__________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday, July 12, 2009

One of the most frequently asked questions:

We are always asked if we get any sleep in our house. That question is quickly followed up with how did you sleep train your kids.

Jerry and I have been very fortunate and only have our sanity in that our kids are all good sleepers/nappers. The kids go down around 8:30 and I wake them at 7:00 and they all nap from 1:00 to 3:00 or later daily (required nap is 1 to 3) and the triplets never protest when it's time to lay down. Whether luck or training we can never know for sure, but we get LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of questions as to how we handled sleep problems. It's probably one of the most asked questions by other parents. My question to other parents is how do you get picky eaters to EAT???

At our 1st pediatric appt after the kids left the NICU, the NICU pediatrician told us to no longer wake the babies to eat and gave us the following instructions:
1. They only get up to eat if they are crying (not whining or moaning). Never get up for whining or moaning, in fact move the baby monitor far enough away that you don't hear whining and moaning.
2. No cuddling, cooing, playing during the night... it's all business with dim lights then straight back to bed.
3. Establish a bedtime routine; Bath, bottle, bed was our routine.
4. Let them cry 5 minutes, then go calm them a minute to refocus them. Try not to pick them up. (If I had to pick them up, I held them next to the crib without eye contact or talking and laid them down after they calmed a bit at which time they went bonkers again). Then leave. Don't spend more than a minute or two if possible.
5. Let them cry 10 minutes then repeat calming, then 15 minutes, etc. (we didn't do this by the clock, but got a feel for when they needed to be calmed and when they needed to cry.) After calming them and leaving the room, the crying is worse for a few minutes, but eventually the length of crying shortens and they calm down faster as they learn it doesn't get them what they want. The calming is really just to refocus them since they sometimes get so worked up they need help shutting it down.
6. We also have a naptime routine which has changed as they got older, but we always used the same cry method.

It is painful to listen to your little one cry, but with triplets we had no choice and we were tough with Cody because we had seen it work with the triplets and he is now also a great sleeper. Cody still screams when we lay him down in bed, but stops almost immediately when the door closes. He has learned his protests are futile.

It also only takes breaking this routine once to screw things up again. One night when Kaylee was just over one, I think, her diaper leaked during the night. We got her up, took her downstairs, changed her, let her lay in our bed a few minutes until she calmed down, etc. She woke every night for about 4 days crying until I managed to get her retrained. Jadon used to nap about 45 minutes then wake crying. I'd go get him and rock him back down until I finally decided this was ridiculous and decided to make naps a two hour minimum. The 1st day when he woke 45 minutes into the nap he cried until the two hours were up. The 2nd day he cried maybe 5 minutes and hasn't cried since.

I don't think we could have done this had it not been a necessity with triplets, but we have found it worked for us. We were never sleep deprived parents and the kids have learned we set the bedtime and wake time. We may be lucky that we just have good sleepers while other parents have good eaters, but since we get asked so often I thought I'd share our strategy.

1 comment:

  1. I'm such a weenie -even after 6 kids. I can't handle them crying at night!! I have terrible sleepers still. Each pregnancy I vow to do things differently but I'm tired and weak and give in every time!! I really am going to try your method for my 14 month old as soon as he gets over this virus! Thanks for such great info.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.