Please watch my baby sleep video on soothing your baby back to sleep at night.
Do you have any questions I can answer for you?
Post them in the ‘Comments’ section below!
And if you have some insight or advice for anyone who has already posted, PLEASE just click the ‘Reply’ link under that comment. It’s a great way for us all to help and support each other!View the Video Transcript
Hi! I’m Dana Obleman, creator of the Sleep Sense Program.
This question comes from Ella who writes:
“Why does my 13 month old wake up between the hours of 2:00 and 4:00 and just needs to be patted right back to sleep? I don’t take him out of the crib but it takes a toll on me to stand over him and pat his back until he falls asleep again.”
Well Ella, you want to think about how Ethan falls asleep at bedtime. If you find that part of your bedtime routine includes putting him in his crib and then standing above him patting his back, in a way he’s falling asleep on his own but in another way he’s not.
It sounds like he’s incorporated your patting into his strategy for sleep so that when he wakes up in the night, he’s thinking “I’m awake. I’d like to go back to sleep but I need my mom to come back in here and pat me.” It probably doesn’t take you too long but I’m sure it takes a toll to get up a few times a night just to go in and pat him.
Again, it’s about strategy so even it was a soother or a bottle or you were nursing him every time you went in, in some way Ethan’s connected you into his strategy system so that when he wakes he needs a recreation of all that. So, when you put him to bed at bedtime it’s okay to pat a little bit but maybe do it more intermittently so that you pat and then you withdraw and then you pat a little more and then you withdraw. Watch carefully and when Ethan actually starts to fall asleep, make sure you’re not patting him anymore.
Again, it’s going to take him some nights to get used to the difference, especially if he’s really dependant on you patting him. He might protest a bit to the change to his strategies but if you’re consistent for a week or two, you’ll find that you can back away and pat him a little bit less and a little bit less each night so that eventually you can just put him in the crib and he’ll be able to do the whole thing by himself.
Good luck with that, Ella. Thank you for your question and sleep well.
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