Wake to sleep is a very new concept for me. My daughter is 9 years old and this idea would have been helpful about 9 years ago! However, reading it now and not even having a baby who doesn’t sleep for extended periods, the process seems daunting. I imagine a new mother or tired mother or busy mother, reading this and screaming and then crying!
Here, I want to try and simplify if for you because I can empathise the difficulty of trying to commit to what may seem a complicated method.
Wake to sleep is basically re-programming your baby to sleep in a pattern that is conducive to our lives. We don’t want a baby to wake every 30 minutes – this is not good for you or baby. Secondly, babies having extended naps because he/she is waking too early in the morning is also an issue.
Plan for success and plan a week when baby is well and you are the best you can be. Also plan to do it in a week that is more normal than others (not when people are staying or if it is Christmas week!)! It is also vital to determine the child is waking as a habit and for no other reason (nappy issue, sick, hungry).
Don’t give yourself a time for the ‘wake to sleep’ method to work – just put the plan in place and wait for the results.
A big part of the success of this method is knowing your baby and their other habits, such as a light sleeper, a restless sleeper, noisy sleeper. By just being the child’s Mum or Dad – you will know this – so this one is an easy step!
So, basically we are trying to change the baby from waking when it is too soon. To re-train baby you have to interrupt their sleep so the child is able to start the sleep cycle again.
The secret is not to fully wake them, but don’t stress this will probably happen the first few times. Depending on your child this might mean stroking their back, their belly, whispering or gently moving them a little. It is best not to do anything that your child might depend on in the future, such as music sounds.
Now, if it is the night sleep you need to go in one hour before the habitual waking occurs (if the habitual waking occurs more than once than you need to do this method more than once. If it is the nap time then go in 30 minutes after the nap started (when the baby fell to sleep).
I was hoping to make this post quite short and easy to understand. The most important things to remember is: you are a great parent; your baby is beautiful; you will get through this; there is help out there.
Please comment if you have tried this method or something else that has worked for you. Thank you. Shaz.