When you need someone to watch your kids for the night, there’s nobody better than Grandma and Grandpa. They know their stuff, they have years of experience, and they’ll usually jump at the opportunity to spend some time with their favorite little people.
But they might also have their own way of doing things, and if you’ve put in the effort to get your babies sleeping independently through the night, then Grandma steps in and breaks all the rules, it can bring back those old bad habits in a hurry.
In today’s video, I’ve got some tips for you to help bring your parents on board with your sleep training journey. How to establish the rules, draw clear boundaries, and ensure that they stick to the plan without forcing them to hold back on all of that grandparental affection they’re entitled to.
My grandmother had 15 children. Yep, that’s what I said, 15 children.
And so, when I told her 15 years ago that I was going to start a business where I helped parents get their children sleeping well, she looked at me like I was crazy, and I get it. Times were different then. She had all of these children. It was sink and swim. She said, “I don’t know why anyone would need help with that, they just sleep when they’re tired.”
So today I wanna talk to grandparents out there. Now, you have been blessed with a grandchild, and it looks like a pretty fun gig. I totally am looking forward to the day where I too will be a grandmother. But when your son or daughter has been working really hard to get a baby on a sleep schedule, it makes them feel pretty uncomfortable when you don’t follow along.
And so I wanna just give you a little bit of advice today, a couple of tips on how you can help your son or daughter keep their baby on sleep track. And the good news is, the more you keep this baby on sleep track, the more you’ll be invited to babysit. And if that’s something you love to do, then more is going to come your way.
So first of all, in the last, I would say, 10 years we’ve just learned so much more about the science behind sleep. It’s just really exploded, our knowledge about why we sleep and how important it is. So what I can tell you about babies is that they absolutely need daytime sleep as much as they need nighttime sleep. In fact, the better they nap throughout the day, the better than more consolidatedly they’re gonna asleep at night.
We know now that over-tiredness is really a baby’s worst enemy. And the more overtired she gets, the worse the night is going to look. Also too, with babies, the more overtired they get, the more grouchy they get. And so what could be a lovely babysitting experience is most likely gonna turn into not that much fun for you or the baby, because she is going to be grouchy.
Now some more good news is the more she practices sleeping at your house, the better she is going to get. So the first few times this happens, you’re most likely gonna get a little bit of protest or a little bit of pushback from the baby, because the environment’s a little bit different.
It’s Grandma, she’s not sure if the rules are the same with Grandma as they are with Mommy, and there might be a little bit of a back step, and that is okay. I’m sure your son or daughter has explained to you that we are teaching a baby independent sleep skills and sometimes that goes wonderfully and sometimes that is a little bit tricky, especially if she’s in a new environment. So just follow the lead of Mom.
Most likely she’s gonna be there for the first few times to help you out, or has given you very clear instructions about what to do if there’s any kind of protest. Once the baby gets comfortable and understands that the rules are the same at Grandma’s house as they are at home, then she’s gonna become an excellent sleeper at your house as well, and this applies to bedtime too. And then you can have sleepovers, then you can babysit while they go away for the weekend, and this will all work wonderfully for you.
More good news is that when a baby’s sleep needs are honored and really, their sleep needs are as important as their food needs, so I am positive that you would not not feed this baby all day. That would never occur to you, I’m positive about that. So if you can put sleep right in line with food and treat them both as equally important, then that will also help you keep to the schedule and understand that this is just as important and is gonna make your life a lot easier.
That is the third bit of good news is that when you follow a baby’s sleep schedule, and they take great naps, and they’re sleeping well through the night, they are an absolute dream to be around. I can remember the first time my in-laws babysat our first son, and of course I explained the schedule, had it all outlined on the refrigerator.
I had explained in great detail how to follow his schedule, and they smiled and they nodded and they agreed, probably thinking we’ll do it our way as soon as she leaves the house, and when we got home my father-in-law said to me, wow he is the best baby. He’s such a good baby if you follow his schedule. So that tells me that there might have been a day where they didn’t follow the schedule, and they suffered the consequences with a grouchy baby who wasn’t doing so well.
So, I hope that gives you some food for thought. I know what happens at Grandma’s place stays at Grandma’s place, but I want you to just think about sleep being as important as anything else in this child’s life.
Thanks so much for watching today, sleep well.
If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 57,00 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you!