Sleep...we all need it...and we all want MORE of it! So, why won't your baby/toddler sleep?
Is your baby or toddler keeping you up at night? Is your baby not sleeping through the night? Is your baby not napping when you think they should?
There are many theories on why babies won't sleep, and unless it's due to a physical issue, most sleep challenges can be improved. Be mindful that there isn't a 1 size fit all way to help your child sleep through the night or nap regularly. With the right support, we can get your baby and toddler sleeping all night long.
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
Do you need to rock your baby to sleep in your arms? If you try to put your baby down without rocking them to sleep, do they cry and cry and cry?
In order to help your baby fall asleep without rocking, you might need to make some modifications to your baby's sleep routine. While it feels so natural to hold your baby and rock them to sleep, you are teaching your baby that in order to fall asleep, they need you. So, when your baby falls asleep, and you gently place them in their crib, they will immediately wake up and cry.
In order to help your baby fall asleep and stay asleep, in their crib, you need to put them in drowsy. At that point, your baby needs to learn how to settle themselves and fall asleep on their own. If you continue to rock your baby to sleep, they will expect to be rocked every time they go to sleep as well as when they transition between sleep cycles. There are gentle methods and techniques you can use to help teach your baby this skill. For example, you can use white noise or introduce a pacifier.
There are also gentle methods you can use to address crying. Personally, I am not an advocate of Cry It Out (CIO). I prefer more gentle methods where you respond to your baby's cries at set intervals, soothe them, and help them learn to settle on their own in a loving and gentle way.
THE SPEED NAPPER
Does your baby take a power nap and then refuse to go back to sleep? And then you spend the next few hours with a cranky baby until it's time for the next nap or bedtime?
This is a common issue when a baby's schedule is off. It's important to watch for sleepy cues and make sure wake windows are age appropriate. It's also very important that your baby knows how to fall asleep on their own, without needing you to hold them or need a car ride to fall asleep.
Consistency at nap time is also important. Your baby should nap in the same place as night time sleep, whenever possible. If your baby is at daycare, they should have their own designated space for naps every day. In addition, try to keep your nap routine similar to your bedtime routine, so that your baby starts to associate the routine with sleeping.
THE ROUTINE SLEEPER
Are you planning a trip soon and worried that your baby or toddler won't sleep in a new place?
The key to sleeping in a new place is being consistent. Pack their favorite loveys, pajamas, sleep sack, and bring a crib sheet from home. Try to stick to your regular bedtime routine and your regular schedule as best you can.
If you find that you're in a hotel room, and your child won't settle down with you in the room, try to find a place to put them where they can't see you. You can move furniture, cover a crib with a towel, or even splurge and get a suite. White noise machines are useful to drown out unfamiliar noises or even noise from the TV.
If your day is busy with a lot of activities, be sure to leave some wind down time before trying to put your child to sleep.
What other challenges do you face with your child's sleep? Comment below.
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