Jul 28 2014
My 5-month-old daughter has recently decided that she’ll only nurse in bed. The big bed, the one that she shares with her father and me at night. If you’d asked me a few months ago whether it was possible for a 5-month-old to make such decisions, I would have laughed. A few weeks into motherhood, I was the type of mother who brashly vacuumed around my sleeping baby. I’d declare that a child with particular preferences probably had parents who overindulged her.
But then the 4-month-sleep regression hit; my pudgy girl, once a champion sleeper who could drift off to dreams anywhere, began to succumb to a peculiar, shallower sleep. She woke every 90 minutes at night. She stirred when the cat groomed himself across the room. Once we napped in the kitchen, on the sofa, in the bathroom in her Rock’n’Play. Now desperate for daytime sleep, I set her down in our darkened bedroom, pulling the black-out curtains shut.
She slept better during the day, and so slept better at night. And yet soon, despite improved sleep, she no longer wanted to nurse anywhere and everywhere, either. At 4.5 months old, she was now awake, aware of the wonders of the world around her. The pattern on the table cloth. The computer where mommy’s hands flew over the keyboard. The mug of coffee perched on the counter. The light outside our kitchen window. I’d started to put her in the cradle hold and she’d thrash around, hungering for the activity of the world around her instead. If I could get her to latch, she’d eat happily. But getting there was a struggle. Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 21 2014
I hope you can help! My 7.5-month-old’s sleep has been steadily worsening since he was about 6 months old.
In the day, he has always had a hard time napping and sleeps with quite a lot of effort on our part–45 to 50 minutes, 2 to 3 times per day. Up until a month ago, he would nap in his crib in our bedroom. Then I started to nurse & nap with him in our bed and try extend sleep by nursing when he would wake. We both really love this, although it only works once in a while at making the naps longer. Read the rest of this entry →
Jun 10 2014
Anyone with kids knows that getting them to sleep is no easy feat. Luckily, there are people who specialize in these things, like Israeli sleep coach Batya Sherizen. Below she takes on a question from Kveller contributing editor, Jordana. Do you have a sleep question for Batya? Send them into email@example.com with the subject line “Sleep coach.”
My kid is 6 months old and in 95th percentile height and weight. Very happy kid. Her naps during the day are crappy to nonexistent. She maybe has 1.5 hours of napping total per day. She goes to bed around 6:30/7 p.m. with an 8-ounce bottle. Sleeps beautifully in her own room/crib until 1 a.m. or so. Gets up and starts talking very loudly. She is wide awake. Not crying, talking. Deafeningly loudly. For two hours sometimes. Eats. Goes back to bed. Up around 4 a.m. Sometimes goes back to bed but usually up for good by 5 a.m.
–Jordana Horn Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 17 2013
Note: Princess G is no Sleeping Beauty.
Remember that “day in the life” feature, where Kveller contributing editors were writing their “typical” days so as to reveal “how we do it?” Well, I decided to try my hand at writing one–and then I quit. I quit because everything that happens in my house BEFORE SEVEN F*CKING AM TOOK OVER ONE SINGLE-SPACED PAGE. It was then I realized that I need help. Specifically, your help.
To the outside world, I may seem like I have my proverbial shit comparatively together. I’m happily married, I have four healthy and terrific kids, I’m pregnant with another girl due this fall, and am a generally grateful person. And yes, it’s true, things are pretty great around here.
Is it too much to ask that all that greatness not start before 6 a.m.?
But I’ll ask anyway.
See, I just got back from a week’s vacation away with my husband–the boys stayed with their dad, the girls stayed with my parents. And it was amazing. I missed the kids very much, and my husband and I spent lots of time talking about how much we love them, how cute they are, etc. But you know when I didn’t miss those kids? At 5 a.m. BECAUSE I WAS SLEEPING, LIKE A NORMAL PERSON. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 1 2012
“I’d rather shove a fork in my eye.”
That was my response when my husband said his parents called and asked if we’d like to come spend the last Shabbat of Sukkot with them in the ultra-Orthodox community my husband, children and I recently moved out of. It wasn’t any one thing in particular that gave me the knee-jerk, panic-stricken reaction to shout, “NO!”
In part, it was the fact that my relationship with my in-laws has been cordial but not particularly warm. It was the idea of spending 24 hours in a place where I’d never felt like myself. And much more basic than that, I hate packing my boys and all their belongings up and taking them somewhere unfamiliar to spend the night. They don’t ever sleep well, which means I don’t sleep well and that translates into one miserable weekend for everyone. My husband said, “Think about it and we’ll let them know tomorrow.” Read the rest of this entry →
Sep 13 2011
So much tired, so little sleep.
Israeli sleep coach, Batya Sherizen is taking questions from Kveller readers. Send your problems to firstname.lastname@example.org.
My 3-month-old is a restless sleeper. We have a consistent bedtime routine: we bathe him, I feed him, then we swaddle him and my husband sings to him until the baby is very drowsy. Then he goes in his co-sleeper and my husband stays with him until he falls asleep. He usually does a great job sleeping from 7:30 until 2 or 3 when he wakes up for a feeding. I know this is a wonderful amount of sleep for a baby this age. My question is about his restless sleep. He used to only be squirmy and somewhat gassy from the middle of the night feeding until the morning. Now he is restless and a little gassy almost all night. He is waking himself (and us) up. I give him back his pacifier and shush him until he falls back to sleep (I don’t pick him up unless he is hungry). Is there anything we can do to help him (and us) have a better night’s sleep?
It’s great that you have such a set routine in place for your baby. It sounds like he knows how to follow the proper cues to wind down for sleep and remain asleep. Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 11 2011
I have a 21-month old daughter. She is usually a great sleeper at night. Though lately she’s been waking up in the middle of the night and wanting to get into bed with us. It started when she was sick so we acquiesced. Though now she’s all better and she’s still getting up! We let her cry one night for an hour and in the end she still came into bed with us. Help!
OK, re: the sleeping–I probably won’t be telling you anything you don’t know here. I assume that she has her own room and won’t be disturbing other siblings? And that she has had a regular bedtime, around 7 pm, and has been asleep until this waking.
First principles: this is a behaviour which you wish to change. It takes up to 2 weeks to extinguish and reset behaviours, and consistency is the key.
So when Cuddles comes to your room and climbs into your bed (and I imagine, starts to kick you both out of bed as all toddlers do), soothe her, hug her, and IMMEDIATELY return her to her crib or bed. If she cries, think about what she wants: Grade A treatment, i.e. in this case, to return to your bed. You should not offer her nothing at all and leave her to cry in the dark, feeling abandoned. You should offer her Grade B treatment. Cuddle her, soothe her, explain to her that you love her but she has to stay in her bed, and then put her back to bed and leave the room, saying, “See you in the morning!” Read the rest of this entry →