Q: The only way I can get my six month old to sleep is stay in her room until she nods off. How can I change this habit as I can be in her room for two hours some nights praying she won’t hear me when I eventually do tip-toe out of her room.
Two hours is a very long time to be trying to put a baby to sleep. I totally understand how you get caught into this and the tiptoe or the knee crack is all they need to startle and cry again. You as you know, have become locked into your baby’s sleep routine. The reason she is taking so very long is really about keeping you around until she can’t fight the tiredness anymore and she then falls asleep out of sheer exhaustion. I am assuming that you are not patting or rocking her to sleep. If you are then the advice will be slightly different. Firstly check what time you are getting your baby down for the night it should be around 6pm to 7pm at the latest. Look for her tired signs and after two start her little routine in her room. Once you put her down in the cot, and do a few pats then you have a choice of strategies – talk to her calmly and confidently that you will be back in a few minutes and reassure her and then leave her room for about 5 mins. At the 5 minute mark come back, pat her reassure her, lay her down on her back again if you need too etc several times. You are aiming to give her a little space to work this out for herself. Again stay for only a few minutes and then leave again. Keep going until she goes to sleep. You are aiming for sleepy but awake when you put her into her cot. I mentioned a choice of strategies, the other strategy is to stay in her room until she falls asleep and then start to move further away from the cot and closer to the door, rather than right beside the cot. This is a long term strategy and takes commitment and patience and will take a month or two before you are at the door and able to walk away for a minute then come back and check. When it comes to solving sleep there is a bucketload of sleep strategies and you need to understand firstly why you baby is struggling, then know which is the best for you to help teach them to go to sleep. Then it depends which one you think you are able to do yourself. We at Babysmiles can teach you all you need to know to get out of this cycle or routine that your child has locked you into to, It does not need to be this way. It is not healthy for you and definitely NOT healthy for your child.
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