As parents, the last thing we want is to see our children sad, upset or in pain… in fact, we’ll do anything we can to try to ease their suffering and help them feel safe, happy and loved. But, as we know, sometimes babies need to learn new habits, and it can be a bumpy road until they realize this is just the new, improved way of doing things. That is definitely the case with learning to sleep. For babies who have depended on bottles, breastfeeding and rocking to lull them back to dreamland every time they wake up, it can take a while to learn how to do it themselves.
One of the side effects of sleep training is that babies can temporarily protest the crib or their room. It’s no wonder… they associate these things with something they don’t like: having to go to sleep with less help! This is a pretty common complaint, and many parents experience it when their babies or toddlers start making changes with how they fall asleep. Some even tell me their babies start to cry the minute they walk them into the bedroom!
The good news is that it’s usually very short term. In fact, I often encourage parents to see it as a great thing. It means their child is very smart, and has figured out that the bedtime routine now means they are getting close to going to bed. This is not necessarily a happy moment for your child, because she doesn’t know how to do this yet and it’s not what she’s used to. It’s only natural that she’s a little anxious. With time and practice, though, your little one will get better and better at her own skills, and will go to bed happily.
In the meantime, just be patient and use soft, soothing tones when you put your baby to sleep. Remind him that it’s just bedtime and that everything will be okay. It often takes a very short time for babies to get over this fear and learn to fall asleep with less and less help.
When my own child was old enough to walk, she would often just go up to her crib and point to get in it when she wase ready to sleep. That’s when I knew I was on to something and that the Happy Sleep Plan had really worked; she had become a healthy, secure kid who recognized when she was tired and just wanted to go to sleep. This can be the case for your baby too, so just hang in there and soon enough your child will be going to bed without a fuss!
If you need more information about helping your baby sleep, use the Happy Sleeping Baby book which has everything you need to know about sleep! Learn more here.
You can also the Parent Resources page for sample schedules and more tips to help your kiddo sleep! Or Contact Us here for more personalized support. We're here to help!