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Old 05-12-2012, 12:17 PM   #1
WildFlower
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Default helping them learn to go to sleep

Is there a way or does anyone have any ideas on helping teach a toddler how to settle down to go to sleep ? I honestly don't really expect to get very many ideas or much help because it seems like everyone here is faced with this dilemna and just waits till their child grows out of it. I don't have a problem helping my DD go to sleep but I think helping her learn to settle down to sleep would really help improve her sleep and help make nighweaning later easier. If there is a better way to think about this please help me.

DD used to nurse to sleep all the time. Now she really rarely does unless she's really tired. She'll nurse for a bit and still finds nursing calming but it doesn't put her to sleep like it used to. I end up carrying her on my back till she falls asleep and then laying her down, at which point she'll wake up a little and want to nurse then settle down. At bedtime she'll nurse a little and we'll rock but then I'll lay in bed with her and she'll flip flop and nurse till she finally gets tired enough to go to sleep. Usually she is flip flopping so much I have to hold her down for a few seconds and say "It's time to go to sleep" She'll cry a bit and I stop holding her down (it's gentle) and then she'll nurse some more and stay still and go to sleep.

I would really like to attempt nightweaning before she's 2 but I think she'd have an easier time with it if she already knows how to settle down to go to sleep without nursing at all and without having to be carried in beco. I don't mind laying down with her, snuggling, shushing/patting. But she is just so hard to settle. She wants to pop up and play. During the day , there is no stopping her till I get her in the carrier (or car) and then she'll be out in 10 minutes.

Any ideas? Is there a better way to think about this?
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Old 05-12-2012, 12:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: helping them learn to go to sleep

My first was an awful sleeper, so for survival I just didn't try anything I just slept with her when she slept, or slept when she destroyed something

My second was awesome, and never wanted help falling alseep... from birth.

Now what I did with my 3rd and 4th, who are my best sleepers... I'm not sure if it really is just their personalities, or what I did, but if it works! Anywhere it says nursing that is DD4... DD3 didn't really care for nursing for comfort from early on.

I would start out laying in their bed nursing them to sleep, then I would do the thing where I'd start nursing them, and then have them come off while I would lay with them. If it didn't work we'd do it again... Once that worked consistently, I would sit beside their bed after they nursed a while (in a chair). Then I would start reading outloud while sitting in the chair (instead of halfway leaning over the bed) and holding their hand or something. Then I didn't touch them at all while I was reading. Then I moved farther away from their bed. This would take a while, but I started when they were right at a year old, and I took a LONG time in between stages. It went much faster with DD3 who didn't want to nurse because *I* was more comfortable moving farther away faster with her. I took longer with Evie because she seemed to need me closer. It took about 6-8 months for me to get to where I could be anywhere in the room for Evie to stay in her bed and fall asleep.
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Old 05-12-2012, 01:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: helping them learn to go to sleep

seems like her cue she is giving you is the motion - it helps her to settle down by being worn and carried or car ride so maybe finding an oversized rocker where the 2 of you can sit together and rock her right now or a porch wing and wait a bit on getting her to go to sleep on her own while still - she is only 2.That will take the nursing to sleep and having to walk with her requirements out of the routine but still give her that motion she seems to really need right now for her body to relax
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Old 05-12-2012, 01:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: helping them learn to go to sleep

i too would really like to know the answer
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Old 05-13-2012, 08:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: helping them learn to go to sleep

I was getting on here to post a similar question, but with a much more angst-filled, vent-y post. A few details and some whining in the spoiler.



So, in summary:
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Old 05-13-2012, 08:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: helping them learn to go to sleep



Me too, me too. I've been working on introducing a lovey for months now (because, you know, the books all say that it helps). Today I thought I'd try cuddling in bed with the lovey myself, modeling how to cuddle the lovey while laying down and closing my eyes. Baby was bemused for a few minutes, then pulled the lovey out of my arms, threw it across the bed and tried to lift up my shirt.

He knows perfectly well that he's tired, and wants to lay down, but he WON'T sleep without nursing/wearing/car ride/gently pinning down/all of the above.
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Old 05-13-2012, 08:22 PM   #7
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Default Re: helping them learn to go to sleep



I'm dealing with this with DS and C..
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: helping them learn to go to sleep

Can I join this club too? Sigh. DD is now asking to go to bed when
she is tired, but still really struggles to get to sleep without a boob or a bit of rocking. She really tries to sleep, but just as she's nodding off she will thrash herself awake and roll around the bed. Now wondering if the Moro reflex can last into the second year...

