Getting the toddler to sleep through the night

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Augusta

Puritan Board Doctor
We did use Babywise with number one, but switched to the method I described above for number two, and they BOTH slept through the night before seven weeks. I would recommend every parent reading Babywise, but tweaking it. I like how they stress scheduling, esp. for feeding, but I think one can go too far if they don't use their own instincts!
And don't tell the lactation nurses!
I was gonna say that the EASY schedule you were mentioning sounded a lot like the basic premise of babywise without all the Ezzo junk. That one part about the scheduling did work for my children. You feed them, you play and keep them up as long as you can and then they nap. Once this cycle is down they just start sleeping through the night. It sets their clock or something.
 

queenknitter

Puritan Board Freshman
You feed them, you play and keep them up as long as you can and then they nap. Once this cycle is down they just start sleeping through the night. It sets their clock or something.
It does work for some babies who it'll work for! ;) It didn't work at all for my boys who were eat-play-eat-sleep-eat-sleep-eat-eat-eat-eat-sleep-eat-eat. You get the idea.

And even once that "routine" (as Ezzo is insistent we call it) is established, life does intervene. Growth spurts, milestones, teeth -- that's the way it goes.

It is rough. . . . I was thinking this morning as I was puttering around the house that it really is like our own growth in Christ. Once we think we've got a routine all established that is just perfect, Somebody throws a wrench in the works. It keeps us humble, attached, and growing.

C
 

Wanderer

Puritan Board Freshman
All I can say is that a good routine goes a long way in getting children to sleep regularly through the night.

Young children find lots of comfort in knowing what's next and what is expected of them. I remember my son John who had a certain time of day for meals, play, walk, story time, naps, and being tucked in to sleep, and waking up. It took time to get the routine down,(and time to modify the routine) but once our routines were established, John was the happiest and most secure child you would ever come across.

One funny thing about routine and force of habit with John. About when John was two years old, even though he could not tell time, when 8pm rolled around he was ready for bed and would come and get myself or his mother to read to him and tuck him in. And if for some reason or another do to company or something else we were not ready to read to him, he would just go to his room, climb into bed, and if we didn't catch him before he fell asleep to read him his story he would be out like a light until morning.

One other tip. I have always found it helpful to talk to my children about what was coming up and what was expected of them. Telling your child even weeks old that it's time for bed and that you will be in the home and are there for them is comforting to them. Also telling them that they will sleep or rest quietly until you say it's time to get up, or telling them what conditions that they are allowed to get up, lets them know what the ground rules are. So in short, you need to talk to your children. Don't let them wonder if mommy is still in the house, and I need to cry to check on her. And never tell them a lie. If you are going out for the night and have a sitter, tell them so. Don't go out with the child asleep and allow them to wake up and find mom is not around. The world is a scary place and children need to have as much of an idea of what to expect.

Oh well, that my two cents on getting a child to sleep through the night. I think it has more to do with developing a trusting relationship with the child.

:2cents:
 

Denton Elliott

Puritan Board Freshman
We used gripewater and that helped a lot. Also, you must let the child cry and if the child is simply being defiant, spank until the child realizes you are serious about staying in bed...
 

queenknitter

Puritan Board Freshman
We all have trouble in our lives when we can't sleep. It's not an issue of defiance. I had trouble a few nights ago. It wasn't defiance. Honestly? I think God wanted me up to pray for some people. . . .

It's so easy to think of our children as a nuisance or a hindrance to getting our own needs met. We are so enamored with our modern trappings. God isn't annoyed by our cries. He carries us through. . . .

It's really the very least we can do to minister that same grace to the weakest among us.

C

-----Added 1/27/2009 at 11:13:11 EST-----

I think it has more to do with developing a trusting relationship with the child.
Exactly. They know that we respond when they need us. Fifteen months is so little. There's so much they can barely express at that age.

C
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
My :2cents:.

There are no hard and fast rules but we learned with each kid not to indulge them too much and teach them how to fall asleep without having to be held. If a child is still accustomed to having someone near him when he's falling asleep then that can be one of the problems.

