One in five toddlers still waken frequently during the night.
An expert in child sleep disorders has come up with a nine point plan to get your children to sleep through till morning.
Dr Stephanie Zandieh from The Valley Hospital in New Jersey suggests:
- Develop a sleep schedule with an early bedtime. “Ironically the more tired your child is, the more times she will waken during the night.
- Make sure the child has a special stuffed toy, doll or blanket which helps them feel secure when you are not present. Include it in the bedtime routine and whenever your are comforting or cuddling your child.
- Develop a bedtime routine with calm activities like a bath and a bedtime story.
- Make sure your child’s bedroom is always the same at bedtime with the same levels of light.
- Put your child to bed and leave the room allowing the child to fall asleep alone. This way they will fall back asleep alone if they wake.
- Wait for a short time before checking on a child that is crying or yelling then make the check visit as short as possible and just reassure the child.
- Use the same technique if your child wakens through the night.
- A more gradual approach is to teach the child to fall asleep while you stay in the room. Each successive night gradually move further from the bedside over three or four nights until you are no longer in sight.
- Be consistent and don’t give up. It will take time to establish the routine.