All parents are very eager to raise perfect and happy children. We do this by being very responsive to their needs but we might be sabotaging our own and our child’s sleep in very subtle ways.
1)Your child isn’t falling asleep independently.
You’re rocking, feeding, or cuddling them to sleep. Your child therefore has sleep associations or props; this could include a dummy, a bottle or mum’s breast or being rocked to sleep. The child can only fall back to sleep with these props…
2) Your child is put down “drowsy but awake”
Drowsy but awake is only in order for newborns (0-4months). When baby is put down drowsy they’re already in the first stage of sleep. They’ll either fight sleep when you lie them down drowsy or they’ll fall asleep but will associate the place and situation they were in during that drowsy phase with sleep. In other words when they wake up in the middle of the night, and you’ve moved them they’ll go: wait a minute, I was in mum’s arms when I went to sleep and where am I now? Cry!!!!
3) Your child is fed too close to sleep.
We want to make sure feeding and sleep are two separate events. The best way is to feed baby when they wake up in the morning and right after their naps. Give the last feed before bedtimes at the start
of your bedtime routine say before bath time. Take home: Even if baby is not falling asleep feeding; when a feed occurs to close to sleep it can cause a sleep association.
4) Your child is over tired due to a lack of quality naps during the day.
The longer baby sleeps during the day (obviously it should be age appropriate and not in excess); the better they will sleep at night. Naps are not optional: they’re essential! Keeping baby up later or not
allowing for long enough naps during the day will backfire because of accumulative sleep debt making your child over tired and unable to sleep. You’ll be surprised how well your child sleep at night time when they sleep enough during the day.
5) You’re being a very eager mum by rushing in to the smallest little
stirs from your child’s room in the middle of the night.
If you rush in at the smallest sound because you don’t want baby to feel pain or discomfort you won’t allow your child to learn the art of self-soothing. Wait 10min before entering their room. (Obviously newborns on their more frequent feeding schedule is a different thing.) Anxious parents probably will feel more at ease if they have a monitor in the room to make sure their child is ok while they’re waiting for the child to self settle. If you allow your child to do this by themselves they will return to sleep after a while: this is when they’ve learned the art of self-soothing.
Try and avoid these mistakes and you might be pleasantly surprised by your child’s ability to sleep through the night!