It is time to sleep. Tips and theories to help babies sleep without problems.
When you are pregnant, everyone tells you “sleep now because you won't sleep again later…” and you wonder if it will really be that difficult for a baby to sleep six, seven hours straight throughout the night. Then you find out they were right.
Sleeping straight through the night without interruptions almost becomes a dream. If your baby doesn't sleep, you don't sleep either and the night really turns into a nightmare. There are many mothers who walk around the house like a zombie thinking about how to solve the problem.
Baby sleep is related to thousands of variables and there is no correct recipe that can be adapted to all babies and all situations . The best thing you can do is take from everything you have read on the subject, the advice that best suits you, your way of being and that does not create conflict with your way of doing things. You can try to put into practice the instructions from books, from a pediatrician or from a friend, but remember that the important thing is to never force our nature.
There are two books , one opposite to the other in the approach and methodology to be applied, that have made history on the subject.
We summarize them in their fundamental aspects and characteristics, without taking any position for or against.
Estivill Method – "Go to sleep kid"
You probably already know the book “Duérmete Niño” by Eduard Estivill . It is a small manual with practical and exact instructions on how to “teach” the child to fall asleep.
According to the author, sleep is a pleasure and a baby from six to seven months should be able to fall asleep on his own and go back to sleep only when he wakes up at night . You just have to teach him the right way by giving him the appropriate instructions. Cradling or holding them in your arms is prohibited. The child has to understand that it is time to sleep and that, even in case of desperate crying, the father or mother will not catch him. He has to learn to calm himself only with the objects he has at his disposal, such as a pacifier, a teddy bear, etc.
In the book there is a table that must be followed during the minutes that must pass in case the child cries, before calming him down again.
According to the authors and many parents, this method works and in four or five days the child will have learned to sleep.
Estivill later explained that his method is applicable to children over 3 years old who during their lives have learned wrong customs that are not valid for babies.
Sears Method – “Your child will sleep… and so will you”
The philosophy of this book is exactly the opposite of Estivill's. In this case we want to create harmony between parents and newborn, trying to react intuitively and positively to the baby's needs.
Parents adapt to the baby's demands without “forcing” them to their rhythms. The child and his needs are respected in a way that creates a climate of trust and harmony.
According to Sears, you should never let your baby cry because it is not through fear that a baby learns to sleep. The baby expresses his demands by crying and if a need is to sleep in bed with the parents, that need must be satisfied.
If you meet your child's needs, he will sleep better and you will sleep better too. Why should it be so negative to make our baby sleep with us if this makes him safer and more serene?
In addition to these two methods that everyone can try in the way they consider most appropriate, there are some small actions that are valid for all children and that can help them fall asleep:
- Make sure the temperature of the room where you sleep is around 20º.
- Put some of your clothes in his bed so he can smell you.
- Stop giving him stimuli at least an hour before putting him to sleep.
- Don't cover it too much.
- Try to create a ritual: let him say goodbye to his little brothers, his bears, sing him a song...