My 20-month-old son has NEVER slept through the night. I can’t help comparing him to my 4-year-old girl, who within a few days of taking her home from the hospital slept for 8 hour stretches. Well here’s some news: thats the first rule to assume when you have kids – siblings will always be different, especially when they’re of the opposite sex. I guess that’s why they tell you to avoid comparing, which isn’t too easy.
So my little boy, who is an utter sweetheart in every other way, can be a real nightmare when it comes to sleep. No fail, every single night (save two or three in his short existence, where I prematurely rejoice thinking he has done it- but the next day its back to the old), he’ll wake up two or three times a night, crying miserably to be rocked, danced or fed.
I am determined to stop this exhausting life for both our sakes (miraculously his sister sho shares a room with him sleeps like a log throughout), as I’ve also heard that bad sleep patterns this early and life can be taken into adulthood. Think of all those adults who have to rely on sleep medication, sound effects etc. Come to think of it now, there must be at least 3 people in my extended family who have this problem. Oh dear.
Here’s some advice I found from Dr.Greene when a desperate Mom with the same exact problem wrote in:
“….The first step in helping Nicholas fall asleep at night is to develop a bedtime ritual. This may include an evening feeding at least one-half hour before bed, bath time (a warm bath right before bed tends to make children sleepy), putting on a fresh diaper and clean pajamas, having Nicholas lie in his crib, and reading a bedtime story. Add one new element of the ritual per week for several weeks until you have established a routine that works well for your family. Not all of these steps are necessary, but you may find many of them helpful. At first you will need to stay by Nicholas’s crib, and perhaps keep reading to him, until he falls asleep. Down the road, you will be able to read for a set amount of time and then leave him alone to fall asleep. In the transition period, it is helpful to give him a children’s cassette tape player with a tape of his favorite stories being read by Mom and Dad. Often when children can turn the tape on and listen as long as they want, they will fall asleep very rapidly. This is particularly true when you tell them that you’ll come back in and check on them in a while.”
[tags]toddler,sleeping,sleep problems,sleeping through night[/tags]
Originally posted on October 3, 2006 @ 8:16 am