“How can I sleep train my baby WITHOUT waking up everyone else in the house?”
Great question, and the answer is the topic of this week’s “how-to” video:
Feel free to chime in with your advice to other parents in the comments section! It’s a great way for us all to help each other out!
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That link gets you an automatic 30% discount off my best-selling sleep package.View the Video Transcript
Hi, I’m Dana. Welcome to this week’s video blog. Today, I want to talk about having more than one child in the house when you’re ready to sleep teach. I get this question a lot from people who have older children or twin situations where they’re really worried that one child is going to wake up the other child. What tends to happen is that it causes a parent to rush in quickly. I find that you’re so caught up in the anxiety over one child waking the other that it really leads to prop dependency. If you’ve got a baby, and you’re rushing in there the minute you hear her to feed her, or get her pacifier back in or start to rock her again, you’re really reinforcing the prop dependency, probably more so than you want to, and more so than you need to.
It’s true that some babies just fuss a little here and there in the night. If you just let it go they’ll often get themselves back into sleep. But, again, if you’re super sensitive, you’re going to rush in there a little quicker than you should.
When I’m asked this question, my answer is always “Oh well. Oh well, yes. One baby’s going to wake up the other baby. Your baby’s going to wake up your toddler. It’s most likely going to happen and oh well.” OK, say it with me. “Oh well.”
Because, if you’re on the path to making some positive changes, this is just short term. I think that’s where people forget. You’re envisioning night after night of one child crying and one child crying and a whole house that’s upset and up in the night and this goes on and on and on.
It might happen once or twice as you begin to make some change but it’s OK. It’s not the end of the world. If you’ve got a child that sleeps well, if you’ve got a sleep sense graduate on your hands and she’s a fabulous sleeper, just explain to her what you’re doing.
Just say, “You know that you might hear the baby cry a bit in the night. I’m trying to teach her to sleep well just like you do. If you do hear her I want you to know that everything is OK and just go back to sleep.”
If you have your own skills and you’ve got a child that’s got great skills, she will get herself back to sleep, so there’s really nothing to worry about. Is it disruptive? Sure. We don’t want her to wake up in the night. But if it’s just going to happen a few times, then again, oh well.
Sometimes, if you’ve got children who share a room, it becomes a little more challenging because it’s going to be louder. I would hesitate to do too much change around that. If you’ve got a three‑year‑old who sleeps in the same room with a baby, and you want to sleep‑train the baby, my advise would be to move the baby out.
If that means setting up a pack and play in your room for a week while you work on teaching her great skills, that’s less disruptive than moving your toddler. Toddlers tend to be very rigid around the situation and if you move your toddler to your room, you might never get her out. Move the baby if need be, and then as soon as she’s sleeping well move her back into the room.
If you’ve got twins, the same situation can arise where one baby’s going to wake up the other baby on occasion. You’re just going to push through it if it’s a bad night. Because you know that once they both have their own skills, they’re going to become really great sleepers.
This is just a short term problem to a long term fabulous solution. I want you to go ahead and do it anyway. Be careful though, I’ve had clients who move their older children to the couch or make really significant changes.
In my opinion, that is too disruptive. A few night’s on the couch, she’s not going to sleep that great. She might decide that the couch is where she prefers to sleep and you’ve got a brand new battle around that.
I find it’s better to keep things as close to normal as they can be. Know that this is most likely going to happen on occasion and do it anyway. Just do it anyway, because you know that by teaching the skills to sleep well to all your children will mean long term, you’ll have kids who sleep fabulously, and do well and everybody in the family functions perfectly because of great sleep.
If you’ve been holding back because of an older child, don’t. Go ahead and start. Let’s get everybody in the house sleeping well as soon as we possibly can.
Thanks for watching. Sleep well.[music]
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