Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sweetly Sleep (3rd Installment)

Learning a new skill takes practice, practice, practice AND time. This goes for anything. Whether it's an apprentice to an electrician, or a martial artist, or a dancer. It doesn't happen over night, and takes discipline and dedication. Believe it or not your tiny baby has the ability to develop skills too, and amazingly enough SLEEP is a skill. If you've managed to get your life somewhat into schedule and have developed a bedtime routine you are doing great! However you may have realized that the tyke that all this stuff is for has not got the right appreciation for it. They have to learn to get the skill to go to sleep when all the indications are telling them it's time for sleep. This is the most difficult time for us parents. It does involve crying and we hate that! Don't let yourself feel guilty for putting your baby down and letting them fuss. I prefer to think of it as them "working it out" on their own. There are several things for you to remember at this point. GET HELP! Our son would still not know how to sleep on his own if it was just up to me. My husband and I worked as a team. I could only stand so much crying before I felt like joining in. My husband would then take over. I would go to a different room, and when I was "better" I'd come back in and join the fray. We used the method where after the bedtime routine we'd put the sprout down, leave the room, come back in 5 minutes to comfort, leave, come back in 10 min, leave, come back in 15 min. It's a rigorous boot camp, and people struggle through it. Let me just tell you it is WORTH IT! Our baby almost never screamed for the 15 minutes. It does seem like an eternity when they are crying, but set a timer and be strong. Make sure mommy and daddy are in it together and are supporting each other. It will only be a matter of days till you see results and you CAN DO IT! If we were consistent our son got regulated in 3 days or less. This is the part where you tell yourself you're doing it for their own good. Just like shots, and going to school, and eating healthy instead of junk. Your baby will be happier during the day with regular sleep, and you will be able to better enjoy your little one because you'll be able to sleep as well. Be the coach your baby needs to learn this important skill!

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