Archive for the ‘Sleeping’ Category

Crib Tent Helps Toddler Go to Sleep (Mom and Dad Too!)

November 19, 2007

Several months ago I wrote about how my toddler son suddenly had a hard time (that’s putting it nicely) sleeping in his crib. He had been the poster child of the perfect sleeper: never woke up in the middle of the night, never cried when we put him to bed, always went to bed with ease. Until we went away for a long weekend.

We remedied the problem through a series of experiments over 23 days, one of which I’ll tell you about today: It’s called the crib tent. While this is not a product blog, I feel I must write about this thing that brought order (and sleep!) back into my life.

I know a few moms who have resorted to the tent, so that made the transition easier for me. It’s not easy to put your toddler in his crib and zip him in. I felt like a bad mom; our bedtime routine has become: brush teeth, read book, hugs and kisses, put in crib, say “Nite, nite,” then ZIIIIIP! and lights off.

The first night I felt pretty bad zipping that tent up, but he didn’t seem to mind. It got easier after time, especially the peace of mind it gives me knowing that he’s not going to climb out of his crib in the middle of the night and start playing with something dangerous. It’s been a little over two months now and we still use it — otherwise he’d be climbing out every night. I think that we’ll transition to a toddler bed sooner than I have planned, but for now, the tent is working.

Related links:

crib tent

Kids Want the Strangest Things

October 17, 2007

The other night as I was putting my son to bed he wanted to take the strangest items to bed with him — magnets. He’s formed a new friendship with these old, colored button-shaped magnets that have been on our refrigerator since before he was born.

The first night I almost (read, ALMOST) let him take them to bed. I didn’t want to deal with taking something away from him right before bed, causing a tantrum which could result in me loosing my evening “free time,” or worse, sleep. But, I thought twice about it (actually, my husband thought for me, but I am sure I would have had this same second thought if he hadn’t been home) and realized that it could be horrible if he swallowed them. Especially if he swallowed two of them. So, we took them from him and he went to bed.

Last night I didn’t have to think twice. I knew immediately to take them away, but that is soooo much easier to say than to do. It was like not letting him take his stuffed teddy to bed. I made him put the magnet (earlier, I had sneakingly, narrowed the group of magnets down to one, kitty-shaped magnet) and asked him to leave it on the dresser. Then, I put him in bed and left the room.

Crying begins.

Crying continues as I jump on the computer and write an email to a friend.

Cut the email short because he’s still crying; back into the room I go.

He’s standing up, pointing to the dresser. I get him out of the crib, discretely steal the kitty-shaped magnet and take him out of the room. He quickly became more interested in what was going on in the living room that he forgot about the magnet. After about 10 minutes he went back to bed — this time with three extra stuffed animals. And, THAT I don’t have to think twice about!

Do Parents Ever Sleep Through the Night?

October 1, 2007

I’ve written about getting kids to go to sleep — and sleep through the night, but what about the parents? I have no problem getting to sleep, but it seems I’m finding it hard to get a solid nights’ rest. I think we finally got my son back on track (I’ll have to write a separate post about how I did that), but now there are other things waking me up at night.

Sometimes it’s one of our pets — the cats are in the way on the bed, the dog needs to go outside, or it’s the neighbor’s dogs who are barking at something.

When I was working full-time I’d wake up in the middle of the night worrying about a project I was working on or a presentation I had to give. Sometimes it was stress waking me up, other times it was the excitement of the project. I do some of my best thinking at night.

I’ve learned to keep a notebook and pen on my nightstand for those middle of the night ideas. I wake up in the morning with something barely legible next to me, then I recall my great idea. The times I thought I would remember it on my own, I never did. Not only does writing it down help me remember, but it gets the idea out of my head so I can go back to sleep. I just wish that worked with the other distractions that keep me awake.

Sleeping Without Crying Isn’t Meant to Be (Yet)

September 11, 2007

Yesterday I was so proud to offer advice for parents who are having a hard time getting their child to sleep. My son had gotten back on schedule … until last night. I guess I spoke too soon. Today I will, once again, be heading the advice which I wrote about yesterday, hoping to get us all back on schedule.

For those of you with babies, be sure to read the advice from Sarah, a reader who commented on my post from yesterday. She mentions on her blog that parents need to be sure to get rest too. Thanks for the reminder Sarah.

Resources for Getting Your Toddler To Sleep

September 10, 2007

As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I’ve been doing some research trying to find an answer, the answer, any answer at all, to break the seemingly new habit my son has of crying (um, screaming) when he’s in his crib. In looking online I found several message boards where parents have posted questions similar to mine in hopes of getting their child to sleep in his bed or crib.

We finally broke the bad sleep cycle with our son, after about three days of sticking to our routine. That, and I bought a musical, light box for his crib which he fell in love with. We opened it together as we were getting ready to go to bed and he was excited about a new toy. I told him he couldn’t use it until he went to bed. After hooking it up to his crib, we did our bedtime routine (brush teeth, read book, etc.) and then I put him in his crib and taught him how to turn on the lights and music by pushing the buttons. I said goodnight and left the room. He played with it the new toy for at least 45 minutes the first night, but he never cried. Finally, he fell asleep and we haven’t had any more sleep problems.

If you have a good sleeper, thank your stars! If you are in need of help, try some of the resources listed below.

Resources for Getting Your Toddler to Sleep: