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Old 05-21-2007, 02:46 AM   #1
GCM_Sticky
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Default Help for Babies and Toddlers Who Don't Sleep

Please share what works for your children, too!

Mamatoto wrote:
Quote:
Here are some things we have done to help our children have a wonderful night of sleep. I look forward to hearing what others do, also!

--Lots of time outside during the day (or as much as possible bundled up when it is cold)
--Make sure they are eating enough solids during the day and especially right before bed (my ds eats a whole bowl of a pack of Kashi raisin/walnut oatmeal right before the last nursing of the night, if we forget it he is bound to be up nursing a few extra times)
--Lavender oil/water mix sprayed around sleeping area
--CD of ocean or waterfalls playing all night long
--Swaddling for babes, heavy quilt for toddlers
--Chiropractic Adjustments
--Massage after warm bath at night
--Heavy drapes and keeping the lights low in the evening
--No overstimulating TV and toys at all (especially in the evening hours)
--Cuddly, mommy time before bed almost every night (ds wakes more on the nights dh puts him to bed if I am out, he'll be nursing, sleeping, and patting my breast like he knows I was gone and wants to be sure I am here now )
--Homeopathic remedies such as Chamomilla
--Finding hidden food issues
--Feeding them easy to digest food, not things like red meat
--Give sippy cup of rice milk throughout the day and right before bed (my ds drinks one to two cups of rice milk in the evenings before and while he eats oatmeal)
--Co-sleep (so you don't have to get up and so they can find you easily if they need you without having to fully waken)
--Drink Chamomile tea in the afternoon and give baby/toddler some (fennel for colicky babes)
TrinMama wrote:
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we moved up dd's bedtime and that solved many "getting to sleep" issues. her crying cut down to almost nothing! with her routine, now she doesn't fight sleep/bedtime anymore. sometimes they just need to go to bed earlier.

now, as far as the rest of the night goes...she seems pretty high maintenance! lol. it seems like i'm always needing to find new ways to help her sleep soundly, from month to month. all part of the growing process, i guess.
Arms of Love wrote:
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Moving up bedtime and cosleeping are keys here

I bring my babies to bed when I go if they haven't fallen asleep already.
I lay with them, rock them, have them on my tummy patting their back, etc., until they fall asleep
humidifier with lavender eo's in it
dress appropriately for the temp
make sure diaper is fresh

When I'm at the end of my pg I talk to my children in utero about what I'm doing--"It's bedtime. We're going to sleep now. When you are born you will sleep with us." They seem prepared for it

I consider any problems sleeping to be a problem that needs to be uncovered and solved (or acknowledged and waited out) including:
food allergies/issues
not enough exercise
teething
growing
gaining developmental skills
overstimulation
overtired
Mamatoto wrote:
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Use all natural fibers like 100% cotton for sleeping sheets, blankets, and clothes.
kauaidee wrote:
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The biggest one for me is my attitude lol. When I have a good one bedtime goes so much smoother. Learning my babies rhythms and letting them stay up a little bit longer but not long enough they get overtired. For example Faith gets very cranky around 5pm but it is still too early to put her to sleep otherwise she'll wake up and won't go to be till 10pm which in turn makes me cranky So I try to give her a change of scenary. At the moment I have dh watch her and Abigail from 5pm till about 6pm ish while I go online. A big help since I'm usually at my most tired at this time of day and welcome the break. The girls respond well too since they love Daddy time.

We keep the lights off or low until both girls are asleep.

Dh takes Abigail while I put Faith to sleep.

If dh isn't home at bedtime. I keep lights off feed Faith and encourage Abigail to be quiet. Lately she cuddles up next to me while I feed Faith and falls asleep.

I don't facilitate a nap for Abigail any longer as it keeps her up later at night. But if she does nap I just prepare myself for the fact she'll be up later.
Shar wrote:
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One big one for us is the food issue. Loclen has intolerances to a fair few foods but he also is vey demanding and can get quite agro if he doesnt get some of them. We try not to have these foods in the house but one of them is cheese and its one of my biggest craving foods while being pregnant. Plus the bad thing here is Loclen is boss pretty much and I have let him because I dont have the energy to fight him on it. This is strong with bed time too. Some nights he will be up till midnight because he wont go to bed, or it will take an hour to settle him down whilst being in bed. I realise sometimes he just isnt tired but unfortunately I realise that either after I have yelled at him or gotten really angry or the morning after when I recollect what happened. I saw a dietician the other week and she wants me to record everything he eats/drinks and when he does a poo (detailing what it is like) for a week. I was meant to do this last week but I didnt get it done. I will try to do this week because we really need to sort his diet out and his intolerances. I just wish my depression would go away so I can get on top of these things.
Quietspirit wrote:
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Quote:
Use all natural fibers like 100% cotton for sleeping sheets, blankets, and clothes
This is so true for my family, adults and children. 100% cotton everything is a sleep-saver around here!
ArmsOfLove wrote:
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while answering someone elsewhere I went and pulled this out of another thread and wanted to stick it in here also

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It sounds like he is totally overtired and I wouldn't wait for him to be this tired--nor would I attempt a bath and *routine* once he was this tired (which would keep him up even longer). Are you aware of the signs of a toddler being tired?

