Over the years of putting our own children to sleep and keeping them asleep, and counseling thousands of other moms and dads on various styles of nighttime parenting, here are some time-tested, proven attitudes and techniques. Most of these are applicable to infants and toddlers of all ages.
1- Develop a realistic attitude about nighttime parenting. Sleeping, like eating, is not a state you can force a baby into. Best you can do is to create a secure environment that allows sleep to overtake your baby. A realistic long- term goal is to help your baby develop a healthy attitude about sleep: that sleep is a pleasant state to enter and a secure state to remain in. Many sleep problems in older children and adults stem from children growing up with an unhealthy attitude about sleep—that sleep was not a pleasant state to enter and was a fearful state to remain in.
2.Stay flexible. No single approach will work with all babies all the time or even all the time with the same baby. Don’t persist with a failing experiment. If the “sleep program” isn’t working for your family, drop it. Develop a nighttime parenting style that works for you. Babies have different nighttime temperaments and families have varied lifestyles. Keep working at a style of nighttime parenting that fits the temperament of your baby and your own lifestyle.
3Get baby used to a variety of sleep associations. The way an infant goes to sleep at night is the way she expects to go back to sleep when she awakens. So, if your infant is always rocked or nursed to sleep, she will expect to be rocked or nursed back to sleep.
Tell us what works for you?