11 answers

Dr. Weissbluths Sleep Method W/ Newborn When There Are Other Siblings

I have a four month old daughter who is trying to organize her naps. I used Dr. Weissbluth's method in the past and did find it helpful. The problem I am running into is with #3 and trying to get a nap schedule while keeping up with the other two children's activities. So I have a couple of questions:
1) How do I help her work on her 9:00a nap when I have to take/pick up one of the kids to preschool?
2)How do you handle the other kids waking up from their naps when s/he "cries it out" falling asleep?
3)How do you coordinate afternoon activities when the newborn should be napping?

4) How do you help the other children "keep quiet" while the newborn is sleeping or during their nighttime routine to not wake up the newborn?

I have an older copy of Dr. Weissbluth's book so I don't know if he covers this in the newer additions, but I am about ready to give up on having any type of daytime organization for the baby...HELP!!

I just found this website and get such comfort and wisdom from all of you!!
Thank you for any advice you can give (even if it doesn't follow Dr. W's method), especially on helping the older ones keep the noise level down while the younger ones are sleeping!

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

A big thanks to everyone who responded...all of you give inspiration just knowing that you have been there, currently are there, or care enough to try to understand. I think that is the best answer anyone can give. This is a great website.
One thing that was going on when I wrote this is that the baby had her first cold and I was not sleeping. This greatly effects my patience, thinking ability, and ability to step out of the situation. Also, if you haven't noticed, I'm a bit "type A". The less sleep I get the more rigid in my thinking I become. Thanks to all of you who could read between those lines and provided an empathetic voice. The basic message I got from everyone is to slow down and let it go...be more flexible and have more realistic expectations. Things are not going to get done, opportunities may be temporarily missed and in the long run this is a temporary situation that will change before I know it. I need to just go with the flow!! Thanks everyone for helping me see that!

Featured Answers

I can't comment on much since my #2 is only 6 weeks but wanted to tell you that most of my girlfriends with two kids have, or tried to, make the afternoon nap the long one. This way their younger and older child take a long nap together. Then they have the AM nap either in the car, stroller, etc.

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As a day care provider, I have often dealt with 4mos old and older siblings, ie children. 1. As far as the 9;00, if baby falls asleep in the car seat,keep her in it when you get back. What I do is tilt it back on something so that baby is in a position that does not put weight on the back. This is safe for some weeks as the child does not move around much in sleep. If she trasitions easily, goes from car seat to crib without waking, then do that. Many times baby is still asleep in the car seat when it is time to go pick up the other child. 2.The crying out only occurs in the beginning, or after an illness breaks the babies habits, and then stops. So for a nap or two they are awakened. Big Deal! 3. Consider limiting afternoon activities to those that can be done while baby sleeps. Once again, if she'll fall asleep in the car seat and remain so, then you can go places, the park, McDonald playgound, a friend's house, the library. And they can always go in the back yard while you listen to the monitor and occasionally check on her. 4. Try the backyard, watching TV, reading to them, take the phone off the hook and put a sign on your door not to ring the doorbell. Try to jump in when you sense yelling is going to begin. That is all you can do. Adaptable babies will sleep though a lot of noise. If she awakens, let her cry it out and she'll learn to go back to sleep.

1 mom found this helpful

Number 1) since she is only 4 months old she is still in an infant carrier. so that my younger ones could still get their naps in I would allow them to do it in the carrier. I would put them in the car, drive the older ones around and if the baby fell asleep I would just keep her in the infant carrier and allow her to sleep. I would put it in her room. I know they say not to allow the kids to sleep in carriers. That's more for over night. An hour long nap or so isn't a big deal.
2) Can't really answer this one. I don't believe I ever had two napping at the same time ever. But at night I would put the baby to sleep first get her settled and then put the older ones to bed. Would this work for naps?
3) You have to make the decision either you are out and about and the baby naps on the go or you stay home and have the baby nap in her crib. I think it's okay to have that morning nap or the late afternoon nap to just let happen while driving or such, but at least the long mid-day nap the baby needs to be in her crib and have a good sleep. This may be a time that if the kids don't need to be at school or a doc. appt. you don't sign up for stuff or make playdates during nap times. Yes this cuts into stuff that you may want to do. but it is only for a short time and it is important for her growth and development to get as much sleep as she needs. before you know it she will be only sleeping once per day and beyond that no naps at all. Enjoy the nap times now. Once there aren't anymore naps there is no down time for mom either.
4) I wanted the kids to go about their normal play when the newborn/infant slept so that they would get used to the noise and sleep through anything because that is what their life was going to be. No screaming and yelling of course. My fourth can sleep through anything (she's 3 now), she'll take a nap where ever and when ever once or twice a week now. She may fall asleep in the car as we are going to pick up the 6 year old, I'll carry her in still sleeping to pick him up put her back in the car get home put her on the couch in the family room with everyone home doing whatever they do and she sleeps through the whole thing.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm pretty sure the reason he doesn't address it because it's impossible. My second had to "go with the flow" catching naps when we could and my third is on the same track. We are DILIGENT about night-time bed routines to make up for it and it does seem to work. I've taken some of what I remember from his book and modified it to fit our lifestyle.

