M.S. asks from Westerville, OH on September 27, 2011
Sleep - Westerville,OH
My daughter has a 4 yr. old and and 17 month old. They do not sleep well, at all. The 4 yr. old requires either mommy or daddy to sleep with her evey night. neeldless to say this is getting very stale. They've done everything monster spray, night light, full room light but she says say's she scared. Even a TV in her room.
17 month old wakes about 2 hrs after being put to sleep. The real problem is Mommy and Daddy are not sleeping together because it's easier to just sleep with the kids in separate bedrooms they are so tired.
What have any of you done to solve this extremely hard sitiuation? Thanks in advance for any help.
J.K. answers from Phoenix on September 27, 2011
You have to train both of them to go to bed and soothe back to sleep. Your 4 year old may be afraid but she's using it as a stall tactic. Reassure her but then tell her she needs to go to bed and stay in bed. Go out and let her be. If she cries or gets up, put her back to bed and walk out without saying anything. I have a 17 month old also and he sleeps well. We had to train him to sleep though. If he cries, I nurse him and put him back to bed (you can give him water if you're not breastfeeding). If he keeps crying, I let him cry for a few minutes then go in there and make him lay down and I walk out. I let him cry for a little bit longer and go in there again. Sometimes I'll nurse him, or give him water or just lay him down. But make going in there longer and longer in between and then don't say anything to him. All 5 of my kids learned to sleep well with this. It helps but you have to be consistent. Good luck!
R.C. answers from Phoenix on September 27, 2011
The 4 yr old is old enough to be taught good sleep habits (bedtime routine, staying in bed, etc.) I recommend Elizabeth Pantley's The No Cry Sleep Solution. Changes in children's lives are best made gradually as sudden change often promotes insecurity. My daughter was 3 when we began helping her fall asleep by herself, first with us at bedside, then halfway across room, then I sat in the doorway, then in hallway and so on. The 17 month old still lacks understanding and should not be allowed to "cry it out". Please read the following link if you are tempted to recommend it:http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/fussy-baby/science-says-.... There's nothing wrong with rocking a toddler to sleep at night.
I am a mother of 3 and my first 2 are great sleepers (put themselves to sleep and sleep 10-12 hrs) now at ages 3 and 6, but they were frequent night wakers before age 2. My third child is 20 months and still not sleeping through the night but I know that there is hope based on experience with my first 2. The key is to maintain security of the child through gradual change and understanding of child development. Best wishes! Midwife Mom
J.A. answers from Erie on September 27, 2011
We didn't have that problem at those ages, and we only had that problem with my middle child.
It absolutely BROKE MY HEART, but fixed the solution in less than a week.....
When my middle girl was very young (can't remember exactly how old she was, but it was young), every time I would put her in her bassinet, she would cry. Pick her up and hold her, she was fine. She was actually like this during the day too.
One night, we went to bed, and the same thing happened. This time, hubby put her bassinet in the hallway outside our bedroom door, her in it, and came back in and closed the door to our bedroom.
She cried for about 10 minutes, if I remember correctly, and wore herself out. She then fell asleep.
Even at the young age, she adjusted within a week.
I don't know if the parents are seeking help, or if you are hoping to gently suggest they try something new to help their situation, but if you can suggest without offending, it is not good for marriage to be this way with the sleeping arrangements, and I don't really think it is good for the little ones either.
Sometimes the little ones will say things to get their way-Mommy may need to really make sure this is the case with her little one-that she is indeed scared. Chances are she's not as afraid as she says, unless she's been exposed to scary tv shows, or the home has fighting parents.
I would suggest the baby be told to go back to sleep without being picked up. The baby may cry, but will probably adjust, like my baby did.
The sooner they become firm with the situation, the sooner Mommy and Daddy will begin to be better rested.
I'm afraid that this will eventually affect their marriage as well-I wish them the best, and hope they can conquer this problem soon.
C.W. answers from Washington DC on September 27, 2011
We put the kids together. It solved the being afraid to be alone issue, but created morning issues. But, I was desperate. I think they could try the super nanny approach and just walk them back to their room each time. She actually has a couple of methods she uses. before I put the kids together my daughter would end up on the floor of my room every night. I learned early on that allowing them in your bed, even when sick, will cause a lot of problems later on.
D.B. answers from Charlotte on September 27, 2011
Wow - a TV in the room - that is REALLY not conducive to sleep.
The problem, M., is that your daughter and husband have not required the children to learn to put themselves to sleep. We all need to learn to "self-soothe" instead of someone doing it for us.
If you are asking because you know that they need help, it's very sweet. But if you are asking because THEY know they need help, then perhaps they will try to change this around.
I would get them a book written by Dr. Ferber (most recent edition) about how to train your child to self-soothe. You can find it on amazon.com.
If they go through the difficulty of fixing the situation they are in, it will result in helping their marriage and their children.