Child Sleep Solutions (cont.)

MEMBER QUESTION:
Do you have any tips for getting 9-month-old twins to sleep? My boys are bottle-fed, no pacifiers, great nappers, but don't sleep more than three hours at night; then they won't go back to sleep without a bottle, and always want to be swaddled loosely. Help!

PANTLEY:
You lucky mommy!

You need to reread everything I've said about routines, as that's even more important for moms of twins, mainly because there is only one of you!

You can work towards better night sleep by weaning them from that sleep-time bottle. (We spoke about that earlier -- less fluid/adding more water over time.)

Swaddling is a good thing if they enjoy it. But as they get older and too old to swaddle try warm sleeper pajamas which give a similar feel of enclosure.

White noise and lullabies playing softly all night might help too.

MEMBER QUESTION:
I'd like some advice on helping a 7-month-old learn to sleep through the night.

PANTLEY:
New babies are so much fun! But getting that all night sleep is always a goal we tired parents want to reach. This question could be answered in lots of different ways, since all babies have different issues.

First, make sure you are creating good sleep cues. These are NOT rocking, bottle, pacifier or breastfeeding every time your child falls asleep as he will come to rely on that every time he wakes in the night. (Remember that all human beings wake up five or more times every night when going through sleep cycles.) The sleep cues that you want are white noise, cozy bed, and darkness. And a good naptime schedule helps a lot.

When your baby wakes in the night you should be minimally helpful, keep the room dark, don't talk or sing or play. Be boring. Your little one will learn that dark, night is for sleeping.

Keep in mind, that most of us wouldn't leave our babies alone for 10 minutes during the day, yet we want them to be alone for 11 hours at night. This is something they will grow into. (And so will we.)

MEMBER QUESTION:
I see the point of routine and that make me feel better. I do wonder if my son (5 years old) is the only one who can be eating and fall asleep. He just drifts off during dinner. It's not often, but it happens. Is it a myth that sleeping just after dinner creates future health problems?

PANTLEY:
Actually, this is more common that you'd think. If you look on my web site under "Eating Out with Kids" you'll see a photo of a toddler who fell asleep with a mouth FULL of corn! However, this tells me your little one needs a bit more sleep. Perhaps an earlier bedtime?

And no, eating before bed is not a bad thing -- if it's a healthy snack. Actually, professional bodybuilders and other athletes often have a snack right before bed for healthy fuel.

MODERATOR:
We are almost out of time. Before we wrap things up for today, Elizabeth, do you have any final words for us?

"Always remember this very important point when it comes to taking care of your child: Do what works for your family. There are no "rules" about children."

PANTLEY:
Thank you all, this was wonderful. If you want updates and newsletters from me in the future, please sign up at my web site at www.pantley.com.

Always remember this very important point when it comes to taking care of your child: Do what works for your family. There are no "rules" about children. No matter what any expert says (even me!) it is most important that you follow your own heart and do what works best for you and your family.

I'm sending big hugs to all of you and to your sweet children too.

MEMBER:
Thanks very much for covering all that you did, Elizabeth. I'm going to look for your book!

MEMBER:
Thank you for all your advice today. I am going to give it a try and hopefully get more sleep at night.

MEMBER:
Great information, thanks!

MODERATOR:
Our thanks to Elizabeth Pantley, for joining us today. For more information, please read The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers: Gentle Ways to Stop Bedtime Battles and Improve Your Child's Sleep and The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep .



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