October 12, 2008,
J.H. asks from Phoenix, AZ on September 24, 2008
Obsessed with My Kids' Sleep Issues!
Oh my goodness, I am at my wits end with sleep issues right now and really need some advice from the mama community. I have two girls 22 months and 7 months and they have both become early risers recently. My oldest was a dream baby and immediately got on Tracy Hogg's "The Baby Whisperer" EASY plan. She has always gone to bed between 6:30-7:00pm would wake between 6:00-7:00am. She transitioned to 1 nap at 17 months old, and when she turned 21 months old she began waking up in the 5am hour. YIKES! A couple of weeks ago we took the front of her crib off to make it a day bed because she kept getting her knees stuck between the bars. She has done great with the transition except that she gets up early. She naps fine and goes to bed fine. My 7 month old has always been easy to put to bed between 6:30-7pm but never took a "dream feed" at 10pm. She sleeps through the night, but is an early riser too (5:15am every morning).I've tried adjusting her bed time, but regardless she still wakes at 5:15am. I recently tried waking before her and giving her a bottle at 5am before she wakes and just putting her back to bed immediately. Did this for 3 days and would have to wake her to start the day at 7am. This has somewhat worked, but she still gets up early on some days. I am frustrated because if I try Mark Weisbluth's sleep training (interval cry it out), the crying kid wakes the other kid because their rooms are right next to each other. I feel like I have exhausted all strategies I know, and I am just getting into bad parenting routines now to cope.
So...any advice out there on how to get my little ones to sleep a little longer?
So What Happened?™
Things seem to be getting a little better with my girls' sleep issues. Hannah, my 8 month old is now sleeping until between 6 and 7am (YEAH!) I spent a few days getting up at 5am before she would wake and feeding her a bottle in her crib and then letting her fall back asleep. This seemed to reset her clock. Now, if she wakes in the 5am hour she will play but usually falls back asleep until I go get her around 7am. My oldest, Brynn is 23 months and is still waking early 5:15-5:30am. We tried the cry it out, we tried a nightlight on a timer, we have room darkening shades, we have a child lock on the door etc... However, recently she has stopped screaming at the door and sits/plays quietly in her room until I come get her at 6 or 6:30am. I have been telling her for awhile that she can read books or play quietly and that I would come get her when it is time to wake up. She wouldn't listen until a couple of days ago. YES! At 6:40am I woke up and didn't hear her today. I thought she was still sleeping. I went to get her up and she was playing in the corner of her room. Aghhhh some success. I am definitely more rested these days :)
J.K. answers from Phoenix on September 25, 2008
Well speaking from experience and other mommies I say don't fight it join it. It's time to become an early riser too...of course this means early bedtime for you too.
I have tried different methods too; Weisbluth, no cry sleep solution, happiest baby on the block..They still love to rise and shine...despite their grumpy mom who loves to stay up late reading a good book!
M.H. answers from Phoenix on September 25, 2008
hello fellow chicagian.. You actually are doing pretty well.. My son now 2 -slept at 10 weeks almost thru the night, down at 730- up at 6 until recently - now its down at 9 up at whatever.. my 9 month old has slept thru the night twice that we know of.. is up
for a bottle around 3a- them up at 530a - we have tried to let her cry it out -but it only got louder, and i know that the neighbors didn't appreciate it either..so. be blessed with more than 8 hours -however you get it! :0) best of luck... and if you figure anything out - drop me a line..
L.H. answers from Phoenix on October 12, 2008
It sounds like you are doing everything you can...maybe your older baby is waking due to hearing your younger one when she wakes up at that 5am hour?
Have you traveled recently?? Because my daughter (also 22 months) slept like a dream baby for the first 8 months and when we went on vacation for a month to Chicago, I think the time zone change really messed up her schedule (because it wasn't the same after we got home for awhile). My other child is 8 years old and it was much easier to get him back onto his AZ time zone schedule, but it took me a good month before we got her back into her typical routine. Hang in there...it seems like you are doing all the right things and it'll get better. I do know of a local mom in the Ahwatukee area (she is in my MOMS Club) that is a certified baby care specialist...she deals with a lot of sleep issues! If you are interested, let me know (I'd like to get permission from her before I post her name and ph# online - although she probably wouldn't mind the "plug").
By the way...I saw the article on your business awhile back in the AFN and I use to work with your sister's husband in Chicago...small world, huh? Good luck and let me know if you want that ph#! L.
S.P. answers from Phoenix on September 26, 2008
My kids seem to go through times where they consistently wake at 7:00 every morning for 6-8 mo. and then suddenly it is 6:00 and then several months later it is 8:00. And it always starts with that one who wakes the others. At 18-24 mo., kids are more aware of the world around them and instead of putting themselves back to sleep they are ready for the day as soon as their eyes open and they see that toy or whatever. I have a friend who puts books at the end of the bed after the kids go to sleep and has trained them that they can "read" quietly when they wake until mommy comes to get them up.
Even though it wakes one child and you have to deal with that for a while, it may help in the long run. Your child is getting 10-12 hours of sleep which is very appropriate for 21 months, she may just be ready to get up. Hope you won't bleary-eyed for long.
A.S. answers from Phoenix on September 26, 2008
I just wanted to reach out. I read your subject line and laughed. I too am obsessed with sleep issues. I'm reading my third book and they all say different things. It's so frustrating!! I guess you just take bits and pieces from everything and use what works with your baby. If only we could find out easily what works with them instead of experimenting. Hang in there...
J.F. answers from Phoenix on September 24, 2008
If you haven't already, you could try blackout curtains. It helps to keep both of my kids asleep during their naptimes and a little longer in the mornings.
K.E. answers from Phoenix on September 25, 2008
Not to discourage you, but this could be your child's natural sleep pattern. My son woke up at 5:00 - 5:30 am until her got closer to being a teenager. He was just a early riser naturally. Even when he went to bed late it didn't make a difference.
Take care, and don't get discouraged.