Getting Your Baby To Sleep Through the Night Sucks
By: Joanne Kimes
We all agree that getting your baby to sleep through the night ain’t easy. What we can’t always agree upon is how to go about it. But, if you follow some of my “Zen Commandments” you may have an easier time.
1. Make sure that your child is old enough to take on the challenge. If he’s about seven months, “generally” he should be ready (I say “generally” because all babies are as unique as cheese puffs so check with your pediatrician first).
2. You and your spouse should both be on the same page of how to go about forcing the issue. If he believes in one way and you in another, you’ll be up all night…fighting about how to get your kid to go to sleep!
3. Sleep begets sleep! Don’t keep your baby up more during the day in hopes of getting him to sleep longer at night!
4. The early bird catches the Zs. The younger your baby, the more malleable he is, sort of like Play-Doh. If you don’t teach him to sleep though the night when he’s young, he’ll be like Play-Doh all right, after you’ve left the cap off for several days and is hard as a rock.
5. Don’t rush to his side whenever he fusses. If your baby wakes up in the middle of the night and you “save” him at the first whimper, all he learns is that if he cries, he gets mommy’s loving arms and perhaps a midnight snack.
6. Don’t let him go to bed hungry. Be sure to top off his tank before bedtime.
7. If you’re ready to force the issue, there are several ways to go about it. From the crying himself to sleep method (a.k.a. the rip-off-the-band-aid way) to the laying down next to him until he falls asleep method (a.k.a. the total-wimp-ass approach), you’ll find a wide range of techniques that offer a wide range of results.
For more “Zen Commandments” and further details about forcing the issue, check out my book “Bedtime Sucks” at bookstores everywhere, or my website sucksandthecity.