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Getting back on track

Whether it be teeth, sickness or a holiday, there are going to be days where you support your baby to sleep when they usually sleep really well independently.

Let’s just say you’ve helped your previously self-settling baby back to sleep for a few nights, now where to?

Ok, so you’ve likely either let your baby sleep in your bed or fed/rocked your baby back to sleep numerous times throughout the night. Whichever you chose to do, it felt right at the time so move forward with no regrets. I always recommend check ins with quick cuddles when there is a disruption to independent sleeping. Depending on the severity of the disruption, sometimes this isn’t enough. In this case, I suggest sleeping next to your baby, not in their cot or their bed. This way you are there showing your support, but you are not directly helping them to sleep. Rocking and feeding to sleep are harder to reduce. It will be easier on both parent and child if you are simply moving further away from their bed every few nights.

The main thing to remember is to pick one technique and stick to it. If you decide you are going to go in every 10 minutes to soothe your baby and then leave the room- stick to it. Tell your partner or a friend the plan so someone is holding you accountable. Going in every few minutes and then rocking to sleep again will only teach your baby to protest for a longer period, as they anticipate you rocking them eventually.

If your baby previously slept through the night with no issues, great! You know they are capable. They will protest about you withdrawing your help but they also protest when you don’t let them touch the toilet bowl, when they don’t get the sharp knife they want to hold, when they don’t want you spoon-feeding them. The quickest way to get results is to set clear boundaries and remain consistent. The process gets drawn out when you help them for one nap and rock them for the next.

Often our anxiety about sleep during these hard times mean we react more quickly than we usually would. We offer more help than we usually would. A pick up, cuddle and return out of the room may be all that is needed. Start with as little support as possible and build up to heavy assistance if your child is becoming increasingly distressed. Remember that regressions can be temporary, there is always a way to move forward again.

If you need help getting back on track, book in for a 15-minute free call to assess which of my services is right for you.

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