By Mason Russell
As the father of a 2 year old girl, I know the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. Everyone in the family functions better when your little one sleeps through the night.
After struggling with our daughter for 2 years to get her to sleep through the night, Louise and I decided it was time to make a change. The typical night for us went something like this: rock her to sleep, carefully place in her in the crib, tip-toe out of the room and quietly shut the door. Some nights she would sleep through the night, but most nights would result in one or two wake ups where this whole process would need to be repeated. This had to be done for afternoon naps as well.
So you must be wondering what one thing you can do to help your baby sleep through the night. Your baby needs to learn to fall asleep on her own with nothing to help her that won’t be there if she wakes up. That’s your million dollar tip. Let me explain a bit further.
Your baby needs to be put in her bed awake. Now if you are just starting the process then she will probably cry and cry and cry. You will need to be strong and not give in to the crying no matter how much it bothers you. You can walk in the room and give her a little pat on the back to calm her down, but it should be a very short visit just to let her know you are nearby. You should not remain in the room while she falls asleep. If you are there then she can not learn to fall asleep on her own.
I know a lot of people use music to soothe their baby and help them fall asleep, but unless you plan on having the music play all night then you should not do this. Your baby will be accustomed to falling asleep with the music on so if she wakes up in the night then she will think she needs the music to fall asleep.
This sounds very simple and basic, but it worked miracles for us. Now our precious daughter goes right to sleep at nap time and bedtime and in the past two months has only woke up in the middle of the night once or twice and no rocking was needed, just a quick pat on the back.