This question comes from Emily:
How did you get your kids to sleep? I have an 8 month old who hates sleeping. I’m dying for advice!! Sleep training, CIO, drug em’ ??? JK
I’ll give you a few pointers for 8 months and beyond. The first order of business may be a tough pill to swallow but I’m a firm believer that (especially if your child is still in a crib) you have to put them down, say goodnight, give them a kiss and just walk away. The more you coddle them the harder it will get. Mark my words. I can remember sitting outside Fritz’s door attentively listening to him cry, feeling his pain, but I toughed it out and for the most part he went to bed great after a few rough nights. The biggest sleeping problem with him came when he began sneaking in our room and sleeping in our bed….but that’s another question altogether.
With Lola it’s been a different story. Right from the get go I put her to bed at the same time each night like clockwork. It was easy because she was my second and I always had to deal with Fritz’s night time routine so I wanted to get her down then sort out Fritz. Somehow Lola became a great sleeper by default.
I also want to touch on the idea that routine is essential before you say sayonara to your little sweethearts. If there is one thing that I’ve learned having two kids, it’s that routine is king. Lose your routine, lose your mind. It’s critical that you begin routines early. When they are young start with stuff like bath, jammy time, story or song…lights out. I also used a little milk in a bottle or sippy cup with Lola when she was young. In the last 6 months when we moved and they began to sleep in bunk beds we all do the routine together. It’s very sweet and I get them both to bed by 8:15/8:20 on school nights. It goes something like this: 10 minutes to 8 jammies, both kids brush, Fritz pees, Lola gets a diaper change, they put their pillows on the floor and each request blankets, I read 2 stories and then their dad comes in a makes up a story. For the most part that’s it. I say good night and sometimes have to bribe and/or threaten them with something if they’re acting up. Voilá!
Last pointer is for the child who wakes in the night. Not to boast but for the most part Fritz and Lola sleep through the night. Fritz is old enough that he’ll just yell out that he has to pee and I’ll take him to the bathroom. Easy enough. With Lola, ever since she was little, if she wakes in the night I give it a few minutes and see she’ll go back to bed. If not I check if she’s wet. If not I try a little milk and leave her with the sippy cup. That usually does the trick.
I hope this helps. Just remember, be firm, you run the show. Repeat after me “I’m the Mommy. I make the rules. I love you baby but it’s time for bed.”
XOXO, The Hipster Mom
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