In bringing up your baby, the best advice is usually what your heart tells you. Even at times when your child is set on staying awake, you, as the person who knows him/her best is in a position to know what he/she needs to be happy and comfortable. We at Molfix have listened to what mothers have voiced from their hearts and have come up with the “happy hours asleep formula”, which has received the approval of the mothers and experts alike. These suggestions will help you to establish a healthy sleep routine for your baby as he/she happily continues his/her development.

SUGGESTION 1: Don’t let him/her stay awake till late hours

Your bedtime struggles and the number of times your baby wakes up at night will be reduced in proportion to your efforts to arrange his/her bedtime as appropriate as possible for his/her age. If you are a working parent, it’s natural to want to spend more time with your child after you come home from work. Under the circumstances, you should determine the play time that is most suitable to your child’s bedtime routine and stick to it to ensure that your child gets the sufficient and uninterrupted sleep she needs for her development.

SUGGESTION 2: Do everything in moderation

Rocking your child to sleep in a stroller or by similar means, or singing him/her lullabies for long periods of time could calm him/her down but nevertheless be ineffective in ensuring his/her transition to deep sleep. As soon as your child falls asleep you must stop any movements or sound and create a dark environment in which he/she can comfortably sleep.

SUGGESTION 3: Encourage her to sleep in her own bed

Children would like to bask in their parents affection and warmth at all times; be it day or night. There is nothing wrong having her beside you, sleeping in close contact or hugging you when she is sick or scared of something. However, this/her should not turn into a habit and you must encourage her to fall asleep in her own bed by herself. Until it becomes a routine for her to sleep by herself in her own bed, you can accompany her (by sitting in a corner without lying down beside her).

SUGGESTION 4: Encourage him/her to fall asleep by himself/herself

• Set up a sleep routine and stick to this/her routine to ensure that your child can fall asleep by himself/herself, go back to sleep on his/her own when he/she wakes up at night or doesn’t need your presence to fall asleep.
• Talk to her, hug her and give her a good night kiss to make her feel secure before she falls asleep.
• You can also give him/her a toy “bedtime friend” to keep him/her company when he/she is sleeping. If he/she wakes up at night he/she can hug his/her toy and go easily back to sleep.
• Softly illuminate his/her room to ensure that he/she can comfortably see his/her surroundings. This/her will ensure that he/she feels more secure and his/her need for you will lessen.
• Tell him/her that you are aware of his/her desire to sleep with you, and you understand and share his/her feelings. Explain to him/her your reasons for not sleeping with him/her. (For example, I cannot lie down with you because I am sick. If I do I may spread my germs to you.)
• Leave his/her side gradually. Initially sit in the room with him/her until he/she falls asleep. Then stand by the door as he/she is in the process of falling asleep. In the following days, wait for him/her to go to sleep outside his/her room.
• Reduce the time you spend in his/her room during bedtime gradually. This/her way he/she will get used to spending time on his/her own in the room.

Preparing a bedtime board together with your child may prove useful. You can encourage your child to sleep on his/her own by means of a bedtime board that you prepare together with him/her. You can draw and colour in and decorate with pictures this/her board that you prepare in monthly calendar format. Mark the nights on the bedtime board on which he/she comfortably falls asleep on his/her own. At the end of the month, if he/she meets the number of nights targeted for him/her to fall asleep by himself/herself, you can reward him/her with an educational present that would motivate and encourage him/her.

SUGGESTION 5: Be consistent

You know your child best. Regardless of whether you implement our suggestions or different tactics of your own to help your child fall asleep on her own, you must without fail act consistently. If you stick to a fixed routine instead of confusing your child by giving her inconsistent messages, you will notice issues of sleep being resolved in a shorter period of time than expected.

Content provided by: ZNN Network