Thursday, August 13, 2009


Alright I know a bunch of you are parents, and I need some advice. Actually even if your not a parent feel free to chime in if you've got a good idea.

Fiona's going to be 20 months old next week and she is still not sleeping through the night on a regular basis, also we haven't fully weaned her from bottles (which is probably part of why she still wakes up at night). Yeah I know we should have broken both these habits a long time ago but it's not like we've done this before. It's one thing to read that your child should be doing such and such by now and another thing to make it happen.

She was sleeping through the night about half the time for a while but that stopped a couple weeks ago. This week she's teething again so that just makes it all worse. We're down to one bottle at bed time and one to make her go back to sleep if she wakes up at night.

She will sleep better if she is more tired, if she's sleeping through the night we only need to drop the bottle at bed time, the way to make her more tired is more exercise. So the plan is to get her to do more physical activities. Clearly it's a good idea for us to get off our butts and move more so it should be a win win.

Here's where I need your help. What activities do/did/would you do with your young kids? I've thought of a few but I think I need more.


Schelle said...

First of all, your sanity is more important then what books say. yeah yeah experts blah blah.

A couple of mine were on bottles till 2ish and the only thing i did was make sure it was water. Water is also good cause it wont give her an energy boost. If she's got juice or something in it now and refuses to make the jump to water, start watering it down. really the biggest issue with bottles is that they sit in their mouths and drip sugar onto their teeth. i did 3/4 juice or milk then down to half and half, then 1/4 and then all the way to water. can be done in a few days or a couple weeks. depends on Fiona. you can also start to put less and less into the bottle and wean her that way.

As for her a trampoline? but even walks or chaseing a ball will give her some good running around. If you think about it tho, her little legs and a couple laps around the livingroom or yard is like marathons...

Another thing on the waking up in the night. Don't pick her up right away. I'm not sure if you've heard of that yet or not. Pat her on the back. check her diaper but let her know it's sleep time and don't let her out if you don't have to. then walk away for 5 minutes and see what she does. Most likely she'll cry at you and you'll have to go back in and lay her down and pat her back a bit and tell her good night and repeat. I would recomend this for a weekend but it wont be done in one night. The hope is that she'll wake up some night and realize it's not worth waking you up cause you arn't going to do anything productive. :)

Those are my thoughts of advice from what you wrote. They may not work for you at all tho. Each kid is different in what they accept. I think I used food color in one of my kids water bottles for a while too. she just didn't like it to be clear...

Amy Baldwin said...

hey Dani!man I havent looked at your blog or mine in a while!!
If I were you I highly recommend calling Tricia. She is the nap nazi thats what we call her!!But really she is great with her kids. She would LOVE to help and be flattered I am sure but seriously she is really, really good with the sleep stuff... Obviously you dont have to do it her way but she can give you some tips. I am sure she has/had the same issues with Kate from time to time..

Roses said...

First of all, never ask for advice regarding how to raise your child. Because you'll get some.

Second, so maybe this is your first child and you've never done this before, but no one else has ever lived with your child, so they really don't know what's best for her (or you) either, do they?

I'm glad you didn't ask how to get her to sleep through the night because it sounds like you've figured out what's gonna work for you.

Activities could include a walk to the park. You can walk, she can explore, perhaps climb playground equipment. Chances are she'll run twice as far/fast as you do.
Or, if you're walking around the block, maybe you can talk/trick her into jumping from sidewalk square to square which would be more tiring than walking.

Good luck!
And remember, YOU are the mom. You really DO know best. You'll look back later and realize it.

TES said...

To tire out my little one (who is now taller than me) I'd take him to the park or take him out in the stroller. He never napped well, stopped taking them when he was two. Even the professionals at daycare couldn't get him to lie down. During the night he would wake up two or more times. I had severe lack of sleep. The hardest thing we did was ween him (his teeth suffered because we waited too long) and get him to sleep better.

I hit the books for help. They said pretty much along the lines of what Schelle said. When he started crying at night I waited a few moments longer each time to respond. I didn't pick him up or say anything. Being silent seemed a little extreme but I think we had an extreme case on our hands. It took us maybe a week to finally get him to learn to soothe himself back to sleep. I was even hovering by the door once with my husband holding my hand. That was the hardest night because the baby was really being stubborn. I was so tired by the end of it all but it was really worth it in the end.

I've commented before but I can't remember what handle I used, so I'll use another one.


Dani said...

Thanks for all the advice. I appreciate that no one got all "This is the only way to do it".

I took her for 2 walks last night (she still had energy & I had time)and although she did still wake up once it was later than usual and she slept later in the AM so I'm calling it progress.

Tonight Dave's taking her to the play area in the mall so we're keeping up the program.

I'm thinking of getting her a tricycle and when it's hot we're going to start letting her run in the sprinklers. Even if it doesn't improve her sleep getting regular excercize is a good habit to teach her.

TK said...

Hi, I agree with everything Schelle said, except the trampoline. Watering down the bottle gradually is a great idea. Being on a bottle at this age is no big deal. You might also try doing some sort of dancy exercise video. She would follow along with you!! Good luck!!

Roses said...

The Osgood Files (radio version) today had a story on how teenage athletes sleep better than teens who don't participate in sports.

So, I think you've got it. :)

Roses said...

There's also this:

It's always good to know you're not alone. :)