So, there are four very effective methods to teach a child to fall asleep on their own. But in order to choose the right method for your particular case, you need to pass a simple test.
It consists in the mild impact of verbal and tactile “soothing” means that will help the baby to learn how to fall asleep and calm down after waking up independently.
If your child doesn’t sleep well, start the bedtime rituals at the same time each day. Do not forget that they contribute to tranquility: a warm bath, dim lights, bedtime stories (soft intonations of the mother’s voice lull the child well), quiet calm music. When it’s time to sleep, put the baby in the crib and stay close.
As soon as you notice that his eyes are closed, carefully exit the room. If the crumb felt it and wept, go back, but do not take it in your arms, and begin to speak quietly.
The main task – to make sure that he heard your voice, calmed down, and then fell asleep himself. Gradually, the baby gets used to the fact that when he wakes up at night, he is not taken into his arms. In turn, you can use the baby monitor to calm the baby with your voice without getting up.
After two or three weeks of this regime, the child can already sleep more or less for a long time alone in his bed.
This is a fairly humane and relatively painless way of teaching a child to sleep independently. The key point is precisely the sequence of the mother in her actions, her patience, confidence and confidence in herself (“I am doing the right thing”).
Do not dwell on the timing of the results! Remember that they are very individual. Someone will be able to teach a child to sleep independently for several weeks, the parents of another baby may need more time.
It is also important to understand that periods are possible when the crumb cannot calm down itself, but will be quite whiny and disturbing (for example, after vaccination, full medical examination by various specialists, after visiting guests or during teething). Your task is to keep this in mind and look for ways to help both the child and yourself.
Another addition: in this method it is recommended not to take the child in his arms if he began to cry. I urge parents not to reach the point of absurdity and make a decision depending on the situation.
First, prevent the baby from having hysterics, even coughing up his own saliva (and especially vomiting). If the crying intensifies, he thereby reports that simply the presence of the mother is there, her voices and strokes right now are not enough for him.
Secondly, many parents know that children cry in different ways. There is crying from pain, there is “hungry”, etc.
This option is ideal for parents who are difficult for a baby to cry. How to teach a child to fall asleep if he starts to whimper as soon as you leave the nursery? Gradually move away from the crib: every day, putting the baby to bed, you have to sit farther and farther from him until you find yourself outside the room. Knowing that the mother is near, the child without stress and fear will gradually learn to fall asleep on their own.
In turn, you will “let go of the baby” from you, and you will have more time to do household chores and yourself.
Put the baby in the crib at the moment when he is already sleepy, but has not yet fallen asleep completely. Sit next to him to see you. If the baby starts to whimper and ask for his hands, gently stroke him and whisper something soothing (“Mom is near, everything is fine”).
React to crying, but take the child in your arms only if it becomes too violent. After the baby has calmed down, go back to the place where you sat earlier.
Leave the room should be only after the baby falls asleep finally! You have to be prepared for the fact that if he wakes up again in the middle of the night, you will have to “put him to sleep” in the same way as in the evening, sitting by the bed.
During the first three days, gradually move the chair away from the bed further and further. On the fourth day, it should be about halfway between the bed and the door, and on the seventh day, you should sit next to the doorway. Stay at the same place for another three or four days, while sitting with your back to the baby.
After 10-14 days, the baby will sleep peacefully in the nursery alone.
First of all, I want to say that to sit with your back to the child is not very correct. Most likely, the baby will be anxious, because he does not see the face of the mother, her affectionate and “supporting” look, does not feel her mood. The figure of the mother sitting with her back to the child is the image of the “cold detached mother”.
Tiny can be scary (“Mom left me”). The method is declared as a “long farewell”, therefore, after seven days, it is too early to be “near the doorway”.
Of course, everything is individual here: maybe one child will be ready to let go of the mother in a week, and the other will not. Parents need to “feel” the situation. What can interfere with the lulling process here?
Emotional state of mom. For example, she is annoyed with something, or she is afraid that she will not be able to teach the child to sleep in the nursery, or if her thoughts are not close to falling asleep, but somewhere else.
The child perfectly feels the state of the mother and “reflects” him through his behavior.
The essence of the method is in analyzing and, if necessary, changing the associations that a child has in connection with going to sleep. If the crumb used to fall asleep when sucking the breast or when you shake him in your arms, naturally, he will be naughty when you put him alone in the crib. How to teach a child to fall asleep in this case?
First of all, the author advises to start putting the baby to sleep 1.5–2 hours earlier than the generally accepted time in each particular family of time. This will allow the child to avoid overwork, as well as free up some extra time for the mother.
