"Trusted by over 109,000 parents since 2003"
Most of the time, with the Sleep Sense Program, parents see a huge improvement in three to five nights. For some, it takes a little longer, and occasionally it can take the full two weeks before their little one is finally getting to sleep without a fuss.
And every now and then, I’ll hear from parents who tell me that, even though their baby is now sleeping through the night, there’s still a fair bit of fussing and protest when they put them to bed.
I’m a mother of three, and believe me, I know how tough it is to listen to your child cry, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes! So if you fall into this category of parents whose little ones may be sleeping better, but are still putting up a fight when it’s time for them to go to bed, then check out the video below for some extremely helpful tips!Rather read than watch? Click here.
Hi, I’m Dana, creator of the Sleep Sense Program, and I just wanted to talk about a question that I get fairly often from people who are doing the Sleep Sense Program. So the good news is that their child is sleeping so much better. It’s been a couple of weeks, they’re learning the skills that they need to become independent sleepers, they’re sleeping right through the night, they’re taking great naps. However, they’re still doing some crying before they fall asleep. So, I just wanna troubleshoot that a little bit with you.
I mean, every child’s a little bit different. Some stop crying altogether within a few days, and some kind of linger for a few weeks. And I’ve even had clients with children who kinda of cry for a couple of months after doing the program, and the first thing to think about is your child’s temperament, right? You know, this tends to be the spirited, high-energy child, who really given the choice, would way rather keep playing and having a great time.
You know, if we could ask them, do you wanna go to bed, they are always gonna say no, and that’s just that personality type. So when we take them and we put them in the crib and we ask them to now sleep, they get a little ticked off, right? They need a couple of minutes to sort of process this information that it’s time to sleep, they don’t really want to, they’re gonna see if maybe they can get their selves out of this, and they do a little bit of protest crying. It’s usually not much more than five minutes, but it’s almost like they just need this little energy burst to get themselves sorted and off to sleep. I’ve seen it in client after client and it really turns out to be that that’s just the child’s temperament or personality, and eventually, they’re not gonna be 18 and still crying before they fall asleep, so eventually it will stop but it can linger.
In other cases, it could be a matter of too much help at bedtime. And I know, I get it. As parents, you know, we really feel like this is our job, we need to be helping, we need to help more. And sometimes the answer is help less.
So let me give you some clarity around what I mean. If you’ve got a baby that you’re doing the routine, you’re getting her nice and cozy in that last feed, she’s not asleep but she’s looking pretty tired, she’s doing some heavy blinking, she’s got that seven-mile stare in her eyes and then after the feed you do a little bit of bouncing or rocking, and again, she’s not asleep, but she’s getting really, really close. And then we put her in the crib and she just drifts off beautifully within a couple of minutes. Whenever I hear people tell me that their baby is falling asleep within a couple of minutes, that’s usually a good sign that they’re pretty dang sleepy when they got to that crib. Too sleepy, in fact.
And so what happens then is you’ve basically helped her sort of 80% of the way, you’ve helped her with feeding or rocking or bouncing, and she is, you know, right at this 80%, all she has to do is the last 20 on her own, and that’s not that hard, right? ‘Cause she’s already so close. And so when she gets into the crib and falls asleep within a couple of minutes, chances are high she’s gonna wake up either on route to the crib fully or 30 minutes later is really popular.
So if a baby’s had a chance to doze or rest in the bedtime routine and then they go to the crib, they’re usually a little bit ticked off that you didn’t finish the job, that you didn’t let them go all the way to sleep with your help, and it’s often very angry crying that you’ll experience. That is a sign that you’re doing too much helping. So let’s back it up, let’s keep her wide awake through that feed, no resting, no drowsiness, no nothing. Wide awake through that feed and then into the crib.
Now the downside is that she might start crying now immediately once she gets to the crib, ’cause she doesn’t have that sort of extra help from you. She’s wide awake in there. She’s not sure how do I do this from wide awake, but I would rather her do some crying now so that she learns the skill fully and independently on her own. Then you doing all this helping, which leads to lots of crying anyway, right? So let’s do this right the first time so we don’t have to keep doing it over and over and over again.
So those are usually the two reasons why you would still be getting some protest crying at bedtime. It could also be, the third thing would be that it’s either too much time awake or not enough. So have a look at the guide in the Sleep Sense program that outlines the different time awake windows for the age groups and tinker with it a bit. Try for three nights, moving it 15 minutes earlier. Often it’s overtiredness. People overestimate how much time their baby can stand being awake before they need sleep. So bring it up 15 minutes, let it hang out there for about three or four days, see if that makes any difference to the crying that you experience at bedtime, and if that’s not helping, then maybe we need to move it back 15 minutes.
So 15 extra minutes to the time awake window. Maybe we just need to have her be a little bit more fatigued when she gets into the crib so that she can get herself calmed and ready and fall asleep in a more timely fashion without a lot of protest crying.
One last tip though, it could be, and I find that this shows up in the toddler years pretty commonly, sometimes it’s simply to get you to keep coming back. Yeah, I can remember my second son went through this phase where, you know, he’d been a great sleeper since birth, but around two, he just started crying at bedtime and I go in and check and I leave and I come back and I go in and check, and I finally realized he’s just crying ’cause he wants me to keep coming back to check. And so I just had to stop, knowing that he’s fine in there. He knows how to sleep. He just is kind of playing a little game with me here, and it faded out within a few nights, so that also could be the issue.
Anyway, thanks so much for watching today. 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 107,000 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 – I’m looking forward to helping you!
If you’ve never experienced this situation, you might think this is a pretty funny-sounding…View Post
The idea of becoming a baby sleep coach or certified infant sleep consultant sounds…View Post
If your baby's dealing with reflux or GERD, it may not be the right…View Post