Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Children?

Discussion in 'The First Year' started by PurplePenguin, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. PurplePenguin

    PurplePenguin Active Member

    We have no problem putting them to sleep at night (most of the time), we just have a problem getting them to STAY asleep. They wake up at different times, and we try to calm them down without taking them out of the crib, but it often doesn't work. We worry that they will wake each other up. They often do at night. So, we end up taking them into bed, sometimes I nurse them, sometimes not, but my husband and I always end up with a baby in bed.

    I'm reading Healthy Sleep habits, happy child, but so far we haven't been able to get them to stay asleep. They wake up sometimes with gas pains, or with g-d knows what else, and they usually do not fall back asleep in the crib. We're desperate! They're 5 months old, and we need our sleep!
  2. PurplePenguin

    PurplePenguin Active Member

    Also, one of them is a great self-soother, and the other one doesn't self-soothe. It's funny, because the good self-soother is a terrible daytime napper, and the one who doesn't self-soothe is a great daytime napper. Then, at night, they switch!

  3. momof6

    momof6 Well-Known Member

    We used the book around that time also. We also decided no more pacifier at around that time (actually I think it was closer to 6 mo) the thing is you have to be consistent. I was breastfeeding and asked my pedi how long they should be able to go at night. He said 5 hours. So that was our mark. We did what the book said and put them down sleepy but awake and if they cried they cried. Usually not. But when they woke in the night if it was before 5 hours we let them (or the boy as it normally was) cry. The first night it was 45 min. The second it was about 20 and by night 3 he was sleeping more than 5 hours. We kept his sister in a porta crib in our room during those nights. They had to go to separate cribs also because our girl is much more active and would end up rolling on her brother and wake him up. The book says that at night you let them cry (as long as you know they are not hungry and that is why I asked my pedi) Now they are on solids so they go down at 7 pm or so and we will not goto them if we hear them until 5 am. At that point I will nurse them change them and they go back down until 7-8 am. They are in the same room and sometimes wake each other but not like they did when they were in the same crib. It is hard but if you are willing to stick to it and listen to a bit of crying it will pay off in the end. That book made a huge difference for us and their napping and sleeping. Good Luck!
  4. maybell

    maybell Well-Known Member

    consistency like the pp said! I think I was using The Baby Whisperer at that age... and she wasn't a big proponent of crying... so she had 2 methods to help soothe them back to sleep. one was patting them firmly - not softly but not hitting either, while they were still laying in the bed, the other was to 'pick up and put down' as soon as they calmed down a bit... and just keep doing it, as the pp said, the first night they cried longer but the 2nd night of doing this method it was less and the next less etc.

    what I took away from what I read in the HSHHC book was if they aren't staying asleep/going to sleep put them to bed earlier... have you tried that? more sleep helps them get more sleep.... seems reverse to us adults, but it works.

    yes, moms & dads need sleep too!

    I will say that right at 6 mo. our duo started teething UGH!! that is another 18 months of some wakeful nights...

    but all in all, do whatever you can to NOT bring a baby to bed with you if you don't want to start that. One of the books talked about it taking 3 days to break a habit, and the reverse is true... it "only" takes 3 days to create another habit, even if it's a bad habit!!
  5. PurplePenguin

    PurplePenguin Active Member

    Thank you!

    We just put them in separate cribs (they kept kicking each other in the face at night) so we'll see how that helps. Tonight they were so tired that we put them to sleep at around 7. We'll see how that goes. We're still trying other methods of calming down - the patting or back-rubbing seems to work well for the girls sometimes. Sometimes nursing is the only thing that works.

    I'm sure teething will keep them up at night soon, so I'm not looking forward to that!

    We try to not bring them into bed until the morning time - I'm okay with napping with a baby in the morning, but I don't want to make a habit of it at night. We've been trying to put them down for naps in the crib too - this way they get used to the crib for sleep time. It's been working some of the time, so we'll keep at it and hopefully it'll work. A few nights last week we got a good 10 hours when we put them down at 8:40.

    I'll let you know how they do tonight, and if it works, then their new bedtime will be 7!

  6. keirin

    keirin Well-Known Member

    I used the weissbluth book from day 1 to help encourage good sleep habits in our babies. At night from 2 weeks on, I would feed them and put them back down again immediately - no talking, no playing. Starting at 4 weeks they always went down to sleep in their crib or the pack and play for naps and at night.

    Starting around 8-10 weeks our babies started putting themselves down for the night at 5:30 PM! They still have a bed time of 5:30-6:30 PM, depending on when they wake up from their last nap. We're 17 weeks this week and our baby girl has started to sleep ALMOST through the night.. from 5:30-6:30 PM until 4:30-5:30 AM. Our baby boy still wakes two times a night most nights, once at 11 PM and once between 1 - 3 AM. Then he gets up at 6 AM, though sometimes he will sleep until 6:30 AM. He's showing signs of moving to just 1 night wakeup soon because his second bottle is usually only 2-3 ounces. I'll probably cut it out around 20 weeks if he hasn't given it up himself by then.
  7. weegus

    weegus Well-Known Member

    I also read "Healthy Sleep Habits..." and "The Baby Whisperer" books and have found their material very helpful. One thing I distinctly remember at around that time was laying on the side of their crib with my hand on their chest making the SHHH sound until they settled... sometimes for as long as 20 minutes. It was difficult but we got through it and I can happily say now that all my boys are great sleepers. Like the others have said, be consistent in whatever method you choose. Good luck!!!
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