Even when you get them used to the idea that they can fall asleep without Mom and Dad, we still go through phases where the child is teething. I'm wondering, based on the age, if that's the issue. We sometimes realize, if they're acting out of schedule, that could be the issue.

One thing you may want to try is setting up a play yard next to the dryer and using white noise to calm down your child and helping him to learn how to fall asleep on his own.

Final advice: wisdom is not didactic teaching. Lots of great ideas and some good principles but kids aren't closed systems that are always predictable. Try to pick a couple of good ideas and then consistently stick with them. If you don't like mine then I don't claim to have the "raising Toddlers God's way" method but it works for us and other's ideas might work for you.

Blessings!
 

queenknitter

Puritan Board Freshman
If a child is still accustomed to having someone near him when he's falling asleep then that can be one of the problems.
That's a bit of myth. . . . We heard it too when our boys were little. They always fell asleep near me or my husband. And they fall asleep just fine now -- often near a sibling or sometimes alone, but they fall asleep!

Again, history and anthropology show that we 20th-21st-century Americans are oddballs in this idea of solitary sleep. It's just impractical in the larger picture, so this goal, it seems, is not the way God made us.

C
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
If a child is still accustomed to having someone near him when he's falling asleep then that can be one of the problems.
That's a bit of myth. . . . We heard it too when our boys were little. They always fell asleep near me or my husband. And they fall asleep just fine now -- often near a sibling or sometimes alone, but they fall asleep!

Again, history and anthropology show that we 20th-21st-century Americans are oddballs in this idea of solitary sleep. It's just impractical in the larger picture, so this goal, it seems, is not the way God made us.

C
Thank you for your opinion on this matter Camille but it is not a "myth" that my children have a bit of difficulty adjusting to falling asleep by themselves if they've grown accustomed to being cradled to sleep. I'm not opining in the abstract about 21st Century Americans but talking about my kids. If that makes me an "oddball" in your mind then I don't much care but we have happy children who love their parents in spite of our crazy childrearing ideas.
 

queenknitter

Puritan Board Freshman
Thank you for your opinion on this matter Camille but it is not a "myth" that my children have a bit of difficulty adjusting to falling asleep by themselves if they've grown accustomed to being cradled to sleep. I'm not opining in the abstract about 21st Century Americans but talking about my kids. If that makes me an "oddball" in your mind then I don't much care but we have happy children who love their parents in spite of our crazy childrearing ideas.
I'm sorry I have irritated you. I wasn't calling *you* an oddball in the least. I was calling Americans oddballs in the grand scheme of world cultures. There's a difference. And Americans *are* odd!! ;)

I did read your original statement as a generalization, yes. That all kids who sleep with someone will need to sleep with someone. So I was countering that generalization. Of course I can't speak to your situation. :) And I wasn't trying to.

Sorry for the frustration.

C
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
I'm not sure how somebody is suppose to observe the general trend that Americans are "oddballs" for teaching their toddlers to fall asleep in their own bed and, being an American that does, avoid the specific conclusion that one is on a fool's errand.

Anthropology is interesting but it is data and can be interpreted many different ways. I avoid trying to be prescriptive or make blanket statements that "God designed us this way..." unless the Scriptures indicate that, indeed, we have been made a certain way. Parental wisdom has some key principles and the worst thing that can be done with wisdom is to come up with every answer for parents who will take those broad ideas and turn them into laws.

I have no problem with people who decide to parent in a certain way and I offer our way as one way that we believe is consistent with our children's constitution as well as the time we have available (especially a home-schooling Mom). If others have great ideas then I'll evaluate and integrate them but I find it a bit presumptuous, in any sphere, when somebody pronounces that "God made it this way...." Wisdom is very dense and has many applications. It doesn't always lend itself into the tidy, predictable package. Were this not true then the Proverbs would simply be a "How to" guide and not a collection of aphorisms.
 

he beholds

Puritan Board Doctor
I'm not sure how somebody is suppose to observe the general trend that Americans are "oddballs" for teaching their toddlers to fall asleep in their own bed and, being an American that does, avoid the specific conclusion that one is on a fool's errand.

