Nos astuces pour accompagner le sommeil de bébé - Élhée

Our tips to help baby sleep

ARTICLE SUMMARY:

  • Exit crying and loneliness, make way for support and kindness
  • Baby sleep: tips and tricks, but always with patience
  • Revolutionary (or not), 2 methods to try to soften the nights
  • As parents, don't forget yourself while your child sleeps

Sleep is, for many young mothers and future mothers, THE subject that keeps coming up, even if it becomes heady. During the last month of pregnancy, we often hear: “Enjoy it while you can still sleep!” » “Take all the sleep you can!” ". Once baby is born, the point of view shifts slightly, but the question of sleep remains omnipresent: “So, does he or she sleep through the night?” » sometimes accompanied by a “Oh well, not yet? » sometimes guilt-inducing, sometimes exasperating.
What if we admitted that we cannot control a baby's sleep ? That its cycles are specific to it and can change at any time? That there is no miracle method, but above all an immense need for listening, observation and kindness ?

Exit crying and loneliness, make way for support and kindness

put your baby to sleep
For a long time, young parents were advised to let their baby cry in the evening on the pretext that he had to vent the emotions of the day, that he would never stop crying if his parents went to see him at the slightest cry, or that 'He wouldn't stop when he got tired. “Advice” from grandmother who meant well, but which we know today has no virtue for infants.
When a baby cries, it is always to express a need , never because he does it on purpose or to push his parents over the edge. So, letting a baby cry alone in his bed means letting him deal with emotions that are too strong, negative or contradictory that he doesn't understand. Is he hungry? Is he cold? Does he feel pain? Does he need company or is something scary?

What we do know, however, is that a infant who cries without being comforted sees his stress level increase. Although the consequences of stress in infants are still poorly understood, child sleep specialists believe that the repercussions can last into adulthood.
Conversely, numerous studies have proven the benefits of attention, cuddling, caresses, rocking and skin to skin on falling asleep . This kindness of the mother for her child, of the parent for her infant, reassures the newborn and strengthens the bonds of love. It could even create and strengthen the levels of confidence and empathy of the child when he grows up.

Baby sleep: tips and tricks, but always with patience

Concerning baby's sleep, if you already have a child you know, there is no miracle recipe. It's a bit like luck or whatever the direction of the wind. If you are expecting your first child, we might as well tell you one thing, the sleep of a 1 month old baby is different from the sleep of a 3 month old baby, as a baby's sleep can be disrupted after a vaccination or teething. . Some sleep through the night quickly while others take years to regulate their rest hours. Genetic or environmental, but also biological, factors can promote good sleep or, on the contrary, cause sleep disorders. Despite everything, there are some tips for sleeping well and promoting peaceful sleep in babies.

- The bedtime ritual
Nothing is more reassuring for your little baby than following a specific bedtime ritual with you every evening. In the first weeks of life, nighttime is perhaps the longest period of separation between you and your child. Of the reassuring habits such as going to bed at a set time, reading a story, a lullaby or bath time , can help you guide your baby towards a peaceful and restful sleep.
- A cool, dark bedroom
What could be more annoying than an overheated room, pajamas that are too hot or sheets that are too thick when they are unnecessary? Likewise, a room that is too bright or a night light that is too bright can disrupt your baby's ability to fall asleep. To help them fall asleep more easily and avoid waking up due to discomfort as much as possible, set the thermostat to 18°C ​​and immerse the room in darkness .
Did you know it? In Denmark (where temperatures in the best of summer rarely exceed 20°C), babies nap outdoors! On a balcony, in front of a café or in a park, it is not surprising to find strollers parked instead of scooters or bicycles. A habit that would have many virtues: easier falling asleep, longer and more flexible naps, immune system strengthened by the great outdoors...
- Put baby to bed awake
For avoid waking up suddenly At the end of the first sleep cycle, place your awake child in bed as often as possible so that he falls asleep aware of his surroundings and the fact that he is alone in his bed .
- Avoid “sleep debt”
A baby who is too tired can no longer rest because he is too nervous or excited. He only takes micronaps, is often in a bad mood, grumpy or prone to crying. He gets annoyed quickly. Contrary to what one might logically imagine, a baby who sleeps well during the day also sleeps well at night. While infants can sleep up to 20 hours a day , a 4-month-old baby's sleep time is 14 to 16 hours per day. At 6 months, a baby generally takes three daily naps, the last of which is late in the afternoon, often disappearing before a year. At the age of 3, many children only take a nap in the early afternoon.
- Play soft music
A lullaby or classical music can help babies drift into sleep. Mozart and Beethoven would also be particularly effective in this matter. To create a calm and soothing environment, place the player far enough from the bed and set the volume very low to help baby relax. You can also test the white noise : raindrops, heartbeat or regular movements of the washing machine drum, but always with a soft volume and a muffled sound.
- Use herbal medicine to help
Plants have virtues that are interesting to exploit for the well-being of children. Are you breastfeeding? Before your evening feeding, treat yourself to a herbal tea made from verbena, lemon balm or linden who will have the merit of relax you and promote calmer sleep for your baby . From 3 months, you can add other plants such as Roman chamomile or orange blossom . As a herbal tea to let cool, or in the form of a hydrosol for a ready-to-use formula, they accompany baby with their calming or relaxing effect.
- Identify and anticipate phases of anxiety
Between 9 and 18 months, we talk about separation anxiety. Between 2 and 5 years old, young children may have nightmares or be afraid of monsters and ghosts. This period also corresponds to several realizations. At this age, he or she also begins to confront others, particularly when going to school. These different changes — and many others — can create a feeling of anxiety or stress capable of impacting the quality of sleep . As a mother or parents, knowing them and anticipating them allows you to adjust different elements such as bedtime or the time needed for the story as well as your choice.

