SLEEP => Sleeping For Toddlers => Topic started by: Jaime on December 30, 2006, 03:32:23 am

Title: Implementing EASY for the 2nd child was SO worth it!!
Post by: Jaime on December 30, 2006, 03:32:23 am
Implementing EASY for my second child was so worth it!!
(Q&A compilation from the EASY forum FAQ)

originally posted by Ferbit
About a month ago, I wrote a post about how frustrated I was attempting to implement EASY from day one.  

IT WAS SO WORTH IT!!!!!  Just in the past week, it's made itself worth while ten times over.  

I am able to lay Anna (2nd child, approx 8 weeks old at this post) down for naps and for bedtime with simply a kiss and a hug and she puts herself to sleep.  Sometimes she lays up there looking around for 10 minutes or so before falling asleep, but she doesn't cry.  She's a tummy sleeper so quite often when I leave, she's up on her elbows or hands looking at her mirror.    It literally takes me like 30 seconds for bedtime and naps!  I wasn't able to do this with Lindsey (first child) until she was closer to 3-4 months old.  I implemented EASY with Lindsey from day one, but not hardly as strict and I didn't work very hard on independent sleep until she was about 2-3 months old.  I remember being thrilled with the results of BW for Lindsey, but not at 2 months old...  

And whenever she wakes up at 45-minute sleep cycles, she USUALLY puts herself back to sleep.  If not, I go up and gently lay my hand on her back, whisper to her and within about 20 seconds she calms and goes back to sleep.

She stays awake easily after eating now since she's getting plenty of good sleep and just in the last few days, she has started sleeping 10-12 hours each night.  She had been sleeping at least 8 for the past 3 weeks with a dreamfeed.  I usually do my dreamfeed sometime between 10:30-11:30pm because that's when I go to bed.  She goes to bed at 7:30 though.

I feel like a SANE MOMMY now!!!  She still cries a TON (a whole separate issue), but I can deal with that.  I'm just happy she's SLEEPING and doing fantastic on an EASY schedule!!!

So to any new mommies out there who are trying to implement EASY from day one...  GO FOR IT!!!  It may take about a month and a half of misery, but it is SO worth it if you stay consistent!!!

Now for the age old question ... what was Lindsey doing whilst you were working on EASY and sleeping with Anna?

Honestly, I had her right there with me most of the time.  I didn't want her downstairs or elsewhere because I wanted her to get "used" to the fact that Anna was there, needed to nap and sometimes took a while to get down.  And I wanted her to understand what I was doing so I talked to her about everything I was doing and why.  She whined quite a bit in the beginning, but got much better very quickly.  She would just usually play in her room or stand near me or reach through the crib slats and pats Anna's back saying "Anna's tired. Crying."  Awh!  

What I did was shut the gate at the top of our stairs, shut our master bedroom door and just left Anna's door and Lindsey's door open while I put Anna down. This gave Lindsey free reign of the hallway and those two bedrooms.  I also did this because I wanted ANNA to be aware that Lindsey was going to ALWAYS be around, even when she needed to wind down for her nap.  That way Lindsey wouldn't become a "problem" for Anna when she was trying to fall asleep.

Both of them seemed to adapt to this very quickly.

Did you do all naps from the getgo without holding Anna, etc?  Did you ever just nurse her to sleep?

I did work on naps from day one, but I didn't do ALL naps that way.  They nap SO OFTEN in the first few weeks that many times we held her.  I remember holding Lindsey more often in the first few weeks simply because I COULD.  With Anna though, it was much harder since Lindsey wanted my attention and we were right in the middle of that kitchen remodel.  I found myself WANTING Anna to sleep in her crib most of the time just so I could get things done around the house, deal with the kitchen contractors and play with Lindsey.

Ya, I nursed her to sleep (purposely) a few times.  Not very often, but there were a few days that I just couldn't take her overtired crying any longer...  That mostly happened when we had company over and I didn't want to be upstairs the whole time.  And I did it a couple of times REEEEEEAAAALLY early in the morning (like 5am and I'd bring her to bed with me) so she'd go back to sleep until 6 or 7am.  

