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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm reading the book Sleepless in America by Mary Kurcinka. It seems like a really great book but I don't know how to integrate it for my 2 year-old. He will wake every 1-2 hrs all night long and then get up at 3:15 a.m. for the day and be a complete trantruming disaster the entire day. I can't get him into the "green zone" or even if I do I can't keep him there throughout the night.
Maybe my hyper-aroused, inflexible, difficult to transition, irregular son is just so difficult that nothing applies?
 

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I just read this book, too, and I also have a two year old.

It, for a while, took us over an hour to get her to sleep. After reading this book, I found a few things:

1. She should be sleeping 10-11 hours every night with an hour nap in the afternoon. We were trying to put her to bed early, but were not getting her up early enough. DD would sleep until 9:30 no matter what time she went to bed. She's like her daddy and likes to sleep in. This is fine, but then going to bed at 8:00 is way too early. We now start putting her to bed at about 9:00 and let her sleep until 8:00. We still, very slowly, wake her up in the morning, but having her go to bed later is much less stressful than trying to get her down for two hours.

2. She needs a nap. We thought she was in the process of giving up her naps, and her bedtimes were alll over the place -- with no nap, she would sometimes be asleep by 7:30. With a nap, if it was late, it was sometimes 10:30 or later. It was out of control. Even if she only sleeps for half an hour in the afternoon, it helps tremendously. Oh, and if she can be up by 3:00, that helps.

3. She needs lots of time to wind down, and so do we. We started putting her pjs on at about 8:30. We turned the lights down, gave DD a stack of books/puzzles and either read with her and did puzzles with her, or we would all read our own books. It is so relaxing and nice and it really really helps her transition to night-time. It has taken more like 20 or even 10 minutes to get her alseep now.

4. She needs something to eat before bed. If we have dinner at 6:00 or so (our schedule is pretty all over the place because dh works crazy hours and I work part-time, also) she is hungry again by 9:00. (I do still nurse her, but I'm pregnant and my supply is not what it used to be.) A snack keeps her from getting hungry right away.

5. TV is the anti-sleep. 'Nuf said. Absolutely no TV in the afternoon, and none at all, if possible.

Those are the major things.

After the regular (simple) routine, I still nurse her for at least fifteen minutes. If she's not asleep by then, DH comes in and rocks her until she's out and lays her down.

And get this: SHE SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!!! For the first time EVER. It was unreal. I don't know if it was a fluke, or what, but I think the things learned from Sleepless in America helped. Particularly the quiet, dark time before bed.

Oh, and I thought that her emphasis on scheduling was good, but not at all practical for our family. She suggested adjusting sleep time by 15 minutes here and there, and I can't really control when DD goes to sleep to that degree.

We also never eat lunch or dinner at the same time, and the way our work schedules are, we just can't do that.

Anyway, that's our experience with it! Oh, and we just started doing these things about two or three weeks ago, so I think we're still figuring things out.
 

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I have a 2.5 year old and a 6 year old. She has lots of flexible suggestions. I didn't find it a "preachy system."

It's a great read. The most useful stuff for us was finding ways to lower tension throughout the day. Good stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ani'smommy, thanks for sharing your experience. I think you may be onto something with the TV. For an already hyper-aroused kid it probably puts them over the top. We're experimenting with removing the TV for a week to see if it has any effect. My son was sick the other week and therefore watching a lot of TV. His sleep has been even worse since then.
And the nap thing we're dealing with, too. I was trying to transition my ds out of it but maybe he does still need it (if he's willing to take one).
Any other experiences from anyone?
 
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