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2011 January | Sweet Dreams | giggle Blogs

Archive: January 2011

January 30, 2011

transitioning from a crib to a bed

Here is a pretty common scenario: your wee one arrives at the foot of your bed one night or yells out to you from the bedroom door to your total amazement and horror.  How did he get out of his crib? Is he ok? How should you handle this? Is he safe in the crib?  Unfortunately, like most sleep issues, the advice is mixed.

Here is my two cents…

Unless your child is knocking on the door of his third birthday, I can promise you that he most likely is NOT ready for a toddler/big bed.  Children under three-years-old generally lack the capacity to understand and abide by rules such as staying in their bed all night long.  They simply cannot resist the impulse to get up and explore.  And so, we should not expect them to and get frustrated when they cannot.  This of course, leads to a vicious cycle of sleepless, often frustrating nights and days.

The solution is simple.  Leave all four walls of your child’s crib in tact and run to the nearest baby supply store or website and order a crib tent suitable for your crib.  Contrary to many parents fears, crib tents often give children a feeling of cozy comfort.  (Just think about all the forts you are building with couch cushions and blankets!)  Most children react very positively to this new addition to their sleeping quarters.  And, of course, the manner in which you present it really sets the tone and level of acceptance.  This is NOT a punishment. This is a safe, smart solution to a problem that could otherwise lead to unsafe outcomes (falling out of the crib or getting into things in the room/home while wandering around at night).  Plus, everyone sleeps better again.

January 6, 2011

ruling out medical sleep problems

The good news regarding most children’s sleep problems is that they are behavioral and therefore can be resolved with thoughtful and consistent interventions.  However, approximately 10% of children have a true sleep disorder or have their sleep disturbed by asthma, allergies or an acid reflux problem.  Listed here are some symptoms that you should take your child to the doctor to explore further:

  • loud and/or regular snoring
  • restless, noisy sleep
  • mouth breathing when sleeping
  • choking, snorting, gasping or wheezing during sleep or holding breath while sleeping
  • persistent night cough
  • trouble falling asleep even when tired
  • waking every hour or two throughout the night
  • appearing tired even after a good night of sleep
  • heavy sweating while sleeping
  • frequent and intense nightmares or night terrors
  • sleeping in strange, contorted positions
  • often waking with a headache, heartburn or sore throat
  • nasal sound in voice; regular mouth breathing
  • over six years old and still wetting the bed
  • difficult to wake; groggy after waking
  • sometimes has muscle weakness when laughing or crying
  • often inattentive, irritable, depressed or hyperactive during the day
  • frequently falls asleep in the car or in front of the TV

Keep in mind that not all doctors are familiar with sleep disorders.  You may wish to seek out a sleep disorders clinic for further investigation.  Again, most sleep problems are behavioral and therefore easily treated by changing your behavior (shaping your response to your child).  And for those sleep problems that are medical, where there are professionals who can help you there, too.