Book re. sleeping through the night

superbeeJuly 28, 2003


I posted this on the Parents of Toddlers forum but haven't had a response yet. I was wondering if your collective wisdom could help me with a good recommendation for a book that tells you how to get your toddler to sleep through the night? DS's sleep pattern is rather erratic, he wakes up at least twice during the night and hasn't slept through the night even once since he was probably 9 months old - that was 7 months ago :-(

THanks much in advance,


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I don't know of a book. With my daughter, the key was figuring out what was getting her up.
1) she was very hotnatured, even in winter. Once I switched her to more comfortable, cool PJ's and put the ceiling fan on low she felt better. Other children may be the opposite and be on the cold-natured side. My friend's daughter is in this category, so she switched to all-in-one footed PJ's for her. Being uncomfortable temperature wise disturbs their sleep.
2) Empty tummies: Rumblies in the tummy can get them up, especially if they are coming up on a growth spurt. So I always gave her a mid-evening fulfilling snack, such as a yogurt, milk and cookies or something similar.
3) teething: If a tooth is coming in, I suggest baby orajel or other similar treatment, or tiny dose of tylenol. Not every night but just if you see daytime evidence that those teeth are coming in.
4) White noise. A white noise machine, or soft music helps some children my DD went to preschool with.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2003 at 2:05PM
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Thanks Karen. I know it is not 1) but it could be 2) because he hardly eats during the day these days. And that is because he is teething. So I'll try the snack in the mid-evening idea. It might help.

Thanks once again.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2003 at 9:56PM
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Poor little guy! Some teeth come in without much fuss and others cause them to really ache.

My DD is five now, and lost her first bottom two baby teeth a few months ago. Now the adults are coming in, so even now she has days that they give her a lot of achy pain. At least now she's old enough to verbalize how she is feeling...

Best of luck!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2003 at 7:18AM
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some children are just poor sleepers. It's one of those things that you endure until one morning you wake up and realize that you slept the entire night and then you thank your lucky stars! It will get better. I promise.

If they are not ready to, or something is making them uncomfortable, they won't. Trek gave you some good advice.

One thing you might look for if you haven't already. Is there a light that shines in a window from outside? Do passing cars shine head lights in? Sometimes having no light at all coming in from the window might make it easier for him. On the other hand a dim nightlight make work too.

Good luck. Remember that this too shall pass. And then it will be something else and then something else and the first thing you know he will be leaving for college.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2003 at 11:03PM
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1) Are you breastfeeding and consuming caffeine? With my first, I kept her up with all the coffee and coke I was drinking to keep ME awake! because she was not sleeping and so I was not either--a vicious circle.
2) Allergy to cow's milk can cause night wakefulness. #2 would come looking for me about 3 am--I would sense someone looking at me, wake up to find him staring at me from the bedside. He wanted something to do since he could not sleep. I knew milk can cause wakefulness, but just never thought it through enough to realize the problem we had. When we took him off cow milk when he was 5, we saw a big change.
3) Yes, teething causes many manifestations, sleeplessness being one.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2003 at 2:34AM
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Have you tried "Solve your child's sleep problems" by Ferber? Excellent.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2003 at 10:42PM
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I have this book and I have six children. My last child topped the sleeping problems. I have used some of the techniques in the book your are referring to and they do help. Another good book is Solve your childs sleep problems by Richard Ferber, M.D.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2003 at 6:36PM
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Ok - now let me save your life. It is not any of the things mentioned above. These are all excuses that we make when our children will not sleep. It is all in the timing.

PLEASE take this advice. Click on the link below and buy the book, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth. He is a Dr, he works with children, he has studied at sleep centers, he specializes in SLEEP - not parenting like most other authors of sleep methods or sleep books.

My first child was extremely fussy, and didn't even take a nap without me holding him much less sleep through the night until I read this book. He would fall asleep but never stay asleep. He was six months old when I read this book. Within two weeks he was taking 2 two hour naps a day and sleeping 10 - 12 hours at night. I breastfed him exclusively until he was 9 months old.

I do not like my children to cry himself to sleep at night (I have two boys, pg with #3). That is why I didn't like the other methods. With his method, they don't have to. The secret is all in the timing. They will have to cry A LITTLE - but not cry themselves to sleep. It is amazing.

I wish I would have had this book when my first was first born. Thank God and a very good friend who recommend it to me that I have used it with number 2 and now will use it with number three. It is never too late. Get it now!!

Good luck! It is hard but you will NEVER feel better than you will after a couple of weeks of a GOOD NIGHT's SLEEP!! And, your child will feel much better too!

BTW - I started with the naps for about one and a half weeks and then waited until the weekend when DH was home to do the night sleeping.

Here is a link that might be useful: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

    Bookmark   October 19, 2003 at 3:54PM
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Superbee, my grandson is 18 months old and still has trouble sleeping thru the night. But one thing that helps is that she keeps a box fan on in his room to create the "white noise" plus a nightlight. if he wakes up and it is completely dark, he is scared. she did go thru letting him cry a bit at night, the first time about 5 min, the next time maybe 10 and he is not really "crying" just mad. she consistently does the same thing every night too. she makes sure he is relaxed, usually about a half hour to an hour before bedtime, he lays in his bean bag and watches an elmo or baby video and has a healthy snack. then she rocks him in his room to get his relaxed. being consistent , they know what to expect. even with all of this, he often wakes up at night several nights in a row, and then will go for several where he does not. sometimes its teeth or who knows what. she usually waits to see if he goes back to sleep on his own and often he will, but if not, she goes in an rocks him again. and yes, he is still nursing, but does not wake up for that as he does not nurse that much anymore. just stay consistent, these things usually will eventually work themselves out. i do agree though, that if the child is not getting a good nights sleep, neither are you and the child is growing and does need to get into a routine of sleeping well in order to feel rested in the morning. i had 3 kids and my daughter, like me, just was not comfortable with the baby screaming and crying themselves to sleep.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2003 at 9:42AM
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I realize it's been two years since this question was posted, but I wanted to recommend an alternative to Ferber for anyone else who reads this thread. What I found with "let them cry" methods is that I'd pay for it in increased insecurity and hostility during the day. Spending the time to get the kids to sleep happily really pays off in my family. (I have a 5 yr old, 3 yr old, and a 4 month old baby).

Here is a link that might be useful: No Cry Sleep Solution

    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 9:28AM
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I too had trouble just letting my daughter "cry it out"! It just seemed so cruel to me and unneccessary. When I did test out the crying method, I too found that my DD was detached and unhappy/overly whiny the next day. I just went in when she cried, met her needs, and usually she would fall back to sleep. I have a friend whose SIL let her son cry it out from the age of 4 months!!!! He is now 1 1/2, but VERY whiny and seems unhappy most of the time. I just couldn't do it! I'm pregnant with #2, and would rather risk being a little tired vs. detaching from my child.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 12:03PM
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I didn't read all of the posts, so not sure this question has been asked. What time do they go to bed. My sis's boys got up at 3 AM every night for years and she couldn't figure out why. Just a few years ago I found out she put them to bed at 6 PM. By 3 AM they had their sleep and were ready to play. Their ages were 2, 4, and 6.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2005 at 10:52PM
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