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My daughter has sleep issues

Full Name Chastity Canzoneri
Question: My daughter is 17 months old and refuses to go to sleep at a reasonable time. It is now 11pm and she is lying in her daddy’s arms and
screaming at the top of her lungs. Also, she gets up after 2 hours of
sleeping in her bed and begins to scream. I have just given in (due to
lack of sleep) and started putting her in my bed. I don’t know what to
do. She has NEVER slept through the night! I’ve tried the cry it out
method and it didn’t work…I did it for about a month!! Do you have
any advice? I’M EXHAUSTED!!! Thanks so much!


I feel your pain so much. My twins did the same thing and I was so tired
that I felt like I was literally going crazy. When you put her in your
bed does she sleep through the night? If so, either leave her in your
bed (sleep for you is the most important thing and she won’t be
sleeping there forever) or put a bed in her room and sleep with her
there, that way at least your husband gets a good night sleep so maybe
he won’t be too exhausted to help you out. The number one thing is when she
does sleep make sure you sleep as well, even if it’s for only two hours.
Don’t try to do housework or anything. Whatever you do don’t turn the
TV on I made that mistake I guess television is a stimulant!

Let me know how it goes.


Help Jen and Barb

Full Name: Dee Landry
Question: Okay, so my son is 15 months old. I am still breastfeeding and there is ZERO sex drive. I hear it can be related but I honestly feel like I could spend the rest of my life without having sex again. My husband is not too happy to hear this to say the least. Have either of you experienced this or know someone who has? IS there hope for me?

Thank you Dee for contacting us and sharing such personal issues.

First of all, not having a sex drive even 15 months after giving birth is VERY normal. You are still breastfeeding which means you have a baby attached to your body most of the time. The last thing you want to do is have someone else touch you. I do understand. I have two suggestions. The first is you should talk to your doctor. Sometimes hormones change and you may have low testerone, which decreases sex drive. The other is in the words of Nike, JUST DO IT! I know you don’t want to, but you will be surprised that you actually have a good time and enjoy it when you do. The intimacy of sex in marriage is very important to keeping the relationship strong and bonded. Make sure your husband knows that you love him. He has feelings too and is probably feeling pretty rejected. Hang in there and yes, there is hope for you! Jen

Horrible Sleeping Habits

Name:Jamie Ross

Question:Hi Jen and Barb,
My daughter is 17 months old and has the most horrible sleeping habits. Do to our living situation i was never able to let her cry out the little issues and let her fall asleep on her own. I have in the last 10 days began to make changes. She now goes to bed at a set time with a set routine. But she still cries off and on for about 30 – 45 minutes. I am worried she may never stop crying at bed. I am a single mom and she is my first child. Am a doing the right things by her?
Thank You


You seem like a great mom and never doubt your instincts, you do know
best. My twin daughters also did not have good sleeping habits so I
feel your frustration. I too was confused by all the different
theory’s of sleep training. I am not a fan of letting baby’s “cry it
out” or “cry themselves to sleep.” Why wouldn’t your daughter want to
sleep with you? It wasn’t that long ago when she was in you warm tummy. In a
lot of countries the kids sleep in the bed with their parents and all is
good. If I were you I would lay down with her (in your bed I am
assuming she is still in a crib) until she goes to sleep and then move
her into her crib. There is nothing more bounding than snuggling with
your baby and nothing more peaceful than her not crying. Win Win for

I promise you she will eventually go to sleep in her own bed and
without crying (as my daughters do.) She’s just a baby right now…


Hi Jamie,
You must be exhausted. To be a single Mom with a baby who is keeping you up all night is really hard. Have you talked to your pediatrician about this? You always want to make sure that there is nothing medical going on that could be causing her to have distributive sleep. How much time is she napping during the day? You should talk to your pediatrician as well about this. You want to make sure she is getting her nap (or naps), but that she is not sleeping too much during the day. I was not a believer of letting kids “cry it out”. It is one thing if they get up and are a little fussy, but if they are really crying, I always went to them and/or put them in my bed. I know a lot of people think this is the kiss of death and you will never get them out of your bed, but you don’t get that time back with them. I am happy I had all those nights with a baby next to me in the bed. Yes, it may have taken longer for them to sleep in their own rooms, but in my opinion, what is the hurry. Good luck and please keep us posted on how things are going.

