Sleeping

Hi my 23 month old still struggles with sleep. I put him in his play pen next to my bed because getting up in the night to go to his room is a lot. Once in a blue he’ll sleep straight through the night while other times he wakes up multiple times. I do give him gripe water and he settles down after. He has always been a gassy baby. I even tried putting him in my bed to sleep and he still wakes up sometimes asking for gripe water. He also likes to feel and rub my arm randomly through the night and likes to cuddle. Is there any advice on how I can get him to sleep through the night? Should I start putting him in his bed and let him cry all night ? I don’t want to stress him by having him cry all night incase his stomach is really hurting him.


Signed a tired mom 😞

Answers

  • DrMonicaOrdway
    DrMonicaOrdway Member, Expert

    @Chivon_C_2020 The process of sleep training is not typically associated with crying all night. The most critical step is to establish a bedtime routine. The key to a bedtime routine is consistency. It is never too young to start a bedtime routine. A good bedtime routine includes 4-5 quiet activities that are done in the same order and at the same time each night. These activities should not last more than 20-30 minutes total and include an opportunity to have quality parent-child interaction. A few examples of good bedtime routine activities include: pick up toys; wash hands and face; brush teeth; put on pajamas; listen to music; sing a song (avoid energetic dancing); read a book (or two, but avoid developing a habit of ‘one more book’ and increase book reading at other times during the day instead); say prayers; share a good thing that happened during the day; hugs and kisses, etc. Early in infancy, you might develop a mantra like, “good night, I (we) love you, I (we) will see you in the morning” and repeat this every night as the last thing you say to your baby/child. This type of mantra can be helpful if children go on to develop bedtime resistance. Most importantly, allow your baby the opportunity to fall asleep independently to avoid a sleep association with you present. If they fall asleep during the routine then gently wake them so they are drowsy but awake when you leave the room with the comfort of hearing you repeat the mantra as you leave the room. Once a bedtime routine is established then sleep training using a gradual extinction method, rather than full extinction, may work well for you and your toddler. If you have not tried gradual extinction, then it may be a good solution. Folow the instructions for a good bedtime routine described above. If/when he beings to cry, wait 10 minutes before going in then calmly and quietly go to his bed and repeat the mantra in the same tone and with the same calming effect. Leave the room and wait 15 minutes before returning to say your mantra with the same loving, but firm and calm tone. Repeat this process, adding 5 minutes between each time period you go to his room. Babies and toddlers do not understand time, but the consistent bedtime routine that includes hearing your voice with the same words repeated can provide predictability and comfort. This process allows babies to gradually learn to fall asleep independently while at the same time feel the comfort that you are not far away.