I'm not sure what to tell you about noise level. I do use a noise machine and music for my newborn when it's time for our night-time routine, mostly so she gets used to that meaning it's bedtime, so that helps filter out the noise. She actually seems to be adjusting to the chaos and noise of an almost 2-year old and 4-year old...she seems more freaked out when it's quiet!

1 mom found this helpful

Most 3rd children I know have catch-as-catch can nap schedules, so you are in plentiful company. I'm sorry that I don't have much specific advice to offer. You could try a white noise machine in the nursery (we have a Sleep Mate - very handy). Also, I wouldn't make the other kids curb their play too much - it's hard enough to share with siblings that close in age and they won't really understand why they have to be quiet for the baby.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I can't comment on much since my #2 is only 6 weeks but wanted to tell you that most of my girlfriends with two kids have, or tried to, make the afternoon nap the long one. This way their younger and older child take a long nap together. Then they have the AM nap either in the car, stroller, etc.

Babies hear the daily household activity in utero. Your house does not need to be quiet just because the baby is sleeping. They should be able to sleep through normal day to day act.

If you have to take your child to school, your baby will sleep in the infant car just fine if tired.

Babies, especially @ 3 mos make their own schedules. Not until around 6-7 mos will your child be taking a 9:00am nap everyday. Depending on the night before...it may be 10:00, may be 10:30.

Just go w/ the flow. YOu'll be happier and so will your kids in the long run.

If you're into "sleep training" or I assume that is what this type of method is, my apologies if it isn't - and we never did CIO, so, no I'm no help on that perspective) or your baby, my suggestion may not be for you. If you need to be engaged in other activities or out and about during your babe's normal napping times, you may try wearing her in a sling or other carrier. The steady beat of your heart and close contact with mom and your motions will allow her to sleep soundly. A mei tai carrier was good for me when my daughter was 9 mos old as she was 20 lbs and I could comfortably carry her in a front carry position and she would sleep on.

Are you kidding me. The baby takes priority. Get in a car pool or something for preschool or school. So your time out is limited. Teach your kids the baby is sleeping and they need to be quiet.
Guess what you might have to sacrifice alittle. you don't need a doctors book to handle this. i had two kids within 13 months of each other and then later a third. you learn to handle it. Where is the baby when it's sleeping that they are disturbing it. close the baby's door and use a baby monitor to hear if it fussing.

Hi Elaine! I only have two kids, and they are quite close in age, so I don't have to worry much about taking one to school while another sleeps. That's got to be tough on everyone. As far as I remember, my copy of the book does not address any modification of the method when other children are in the house.

As much as I hated it, the baby would sometimes wake up his sister. Fortunately, most of the "major" cry-it-out happened at bedtime, before my daughter went to bed. However, we have always used white noise in her room, and we turned-up the volume (quite loud) during the major adjustment periods. But, yes, her sleep was somewhat disturbed for a relatively short period of time. Likewise, we used loud white noise in the baby's room, so that his sister's bedtime routine didn't disturb him as much. But even today, he will wake up when she makes too much noise!

Regarding activities for the older kids when the baby is napping, we were stuck in the house (or in the backyard with the baby monitor). We didn't leave. Of course, I had the luxury of both taking an afternoon nap at the same time, so I didn't have to worry about noise in the afternoon. Since your kids are a bit older, maybe that would be the time to bring out the art projects (paint, play-dough, crayons, etc.) Or a GREAT time to try some simple baking/cooking with the older kids.

Best of luck!!

Call Dr W: ###-###-#### He is amazing!!!

I have three children age 14, 12 and 5 and I used Weissbluth's methods as well. First, I congratulate you for trying to keep up some semblance of a sleep schedule for all your children despite their closeness in age. It can be done with some flexibility and prioritizing on your part.

Number one, pare down the extra curricular activities of the older two to what is necessary during this important time for the baby. I'd say preschool and that's it. Obviously, if carpooling is an option go for it. Try to get out with the kids at times the baby is not suppose to nap. This is what the park is for! Is there one in walking distance?

You don't say if the baby is a good sleeper and can be transferred. If so, I agree with what the daycare provider said about leaving the baby in the carseat.

The other key is to get some white noise going in every bedroom. That way if the baby is crying the other kids can nap without hearing her. And if you put the baby down, put on the noise and block out the sound of playing children. Fans work very well for this....you don't have to go out and buy a white noise machine. Just turn the airflow away from the baby/child. You need to get the old fashioned cheap noisy fans!

There were plenty of times I turned down playdates and activities if I had to drive the baby when I knew he would fall asleep and ruin his nap. Its just for a short time ( a few months) until you figure this nap thing out with the baby. Once the baby establishes good sleep habits, you will have more flexibilty and won't worry that missing one nap will be fatal.

Good luck!!

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