Baby to bed awake?!
So you've put your baby in their bed awake (yay!), but now what?
They're most likely crying, and maybe your heart is pounding and you worry about what to do next...
I got you.
Here's where to start:
1) Choose a method: Leave & Check or Stay in the Room
Prior to putting your baby in their bed awake, decide if you'd rather stay in the room with them, or leave and do check-ins.
For myself, I'm a fan of leave & check, but some parents really want to stay in the room, and that's ok!
Stay in the room: Sit in a chair near their bed, and move it every few nights towards the door.
Leave & check: Leave the room, check in on the baby if they're still crying 5-10 minutes later, and repeat check-in if they continue to cry until they fall asleep.
2) Next: Offer comfort & reassurance, but don't do the work for them
What I mean by this is that it's your job to:
Have a calm, soothing voice
Reassure them that they're okay
Be present while they work on this new skill
It's their job to:
Figure out what it feels like to fall asleep in their bed
Feel what it's like to fall asleep without assistance
Try to do it on their own
(They totally can and I want you to believe for them that they can!)
Q: But Melody, how long does this go on??
A: Well, the very first night that you do this, it can be an hour (eek!) I know, I know. But trust me, getting started is almost always the hardest part.
Q: Is there a point where I would pick them or take a break?
A: Yes! If they become super upset, and you really feel the need to pick them up, please do! Just know that they won't like going back to the crib (so set your expectations...)
And if you've been attempting bedtime for an hour, take a break for 15 minutes and then try again.
3) They fell asleep! YAY! But now what about night wake-ups?
Depending on the age of your baby, you'll want to set a night feed minimum.
For example, no feeds before 10 pm, and then only one other feed but it has to be at least 3 hours later.
On the non-feed wake-ups, I want you to wait 10 minutes before responding!
There's a bit of magic in the 10 minutes, so don't go in at 9 minutes, wait for the full 10!
4) I want you to do this for 3 nights before changing anything!
Doing a new strategy for one night isn't enough to help your baby learn a new skill, give yourself 3 nights to really try, and see what happens!
I believe in you!
Did you know that when I work 1:1 with clients, we discuss strategies like this and so much more?
My clients get nap strategies, night feed/night wake-up strategies, and so much more!
If you know that you'd need some help doing this, then let's talk!
Book a quick free 15-minute 'get to know you' call here!
What to expect on this call:
You'll share what's going on with your baby and we review any health, or weight concerns.
Based on your baby's age, I share common milestones to expect with sleep.
Then we talk about how working together can help you reach your sleep goals!
You get to decide if it's a fit for you!
Can't wait to hear from you,
What toddler parents want to know
When bedtime isn't going so well