This time around, I’ll be going somewhat out of my comfort zone and do something I don’t usually do…
I am going to speculate and hypothesize!
If you are part of my regular audience, then you would know that I am big on proven, scientific facts, but today I’m all about free styling
Okay so here goes…
As parents, we all get that there is often one parent who assumes the majority of the responsibilities when it comes to the kids. Now I’m not talking about the usual idea that mom is the one who holds down the fort while dad goes out and work to support the family. But in most cases and with most of the families that I have worked with, there is one parent who assumes a bit more responsibility when it comes to baby-related tasks. It might be 60/40 etc., but there will almost always be one caregiver who just has that extra bit to do!
Now the parent who assumes the bulk of the responsibility is usually the one who handles the main things which are feeding and the bedtime routine. You’re probably smiling as you read this because, you are most probably the parent tasked with these daily activities. So, here is where I’d like to make a small suggestion… my suggestion is that you swap these roles!
Okay before everyone goes crazy, here me out, but remember this is just my theory and there is no peer-reviewed case studies backing this theory up.
Older babies, particularly from about the age of 6 months and up usually have sleep struggles related to their dependency on what we like to refer to as a ‘sleep prop’. This is usually something like being rocked to sleep, pushed in a stroller to help the sleep process or the king of all sleep props, being nursed to sleep or fed to sleep.
Helping your baby learn the skills to sleep through the night ways heavily on severing that dependence on their chosen sleep prop so that they are able to get back to sleep on their own after waking from a sleep cycle. This is one of the most important skills that will help your little one.
But as with all other skills, this one also takes times to develop and it’s highly unlikely that your baby will master it in a few nights. So, prepare yourself for a few nights of your baby being unable to sleep and end up grumpy and tired, but you have to stay the course and push through.
I must admit that I don’t blame your baby or any other one that struggles with this. I mean, I need a glass of water on my bedside table along with my favorite pillow for me to get some shut-eye. If that was taken away, trust me I’d also be kinda grumpy.
So, here is what we need to do. We need to keep the confusion to a bare minimum even though, let’s face it, we won’t be able to get rid of it in one night. So, letting the parent who doesn’t usually handle the bedtime routine run the show, your baby will be less likely to get confused when things don’t go the way they’re used to. Yes, there will be some protesting, but because you baby won’t have the usual face getting them ready for bed, they’ll tend to stop fussing sooner.
So, whether you’re well on your way to supporting your baby master these new set of skills in becoming an independent sleeper, or you’re just getting started, I strongly suggest you give this strategy a try. Now, I understand it may not seem fair for the parent tasked with this responsibility because let’s be honest, this whole sleep things are not something that you can fix in one go. There will be some fighting involved from your baby’s side and the one leading on this will probably not be getting the sleep they need. It’s going to rough; I will not lie to you.
But now I have some good news!!!
This is just a temporary uphill, and you’ll reap the rewards tenfold. Once your baby has mastered this amazing new skill, your life will have changed considerably.
So many parents who I have worked with have stressed how much of a game-changer it was to be able to leave their baby with a relative or baby-sitter because it meant they could spend some time away from home to reconnect and bond again.
The best part of all is, everyone benefits.
Baby sleeps better and thrives and you get to catch up with some quality time that you may have had to sacrifice.
So, do this one thing… Discuss how you will approach this with your partner as well as all the added benefits that come along with your little one sleeping through the night!
If you’re still not 100% sure of how to approach any of this and would prefer the support of someone who knows the drill, then let’s chat!
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