Many of the parents we see at Savvy Tot Sleep want a “No Cry Sleep Solution”. I’m sorry to tell you guys the title of this book has been thought up by the very best marketing gurus in town! Well – definitely for baby’s over 6 months. At Savvy Tot Sleep we keep crying to a minimum with parental presence. BUT with a change in expected routine all babies will protest and maybe cry a little.
By the time a baby is 7 – 8 months old habits such as frequent night feeding, rocking to sleep and use of dummies is well and truly entrenched.
The best advice we can give you is to prevent sleep difficulties in the first place.
As we say in our book Savvy Sleep the best time to start is when a baby is between 3 – 4 months of age. This is the time when babies naturally begin to sleep a little longer at night and understand night from day. Although some sleep expert’s suggest sleep teaching as soon as a baby is able to smile and coo from about 6 weeks of age.
Even then there may be a small amount of cries and protests as you put your baby to sleep in his/her cot drowsy but awake. And don’t rush to baby (over 3 months old) in the night as soon as he/she murmurs and assume they need feeding (as long as baby is gaining weight as expected). Try re-settling baby with touch and talk first. Time for dads to lend a hand to all you breast feeding mums!
True to say babies have different temperaments and personalities. Some will protest louder than others. And if you have one of these characterful little personalities our hearts go out to you. It’s probably nothing you’re doing wrong – simply that your baby is more of a “high maintenance” baby than others. You will have tremendous fun watching this feisty little baby mature and grow into a very individual human being.
However – it’s important to remember that many defiant tot’s who are emotionally labile are precisely that way due to lack of sleep. So it’s up to us as parents to teach our babies good sleep habits before they latch on to bad ones.
Now this is difficult if your baby has had colic, reflux or intolerance. All these things teach a baby to be cranky. But once these have been dealt with or resolved start sleep teaching ASAP.
A “No Cry Sleep Solution” is more easily taught in the first few months of life.
“The Controlled Crying Technique” is short and sharp and works for most cot bound babies. But who wants to leave their baby to cry? It can be more confusing for a baby if a parent “pops in” every 10 minutes. In our experience many babies become more agitated and upset at the sight of a parent who seemingly abandons them yet again. On top of which some research suggests babies become very stressed when left to cry which can be damaging to long term ability to deal with stress.
The jury is still out on the best method to use for LO’s with sleep difficulties.
Good sleep habits need to be taught in the first 6 months of a baby’s life.
As mama used to say “PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE”.