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Getting Your Child To Sleep: 3 Tips To Help You Do It

Getting your child to sleep whether they are infants, toddlers or preschool aged can be really challenging. It’s enough to make you want to google “how do I send a child back”. And although you wouldn’t do it even though you feel like that and really wish that there was a way to do that and then pick them up after you’ve both had a good night sleep, we all know that’s just wistful thinking. I ‘d like to share with 3 things that will help you with this dilemna. Consistency, Persistence and Planning go along way in insuring you a good night sleep for you and your child.

Being consistent means that you are committed to make an attempt to follow through with your plan every single time. Every single time that you are consistent you come closer and closer to achieving your goal of a good night sleep. You take into consideration that there may be times when you really don’t want to do this but you remember why you are doing it and that it will be a little discomfort now but in the long run it is going to pay off and be beneficial for everyone. You also consider the alternative if you are not consistent and the resulting tiredness and irritability for both you and your child, not to mention how lack of sleep affects your reaction time and ability to make good decisions will fuel and feed your commitment.

Persistence is the foundation of consistency.It is how and where consistency gets its power and strength to be able to be consistent. Without persistence, the willingness to deal with and overcome obstacles as they arise and keep moving toward your goal, consistency will not happen and you will not get your results. Persistence requires an informed mind and is all about mindset. Once you know the pros and cons and what might happen and are prepared for what might happen, you are able to be persistent. It’s having a ” no matter” what mindset and attitude. Not in an insane way, but in a way that says I know that there’s an answer to this and a solution that will benefit all.

With out a plan consistency and persistence have nothing to stand on. Think of consistency, persistence and a plan like you would a stool which enables you to sit down. For you the top is your result, so all three items are needed. I will list a few tips that you can include in your plan and at the end some resources that you can use to insure your success. A large part of this plan is planning your day, the schedule of you and your child and preparing yourself mentally. This will enable you to carry out the other parts of the plan.

THE PLAN

1. Make taking care of yourself a priority. You are going to take care of yourself in bite size chunks of time. One minute up to 10 or as much as you can get all will work fine. During that time you are going to close your eyes for as long as you can even if that means holding your child, and just breath deeply. Delegate and get support, remember you will probably have to ask for it. Placing the palms of your hands in a cupped position is very soothing to your eyes. Stay hydrated, plan simple meals that stretch, sleep when the baby or child sleeps, if you work on your lunch break. It is okay for your house to be a wreak, unless that drives you crazy, even then divide and conquer by doing only a little for piece of mind.

2.For infants try laying down your child awake on their back. Have comforting items such as a pacifier in the bed. Infants still like to be wrapped up so wrap them up. Also realize that infants have to be 12 to 13 pounds in order to keep enough food in them to sleep through the night.

3. For toddlers and preschoolers the earlier that you create and stick to a bed time ritual the easier and better. Plan this out ahead of time but also be flexible. Have them go to the bathroom the last thing before bed after a 2 oz cup of water which they probably will ask for. Bedtime should be 8pm, start winding down around 7pm with reading or some quite activities no television. For my daughter and I reading her favorite angel book worked like a charm. She chose the stories 3-5 of them each story was a page. We would take our time and she would find the angel who would be hiding somewhere on the page. Then we snuggled and said the family prayers and lights were out. We had night lights in her room so it was not pitch black.

I started sleep training her when she was about 18 months she had the fit of life. It  was absolutely horrible. I felt like the worse mother on the planet. It is the most horrible thing to hear your baby cry and not do anything about it. It is especially hard when they scream to the top of their lungs, I felt so bad. What helped me get through it were several things I had researched and read up on how to do it. I was prepared because I knew there would be some crying and hollering. I prepared my husband so we could have a united front and he wouldn’t feel terrible and give in. I also had a clear conscience because I we had a really strong bond during non sleeping hours playing and talking, me caring for her and breast feeding her.

4. Bed and room jumpers that climb out of the bed and jump out of their rooms, roam the house and eat and play and do God knows what else in the middle of the night while every one else is a sleep. Put a bell on their door so that you know will know when they are up and about. Uneventfully take them back to bed and tell them good night that’s it. You may have to do this a lot in the beginning, it will become less and less as time goes on. Remember to be consistent and persistent as well as calm. Do not play, bargain, or threaten just take them back to bed. Your tone and face should convey I’m not playing with you and stand there and hold your ground if you have to. It is okay to give them the “I’m not playing ” look. Once they see you are serious they come around.

Lastly, kids do not have to be asleep when you put them into bed. Kids and people fall asleep they don’t get to sleep, it’s a gradual process. So take this into consideration, they might not actually fall asleep until later but you want them to learn to do this on their own. Also know that there will be some tears. As you can see being consistent, persistent and having a plan by doing some research and/or reading, will help you in accomplishing your goal of getting your child asleep.

RESOURCES:

Google Jodi Mindell, PhD she is a pediatric sleep expert and author of “Sleeping Throught the Night as well as Kim West “Sleep Lady Shuffle”, http://www.parenting.com and http://www.parents.com and the national sleep foundation has some great information for adults.

Your experiences, feedback and comments would be greatly appreciated so feel free to comment and share what worked for you. There is no one size fits all  remedy but try what works for you and explore the resources given above. Be willing to tweak it a little if needed.

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