The Quest to quit CIO - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 55 Old 08-05-2007, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I slipped with my second child. I AP'd my 1st and nursed him to sleep till he was over age 2. With my second child however, I was sick of being a milk machine at 12 months (I had been nursing 4 years at the time) and she wasnt a good co-sleeper anyways. I was frustrated so I started letting her CIO-between the ages of 12 months and now, 19 months.

Latley though, I have been successfully rubbing her back to sleep. It takes about 10 minutes and is seriously painful for me (I cant reach her very well and the crib side wakes her up) I am preggo big. LOL but I deal.

So today I couldnt find a way to rub her to sleep because my 4 yr old wouldnt be quiet in the other room, for a movie, lunch, an activity, nothing. I had to go to him and let her cry.

After I got him to bed she had stopped crying so I took a shower. I emerged and found that she had been crying the whole time.

What are you supposed to do when you have to get nap done because of something going on the the afternoon but you have to pick a kid to comfort?

Does it ruin the whole effort and I like have to "re-earn" the trust?

I cant handle this kind of pressure. LOL

Jenny
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#2 of 55 Old 08-05-2007, 04:29 PM
 
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Wow, 60 views and no advice for this mom? I don't have any specific advice as I only have one DC and no experience yet with balancing 2 children. But I DO know OP, that it is VERY important that you stop letting your DD CIO ASAP! It is a very harmful practice and never OK to do. I hope some other mamas will have some more specific advice for you.

Michele

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#3 of 55 Old 08-05-2007, 04:48 PM
 
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I have two little ones...they are 11 months apart. Naptime and bedtime certainly aren't easy for me (DH is not home for either, usually). But I made the commitment that no matter how hard it gets, I will not let my kids cry themselves to sleep. I find ways to make it work. How will you handle it with 3? I'm seriously not trying to flame, but you need to find a new system. IMO, it isn't acceptable to let a child ever CIO, even if you have other things to do. I've skipped showering before because I just couldn't get away from the kids. If you need to, take her in the shower with you.

My son (17 months) is slowly learning to fall asleep on his own...we co-sleep, but he falls asleep while reading books and snuggling with his lovey, laying next to me.

I can't give you an answer of what will work, but I think you need to find something else, especially before it gets even more hectic with a third child. Can you get your 4 year old to "help" his sister fall asleep? Maybe he can look through books with her, pat her back, etc. He's probably getting bored, and giving him something to do that is helpful will more than likely be a great thing for him--kids of all ages love to feel like they are needed!
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#4 of 55 Old 08-05-2007, 08:26 PM
 
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babywearing?

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#5 of 55 Old 08-05-2007, 09:00 PM
 
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I can sort of relate. I do home daycare, so I have to manage several kids at nap time. I think setting "expectations" for your four year old is a place to start. I find kids will behave the way we expect them to generally. Tell him you need 15 minutes to get the baby to sleep. Set a timer. Give him 2 choices of what to do. Something helpful would be great. Like, fold a load of laundry while he watches a video. Tear up lettuce for the dinner salad. Give him a spray bottle and a rag and ask him to clean the kitchen table. This can be his chore time. And just state that he WILL do this, like there isn't any way he could possibly do anything else.

"Ds, I need you to clean the kitchen table and fold these towels while I get your sister to sleep. After you do your chores and the baby is asleep, then we can do something together (be specific, like make cookies, or playdough, get out the paints, do a puzzle....) I really am looking forward to doing this with you but dd needs to be asleep so we can do it and your chores need to be done too. When the timer goes off you may quietly coome and check to see if she is asleep if I am not back yet."

I hope that helps. I know it gets crazy trying to manage kids with such different needs.
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#6 of 55 Old 08-05-2007, 09:03 PM
 
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babywearing, walks with the napping one in a stroller, drive if they like to nod off in the car, pick baby up and help older child and then start the nap process again, anything but cio

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#7 of 55 Old 08-05-2007, 09:04 PM
 
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I have feeling there were so many views without responces because no one knew what to say since CIO is such a horrible thing and no one wanted to make the OP feel bad.

The 4yo is old enough to understand what quiet is any why he needs to do it so I would start there.

