Approaches to problems at bedtime
22, Feb 2022
What to do when your child continues to wake up during the night – and you know he is old enough to sleep all night? If you want him to sleep all night without calling for you, the most important thing is to make sure that the child learns to fall asleep alone – finding his thumb, with a transitional object, or in some other way. Most experts agree that you should try to prevent your child from becoming dependent on external conditions, such as feeding, rocking and music to fall asleep; If it happens, the child will probably need the same things every time she wakes up during the night.
If your child does not sleep all night, there is a variety of approaches you can try.
• Approach 1
As long as you put your child to sleep in adequate time, you can do whatever looks like it’s going to help him fall asleep, like rocking him or walking until he falls asleep. If your bedtime routine is consistent, the waking up during night should diminish in a few weeks. If that doesn’t work, try a routine check: If your child is crying, go to his room. Give him a little tap on the back and tell him that everything is fine, but it’s time to sleep. Do not take him on to your lap, be kind but firm. Leave. Wait about five minutes and check again. Do this repeatedly, until he falls asleep, increasing the time between each visit.
• Approach 2
Help your child making appropriate associations for bedtime, creating a consistent routine before bed. Make sure your child falls asleep alone – without you, without a doll or bottle. Although these methods result in the short term, they can teach your child to rely on them to sleep, instead of falling asleep on her own. If she does not fall asleep, try leaving her crying for progressively longer time intervals, starting at five minutes, increasing to 10 and so on. Between intervals, you can spend about two to three minutes with the child, reassuring, talking and possibly giving it a little pad on the back. Do not her pick up or put her in your arms.
• Approach 3
See what time it is when the child shows signs of drowsiness and make this her regular schedule to lie down and sleep. Plan a quiet routine for bedtime and discuss it with your child, so she understands what is going to do, when, and why. Whatever the decision, the routine should finish with the child calm and awake in the crib, so she can fall asleep on her own. If the child wakes up during the night, do not pick her up or bring her to your room. The child needs to learn to fall asleep again alone, even if it means that at the beginning she cries a little. Comfort for a short time and then again every five to 10 minutes until she falls asleep.
• Approach 4
You can help your child with auto compensation techniques giving her a teddy or a blanket and helping her to find her thumb. Follow a routine of sleeping and comforting support. If she starts crying at night, change the pace of sleep waking before her bedtime. Give her love and affection, feed her if necessary, and put it back on, reassuring her because she is with you.
• Approach 5
Try changing the afternoon nap to an earlier time and, if necessary, wake the child up earlier. Keep the routine before bed. Other ways to help the child sleep are lying down with her, pretending you’re asleep, or a work approach, responsible adult: get ready for bed and make your own daily routine.
Eventually he will fall asleep while watching you. If the child wakes up during the night, don’t let her get to cry. Instead, try to find the reason for awakening (as a dirty diaper, hunger, is bored by the day-to-day routines, stuffy nose or even pajamas with a irritant tissue). Increase your level of intervention and the link to you during the day and let the father play the role of caregiver during the night, so that both parents help the child to sleep. If the child has been a consistent sleeper, but is going through a phase of great development, it is natural to wake up more often during the night. When this happens, try to numb it again without the draw of the cradle. Instead, give a little pat on the back, talk quietly and sing. You might consider taking her to your own bed.
There is no right way to encourage your child to lie down and sleep at night. You need to choose an approach that results for you and your family.