Anthropology is interesting but it is data and can be interpreted many different ways. I avoid trying to be prescriptive or make blanket statements that "God designed us this way..." unless the Scriptures indicate that, indeed, we have been made a certain way. Parental wisdom has some key principles and the worst thing that can be done with wisdom is to come up with every answer for parents who will take those broad ideas and turn them into laws.

I have no problem with people who decide to parent in a certain way and I offer our way as one way that we believe is consistent with our children's constitution as well as the time we have available (especially a home-schooling Mom). If others have great ideas then I'll evaluate and integrate them but I find it a bit presumptuous, in any sphere, when somebody pronounces that "God made it this way...." Wisdom is very dense and has many applications. It doesn't always lend itself into the tidy, predictable package. Were this not true then the Proverbs would simply be a "How to" guide and not a collection of aphorisms.
Probably the best post on the PB, applicable to much more than parenting.
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
Yes, even my children prefer not to have a room to themselves because they are used to being near siblings in their sleep and they sleep better that way. There is nothing wrong with this. Other families are smaller and there isn't much room for this unless the child is sleeping in the parent's room. Most cultures are used to cosleeping in one form or another, so yes, America is one of the "oddballs" technically...it's not an insult, however, unlike how the Ezzo's view it, it doesn't make Americans to be "higher" culturally than other people.


Back to the OP...a child doesn't wake up crying out of defiance or manipulation. It sounds like there is something bothering them just as we tend to have things disturbing our sleep as well. Sometimes we know why and sometimes we don't. Also might want to rub their legs as I and my children have been known for severe leg cramps (charlie horse).
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
I'll agree with that aspect Colleen. Our kids share rooms and prefer it that way. If that was all Camille was pointting out that we're social by nature then I think that's certainly true. Calvin sleeps in the same room as James and the two girls sleep together.

My only point was with respect to my toddlers having to grow accustomed to not being held during sleep. There is always a "weening" process that has to occur in our family.
 

he beholds

Puritan Board Doctor
Yes, even my children prefer not to have a room to themselves because they are used to being near siblings in their sleep and they sleep better that way. There is nothing wrong with this. Other families are smaller and there isn't much room for this unless the child is sleeping in the parent's room. Most cultures are used to cosleeping in one form or another, so yes, America is one of the "oddballs" technically...it's not an insult, however, unlike how the Ezzo's view it, it doesn't make Americans to be "higher" culturally than other people.


Back to the OP...a child doesn't wake up crying out of defiance or manipulation. It sounds like there is something bothering them just as we tend to have things disturbing our sleep as well. Sometimes we know why and sometimes we don't. Also might want to rub their legs as I and my children have been known for severe leg cramps (charlie horse).
I am not a fan of Growing Kids God's Way (I've never read it, but from what I've heard) and I'm not a fan of the Ezzos themselves. But I don't remember in Babywise anything about kids sharing rooms. Are you sure that they are against this?
I think a kid could wake up out of manipulation. Wait, I have a two year old, I KNOW they can.
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
Yes, even my children prefer not to have a room to themselves because they are used to being near siblings in their sleep and they sleep better that way. There is nothing wrong with this. Other families are smaller and there isn't much room for this unless the child is sleeping in the parent's room. Most cultures are used to cosleeping in one form or another, so yes, America is one of the "oddballs" technically...it's not an insult, however, unlike how the Ezzo's view it, it doesn't make Americans to be "higher" culturally than other people.


Back to the OP...a child doesn't wake up crying out of defiance or manipulation. It sounds like there is something bothering them just as we tend to have things disturbing our sleep as well. Sometimes we know why and sometimes we don't. Also might want to rub their legs as I and my children have been known for severe leg cramps (charlie horse).
I am not a fan of Growing Kids God's Way (I've never read it, but from what I've heard) and I'm not a fan of the Ezzos themselves. But I don't remember in Babywise anything about kids sharing rooms. Are you sure that they are against this?
I think a kid could wake up out of manipulation. Wait, I have a two year old, I KNOW they can.
No, the something caused the child to wake up. The child doesn't just decide in their sleep, I'm going to wake up. The Ezzo's are very against any form of cosleeping. They may not be against the sharing of a room between siblings, but the example is simply a broader sense of the same habit/comfort.

