Whatever the consequences of the method of accompanying a child to prevent him from crying in the middle of the night, or occasionally letting him cry, it is important for parents to ensure a comfortable ritual of sleep.
Here are several tricks to make sure your child sleeps well:
• Make sure the child gets enough to eat throughout the afternoon. He will learn that daytime is the time to eat, and nighttime is time to sleep. In this way, he will not often wake up hungry.
• Determine a regular sleep program. A consistent sleep routine during the day also helps regulate night sleep.
• Bring your child to bed early, for example at 6:30 a.m. or 7:00 p.m. Don’t get caught up in the principle of keeping your child awake, making him more tired. Excessive fatigue makes it more difficult to fall asleep. Some experts say babies who sleep early will sleep longer.
• Make changes slowly. If the child is accustomed to sleeping more late, do not immediately move the hours of sleep, for example, from 21:30 to 19:00. Slide the bedtime a little earlier each night, until you find the best time for your little one.
• Find a comfortable sleep routine, and stick to the schedule. For example, washing hands and feet, reading books, singing lullabies, then putting out lights and sleeping.
• Develop “key” signals, called Elizabeth Pantley (author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution) as a signal for children that it’s time to go to bed. Whisper like “ssshhhh”, or say gently, “Come on, sleep.” Repeat the whisper every time you take the child to sleep or go back to sleep when he is awake at midnight.
• Create a comfortable sleeping atmosphere according to the wishes of the child. Some children want a calm and dark atmosphere. Soft music, natural sounds, or the sound of water in the aquarium, can also be soothing. Make sure the sheets are comfortable and not dirty (warm with a bottle of hot water before laying the baby on it), and the nightwear is not too narrow. Younger babies can sleep better when wrapped in blankets. But do not dress the child in layered clothes that make him hot.
• Do not respond to the noise made by children. Recognize whether he is really crying, or just whining. If you’re not sure, wait a few minutes outside the door so you don’t bother him if he really falls asleep.