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Getting your baby to sleep

Three tips from the experts

by Patrice Cosier  |  1923 views  |  2 comments  |        Rate this now! 

I read recently about a couple who had so much trouble getting their baby to sleep that they hired a sleep consultant. After paying this consultant $400, they learned that that there were three tips for getting their child to sleep, and they spell out “BED”:

1.) “B” is for bedtime routine, which means having a consistent ritual at bedtime.

2.) “E” is for early to bed.

3.) “D” is for down awake -- better to put a children to bed while they are still awake so that they can comfort and soothe themselves.

This is, of course, good information, if not a bit obvious. Children learn through repetition and consistency. Being consistent requires attention, dedication, and discipline on the part of the parents, which can be quite a challenge in our world. Sometimes it’s easier to indulge children, playing with them too close to their bedtime, reading that extra story, letting them have a little ice cream. Or maybe Daddy’s on his way home a little late and the child wants to see him. And children often resist bedtime, manipulating their parents to stay up longer. There are a myriad of reasons why a child can get off schedule.

It takes a focused parent (and a well rested one!) to gently enforce healthy pre-bedtime habits. I’ve witnessed homes where the children ran around after their (alleged) bedtimes because the parents were inconsistent and lacking follow-through in their directives to the children. And not surprisingly, these same children were often up in the middle of the night.

The irony is, that as difficult as this may be to enforce, in the long run it makes everyone’s lives easier. The children learn boundaries, self soothing skills and can look forward to a peaceful bedtime ritual. The parents enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done. And everyone finally gets a good night’s sleep.

2 comments so far...

  • I did pretty well with the bedtime, and the early, but for the life of me, my little one will NOT go to sleep by herself. She is two and half now and still won't be in a room by herself and go to sleep.

    She will just scream and scream and scream. For hours, if I would let her.

    So now I just consider it part of my snuggle time with her and she's out in a few minutes usually.

    Just don't know how/when she will grow out of it??


    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Jackie Lee on 10th October 2008

  • Great advice. I had mine in this exact routine until vacation. It was hard to put him down because we were still awake and he would pop up and start jumping in his pack and play. The whole routine went kaput. He hasn't wanted to be put to bed alone since we got back. I tricked him last night and it totally worked. I did the routine and put him in the crib. Instead of turning out the lights - which is when he starts to scream for an hour - I left the light on and pretended that I would be back as if I just had something to do really quickly (kind of deceitful, yet necessary). He fell asleep in 10 minutes. Once I was sure he was asleep, I went in an turned off the light.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by oceans mom on 10th October 2008