Toddler Sleep Promblems - Pls. Help - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 02-07-2003, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a almost 2 year old who has been in the family bed since out of the bassinet at 4 months. But, it seems as DD has gotten older it is harder to get her to settle down at night. She could stay up all night -- I feel like it any way!!

We are not really good at a given routine. Do you find that having a routine helps? Of course I always hear from non-AP parents about routine and getting them to sleep in a crib. Should we have a rountine would it help?? Any help would be appreciated!!!!!

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#2 of 5 Old 02-07-2003, 11:40 PM
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Well we don't have a routine, but here's what I do!
I was tired of getting so frustrated that no one would go to sleep quickly-- so I stopped trying. I just decided that I was not going to make putting them to sleep my resposibility. When they want to go nurse aroung the time they want to go to sleep I just go back to bed and read with my book light. I love to read so even if it takes an hour or two I have been spending the time laying in bed reading- I really am disapointed when they go to sleep too quickly and I feel like I should get up and do something instead of read! It took a while to get used to the light and even now some nights they will get up and play 3 or 4 times, but I don't worry about it. If they are still awake when I want to go to sleep I just turn down all the light and tell them to come to bed when they want to nurse, usually they are there before I get all the lights off.
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#3 of 5 Old 02-07-2003, 11:44 PM
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My son just turned two. I have found that more and more over the last several months, routine is becoming extremely important to him. It's also quite related to our having our days run smoothly and happily. He is no longer a lover of surprises (unless it's a new truck! ), and because transitioning from one thing to the next can be stressful for him at times, I have found that a routine is truly a life saver. But it doesn't have to be long or detailed, simple and predicatable works just great for us: supper, family time, jammies, books, toothbrushing, nursing/rocking/singing, nite-nite.

I should add here, that until lately, my son was always "go with the flow" baby. He did well with a flexible lifestyle and changes to his routine have never bothered him in the "emotional" sense--always happy wherever, whenever. Anymore, evenings away from home or with guests at home where stimulation is high usually result in him having a hard time getting to sleep and then nightwaking (more than usual).... I think it just comes with the age. *sigh*

As to your crib vs. family bed? Who knows? My son has slept in a crib since he was quite young--just better for us that way for a number of reasons and he's still a nightwaker... I think our routine is the culprit of him transitioning from play to sleep more smoothly... he is sleeping better lately too however but I think that's because we're putting him down awake now at night... i.e., he's now learning to put himself back to sleep on his own (happily I might add! :sgrin).

Best of luck!

Em 43 - Wife to hubby Mom to DS born: Jan. '01
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#4 of 5 Old 02-08-2003, 12:21 PM
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I think one reason why crib babies tend to go to sleep easier (aside from just giving up from CIO) is because parents that do do CIO are also more prone to schedules and routines. Their kids know that one things follows another and it ends with getting into a crib and going to sleep.

I found that my lack of routine/rhythm was a real problem for us. Once I became really consistent, things got easier. And BTW, I have a very spirited child who was vfery diffecult to get to sleep.

The other thing that I did (which I didn't start until ds was 2 and I wish I had started at 18 months) was to set limits on how long I would nurse ds to sleep.

DS would nurse for hours and then once he was finally asleep and I would try to sneak off, he would wake up because he could feel me move. I very gently and slowly weaned him from needing to nurse to fall asleep. It was hard at first and became very easy after a couple months of consistently doing the nighttime routine.

Our routine now goes like this - beginning at dinner time, which is usually around 6 pm - there is NO TV at all. We have dinner and clean up. Sometimes we bathe or not, but then jammie time. Jump on Trampoline if there is extra engery that needs to get out. Sometimes a treat and then brush teeth. We then get DS water sippy cup with ice and his vitamin. Then I read aloud to him in the lviing room while he plays a bit. By about 7-7:30 we go to bed and I may read another 3 picture books, then lights out and we cuddle. He may ask to nurse and we will nurse for less than a minute and then sometimes I sing Twinkle Twinkle. He is usually asleep in 15 minutes and I can get up and walk out. I have just started to leave while he is still groggy and when he asks me to lay down, I tell him I'm going to the bathroom and that I'll be right back to check him and then he's usually out by the time I come back.

DS is now 2 yrs 9 months and I started the night weaning process when hew as 2 years old. He was night-weaned at 2 yrs 3 months and going to sleep wihtout nursing-weaned by 2 yrs 4 months. I am just now starting to wean him from needing me to cuddle to go to sleep.

Our son dropped all napping at 2 yrs 4 months.

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#5 of 5 Old 02-08-2003, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replys.

That is the other thing she is doing now. Giving up naps.

You all have some great ideas. I would love any more.

I think it is a good point that maybe it is the lack of routine that is interferring with sleep pattern being established. We will give it a try. Thanks
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