November 28, 2016 0 Debolima Coomar
As parents, we will agree that putting our baby to sleep is one of the most difficult tasks, and sooner or later, we need to teach them to go back to their dream world by themselves. To do so, your baby will need a tad bit of his mumma-papa’s help. What might surprise you is that most babies don’t doze off without being held, nor do they go to sleep if left alone in their crib.
Enough said about the problem, the solution to the same is to teach your babies how to go back to their fairy-land, even if it's in the middle of the night and you are not around.
We wouldn't say it's easy. (We know, anything to do with kids is never easy.) So be prepared that it may take weeks or even months, but it can work wonders. Here is what you need to do:
1. Wake your baby up once when you put it down to sleep.
Well, most babies cry when put down on bed, and that’s for a reason. They know their parent’s arms are the safest place for them to rest. So when you put them down to slumber, they get an adrenalin rush which wakes them up and makes it (extremely) difficult for them to go back to their nap.
Don’t do that. Comfort your baby in your arms and put them to sleep but once they sleep, and you put them in the crib, wake them up a little. This might take real courage, but when you jostle them, you are teaching them a priceless lesson.
He might not put himself back to sleep for the first couple of days, but eventually he will understand that it’s safe to go back to sleep even if he is in the crib. He may cry and whimper, but he will eventually learn that he is in a safe place. So, even if he is alone now, he will simply shut his eyes and go back to sleep.
2. Break the association between eating/sucking and sleeping.
If you are helping your baby fall off to sleep by feeding him or giving him something to suck, it might get troublesome for you. He will wake you up to help him suck/eat so that he can fall back asleep. Your next step in such a case should be to slowly and steadily break the association between sucking and falling asleep. And the best way to do this is by rocking him.
When your little one is sleepy, walking him or rocking him can be a viable option instead of directly feeding him. This will help your baby doze off without sucking. Yes, you are still using rocking or walking to get him to sleep, but that is an easier sleep association to break than sucking.
Take care that this in no way implies that you don’t feed a hungry baby. Also, this practice should not start until your baby is several months old and is healthy. If your baby is hungry, he will keep crying which is a straight signal that you should feed him.
3. Break the association between rocking and sleeping
Now you need to break the association between rocking and sleeping for the baby. This should start with rocking your child, but before he actually sleeps, stopping and just holding him still in your arms. If he wails or protests, start rocking again.
Repeat this exercise. It may take you a few days (7-15), but your little one will eventually fall asleep. Congratulations, it's something you need to celebrate indeed.
4. Make your bambino fall asleep in his bed.
The next big step is to put him in his cot (bed) when he is awake but drowsy. He will surely protest, so pick him up and rock him for a while, but stop quickly and put him back to his crib. He will eventually put himself to sleep, on his own bed, without crying. But hold him until he shuts his eyes and drowses.
5. Stop holding him on his bed.
Your final step is here. You now need to stop holding him when he falls asleep. All you need to do is simply touch him, and even before you know, he will be dreaming about all things bright and beautiful. (Insider tip: Keep your hand on his forehead) With time, he will learn to go back to sleep even without your touch.
It's not an overnight process, but it definitely gives amazing results. So, start with the first step and thank us when you are on your last :) Happy Parenting!