What do you do if you don’t hear about Babywise or Preparation for Parenting until your baby is already six or twelve months old? Baby is not sleeping through the night and you want that to change…but is it too late? Absolutely not! If you are in that situation and have a desire to correct the problem, here are some guidelines for establishing continuous nighttime sleep:
- Make sure you have read all of Babywise/Prep for Parenting and understand the concepts before doing anything.
- Do not try to make any changes while out-of-town guests or relatives are visiting. You do not need the added pressure of explaining everything you are doing.
- Start the process of change when your baby is healthy.
- Work on your baby’s daytime routine for the first 4-5 days. Keep in mind his three basic activities in the right order: feeding time, waketime, and naptime.
- Determine the appropriate number of feedings in a 24-hour period for your child’s age. For example, a three-month-old baby should be receiving four to five feedings a day. If baby is six months old, he should be receiving three meals a day with a nursing period or bottle just before bed.
- If you have been rocking or nursing your baby to sleep at naptime, now is the time to eliminate that habit.
- Be prepared for some crying. You are moving from high-comfort sleep manipulation to training in sleep skills. Initially, your baby will not like this change but it is necessary for his healthy development. The crying only means he has not yet developed the ability to settle himself. That goal is precisely what you are working toward.
- Be patient and consistent. For some parents, success comes after one night; for others, it comes after two weeks. The average is three to five days.
- Continue to think about and look toward long-term benefits. Your proactive response is best not only for your baby but also for your entire family.
Retraining is always more difficult than training correctly from the start, but parents who love their babies give them what they need – and young children need a good night’s sleep! Moms who have seen their babies make the transition from sleepless nights to peaceful sleep report that their daytime disposition changes dramatically as well. They are happier, more content, and definitely more manageable. We trust this will be the case with your baby as well. For more helpful information, connect with a Contact Mom at https://christianfamilyheritage.org/ask-a-mom/
Excerpt taken from On Becoming Babywise by Dr. Robert Bucknam and Gary Ezzo.