As we’ve all heard before, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’ve had countless families tell me they need to change something they are doing at night because a friend, book, or stranger on the street told them they are going about it all wrong. If you are co-sleeping, feeding on-demand, rocking and nursing your infant to sleep while whisper-singing her favorite songs and you feel rested, sane, and blissfully connected to your babe. . . by all means, keep up the good work!
But if it IS broke. . . it’s time to dust off that toolbox.
- Your baby loves falling asleep in your arms. Who wouldn’t? It’s when he wakes up to find that he is no longer in your arms that the problems begin. And no offense to your arms, but it’s more the disassociation that causes the alarm bells to go off. Putting your child in his crib with one eye half open will allow him to know where he is going to be when he wakes up. He will have a better chance of getting back to sleep on his own this way.
- Wait a few minutes before responding to your baby when she starts waking up. Listen to her noises. Is she fully crying or lightly fussing with pauses in between? Often self soothing sounds like grunty fusses, leg kicks, whimpers and sighs. Would she, could she get back to sleep on her own?
- Try soothing your baby in his crib without picking him up if his fussing escalates and you just KNOW he needs some love. Try rubbing his belly, patting his chest, gently holding his arms steady by his side if they are flailing out of control. Whisper a sweet nothing or two to let him know you are there.
But hey, you know where to find help if you are simply too pooped to go it alone!