This is a question I often asked my first daughter when she was an infant. I asked it in a sweet voice, I asked it in a pleading voice, I asked it in an angry voice, but no matter how many times I asked, she never gave me the answer!
When our babies don’t sleep well, we tend to look for an explanation. We think it might be teething or gas. We worry that she’s too small and she needs to eat in the night, or he’s too big and he needs to eat more or he won’t feel full. The list goes on and on.
Are any of these explanations the real truth? Sometimes. But barring those times when your child has a burning fever or a new tooth coming in, the real reason most babies won’t sleep or stay asleep is that they just haven’t learned how.
We all have strategies that help us make the journey into sleep each night. We have bedtime routines that we tend to do without really thinking about it, and we do these things because they help us transition from the busyness of our day to a restful sleep.
Most of us have a favourite position on the bed that we turn to when we feel sleep about to come. Whatever the differences might be, these are all sleep strategies, and without them we’d have trouble drifting off.
The same goes for babies. Many parents who haven’t developed a sleeping strategy for their babies, will complain that their child can only fall asleep with the bottle, or while breastfeeding, or while being rocked or patted.
While this might be true, the trouble is, by offering these props, parents are creating a situation where their babies are dependent on something external to help them sleep. And that is why they don’t sleep well.
Night waking is very common in babies who do not have the skills to sleep properly and are relying on a prop. When they wake up and the prop isn’t there to put them back to sleep, they have to wake up fully and cry in order to be soothed back to sleep. They just have no idea how to go to sleep without your help.
Luckily there is hope. There are lots of ways to give your child the tools she needs to be able to sleep independently, even from a very young age. Babies are capable of learning those skills while they are quite young making bedtimes and night times relatively hassle-free.
Through one-on-one sessions and group seminars, Glynis helps parents develop a customized sleep plan that addresses their family’s specific challenges, using techniques and strategies from The Sleep Sense™ Program developed by world-renowned sleep expert Dana Obleman.
Glynis Howard has been personally trained by Dana Obleman, the creator of The Sleep Sense™ Program, whose methods have been used worldwide by more than 30,000 families to solve their children’s sleep problems. She offers one-on-one sessions and group seminars for parents, and is available to lead workshops at drop-in groups.
FREE Mini Workshop: Wednesday 6th July 7.30pm 5 Steps to better sleep (Baby to 4 yrs old). Click HERE to download your FREE tickets. She can be reached at 0416151154 or online at firstname.lastname@example.org
A well-rested child is a happier, healthier child. And a well-rested parent is healthier and happier too!