In this corner mom, in the other corner baby. Let’s get ready to rumble!!! Does this phrase seem to ring out at bedtime? My baby has won by unanimous decision when it comes to nighttime fights more times than I would like to admit. Is some training in order to help with the nighttime routine? Here are some tips I learned that will surely get your little one to knockout.
Get Into Their Head
Winning the title of “sleep fighter” is something that babies and children who have a difficult time falling asleep are given. The key to beating the problem lies in understanding sleep fighters. There are several common causes to the problem.
Overtiredness. Babies who sleep poorly during the day or who become cranky and hyper at nap or bedtime are generally overtired.
Too Much Stimulus. Some babies and children are more sensitive to stimuli and plain just don’t want to miss a thing. If there is something going on more interesting than sleep they will fight to stay up and see it.
Separation Anxiety. When babies and children are not yet assured that you will return for them they can experience separation anxiety.
Soothing Technique. When babies become accustomed to a parent rocking them to sleep if they are put down before they fall into deep sleep they often awake crying.
Watch for the Signs
It is important to watch for the signs of tiredness. When you see that your child is on the ropes it’s time to take action. The following are some tell tale signs of fatigue: eye lids dropping, clumsiness, rubbing eyes and yawning.
Getting the TKO
Licking sleep fighting requires striking at the right time. You have a small window from the time your child gets tired to putting them down. It does not take long for a child to move from tired to overtired. As soon as you see that your child is tired, take the child where they sleep and prepare them for rest.
Many babies and children need a calming routine. They need to prepare for what is about to happen. A consistent nap and bedtime routine will help children wind down and understand that it is time to rest. The age of the child will dictate what is required. A relaxing routine at nap time may include a cuddle and feed for babies. Older children may need a story and milk. Nighttime routines may take longer and may include brushing teeth, a warm bath, reading a book and prayers.
Black out blinds are an option for babies and children who are very sensitive to stimuli like mine. These children generally require a dark room and need to be separated from the action. Babies who experience separation anxiety need to be reassured that parents will return. Parents need to establish a gradual separation technique.
Once babies have completed their calming routine, place the infant in his bed and leave the room. If the child cries for a few moments return to the room to demonstrate that you are still there. Do this a few more times without taking the child out of their bed. This may take some time to establish with your child but they will learn.
Babies quickly grow accustomed to being rocked to sleep. The first phase of sleep is very light. Therefore if parents place a child in their crib before the child enters into deep sleep they may awake easily and cry. Helping a child learn to fall asleep themselves requires putting them down when they are sleepy and not yet asleep. After they have gone through their calming routine they will eventually learn to fall asleep on their own without having to be rocked.