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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My ds is 14 mo and has never just went to sleep without a fight! He takes one nap during the day, usually about 2 hrs. At night we pretty much have play time until around 7:30...then it's a warm bath and quiet time...but, it never works!!! DH and I both work full time and my mom and MIL take turns babysitting every other week. We are usually up until midnight before ds will finally crash. He quit taking his paci way back, it's like he linked it to making him go to sleep and he didn't want anything to do with it! If he starts getting sleepy, he will actually hit himself on the head, shake his head back and forth...ANYTHING to jar himself alert to keep from going to sleep!!!! Please give us some much needed advice on what to do about this!!! Everyone says ds is just spoiled, granted I'm 40 and dh is 46...ds is our baby and we do spoil him I guess, just knowing he's the last one?? But, man...I need some sleep!!!!
PLEASE HELP!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
His bed is right next to ours, occasionally he sleeps with us...he sleeps better in his own space when he does sleep. At first we co-slept 100%, but he started waking up during the night and climbing around and we were afraid he would hurt himself on the headboard! He does get a bottle at bedtime, he's almost weaned...the only reason he still gets a bottle at night is to get him to sleep! He is a great eater, he's 30lbs and 33 inches tall!!!
 

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Perhaps a weird suggestion, but this has helped us. Magnesium. I read about it on another board here, thought it was a little strange, but I tried adding some liquid magnesium to my daughter's milk (she's almost 3, not nursing anymore) and it helps quite a bit. She would keep going and going even though I knew she was exhausted--it was obvious. And she wouldn't sleep in in the morning, so she'd just get more and more tired and her behavior and happiness would deterioriate... It hasn't been a panacea, but her naps are longer during the day and she's getting to sleep earlier, on average, at night.
 

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There are folks around way the heck more knowledgeable than I, but here's my understanding. Magnesium and calcium balance each other in many ways, but the typical American diet is pretty low in magnesium. Magnesium does lots of things (most of which I don't much about) but one aspect is that it is necessary for muscles to relax. A good balance of calcium to magnesium is 2:1. I did a bit of looking into good food sources of magnesium and decided yeah, we (esp. my daughter) take in a lot more calcium than magnesium.

My daughter weighs somewhere between 35 and 40 pounds, and I give her 100mg of magnesium in the morning and another 100mg in the afternoon. I'm comfortable with that amount (but would be willing to try higher until I saw any signs it was too much) because just by drinking 2 cups of milk a day, she gets 600mg (roughly) of calcium (along with about 60mg of magnesium). We also eat cheese and some yogurt, but also eat some foods that are good sources of magnesium so I figured it would sort of work itself out.

I got my first bottle of liquid magnesium (magnesium chloride) at Whole Foods, but after that I bought online. I buy my supplements at iherb.com and they have at least one brand, maybe more. It's pretty cheap (online, of course WF is more expensive), about $7.50 for a bottle that will last a month. It doesn't taste great and needs to be added to something with some flavor--I use chocolate milk but have used orange juice in the past. I'm also thinking of trying some Kid's Calm--it's supposed to be mixable just with water and it has some zinc which I've been thinking she could use a bit more of with winter coming on. Ideally, I would like to do more of this with diet, but for now, it's supplements.

Here's a National Institutes of Health site talking about magnesium--even they say lots of people don't meet the RDA, and in general it seems like RDAs are set pretty low. It also talks about food sources and lots of other stuff.

http://dietary-supplements.info.nih..../magnesium.asp
 

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Just wanted to send you a
. We have definitely BTDT with our dd--she was/is a total sleep fighter, too. So incredibly frustrating--and awful for her, too, since without adequate sleep she was a bear all day. And yes, I tried co-sleeping, nursing to sleep (that was how we got her to sleep as a newborn, but the older she got the less it would work, until we reached a point where there was pretty much no chance of her falling asleep next to me.) It was just too stimulating for her to be next to me or DH.

She has now settled into a great sleep routine, and as long as we are at home and stick to the routine all is well (it is still impossible for her to sleep on an airplane or a car trip or anything like that.) I have to confess, though, that after over a year of trying every gentle approach I could think of and going crazy all the time with a sleep deprived child, the thing which worked for us involved letting her cry some. I know a lot of MDC people judge this kind of thing very harshly, but all I can say is that those people have not experienced a child like mine.
 

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I have to agree with PP. I read No cry sleep solution for toddlers and applied all of the suggestions about a strict routine and also applied a ten minute cry rule (which is mentioned by a mother in the book). I would get him ready for his nap according a strict series of events so he was never surprised and had nice cuddle and reading time. Then he goes to bed and I leave. He screamed his head off which is nothing new as we had been dealing with severe sleep problems for months. I went back in after 10 mins, resettled etc. The progress went like this;

day 1 went in twice napped for about 1 hr
day 2 went in once napped for 1 hr 30 mins
day 3 didn't go in, cried but fell asleep within 10 mins

within 1 week he would cried for about 30 secs as I left the room. I then applied the same strategy to going to bed (he goes to sleep btwn 7 and 7.30 with bath and wind down from 6.30) and then through the night. It took about a month to shift to the new way of doing things but now (at the end of this month process) he doesn't cry at all when i put him down and in fact seems to really look forward to having nap time and bed time. He now has two naps a day and sleeps through the night. I sometimes have to resettle him around 5am but he goes straight back to sleep!

No one can tell me that I've CIO'd him, he is a child that needed to release tension before he could sleep. Now he seems to have learned to settle himself back to sleep. I couldn't believe how quickly the change happened as I had tried EVERYTHING! I was super strict about the routine though even reading the same books for about 3 weeks. Now when we get to the last page he sucks his thumb and gets ready for sleep. As soon as his head hits to pillow he is nodding off and even pushes me away when i fuss with him! This from a child who woke 20-30 times some nights and screamed if I moved a foot away from him.

I hope that this helpsx
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the great advice! Actually, last night was a lot better, dd and I really played hard with ds before his bath and he was actually so tired that when I was snuggling with him and giving him kisses, he was about to go out then!! I want to get it to where I can lay him in his bed before he is asleep though! I truly belive that I'm going to have to let him cry a little, he is such a fighter when it comes to going to sleep! I think it's a relaxation thing like a previous poster mentioned. I'm going to wait until we're off for the holidays to implement something like that, so I will have the time and patience to deal with it. Then again, hopefully just wearing him down with some really good playtime will do the trick!! Thanks again ladies!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
After re-reading what I posted, it sounded like I was going to let ds CIO...let me clarify....WON"T HAPPEN! In reality, I will try to put him in his bed when he gets sleepy, let him play, if he starts crying...I will pick him up and try something else. Even i thought it sounded a little harsh after reading it!!
During the holidays, I will have more time to try and set a better routine hopefully!!
So, sorry, beforehand for my previous post...I'm at work....thoughts and typing going waaaay too fast!!!
 

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Didn't sound harsh at all! Sometimes the little kittens needs a few minutes to release all of the tension of the day before they can chill and relax. Getting him good and tired is crucial as is lots of fresh air especially in the afternoon if possible. It sounds like you are doing all of the right things and that you will get there with the sleeping. Sometimes I think we have to try things that don't suit us because they suit our dc's. I was against letting my ds cry for even a few minutes but in the end it turned out to be what he needed. There is a big difference between a few minutes and CIO!

Keep at it mama, you'll be sleeping happily soon x
 
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