Best, Jen

Should I be worried?

Name:Angela Lunn

Question: Hi Jen and Barb,
My son is almost 2 and everyone tells me that he should be talking in full sentences by now, even his doctor. He does say a few words and he understands everything i say, im not overly concerned but others are.
Should i be worried?
angela lunn

Full sentences, my husband barely speaks in full sentences! Is your Doctor saying anything is “wrong” with him? One of my twin daughters started speaking in full sentences when she was 1 1/2 the other when she was 4 (she is now 8 and has no problem expressing herself!) I would do what my Doctor says, but as far as other parents forget it.

You know your child better than anyone. I have no doubt that it won’t be long before you are wishing your son would be quiet:)


Hi Angela,

That is such a stressful feeling when you think your child isn’t meeting certain milestones. Normally, I would say that each child gets to different stages in their own time, but if the doctor is telling you that he is concerned, then you may want to have him tested. Ask your doctor what you should do and who you should talk to. It sounds like your son is wonderful and healthy, but getting him checked out will ease your stress and concern. You are clearly a loving mother and thank you so much for reaching out to us. Please let us know how things go.


Big Girl Bed

Name: Christine Spaugh

Question: My daughter is 2 years old and just now realizing, being in her “big girl bed”, she can get in and out of it as she pleases. She’s gotten into the habit of getting out of bed at 4 in the morning every day and ordering breakfast and a movie. She’s up and ready for the day, and I think it’s a tad bit early for that. When we as her to go back to bed, she immediately starts to scream and throw a fit, waking up her one year old brother who also shares her room. How can we get he back in bed and sleeping until a more reasonable hour?

Put her back in her crib and give her Benedryl….kidding (sort of) !!!
Okay, this is a tough one. My kids still wake up and wander into my
bed, but at least they go back to sleep. First thing I would do is to
shorten or eliminate napping during the day. You want her REALLY tired
at night and if she’s waking up at 4am and ready to go, that just won’t
fly. If she’s already done with napping, I would make sure she gets a
lot of exercise. I don’t mean put her into a spin class, but make sure
she is getting a lot of time to run and play. Once again, she needs to
be tired. I’m a total softy, so even though I know a lot of experts
would say to make her stay in her room and cry it out, I can’t give
that advice. I also understand that she is sharing a room with her one
year old brother, so you don’t want to start a cacophony of screams!
I would not give her food or TV. She may scream about this, but she
needs to know that that is not an option. Good luck! I’ve been there.

I so feel for you right now. My twins did the exact same thing when we
moved them to big girl beds. I would try putting your daughter to bed
later even if she gets whiney and cranky. This is a bit of a bummer
because I know how tired you are by the end of the day and can’t get
the kids to sleep early enough. But it might make her sleep in later,
buy you those few hours in the morning you desperately need. The other
thing is when she comes in walk her back to bed and lay down and
snuggle with her. I use to let them get in the bed with me. Big
mistake! So don’t do that. I tried walking them back to their room
and laying down with them rubbing their back and within 10 minutes they
were back to sleep (unfortunately sometimes so was I.) Eventually they
sleep through the night. What I can tell you now that my girls are 8 is
your situation is temporary. Remember sleep deprivation is a form of
torture so don’t feel guilty about taking naps in the day with the
kids. You will be better mom for it. Let us know how it goes!

