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  • Suggestions needed

    I have a 3 yr old girl who has been snuggled to sleep from the time she was born. I have noticed over the last 3 yrs she has trouble going to sleep and staying to sleep when she is going through "exciting" things. Such as walking, talking etc. She's having a terrible time going to sleep right now (and staying asleep) as she's finally accomplishing potty training, building words the sun being up when she's trying to go to sleep, and understands that her new baby sister is about ready to come out. She has gone from needing 15 min of snuggle time to sometimes needing over an hour of snuggles from me. Generally I wouldn't have any trouble doing this, however, I have been suffering terrible back pain for the last couple of weeks. My baby has become engaged but she is sunny side up and this is putting a lot of strain on an already strained back. It makes it hard for me to lay there quietly and stay calm to help her go to sleep. Her inability to go to sleep due to excitedment strains on my patients (I realize this is my problem and not her's). Part of me wonders if she's ready to start going to sleep by herself. When I ask her she tells me no she wants mommy snuggles and she's just having trouble settling down.

    I have tried to teach her about deap breathing, focuing on staying calm and finding a nice comfortable positions. She has a set bedtime routine and is allowed to bring a "friend" to bed wth her to help her go to sleep. This is generally a teddy bear or stuffed toy that does not make any noise. I have family memebers who are taking her out of the house for exercises everyday (I can't walk for long distances as up until recently I have been on bedrest recieving IV), She has a healthy diet and is offered kisses regularly and told how much we love and appreciate her help. However, dispite this she struggles to go to sleep and stay asleep (she's gone from sleeping in her own bed until 5:30 am to being in our bed by 10pm when I'm trying to lay down and go to sleep). It's affecting her behaviour through the day. She's becoming more confrontational. Her normal layed back behaviour has changed to screaming, stomping her feet and crying everytime something doesn't go her way. It can be rather commical as I have seen her throw a fit over something but quite obviously it's more for attention as there are no tears and the"crying" sound is obvoiusly forced. Although the true fits are more common. Normally (when she's had enough sleep) she will say "mommy I feel angry right now and I feel that you are not listening to me". Now she just falls down on the floor and cries and screams. She will need a great deal of comforting to get her calmed down enough to get her to use her words.

    So basically after that long post what I'm looking for are suggestions on how I can help her return to her natural sleeping processes or how I can help her become more comfortable settling herself to sleep with out me (as my husband is not always here and I'm the one who has always put her to sleep). How you guys would deal with a situation like this with your little ones? Or any feedback that may help me see something I may be missing.
    Thank you in advanced

  • #2
    This question was posted on the Facebook page a few days ago...maybe you have seen these responses already, but I thought I would post some of them here, just in case you hadn't. There are lots of helpful ones, but unfortunately no one responded here on the forum! So here they are:

    I read nothing about a solid bedtime routine other then snuggling....try a bath and book and explain before the process when alone/sleep time comes.

    My two year old takes over an hour to fall asleep with me there with him....this has been the case for several months now. We do have a long bedtime routine that includes a bath, reading, massage, saying our mantras together and tons of cuddles. I've tried to leave him after awhile but he cries for me to stay.....I love the cuddle time but it can be challenging to get anything done in the evening (the things I'm avoiding during the day so I can be with him). advice from my end but I will be interested to hear what everyone has to say! I need the advice too!

    Read Elizabeth Pantley's book, The No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers & Preschoolers. So helpful!! Also go to her website for some immediate tips.

    Sounds like kids that aren't tired. My bet would be they are napping too long too late in the day. I'd try earlier naps and shorter, along with an earlier bed time. I highly recommend the no cry sleep solution (book). You gotta hit the window! Good luck!

    I've read that book 3 times! Love it and some things have helped. I try hard to get my son to nap by 11:30 or 12 and he wakes around 2....we start bedtime routine at 6:30 (and he definitely seems tired...rubbing his eyes, lying on the floor with his blankee) and lights out no later than 7:30....I don't want to put him to bed any later than that. Think I will try to shorten the nap today and see what happens! Thanks for the input!

    Have you tried using a sound screen/white noise? This really helps our little one, we keep it by the head of his bed and the sound soothes him. When we are cuddling and he has trouble sleeping, the first thing I do is check in with my own breathing rate and heart rate, to slow it down. I will hang out in the bed for a few minutes then tell him, "In two minutes I am going to get out of the bed, and sit next to you". Then do that. Then a few minutes later I will tell him in two minutes I am going to sit by the door", then do that, then tell him I am going to sit outside the door. I don't talk or engage with him during these stages. hope this helps!!

    Right when my son turned 3 we had to start phasing out naps or he'd be up until 10 at night and was impossible to get to sleep. It was a hard transition since it made him want to go to bed at 5:30-- but then he'd wake up at 9 refreshed from his "nap." it took several weeks, but eventually he got used to a 7pm bedtime with no nap.

    A tickle fest. Nothing tires my guy out faster than laughing his head off for 10mins!

    our son is a few months shy of 3, and falls asleep much easier at night when he skips his nap.

    Massage, massage, massage!

    By 3 we def had to cut out naps. And I also had to make sure he didn't eat too late. If he needed a late night snack I only gave him foods that wouldn't keep him up like cheese and crackers. No juices in the evenings. Baths never had a relaxing affect. Sometimes the opposite as he would play and get excited. So our evening routine was usually a half hour in a rocking chair either rocking or watching something like how its made or baby einstein classical music dvd. I'd hold him and rock him then we'd go lay down and he'd snuggle up and go to sleep. I kept my phone with ebooks on it so I had something to read. He's never been a good sleeper and even at almost 6 he still wakes up several times in the night and wants to be touched, his bed is right next to ours so I can lay a hand on his back

    Tried and true method for any age, any parenting style? For the friends that have taken this suggestion, it has worked. And any time our son gets out of routine or over tired, I go back to this method and it works quickly. Timing: establish your routine and once you have placed her in bed, give her comfort based on time. Set the bar really low, like 2 minutes before u pick her up. And start right at her bedside, allowing her to cling onto u-but don't actually pick her up or speak.Start out by holding her after the 2min until she is calm. Place her in bed and repeat process until she stays lying down. First night I did this, it probably took about 30min or more before he stopped getting up as soon as I put him down. Next 2 nights went progressively better, 3rd night was hard, then it progressed again.

    Continue process every night, moving the amt of min up, as well as yr proximity to her bed. With this method, her needs are not ignored, she doesn't have feelings of abandonment, but yet u r communicating in a clear and consistent manner that it is time for her to sleep.

    Her behavior during the day is DEFINITELY indicative of sleep deprivation and I applaud u for recognizing that !!!!

    When she wakes in the night, use the same method.

    P.S. A pattern emerged very quickly w/our son. It got to where "3x a charm" did it. After about the first 4 days, his crying subsided to just fussing and he would only fight it the first 2 times I picked him up. It got to where I knew the 3rd time I put him down, I knew that he would stay down. I then would use that as my gauge for waiting longer to pick him up and not sit so close. I think the whole process took about 2 weeks, before we could just put him in his bed and walk out (after bath and books of course). Not all my friends kids took this long and some took a bit more time, but it is the only method I could come up with that I could be 100% consistent with,(not lose my mind!!!!) and acknowledged his needs/feelings.