 
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#8 of 55 Old 08-05-2007, 09:22 PM
 
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oh, I had to say one more thing. If the 4 yr old is crying.... to me this is a tantrum for attention. He, like a pp said, is old enough to understand. Your baby though, is crying because she NEEDS you. If you have to make a choice.... take care of the baby first and deal with the tantrums afterwards.
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#9 of 55 Old 08-05-2007, 10:06 PM
 
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Defintaly stop CIO. Your baby needs you, and as frustrating as it is to be a 'milk machine' there are other ways to help the babe learn to fall asleep without CIO. Have you read the NCSS? It may help. Also, I would just nix all afternoon activites until you can figure out the nap thing. Maybe just for a week or two, dont plan anything in the afternoon? For dd, she had a WAAAY different nap schedule than other kids her age. From birth she was like this. Anytime she would transition, I would have to kind of stay home for a few days just to figure out what HER new nap routine would be. At 19 months, she was taking a nap at around 1pm. But she could also take a short nap at 10 am and then another short one at 3, so it was not consistent. What about laying down together and reading books to them? Would the toddler fall asleep if the older child was there too? Or would it be too much of a distraction? I'm not into tv at all, but if you are could you allow a short video for the 4 yo while you put the little one to sleep?
I do think that after practicing CIO for such a long time (meaning it wasn't a one time thing while you cooled off, it was used to train the baby to sleep) and especially since she has been CIO for 7 months, you will have to rebuild her trust in you. I am not trying to be mean at all, so please know that. She will probably take a long time to relax with you there because she is probably scared, waiting for you to leave. I would not be surprised if she really fights sleep for a while. Be patient. Lay with her, reassure her that you are there for her, and that you will not leave. If you need to leave, take her with you. Or make it QUICK and come right back (I would not do that right away though). And if after a while she is not napping, just give up for the moment and try again in an hour. 19 months is a time of transition for lots of kids, and some even drop their nap at this age. Could it be that she isn't needing as much night time sleep? Or a later nap time?
And finally, I would have a talk with her. Yes she is young, but I would tell her that leaving her to cry was a mistake and that you are sorry. That you will not do it again, and you are willing to do whatever it takes to have her trust again. I know some will think that is over the top, but it is good for YOU to say it, hear it, and mean it. HTH
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#10 of 55 Old 08-05-2007, 10:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by momtosimon View Post
oh, I had to say one more thing. If the 4 yr old is crying.... to me this is a tantrum for attention. He, like a pp said, is old enough to understand. Your baby though, is crying because she NEEDS you. If you have to make a choice.... take care of the baby first and deal with the tantrums afterwards.

That's a very good point.

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#11 of 55 Old 08-05-2007, 10:11 PM
 
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Is there a way to keep your older child in the room as you comfort your baby to sleep? Have special 'nap toys' that she only plays with as you put the little one to sleep. Give her a flashlight and let her draw pictures on the dark walls. Get some glow in the dark stickers.
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#12 of 55 Old 08-05-2007, 10:25 PM
 
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I have been nursing for almost 5 years straight and I have 3 children. It is not easy, no one ever said it was. You need to stop any form of CIO immediately! It shocks me how you talk so nonchalantly about it and even laugh about it. You are neglecting and abandoning your child when you use CIO. I'm sorry if that sounds mean but it is the truth. My baby is 18 months old and is the worst sleeper in the world. Seriously. Many nights DH and I take shifts all night because she won't sleep without one of us holding her in the chair (she is recovering from reflux and she has major food allergies). I literally have not slept through the night in over 5 years and I have not slept more than 2 hours at a time in 18 months! I am exhausted! And yes I have things that need to get done and I'd like to be able to go out in the evening instead of being chained to the house still at 18 months old and I would like some sleep BUT I still will NOT leave my daughter to CIO. Other people have given you some good suggestions of things to try. I recommend getting a twin bed in her room instead of a crib. We just have the mattress on the floor and I lay with her until she falls asleep. I have two other kids but at 4 and 6 they are old enough to sit and watch a movie or go play in their room while I get her to sleep. I know some people are against tv but hell, I'd use tv as a babysitter before leaving my little one to cry. I am not trying to be harsh but I do not think you fully realize or care what an abusive practice you are using. You could be setting your daughter up for a lifetime of sleep problems and fears. Please stop using CIO.