I believe that is what Camille was pointing out, Rich. That this is normal to our nature and the other learned.
 

he beholds

Puritan Board Doctor
The idea of family bed is not the same as kids sharing a room. Unless a family is wealthy, large families will have to have rooms being shared. I don't think that it "is simply a broader sense of the same habit/comfort." I don't think it's sinful for parents to co-sleep with their children, but I don't think it is wise. But that doesn't mean that the logical conclusion of my philosophy is that it is unwise for siblings to do so.
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
The idea of family bed is not the same as kids sharing a room. Unless a family is wealthy, large families will have to have rooms being shared. I don't think that it "is simply a broader sense of the same habit/comfort." I don't think it's sinful for parents to co-sleep with their children, but I don't think it is wise. But that doesn't mean that the logical conclusion of my philosophy is that it is unwise for siblings to do so.
I'm sorry, but you aren't getting what is being said. This isn't about family bed, large families, etc. It's about a natural comfort zone in children vs learned (or insisted upon) behaviour. A toddler is a toddler. It is normal for them to react based on their natural comfort zone. They are not always being defiant by wanting this...it's merely something that comforts them. As someone else mentioned, there is a trust issue that sometimes takes time to establish (ie., mama is going to lay you down, but mama isn't going anywhere...this is a learned and sometimes time consuming thing).
 

SpokenFor

Puritan Board Freshman
Please do not read Babywise!!!! As a postpartum doula I have seen more than one child diagnosed as failure-to-thrive because their parents follow the Ezzo's methods.

I know that crying it out is controversial, but please let me share this: my oldest daughter would not sleep through the night starting at 4 months of age. She would wake up screaming literally every half hour. My husband and I did everything we could. We even tried homeopathics, melatonin, cranial sacral therapy, baby massage, etc. Nothing worked. We were all exhausted. At age three, one night my daughter had a grand mal (tonic clonic) seizure. Through testing (48-hour Video EEG) we came to find out that she has a rare, severe form of epilepsy called Landau Kleffner Syndrome. She has invisible seizures near constantly. Her brain misfires every 5 seconds that she is awake, and during sleep she is in a constant status seizure. THIS is why my daughter did not sleep. Now, the night she had the big seizure, she had just crawled into bed with us. We had been trying to let her cry it out for several months prior to that - insisting she stay in her bed. I cannot help but wonder how many other seizures she may have had during that time that we did not know about because we made her cry it out.

I know our story is rare and I'm not telling you because I want pity or because I think your child has some terrible rare disease. I just don't want you to let your child CIO and look back at it with regret later.

The best thing you can give your child is patience and time. This won't last forever. At 15 months he is still a baby.

-----Added 1/27/2009 at 02:07:44 EST-----

I think a kid could wake up out of manipulation. Wait, I have a two year old, I KNOW they can.
Sorry for being dense..how exactly is that possible?
 

queenknitter

Puritan Board Freshman
I am still frustrating you, and I am sorry. That's not my intention. Believe it or not, I think we agree more than disagree. This:

Wisdom is very dense and has many applications. It doesn't always lend itself into the tidy, predictable package. Were this not true then the Proverbs would simply be a "How to" guide and not a collection of aphorisms.
I couldn't agree more!

Peace.

C

-----Added 1/27/2009 at 02:14:47 EST-----

I believe that is what Camille was pointing out, Rich. That this is normal to our nature and the other learned.

:) Yes. :) That's all I was saying. Thanks for clarifying that for me.

C
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Heck,

I let my kids sleep with me until they didn't want to any longer. But I was a single parent most of the time. No biggy. Some people just need to get a life. Raise your kids the way you want to if it isn't mandated or has a biblical principle that indicates something is wrong.

I have always advocated that there is no single formula. Different kids grow and mature differently.
 

