also, you might consider removing the black out blinds ... totally radical, I know, but if he can learn to sleep without absolute darkness, traveling will be easier.  You could also use the traveling to nix the blackout situation.   This might be your chance to totally switch it up and make it work in your favour, seeing as you're having to deal with it anyway right now.


Good luck!  

post #152 of 577

Thank you Starling!  We would actually love a later bedtime, but when we've experimented with it in the past he started waking up at 4:30am.  Sigh.  I've been offering the potty if he wakes at night, but he refuses (he actually usually holds it until after breakfast, and refuses to go before...seriously!).  When we go to visit family (long car trip) we will be letting him do more setting of his own bedtime (probably 8-9ish) because he will probably nap in the car.  We are hoping the vacation will wear him out AND reset him.  And, maybe we'll be able to stick to a slightly later bedtime when we return (which would be a bonus!).

post #153 of 577

Sooo, update on the trials and tribulations of sleep at our house ;)  


H was exhausted so tucked in by 6:30pm...it is now 7am and he is still asleep (I suspect that he's catching up on rest and will sleep until 8ish).


The changes we made

-moved him into the twin bed in his room (we'd been finding him awake in it in the morning) and turned his toddler bed into where we "read stories" (trying to separate activities that aren't sleep from the bed where he sleeps)

-invited him to tuck in his stuffed animals into the toddler bed, asked him to "tell them what they need to do and tuck them in".  Unprompted he said, "sleep all night, night night"

-He woke up with an asthma attack and needed to be treated at 11:30pm (this is unusual for him, but associated with his pollen allergies--I thought we were past the peak of the season, but apparently he still needs his allergy med's), I took him to the potty and tucked him back in.  Went back to sleep promptly.  


Sooo, we'll stick to what we did last night and see what happens (until the baby was born, he was sleeping a solid 11-13 hours a night for about a year).  I hope this gets better quickly!  


Apart from sleep regression, as he's gotten progressively more exhausted, his language has regressed--we've lost initial p's, b's and m's again.  Hope they come back quickly!


ETA, we've decided to not mention sleep at all during the day...

post #154 of 577
Wishin: It sounds like you had a great night last night! I hope that is the start of a trend of much better sleep for everyone.

I'm trying to think of a QOTD, but I can't come up with anything interesting. Anyone have one?

No real news from us. Pregnancy going well (16 weeks already!), and our little guy continues to be busy busy exploring everything he can see or get his hands on. Any favorite books about construction vehicles?
post #155 of 577
QOTD--I've got one! How do you decide how much time to devote to kid-friendly things (like dance classes, swim lessons, etc) and how much to just play at home? We don't have Edie enrolled in any classes (except for whatever they get up to at daycare) and although I don't know how we'd squeeze something like that in I don't want her to miss out on it if it's important. If you've got older kids, when did you start getting more into organized activities?
post #156 of 577
Thread Starter 
Escher, Tana Hoban's Construction Zone was a big hit in our house.

Wishin, yay!!!

AOTD: I think those classes are for the parent's sanity at this age. Your daycare probably provides all kinds of stimulation and socialization.

For us, my kids have had a SAHP all their lives. They went to weekly playgroup/new parents group. When O became mobile we added in a museum. When I started watching other kids, we had a destination every day of the week. When we lived in the country, that wasn't practical. Well, we got out every day, but just to the yard. The big kids do activities 1-2 times a week now. The one who went out every day is the most introverted, so I don't think the socialization beat out the genetics in the long run. The babies are in no regular classes or anything. We used to go to story time and hang out with friends once a week. We go out in the yard daily, parks often, errands, zoo, museums. They like to get out of the house and the more they're out, the less I have to clean.

We have been traveling and EC went out the window. The boys have been peeing willy nilly. We had a pack of sposies and figured we might as well use them for the car ride home. S got a rash today at the top of his cheeks. What the heck? He had no problems wearing them overnight but sunlight plus diapers is a problem?
post #157 of 577


When we were new parents we were very gung ho about doing stuff.  Baby time at the library, mom & babe drop ins, etc.

Now, not so much.

E goes to one structured thing a week, which is an art & literature class.  Were we not on scholarship there, we wouldn't be going.  

We do lots though, just not in the style of 'need to be here at this specific time to do this specific thing.'

We spend LOTS of time at our local park.  Hours per day, truly.

We go to the library once a week and sign out 50+ books each time.

We have a membership to Science World and the biodiversity museum.

We have a homeschool park day on Fridays, and/or a girls science club on Fridays.  (We rarely actually get to these)

We go camping a lot.

We do a lot of crafts and construction and mucking around at home.

We do a LOT of bug collecting/research/exploring, etc.

But as for structured stuff?  Just that one thing on Monday mornings.  And thankfully that ends next week!

Then it's going to be music festival season!  WHOO HOO!  Bring on the tie-dye!

post #158 of 577

AOTD: We have had DD in Music Together classes since she was about 8 or 9 months old - it's a weekly class with no classes in the summer - it's very unstructured for the most part and she's always really loved it. We took the last term off though as she lost interest a bit we thought. She's since asked to go back so we may start up again in the fall. We did swimming lessons one spring and one winter when she was around 18months - 2 - once a week - other than teaching us some water safety with babies/toddlers I didn't think my DD liked it all that much - she LOVES swimming but I don't think she needed classes at that age. My DP and I both \like doing classes with her for things we don't feel like we do at home that much but we limit it to once or sometimes twice a week as we love and cherish the more unstructured fun days puttering around home (and now in our new yard), parks, the beach, visiting friends, weekly library visits, etc. She goes to daycare twice a week and they do a field trip every day! So she goes to lots of fun places like science world, plays, parks, beaches, museums, farms, etc. Since January my DP has been taking her to a "creative dance" class once a week at a place called Arts Umbrella...it's a pretty fabulous place and it's the first class she's taken that isn't parent participation. She adores it. We may start that up again soon too. I also don't want to neglect sports either. I loved team sports as a kid so if she shows interest as she gets older we'd consider that too.


Reading that it sounds like we have a lot going on in terms of scheduled classes but really it's a once a week thing - we've just tried a few things over the past couple of years or so.

post #159 of 577
AOTD: We have done various classes and activities, but I don't think they are important, just fun. I enjoyed baby yoga with our son, my wife liked baby music with him, and we've both enjoyed being involved in playgroups. But like Seraf said, I think it is more for parent sanity than child enrichment at this stage.
post #160 of 577
Thread Starter 

On the other hand, I heard something recently about idea of wealthy parents having smarter children because they provide more stimulation.  I can't find it anywhere now. In my search, I found all kinds of fun stuff about the difference in the number of words children are exposed to at different income levels and how having siblings affects their intelligence. My oldest does seem to be the smartest, he has the benefit of being the oldest, he had the most outside stimulation the first few years, his donor had the highest test scores. So I don't know how to tell which factor had the greatest influence. LOL, at the same time, I probably have a kind of jaded, "I've seen that trick before" attitude with the younger kids.  The babies seem more like adorable puppies than supergenuises. I should probably talk to them more.

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