In the background, the fluctuations of life!

You may be lucky enough to have a baby who sleeps through the night quickly, or who responds well to the various little tips for good sleep mentioned above. However, there will undoubtedly be flashbacks, nights more complicated than others and perhaps more lasting regressions for a few weeks, but always interspersed with calm and increasingly long nights.
So, show all the patience you are capable of, pass on the baton when necessary and when you can, but above all tell yourself that this period is fleeting and that, if finding rest proves too difficult, there is bound to be a solution for you and your child.
baby sleeping through the night

Revolutionary (or not), 2 methods to try to soften the nights

During your research about baby's sleep, you may have discovered that there are methods, praised by some parents and criticized by others, which would make it much easier to put children to sleep. So, big upheaval in your nights or status quo? Tell us !

Reassure baby with “Chrono-Dodo”

The method advocated by Aude Becquart in her book “The chrono-sleep method: Helping your child sleep well” published by LEDUC, is simple and caring. However, it may require a certain amount of patience.
Start with ensure the fundamentals . Your baby or child is not sick, he is comfortable in his own bed and feels safe both physically and emotionally: enough to let go enough to fall asleep.
The Chrono-Dodo method then proceeds as follows: Once baby is in bed, explain to him that you are going to leave the room for 15 seconds before coming back to see him for 10 seconds . If attendance times are too short, a 2-minute cuddle break can be added.
As the days go by, the Absence times become longer and longer . From 15 seconds, go to 30, then 45 seconds... All so that your little one learn to fall asleep independently and without stress . The goal of frequent back and forth is to be able to welcome his emotions and reassure him if needed. It is indeed not a question of letting your baby cry, but rather of taking your time at each level.

Observe your biological rhythm with the Pantley method

Elizabeth Pantley is the author of the book “A Peaceful Sleep Without Crying” published by ADA. For this Canadian parenting coach, the The key to success for peaceful sleep for children lies in observing their biological rhythm . In a way, the creation of a tailor-made method adapted to each person.
The first step is that of observation. While your baby is sleeping, watch him carefully and write down everything that relates to his sleeping habits . In what position does he sleep? When does he start to move, to cry? Does he look for his pacifier when it falls? Does he look lost in bed? Do certain sounds make him jump, if so which ones?
You will then make a your child's sleep schedule over the coming months and establish an immutable and pleasant bedtime ritual. From cuddles to massages to bath time to a lullaby sung by mom, it's up to you to see what makes him happy.
Finally, gradually, baby will learn to fall asleep without a pacifier and without being at your breast . The feeding may initially end just before falling asleep, and then, little by little, become shorter and eventually disappear.
This method makes it possible to gradually give more autonomy and control to the child over their own falling asleep , but requires everyone to be ready, particularly due to the elimination of the last feeding of the day if you are breastfeeding.

And the co-sleeping in all this?

Co-sleeping is the act of sharing your bed with your baby every night. For everything to go well, the practice requires a certain amount of attention and precautions: use a firm mattress and pillows, don't cover your baby too much, and leave duvets with buttons, small bows, or ribbons in the closet .
Despite everything, once properly installed, the co-sleeping offers several advantages: baby is reassured by your constant presence, by tuning into your breathing, he has less difficulty falling back to sleep between each sleep cycle and also, he regulates his body temperature more easily thanks to yours. If you are breastfeeding your baby, co-sleeping is also a way to stay comfortably in bed together during feedings.
Are you hesitating? Are you afraid for your baby? Think about cohabitation ! This involves sleeping in the same room, but not in the same bed, with for example, your little one's cradle or cot right next to yours.

Parents ! Don't forget yourself in your child's sleep

A child who is peaceful and happy in life is often a child who sleeps better, if not well . And what could be more soothing than a happy and fulfilled family life? Also, it is essential not to forget yourself in your fight to promote your child's sleep. Take care of yourself, pamper yourself.
- Remember that the Sleep is above all a question of letting go and kindness , a unique moment each day, where your child entrusts himself entirely to you, to your protection.
- Also remember that Some children have the ability to fall asleep that others do not .
- Also remember that advice that encourages you to let him cry a little, to give him more to eat, to hold him less… is worth nothing or not much. Above all, trust your instinct! He is your best advisor.

There should be no injunction, no “must”, no “you must” in these moments. Just precious listening and sweet moments whispered to the entrance of the heart to be irremediably engraved there.

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