On a side note...  PU/PD didn't work too well for us, like it did with Lindsey.  I really tried to do it because I had such fantastic previous results, but she just screamed even harder.  So I resorted to just leaning way into the crib and caressing her back with one hand and her head with my other hand.  That and I'd just talk to her quietly because she cried WAY louder than I could SSH.  LOL  Man this child has some serious lungs!!!  I had no problem ssh'ing louder than Lindsey's cry.  Anyway, my technique was this...  I'd caress her until she stopped crying and then IMMEDIATELY stop, quietly say "Go to sleep sweetie." and then I'd leave the room.  I never snuck out or tried to hide the fact that I was leaving.  If she started crying, I came back in and continued until she calmed and put herself to sleep.
Title: Re: Implementing EASY for the 2nd child was SO worth it!!
Post by: Jaime on December 30, 2006, 03:33:06 am
originally posted by Diegos Mama

I just wanted to add that I also started EASY with my second son Emilio from day one.  We went through a good five weeks of 'sleep training' which basically was me working on keeping him awake for a short period and he learning to fall asleep on his own.  I accomplished this through pu/pd and then pat/shh in his cradle.

Now at eleven weeks we are on cruise control and he sleeps like a champ!  I can organize my day around his naps as he's just falling into a predictable pattern and he goes off to sleep without much fuss.  He's sharing a room with his big brother and it's not an issue at all.

Lastly, he extended his nighttime sleep on his own, right around the time he started learning how to fall asleep independently and now at eleven weeks is consistently sleeping 8-10 hours. This also coincided with him taking in much more food in the evenings and really tanking up before bed.

Emilio is an angel baby and I really think this contributed to his adaptability with EASY early on.  Just wanted to post our success story too!
Title: Re: Implementing EASY for the 2nd child was SO worth it!!
Post by: Jaime on December 30, 2006, 03:33:40 am
originally posted by GraceKellysMom:

Well if we're posting success stories:

I did EASY with Max from the get-go. It was 'easy' because he always pooped after he ate, so he never ate himself to sleep because I had to rouse him and change his diaper. I did have to assist him to fall asleep in the first weeks because he had reflux. After we got meds and got the reflux under control, we started training him to do independent sleep and getting back to sleep around 6-7 weeks old. He is a textbook/touchy baby. I did pat/shh in his bassinet with him for naps and he didn't care for the shh-ing but the patting worked. I also helped him find his thumb to self-soothe. It is so wonderful to be able to lay him down when drowsy in his bassinet and walk away knowing that he can put himself to sleep. I have more time for my toddler, and I'm refreshed for him when he wakes up.

He started night sleeping 6-8 hour stretches almost imediately after the meds kicked in. At 8 weeks, he slept 12-hour stretches and is still doing it!

Title: Re: Implementing EASY for the 2nd child was SO worth it!!
Post by: Jaime on December 30, 2006, 03:35:13 am
Did you all have tummy sleepers from the get go?  Also--when you started working on independent sleep did you really lay them down with eyes wide open?

Yes, tummy sleeper from first week on. Angel Care monitor is great if you can $$$!

No, I started by laying him down when his eyes were nearly closed or in the last long stare. He got/gets very overstimulated too. I use the baby sling to wear him down to a point of where I can lay him down. Now, at 13 weeks, I can just lay him down almost every time awake and he will pop in his thumb and go to sleep by himself.

And, yes, waking them to eat during the day is ok, I usually try to do it after he transitions so I'm not messing with his ability to transition back to sleep. Or a few times, I 'dreamfed' him during the day, lol!

Good for you for trying, it is tough with two, but yes, I agree so worth it.

Yep, Anna (my youngest, now 5MO) was a tummy sleeper from the beginning.  She just would NOT go to sleep on her back no matter what I did.

Yes, I put both of my girls down with their eyes WIDE OPEN for all naps and bedtime.

Diegos Mama
A key piece for us was to allow Emilio to play after waking up in his cradle.  He would often slip back into sleep.  This was great practice at falling asleep on his own. 

We hit a bump at three and a half months where he was hard to get down for naps, then at bedtime.  I finally realized I miscalculated how long he could stay up and he was way overtired.  Getting him to bed far earlier than I ever thought he'd want to was important.  He'd play in his bed and then drift off. 

He's finding his thumb at 18 weeks it seems. 

