"No Cry Sleep Solution" QUESTIONS! How to get toddler to sleep? - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-30-2002, 04:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have read most of the book now & also some threads on the archives here & I still have questions. I should mention that dd is almost 2 1/2 & we recently went to only one brief nursing a day in the morning due to MAJOR discomfort from pregnancy. We used to always nurse to sleep.

What do you do after you have completed your routine & child still isn't remotely sleepy - wants more stories, wants to play, etc? The last two days we have taken drives for naps, but she is still napping way too late. Tomorrow I plan to start earlier, but that brings me to the next question...

How do you get child up at the same time every day without tears. If dd is woken up before she's ready she cries for at least a few minutes & anywhere up to an hour.

We started the routine way earlier tonight (7:30 instead of 9ish) & now at 10:25 she is still going strong. I know this is going to take some time, but answers to those questions would be appreciated.

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Old 12-30-2002, 05:36 AM
 
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I had to start skipping naps when my son was about that age. He wouldn't fall asleep until around 3, then would sleep for up to 3 hrs. He'd then be up until we went to bed, and sometimes even then wasn't ready.
Although I missed the time in the afternoon, I really enjoyed him being ready for bed earlier, and dh and I had time alone in the evenings.
But, now ds is about 3 1/2, and I just had a new baby. I wish I could nap, but know I don't want to deal with him up until midnight.
I too had to seriously cut back the nursing because it felt yucky during pregnancy. But now ds has picked up again. Some days wanting to nurse almost everytime the baby does! But that's another topic, and not what your asking about.
I don't have any solutions, except that maybe w/o a nap she would be tired earlier and be ready to wake up earlier.
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Old 12-30-2002, 06:05 PM
 
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This book has been a real help for me. But I do have to put the caveate that I was thinking that once ds got the hang and I got the hang of it that he would be sleeping totally consistently and he hasn't always. We have good spurts of 2 weeks and then we'll get off b/c of teething (yes still at 2 he's just getting his last lower teeth, not molars) or vacations, etc.

I don't remember the part about waking a baby up? I never wake ds up if he's sleeping unless he goes down for a nap really late b/c we're at church or something else. I would say definitely let your little one wake up when their ready too. The first few weeks when we were working on getting to sleep without nursing to sleep it always takes an extra amount of time (for us 1-2 hrs. on a really long day/night) but once he's used to the routine I can do my initial nursing (this is our routine) and put him down and stand over his crib or sit next to it and he'll be out within 10-30 min.s. And then he'd go down a little earlier for a nap each day and subsequently bedtime too. It takes a couple of weeks so hang in there, whatever your little one needs to feel comfortable.

Today we were getting back onto schedule from vacation/teething and he played (I have him start out in his crib, I don't know what your situation is for me trying to do a nap nook wouldn't work he couldn't get bored enough not being somewhat confined) in there for an hour before going to sleep. For my ds he still gets a little mad that he's in there but I talk to him hug him, etc. and let him know that I'm staying in there until he goes to sleep and I love him. And that's not a toned down way of saying he's screaming his head off. It's not. Good luck and i think everything just takes time.
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Old 12-30-2002, 06:08 PM
 
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Also, i should say that he truly does have to be tired (starting to rub his eyes, spacey look, etc) but I can't let him get overtired for it all to work. It does have to be timed pretty well, not too early and not too late or else it will take hours. I've heard somewhere else to adjust your child's schedule by 10 min.s a day vs. trying to change it by hours that it's much easier on them. That might save you a lot of frustration.
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Old 12-30-2002, 06:15 PM
 
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We don't start ds's bedtime routine until he shows signs of being sleepy. As long as his nap is at a reasonable time, he generally gets sleepy between 8:30 and 9 each night. But we find that it is pointless to even try unless he seems truly tired. Yawning. Fussing. Laying his head down, etc.. We know we caught him at the right time if it takes less than 30 min. to put him to sleep. If it takes longer -- we often give up and let him stay up a little longer. We'll just say, "Oh, I guess you weren't sleepy yet. Maybe 10 more min. to play and then we'll try again."

We don't wake ds in the morning either -- well, not on purpose! Older ds often bursts exuberently into the room at the crack of dawn - -but what I mean is that we don't wake him early with the intention of manipulating his schedule.

With each of our kids we had to work with their natural sleep inclinations. Older son is an early to bed and early to rise sort of guy. We keep him up and busy until 8:00 PM so that he won't wake the whole house up at 6AM. Little ds is the opposite. I don't enjoy him bouncing around until 10 PM though, so we gently try to shift his bedtime earlier by waking him from his nap by 4PM. Not usually too hard. Though he *is* grouchy about it.
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Old 12-30-2002, 08:02 PM
 
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I am going through this exact same thing. I find that if my DD takes a nap for two hours she has a great deal of difficulty getting settled down for bed.

