Are you struggling with bedtimes and sleep right now.? I guess what do all families have in common when they come to a sleep consultation? All of you have read lots on the internet, books and have tried sleep training and failed. Many of you may have bedtimes that are an hour long and you are missing time together as a couple.
Some of you will have tried for three days and then given up. Has this resulted in you feeling guilty and made your child feel a bit more resistant?
I want to inform you of the six common traps, so you can all have a good nights sleep.
1. Your child does not have the capacity to self-soothe.
Normally infants develop the capacity to self-soothe between 4-6 months. What does self-soothe mean? This the skill to help your baby settle and sleep alone. Most babies are not natural self-soothers, so they need guidance not just be put down and let them cry it out. It is NOT advised to let children cry it out before the age of six months. Check out my two blogs on helping your child self soothe at https://bristolchildparentsupport.co.uk/practical-steps-to-help-your-child-self-soothe/ and https://bristolchildparentsupport.co.uk/the-importance-of-self-soothing-for-sleep/
Personally, I feel every mother wants to comfort their child so leaving your baby/child to cry it out does not really work for anyone and is distressing for everyone. Small gentle steps are very important.
A well-structured bedtime is a key to helping your child sleep. Children whose bedtimes chop and change continue to have poor sleep. Bedtimes should not take over an hour. Keep it simple no more than 30 minutes. Bath, massage and bedtime cuddles,and story should be enough. Try not to play with your child before bed, they get excited and can’t sleep. Please dont use screens, blue light from the screen impacts on melatonin which regulates their 24 hour cycle, ( Circadian Rhythm)
3.Missing the core cause
If your child has obstructive sleep apnea, cows milk allergy, separation anxiety, anxiety, nightmares, asthma, pain, then it’s best to treat these first. You will find your sleep plan will not work. Its good to see a pediatrician to rule out any medical problems or see someone like me to help treat nighttime fears or separation anxiety and anxiety.
4.Not being ready
It’s really important to start something new when both parents want to give it a go. A joined up consistent approach is really important. It’s OK to wait if one parent feels a bit mixed or if you are going on holiday, or feel stressed. Its really not good to start if they have a new sibling. So wait until you have a plan.
5.Moving your child to own room and cot to bed all in one go.
So many parents want to do it all at once but if your child has had a really hard time sleeping in his own room, then its going to be really difficult to move rooms and cot to bed all at once. Take each step at a time and wait several weeks following moving into their room or from their cot to bed. Here is a free download for sleep 10 Must Do’s For Healthy Sleep Routine (2)
6.The 3 to 7-day rule
If we start to a change a behavior, then there is always a time its gets worse before it gets better. This is the same for sleep, it can be really hard when your child is upset or cross, research shows parents give up after 3 days. If you kept going then it should start getting better. This is different for those children who have yet the capacity to self-soothe, it can take longer as we have to work on this first.
In my experience, the inconsistency and giving up are the ones that are most common. Let me help you and your child have a goods night sleep, Don’t give up, take the first steps for a good nights sleep, click here to contact me and attend my workshop on the 12th of May 2018
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