I introduced you to Melissa from The Cradle Coach earlier this week when she answered your questions from my Facebook page. I am now sharing the rest of the sleep questions that you, the readers asked. Melissa, our sleep expert will have your toddler sleeping like a baby in no time! You will learn something from her answers, I am sure – if not for our personal situation then for someone you know.
I wish I had known about The Cradle Coach earlier on in our parenting career. I am not sure I would have done anything dramatically differently, but even being validated by a professional that you aren’t screwing your kids up for life is a comfort that many of us would welcome. We have always bed-shared with our kids. It wasn’t necessarily what we had planned to do before we had kids, or even as much a conscious decision after they were born. Bed-sharing just happened and it worked for us. My “excuse” in the beginning was always that I nurse, I have narcolepsy and I work full-time at an office during the day – so that is three strikes against me getting out of bed in the middle of the night to feed a hungry baby. Instead I sleep with the baby in my arms, so we make up for “lost cuddles” due to my work schedule, nursing is easier and I don’t aggravate my narcolepsy by getting in and out of bed multiple times! See – all very valid reasons…. And the bottom line – it works for us!
The questions for Melissa today cover a wide range of sleep issues affecting babies and toddler – issues we probably have all encountered (or will in the future)!
Ashley H: How do I get a 3 almost 4 year old out of my bed without losing my patience? He wakes up 2-3 times crying and I always give in the third time and he’s back in my bed.
“From the very beginning, you must be adamant about your bedtime routine. If you are falling asleep with your toddler in their bed or close by, they are only going to continue to expect you to be there as they go in and out of their sleep cycles during the night. That being said, do your best to SLOWLY move farther and farther every few nights out of their room. If they continue to wake up in the night, you have to be sure to walk them back to their room each time!” – Melissa, The Cradle Coach
Rebecca M: Oh man you must have read my mind! I was attempting to comment on one of your previous posts and also ask if you had tips/article on this topic. My question is pretty vague. I had no trouble with my first. Followed all the tips and had him sleeping thru the night before he was 5 wks. I was sure I could do the same with my second. It’s impossible (or has been for me) to sleep train bc I have to respond to him before he wakes up my first. I let him cry as long as I can and only respond when I can see that my first is starting to stir. He turned 1 almost 2 wks ago and still wakes up 3 times a night!!!
I would highly recommend a gentle sleep training method to be used such as the sleep lady sleep shuffle, pick up/put down, or a few minutes (3-5 mins) of crying, go in and calm, and walk out starting the timer again. Don’t let him CIO as it’s making you nervous as well as teaching him to just cry if you are going in and helping him before your oldest wakes. The second option I tell me clients is to spend one weekend sleep training your baby without your older son being in the room if noise is a big deal. If it’s important for you to have your little one sleeping during the night, go for it! You can sleep train your oldest a bit easier than you can a baby. Good luck mommy! – Melissa, The Cradle Coach
M. O. R.: Are there any tricks to help kids have good dreams?
I always say, no tv after 4pm. Put on some soft, relaxing, comforting music in the house while playing or getting ready for bedtime. Read some good light-hearted books before bed. The key is to make your environment cozy and sweet for their nights sleep! – Melissa, The Cradle Coach
As you can see, Melissa from The Cradle Coach tailors her recommendations to meet the needs of the individual families. As with anything related to kids and parenting, there is no “one size fits all” approach, and that is one thing I know Melissa truly understands. I loved getting to know her a few weeks ago, and I look forward to continuing to work with her.
Please share with me in the comments – What would you do differently with regard to your child’s sleep if you knew then what you know now?
Don’t miss Melissa’s other Q & A session with our readers where she addressed early risers and self-soothing without tears!
Let her know that you read about her on “Mama in the Now”.