How dd you teach your toddler good sleep habits?
Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: My son was a colicky baby and a horrible sleeper. When he was about 2 months old, I breastfed him as much as 15 times a day (it was the only thing that calmed him)! Finally, after countless sleepless nights, I let him cry it out at 5 months of age, which worked quite well with him. My then-husband would be the one to stay in the room after I breastfed my son and handed him off. I made sure to leave before lights out, since my son would let his dad leave much more easily than me.
As my son got older, it became trickier for my ex-husband to leave the room, so he started using different tactics to distract him. He would say, it’s time to go to sleep, do you want to the door open or closed? The picture on the wall or off the wall? The nightlight on or off? That way, my son felt like he got a say in “how” he went to sleep, so that he wouldn’t resist the act of going to sleep itself!
—Cheryl Wu, MD, a mom of a four-year-old son, a pediatrician at LaGuardia Place Pediatrics in New York City, and a pediatric emergency department physician at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital of Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey