Bye-Bye “Rock-a-Bye Baby”: Help Your Baby Learn to Self-Soothe
Rock a bye baby in the tree top, when the wind blows the cradle will rock…
Have you spent many a night rocking your baby in the middle of the night, desperately trying to get him or her back to sleep? Many today say that rocking is not the way to go but don’t fret; there is help! And more importantly a life skill that you can teach your baby – how to self soothe. Here is how:
- Set the right conditions: Make the baby feel secure, that all of his or her needs will be met by interacting with them during the day. At night, dim the lights, give a warm bath, speak in quiet tones to signal that it is bedtime.
- Keep the routine: Set a bedtime and try to stick with it as it will make it easier for baby to know that it is time for sleeping. You should put your baby (or kids!) to bed when they are still awake so they can play or talk to themselves and drop off to sleep.
- Do not Disturb: Babies can be sensitive to changes to light and temperature and even the slightest of noises so resist the temptation to check in on them every few minutes.
- Be strong: No pain, no gain. Yes, there will be periods when you feel like your heart is breaking into a million pieces as you hear your baby cry. But resist the temptation –this short-term pain for you will pay dividends for both you and your baby over the long run. The counter balance to this is to trust your gut instincts, if your baby has been crying for what feels like too long, if your gut tells you need to check, then check. And remember, every baby is different so yours may need a little longer before self-soothing.
Check out www.SOSsitter.ca for more advice on taking care of baby. And it is THE resource if you are looking for a qualified nanny or babysitter to support you with your new (or not so new!) kids.