We see them every morning as they come stumbling into our Glastonbury and South Windsor daycare centers. Bedraggled parents and sleepy, grumpy toddlers. For new parents, sleep time has become more precious than gold; highly valuable and precious beyond words. Though many expectant parents understood that sleep would become a scarce commodity, often split between the two of them with strategic tactics of bribery and coercion – many didn’t know that the sleepless nights and the odd-waking hours of their little one would continue past the first few months; leaving them more tired than they thought possible and confused as to what to do. Ironically, its often the actions, or inaction, of the parents themselves that are causing the baby to wake needlessly throughout the night. By incorporating these strategies, parents can soon rest easy:
- Don’t try for perfect quiet. Hushing the whole household into obedient quiet is a surefire way to create a light sleeper. If you’ve made the mistake of allowing your baby to expect noise-free sleep and are now paying the price, invest in a white-noise machine, meant to drown out slight noises. After so long, the whooshing noise becomes a sleep association, helping to lull baby to sleep.
- Break the binky habit. We get it that pacifiers are an easy way to help your baby self-soothe, but dependency on a nighttime pacifier can actually be delaying your baby’s ability to sleep through the night. By just removing the pacifier from them after falling asleep, babies should be able to quickly adjust and not need it. There will be a few days of brutal adjustments but after that short period of time, baby should not miss it.
- Adjust the feeding schedule. Babies are incredibly intuitive and will continue to desire feeding in order to fall and stay asleep, as long as you allow it. It is estimated that 90% of 6-month-old babies can and will sleep through the night without eating . Again, expect that your child will fight you initially on this but once you have a new routine for feeding, your baby will quickly adjust.