You know the scenario, I’m sure. Your little one is clearly exhausted, you shush and bounce and sing them off to sleep, place her ever-so-gently into the crib, then just as you’re walking out the door, their eyes pop open and you start the process all over again.
There’s a surprisingly simple reason why this happens so often, and if you’re one of the many parents struggling it, I’ll explain why, and what you can do to prevent it, in this week’s video.
You know, I can remember back to when my children, my first child. in particular, was a newborn baby, and one of the most frustrating pieces of that experience was that I would get him fast asleep in my arms, right?
I’d think, okay, there he is, he’s deeply asleep. I would go to move him to his bassinet, and if I was successful, it didn’t last for very long. And nine times out of 10, somehow he would know that I’ve moved him to his bassinet, and his little eyes would pop open, practically the minute I got him there. And for months, I wondered why, why does this keep happening?
Well, fast forward many a year, and I now know why this is happening. So if you feel like you’re stuck in that same boat, that you cannot transfer this child, I have good news for you. You don’t need to transfer this child. The crux of the issue or the heart of the problem is that you need to have them falling asleep in the same place they wake up.
Just imagine if you fell asleep on the couch, and then somehow sensed that you are no longer on the couch, and you are now in your bed. How alarmed would you be if that happened to you? Be pretty darn scary actually to realize somewhere in the process of your sleep, you were moved to a new location.
And that’s what happens to babies who are transferred is that they often wake up with a start. If they can sit or stand, they go right to that. And they usually cry pretty much the second their eyes open because they’re alarmed, they’re not where they were when they fell asleep.
So the great thing about the Sleep Sense Program is that it helps you teach your children to fall asleep in that bassinet, or in that crib, so that when they sense, when they come to a piece of their sleep cycle where they are aware of their environment, they know, oh, it’s okay, no cause for alarm. I’m exactly where I thought I was, and go right into another sleep cycle.
So the curse of the short nap, which is so, so, so common in the first scenario, becomes non-existent in the second, because you’ve taught your child how to fall asleep in the first place. Then you’ve taught her there’s no cause for alarm if you have any kind of little wake-up. And you’ve taught her that if she does have a little wake-up at the end of one cycle. And for babies, we know that a sleep cycle is about 45 minutes. Anywhere from 35 to 45 minutes is one cycle.
So it makes sense that at the end of a cycle, there would be a little transition piece, right? I’ve got to get into another sleep cycle, so that becomes a problem area where if they don’t have their own skills, they don’t know how to fall asleep without your help, then they’re going to be waking up at this 45-minute mark not rested enough, right? We know that that’s not quite enough sleep for most babies. So they’re going to be a little bit fatigued still, a little bit angry that they’re awake, and they’ll often start crying basically the minute their eyes open.
So helping them learn how to do this independently, if they have this little wake-up at the end of the 45-minute cycle, they will start to manage it themselves, and go right into another sleep cycle, and now we’re gonna start to get hour and a half, maybe even longer naps out of our children. And that will really improve their mood, it’s going to improve your mood, too. And it will just end that frustrating cycle of getting this child to sleep, and trying to move them, and it doesn’t work, and you have to keep trying. Just so much easier for everyone involved to teach them how to fall asleep independently, so that they can start doing it for every nap, and every bedtime, and all the way through the night.
Thanks for watching today. Sleep well.