There’s not always a quick fix to your baby’s sleep issues, but I do see parents making one very common mistake that can cause a lot of cranky nighttime wake-ups. The good news is, once you’ve identified it, there’ s a fast, effective solution.Rather read than watch? Click here.
Bedtime routines are super important. There’s a few dos and don’ts around them though. One is don’t make them too long. A lot of people are dragging this out with videos or extra game playing and it takes an hour to finally get this baby down, and that’s too long. A good length is somewhere between twenty to thirty minutes. That’s long enough to set the stage and get baby used to the idea of going down, but not too long that he’s getting confused by it because you really do want it to be predictable, that he understands, “First we do this, then this, then this,” every night, it’s the same, no change. That would really help them understand that, “I’m going to sleep for the night now. This is not nap-time. This is now night-time.”
Not too long, but not too short either. If it’s too short and you basically just go in and change a diaper and plop baby into the crib, that’s not enough time to get their bodies and brains around this. Thirty minutes is a perfect length. Some of it should take place in the child’s bedroom. Again, you want to really set the stage that, “We’re going to do a few activities in the room here and then you’re going to go to bed.” That takes you away from the distractions of the house, the other children, the TV, the noise, of doing the dishes and just spending a little bit of quality time with your baby in their room.
Now, the biggest mistake that people make in this routine is that they, somewhere in the process there is usually a feeding and that makes sense, right, if we’re talking about a baby here. It makes sense to fill their tummy before bed. What they do is that they feed the baby to sleep. They have a bath, get the jammies on, brush their teeth, give a feed until baby’s asleep, then transfer to the crib. Why that’s a problem is because they are now prop-dependent on that feed to get to sleep, right.
If a baby is prop-dependent, they’re never going to be successful sleepers because they’re going to have wake-ups in the night where they’re going to need assistance from you, usually with food, to get themselves back to sleep at night. Have a look at your routine. You will most likely see that the little snag or the little flaw in your routine is that nursing to sleep, so keep everything the same. Don’t let your baby fall asleep on the feed, then put baby into the crib awake.
You may be wondering, “Well then, what do I do?” I got a whole book that’ll explain exactly what to do once you get your baby into the crib awake, but that’s really the most important piece of the whole sleeping puzzle is that a baby needs to learn the skills that she needs for falling asleep independently and then she’ll start sleeping through the night. She won’t sleep all the way through the night. No one does. Any wake-up she has will be manageable because she has the skills to get back to sleep without the prop. That makes sense, doesn’t it? That’s the number one mistake that most of you are going to have to have a good hard look at tonight. Thanks so much for watching. Sleep well.
If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, 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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