We all dream of a “super infant” set when returning from maternity, but newborns wake up on average twice a night and they need at least three months to make complete nights. Even if you are hyper physically and psychologically tired, adjust to your own pace and demand. As the weeks go by, the nighttime sleep beaches will get longer. If your baby sleeps four to five hours a night at 3 months, it’s great! Around 6 months, he will spend 10 hours of nocturnal sleep and 6 hours of nap during the day.
2. Give him clear timelines
For him to sleep well, help your baby make the difference between day and night. Impose regular rhythms for the activities of the day, toilet, meals, naps, games, walks, sleep. After having fed on demand the first weeks, regulate your diet on family schedules. Around 4 months, to remove the bottles at night, let six to eight hours pass between the last bottle of the evening and the first bottle of the morning. Living on regular cycles in the first few months will allow your little one to acquire a good basic emotional security, which will allow him to sleep well.
3. She is used to falling asleep alone in her bed as soon as possible
You have probably preferred to put your baby’s bed in the same room as you did the first few months, but by 3-4 months, you can put it in his room. Notably, because he can sleep perfectly alone and the physical proximity can disturb his sleep. Because even if he seems to sleep deeply, his senses are active and he perceives your breathing, the light, your comings and goings, your smell, your breath. As soon as he shows the desire to sleep – yawning, blinking eyelids, rubbing eyes, vague eyes – put him in bed, on his back and awake. Accustom your child to fall asleep alone, confidently and willingly: it is essential learning that must begin early.
4. One does not let oneself be invaded by anxiety
A mother facing a child who sleeps badly can quickly feel responsible … It’s a vicious circle, it does not sleep enough, you stress, it feels your stress, it sleeps even less! So, you feel guilty, you’re sure to be a bad mother and the troubles are growing! To get out of this infernal circle, believe in your abilities to be a good mother and stay zen at bedtime. Do not be anxious, sleeping is not a punishment, but a pleasure! For a child to be able to sleep peacefully and for a long time, he must feel safe and his mother is serene to know him asleep alone in bed. Be confident and deeply convinced that sleep is good for him, and he will fall asleep with confidence.
5. It is not allowed to invest the marriage bed
At 15-20 months, it is not uncommon for a child to fall asleep in the parents’ bed or to join them in the middle of the night because he knows how to get out of bed. The prospect of being alone or in the darkness of the night scares him. And you, you do not hate the idea of cuddling and keeping it all against you for the night? Tell yourself that even if he asks for it, he responds more to the need of the adult than to his own. In the first two years, childhood sleep disturbances are usually related to separation problems, to the difficulties that some mothers have with their little ones. From the age of 2, sleep disorders can be linked to conflicts in the couple. If the child understands that no negotiation is possible, he will stop his attempts to invade the parental bed. Of course, this principle can be “transgressed” if it has a fever or a nightmare scary. But telling him that it’s exceptional.
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6. We go to bed at 8 pm, it’s the right time
To go to bed between 20 and 21 hours maximum is a good habit to take until the end of kindergarten. Do not be manipulated. If he opposes, force him to respect the schedules and to settle in his bed, except for the weekend where he can watch a little later. From 2 years old, let him look at albums and play calmly in his bed if he does not fall asleep right away.
7. It is announced that it is soon time to sleep
A toddler is not aware of the passing of time and for bedtime to be in good spirits, warn your child that “bedtime” is coming. This announcement allows him to prepare for the separation, eventually ending a game started. Always use the same words, the same magic formula of the dodo, because the feeling of security in a toddler is based on the repetition, the routines, which is already known.
8. We do not skip naps
The idea that a child sleeps less at night if he takes a nap in the afternoon is totally wrong. On the contrary, those who zap the nap are so exhausted and excited at night that they have a hard time going to bed and spend bad nights. Up to 4 years, 4 years and a half, a little has a vital need to take a nap break in the afternoon (from one year, it does not take a nap in the morning). It does not need to be long, the older ones can even lie down and rest without sleep. However, avoid naps too close to bedtime, so that it does not interfere with falling asleep.
