Please watch my child sleep video on getting your child to sleep OUT of your bed.
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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 week’s question comes from Sue and she asks:
“My 12 month old wakes up every night and will not go back to sleep unless I bring her to my bed. How do I break this habit that’s beginning?”
Well Sue, I want you to first have a look at how Leila falls asleep at bedtime. That’s really where 99 percent of the problems fall is how children fall asleep at bedtime
First of all, you want to make sure that there’s a really clear and consistent bedtime routine. Moving in a step by step order, the same every night, so that what it becomes is a cue that it’s time for bed. Next, you want to make sure that your 12 month old has the skills for sleeping well on their own. You definitely shouldn’t do things like rocking or bottle feeding/nursing to sleep. Once the routine is in place you should put her into her crib awake.
In the Sleep Sense Program there’s a guideline for staying in the room if that’s your choice, (if that’s what you feel the best about then you should stay in the room and be supportive. Just be careful though, that there’s nothing you’re doing that’s actually putting her to sleep. In other words, if you’re patting her back until she falls asleep you might find that you’ve now incorporated yourself into her strategy so you’re then going to be expected to go in there and pat her back again every time she wakes in the night.
The skill of sleeping is absolutely hers and hers alone and once she starts putting those pieces together and figuring out a way to do this on her own, then she’ll be much less likely to rely on you to do it for her. Bedtime is the first place to start. As for when she wakes in the night and especially when you would normally bring her into your bed, if that’s not where you want her to be then you just have to stop doing that. Go in and sit with her (and be calm and supportive) but let her fall asleep on her own; I suggest not bringing her to your bed at any time. What a lot of moms will sometimes do is think that at 5:00 in the morning it’s okay to bring my baby to bed with me so they can sleep the last couple of hours. The parent knows what they are doing but the baby doesn’t so what I find tends to happen in this situation, is that 5:00am becomes 4:30, which becomes 4:00am, and so on. It just starts pushing earlier and earlier until the baby’s in your bed half the night again! If that’s what your baby prefers, then you’re probably going find that it’s hard to get them to go to sleep initially as well, because they’d rather be in your bed.
In a sense, just sleeping beside a parent can too become a prop because that’s the only way the baby becomes used to falling asleep and staying asleep; really they’re not doing it independently. They’re still relying on you in some way. It’ll definitely be work and it’s going to take a week or two to get her on track with going to sleep on her own and sleeping through the night in her own crib. However, if you truly don’t want her in your bed, it’s best to do it now, because it does tend to get a little harder as the child gets older; they have more expectations about what you’re going to do.
Now is a great time to make the switch and I find those are the best ways to do it.
Thanks for your question. Sleep well!
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