Okay For 6 Week Old To Sleep Through The Night Solving Baby Sleep Problems – It’s Time to Sleep

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Solving Baby Sleep Problems – It’s Time to Sleep

If you are a parent with a young child, here’s a question that may be bothering you – what were you doing this morning at 1am, 3am or 5am. Did you sleep like a baby or did you really hug and rock your little cherub in an attempt to get them back to sleep? After all, that’s what being a parent is all about – isn’t it?!

A lucky few will have slept through the night, but a large percentage of the parenting population will have been up feeding or packing the floor with the little pieces of joy.

Just as your newborn weaves magic through your heart, the effects of sleep deprivation can cast a spell on your body and mind. One in three children have serious sleep problems before they reach school age, but in many cases they can be overcome – and it doesn’t have to involve leaving your baby crying for hours.

So, Why don’t young children sleep?

We all sleep in cycles that include blocks of light and deep sleep. If you put your baby to sleep or let them fall asleep at the breast before you put them down, you are heading for problems. Your baby goes into a stage of light sleep and is more likely to wake up because they realize they are alone. They cry, you go back to them and because you don’t know any other way, you pick them up, rock them back to sleep and put them back in their cot. And the cycle continues!

Common sensory pathway

Controlled comfort was designed by Australian maternity nurse Rhonda Abrahams. It’s kinder than controlled crying. ‘A baby under the age of 6 months should not be left to cry,’ said Ronda ‘older babies should not be left for more than 10 minutes crying.’

Rhonda based her approach on common sense. “Babies need to learn to go to sleep on their own so they can settle themselves back to sleep if they wake up at night,” she explains. To work, the techniques must be used for all type of sleep, otherwise your baby will get mixed messages. And the little ones learn by repetition. So you should use this habit for sleeping during the day and at night .

Ready or Not?

Before starting the program…

Make sure your baby is well. If they get sick just as you start the new routine, stop and start again when they are better.

Make sure you’re well – it won’t do you any good to start a new routine while your body is under stress.

Try to keep a fairly free week to devote as much time and effort as you can to doing the routine work. A busy schedule will make it harder, and it will take longer to work.

If anyone else is looking after your baby, make sure they know what’s involved – nothing ruins a new procedure as quickly as mixed messages.

Get a small night light so your baby can see their surroundings when they wake up.

It’s just current

Regular practice is the surest way to get a baby or toddler to sleep independently. The little ones respond to a pattern of events that we are familiar with, and sleeping in the same environment every night provides a sense of security and comfort. Establishing a bedtime routine will benefit not only your child, but also ‘you and your partner as you can have some quiet adult time’.

Encourage patterns in your newborn’s life, as these will turn into routines – and babies learn from repetition. Keep in mind that a habit can be created in just three days!

The best way to establish a routine is to use the feed/play/sleep method. During the day when your baby wakes up, feed them and then let them play for a while. Pay attention to signs of tiredness (fading, rubbing the eyes, bleeding, hiding the face). When you notice them, you need to start fixing them. Take weight before the bosom of the day; in the evening, give them a relaxing bath. Baby massage can also calm your baby. Never stimulate your child before bedtime or think that the longer you keep them up, the more tired they will become and the easier it will be to put them to sleep. It is more difficult to settle an overtired baby, and if you wait until they are tired to start their last feed, they will fall asleep while you are feeding them. The main challenge with this is that your baby will get scared when they wake up in the cot alone and wonder where you are; after all when they fell asleep they were in your arms!

Settlement – newborn – 6 months

If your baby is unusually uncooperative, prepare yourself for some crying – it helps to have someone else there to help you.

1. Wrap your baby firmly, but not tightly, in a small blanket or pram sheet, covering their hands to help them feel more secure and prevent them from catching themselves against them if they look around .

2. Place them in bed on their side so that they are facing away from you (avoid eye contact), with their feet close to the end of the cot. Remember that this is not the position they sleep in – you turn them on their back when they are asleep. In the meantime, they will not come to any harm, because you will be in the room with them the whole time. Look at the clock and make a note of the time. You are going to give them 15 minutes to settle down.

3. They may have started crying by now. Place one hand on their shoulder and gently stroke their back or pat their bottom gently with the other hand. They may continue to cry.

4. If, after 15 minutes, they are still crying and don’t seem to settle, pick them up and give them a hug (don’t rock them to sleep – remember this is what you are trying to avoid ).

5. Once they have settled, put them back in their nose, facing the other way this time, and try another 15 minutes of settling. Put one hand on their shoulder and pat or stroke them, as before. If they start to quiet down, remove your hand – the idea is that your baby will calm down.

6. Once your baby is sound asleep, roll them gently on their back, unwrap them and leave them.

7. If your baby is still crying, pick them up, hold them, and start again.

The most important thing is persistence. New habits take time, but just think how much more enjoyable parenting is when you’re getting a good nights sleep.

Set 6 – 12 months

Again, it really helps if you have support. With this method your baby will not be left alone to cry for more than ten minutes at a time. Are you ready? Well here goes!

1. Lay your baby in the cot on their back. Make sure their feet are at the end of the bed and tell them “It’s time to sleep now”. Leave the room and wait for two minutes. You want to give your baby a chance to fall asleep on their own. As soon as they realize they are alone they are likely to start complaining. If they don’t settle within 2 minutes, then go back in.

2. Roll them on their side, facing away from you. Place a hand on their shoulder and continue to gently stroke their bottom or upper thigh with the other hand. Do this for two minutes, repeating the words “It’s time to sleep now” in a calm and soothing voice. If the child is still complaining after two minutes, leave the room, and stay outside, this time for four minutes.

3. If they still haven’t settled, go back in and try to settle, this time for four minutes. The next time, it will be six minutes, then eight minutes and finally ten minutes.

4. If, after the ten minute session, they still don’t seem to have calmed down, pick them out of the cot, give them weight, calm them down (make sure you don’t rock them to sleep ), and when they are on. set the process to repeat.

You will notice that your child’s crying will reach a peak, and then it will end, very quickly, until they finally settle themselves to sleep.

As pointed out throughout this article, persistence is the key to success. If you follow this practice to the letter then within 3 – 10 days your baby should be sleeping through the night, and able to put themselves back to sleep, if they wake up.

Good luck and happy sleep!

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