Hello, I’m Kim West, The Sleep Lady and in today’s video blog, I’m going to answer Brandy’s question:
“I have a 2-year old daughter and a 3-year old son. And what I want to know is how do I get them to share a bed at the same time without any crying? My son constantly wants to sleep with a bottle of milk but I’ve stopped that but he still persists to have a bottle of milk. Can you please help me? I’m in desperate need of help. I’m only 24 years old and I feel lost. Please help me. Thank you. -Brandy.”
You have your hands full with two children under the age of 3! A couple of things that you said:
Wean the Bottle
• Your son really wants that bottle of milk even though you’ve stopped it but he persists.
I’m wondering if you still sometimes give in or have you gotten rid of all the bottles and they’re not in your home anymore? You may need to do something like that (in case you do on occasion give in just to make peace with everyone and give him a bottle) because at 3 years old, he’s super smart and he has figured out, “Oh, if I have a really big tantrum, mom eventually gives in and I get that bottle that I want.”
If you have been doing that, make a clean start by getting rid of all the bottles and have him say, “Bye-bye to all of our bottles because we don’t need any bottles anymore.”
• I gather he’s attached to needing to suck to sleep.
Again, I don’t know whether you’ve weaned the bottle throughout the day. You may need to address it again more completely with him.
The Sleep Lady Shuffle
You can do The Shuffle with both children. I gather that you want them both in the same bed, and I don’t know whether your 2-year old is going to sleep well, but what you could do is to start off sitting next to the bed. You can even start off lying down with both of them (which you may be doing already). Remember, no bottle. Talk to your son before bedtime about the bottle so that he knows what to expect. Also, making sure bedtime is early enough is important. To average bedtime out for the two of them you’ll need to have bedtime around 8:00 p.m., or maybe even 7:30 p.m.
Your 2-year old needs 11 hours of sleep at night and 2 hours of naps during the day. A 3-year old needs 10 1/2 hours of sleep at night and 1 1/2 hours of naps during the day. Try to get the in between sweet spot for bedtime. Make sure that bedtime is early enough. Lay down with them for a couple of nights, and then finally move to sit in the chair. You’ll want to create a very simple sleeping chart (I give some examples of sleep charts in my book and ithe workbook) and then stay with your children until they fall asleep.
Again, follow the rules of The Shuffle so that every time they wake up, you respond back. Sit next to the bed and move your chair every 3 nights. Remember to make sure that they have enough room in their bed and if they’re really having a lot of shenanigans with each other, you may need to temporarily separate them by moving the “good sleeper” out of the room until sleep improves with your other child.
I hope that helps, Brandy. Hang in there.
Video filmed by In Focus Studios