Does laying down w/your child help them fall sleep?

We all know the importance of evening routines - but did you ever imagine that you'd have to lay down with your toddler or preschooler to get them to fall asleep?

I had a fairly easy time getting both my kids to sleep right away when they were in a snuggly crib. But once they moved into their big kid beds, it was a different story!

But is laying with your child really so bad? The more relaxed your child is, the more likely he'll go to bed easily and fall asleep quickly. So I let let them know that I will only lay there for 10 minutes. If they fall asleep, great, if not, then they are on their own.

Of course, it helps to wind down before bed by having a consistent nightly ritual that is soothing and allows our children to feel safe, secure and sleepy.

Without a routine, your child may have difficulties settling down for a good night’s sleep.

Start early so you have time to get through the entire routine before you tuck him in.

Night Time Routines can consist of:

• Taking a bath or washing hands and face

• Wiping gums or brushing teeth

• A diaper change and getting on PJ’s

• Starting the night -time ritual in the bathroom or in another room and ending up in your child's room.

• Getting the wiggles out. Children sometimes get bursts of energy right before the go to sleep, so let them get the night time goofies, jump up and down or have a giggle and tickle session.

• Singing or playing a game: like the big gigantic spider crawled up the daddy spout… but don’t get him to overloaded!

• Have good night puppet show

• Say goodnight to things around the house

• Play some music and/or turn on a soothing sound machine

• End each departure with a tagline: “Mama loves you, see you in the morning” or “Sweet dreams, we all love you.”

Routines are essential, but allow some room for flexibility, especially if your child if sick, teething or you have a special visitors, such as grandma and grandpa.

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Tags: TMFC, TMparenting, bed, go, mom, routines, the, time, to

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Comment by Kimberley Clayton Blaine on February 2, 2009 at 11:10am
Yes, Amy I so agree! I just take what I can get. I love to smell my kids...mmmm.
Comment by tememculaphotographer on February 2, 2009 at 10:37am
You know it's funny, we all like going to sleep next to someone. Why would we think our kids would be any different. It's helpful to just relax and cuddle up with somebody. Cuddling is just part of the night time routine in our home and if were unable to do it once in a while the kids understand. Hey, in a few years we will be begging them to hug us. We might as well take what we can get while they still enjoy it! :) Amy..
Comment by Kimberley Clayton Blaine on January 31, 2009 at 11:55am
Infantbows, what a lovely entry, thank you so much. I would imagine how strategic and flexible you have to be with many children in the home. I agree, the times when we have our most valuable conversations are those times when we are all snuggly. Thank you again :-)
Comment by InfantBows on January 31, 2009 at 10:47am
I have 5 children now and bedtime can be quite a juggle. We have a bedtime routine, but as far as laying down with my kids, I "go with the flow" and take turns with the children needing it most at the time. I am not able to lay down with all of them, all of the time. Even though they know it has a time limit, this is the MOST valuable time you will spend with your kids, no matter what age they are. If you truly want to know what your child is thinking and want to get closer this is the moment! After 5 or 10 minutes, they know "Mommies going now" and they do better. Not to mention the baby sleeps in my room. My two year old usually falls asleep in my bed as I don't fit in his toddler bed very well. You have to work with what works for you.
Comment by Kimberley Clayton Blaine on January 31, 2009 at 7:33am
I've been up all night with coughing toddler, we are on night 3 of midnight wakings, I'm exhausted. Can you believe that you can't give your toddler ANY relief meds anymore? Just tylenol- Nothing. So we're going to the peds to take care of this horrible cough. Help. tired and pooped out mama :-(
Comment by Kimberley Clayton Blaine on January 30, 2009 at 3:53pm
Taryn, Mom's intuition is sometimes our best source, right? I'm with ya!
Comment by Taryn Perry on January 30, 2009 at 3:42pm
You are great, Kimberly! Thank you for making me feel like a normal parent!!! I know I'm not alone with these sleep frustrations, but it's so easy to get caught up in those books that hammer in your head that you "must teach them to settle themselves to sleep". That's all well and good when they are an infant I think, but like you said, as they get older and develop more cognitive skills, that's impossible. You can't let a toddler cry it out, for Pete's sake, right??

I really enjoy your insight and will surely be checking back in with you.
Comment by Kimberley Clayton Blaine on January 30, 2009 at 3:08pm
Taryn, Thank you for sharing your story. We are all in the same boat, which means that there is a developmental aspect to children learning to slumber in a healthy way. When children become older they become more advanced in the cogintive skills and thoughts...So as a baby they can sleep very easily and simply. However, as they get older they need more security to feel safe and relaxed, and somtimes that requires the loving geture of a parent laying with them. Let them know that you eventually will leave the room, that you need to have your 'time' as a parent. Children do well when their parents respond with respect and reason.

I have tried it all too! Oy. And have found that anything that increases the parent-child bond is worth while :-) They will go off to college in no time, and you'll be sad that you didn't embrace all the wonderful opportunities to be physically close to your precious child. So if letting your daughter rub your hand helps her peacefully fall asleep and bond more with you than I see no issue.

Yes, it can be very frustrating to dedicate part of our evening hours to our children when they'd had us 'all day' but the key is having them fall asleep, happily and quickly. Over time a child will fall asleep fairly quickly (within 15 minutes) if the parent participates in a sweet sleepy routine. It took my son until he turned 7 to fall asleep without asking for us stay. We have a toddler so I have get him to sleep too - so my 7 year old has been asked to help us out and sleep on his own. Both my boys get tickle time, puppet time and story time. But I will only lay with them 5-10 minutes each. I need my grown up time! I tell as well. They need to know that mommy is happy a real mommy when I get my rest too :-)

Please feel free to write again...You're doing a great job!
Comment by Kimberley Clayton Blaine on January 30, 2009 at 3:04pm
Taryn, Thank you for sharing your story. We are all in the same boat, which means that there is a developmental aspect to children learning to slumber in a healthy way. When children become older they become more advanced in the cogintive skills and thoughts...So as a baby they can sleep very easily and simply. However, as they get older they need more security to feel safe and relaxed, and somtimes that requires the loving geture of a parent laying with them. Let them know that you eventually will leave the room, that you need to have your 'tiime' as a parent. Children do well when their parents respond with respect and reason.

I have tried it all too! Oy. And have found that anything that increases the parent-child bond is worth while :-) They will go off to college in no time, and you'll be sad that you didn't embrace all the wonderful opportunities to be physically close to your precious child. So if letting your daughter rub your hand helps her peacefully fall asleep and bond more with you than I see no issue.

Yes, it can be very frustrating to dedicate part of our evening hours to our children when they'd had us 'all day' but the key is having them fall asleep, happyily and quickly. Over time a child will fall asleep fairly quickly (within 15 minutes) if the parent participates in a sweet sleepy routine. It took my son until her turned 7 to fall asleep without asking for us stay. We have a todder, so I have get him to sleep too - so my 7 year old has been asked to help us out and sleep on his own. Both my boys get tickle time, puppet time and story time. But I will only lay with them 5-10 minutes each. I need my grown up time! I tell as well. They need to know that mommy is happy a real mommy when I get my rest too :-)

Please feel free to write again...You're doing a great job!
Comment by Taryn Perry on January 30, 2009 at 11:37am
I feel like I've tried it all!! We babied our daughter from the beginning and we certainly learned our lesson with our son, who is a wonderful sleeper (10 months). We have our daughter, who will be 3 in May, in her big girl bed now. She was so excited to get her big girl bed, couldn't want to sleep in it and was actually doing really well in it at first, but now, not so much. It's a constant struggle at night time to get her down, despite the routines we have in place. If we start her for bed around 7:30, it's common that she won't settle down until 9:00, and that means she's laying in bed from about 8:00 or so on. I just can't sit down there for an hour every night, you know? This routine is getting really old and would love an "answer", as we've tried it all.

So do you think by laying with them, until they fall asleep, isn't all that bad? For some reason I have it as a bad habit, but if it sets her at ease and she's relaxed and will sleep longer strides in the night, heck, I'll do it. We usually have to hold her hand each night, which is fine, but she rubs, rubs and rubs it, which I feel like is a distraction for her to settle down.

Any suggestions Kimberly, I'd be forever in debted to you! :)
Thanks,
Taryn

 

 

 

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