After what seems like hours of fighting to get your baby to sleep, he/she allows you to sleep for a few hours before waking once again. But not every parent is comfortable with controlled crying, letting the baby "cry it out," or teaching the baby to self-soothe.
If you fall into that category or you just have a stubborn sleeper on your hands, what are you supposed to do? How do you get your baby to sleep?
Step One: Create a Bedtime Routine
The first thing to do is to create a routine. This will tell your baby it is time for bed, and help him/her get ready for being placed in his/her own bed without any anxiety. It needs to be a calming and gentle routine involving, for example, aids such as a warm bath and soft music. Avoid anything stimulating.
When young, offering a bottle between bath and bed is normal. Baby's stomachs are much smaller and they will need it. However, as they get older, they won't need the food and just use the bottle for comfort.
Step Two: Move Further Away
Going from lying with you to you not being in the room at all will be a big step for your child. He or she has gotten used to you being there. It's important to take this stage slowly and calmly. Begin by sitting by the bed, and then the next night be a bit further away. Gradually move yourself so you are completely out of the room.
The initial part of knowing you are there, but not physically touching, will be reassuring. As you get closer to the door, your child won't have the need for you to be there.
Step Three: Provide a Comfort Item
There is nothing wrong with your child having a comfort item to sleep with. This could be a stuffed toy or a favorite blanket. It helps to ease that drowsy state between waking and sleeping, where anxiety is often at its worse. The comforter can also offer something to hold when removing the bottle or pacifier to make self-soothing easier.
Step Four: Move Naptimes to the Bedroom
Your child needs to get used to the bed from an early age. During the day, when your child is getting drowsy, move him or her to the bedroom. Let your child get used to the surroundings and realize that comforts and you aren't required to sleep. Children are less likely to then need parents in the middle of the night when they wake because they are used to their beds.
Your child isn't trying to sleep in your bed to be a pest. Your child needs your comfort to sleep. That monster in the closet is very real to children. It's time to make the process much easier for them, and you can do that with the above steps.
Talk to a business like Rainbow School, Inc for more help.