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Anonymous 

How can I get my kids 1 & 3 to sleep through the night without doing the cry it out method. They wake on a good night 3-4 times each. I have tried cranial osteopathy already.

TOP RESPONSE
SleepFairyDee 
There are so many techniques you can try, but whichever you do, you'll need to stick to it for at least a week or two. The more gentle you are, the longer it is likely to take, so extra patience is essential. For the 1 year old, make sure the daily routine is satisfying his/her basic needs, so she's not hungry or thirsty at night, and has had plenty of quality time with you. With the 3 year it is more likely to be a behavioural issue, so you need to see if there is any stubborn or tantrum-like behaviour in the day that is carrying on through to the night.
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Ben Tantrum 
Poor you. That sounds like an ordeal and must be really testing. I'm no expert but I think the approach has to be very different for the 1 and 3 year old. For the 1yr old - I have to say letting our daughter 'cry it out' did work - we got to a stage where we were exhausted and knew our daughter was fine and she just needed space to work out that she could get back to sleep. Us going in wasn't helping her. I appreciate this approach isn't for everyone though. For a 3yr old it gets much harder as they have greater will power and presumably get out of bed. Separation anxiety can still be an issue at this age. Do you have transitional objects you can use? I'd also ask about bedtime routine and naps during the day. How consistent is this? Getting body clocks synchronised can be half the battle. If they wake up do you wait 10mins before going in? you're going to have to be firm at some point so they understand. If you reward them with your attention this only backfires in the long run. Sorry I dont have any quick fixes here....
Lisa K 
With the one year old I would definitely have a look at the sensory technique used by Evelyn aka The Cheshire Baby Whisperer. I can't remember her surname, possibly Button? Anyway, it's a very gentle technique that focuses on the bedroom and other being a happy place with no crying out. I was so so sceptical but bought the book as I was desperate and it really worked with us. We didn't follow it to a t but adapted it to suit us. As well as the book she has an email service/chat on the phone or skype and she isn't expensive. Give her a Google and have a read about it. We did it at 11 months with my first and then set up from the get go with my second who is now 8 months and he has been able to self settle from around 4 months (he still used to wake for a feed as is expected). I have no advice for your 3 year old but I'm sure Evelyn would be able to help here too. I have no affiliation with her at all but she really saved our sanity and my back as I was having to rock my 10 month old off to sleep every night!
SleepFairyDee 
There are so many techniques you can try, but whichever you do, you'll need to stick to it for at least a week or two. The more gentle you are, the longer it is likely to take, so extra patience is essential. For the 1 year old, make sure the daily routine is satisfying his/her basic needs, so she's not hungry or thirsty at night, and has had plenty of quality time with you. With the 3 year it is more likely to be a behavioural issue, so you need to see if there is any stubborn or tantrum-like behaviour in the day that is carrying on through to the night.
Guest 
Thank you all, I have contacted Evelyn and have lots of ideas! I think that falling asleep with milk is the problem so first step is to get them off night time milk....
Anonymous 
"Extra patience is key". Spot on, SleepFairyDee! It's a struggle.
TheParentandBabyCoach 
Do have a look at the Gradual Withdrawal method for your 3 year old, it works really well and shouldn't mean too much crying. For your one year old it may also work well, but needs to be adapted slightly. Both will take time, as no-cry methods do essentially mean trading up crying for time, but they are still effective, you do just need to be really consistent and completely stick to them even if progress is not obvious to start with.

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