Thursday, September 22, 2011

Stay In Bed!

Several months ago I spoke at a conference. Afterward, a young father approach me asking how to get his son to go to sleep in his own bed, and stay asleep there all night.

The first thing I advise parents is to begin when your child is a baby laying him/her down to sleep while drowsy yet awake. You don't have to rock your baby to sleep, just a comforting, nurturing rock to soothe him and then off to lie down. Although it's hard to separate yourself from your baby, it is good parenting to give your child the gift of self-reliance early on.

When a baby falls asleep without assistance, his last memory is that he put himself to sleep. When he wakes in the middle of the night (all people wake frequently during the night, we just don't remember), his last memory will assist him in falling asleep again. As children age, they learn valuable life skills in separation and self-comfort.

No parent is immune to the antics, manipulation, and sheer energy drain from kids at bedtime. If you want to know how I handled Laura's bedtime resistance and discovered the best remedy, see p. 159 in The Birth to Five Book.

In your daily discipline, remember an ounce of consistency is worth a pound of expert advice.

Need more help with your child's sleep issues? Find a goldmine of resources listed on p. 216 in The Birth to Five Book.

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