Please watch my child sleep video on getting your child out of YOUR bed.
To ask a question about your child’s sleep, just leave it in the ‘Comments’ section below! I’ll choose one and create a new video answer each week!View the Video Transcript
Hi! I’m Dana Obleman, creator of The Sleep Sense Program. If you’d rather read than watch, I’ve transcribed the text of this video below.
This week’s question comes from Elise:
“Josh used to sleep in his cot through the night then all of a sudden he would not and we had to start bringing him to bed with us. Now, he will not go back in his cot and he won’t fall asleep unless one of us holds him before lying him down. Help us get back to the old routine?”
I am not sure how old Josh is, but I am guessing he is around six 6 months and that tends to be an age where a baby becomes much more aware of their environment, much more aware of their sleep strategies. I have many clients phone up when their child is around six months, saying “He used to sleep great and now everything has gone bad.”
It usually has to do with how they are getting themselves to sleep at night and one thing you would mentioned in your question is that you hold him until he falls a sleep and then you try to transfer him to the crib. Well, nine times out of 10 that is just not going to work. Everybody is very aware of their environment when they sleep so if you fall asleep on the couch and end in up in your bed, you are probably going to wake up feeling fairly alarmed.
Also, in transferring, remember that they were nice and cozy in your arms and now you are trying to transfer them to the crib. Usually, they wake up on route or just a few minutes after they finally get in to the crib so I would just stop doing that all together. It is not very effective way to teach a child to sleep well.
You can start at bedtime by making sure you’ve got a routine in place that outlines the steps really clearly. Consider a bath, getting into pajamas, having a feed then into the crib awake. No more holding or rocking to sleep then and the good news is that Josh used to sleep well so somewhere in his mind he knows how to do this and that tends to make a little bit easier when you are trying to get a child back on track. He has got those skills. He knows what they are. It is just a matter of pushing him back in the right direction.
Make sure he goes into the crib awake and then I suggest you use the stay-in-the-room method that is outlined in the Sleep Sense Program. Using this method, you can be present and you are being supportive but you are not interfering in his skill development. He has got to learn a new way to get himself to sleep and independent of being held and you can be supportive while he figures those things out.
With night waking, you do not want to at decide that he can come to bed with you because that is just going to confuse him. I have had many clients who say “Well, we will not let him come to be bed with us unless it is at least 4 a.m.” Your child will impulsively keep waking up at various times to see it is still night or if it is time where they get to come to bed with mom. It really is an all or nothing situation and if you want him in his crib that is where he should be spending the entire night. For night waking we would suggest you go in and pop back in to your chair at the side of his crib. You are being supportive and you should wait him out until he is back to sleep, gradually working your way out of his bedroom. You already know he can do this because he used to, so get him back on track at least.
Thanks for your question and sleep well.
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