Eat, Activity, Sleep and You time (EASY) routines or Gina Ford’s “nanny knows best regime”, No-Cry Sleep Solution (fine for small babies) or Natural Nurturing and follow baby’s lead.
And if you follow any of the above maybe your LO does not!
Some babies will take to routines like a ducks to water. Others need more coaxing and teaching into the social world around them. And this depends on baby’s personality, genetic predisposition and parental response. Many parents we see at Savvy Tot Sleep have given their LOs masses of love and quick emotional response.
Now we are not saying that’s wrong! But by the time LO is 8, 9 or 10months old parents are exhausted and often resentful about frequent night waking and poor naps.
Truth be told the human body craves routine to feel healthy. Ask anyone who works shifts and they will tell you how much it affects their health both physically and cognitively. We both remember working night shifts as nurses and feeling completely disorientated at the end of a rota of nights. Think jet lag and it will give you some idea!
That being the case imagine how LOs feel out of routine? We’re not talking about routines of army discipline proportions but what we call a FLEXI – ROUTINE. Flexi-routines are sort of “round about the same time”. They don’t interfere with days out or holidays or YOU time. BUT they do need to be reinforced as SOON AS life is back to normal.
For example one of our clients who successfully taught her LO (10 months) positive sleep patterns was terrified to meet friends for lunch in case it interfered with LO’s established afternoon nap. Well – it did! He was so excited about all the activity and new sights and smells in the café no way was he going to nap in the buggy. So – that evening as soon as mum saw sleepy cues (which were an hour earlier than usual) she started wind down routine and put him to bed. Yes – he woke once in the night but thanks to the previous sleep teaching he was quick to re-settle and woke 15 minute earlier in the morning. The following day routines were back to normal.
It was parental response that helped (taught) him what to expect. What we’re saying is a big “YES” to flexi-routines. Of course, in the early months you are establishing (teaching) routines. You can try teaching routines from birth HOWEVER many babies take several months to adjust to life outside the womb. With repetition, consistency and parental perseverance positive sleep patterns can be taught and learned. And re-learned after high days, holidays and disruptions to routine
P.S If your baby isn’t settling well see your G.P to rule out any medical concerns such as allergy or intolerance.