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Baby Not Sleeping?
Check These 12 Common Mistakes

baby not sleeping
{Photo by The Cobras}
Is your baby not sleeping at night? It may not be your baby. In fact...you may be partly to blame. Double check your methods by reading these 12 common mistakes many new parents make.

This article has been provided by famed author and frequent morning-show guest, Kim West. Kim, a.k.a. The Sleep Lady has received numerous accolades for her book The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight.

The 12 Most Common Mistakes
Parents Make

  • Parents don't make their child's need for sleep a priority.
  • Parents are often inconsistent in how they put their child to sleep at bedtime and in their response to the child's wakenings. For example: Sometimes I will feed her back to sleep, other times I will rock her and then finally bring her back to bed with me in desperation.
  • Parents inadvertently create more crying by giving up and resorting to their original sleep crutch after a certain amount of time. For example: I let him cry for 30 minutes and then got him out and rocked him to sleep because I couldn't take it anymore.
  • Putting their child to bed too late. Children need on average 10-11 hours of sleep at night for the first 9 years of their life! Too late of a bedtime and skipped naps will create more night wakings and poor quality sleep. (Not to mention an overtired and cranky child!)
  • Allowing their child to fall asleep being nursed, bottle-fed, rocked or walked to sleep at bedtime. Their child will then wake during the night and expect the same thing in order to go back to sleep. They are not given the opportunity to learn how to put themselves to sleep, which is a vital life skill. Teaching our children how to put themselves to sleep is one of our many parenting responsibilities.
  • Not creating a flexible schedule or routine during the day and before sleep that comforts our children and helps them prepare for sleep.
  • Not being a united front as parents and sabotaging each other's efforts to improve their child's sleep.
  • Making important decisions on how to respond to their child's waking in the middle of the night when they have just been woken up. Rarely are we at our sharpest between 2-5 AM, for example and this tends to lead to marital conflict.
  • Practicing reactive co-sleeping out of desperation. This is when a family co-sleeps because it is the only way to get their child to sleep, not because they have made a decision to co-sleep as a family.
  • Expecting quick results when trying to change a habit you have created with your child for months and often years. Parents need to dedicate 2-3 weeks of their time, energy and consistency to sleep coaching to see significant changes in night sleep and naps.
  • Many parents feel immobilized by shame, guilt and sometimes blame and don't know where to start to change their child's sleep habits. It's less important to focus on how you got here than how you are going to change it.
  • Believing that their child's sleep habits will change on their own and that they just have to endure the sleep deprivation in the meantime.
So. Have you made these mistakes? Then it's time to fix them.



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