Mushroom

Puritan Board Doctor
Yep, Randy, and different kids can have different preferences in this area. My eldest was never happy in bed with us or anyone else, prefers to be in her own bed in her own room. My son would stay with us some, but eventually got to be like his older sister. But my two youngest, both girls, would stay forever in Mom and Dad's bed, and can't sleep w/o each other in the same room, often in the same bed.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Yep, Randy, and different kids can have different preferences in this area. My eldest was never happy in bed with us or anyone else, prefers to be in her own bed in her own room. My son would stay with us some, but eventually got to be like his older sister. But my two youngest, both girls, would stay forever in Mom and Dad's bed, and can't sleep w/o each other in the same room, often in the same bed.
I am sure the two girls will out grow it someday. Privacy becomes an issue the older they get. Eventually, if mine wanted to stay in my room they slept on the floor. I pulled out the quilts and blankets. Sam can sleep anywhere now. And he prefers a hard surface. LOL
 

he beholds

Puritan Board Doctor
The idea of family bed is not the same as kids sharing a room. Unless a family is wealthy, large families will have to have rooms being shared. I don't think that it "is simply a broader sense of the same habit/comfort." I don't think it's sinful for parents to co-sleep with their children, but I don't think it is wise. But that doesn't mean that the logical conclusion of my philosophy is that it is unwise for siblings to do so.
I'm sorry, but you aren't getting what is being said. This isn't about family bed, large families, etc. It's about a natural comfort zone in children vs learned (or insisted upon) behaviour. A toddler is a toddler. It is normal for them to react based on their natural comfort zone. They are not always being defiant by wanting this...it's merely something that comforts them. As someone else mentioned, there is a trust issue that sometimes takes time to establish (ie., mama is going to lay you down, but mama isn't going anywhere...this is a learned and sometimes time consuming thing).
I guess you are right--I was not getting what you were saying. I thought you were meaning that people who were for kids sharing a bedroom should also be for kids sleeping with parents. Sorry:)

I was typing so late last night myself b/c my own 14 month old was (randomly--I think she was reading the boards yesterday and wanted to tease me) having trouble sleeping, so I was holding her.

I do not see anything wrong with a mom holding her child or with the mom trying to get the child to sleep on her own.

I think a kid could wake up out of manipulation. Wait, I have a two year old, I KNOW they can.
Sorry for being dense..how exactly is that possible?
A baby could cry when nothing is wrong. That's all I meant. My son doesn't always want to nap when it is naptime. If he cries it may be there's something wrong, or it may be that he wants me to come get him so we can go back to painting, or playing, or reading. He could even beg to go potty, just to get out of bed. I am sure that he can fight sleep just to get me to get him. That does not mean that he should not take a nap.

We do a lot of things that our natures tell us to. I do think it is the parents job to change that in children.

I am not saying do not hold children or anything like it, I am saying that just b/c a baby wants to be held in the middle of the night, doesn't mean that that is always the best thing for him.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
I am still frustrating you, and I am sorry. That's not my intention. Believe it or not, I think we agree more than disagree. This:

Wisdom is very dense and has many applications. It doesn't always lend itself into the tidy, predictable package. Were this not true then the Proverbs would simply be a "How to" guide and not a collection of aphorisms.
I couldn't agree more!
Thank you for clarifying Camille. I wasn't frustrated as much as I wanted to make sure I drew out where our own views on the nature of children can go astray and come across as insisting on a child-rearing formula. I certainly never turn down advice (and I'm not saying you believe this) but some people baptize their advice as the insight to children.

There was a time, I think, when we took some of this advice and made it somewhat mechanistic and then realized that our children were much more unpredictable and unique than the books implied.

I appreciate your clarification.

Shifting trails a bit, I think it is dangerous when folks write books about this kind of stuff. I think the "How to" Baby-guides appeal to the fundamentalist in many Christians that want the kind of rules/response that the Ezzos will offer. It's not that every idea the Ezzos and others have as far as techniqe is wrong but, without mentorship, people become Pharisaically rigid in their discipline.