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#13 of 55 Old 08-05-2007, 10:32 PM
 
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It's interesting that the first kid was APed and still seems to be getting the lion's share of the attention. I hope this doesn't sound horrible, but could there be some other issues going on?
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#14 of 55 Old 08-05-2007, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by momtosimon View Post
oh, I had to say one more thing. If the 4 yr old is crying.... to me this is a tantrum for attention. He, like a pp said, is old enough to understand. Your baby though, is crying because she NEEDS you. If you have to make a choice.... take care of the baby first and deal with the tantrums afterwards.
I am not understanding the demanding the 4 year old behaves stuff. I mean, it sounds really great in theory but what about IRL when he doesnt? "Then what?" I dont know how to deal with it when he doesnt behave in this situation, because it causes the whole routine to be disrupted again and again if I constantly have to go and punish him, or threaten him, or whatever. Just because you expect something, doesnt make it actually happen. :

They egg eachother on when I enlist the older ones help. What a dream it would be if they would sleep together.

Jenny

PS-Is CIO more harmful than having the kids not nap, and get the sleep they need to develop properly AND also drive me completley bonkers in the afternoon because - uh-have you been around a 19 m old thathasnt napped?

I am not trying to start a CIO debate here, I agree it is not best, my actual question though is if you stop CIO and it happens again, are you just screwed and your kids are going to be scarred for life or can you redeem yourself. I guess from the posts I have read so far, it just scars them for life and they are forever changed.
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#15 of 55 Old 08-05-2007, 10:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's interesting that the first kid was APed and still seems to be getting the lion's share of the attention. I hope this doesn't sound horrible, but could there be some other issues going on?
I am not sure what this means?

Meaning I AP'd one but not the other?
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#16 of 55 Old 08-05-2007, 10:53 PM
 
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I mean simply that I would look at how your life and relationships are within the family overall. It seems odd that you would shift parenting styles so abruptly. Is your health OK? Your support network, etc?

I can't speak to how to get out of the CIO habit, since I only have on child to manage anyway. Wiser mamas than I will have to speak to that. And they have in this thread.

I don't think you've done irreperable harm, but I do wish you would find better ways to manage their sleep routines. Because, man is your baby getting the short end of this stick right now even though she is in a more vulnerable position than the 4 year old. She just can't express it the way he can.
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#17 of 55 Old 08-05-2007, 11:09 PM
 
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What concerns me is the constant references to letting it happen on occasion and asking if that would be damaging, it is. It would be highly confusing for someone your DD's age to be comforted sometimes and left to CIO at others.

I think what the PP's were trying to say that while your 4 year old may have needs, he is at a much better age to understand that you need to divide your time than your 19 month old DD. It is likely your inconsistent approach that is leaving them unsure, and vieing for your attention (could it be jealousy?). It is going to take lots of work with both of them to turn it around but your only other option is to continue to have it the same and continue to struggle...He NEEDS to be taught to give you time with your DD without interuption, gently of course.
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#18 of 55 Old 08-05-2007, 11:16 PM
 
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I am not understanding the demanding the 4 year old behaves stuff. I mean, it sounds really great in theory but what about IRL when he doesnt? "Then what?" I dont know how to deal with it when he doesnt behave in this situation, because it causes the whole routine to be disrupted again and again if I constantly have to go and punish him, or threaten him, or whatever. Just because you expect something, doesnt make it actually happen. :

They egg eachother on when I enlist the older ones help. What a dream it would be if they would sleep together.

Jenny

PS-Is CIO more harmful than having the kids not nap, and get the sleep they need to develop properly AND also drive me completley bonkers in the afternoon because - uh-have you been around a 19 m old thathasnt napped?

I am not trying to start a CIO debate here, I agree it is not best, my actual question though is if you stop CIO and it happens again, are you just screwed and your kids are going to be scarred for life or can you redeem yourself. I guess from the posts I have read so far, it just scars them for life and they are forever changed.
I am not suggesting you say, "Ds! I demand that you do this! There will be no arguing... if you do I will punish you."

