Getting your child sleeping through the night is very achievable.
It is not only utter bliss for all involved, it is important for the health and development of your child.
The program I work with is The Sleep Sense™ program, and it really is amazing. It will change your life as you know it if you have been struggling to get your little one to sleep well. The Sleep Sense Strategy involves gentle step by step tailor-made sleep plans that are specific to the child’s needs.
We work towards getting everyone a full nights sleep and conquering day naps so they are less of a battle (all age dependent).
If your baby or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, the first thing you should know is you’re not alone!
Studies show that up to 30% of babies have sleep problems. 75% of parents would like to change their babies sleep habits.
Here are some quick and easy things you can do – starting tonight – to help your little one start sleeping all through the night.
Five Steps to Getting Your Child Sleeping Through the Night
Step 1: Choose an early bedtime
The best time to put your baby or toddler to bed is sometime between 6pm-8pm. This ensures that your child will be able to get a solid 11-13 hours of sleep during the night. Yep, that is how much sleep children should be getting every night, up until the age of about 10.
Step 2: Put your child to sleep in the same place every night
Whether your child has a room of their own or shares a room with parents or siblings, try to put your child to sleep in the same place each night as much as possible (same goes for naps during the day). Putting your child to bed in a familiar place lets them know they are safe and that they are in a place where sleep is expected of them.
Step 3: Create a predictable bedtime routine
Consistency and predictability are really important to babies and toddlers. When they know what to expect at bedtime, it makes it MUCH easier for them to make the transition from waking to sleeping. That’s why creating a bedtime routine is so important!
A good example of a bedtime routine might look something like this:
6:20pm Bath time
6:35pm Put on pjs
6:40pm Nursing or bottle (NOTE: Do NOT let your child fall asleep while feeding)
6:55pm Story or songs
7:00pm Into cot or bed
Your bedtime routine shouldn’t take more than about 30-45 minutes. It’s also important that the routine is the same every single night. The repetition and predictability lets your child know that he will soon be expected to fall asleep.
Step 4: Put your baby to bed AWAKE!
If you’ve been rocking, nursing, or otherwise soothing your baby to sleep, this is going to seem like a tough one… It is, however, the most important step! By letting your baby fall asleep WITHOUT your help at bedtime, he or she can learn the skills necessary to stay asleep through the night.
Step 5: If your baby wakes up during the night, wait a few minutes before intervening
Everyone – babies and adults alike – will wake up several times every night. For most adults, these wakings are so brief that we don’t even remember them the next morning. However, many babies will immediately start to fuss or cry when they wake up. This is simply because they haven’t learned how to fall asleep on their own. If a baby has been nursed or rocked to sleep at bedtime since birth, it’s not surprising that they wouldn’t know how to fall back asleep independently.
Many babies can figure out how to get back to sleep within just a few minutes of waking up in the night. If your child continues to fuss or cry for more than a few minutes, you’ll want to go in and offer some comfort. It’s important, however, to let your child do the work of falling back to sleep on their own. Speak softly to your child. Do some gentle rubbing or patting. Even pick them up briefly and put them back into the cot when calm. Just try to avoid doing anything that is ‘helping’ them fall back asleep.
So there you have it… 5 things you can do to get your child sleeping through the night. Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that every child is a little different – there’s no “magic formula” that will work 100% of the time for every baby!
My passion (and my profession) is helping parents develop customised plans for solving child sleep problems once and for all. If you have any questions about what you’ve just read, please feel free to get in touch.