So now we only nap for about 45 minutes and then I wake her. I am not a big proponent of "waking a sleeping baby" but if I don't, I suffer the consequences later.

Usually she will fall asleep in the car on our way home from whatever morning activity we have had and I let her sleep for a total of 45 minutes. Then I wake her to take her out of the car. If we are not out in the morning and she doesn't nap at all, I just put her to bed a little earlier.

Yesterday my DH let her nap for 2 hours (against my advice!) and she repaid him by taking 3 hours to fall asleep and then waking up an hour later, climbing into bed with us and keeping him awake all night kicking him. I had very little sympathy!

I hate to give up that afternoon nap (I'm a SAHM so I do need a break!) but I'd rather have an easier time in the evenings.

If you can keep your child from overnapping during the day, she should be tired enough at night to sleep soundly and you shouldn't have to wake her.

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Old 12-30-2002, 08:10 PM
 
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Just wanted to add, if you decide to sig. shorten or do away with naps all together -- expect some rough weeks. Like -- a month of more of rough afternoons. It takes some time to adjust, but they do.

Now I have to confess that ds didn't fall asleep until 4:45 this afternoon, and I 'm so maxed out from his moodiness that I'M LETTING HIM SLEEP. Argh. I'll get my pay back tonight, I'm sure. But darn it if I don't need this little bit of peace and quiet RIGHT NOW!
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Old 12-30-2002, 08:25 PM
 
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we have always done things the same way. my dd will be wide awake and playing and when its bed time its bed time. she is so used to the routine that she never fusses. same with bed time when the clock says its time. i am really not always that strict because sometimes we are out and about or we are into a game or playing outside. but because i am pregnant i am usually ready for a nap an hour before bed time.

I guess i dont have much advice and this may not work for you but we plunk her in bed say our goodnights, say our prayers and leave all with in 10 min. if she cries she sometimes needs more kisses. i guess you are not wanting any crying so to get a toddler into a routine i cant it would be difficult. she never crys to sleep but sometimes will cry a little and then we will hear her sing for awhile.

we go to sleep at 8-9pm ourselves so if we dont put her to bed around 7pm then my and my hubby dont have time together.

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Old 12-30-2002, 08:29 PM
 
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we plunk her in bed say our goodnights, say our prayers and leave all with in 10 min.
WOW! That amazes me! How old is she?

Our 2 year old refuses to spend ANY amount of time alone in a room. Not even during the day. He follows me to the freaking bathroom. If I go pee during the night, he gets up and pads behind me into the bathroom, sits on the stool right beside me, and then pads back to bed with me. Sometimes I feel like I have a little parasite! If I *ever* put him in bed and left before he fell asleep, he would be TERRIFIED.

Gosh, I hope he gains somemore independence someday!
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Old 12-30-2002, 10:13 PM
 
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to be honest my kids sleep better with no nap. it was a big struggle to get my dd to sleep, but now when its bedtime she is tired and just falls asleep anywhere.its too much of a power struggle if they arent tired . its hard but its a trade off cause they sleep 12 hours at night.
my 2yo doeasnt nap either
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Old 12-30-2002, 10:20 PM
 
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I'm not familiar with the book, but reading this thread makes me optimistic. My dd is 2.5 and has always been a challenging sleeper. These days I put her to bed around 8 after a bath/chill out routine and put her to bed with a kiss--I don't dilly dally in her room or she gets upset when I leave. If she is asleep within 10 minutes, great. If not, I usually let her up again for 15 or so minutes--but she can't be playing, she has to sit with me and either read or watch tv with us. Sometimes we try for the better part of an hour--but that is only when she has over-napped or is just needing some more mommy-time.

She has been sleeping on her own since she was about 20 months old and before that was a TERRIBLE sleeper. I don't know how we got through those months. Once she was in her own room, things seemed to level out a bit--though she still wakes up at night or very early in the morning and one of us usually lays with her for a bit.

