How Many Hours Should A 3 Month Old Nap For Sleep Strategies That Work

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Sleep Strategies That Work

There are times in every parent’s life when sleep deprivation becomes a problem and it is almost accepted that for the first six months, it will be a way of life.

But, babies and toddlers need sleep and you might be surprised how much! The most common problems are when they can’t settle down to sleep (it may take hours for them to drift off, or they can only sleep if you pet them, or if they’re in your bed), or when they can’t sleep through the night without waking up .

But remember that your behavior affects your child’s actions and you hold the key to improving sleep behavior, you just need to learn how to use it. It may take some time; I’m often amazed at how quickly problems can be solved, but don’t worry if it doesn’t happen in a week. Be consistent and you will succeed.

Safe and successful sleep techniques

Try a diaper

Young babies often wake themselves up by throwing their arms and legs around, and swaddling them tightly enough that they are comfortable but can’t move their limbs too much can help prevent night waking.

Place a square lid so that the corner points up. Fold the corner down and lay your baby so her head rests on the top edge of the blanket. Bring one of the side corners over her body and place it under, then fold the bottom corner over her feet and legs and then wrap the other side of the blanket tightly, leaving her room to be comfortable.

The mummy water method

The smell of you can help your baby relax into sleep. Placing something like an old T-shirt near (but not actually in) the bed can help her get away while you’re in another room.

Gradually retreat

This is a really effective technique to get your older baby or child to sleep. It is especially useful for toddlers who are not used to sleeping in their own bed, or who need to be physically close to sleep.

Every night, put her in her own bed or bed, say goodnight, but then stay in the room. This doesn’t mean you keep talking, touching or playing with her, you just provide a comforting presence. Don’t even make eye contact.

As the days go on, gradually move away from your child until you can move away from the bed and leave the room completely.

Quick return

This is a “tough love” approach for toddlers but works well when there are chronic sleep problems, especially when these involve aggression or tantrums. It’s the nighttime equivalent of “timing,” and you have to be really, really strong and clear about what’s going to happen. It is difficult to implement, but it is worth it. You can start using the gradual withdrawal method if that is easier.

The quick return technique means you put your child in her bed, turn off the light, say good night and leave the room. If she gets out of bed, pick them up gently and immediately, without talking and without losing patience (which is very difficult when it’s the 20th time that night). Repeat this process promptly and assertively as often as necessary until she finally falls asleep.

It can be exhausting, so wherever possible, try to enlist your partner’s help and swap shifts, but make sure you’re completely in agreement about what to do to avoid sending confusing messages to your little one.

Incentives, praise and reward

However you decide to address your child’s sleep problem, some bargaining will likely be required in the early stages. It’s fine to negotiate a deal that promises a treat the next day, but don’t make a habit of it. If your child has achieved the goal you set, whether that’s sleeping through the night or staying in her own bed, shower her with praise. Then set new goals and this should help her form a connection between being good and being in your good books.

Stickers rarely fail as a means of showing children how well they are doing. If your child is old enough to understand the concept of a night fairy, then tell her that the fairy will wait to see how well she sleeps, and then the fairy will add a sticker to her chart.

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