Hand-in-Hand Parenting: Helping Children Sleep - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 04-23-2014, 08:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I've got a 13 month old son. He's curious and intelligent and playful .. and doesn't like to sleep more than an hour and a half at a time at night. As you can imagine, I've been reading pretty much everything I can get my hands on. NCSS helped a little, but mostly just with the Pantley Pull-off. The rest hasn't exactly made much of a dent. His naps during the day (when he stays home with my husband) are fine. But at night, it's a struggle. And while Daddy is ok for the daytime, he only wants me at night. 

 

I know some part of this is that he wants to reconnect with me. And I want to be there for him. But after 13 months of co-sleeping and nursing every 2 hours, I'm starting to feel less and less patient. I've started looking for other ideas on what might help. I ordered some essential oils that we've been using in the bath before our nightly routine (which, incidentally, he falls asleep in like 10 minutes usually .. but wakes up often). We are making sure he's eating plenty during the day. I'm making sure we're both getting enough magnesium (who knew that could matter?!). And then I saw this article on Facebook: http://www.handinhandparenting.org/article/helping-young-children-sleep/

 

I've read other stuff from this site before, and it seemed like gentle discipline. But this article felt like it might not be? So I wanted to get the opinions of the wise women on this board - who I've seen give great gentle feedback to lots of others. Is it really not CIO if I'm there with him?

 

Thanks in advance!

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#2 of 11 Old 04-25-2014, 06:31 PM
 
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I took a look. I don't know, I never got the impression that my children needed to offload their fears in the middle of the night. They were crying because they liked nursing and nursing made it easy for them to go back to sleep. The method she is describing sounds like it will have the whole house up, and I am just doubtful that her reasons for children crying are accurate, if they are living in a nurturing home with nothing to be concerned about. I think children definitely discharge their big feelings, but they often do this just fine during the day time. It didn't sound particularly harsh as in discipline. It just sounded like something that was off base and would be unlikely to work, as well as unclear and contradictory. 


 
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#3 of 11 Old 04-26-2014, 08:13 AM
 
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It didn't sound harsh but I don't agree with her reasons behind it. Sleeping through the night for this age is sleeping with one five hour stretch. If your child isn't doing that I would look for medical reasons first and try cutting the nap down to only two hours.

Reverse cycle nursing is very common for babies Ans toddlers. It may help to nurse as much as possible when you come home and push bedtime back a little while so he gets more nursing time before you all need sleep.

I really liked the book Sleepless in America and there is one through La Leche League that I believe is called Nursing Mother, Working Mother.
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#4 of 11 Old 04-26-2014, 09:39 AM
 
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I had the same problem and your not going to like what I ending up having to do for my Son to sleep through the night. Ok please not bashing or rude comments for I'm just trying to help.

I stopped letting him take naps. I understand that at his age naps are highly recommended but I tried everything under the sun before I took this approach. I did my best not to let him even fall asleep during the day but if he did I woke him up immediately. He was very cranky and it was stressful for about to weeks but his body adjusted to the change and ever since then his bed time is 7:30pm and he wakes up between 6:30am and 8:00am. Good luck and God bless
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#5 of 11 Old 04-26-2014, 09:42 AM
 
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In addition I do not think CIO method is a harsh disciplinary action but I never tried it because I didn't have these issues with my oldest and I didn't want her little brother crying all night to keep her up.
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#6 of 11 Old 04-26-2014, 10:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mmarkey19695 View Post

I had the same problem and your not going to like what I ending up having to do for my Son to sleep through the night. Ok please not bashing or rude comments for I'm just trying to help.

I stopped letting him take naps. I understand that at his age naps are highly recommended but I tried everything under the sun before I took this approach. I did my best not to let him even fall asleep during the day but if he did I woke him up immediately. He was very cranky and it was stressful for about to weeks but his body adjusted to the change and ever since then his bed time is 7:30pm and he wakes up between 6:30am and 8:00am. Good luck and God bless

For many moms, though, this doesn't work. I definitely tried this strategy and it made no difference. In fact baby got less regulated overall because of the overtiredness. 

 

Babies in general don't really sleep all that well. When they are still nursing, they sleep less well. They do get older and when they've been well nurtured, they tend to sleep great as "older" babies and toddlers. 

