The keys –
Remember that relying solely on tricks and aids to put your baby to sleep – is like a person who neglects their health and then treats only symptoms when they feel bad – instead of addressing the source of the illness.
Set your baby up to succeed at getting a healthy nights sleep – without having them become dependent on a single trick or aid.
- You want your baby to be able to put themselves to sleep in a non stressful way.
- They need to learn that sleep is not a fearful time – but rather a peaceful time.
- You set up that peaceful mood.
- This gift will follow them through childhood and into adulthood.
It’s complicated because there are many aspects to consider and it can include a unique combination of factors for each child and their families.
The following chapters contain a multitude of things to try to create a plan that works for you and your baby.
It’s up to you to set your baby up for success.
I’ll start with some things to keep in mind.
Establish a Solid Routine
- Having a consistent routine is very important for baby sleep success.
- If their routine changes from day to day – then this can work against your efforts to help them sleep.
- An ideal technique to put your baby to sleep may not work consistently if you don’t provide a solid and consistent foundation (rhythm) upon which to build.
- Establish your child’s routine (waking times, meal times, bedtimes, etc.).
Repetition and Patience
Whatever approach and techniques you choose…
- Stick with it for at least a week.
- Don’t give up right away, even if it seems difficult.
- Your baby’s sleep habits take time to establish.
- During that time you may have to fine tune the approach as you see what is working and what is not.
If you’ve been working with a technique for more than a week and it’s not working – and – you’re out of ideas to fine tune it – then that technique may not be the right fit for your child. Try something new.
Children Keep Changing
Remember that no single approach will work with all babies and when you find one that works for your baby, it may not won’t work all the time.
- Children keep changing so what worked last week may not work this week.
- Keep adjusting and refining the technique as needed.
- Cut yourself some slack.
- Your target should be to find a method that works most of the time for your baby.
Things Stop Working
Here are some common reasons your baby may not be sleeping – even after they have learned to sleep through the night. These may seem obvious now, but when your baby has been sleeping through the night and then they start waking up night after night you may not think of these right away. Most babies don’t sleep well when they are…
- Have an ear infection
- Have gas (digestion problems or allergies)
- Are sick with a cold
Understand that if any of these is the case, you may have to deviate from the techniques that have been working in order to help your baby through these special times. This breaking of the routine my set them back and when they are all better it may take them some extra time to relearn healthy sleep habits while they get back into their consistent routine.
Valuable Baby Sleep Nuggets
- Sleep when your baby sleeps. This is your chance to get some needed sleep and if you miss it – you’ll be extra tired when you’re baby is not sleeping and you’re up with them.
- Drinking caffeine can affect your baby and keep them awake if you are breastfeeding. Babies are more susceptible to caffeine than adults, and I have read that the caffeine in a large coffee, can affect a newborn for more than 80 hours through breast milk!
- It’s normal for a baby to wake in the night because they are hungry or want some love.
Trust Your Gut
You intuitively know more than you may think.
- Start with approaches and tips that resonate with you.
- Try out these tips one at a time and then in combinations to see how your baby reacts.
- As you test out various approaches and techniques – be observant and mindful.
You’re the guiding force. Common sense and creativity can go a long way in helping your baby sleep.