You spend so much time rocking or nursing your baby to sleep and very carefully, get up from the rocker and walk slowly to the crib only to have your baby wake up as soon as her body hits the mattress.
Now it’s back to square one. At this rate you’ll be doing this rinse and repeat thing all day!
But you don’t think you can keep this up without losing your mind, so you just rock or nurse to sleep and then let her sleep on your shoulder…
Or you go for a car ride so she’ll konk out driving around (while you waste a quarter tank of gas!)…
What if I told you there was a way to prevent this from happening?
That the effort you put in to get your baby to sleep would be minimal and your baby would learn how to do it on her own?
You just have to change up what you’re currently doing…because this vicious circle won’t magically stop until she learns sleep strategies for herself!
This is going to sound a little crazy if you’ve always put your child down in the crib asleep, but hear me out, because it works.
During the nap routine (or bedtime), make sure you’re not rocking or nursing to sleep.
Keep the lights on.
No rocking to lull her to sleep.
No slowed sucking during the feeding.
Have I lost you yet? Are you thinking this will never work?
It all comes down to this very key element: You need to put your baby into the crib awake!
Fake sneeze during the feed.
Sing loudly or off key :)
Put a doorstop under the rocker so you’re not tempted to rock. (It is SO hard not to rock when you’re sitting in a rocker!)
Watch for slowed sucking or slow blinking during feeds and pull baby off to get her attention again.
Whatever it takes to keep baby from falling asleep in your arms.
Because she’ll get all comfy cozy being held, and as soon as she’s flat on the mattress, she’ll feel her environment change and wake up immediately.
Or she’ll snooze for a few minutes and wake up and you’ll be shaking your head saying, “But you’re still tired! Why did you wake up?” (Because she realized she wasn’t being held anymore!)
Putting her in the crib awake will achieve two things: help her develop self soothing strategies to get herself to sleep AND not throw her any curveballs when she wakes up. It won’t come as a surprise that she’s in the crib because that’s where she was when she fell asleep!
Actually a third thing too: you won’t spend the majority of your day trying to keep your baby asleep!
So next time you’re getting ready to put your baby down for bedtime, try to keep her awake for the duration of the routine and put her in the crib awake. This is the first step to longer stretches of sleep at night and longer naps!
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