Some off the top of my head:
frantic behavior
eyes glassed over
looking unfocused
rubbing eyes
yawning
overreacting

I would drop the *routine* and incorporate a bath into some other part of the day. Then, as soon as you see a sign that he is tired, put him down for bed. For some toddlers it can be confusing to hear "It's time for bed" and then they are taken to a bath, or read a story, etc. This gives them a confusing method of what "going to bed means". I announce, "Time to be asleep" and help in however I need to. It may mean holding him securely for a few nights while he tries to play, etc. I would hold him and remind him gently that "It's time to go to sleep."

I talk to my toddlers and teach them how to realize they are tired. "I see you doing . . . and that is your body telling you you are tired." As they are going to sleep I explain, "You can't make yourself go to sleep. You need to lay still and stop your body, close your eyes, stop your mouth, breath deeply, let your body go to sleep." While I'm talking I gently touch each part of their body that I'm speaking about and/or gently stroke areas I see them holding tension (hands, forehead, arm). Sometimes my children respond to me singing to them, sometimes I have to lay quietly with them. I try different things until they settle--but not going to sleep isn't an option.
Mamatoto wrote:
Quote:
I like what you said about laying still. Children seem to sense what our bodies and minds are doing and feed off of them. I read an article by a "nap teacher" who would hold a sleepy picture in her mind to keep herself and therefore the kids sleepy. At naps when I lay with my kids I picture sleeping lambs.
Racheepoo wrote:
Quote:
Okay, I'm looking for anything that will help ds sleep better. What do I use instead of lavendar spray? Ds and I are both allergic to lavendar.

Also, what to do if ds won't eat anything BUT dairy, which I suspect he is intolerant of? Lately he's been asking to drink milk A LOT. This seemed to coincide with night-weaning. Should I try rice or soy milk? And what to substitute for cheese? He has always been a "bad sleeper" but lately it's just ridiculous-up every single hour.
Navae wrote:
(in regards to the comment "Make sure they are eating enough solids")
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What about when your toddler just doesn't eat?? Some days he will eat and others not at all... unless its chocolate....
GREGORYSMOM replied:
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I was wondering if he eats chocolate a lot. I think that it has some caffiene in it. I am not sure about the days when he doesn't eat. Are there any food issues (as the list suggested) that may be keeping him up at night?

The reason I ask is before we changed our diet, my ds was up a lot at night (like 6-7 times). I had to changed my diet and take out things like chocolate, eggs, wheat products, and just junk in general. I wasn't sure if you said he was nursing or not, but I learned that when my diet was out of whack we both had trouble sleeping!! HTH
apbristowmom worte:
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My big question is about my 14mo son who is still not sleeping through the night and doesn't nap well either. We are homeschooling our 5yr old son also, so the no nap thing is hard during the day to get school done....but we manage somehow. I read many of the posts about this topic and this is what we do....Yes, our boys wear only cotton to sleep in and we do co-sleep. I am in the "nursery" with the baby in a double bed (so he doesn't wake up ds and hubby) and my husband and older son are in the big king bed right now. We originally had a twin bed next to the king but the baby was waking so much we had to move to another room. He has napped traditionally in the nursery as well but lately I've put him down in the master bedroom because it's not as stuffy and easier to sleep in. He is not a great eater but is beginning to branch out now. I'm very thankful someone made cheerios!! He is in the stage where he doesn't really want anymore baby food but doesn't want what we have either. Today it seemed to work when I fed him straight from my plate. I have had several blocked milk ducts with him from nursing on my side while in bed. He does seem to nurse for a little while now and then turns over to go to sleep....instead of just falling asleep at the breast. Any other ideas of what we should be doing? We try a snack at night but sometimes he is so tired from not napping that he just wants to nurse and won't take a "snack" We have been praying earnestly about this because I am exhausted and it makes keeping up the house and homeschooling so difficult. The past few days that he has slept well in the big bedroom have really been such a blessing for my older son and I (he really does enjoy the mommy time that school affords) Although today he really didn't sleep too well in there. It's never really a steady pattern with him. Boy...we sure do love this little guy and would never let him cio.....I just want to help him get the sleep he needs! Thanks for any more ideas!
Novasmama wrote:
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While this is probably not a common issue, if you have already tried these basic things, you might talk to your homeopath or natural doctor about Adrenal issues. My daughter did not sleep more than 2-3 hours until we began treating the adrenal deficiency. We were about to have eachother committed to the looney bin (my husband and I) until after 16 months, we slept for 6 hours!!!! She is improving and we are night weening!!!
abbiroads wrote:
(in regards to "what to do if ds won't eat anything BUT dairy, which I suspect he is intolerant of?")
Quote:
I would cut out the dairy completely.
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:08 AM   #2
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Default Re: Help for Babies and Toddlers Who Don't Sleep

Can someone explain the cotton? That's something I hadn't heard before. Thanks!
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: Help for Babies and Toddlers Who Don't Sleep

@Luke-1:6,

Cotton, being a natural fibre, is breathable, and it's also absorbent of moisture. This means that the moisture we all lose from our skin (even when not sweating) can escape away rather than causing irritation. You are also less likely to get too hot if sleeping in natural fibres. Other natural fibres such as bamboo (and other types of viscose) and wool have these effects too. However, wool can be an irritant next to the skin for some people due to its larger, stiffer fibres and the natural lanolin fat.
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