Help With Potty Training

Full Name: Anne Serao

Have 2 special needs kids; 6 and 5 yrs. old. Will NOT toilet train. What can I do that I haven’t tried so far? (Have 2 other children – no problems)

Thank you so much for reaching out to us. It must be very frustrating
to be having toilet training issues with your children. It sounds like
you have a full house over there! Can you please elaborate on what the
special needs of the children are. While I am not a doctor or
therapist, I have access to some wonderful people and if your question
is outside of something that I can help with, I would be happy to reach
out to someone for some answers. Hang in there and I look forward to
hearing from you, Jen

Host a Kid-Friendly Super Bowl Party

The key to a kid-friendly Super Bowl party is to have activities for the kids and to have someone available to do the activities with them! While some kids might like watching the game, many have little or no interest. If you are a mom who loves watching the game, I suggest getting a babysitter for the party. If the cost is stressing you out, all you need is a neighborhood teenager to keep the kids busy. Think about having some arts and crafts ready to go (perhaps paper cut into shapes like footballs and allowing the kids to decorate them) or have the babysitter make cookies with the kids (once again, with a football theme). If you don’t care about the football game yourself, then you can keep the kids busy, but don’t you want to have a little time to enjoy the day? Another tip – if you are entertaining and want to watch the game, have the food and drinks out before your guests arrive and serve buffet style. You may need to replenish or tidy up a little, but you won’t have to serve and should be able to have a bit more fun.

What is your most hated household chore?

Full Name: Corla Rokochy

What is your most hated household chore? Mine is laundry.

What mom superpower would you have if you could pick one? Mine would be to freeze time. A friend of mine picked being able to make a barf bucket materialize at the moment you need one.

Laundry for sure but only my kids laundry (I find folding towels
actually therapeutic.) Our play room and my kids room as well,
basically anything that involves cleaning my kids mess (oh did I forgot
the back seat of my car!) So if I could have one super power I would be
able to be like “Bewitched” and just wiggle my nose and everything
would be clean.

My most hated household chore is cleaning up after my husband. I don’t resent having to clean up or cook for my kids. I signed up for that. What I didn’t sign up for, however, was cleaning up after my husband. I’m talking about the dirty laundry that can’t even find it’s way to the hamper (including his disgusting sweaty work out clothes), the coffee mugs half full and starting to grow mold, the towels strewn about as if we were at the Four Seasons where you want to make sure you’re getting your monies worth. It really drives me insane!

If I could have any superpower, it would be to have super patience. Never get flustered, never upset…that would be amazing!


Get Me Out of My Rut

Full Name: Christina Coles

Even though I am a mother of one, she’s 7, I can’t seem to get the energy or desire to just play and have fun. I do the housework, shopping and have a part-time job. I need some ideas to get me out of my rut! Thank You

I know exactly what you mean. I think in my quest to do my “mom/wife job” I too forget to have fun with my kids. So I started to carve out “game night,” “movie night,” “reading hour” and activities that would force me to take the time to play with my kids. We also have a Wii which we all play together and Rock Band (I am the drummer and get boo’ed every time but my kids think it is funny.) Some games that I love are Stare, BrainQuest and Connect 4.


You need to do something for yourself! Do you like to go to the movies? See a girlfriend? Play tennis? You need to make time to do something to bring some joy back to YOU. This will be good for you and your child.



Full Name: Jackie Sutton
Dear Jen and Barb,
My son is 8 and he is just now starting to lie… only a lot. I’ve tried to explain that lying isn’t nice but he seems to be making a game about it. I don’t know what to say to him. Do you have any suggestions?


There needs to be consequences to his actions. If he lies, take away something important to him; video games, play dates, desserts, whatever it is that he loves. Keep doing it until he understands it is not okay. This may be hard on you as you will have to deal with screaming and crying, but that is the only thing that works for me. Good luck!



My children lied when they were younger but I always told them the story of “The boy (or girl) who cried wolf” and that if they continued to lie no one would believe them when they were telling the truth. I think you have to separate whether it is “imagination lying” or “harmful lying.” Imagination lying is, “my cousin is Hannah Montana.” Harmful lying is “I brushed my teeth” (when they didn’t). That is the one I am concerned with. Currently, I just “bust them” when their lying (I have to say it doesn’t happen often) and I tell them “Mommy knows everything…you can’t lie to mommy” or just go check their breath and toothbrush. That has been working so far.


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