My experience has been, that when kids know you "expect" something of them, they are more likely to comply. Maybe you haven't given him many expectations before and so he doesn't think that you expect him to do anything.... therefore he cries and screams because he knows you will come running, in fact he "expects it."

For example: Like I said, I do home daycare. I take care of 4 two yr olds plus my ds (who is 13 months) Last summer I had twins that were leaving to make room for my ds (they were going to go to preschool in the fall anyway) and the grandma was going to watch them the rest of the summer. Their mom called me with some questions. She said, "They don't nap at home on the weekends. How do you get them to take a nap?"

I told her, "Its naptime. They know that they have to lie down at naptime because thats what we do then. I expect them to do and so they do. Its a routine, it never varies... even if they complain about it.

So, for you.... if you set down some expectations for your ds... what you would like him to be doing during that time... then just make it happen. Ignore his screams. If you have to take the baby back out there, tell him again that it is "chore time" (or vidoe time, or puzzle time or whatever you decide) for him and "nap time" for the baby. After a few days, maybe a week... he will know what is going to happen, because its happened every day for the last 5 days. He will know that there isn't any use arguing, because nothing is going to change.
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#19 of 55 Old 08-05-2007, 11:22 PM
 
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hey there

well how about moving the baby to a toddler bed instead of a crib? that way you can pat the baby from a more comfortable position. it took a while (weeks...maybe months) of working with ds1 but he is 3 and will play quietly in his room while i put the baby down for a nap. it was a very frustrating transition but i'm glad we worked on it. in the afternoons he has quiet time during the afternoon nap. maybe you can all lay down in your bed and rest.

yes i am milk machine. no i do not get a shower everyday..yuck, but then i ask my helpers to watch the baby so i can shower.

just a few more things. IT IS HARD. i give you a lot of credit for coming asking for help. and i don't get the recommendation to babywear a toddler while pregnant?!?! just picking on ya, but if someone can do that, i'm impressed!!!

i'm thinking that you did the cio b/c the other child was loud and keeping the baby up, not b/c he needed something. boy have i been there. white noise? http://www.soundsleeping.com/ try this website. or a car ride? or the stroller?

good luck to you.
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#20 of 55 Old 08-05-2007, 11:27 PM
 
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Could you designate some time in the afternoon as quiet time, where you are all together in one room with some books or quiet toys for the older one and you could lay down with the toddler on a bed and nurse her/pat her back to sleep and rest yourself as well? When it's naptime around here that's what I do. I lay down with both kids (mine are younger) and nurse the little one while my toddler snuggles with me and we read a book. If one or both of them nap, great! If they don't, at least we've all had some rest and some down time.
This could also work when the new baby arrives-family nap/quiet time!
I hope that helps. Please stop letting her CIO.
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#21 of 55 Old 08-05-2007, 11:28 PM
 
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PS-Is CIO more harmful than having the kids not nap, and get the sleep they need to develop properly AND also drive me completley bonkers in the afternoon because - uh-have you been around a 19 m old thathasnt napped?

I am not trying to start a CIO debate here, I agree it is not best, my actual question though is if you stop CIO and it happens again, are you just screwed and your kids are going to be scarred for life or can you redeem yourself. I guess from the posts I have read so far, it just scars them for life and they are forever changed.
i wouldnt think of it as it scars them for life either way to cio or not nap. there will be days (hopefully not too many) that the baby doesn't nap and there will be days when he at least has to wait a few minutes for what he wants/needs. but you want to stop cio as much as possible with 2 kids or else you wouldn't have posted here, right? we will give you ideas and you try them until something works. it might be a few days of transition though.
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#22 of 55 Old 08-06-2007, 12:03 AM
 
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When you have more than one child, sometimes they're both needy at once and you can't meet everybody's needs. That's a simple reality of life with more than one child.

You do the best you can- you're only human!

When my girls were little, I used to bring both kids to bed with me for snuggle time, even if they didn't both end up napping. But then my kids were closer in age, so their sleep needs were more in sync than your kids are. Do you think that might work for you?

