Once you’ve made the decision to start the Sleep Sense Program, you’re naturally going to be excited to get started. After all, the sooner your baby learns these wonderful sleep skills, the sooner your whole family can start getting the sleep you desperately need! But with the holidays coming up, the question arises, “Should we start now or wait until we get back?” Well, as much as I can identify with your enthusiasm to dive in to the program, you might want to hold off, and here’s why…Rather read than watch? Click here.
I could hear the desperation on her email really and she said repeatedly, “I want to do it now. I’m at the end of my rope. I can’t wait another day. I really need to teach this baby to sleep well and I don’t wanna wait.”
The bad news is it’s better to wait in that situation. I always tell people you need to have about two weeks of activity free time. Meaning no one’s coming to visit, you’re not going away, your husband’s not going away out of town unless it’s helpful. Sometimes, it’s helpful if your husband goes out of town and you could just do it yourself. But if you know you’re going to need his support then absolutely don’t do this when he’s away.
Just look at your calendar and say, “OK, for the next two weeks not a whole lot is going on, let’s start now.” Because I do find that within a few nights you’re going to see some really great improvement, but it might not be a solid enough foundation to actually take this on the road. A lot of kids and adults as well, we tend not to sleep when we’re away.
Think about the last time you stayed on a hotel or went to a company’s house. You don’t have as good of a night time sleep because the environment is different. Pillows feel a little funny. We’re very habitual about our night time routines and environment so we don’t like a whole lot of change and surprise around that.
If you were to start a few nights for the program and then whisk her off to grandma’s house where she has to sleep into a strange room and a pack‑n‑play, there are odd sounds and different smells and all that stuff, chances are you’re going to feel like your right back into step one again. You’re right back into night one again.
Then you got that added pressure now of your mother‑in‑law out in the hallway wondering “What are you doing in there?” and that can really derail people. Or you’re in a hotel for example and she starts to protest bedtime and you’re worried about the security guard coming to the door, “What are you guys up to in there?”
It just adds more stress to an already potentially stressful situation and so it’s better to wait. Just trust me on this one. It’s better to wait.
On the other hand, you don’t want to be so rigid with your child’s bedtime routine that when you do try to go somewhere else he has a complete meltdown. You want to build a little bit of flexibility but not too soon. I would give it about a month where you feel like things are going really well, he’s really got the hang of this, we’re having a solid night time sleep and great naps.
Then try either having a sleepover at grandma’s or going on a little weekend away and know that again you may get some testing of the waters on the first night. It is somewhere new, we are at grandma’s house, maybe…The rules aren’t the rules anymore and they’re just going to check and see.
You want to be careful how you respond to that. I’m not saying you’re just going to lock the door and not see the child again until morning, you might need to build a little bit of extra support. Maybe for the first night you sit by the door until he falls asleep and then on night two, you work your way out so that by night three you’re out of there and he’s comfortable. That’s OK.
You can bend a little bit. Because it’s fair to assume that being in a brand new place maybe he’s got a little bit of a jet lag on top of that and so, he needs a little bit of extra support. But be careful that you don’t interfere too much with his own strategy so you wouldn’t do things like lying down with him or bringing him into your bed.
A couple of nights of that, you find yourself right back to where you were and you have to start the program all over again when you get home which is not the end of the world. If that happens here’s the good news, get right back on track when you get home. Start the program all over again and know that within the few nights he’s going to be back to sleeping well.
Thanks so much for watching today. Sleep well.
If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble getting the restful, rejuvenating sleep that they need, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 57,00 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you!
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