Sunday, September 23, 2007

need some advice on 2 things

i am hoping to acquire some wisdom from those of you who have gone before me in this parenting thing..

first ~ how do you get your baby to sleep through the night? mags was doing so good for about 3 months and now every night she is up at midnight which she seems to be able to go back to sleep on her own just fine but the next time around 2-3am she just wont settle down, she cries and cries, (i do let her cry) and just wont settle down. after about an hour or so i usually just go and get her so that we can all sleep, she then will sleep with me...i know i know, dont do that...but how long is too long to let her cry and if i let her cry all night will she or will she eventually settle down? an hour of crying seems like enough....thoughts?

second ~ what activities are fun for a 4 1/2 yr old to do? we are not sure what sort of fun things to do with Nick (my step son)?? HELP!! we watch entirely too much tv with him....we need to get out and about but what is there to do????

thanks!!

5 comments:

Lacey said...

Hi friend! I don't have any advice for you, but let me know what you find out - I need all the advice I can get! :-) I miss you like crazy! I can't believe maggs has gotten so big!

Anonymous said...

it sounds like your baby is hungry- maybe a growth spurt? That's what my baby did. I just went ahead and fed him and he went back to sleep. what about adding rice cereal to her diet??? maybe a little bowl before bed.

as far as the 4 year old goes try these-
playdough, stickers and paper, crayons and coloring books, children's music cd's and a cd player, you can even get a small rubbermade tub and put sand in it and put it in your mud room- bury stuff (like plastic men, cars, animals) and let him dig them out and sort them into groups, Books, Books, Books- go the public library and let him get a library card- FREE!!!
prentend/dress up anything- let him bang on your old pots and pans,
wooden blocks, cars and trucks, legos-
shop at goodwill or tj maxx for great prices.

give him a few choices and then get down on the floor with him and play. He'll love the positive attention and he'll play for hours!!!

even try a board game- chutes and ladders, hi ho cherry-o, candyland

good luck!!!

weavermom said...

Hi! I found you from baby Copeland's site.

I don't know you so I'm hesitant to offer advice. But, you asked, so I'll throw my 2 cents in. :) he he

I think the growth spurt is a great thing to consider - that happens! It could be that she is hungry, and it could also be that her legs are aching. I would rub my kids legs at bedtime and it seemed like that would help at certain stages.

I also think the thing you have to stop doing is letting her cry for a long time, and then go get her and let her come get in bed with you. You should either decide not to fight it and go get her immediately, or once you decided to "fight" it, don't give up - be sure that you get her back in her own bed. In reality, you are teaching her to cry and cry and that eventually you will come get her AND let her sleep with you! What kid would turn that down! :)

If you really want her in her own bed, I suggest letting her cry for the amount of time that it usually takes her to settle herself at midnight - probably 10 min or so. If she doesn't settle herself, then go in her room and do your bedtime routine with her again, except without the lights. (if you usually read to her then just tell her a story). Then, leave like always. Give her a few minutes to settle herself. If she doesn't, then go back in and don't pick her up, but talk to her just a little, and pat her or just lay your hand on her for as long as it takes for her to settle down. Try to at least take your hand away before she is completely asleep so she doesn't become dependent on your hand. It can take a long time - well, 2 hours in the night feels like a LONG time, but if you do the same thing every night it will get less and less (I had to make a chart with one of my kids so I could really see that it was getting shorter.) For us, they were sleeping through again in just a couple of weeks.

Once that works then cut out the bedtime routine and just be with her until she is calm.

As encouragement - I can't describe to you the difference when you finally get a full night sleep again! You will feel like a new woman! It's so worth the getting up in the night and training her! You can do it! :)

Best of luck!

maggiemae and family said...

thanks for that advice i know i need to stop the madness and make up my mind and either get her or not, i just cant believe how long a little baby can cry for...and also for anonymous thanks for the sand box idea i like that a lot!! oh and she is on ceral (bfast and dinner) and i also give her a bottle in her sleep around 10-11pm, so i dont think she is hungry but who knows right you think you know and then they do something different....

Ashley said...

erin-
Has the sleeping gotten back to normal? I just found your blog from the Blossom's site! She is so precious and it sounds like you are loving being a new mom!

I just read what weavermom said and I wholeheartedly agree that you can't wait and wait and then go in a "reward" the crying. Another option to add to what she said is wait the 10 or so minutes that a lot of babies will wake up when they are transferring from active to deep sleep and let her try to get back to sleep. (Marshall will still do that sometimes to this day at 17 months.) Then you could go in and give her a paci or whatever you use to put her to sleep, rock a few minutes and then put her back down when she is awake, then if she doesn't go back to sleep go back in 15 or 20 minutes and do the same thing, then wait 30 min...it sounds like a lot of work but it was really effective with Marshall but easier to do with day naps than nightime of course, you're so tired you get desperate!

Don't worry you're not ruining your daughter or the possibility for her being a good sleeper by trying a few different things. But, make sure you stick to whatever you decide however painful it sems at that moment. Give a new routine at least 3-5 days before trying something new.

Oh, and the whole just when you think you got it they change part is the definition of parenting. But, you will really get to know your baby and love all her little quirks!!

Hope to see you and mags soon!
ashley nolan