We're going through a pretty good book on men with my Church and the author is doing everything he can to write a book that is not a "fix the man" kind of book because we're always looking for steps. With any book, however, it is inevitable that the insights get turned into rigid rules and we forget the fundamentals of the Gospel in the conversion of the heart. Techniques are tools toward an end but can become an end to themselves and forget that point - a wooden spoon or a child who is sleeping with Mom and Dad is not a means of grace. It's just an outgrowth of a Mom and Dad who are either guided by the Gospel on the one hand or following a formula that is going to produce a "happy, obedient child" on the other.

This forum allows better interaction than a book so it's not as dangerous as a book but I'm always weary of being too prescriptive. We get calls from friends sometimes who have new kids and want to know "how to" and we are really careful with that. We give them pointers but we always want to ground them in the goal. Thus, somebody once asked me if it is sinful not to spank your kid and I gave them a somewhat complicated answer because I didn't want them to start "spanking by numbers".

I think this is the way advice should be dispensed: relationally and with qualifications. The better I know someone and their situation, the more I'm likely to offer more ideas. The less I know, the less I want to be too prescriptive.
 

he beholds

Puritan Board Doctor
I recognized that desire for a new law:"just tell me what to do to be a good mommy," when I did try to read all that I could when I began parenting! I agree that how-to books can become that new law. If the end goal of the reader is, in fact, "tell me what to do to be a good mommy," then the book will not work, but if it is "how to make pudding," or "how to run a marathon," or yes, even, "how to get a routine that helps your kids sleep," I don't think that is becoming a law, b/c steps can bring about an expected effect.
Does that make one a better parent? NO! And Babywise fails miserably by asserting that it does!!
What I like about that book is that it does offer the idea of routines, whereas much of the other parenting advice out there does not. And that is what I took from it. But others may breathe every word of a book like that, and end up in agony, when life is still not perfect!
 

queenknitter

Puritan Board Freshman
I wasn't frustrated as much as I wanted to make sure I drew out where our own views on the nature of children can go astray and come across as insisting on a child-rearing formula.
Yeah, see -- we really do agree more than not on this point. :) A friend of mine was saying the other day at how *few* child-rearing formulas are in the history of Christianity. She had been studying/reading Jonathan Edwards and . . . . I can't remember who else. And she just was impressed with how unformulaic it all is.

It's like formalizing food/diet. Not everyone likes chicken or chocolate or coffee. Some people eat bugs. Drinking motor oil is generally a bad idea. And that's about as general a formula as we can make about it.

Anyway, I'm glad we worked through the seeming conflict. As my hubby says, looks like we were having a heated agreement. :lol:

C
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
You spoke to several concerns I've had, Rich, thank you.

On the fundamentalism: Many parents start with good intentions down one of these paths (Ezzo, Gothard, Pearl) looking for THE Method to raising children. Unfortunately it becomes more of a child responding to the consequence rather than the principle. The Method doesn't take into account that each child is different and we should be working on a relationship with our children to raise them, not a method to train them to act as we demand (yes, we need obedience...but it's the why they are obeying, because dad said or because dad is going to this, that, or the other if I don't?). Some of us have either experienced or seen the results of these methods that worked so well in the younger years blow up in everyone's face later and have damaged relationships (and in some cases, the health/life of a child).
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Amen to all three.

I think we ought to be wise enough to recognize the common grace in ideas wherever they come from. I've learned people skills and leadership ideas from rank pagans. When we note that man is created in the Image of God, we don't have to have a rigid "proof texting" approach to wisdom that is no wisdom at all.

Rather, we stay grounded in the Scriptures and try to integrate good ideas or techniques that not only help our kids learn certain things or keep us sane but are tools toward the end we have in mind. It's not the tools that are bad but how we use them and what kind of child, by God's grace, we are aiming to raise.

The reason why these books fall short for me is that I'm not convinced many of the authors even know what that end is.
 

Honor

de-cool
my youngest STILL crawls in the bed with us every night sometime in the middle of the night... when? I have no idea I don't wake up anymore.
 
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