Monday, April 27, 2009

Comments Welcome! (cuz I really need the help!)

I am a creature of habit. And I really don't like change. I love routine and order and predictability. I hate surprises (well, unless they are good ones like presents and such). But being the mother to two kids less than 2 year apart in age (not to mention that they are only 8 weeks and 2 years old right now), all of those things I mentioned earlier, are fairly non-existent, and it is eating away at me. I felt like Jonah and I finally had a system set up. We had a normal bedtime, a normal nap time, a normal was comforting. With the recent arrival of Lily, that has pretty much be shot. She is too young to really have a routine, and I am sure it won't be too long until she does, but right now, on this very day, and all the days before, and those soon to come, are full of chaos. And with how demanding Jonah is in regards to napping and sleep, it has posed a serious issue.

Jonah NEEDS a nap! There is no question about it. He definitely does not sleep enough at night, and the sleep he does get isn't quite good quality sleep since he wakes up so much. And he needs someone to lay with him for him to go to sleep, as well as anytime he wakes up. And of course, Lily isn't real great at entertaining herself long enough for me to put Jonah to sleep, and Jonah isn't a big fan of having Lily there while we are all lying in his bed together. So, as a result, Jonah "sometimes" ends up falling asleep on the living room floor out of sheer exhaustion. And at that time, his nap ends up being too late in the day, and when that happens he is a total crab once he wakes up all the way until bedtime. Then on the side of Lily, I can't really rock her to sleep or et her to go to sleep well enough during the day, because the energetic little guy of mine has a tendency to be insanely noisy, so her quality of napping is seriously compromised.

So, my question to you my dear readers is...what do i do? How do I get two kids to nap that live in the same house? I'm not even expecting them to nap simultaneously, just both of them to get good quality naps during the day!

Do you have any suggestions or advice for me? Any help would be much appreciated. And please leave your email address, so I can contact you! Thanks!


Lauren said...

This book helped a ton Good Night Sleep Tight: The Sleep Lady's Guide to Helping your Child Go to Sleep, Stay Asleep, and Wake Up Happy by Kim West with Joanne Kenen. My girls are 2 years and 6 weeks apart. The best thing I did was add the baby into our routine. Of course they sleep more and eat more often, but I tried to coordinate the baby's eatig and putting her to bed at the same time as my oldest. So eventually everyone is on the same schedule.

Anonymous said...

I used Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. That book is fantastic. You definitely need something to help you with sleep training for the older one. All of the issues with his sleep sound easily correctable.

Marcy said...

I know many people hate this method, but I am a big fan of the cry-it-out deal. I know it seems cruel to let your kid cry, but I firmly believe that a few days of crying are definitely worth the extra sleep that EVERYONE gets as a result. We used the advice from Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems by Richard Ferber starting when Donovan was about 5 or 6 months old, because putting him down for naps was driving me INSANE-- he took 5 or 6 naps a day, each lasting only 30 minutes, and it would take me 20-45minutes of singing and pacing around his room to get him to fall asleep. It took I think about a week or so, but he learned to fall asleep on his own at nap times and bed time, and believe me when I say it made our lives SO MUCH EASIER. People are amazed now when they see that all I have to do to put him down for nap is to take him into his room, sing a song, and put him down in his crib and 99% of the time he'll go right to sleep all by himself. (He did still continue having trouble sleeping through the night after that, but the ability to fall asleep on his own for naps and bedtime saved my sanity).

I personally believe that anyone who has multiple kids HAS GOT to teach their kids, at least the older ones, how to fall asleep on their own, no matter what method you use (I've heard great things about The No-Cry Sleep Solution, too). I just don't see how you don't go crazy otherwise. I also think that if your older child is sleeping better he will be in a better mood and more manageable all around.

BTW I also have Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Weissbluth and didn't like it as much. I prefer the Ferber method of checking in on your child every few minutes while crying it out (EWeissbluth recommend shutting the door and not opening it til morning/end of nap time no matter what), and also felt the Weissbluth book gave lots of theory without much specific direction. But that's my personal opinion. If you're interested in either book, you could see if your local library has them (I'm sure they will) to read them before investing in one or the other.

Good luck!!!

The Rogozinski's said...

My girls are 2yrs 2 weeks apart. My youngest is still not a great napper at 9mo. When she was really young like Lily I didn't worry so much about her sleep. My whole schedule revolved around my oldest and her getting her afternoon nap.

Eventually my youngest began to get a bit of a schedule and most days I get them both down in the afternoon. But it took time. And my oldest thankfully could go to sleep on her own for naps and bedtime if it was absolutely necessary. Does he like certain shows you could get on DVD? We found using a portable DVD player for my oldest kept her quiet at nap time and many times she fell asleep watching.

I used weisbluth a bit with my oldest, and the no-cry sleep solution with my youngest. I don't think either method are great. When it comes to kids, they figure out the whole sleep thing eventually, sometimes you just have to ride with it.

Anonymous said...

As the mother of 3 (5 as of mid-April, 4 in June, and 17 months), I've struggled with this issue, both at nap time and bedtime, and still struggle with it at times.

My oldest didn't sleep well until he was about 3, partly because of rookie parent 'mistakes,' and partly because he did have some medical issues that made sleeping for him a bit difficult. (He's much better now.) Either my husband or I would rub/pat his back while he was in his crib, or sleep next to him in his bed, for what seemed like hours until he finally fell asleep. Now, at 5, he says when he's tired, and goes to sleep on his own.

When #2 came, he actually learned to go to sleep on his own, because we'd put him in his crib and go to get #1 to sleep, so #2 had nothing to do but cry or go to sleep. Soon he was falling asleep on his own when we lay him down to sleep, until #3 came. Then there were jealousy issues. (The issues that we had with #1 sleeping were from the start, and weren't new after his brother was born.) Now, he is the most resistant to sleep, and lately, at almost 4, trying to give up naps, but he just gets so cranky, stubborn, and clumsy in the evening without one that we still insist that he take one, despite his protests.

#3 has learned the best, and fastest, what nap time & bedtime are. She's almost 'programmed'; when we say 'nap time' or 'bedtime,' she gets her lovey and waits to be put in her crib. As long as she's had enough milk, she'll lie down and go to sleep without a fuss.

I've read a few books, or at least tried to page through them during a few kid-free minutes, but beyond setting a routine/schedule, I didn't really glean much from the books. What saved my sanity in trying to get 2, and then 3 children to sleep, sometimes at the same time, was the advice that I read that goes something like, "Your baby won't remember [that you didn't soothe him to sleep]; the toddler won't forget." So, after that, when more than one child was having issues with sleep, simultaneously, I always tended to the older one first.

Yes, it seems like forever until those days come, but it DOES get easier! Best of luck!