We tummy slept for about five weeks from 3-8 weeks.  Then he started balking at it and preferred to be swaddled on his back. Those five weeks were very convenient though as it's very easy to patt/shh with them on their tummy.  I always slept him on his back for night sleep though, tummy for naps during that spell.

Note - tummy sleeping is a very personal decision.  It is recommended that you discuss this with your healthcare professional before deciding to do this.  You can also read more about tummy sleeping in this FAQ: Tummy Sleeping
Title: Re: Implementing EASY for the 2nd child was SO worth it!!
Post by: Jaime on December 30, 2006, 03:36:29 am
originally posted by Matthew's Mommy

Brendan is 4 weeks old today.  We've been on EASY for about 2 weeks now. 

Our day kinda looks like this:
He's up, he eats, he gets changed, he looks around, he yawns, he gets swaddled and up he goes to his room for naptime routine.

Then things get a wee bit wonky.  Depending on which nap it is, he will go down easy or not.

Nap routine: I swaddle him, I rock for a little bit and watch for the stages of falling asleep (I purchased Tracy's book again I had forgotton so much). As soon as he passes into stage 2, (his eyes start to go heavy), then I tell him "time for a good sleep" and I put him in his bed.  I stay in the room, sitting on the rocking chair.

Sometimes, he will continue to fall asleep... if it's the morning nap, then my success rate is 95%.  He'll stay down for 2 hours, and we repeat the EASY routine. HOWEVER, the following naps are such a struggle.  I will do exactly the same things, but he has a hard time falling asleep.Then he gets upset and I am up there for a long time.

I'm sticking to it though.  Because I was so sick with PPD, we had many people helping us, and Brendan slept in everyone's arms for the first 2 1/2 weeks of his life. 

Brendan is a very wakeful little sprite.     Matthew was sleepy for the first 6 weeks of his life.  So this has definately thrown me for a loop.

Hope this gives a little bit of insight.  We're still working on it.

With the later naps that you have trouble with, how long do you try to get him to sleep?  What do you do?  If he doesn't fall asleep, when do you start trying again?   How many naps would you say he has? 

Brendan, typically, has 3-4 naps a day.  He eats 3-3 1/2 hours (bottlefed), about 4 oz.  He kinda cycles his day, eats, looks around, yawns, and upstairs we go for his nap.  As of Sunday, I was really struggling with putting him down for his naps/nightsleep.  I have a consistent nap/bedtime routine, but I was patting and shushing for over an hour to get him to fall asleep on his own.

Then on Sunday afternoon, I kinda changed things up.  I don't pat/shush as long, if he is settled and quiet then I leave him be.. if he is upset and crying, then I'll pat shush until he settles back down.  I'm starting to see improvement already.  Although I won't exhale until I am absolutely sure we are on a new course!!!

Brendan's last nap ends around 6:30, and I start his bedtime routine close to 7:00. We have a little bath together, and then I get him dressed and I give him a bottle while I cuddle him in the rocking chair.  Last night, he was asleep by 8:00, which is total improvement from the past 3 weeks, where he would be screaming for 2 hours and I would end up bringing him to bed with me. 

I am finding that Brendan likes repetition.  I do and say the same things at his nap and bedtime routine.  I also noticed that I was saying the same things when he became upset ("It's okay..It's okay) Today, he was crying a bit in his bed, I leaned over and whispered in his ear.. "It's okay"  He settled down immediately!

I hope this helps.. we're on the right track but it will still take some more time.  But it is a definate improvement from last week!!! (Oh my god! I was going insane!) 
Title: Re: Implementing EASY for the 2nd child was SO worth it!!
Post by: Jaime on December 30, 2006, 03:37:42 am
What time do you consider "nighttime/bedtime" for him?    

At about 4 weeks, I was really trying to figure out what time Anna's bedtime should be.  Naturally I thought 7 or 8 would be good so it corresponded with Lindsey's bedtime.  So I worked really hard to "fit in" another nap so she could go to bed at 7ish.  After putting her down for a "nap" at 5pm, I'd always have to WAKE her after an hour or so, attempt to give her more activity (which was a screaming fit), tried a bath/bedtime routine, etc...   It was a nightmare.  By 5pm, she was DONE.  NO matter how hard I tried, she just fell apart after 5pm.  So I decided to let 5pm be her bedtime.  It gave me some peace and quiet, let me focus on dinner and then getting Lindsey to bed, etc... 

