Sleeping Through the Night

Forget Regis and his promises of millions of dollars. Most parents of young children would rather compete for another coveted prize: a good night's sleep.

Any mom or dad who's ever pounded the pines at 3am trying to quiet an unhappy child knows good sleep advice is priceless.

Parents usually fall into two camps in their "sleep" philosophies. Some are "gentle to sleepers" who put an emphasis on comforting and soothing their children into slumber, even if it means staying up for many hours. Other "hardliners" believe that parents should not go running to their children when they cry. They think children are more likely to fall back to sleep if they are not given the positive reinforcement of a mom or dad's attention.

The parents who visit Parent Soup, one of the largest parenting Websites in the U.S., recently shared some of their "tried and true" recipes for sleep success with other folks who visited the site. Here are some of the highlights:

"We do the same things every night: dinner, playtime, bath, PJs, video (a calm one like Blue's Clues)....My son gets milk and two cookies; my daughter goes to my room with me for rocking, singing and a bottle."

"Sometimes I go sleep in her bed because it's too crowded in ours."

"Music, rocking, nursing, story and share-the-day routine. Comfort items like blankets and stuffed animals. Special posters and items in the room. Reward incentives for sticker chart with given number of stickers for sleeping through the night."

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