07 September 2006

Sleepy Babies

First off, today is going much better. I decided that today was "sleep at any cost" day. Be it on a walk, in a bouncy seat, in the swing, or in a bed, these kids were going to sleep, damn it. So far, so good. They slept on a walk and now Maddie is sleeping in a carseat and Riley is sleeping in the swing. Hooray!

Now a question for moms out there. Weigook Saram recommended her favorite sleep book to me: Good Night, Sleep Tight. Do you any of you out there have other favorites? No guilt-inducing ones, please. You know the ones, the books that tell you if you don't have a nap schedule by the time your child is five days old he or she will be sleep disordered his or her entire life. Even if that's true (and I have a hard time believing that it is), I can't deal with the guilt right now.

But otherwise, send me your recommendations. I'm ready to start taking this sleep thing seriously rather than flying by the seat of my pants. The babies need more sleep and so do I. Time to formulate a plan.


bg's Little Sis said...

I don't have a book to recommend, we read a slew of them though and took things from each, I, like you, didn't need the guilt books.

For us the thing that worked was getting a very set and even strict routine around nap and bed times. Specific things that we would do to lead up to these times, familiar books, comfort toys, activities, that eased us into it and were signals to the kids that nap time or bed time was coming. It really worked for us, but we'd complain about having to stay to the schedule so much, then have a bad sleep day and thank the schedule gods and stick to it again. Now that they are older, we still have routines, and it still helps, just doesn't have to be so rigid anymore. Good luck, wishing all of you well on this.

Lala said...

All I know is the 2-3-4 rule. First nap after two hours, second after three, third after four. That and a yoga ball is a really good way to bounce a baby to sleep.

snickollet said...

Lala--my best friend is also a big fan of the yoga ball. I was just on the phone with her saying that I was going to go to Target this weekend and get one!

Lala said...

that's great, it's nice to know I'm not alone in my yoga ball lovin'

Rev Dr Mom said...

I know people are pushing schedules again*, but I'm not sure that babies as young as yours can be put on strict schedules. How they sleep depends in part on their developmental stage (it's tied to neurological development) and part of it is tied to their own individual sleep patterns. I have four kids; two of them slept well and long from the earliest days, and two of them were ALWAYS sporadic nappers and tend to be night owls to this time.

That being said, I think you can try to make conditions conducive to sleep (and that may differ from family to family and child to child--e.g., some kids like it dark, but mine always slept better with lights on), and work towards setting up those conditions to occur at the times when you want the babies to sleep. As bg's little sis said, routines are helpful.

I never heard of the 2-3-4 rule, but it sounds like a good idea to me.

I know some people swear by it, but I could never do "Ferberizing" or any of the other strict "let them cry it out" methods. I just don't think that as a rule they are developmentally sound.

Good luck!

*I'm trained as a developmental psychologist with some interest in the history of child care methods, and it's really clear that methods cycle through every few generations. Strict schedules were de rigeur in the first half of the 20th century, and then trends changed to 'on demand' schedules. From what I'm hearing, the pendulum is starting to swing back the other way. Sorry if that's more than you wanted to know!!!

luolin said...

I have no experience with children at all, but do you ever read "Ask Moxie"? There are a lot of questions and answers about sleep, and recently a review a different books, I think.

snickollet said...

Luolin: I do know about Ask Moxie (in fact, a friend of mine went to college with Moxie herself), but I had forgotten about it. Will visit and look for review of sleep books. Thanks for the reminder.

Emmie (Better Make It A Double) said...

I got something from several books, but I really think that infants and older babies are a different ballgame. This early, we just focused on trying to sychronize things whenever possible (waking up the 2nd when the first woke) and using every tool at my disposal to get them to nap at the same time. I completely wore out our first stroller by running it over the grass to keep them sleeping, because as soon as I got to a smooth sidewalk, one would wake! We used swings, car seats, slings, and strollers, and while we had awful days when nothing went right, we did have pretty good success keeping their naps at the same time and keeping the cumulative night wakings to a minimum overall, I think. So no guilt - just do whatever gets you the most sleep and the most time with them asleep at the same time (if that's what you want, of course). A few months from now they'll naturally start to show a tendency toward an earlier bedtime and 2 naps a day, and then you can work on that stuff more.

Yankee, Transferred said...

What worked for me was putting OD in her crib BEFORE she was asleep, but when she was clearly sleepy and I spoke soothingly to her about how wonderful the bed was. She slept all the frickin' time, and does to this day. I think a lot of it is personality.

weigook saram said...

Okay, here are some other ideas that worked for me, or friends.

*Use really soft sheets, or even warm the crib up with a heating pad before you put them down.
*Give them playtime in the crib for a few minutes when they're awake, just to get them used to it.
*Use a white noise machine.
*I don't think you need to implement a strict schedule or anything, but I do think a loose routine helps. And babies will sort of settle themselves naturally into a routine anyway.
* Start a bedtime routine (bath, story, song, bed) now, and when they're older they will associate the routine with sleep.
*I'm not a fan of cry-it-out, but I do think that in order to get them to sleep on their own, sometimes they have to cry a little. I would let K cry, but sing/ soothe her and pick her up if it got too bad.