PS why hasn't anyone invented a totally safe, non habit forming 'drug' for baby sleep? Something that teaches them how to relax and stay asleep. People would mortgage their houses for it ;-)
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: helping them learn to go to sleep

I meant to bump this thread today, as sleep seems to be getting progressively worse at our house...
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:27 AM   #10
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Default Re: helping them learn to go to sleep

So er, we all agree we neeeeeed HEEEEELLLLLP.

Anyone?
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:44 AM   #11
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Default Re: helping them learn to go to sleep

I've been rereading the no_cry sleep solution, and I can't figure out what I'm supposed to do with my older child while doing all this stuff with the baby. so while I spend hours parenting baby to sleep, meanwhile my older child is screaming in my face because I'm not paying 1000% of my attention to him. It's not exactly helping baby learn to sleep.
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Old 10-28-2015, 04:02 AM   #12
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Default Re: helping them learn to go to sleep

Hi there,

I'm so glad to have found this topic and your responses helped me to feel less anxious about my 1 year old's night time routine. I have always cuddled him to sleep for his naps and my husband cuddles him to sleep at night. I have chronic fatigue syndrome so I am unable to get him to sleep in the evenings.

I've recently been advised by our health visitor to put him in his cot before he is tired and sit by him until he falls asleep, holding hands and stroking his back. I've been advised that he needs to learn to self soothe himself to sleep but we were happy with the way things were as a family.

We co sleep and he wakes at midnight to come into bed with us which we both love. Only thing is at the moment one of us has to sleep in the spare room every night so we don't all get woken up by our little ones movements during the night.

Is it important for a 1 year old to self soothe to sleep whilst I just sit next to him? It doesn't feel right but I don't want to create problems for him later on.
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Old 10-28-2015, 05:10 AM   #13
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Default Re: helping them learn to go to sleep

What I always suggest when they start to get settling down to sleep resistant is trying something totally new that doesnt resemble former bedtime that has stopped working.Watch for that getting sleepy time window and sit with her in a big chair and rock in a dim room with little noise.Something like that.IME being taught to self soothe isnt the goal, it is setting them up for success and figuring out what helps them to sleep or be ready for sleep.You may have to switch it up as they grow and change
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Old 10-28-2015, 08:45 AM   #14
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Default Re: helping them learn to go to sleep

what "helped" with mine

1) timing their was that magical moment between winding down and first getting sleepy and over tired meltdown stage. A small window but if we were intune with it magic happened..

2) quiet home leading in.. We do this to some degree even today start setting a quiet mode a bit before bedtime even before bedtime rountinue. Keep media off lights low even things like a candle light dinner help.

3) laying down with them I approach self soothing in two ways.
1) an understanding that kids wont learn what they aren't taught. TO slef sooth thye need some understanding that they are safe and that no harm will come and all will be fine. That isn't taught by abandoning or any kind of CIO solutions (not that I'm thinking this is what you meant) so laying down for me means soothing voices and gentle touches as needed...
The other though is knowing your own kids both of mine had this point of no return a small period where they kinda "needed" to wiggle around and even fuss a bit and where me talking or worse touching made it way worse.. Never was it all out crying but like grunts and sighs and "complaining" a few minutes and it decreased quickly as they settled (vs crying louder and stronger till they wear them selfs out)

Anyways off the subject but IMHO when they start feeling secured that all is okay (And have the mental capibility to do so) self soothing will come into play naturally.

---------- Post added at 08:45 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:44 AM ----------

umm I just noticed the date of the Orginal poster.. and other info...
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Old 10-28-2015, 11:11 AM   #15
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Default Re: helping them learn to go to sleep

I find it's easier to nightwean than to get them to settle to sleep by themselves. My youngest has been nightweaned for months (I nurse him to sleep the first time he falls asleep at night and nurse him when it's light outside, but not in between). In the middle of that he will come into our bed (but the other night he actually slept all the way through). Anyway I find that night weaning makes them not bother to come into our bed (after awhile- it takes months after nightweaning) because they know they're not getting milk anyway. Not that I'm saying to nightwean now, but just that I find the other order has worked better for my kids.
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