If you notice that the baby only falls asleep in your arms, you will need to make an effort to change its associations associated with going to bed. Let him sleep several times, watch him in different conditions: in the car, at a party, when you swing him in a rocking chair. Also try to find some thing with which he is used to go to bed.
It does not have to be a soft toy! Perhaps it will be a dummy, or your handkerchief, or something else.
Reduce the time of night feedings and do not rush to the child at his first call. Learn to recognize the sounds that the crumb makes at night to understand whether he really woke up or not. Pretend to be asleep until you are sure that the child is demanding you, and not groaning or tossing and turning in your sleep.
If he woke up at night and burst into tears, give him a chest or a bottle, but do not wait at that moment until he falls asleep. Try to take a “sedative” at the time of falling asleep. At the same time, you can squeeze the child to yourself and slightly shake, saying “shsh” and “hush-hush”.
Then reduce the time of motion sickness: after waking up and feeding, rather put the baby in your crib and do the same when you are near. After some time, after giving up the night feedings, try not to take the child in your arms after he woke up (stroke him, whisper soothing words, bending over the bed), then stop at the door if the baby woke up and repeat the previous actions .
At the final stage of the application of the method, as the author says, you can calm the child while being at the door of the children’s room or even outside the door.
Here, the choice of “sedation” methods is especially attractive: breastfeeding, baby’s dummy, and listening to the sounds that a child makes. I would add another bottle of water in the period of reduction of night feedings. The main thing – do not fuss and trust your maternal instinct.
If not everything works out, and the child falls asleep badly, as before, do not get annoyed by any means, but continue to try, thereby expanding your possibilities. And, of course, remember that the psychological microclimate in the family greatly influences the emotional state of the baby.
If relations between parents are tense enough, there are lingering disagreements or other difficulties, most likely, the child will not want to separate from his mother: stay alone in the room, sleep without a breast, lie in a bed and “sleep” on their own. If he feels that “something is wrong”, he will need his mother as support: “She is near (breastfeeding, from a bottle, puts to bed), with me, I see and feel her, she loves me, I am safe” .
Richard Ferber is an American professor who studies children’s sleep problems. His technique, published in 1985 and dedicated to how to teach a child to fall asleep on his own, caused a storm of criticism.
Ferber was repelled by the fact that the baby very quickly becomes accustomed to the constant presence of the mother, after which he refuses to fall asleep on his own. As a result, as the baby grows, bedding takes a lot of time and effort from parents. It is believed that the method of Ferber from the very tender age teaches a child to rely on his own strength in achieving the necessary comfort, and also trains his patience and humility.
How to teach a child to fall asleep? Ferber advises starting “learning” from the usual ritual of going to bed: bath, feeding, lullaby. Then you put the baby in bed, wish him good night and leave the room.
Most likely, you will immediately hear the demanding whine. Then you can return to the room to calm the baby.
Get ready to do this many times, maybe more than 20 times a night! The time intervals at which you can enter the room depend only on the child’s age, his habits and your aging.
At first, you can return in at least a minute. After you have come back into the room, calm the crumbs – with words or touches, but in no case take him out of the bed!
If necessary, stay close for as long as you like until he falls asleep again. Do this all the time when the baby wakes up. Starting from the second night each time, increase the intervals of your absence in the nursery.
A lightweight version of this method: to practice the absence next to the child for several hours at a time only at night.
When trying to calm the child, it is advisable not to give him anything (neither the breast nor the bottle). The exception is a dummy, which is best placed next to the tiny one to find it.
You only need to enter the room when the child is really crying and not whimpering. Professor Ferber is sure that sooner or later the method works: the child gets used to falling asleep on his own, even if he woke up at night and realized that he was alone in a room.
The only strong recommendation is to seek the consent (or at least non-interference) of the next of kin in the process of resettling the crumbs in a separate bed.
Before you practice the method of Ferber, look into the near future. Are there trips in your family, for example, trips, when you will spend the night outside the home, or the temporary absence of the parent who plans to teach the child to sleep independently? Also, parents who are thinking about how to teach a child to fall asleep should discuss and decide whether to start using this method if the kid recently went to kindergarten or a short-term group.
Ask yourself the question: “Can he cope with such a load now?”. This method requires from the parent, in my opinion, the presence of a strong-willed side and great responsibility for their actions.
After all, the recommendation “do not get it out of bed” can lead to increased anxiety in the baby and its fastening.
Growing up, the child will either suppress it, for example, with the help of strong aggression towards others, or will be very insecure and fearful, which also leads to difficulties in communication. Try to find a middle ground.
Better yet, ask yourself: “Why am I doing this and what do I want to get? Why is this method I choose from many other existing ones? ”
But perhaps this method is suitable for children of three years of age, since it is during this period that the child is emotionally and mentally prepared for “separation” from the mother.