Friday, August 29, 2008

Sleep Issues - LFW

Wow! It's been a while since I have asked you to share your wisdom. Things must have been honky-dorry in the Thrills household for the last 7 months.
Well I have a lot of questions about sleep. This could possibly be coming from the fact that I am pregnant, tired, and thinking how am I going to do this when we have a newborn. So here we go.
This is our bedtime routine. Around 7:30 p.m., we ask Little Guy "are you ready for bed?" He waves and goes upstairs. We put his jammies on, pray with him, put him in his crib, and he is in there for the next 12+ hours...easy!
Now Princess on the other hand, gives us a hard time. Around 8:00 p.m., we put her jammies on, let her watch a half-hour show on TV, pray with her, and then we lay with her for forty-five minutes to an hour until she finally falls asleep. She will wake up some time in the middle of the night and come over to our room. We don't let her sleep in our bed, but we have a cushion on the floor that she sleeps on until 7:30/8:00 a.m. Around 12:30p.m., Princess will take about an hour and half nap. I lay with her then, but it takes her less than 15 minutes to fall asleep.
There's the history. Now I know that I am enabling Princess. And I know I shouldn't compare kids. I feel like sleeping has been an issue with Princess most of her life. And I think that it is because she was the first child and we did whatever it was that she "needed" to help her fall asleep. And now I just get frustrated laying in her bed for what feels like an eternity every night (except the nights that Hubby takes his turn - yeah!)
So my questions aren't necessarily "how do we fix her?" although that would be helpful, but what is "normal" in your house. Does anyone else go to extremes for your kids to sleep? How long does it take your kids to fall asleep? Do all kids get up in the middle of the night? If so, how do you handle it?
I try to tell myself that this is just a season, but then I wonder if I could still be doing this when she is 10, probably not 15 though. That's a long season. We are going on vacation very soon. So when we get back, I think I am going to work on this. I think part of the problem is I start to work on it and then I get tired so I give in again. I need to be consistent! That's hard for me.


TCC said...

It'll be interesting to read the various responses you may receive from this. I'll weigh in because even though my boys are now 4 and 7I know that the routine we have now was established at a younger age.

I personally love bedtime with the boys. It is special time where everything else in the world takes a break and it's just me and one or both boys (depends if Simms is home or not).

To put them both to bed probably takes about 30-45 minutes if Simms isn't there to help me. If we are both present we each take one and we are usually done in 20-30 minutes. is our routine (basic - when Simms is present) once they've gone to the bathroom, brushed their teeth and changed into pj's. Simms gets one and I get the other (we switch the next night). We read to them, turn out the lights, turn on their music, pray and snuggle for a song (this usually includes some talking about their day). Sometimes as a special treat I'll tell them Mommy will stay for another song which seems huge to them but it's really only another 3 minutes. Then we hug and kiss, sign I love you and say our goodnights. That's it. One of them (usually Barber) may get up and say that he has to go to the bathroom again. He does and then he gets back into bed.

Obviously there are nights where things are different but that is usually because of a cold or something. The above is our basic routine.

Hands-Free Heart said...

Yea, we did a lot more for Squiggly-Wiggly than for Fuzzy-Wuzzy. FW is such an easy one. For SW, he was younger than princess, probably 1 1/2 - 2 yrs old when we morphed into the current routine.

They always have bedtime snack. This is because SW used to wake up too early hungry. So he has a substantial snack. Then pjs, teeth, potty. We used to do a story in his bed, but we skip that most of the time now (we read at other times, sometimes I read at the table during snack). Then lights out. In the dark, I pray. Then I walk to the door, singing a lullaby only one time through. When SW was younger and we started the lullaby, we sang it more than once, trying to lull him to sleep. I think we may have still patted his butt sometimes too. Gradually we moved toward singing from the door, and I would warn him "just one lullaby at the door". So then he started saying it to me because he liked the routine. He's say "Sing one lullaby at the door".

He does wake and come to my bed. Actually both my boys do. I'm usually too comotose to care, but if I want to, I can carry them back to their bed once they've had some cuddle time, whether awake or asleep, and they'll stay (at least until their next wake cycle). They love to cuddle in my bed in the mornings too.

Promises Fulfilled said...

Well, as you know - Brady is 2 and 1/2 and Smiles is almost 8 months. So, what I do with them is a little different - eventually, Smiles will also have the routine that Brady does.

Smiles - change into PJ's, sometimes I put his music on, nurse, pray, put him down in his crib - and I say goodnight, I will see you in the morning, etc.

Ok - Brady. We started this routine especially after he was done nursing - although I think that we introduced a book to him before then - cannot remember that. Anyway, Dawson is the one that puts Brady down to sleep, b/c I am putting Smiles down and we usually start around the same time.

So, his routine (I have done it before too!) - Bath (we usually do this every other day, unless another is needed sooner...just depends on the day!), teeth and a sip of water, then in the room, it's PJ's and diaper change, we read a book or two with him - depends on the size of the book, and then we somtimes sing with him (that varies a little bit). We pray, give hugs and kisses while tucking him in bed and tell him that we will see him in the morning. Sometimes he will ask for another hug and kiss a few more times and I usually give in - but then if we are on the 4th hug and kiss, I tell him that he can have more in the morning and that it is time to go to sleep.

He does not wake up until around 7am (we start him to bed between 7-8pm, that varies a little bit at times).

During the day he takes a good 3 hour nap. Sometimes he wakes up in the middle of it crying - so I go in and hug him and give him something to drink and hold him for a little bit and then ask him if he is ready to go back to sleep - "because his body needs more sleep" - and he will say yes. He really does need the rest of his nap when he wakes up like that so I am glad that he goes back to sleep easily. He did not always go back easily, but I continued to try to get him back down and now I do not have a problem with that anymore.

Anonymous said...

Well, let's see what I can remember. Around 8:30 snack, pjs, teeth and then to bed. I & M had to stay in their beds. Yes, there was always - "I need to potty" "I need a drink", etc. but I just said that was already taken care of and that they needed to shut their eyes and go to sleep. I & M each had their special security pillows and they didn't always go to sleep easily (I was harder than M, but was also older and catered to when younger because of being 1st born. I think that is pretty much the norm.) My only advice is whatever you start, BE CONSISTANT, CONSISTANT, CONSISTANT!!!!!!!
Love and best wishes!

Trish said...

Yes, you need the routines, the consistency, the clear expectations, etc.

However, one thing you may want to consider is using melatonin at bedtime. It has worked wonders for our son, not to mention my hubby and even occasionally myself.

It took him from 45-90 minutes to fall asleep after the whole routine was done to 20-30 minutes from start to finish (we give it right after bath and by the time we are done with stories and all he is usually about to nod off).

I play music and sit or lay down with him for 2-3 songs, but that is something we both like. My husband does not lay down with him.

If you search for sleep on my blog, you will find a post about melatonin and other sleep issues. Blessings!

Natalie said...

Alyssa & Josiah: Put them in bed and they go to sleep. No routines or traditions needed. They are both great sleepers...always have been.

Kaylene has been our trickier one. Unfortunately, I think she is a night owl like her mama. What helped early on was that I let her give up her nap when she was about 2-1/2. It killed me to let her do that, but once I did she went to bed much easier at night. She just doesn't require as much sleep as the other two.

Now it's to the point that I threaten her life if she even thinks about taking a cat nap (like in the car). If she does, it guarantees that she will have a hard time going to sleep that night.