Monday, September 8, 2008

Sleeping Babies

I know that this is a weird subject and one that people either have strong opinions or don't really care. I am on the side of pretty strong opinions.

I read the Ezzo's Baby Wise before Silas was born. I liked the concept of parent directed feedings, but when the baby is a little older than the Ezzo's suggest. I firmly believe that each child is different. And circumstances are different.

One thing we took from the Ezzo's is that we wanted our kids to fall asleep on their own as early as we deemed possible. We have been pretty successful with this. It works well within our regular routine. But when something is different (being out of town, having visitors in your home, etc) its VERY hard to get the kids to sleep!

My sister sent me a book when we were overseas called Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child. Its not an easy, straight thru read. Its more like an encyclopedia that I have used to help in different situations.

The main premise of that book is that we, as parents, need to allow our children to sleep. They need far more sleep than we typically allot them. One of the surprises that the author proposed is that putting your kids to bed early will not make them wake up earlier. I have found this to be relatively true.

Ok, now I have 2 situations going on that are new for us:

1. Hattie is starting to grow out of her nap. She is 3 1/2 yrs old, and that's normal. But she really needs a nap. Without a nap, by supper time she is unbearable. And if we have something to do, like today's ballet class...I panic! She has GOT to have a nap. I have discovered that if I lay down next to her and help her to be still and quiet, she will most likely fall asleep. (thankfully that's what happened this afternoon). Its so strange for me though. I have never laid down with my kids. But now that I'm desperate for rest myself, I don't even care, if it works!!

2. Luke is consistently waking up earlier than normal. Its been averaging 6:30am. Bedtime has been the same. And he's ready for bed when we lay everyone down. (We do lay them down at the same time, and its usually between 7-7:45pm) He is ready for his nap whenever I will let him lay down. But WHY is he waking up so early??? And he's in a regular bed, so he just gets up and comes to our room. I don't know how to rationalize with him to stay in his bed until 7am or so or to go back to sleep.

Maybe with all the change in schedule with school and stuff we will settle into our new routine. What do you think?


Grog said...

Hi Emily! It's Susan Elliott from church! Does he know what a 7 looks like? Can you put something special in his room to play with and tell him to stay there until 7? That's how we try to get a little extra sleep on Saturday or would he stay in his room until you come to get him and then you can decide the time?

Tasha Via said...

Crazy how you're writing this. Zeke has been waking up and knocking on the door when he wakes up in the morning. Sometimes Rainy will just sleep through it, but sometimes it wakes both of them up...EARLY. We are trying to tell them every night when we're putting them in bed that they have to stay IN BED until we get them in the morning.
My kids have always gone through stages where they don't sleep as long as normal. So, maybe it's just a phase.
We ended up putting a child-safety knob on the inside of the door so the kids couldn't get out because Areyna was starting to come out at random times when she shouldn't.
So, maybe you could talk A LOT, throughout the day, about what he CAN do when he wakes up. We talk about being "patient" in bed while they wait for mommy or daddy to get them up. We talk about waking up happy, even if we tell them it is still nite-nite time.
I hope this makes sense=) Just a few little things we're trying to do.

Stacy said...

Is he waking up from his nap before 3pm? Remember in that book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" that they say never to let the kids nap past 3pm. I'm pretty sure he isn't since you have to pick Silas up from school around 2:30. My suggestion is to put him to bed earlier, like 6:30pm. That's what time I put Emma down when she was younger (just a couple of years ago, actually). That worked for us.

Christie said...

Wow! You have no idea how encouraging this is to hear!! I too have read both books and I too have the same situation as you have with Hattie! I too lay with Jaycie in moments of desperation. She will lay awake her entire nap time or if I lay with her she will be asleep in 4 to 8 minutes and then we will have a peaceful evening! So when we know we are going to be having a busy night and we want her to be in a good mood...then we lay with her... I wish I could be of some help but it is encouraging to know that it is not just my child!!!

geisme said...

Emily, my girls are at the same point. They have pretty much given up the naps, but still need them. But I've also found that if they take too long of a nap then I have a hard time getting them down at night. (our bedtime is pretty much the same as yours.) We have enforced quiet time. I sit them on the couch & they watch a video(or 2 depending on length). I have noticed the same thing that they will wiggle & squirm to keep themselves awake, unless I sit with them. Then we found that the video was holding too much attention & they wouldn't go to sleep either. Now I let them watch 15-30 min. of video, then they have to close their eyes for 30 min. before they can watch any more video. At that point they have been opting to go into their beds & it is amazing that if you tell them they HAVE to close their eyes, 95% of the time they fall asleep. Best of luck to you.

Mylinda said...