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Old 12-31-2002, 01:15 AM
 
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Listen, I love that book and it has a lot of good points, but she does say that ALL kids need to go to bed early and get up early, and I really think that's a bunch of bunk! How can you say something applies to ALL kids? My DS has always gone to bed around 10p.m. cuz his daddy isn't home from work till after 8 p.m. If he went to bed at 8 or 9 he'd only see his dad on Sundays! My DS is now 27 months and his schedule from about age 12 mnths till my DD was born 2 months ago was: wake around 8:30 a.m., nap around 2 p.m. for 2-3 hours, bed around 10 p.m. But, after my new baby was born he started resisting naps, and I didn't have the energy or time to insist any more. I finally gave up, and it made my day much less stressful. Now, he takes a nap if he's tired in the afternoon, or not! I let him decide, and he does just fine. My DH and I also stopped stressing over my DS's bedtime. He co-sleeps with my DH (right now I sleep in the nursery with my DD), and DH likes to go to bed later. DS has been going to bed with my DH around 11:30 and will now sleep till about 10 a.m. It is much less stressful for us this way. After all, what does my 2 year old need to be up in the morning for anyway? He doesn't go to school yet, and when I do start him next month he won't go in till around 11 a.m.
I guess what I'm saying is: if your little one is a night-owl and it isn 't important to have her in bed by a certain time or up by a certain time, don't sweat it! They are only little for a very short time.
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Old 01-01-2003, 03:07 AM
 
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gagesmom, yes, that really bothered me when I read the book, too, and kind of cast everything else in a different light for me. That claim is just so unscientific (and is disputed by Dr. Jay Gordon, by the way, author of "Good Nights". Well, "disputed" might be too strong, but he talks about kids having inherent dispositions towards night owl or lark, just like adults do.)

Basically, Pantley asked a bunch of moms who were having terrible sleep problems with their kids to experiment, and some that group (but not all) reported success. It just doesn't follow from that that ALL kids need to go to sleep early. A more scientific conclusion would be that if your child is having a hard time getting to sleep, you may want to consider an earlier bedtime.

My daughter's always been a really good sleeper and goes to bed 11-ish.

HOWEVER, I've been reading this thread because I have not come across anything yet that seems right for getting my daughter to sleep on her own. She still nurses to sleep -- very well, minimum of fuss -- and I want to transition away from that. Thinking of getting a tape player for her to listen to lullabies/ tapes of us reading stories/ waterfall sounds that kind of thing. Something for her to focus on.

Would love to get more specifics for how those of you who transitioned away from nursing to sleep managed it.
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Old 01-02-2003, 06:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I want to start by saying that I'm not really too concerned about the bedtime itself & I don't recall reading that they have to go to bed "early", just get more sleep. The problem is I know she's tired & would be asleep in 10-15 minutes nursing, but she won't sit still if she's not.
I know she still needs a nap since she'll sleep for 2 hours once she goes down, but it has to be done by 3:00ish or it's even worse at night. Today she wouldn't nap & it was too ugly out to go for a drive...she ended up falling asleep beside me on the couch at 6:10 & I had to wake her up after 15 minutes or she would have been up all night. I felt awful 'cause I knew she was sooo tired. We got her ready & had routine done by 9:30. She was starting to drift with dh when something set her off crying for me again, so I took her & she still fought until 10:30.
There is no way I could ever just put her down to go to sleep. She has always been nursed before, so we still hold her until she is asleep, then put her in her bed.
She has always been a bit of a night-owl (like me) & only recently started going to sleep as early as 9:30 (usually 10:00-10:30) & waking anywhere from 7:30-9:30, depending when she went to sleep. We never really had a routine before, just started nursing when she seemed tired (or when I was) & hoped she would sleep soon.
This whole routine thing is new to us & I realize we can't really take the "no-cry" part literally, since it is meant as a gradual change. For dd to suddenly not be able to nurse to sleep after 2 1/2 years is going to cause problems, no matter what. I think having the routine is a good idea anyway, even if we go back to nursing to sleep after the baby's born, but I really could use some suggestions about what to do when the routine is complete (pjs & diaper, brush teeth, lullaby music, "special bedtime tea" & 3 stories) & she insists on getting off the couch & going into her bed (& not sleeping/wanting stories) or going potty (& doing nothing) & generally fighting & crying for "milky" if held on the couch.
I know this is going to take some time for all of us to get used to...maybe just confirmation that things will get better would help.
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Old 01-02-2003, 03:51 PM
 
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The first thing we did was ditch the nap. It took a lot of donjoling and a few tears to keep her awake but after a few weeks she was more or less done with naps unless she really needed one.

With dd (who was 2 1/2) we did the nightime routien, put her in bed and closed the door. She would scream, but she wasn't scared, sad or feeling abandoned. She was mad. Mad that she had to go to bed. I am OK with that.. She screams about everything (she is a very passionayte child )

Also she is allowed to play in bed (with the door open if she is quiet) for as long as she wants so long as she stays in bed. Some nights she goes right out and some nights she is still awake several hours later - but still in bed playing quietly by herself.

