“We’ve become a society of quick fixes and instant gratification. Nobody wants to wait for anything anymore.”
People always say that like it’s a bad thing.
Now sure, there are some things that shouldn’t be rushed; wine comes to mind, back massages, tax returns, make-out sessions, but when you’ve got a problem and there’s a quick solution available, I say go for it! Quick fixes are great, if they’re actual fixes, of course. Too often, they’re hasty repair jobs that don’t actually fix the problem, but if they do work, why not use them?
Now, when it comes to baby’s sleep, there are many situations that require in depth analysis, specific modifications to sleep schedules and bedtime routines, and one-on-one coaching in order to help the parents break out of some of their bad habits.
But honestly, it’s not always the case. Sometimes it can be a quick and easy fix, and if that’s all you need, well then, you’re one of the lucky ones.
There are three of these quick-fixes that I consider to be the most effective, so here’s hoping one of them works for you and your little one.
That sounds like the name of a new Evanescence album, doesn’t it? Oh well, regardless, a pitch black room is a huge help when it comes to getting your baby to sleep. If baby’s going to bed while it’s still light out, it can prevent her system from producing melatonin, which is the heavenly hormone that preps our brains for bedtime.
Darkness is also a recognizable signal to your baby that it’s time for sleep. If she’s left alone in her crib in a room full of light, she might not understand that she’s supposed to be lying down and snoozing, and will be more likely to howl for your company.
Invest in some blackout blinds or, barring that, put some tinfoil up in the windows. It’s not exactly classy, but it might just be the solution you’ve been looking for, and what would you rather? Tinfoil in your nursery windows or a cranky, overtired baby?
Stuffed toys and mobiles are cute to look at, and we tend to think that baby will drift off to sleep easier if she’s got something to cuddle, or something to watch, but more often than not, these types of crib toys are distracting to babies and tend to keep them up.
I know the temptation to adorn the nursery in all kinds of baby-themed wonders is almost irresistible, but believe me, when it comes to sleep, baby doesn’t benefit from glow-in-the-dark space stickers or light-up aquariums. They do much better when their room is absolutely stimulus-free.
For any of us who have worked nights in our lives, we know that trying to fall asleep when you’re not tired is an awful feeling. We get a much more gratifying sensation when we hit the hay when we’re straight-up exhausted, but this is a bad strategy for your baby.
When kids miss their ideal sleep window, their bodies kick into overdrive in order to compensate for, what the brain perceives as, the need to stay awake. Adrenaline and cortisol, the arch-enemies of baby’s sleep, are released, and your little one will actually get pretty hyperactive. Once that happens, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle trying to get her to bed.
Make sure you’re putting her down before she’s too tired, and ideally, before she’s even drowsy. You want her to be making the journey from “awake” to “asleep” all on her own.
There you have it. Three quick solutions that just might be the answer to your prayers! I hope one of them proves to be the remedy to your baby’s sleep issues, but if not, you might want to check out The Sleep Sense Program™. If the tips above are the “fast-food” solutions, then the Sleep Sense Program is the “Cordon Bleu Chef School” equivalent. It’s a comprehensive, easy-to-follow strategy that’s guaranteed to get your baby sleeping straight through the night!
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