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#23 of 55 Old 08-06-2007, 12:22 AM
 
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Things that have helped our nap routine are:

Wear Them Out, its so much easier and faster for me to put my baby down when he is tired and has been out and playing.

Be consistent, I think this is key too if you are trying to regain your baby's trust with sleep. Routines are helpful with this, we use (and have used for a LONG time) a short routine with nursing on a nursing pillow and snuggling with a lovie and a "shh" sound and white noise in the dark. These are Baby J's clear indicators that its sleep time. He now comes to me with a lovie or lays his head on the pillow (or throws the pillow at me!) and says shh when he is ready. I felt silly for a long time doing this but then one day he started doing those things and I felt vindicated.

Big kid treats, reminders and rhyming, I think routine helps with older kids too. Save something special that your older kid likes doing for naptime that is a treat only for that time of day. That and lots of warnings too, like "pretty soon we will have to put Baby X to sleep for a nap" and "ok, now we have to creep mousy because its time for baby X's nap." I give lots of reminders and then there is not a big shock of Be Quiet all of a sudden. We also say "creep mousy, creep mousy into grandpa's housey" in a whisper when we move around. Or we are quiet mice and that is like a game. I'm sure there are better rhymes out there.

Put your baby's trust first, I have a 3 1/2 year old and now he is pretty understanding of nap/night time and being quiet, etc. but we had many HORRIBLE days with him slamming the doors and demanding attention during naptime. And you can't ignore that in a tiny house when you are trying to put your baby down. In these cases, I would be the one to have to suck it up that day with ZERO time to myself and we would go for a walk and I would nap my baby in a carrier. This way, baby would get his nap and there wouldn't be anyone feeling alone and crying.

Multi-task and go somewhere else for naptime, of course, your older kid has a better understanding that you aren't leaving them forever when you leave the room but they also often feel alone, neglected, excluded and sad when you go to have special alone time that they are excluded from. My heart always broke for my DS1 when I saw it from his POV, so I tried to go somewhere with him for naptime. If you have somewhere within walking distance from your house that your kid likes going and your baby will sleep on the run this helped us on really crappy days. It diverges from the whole routine thing though.

Its tough to balance the two different schedules and sets of needs. There are times when our night story time (a really important time of day/routine thing for us) was interrupted 5+ times by Baby J waking up. I could see my older son getting sadder and sadder and feeling increasingly dejected and finally I decided that we needed to finish the last two dang pages of the book and that was the most important thing. : I always attend to crying or distressed sounds but our baby is one noisy sleeper, he talks, moans, flops all around, fusses, and takes a while to settle etc. Real crying takes presidence over pretty much everything else, but semi-wakeful noises (which we found we have a lot of) can wait if I am occupied with DS1. This was a shock for me to realize because I always just immediately responded with my boob to every little sound my DS1 ever made. I hope it gets easier soon for you.
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#24 of 55 Old 08-06-2007, 12:23 AM
 
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what about giving your 4 yr old a choice, he can play quietly until the baby is asleep, or he can take a nap ( i betcha he'll play very quiet ) I don't know what kind of crib you have, but is it possible to drop it all the way down than take the side rail off so it's easier for you to rub her back? assuming she can get in and out safely.

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I am at times as shocked by the question on these boards as by the responses. I found some of the responses as 'cruel' as CIO for the four year old as I do the whole CIO issue. I think telling a four year old to get a cloth and clean the table is a bit unusual (are you joking????).

I think the 19 month old and the four year old need a routine - I liked the idea of spending time with the two of them quietly in a room during nap time.

Not sure how far along you are, but you should definitely come up with a better bed time and naptime routine before little one arrives. (I am there now with a 5 yr old, 3 yr old, 19 month old and now 7 week old - and we have napped all of us together. It doesn't always work - but the 19month old knows the bedtime/naptime routine really really well - and has only really gotten there in the past 2 months or so - not a great sleeper before that!) I think routine is key to everyone's well being.

As to 'making' the bond back with your 19 month old, good momma loving repairs all past ills - kiddos love their parents even if they did something to mislead their confidence (it happens whether CIO (bad) or discipline issues (good)).