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Old 01-03-2003, 09:47 PM
 
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about the early bedtimes. I too think that saying ALL kids need early bedtime is too inclusive, but sometimes it is counter intuitive that an earlier bedtime helps kids sleep better. If I go to bed too late I don't sleep well either, because I have let myself get a second wind which involves an adreniline rush and thus I am still metabolizing it all night or something like that. So putting bedtime earlier for some poor sleepers may help them even though it is counter intuitive. DH argued this point with me, and once I let him put DD to bed later for a week with the agreement that he would be up with her if she woke up all teh time. Which she did and he did and soon the bedtime was back to 8 PM (which is not that early) IMO.

Generally I had good luck with the suggestions in this book, but DD was a lot younger (9-10 mo) Then her nap needs changed and we had a few rough weeks where one was not enough and two was too much and I put her to bed really early (7sih) a few nights.

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Old 01-04-2003, 03:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I forgot to ask those of you that put your kids in bed & leave them, how do keep them there? What do you do if they get up? This wouldn't work for us as she is used to being held or at least being with someone, but I'm wondering about what to do if she won't stay with me on the couch. She kicks & screams & squirms her way down & I don't want to/can't force her to stay.
Last night she actually ended up getting into bed by herself & didn't want me to even touch her until she fell asleep ...of course it was 11:30!!

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Old 01-04-2003, 05:38 AM
 
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I remember reading that children's bodies secrete melatonin about an hour after sundown and that there is a magic window for getting them down. I wish Maude I could recall where I saw that but it stuck in my head. I do think light levels play a significant role for little ones. I had zero success with napping on a schedule until I got into the habit of pulling down all the shades in my dd's room and keeping nothing but a nightlight going. Same thing at night. She won't sleep unless it's good and dark. I can seriously reduce the effects of jet lag on her by making sure she spends plent of time in the sunshine. It really seems to reset her body clock.

We recently weaned and I am finding her sleep is actually improving now. She just tanks up on warm milk before bed, brushes her teeth and does not wake up hungry at 2 am. She now wakes up a bit on the early side for my tastes but we are letting her play in bed or on the floor in our room until 7 or so.

Getting her to sleep can really suck sometimes and it is those nights when she refuses to go down at all until 10 or even 11 that I feel I am utterly clueless. It's a war of attrition. I sometimes collapse before she does.

Anyway...

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Old 01-04-2003, 01:04 PM
 
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mama2nicola -- we don't put our toddler in bed and leave him. He would freak out! We sit beside his bed and sing to him, or we lay down beside him.

My older son was more independent, and stopped nursing at 14 months. Even still, we did NOT leave him alone to fall asleep until he was well past 3 years old. And then we left him with story tapes to listen to, which he still does at age 6.

Funny story: I distinctly remember the last time I needed to lay beside my oldest son to help him fall asleep. He was 3 and a half. He turned over after 5 minutes, looked me in the eye, and said, "Mom, you can go to your own bed. Your breath is stinky."


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Old 01-04-2003, 09:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by mamaduck


Funny story: I distinctly remember the last time I needed to lay beside my oldest son to help him fall asleep. He was 3 and a half. He turned over after 5 minutes, looked me in the eye, and said, "Mom, you can go to your own bed. Your breath is stinky."


:LOL I want to thank you, mamaduck, for posting this story of yours. I haven't laughed this hard in long time, being tired and all from the new baby. That is hilarious!

Anyway, as far as transitioning a toddler from nursing to sleep to falling asleep on his/her own, I am trying to remember what happened with my DS...
At around 20 months, he stopped nursing before naps. I don't know how that happened, but he just started falling asleep beside me instead of asking to nurse (we had a regular nap routine, I would lay down with him around 2 in the afternoon every day). Then, around 22 months, he started doing the same at night-just falling asleep beside me instead of asking to nurse. By 23 months, he was completely weaned. I will always remember the last time he nursed-he hadn't nursed for a couple days and he asked to nurse at bedtime. I said, "Oh, you're a big boy, are you sure you want nursies?" and he fussed a bit, so I let him nurse. He nursed about 5 mn, fell asleep, and never asked to nurse again. I was very pregnant at the time, and was ready for him to stop...but you can't help being melancholy about something like that.
Anyway, as far as making the transition if they aren't initiating it-I don't know. As far as I know, the nursing before bedtime is usually the LAST nursing they give up when weaning...it seems it would be difficult to take that away from them without a lot of tears.
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