Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Somebody tell my kids it's naptime now?

I'm waiting for the girls to finally give up and go to bed. Hannah slept 12 hours last night, she might not be tired. Audrey slept about 6...and so did I.

We took the girls to Dr P last night for the first time. Going to a first appointment with him is somewhat of an investment, so we haven't been able to do it before now. He tested them for food allergies, which was fascinating to me. I knew we were missing a couple of things that just weren't working with their bodies. Hannah can't do gluten, yeast, eggs (she's just not a bread person!), dairy, peanuts or cashews. Audrey can't do corn, soy, dairy or egg. The yeast and the egg issues are new to me, although they make perfect sense, because food intolerances tend to run in families.

The biggest thing that came from the visit though, was he told us that we HAVE to get Audrey to sleep through the night. The girl has been waking up to eat once or twice a night since she was born. She'll be 17 months this week. We're tired. The thing is, she and Hannah share a room, and it always has seemed easier to just go get Audrey, feed her and put her right back to bed instead of listen to her scream (and then listen to Hannah scream AT her.) According to Dr P though, it's not that simple. He says people get fibromyalgia and chronic fatique from not sleeping through the night. He says babies ought to be sleeping through the night by 8 weeks! Hannah was, but I just chalked that up to different personalities.

Anyway, all that to say, last night we put Hannah in a pack'n'play in the living room for the night, and let Audrey cry herself back to sleep when she woke up. Not very fun. She only cried on and off for about 2 hours total, and she never really got THAT upset, but it was hard anyway. I cried a little too. Dr P says training kids to sleep takes 3 nights if nothing else is bothering their system (food allergies, etc.) and then they will do it. So, we'll try it. I typically need 9 hours of sleep per night in order to be functional, and I still feel tired, but maybe that's because I haven't slept all night since before Audrey was born? :) Audrey seemed fine this morning, giving hugs and playing happily with Hannah. I'm always afraid my kids will feel like I abandoned them with this kind of thing...but she was fine. I was the wreck. But maybe we'll sleep soon?

What are your sleep experiences with kids?


  1. We didn't sleep train Soren until he was 14-15 months old. He was still in our bed, and I was nursing him INCREASINGLY throughout the night because if he stirred it was the only way he would go back to sleep.
    My pediatrician recommended the book "healthy sleep habits, happy child". We weaned Soren off nursing cold turkey one night. It was pretty simple. It still took us a few more months before we transitioned him into sleeping in his own room in his own bed, but as soon as we cut off the night feedings (and he didn't have any day ones) we all were much happier because we were finally all sleeping. I really thought I was starting to lose it. I can't believe you've made it to 17 months!
    The key is to be firm and not go backwards, it will all be over soon if you show her consistency.
    Good luck!

  2. So, is Dr. P a chiropractor, holistic practitioner, naturopath??? We have a chiropractor that we see for everything, don't really use a regular Md. (I think it's pretty much a waste of time and money to use one!!)
    That's interesting what your Dr. said about the sleeping thing. Myself and a close friend have babies that are both 13 mos. and neither are sleeping through the night. We're both struggling with what to do with them, looking into gaps in their nutrition, etc. I'll pass that info on to her.

  3. Oh, and BTW, we let my oldest cry when he was 9 mos. It took him an hour the first night and less and less after that, and I think it did take about three nights. I sat on the stairs and cried the first night! It was miserable but definately worth it. My second son had allergy related exczema that was so severe that he would wake himself in the night with the itching and irritation. Fortunately, he just kind of ended up sleeping well on his own, and around 12 mos he was sleeping from 7-ish till around 5, eating an early breakfast (nursing) and then sleeping again for an hour or so. So, since my first two weren't that bad, I'm kind of mystified with my daughter. . .

  4. Marianne - Consistency we will do. I'm determined! :)

    Shelly - Dr P is a chiroprator and basically a naturopath, although he started doing this before there were schools giving N.D. training. He's great! He uses kinesiology to test for food allergies and to check how your body responds to different supplements. We don't often see M.D.s either - he pretty much functions as our family doctor. Hope you can figure out something with your daughter. I feel your pain! :)

  5. Well I do think kids are different and that their temperments can affect sleeping.

    Cole slept through the night around 3 or 4 months--but he was in our bed. He was a clingy child (still is) who needed to be in physical contact at all times. He still slept through the night once we transitioned him out of our bed (now getting him to go to sleep is a struggle--going on 5yrs now, he has a hard time shutting off his brain to relax)

    Cooper did not sleep through the night until he was 12/mo old. He woke up once a night to eat and since he was so underweight I let him. But he would typically go right back to sleep after eating. This was very very hard on me, as I need 9hrs of sleep a night. He is now the model child, I put him in his crib at 7:30 and he sleeps straight through until 6AM.

    It is a struggle and I have cried many nights over a child not sleeping and crying

  6. Hannah slept in our bed for the first few weeks, but slept through the night the first time we put her in a crib.

    Audrey, on the other hand, couldn't stand to be touched while she was sleeping even when she was a newborn - she kicks and pushes in her sleep if I try to keep her in bed with us. It's funny.

  7. Chandler was just like Audrey. I just was too tired to listen to him scream so I thought it be easier to feed him, change him and put him back to sleep. At 13 months I knew I had to fix this because I was about to have Skylar. So I read a book and could of saved time because it said to basically let him cry and it would take a few nights. 1 night. That's it. It was over. He was sleeping 12-13 hours at a time. I was amazed and wish I had done it sooner. So I got 1 month worth of sleeping through the night before Skylar was born.

  8. Good for you - letting them cry is so hard on the nerves, but consistant sleep is sooo important for them! We did the Babywise method, so Juliana was sleeping through the night (8hrs) by 8 weeks. But then, around 11 mo. she started waking up again. We also were still doing too much rocking her to sleep instead of letting her fall asleep on her own. So when she was around a year we had to do the whole "put her in bed at bed time and let her fuss it out". It was hard, but within a couple nights she was sleeping 11-12 hrs. and has ever since with very few exceptions.