And since she kind of set that bedtime by herself, she would sleep her longest periods then too.  Over the few weeks following that, 5 turned into 5:30, etc...  until it got to 7ish and now she goes to bed at 8pm at the same time as Lindsey.  It was really gradual.

So, if she went to bed at 5pm, when did she wake, do you remember? I am doing the same with Max that you did with Lindsey, getting a catnap in. He goes to bed at 7:30 and usually sleeps until 7:30, I can't imagine putting him down earlier and getting up earlier?

Well, actually I still aimed for her "wake up for the day" time to be around 7ish...  so if she woke before that (say 5am), I just fed her and then put her right back down.  Since I put her down WIDE AWAKE from day one, she would just lay in there awake for a while or go right back to sleep. Either way, I got to go back to sleep.  This helped reinforce the wake-up time so as her bedtime got later and later, the morning time did not change.
Title: Re: Implementing EASY for the 2nd child was SO worth it!!
Post by: Jaime on December 30, 2006, 03:39:51 am
I would LOVE to have my baby go to sleep that early.  I just can't figure out HOW???  [and] HOW do I work this all in with my older child's bath/bedtime?

Ya know, that is so tough and I remember wondering that exact same question.  How do I do Lindsey's bedtime routine with Anna in the picture?

Since Anna was going to cry REGARDLESS, I just brought her along with me.  I thought of maybe leaving her in her crib while I got Lindsey ready for bed, but I didn't want her to cry alone.  So I just plopped her down on the floor alongside me while I did Lindsey's bedtime routine. 

It was frustrating because she cried the entire time, but she was with me (important for trust) and she was learning that I had to do this every night.  And ditto for Lindsey.  Lindsey was learning that Anna was going to cry and she was going to have to just get used to it.  It got easier as I stayed consistent.  Anna cried less and became more interested in what I was doing with Lindsey and Lindsey adapted to the crying.


DH does Lindsey's bedtime routine while I do Anna's bedtime routine.  Waaaaaay easier that way if you can do it.  Otherwise, when DH isn't available I just do what I wrote above.

I think the huge key in all of this is INCLUDING both of them in each other's activities.  Both children (or all children if more than two) need to understand what's going on with their siblings, rather than separating them to deal with each of them individually (which may be easier short term). 

A good example of this is Lindsey waking Anna from a nap by being too loud.  I am constantly telling her to please speak softly when Anna is napping.  And for the most part, she does but it took some work.  If she did wake Anna, I just brought her upstairs with me into Anna's room while I worked to get her back to sleep.  I tried really hard not to approach it as punishment, but rather, "Oh bummer, you woke Anna.  We need to go upstairs and help her get back to sleep."  I know it would have been easier to get Anna back to sleep by myself, but I wanted Lindsey to fully experience the consequences of her actions WITH ME.

Diegos Mama
I remember how stressful the dual bath/bedtime adventure was.  If it helps, it does become manageable.  In the beginning my husband took over Diego's bedtime while I tended to Emilio.  Evenings were most difficult for Emilio anyways, and it took him outgrowing the fourth nap probably around three months.  Before that I'd try to get him to catnap before starting Diego's bath/bedtime, having just nursed him prior, etc.  Around six or eight weeks I'd put Emilio in the swing if I was handling both alone.  There were plenty of nights where books had to wait until morning time for Diego and I made sure to always follow through. 

Is Lindsey with you the whole time you are getting Anna to sleep?   (esp. in the beginning before you had Anna sleep trained?) 


Yes and no.  I have a gate at the top of my stairs that I would shut while I was sleep training.  I never forced Lindsey to be right there by my side or anything, but I kept the doors open so she could come and go.  At first she was really bothered by Anna's crying and would stand right next to me whining, then it turned to her standing next to me trying to help (reaching her arm in and patting) and eventually she'd just come in when she wanted, but would mostly spend her time in her room playing or reading books.  By that time, she understood what I was doing and why so it didn't bother her at all.

It did bother Lindsey in the beginning when I was trying to do her bedtime routine with Anna crying next to me on the floor.  She hated sitting in my lap while Anna was in my lap too.  Crying, of course.  But once she realized Anna was here to stay, she adjusted.


I put Anna to bed first and then had time to focus on Lindsey.