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Are you struggling with night wakings? Night wakings can be exhausting because not only are you not getting good, consolidated night sleep, but you know your little one isn’t too.
You know this needs to change but don’t want to jump straight into sleep training . If you want a gentle approach that doesn’t involve just leaving them completely how do you respond?
Step 1: Harness the pause.
Instead of getting up and going straight to your child or baby, listen and see. Do the noises sound like they are just transitioning sleep cycles? Is it a short cry and then back to sleep? Make sure your intervention is truly necessary before making the move to the crib. Sometimes we jump at the first noise or cry our little one makes and this causes a vicious cycle of wakes. When we pause we also give our little one time to potentially fall back to sleep, which means extra practice of independent sleep skills.
Step 2: Soothe in the crib first.
Start with less intensive intervention first to see if you can get them back to sleep without picking them up. Try a brief pat or rock first or shushing. Or even a combination.
Step 3: Stop your intervention when they are calm.
Even if your little one isn’t back to sleep yet, stop your intervention when they are calm. This helps give them the opportunity to fall back to sleep on their own without more help from you. If they don’t fall back to sleep or cry again restart your intervention again until they calm down.
Step 4: Increase intervention if needed.
If your little one isn’t calming or just isn’t returning back to sleep with minimal intervention then pick them up and soothe them. Once they are calm or asleep return them to the crib.
Step 5: Repeat this process with the goal to lessen the intervention needed each night until your child or baby stays asleep at night.
I hope this list helps you on your independent sleep journey. Should you decide that working with a Child Sleep and Behavior Consultant might help you have more sleep improvements please feel free to check out my packages. I offer many different packages to suit all needs and budget from a sleep strategy session to a virtual package with a consultation, sleep plan, and 2 weeks of support. I’d love to help you with your little one’s sleep! Contact me today.