You love your kids, find a schedule (quickly) and don't worry about the past CIO impacts. However, be fair to four year old (and don't give him (her?) chores while you are tending the 19 month old - I can only imagine the problems I would have with my older pair if I did that - I give them something they like doing ... i.e. reward - when I am putting the 19 month old to bed).

Managing multiple kids is a huge step as compared to dealing with a singleton so I can understand how AP works really well with one kiddo but gets darn tough with more than one - much easier to lose your way.

Good luck and have fun!
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#26 of 55 Old 08-06-2007, 12:37 AM
 
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I would think CIO would do more harm than skipping a few naps. It raises the cortisol (stress hormone) levels, slowing down the body's ability to learn, grow, and heal, and breaks trust with your child. Skipping a nap means some cranky time in the afternoon and maybe an earlier bedtime.

I have two, 19 months apart. Sometimes if both need me at once, one has to cry longer than I'd wish, but I always talk to them, let them know I'm here and will meet their needs as soon as possible.

My eldest knows my expectations when I'm trying to get my youngest to sleep. It's quiet time. I'm not mean about it, but I am firm. I sympathize with her desire to make noise and have my attention when she has one of Those Days, but I restate my need to provide her brother with the chance at a nap so he can rest and not be cranky later. She knows he'll be more likely to play with her if he isn't overtired. And if she chooses not to nap that day, we still have some quiet time so she can rest and chill out. If the day isn't going well and that means I throw a movie in to keep her entertained while I nurse the baby down, so be it. Better some TV time than CIO.

When I'm really frayed, I pop them both in the car or in the stroller and we go out for a while. Chances are the vibration and fresh air will do what I can't and get them to sleep. I really recommend this for when you have your third; you can put the two older ones in a stroller and wear the baby in a sling, get some exercise (which is good for mama's body and soul), and help them have some rest time.
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#27 of 55 Old 08-06-2007, 03:45 AM
 
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I'd like to add another vote for babywearing. There have been so many other responses that the suggestions of babywearing may have been overlooked, or you may feel that you can't do it while pregnant. I admit that I haven't tried to babywear while pregnant, but I know that you can safely do a back carry in a mei tai, wrap, or some soft-structured carriers while pregnant.

I thought there was no way my kiddo (15 months) would fall asleep while on my back, but one seriously cranky, teething, no nap day I tossed him up on my back, got out the carpet cleaner and took out my frustrations on the carpet. The combination of being snugged up against my back and the white noise from the carpet cleaner had him out like a light within minutes.

I did feel like a contortionist getting him off my back, though. :-P
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#28 of 55 Old 08-06-2007, 05:46 AM
 
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I only have one DC, but my friend found it helpful to ask her older children to "help her" with the baby, or ask for advice about the baby. It made them feel important and included.

I know I'm totally unhelpful, sorry. LOL. I just know that letting your LO CIO for any length of time isn't good.
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#29 of 55 Old 08-06-2007, 06:03 AM
 
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I third or fourth the babywearing! Now that I newly have 2 kids instead of just one I got a pouch that I can wear in the shower (solarveil pool pouch) so I can do two things at once. It rocks.

As for other advice for juggling needs of 2 kids... I am all ears. We are having a hard time over here with DS1 adjusting to DS2.

Mama to my spirited J, and L, my homebirth: baby especially DTaP, MMR (family vax injuries)
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#30 of 55 Old 08-06-2007, 07:32 AM
 
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Letting your baby deal with feelings that are strong enough to make her cry all by her self is harmful to her. I have 3 and its hard, but there are times where I have found my self on the floor with 3 crying kids on my lap - just letting them cry, telling them its ok, we will get through this. Maybe if you focus more on what the baby is telling you (and your four year old...he needs help through his tantrums. His feelings are not less important just because he is older), and less about rutines and structure. Take one day at a time. Maybe you will find 7 different ways to get through the day each day of the week. Maybe no day will look the same. But time will pass and they will get older and it will get easier. Having babies close in age is intense...but they still need to have their needs met when they are crying.
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