9. We spot the sleep disrupters
The life of a child is not a calm river and many factors can lead to difficulties of falling asleep, restless sleep, nocturnal awakenings. A frantic pace of activities during the day, the acquisition of a skill (weaning, walking, cleanliness, language …), any significant change that occurs in his life (moving, new nanny, entering nursery , holidays) are events that disrupt his sleep. The fears, anger, conflict, violent emotions experienced during the day, the marital disputes that he witnessed and which are revisited at night while sleeping, the vagaries of the opposition period also cause unwanted nocturnal awakenings. If your child is facing one of these occasional difficulties,
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10. We delegate the sunsets that dragon to dad!
If your little treasure does not fall asleep before 10 pm (or more) or wakes up in the middle of the night, call Dad to the rescue. Father and mother do not have the same threshold of tolerance for crying, they will not give them the same meaning and will not have the same confidence in their child’s ability to fall asleep. For him, it is usually easier to say to a recalcitrant: “Now you sleep in your bed. Your mom and I need to sleep at night. We are tired, you must not disturb us. We are right next door and we will meet again tomorrow morning. Or to go to console him five minutes at night, to say with tenderness but firmly: “It’s over, now you sleep. I will not come back ! ”
11. Do not worry if he cries a little
Once you have done all the evening rituals, being able to put your child to sleep, even if he is crying a little, is a way of helping him to grow up. If he whines a little at the time of the evening separation, leave him alone and he will fall asleep. Do not stay with your ear stuck behind the door, do not come back five minutes later to see if he’s sleeping. If he wakes up between two sleep cycles, especially do not intervene and he will go back to sleep.
12. One invents one’s own bedtime rituals
The little rituals at bedtime mean to the child that it is time to separate, but that we are with him, even if we are not at his side. Talk to him, cuddle, kisses, sing nursery rhymes, tell stories long enough for your child to soak up your voices, smell, heat and “recharge” enough in the maternal or paternal presence to be able to face the night. without you. Before 6 months, a toddler needs cuddles, kisses and lullabies, much more enjoyable than the musical mobile that can excite by its movement. From one year, in addition to hugs, talk about what your child did in his day. From 18 months, tell him one or two stories, not thirty-six. Stay ten minutes,
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13. We reassure him when he has nightmares
The period of bad dreams begins around 3 years. To have nightmares is not abnormal. If your child wakes up in the middle of the night because of a nightmare, sit by his side, comfort him, explain to him that the wolf or the witch do not exist for real, that you are there, in the next room he can go back to sleep safely. Do not take him out of bed to take him in your arms. Do not let him reach your bed, because he could quickly get used to it and you would have trouble going back … Do not plan an extra bed to go back to sleep next to him! It is important for a child to be able to manage his fears of the night, so he has confidence in himself. The next morning,
14. We do not wait, we change bad habits as soon as possible
Sleeping is a basic need and it is your role as parents to give your toddler his sleeping cash. A child who does not sleep enough will have mood and behavior problems, learning difficulties, restlessness and hyperactivity. If you are convinced that it can not continue like this and that you have to introduce new rules, it will work. Do not leave the bedtime and the eternal “Another five minutes, a story, a glass of water, etc.” Last beyond half an hour maximum, show yourself intractable. Stay the course and if it cries at night, wait 2 or 3 minutes before moving to your room, next time five minutes, then seven … If it comes to your room, bring it back in his own: ” We’re here, do not worry. But you, you sleep in your bed. If he feels that he is facing a solid limit and that his parents are calm, he will eventually agree to sleep peacefully.
15. We do not hesitate to consult if it lasts
If your child sleeps badly for weeks, if not months, if his nightmares, waking up and bedwetting are repeated, if the sleep disorder is accompanied by a lack of appetite, regurgitation, a change of character, hyperactivity or, on the contrary, apathy, if you can not, if you have the feeling to have tried everything without result and if the life of the whole family is disrupted, better consult. Talk to your general practitioner, pediatrician, PMI nurse, who will solve the problem with simple educational rules, a cropping. If that is not enough, a specialist consultation with a clinical psychologist, child psychiatrist or psychoanalyst will be preferable. Any problem of sleep has its solution, everything can return in the order, any child can sleep correctly,