If you’re the parent of a child who seems to wake up at the “drop of a hat,” you already know how frustrating it can be to have a light sleeper in the house.
You’re always tiptoeing around… constantly “shhhhh-ing” people… and you live in fear of the telephone and doorbell!
The good news that there ARE some things you can do to get your child used to the “ambient noise” that’s a part of every household. I explain how to do it in this video:
If you’re looking for a complete, step-by-step system designed to get your child sleeping 11+ hours through the night, you can click here to check out The Sleep Sense Program. It’s the same method that’s been used by 109,000 parents over the past 10 years to solve the most common child sleep issues!View Transcript
Hi, I’m Dana Obleman. Welcome to this week’s video blog. Today I want to talk about light sleepers.
I get emails all the time from people telling me that their children are very light sleepers. I want to talk a little bit about why that might be happening and what you can do to help the situation. The first place to look is how your baby falls asleep at night. If you rock you baby to sleep, or feed her to sleep, or bounce her to sleep, and then you transfer her to the crib or bassinet, chances are she will be a very light sleeper.
What will happen is, if there’s a noise on the hallway or an ambulance drives by, the child will wake up and most likely start crying right away. That’s more to do with their strategies for sleep than anything else. So if you think about getting yourself to sleep every night, most people have strategies that they have accumulated along the way that help us make that journey easier.
If you’re rocking your baby or feeding your baby to sleep, and she has a wake up somewhere in the night, she’s going to need your help. She’s going to start to cry. That’s how people will fall into this vicious pattern of thinking their baby is a really light sleeper.
The truth of the matter is if she fell asleep in your arms and woke up in her crib an hour later, she’s going to be alarmed by that. Anyone would. You are not in the place you were when you fell asleep. That would be alarming to any of us. It results in an instant cry. Then, parents have to intervene.
I’ve had clients sitting, watching TV with headphones on because they don’t want to wake up their baby. If your baby has good sleep skills, and they can get themselves to sleep independently on a consistent basis, then they are less likely to be bothered by environmental noise. If an ambulance were to drive by in the middle of the night, a child who sleeps well might wake up, acknowledge that it was an ambulance, and then go right back to sleep.
Or if loud laughing in the living room were to startle them or wake them up a bit, they’re fully capable of getting themselves right back to sleep again. They don’t need to cry out. They don’t need any help from you, and so they go back to sleep. You can see where the problems are starting here. That isn’t to say that a noise isn’t going to wake up your child. I always tell my clients they’re not in a coma, they’re just asleep. Anything that might potentially wake you up could also wake your child.
My rule of thumb around that is to be respectful that someone is sleeping in the house, the same way you would if your spouse were taking a nap or if you were to lie down, you would hope for a certain level of respect from your family that you’re trying to have a nap. But you also don’t want to tiptoe around the house either because, then, if it’s too quiet, the slightest little noise will wake up the child.
It might mean that the nap is too short then. So respectful, but not overly. Another thing you can try is running some white noise. There has been a bit of talk in the press recently about white noise and white noise machines. My rule of thumb around that is they’re totally safe and fine to use. It can be very, very helpful especially if you’ve got a baby sleeping and a noisy toddler in the house, at the same time. White noise can be a good buffer for that.
Please don’t put it right beside your child’s head or crib. Keep an eye on the volume. Most of them are volume controlled, so they’re not going to be overly loud. But be respectful. It should be some ambient noise in the room, but it shouldn’t be blasting loudly right in their ear. [laughs]
I trust that you can use your common sense around that. But white noise can be really helpful. If you’ve got a child who’s got great sleep skills, but still tends to wake up over the littlest noise, and need your assistance, then this can be a good solution to that problem.
But first step is always can this child fall asleep independently? If they can’t, that’s where you need to start.
Thanks for watching. Sleep well.
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