 

You may want to be posting in the Family Bed and Nighttime Parenting forum here though for lots of BTDT advice.  Issues of night time waking are not really related to "discipline" per se.

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/f/37/co-sleeping-and-the-family-bed

 

Welcome! Here you will find discussions about nighttime parenting solutions such as co-sleeping, room sharing and the family bed, rather than crying it out (CIO) or sleep training.

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#7 of 11 Old 04-26-2014, 10:41 AM
 
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My kids are a bit older now (7 yo and almost 5). So it's been a while, but both my kids needed extra help with sleep at times. I actually really like the approach here. It seems similar to what I read in the books by Aletha Solter, such as the Aware Baby and Tears and Tantrums basically that crying is therapeutic for children if done in arms for young babies or with a supportive caregiver near by for toddlers and older children. I found it true in my daily life with my kids as well. Our home was very loving and nurturing, but my kids are both pretty sensitive and everyday stressors would build up. Especially for younger guy. Somedays he would be so fussy (especially when we had house guests or were traveling) so I would take him in a quiet darkened room and let him cry in my arms. I'd try to listen openly and maybe acknowledge that it had been a hard or busy day. And I'd look at him lovingly. Eventually he'd calm down and then be calmly awake and alert or fall asleep. (This was often in the late afternoon when he was particularly cranky) but he would often sleep really well that night. I never followed this method specifically to help with sleep, but I found it helped with crankiness and fussiness and better sleep was often a benefit. My point was that I feel this method can be in line with gentle parenting. I felt that much of parenting with my first was about preventing crying because it made me feel uncomfortable, and when I was open to listening to her feelings, her mood was overall happier and calmer.

I think if a child over the age of a year is waking more frequently than every 3 hours, it is probably for reasons other than hunger. I also feel that a year is an okay time to start learning to eat during the day and sleep at night. That was when I chose to nightwean my second child (who still went on to nurse during the day until he was 3). Nightweaning helped with sleep a lot too. And frankly once my kids were nightweaned, when they did wake up they would come cuddle and fall back to sleep quickly in our bed which made co-sleeping much more enjoyable for me.

Anyway that's just my 2 cents ymmv. I think for most folks sleep in the early years is challenging, but it gets better. My first was an absolute horror for the first three years when it came to sleeping, but she sleeps well now at age 7. I wish you luck.
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#8 of 11 Old 04-26-2014, 03:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mmarkey19695 View Post

I had the same problem and your not going to like what I ending up having to do for my Son to sleep through the night. Ok please not bashing or rude comments for I'm just trying to help.

I stopped letting him take naps. I understand that at his age naps are highly recommended but I tried everything under the sun before I took this approach. I did my best not to let him even fall asleep during the day but if he did I woke him up immediately. He was very cranky and it was stressful for about to weeks but his body adjusted to the change and ever since then his bed time is 7:30pm and he wakes up between 6:30am and 8:00am. Good luck and God bless

Was your child 13 months old? With a masters in early childhood, I find a lot of your suggestions really puzzling.
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#9 of 11 Old 04-26-2014, 04:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Polliwog View Post

Was your child 13 months old? With a masters in early childhood, I find a lot of your suggestions really puzzling.

Why do my suggestions and education puzzle you? What exactly is so puzzling? I would be happy to explain in full my reasoning behind any of my advice you seem to have a hard time with. For this particular advice, yes at 13 months I would of but my son was actually 11 months when I did this. I have been working with children for over 10 years and any advice I give on here I would absolutely give to the parents of my students/patients. I only recommend what I would/have done with my children. Like we briefly spoke of in a different post, I have several methods I support for "gentle discipline" even though I do enforce several methods or "corporal punishment" with my children. I do not judge not do I push my knowledge on anyone who does not want it. I respect all parenting "styles" as long as abuse isn't a factor. Please feel free to quote any of my responses and I will be happy to explain further in detail.
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#10 of 11 Old 04-26-2014, 05:54 PM
 
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I think I had my son nightwean about this time or it may have been 18 months. I told him no more nursing until the sun comes up. He understood and only fussed like one or two nights if at all. He started sleeping through the night right away!

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#11 of 11 Old 04-26-2014, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the thoughts and discussion ladies. It's definitely helpful to hear a variety of viewpoints.
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