Both my boys go down between 7:30 and 8 (usually) (ages 4 and 6). The 4yo is done with naps, but he, also, is overtired if we're going somewhere in the evening. So, my general rule is that if we're going somewhere that night, he has to take a nap. Not always, but sometimes, I also lay down with him to get him to be still. That usually takes about 10 minutes. I have noticed, though, that when the 4yo takes a nap, even if we go someplace that night, he's still more wide awake than the 6yo, and they share a room, so this sometimes causes trouble. And, they both get up between 6:30 and 7 every day. Now, for keeping in the room. Since we have a gas stove (and curious boys), we put their doorknob on backwards so the lock is on the outside. This way, I lock them in thier room during the sleep time and they can't get out without my knowledge. We did this until they were potty trained, or at least in the process, since they kinda have to get out to go if they need to. But, having the monitor in the room, I just trained them to tell me, on the monitor, if they had to go to the bathroom, and I would get up and open the door for them. Also, eventually, they both figured out how to unlock the door from the inside, so we dont' really do that anymore. But, hopefully by now, they know not to touch the knobs on the stove!! lol Don't know if that was any help or not, but I hope so. Oh, one more thing, when they were old enough to get out (being potty trained) and they would come to me too early in the morning, I would just put them in bed with me until I got up. They usually just fell back asleep. I think at this point, it's just a day by day strategy. :-)

Anonymous said...

same here!!!
I have a friend that has some kind of red light/green light device that she put in her boys room and he wasn't allowed to get out of the bed until the light turned green. He was about Caleb and Luke's age and I've been thinking about that a lot lately. I looked for it online but couldn't find it. I think she said she found it at Toys R Us but it was for some other purpose than what she used it for. ?? I think it would help, though. Caleb gets up in the middle of the night and turns on the light and just starts playing. That crazy boy! I'll ask my friend more about it if you want.
I need you to blog about your daily schedule. we are struggling and I think we are on the same time schedule as you guys. Help!

Pegsy said...

After being a mom for almost 8 years, I've learned a few things. One of them is this - there are two things you can't force a kid to do - sleep and eat. Think about it - there is nothing more frustrating than a kid who either won't sleep or won't eat when we as parents have deemed it best that they do one of those two things! I tend to be a control freak, so it drives me crazy sometimes! I have two very different kids. The first one, Sara, didn't go to sleep by herself until she was 4 years old. I tried everything and I had a lot of people make me feel guilty, but in the end, I truly felt like there was nothing else I could do. I couldn't force her... Then, my son, Sky, came along, and I couldn't believe this child was born out of the same womb! I did everything the same as far as nursing schedule, mothering style, etc. He went to sleep by himself right from the start! He still does! And he sleeps right through the night and wakes up at the same time every morning. My daughter, on the other hand, STILL has her sleep issues and she's 7 1/2! She's a very light sleeper (like me), so I never know when she'll wake up. It's anywhere between 7:30 - 9 a.m. (I don't have to wake the kids up to get them to school, so I let them sleep as long as they need to.) Sara also will still wake up in the middle of the night for one reason or another and call me. And they definitely go trough stages. Joshua is very good at reminding me of this when I'm freaking out about the latest development! One last thing... I haven't read the books you were talking about, but from my personal experience and from observing friends, I would disagree that putting kids to bed early does not cause them to get up early. My kids, and most others that I run into, need about 11-12 hours of sleep every night. When Sara was a baby, we put her to bed between 10-11 p.m., but she slept till 10-11 a.m.! Both my kids are still that way. We normally put our kids to bed at 9 p.m. and they usually get up between 8-9 a.m. All of my friends who complain about their kids getting up too early (and I'm NOT talking about you!), put their kids to bed between 6:30-7 p.m. I think you have to decide if you want your mornings or your evenings to yourself. But, like you said, EVERY situation is different!! I'm the last person to judge someone over sleep issues because I went through some really tough years myself. You have to go with your gut. Maybe Hattie needs you to lay with her because God knows you need that extra rest right now!? Anyway, that was really long-winded - sorry! Hope something was helpful!!

kerri said...

Emily, I have no advice about the waking up early, but never fear about the laying with them thing. Like Christie said (HI CHRISTIE!), the laying with thing is a way to get the kids to sleep faster, I think. I read Baby Wise too, and I agree that it has some good principles...I didn't start laying with my kids until they stopped sucking their thumbs/fingers. At first, we layed (sp?) there to provide a means of comfort..a substitute for the thumb. It worked. They stopped sucking. NOW, we do it just as part of the routine. I think 4 to 8 minutes is the perfect amount of time (like Christie said), and it gives that extra cuddling time (that I love!) I think, neither one of them HAS to have it.

Okay for waking up early...when our kids wake up early, we just bring them back to their room and they go back to sleep. Good luck!

Cluuccy said...

I don't have children, but my parents always made us stay in our beds for a certain amount of time. While in bed we could read a book or just sit there, but couldn't have any toys with us. We didn't know it was "naptime" but ended up falling asleep because we weren't allowed to get out of the bed.