July 14, 2010

Go to sleep, go to sleep...

I'm always a bit hesitant to give out parenting advice.  Mostly because I'm totally not an expert at this, but also because my kids seem to sense that I have given "said advice" and do everything in their power to PROVE that I'm not an expert.  But, I've had several people ask this question, so I'll give it a go.  Honestly though, if my kids quit sleeping through the night suddenly I will come drop them off on your doorsteps!

Here's the way the question is usually versed, "How on Earth do you get any rest/time to yourself?" or "You look really good for a lady who can't be getting any sleep!"

Truth is, I do get good sleep... and it's rare that a kid-o is keeping us up at night.  We have a great bedtime routine and we stick to it.  It's rare that our kids are up late and we find that to be key.  Our typical bedtime is 7:30 p.m. and generally we don't hear from the kids again until 7ish the next morning.

This has been the routine from about 6 months on for each kid-o.  I will admit that getting Holden to sleep through the night initially was quite a chore.  He really did like to eat every three hours, even when sleeping, so I'm not calling myself a miracle worker or anything.  In complete and total honesty, I would say he was 6 months old before I counted on him sleeping through the night.

When the kids were really  little, we always fed them right after they woke, as opposed to allowing them to associate food with sleep.  We laid them down when they were awake but sleepy and let them drift off to sleep on their own.  Until just recently, all of the kids used a Fisher-Price Rainforest Waterfall Peek-a-Boo Soother  to help entertain and lull them to sleep.  This (especially for Stone who uses no other comfort objects) allowed them to drift off to sleep quietly. We traveled with these and had them on-hand for quite a while.  I think it kept that feeling of "home" wherever we went.

Right now, we do well in hotels and away from home.  There are days, of course, that the going gets tough.  Usually that's because we're overtired.  With our kids all sharing rooms, sometimes there is just a lot of jibber-jabber and we tend to let this go.  Everyone is out of their crib and has been since right at a year.  I know that sounds super-early, but that's what seemed to work best for us.  Our rule is typically, "stay in your bed until you see the sun come up."  The boys know this and usually obey.

So, probably not the wealth of info that you were all expecting - no magic cures - but this is how we do it.  The nitty-gritty, so to speak.

Now will someone please share with me how to keep a little 2-year-old Houdini in his car seat?  This one really has me perplexed!

5 comments:

StarfishMom said...

I usually turn the chest hook around so make it almost impossinle for little fingers to manipulate it. I also turn the sealt belt and face it in to little fingers cannot open the seat belt... Hope that helps!

Anna said...

Thanks for the sleeping tips! We're getting some sleep around here. :) We do both feed upon waking and feeding before sleeping. I have the soother and have tried it a few times... but it seemed to distract more than anything. Sigh.

And I, of course, have zero car seat experience... but would something like putting a 'sticker' over the lock that he gets to keep if he doesn't undo it work?

Amy said...

This is an interesting post. I got my 1st child to sleep through the night since birth, 2nd from 3months and 3rd from two weeks but it is one of the biggest most asked and talked about questions...
As for keeping houdini in is he undoing the buckle or slipping his arms out and squirming out? You can buy an additional belt that goes from strap-to-strap across the chest. Like everything it will pass :P

jen said...

I finally found someone who is crazy like me and let their kiddo sleep in a toddler or whatever non-crib bed from about a year old. I don't know if there is anything beneficial about it, but it sure helps with teaching independence at bedtime (I can say, it's time for bed, go climb in bed -- and she can do it all by herself)

Keeslermom said...

My son would push the chest clip down and slide right out of the straps on his car seat. We started pining right under the chest clip with a big safety pin so he couldn't push it down. It makes it a bit more complicated, but he stays put!