Author Topic: Better Sleep for Babies 101  (Read 21386 times)

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Offline Kimberlyģ

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Better Sleep for Babies 101
« on: March 04, 2006, 20:26:08 pm »
A lot of the information listed in this post is similar to the information I give regularly. If elaboration is needed please just ask. I think that unfortunately people often have an idea in their head of how things should be and then are bitterly disappointed in how it really is. I think people need to stop pressuring themselves, their baby, and others to fit into a mold that just doesnít fit. Iím writing this to broaden that mold and it give each person who is struggling or loosing hope the chance to have that back. While not every child will sleep through the night, and not every child will go 12 hours I think thatís what every parent wants. I know I did, and when I didnít have it I was miserable. The second I stopped thinking of it as my babies sleep problem but mine things just got easier. There was no more pressure and my LO adjusted to my new disposition. I have no doubt the ďproblemsĒ I was having with her sleep were entirely me. The following is just some insight from me with the inspiration of Tracy. I never got to meet her but I feel I know her through her books and I am thankful for the day I found them.

   I believe in the magic number. The magic number is the internal bedtime that a child has. Itís my personal belief that every child has one. I believe that number is between 7pm-8pm any later and problems tend to creep up on you.  This isnít something everyone agrees on but you can decide for yourself what you think. Itís just a matter of the parent finding it. Not an easy task, but a doable one. I believe this combined with many other aspects leads to a great sleeper.

   My goal is to help you find what works for your child through observation and care. When this is achieved the baby will be getting the sleep he/she needs and the parents will have one less stress to deal with. I understand that some want to keep children up so they can see a parent who works late, and while I understand, I don't think thatís helping the child. The childís needs must be met first.

   I fear many parents are under the misguided impression that the later they keep there infants up, the longer they sleep at night. In fact the opposite happens, the baby gets over tired and over stimulated and then both parent and child are cranky and stressed out.
First you need to know your child. I don't mean to say you don't know your child. I'm sure you do, I mean know your childís temperament, sleep habits, eating, and habits. Watch and listen to your child for a few days. Really watch, as if their lives depend on it. Patterns will emerge and youíll see a different side of your child. You can't get anywhere if you don't do this. This is explained by Tracy through SLOW ( S.L.O.W. down (and Appreciate your Baby's Language) ).  It both helps you truly hear your child and learn about the temperament of your child. Be he/she Spirited, Touchy, Grumpy, Angel, or Textbook. Once you know what type of baby you have you can follow accordingly.  Take the quiz here: The BW "Know Your Baby Quiz"
   Second you have to establish a good routine. Itís the back bone of any successful sleeper. If you don't have a routine your baby doesn't know what to expect. You need to build your routine and gear your expectation to your child's type and to their needs. Tracy has taught us that, she's given us a great outline to work with. The EASY routine can be started within days of coming home or months later. Itís flexible and reliable for both parent and child. Once a solid routine is built you can focus on bedtimes and sleeping through the night. Often this is dependent on the childís age as well as temperment.

   Third, have reasonable goals for yourself and your child. You canít expect a 3 week old to sleep 12 hours at night. Iím sure someone out there will say itís happened to them, but the majority of 3 week olds still wake at least 2 times a night. You also canít expect yourself to do everything. Ask for help when you need it or youíll burn out. Donít expect to know all the answers and donít be afraid to be wrong. Always do what you think is best, and as Tracy says ďdo as you intend to continueĒ and most importantly DONíT GIVE UP!! Thatís very important.

   Forth, when you ask for help, listen and be open minded. Thereís nothing worse than working really hard to help someone just to have it thrown aside without a care.

   Fifth, pass it on. When someone helps you pass that assistance down, even if itís for something else, send the help out and itíll come back to you.

These are just some of my thoughts to assist parents or even just to clarify info that may not be entirely understood. If thereís anything else you think might be helpful, or want clarified (including what I wrote here) I can answer and I can elaborate.  Please let me know what you think of this and if itís of any help what so ever.

Another fact I feel very deeply about is controlled crying (CC) or Cry it out (CIO) I don't think either should be used on your child. Tracy gives us the tools we need to not use them, to teach our child to sleep, while building on the existing bond. When you do CC or CIO your braking the bond you have worked so long to build. Your child doesn't understand why you wont come.

Alternative methods to use are:

Pat/Shush; you can use this to help sooth your child through the first stage of sleep until they learn how to transition themselves.  Read more here:  Shush-pat - How to

PU/PD; the method that requires a lot of work, but it's worth while work. You go to your child, pick them up and calm them, put them back down and repeat this process until they settle to sleep. This also helps to teach and encourage independent sleep.  We have an entire board devoted to PU/PD here:  Pick Up/Put Down

Wake to sleep; this requires you to set your alarm at night one hour before your LO's normal wake time and go to your child and wake them to semi wakefull state so they brake the wake cycle, or during the day for 45 min naps at about the 30 min mark go to your child and do the same thing.  Read more detailed instructions here:  How do I address habitual wakings?  (wake-to-sleep and other methods)
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 11:53:07 am by amayzie »