Watching your child cry is the most heartbreaking thing ever, especially at night. All you want to do is to keep him happy, and you will do anything to prevent or stop the crying. However, in order for all this to happen, you will need to be patient and let him learn the proper sleep habit and schedule. It would be ideal for your child to learn how to sleep without getting frustrated or crying, but it will take time. Also bear in mind that continuous sleep deprivation can affect your baby’s behavior.
Fortunately, there are amazing programs and books out there geared towards providing parents with all the tools and techniques to help their child sleep better at night.
It’s best to understand that every child will inevitably cry during the sleep process. Here are a couple of the reasons why.
Your child is protesting
Children hate changes; they prefer things the way it is. We all resist change, and it’s normal to do so, which is why your child expressing resistance by crying. Learning to fall asleep is a process that children must adapt to, so they are protesting through crying to show that they don’t want to change.
Why some parents may be tempted to avoid this pain by having their child sleeping with them, we encourage them first to have a look at the pros and cons of the co-sleeping practice.
Children may also hate to move from crib to bed: so it’s very important to ensure a successful and smooth transition to bed by following a few easy rules.
Your child is frustrated
As children begin to learn they have to sleep but haven’t yet figured out how to do so, they are understandably frustrated. They no longer have Mom and Dad on their side to help them get to sleep, and they don’t yet know what to do differently. It can get very frustrating and confusing, so it’s understandable that your child would act negatively towards this process. The interesting part about falling asleep is that we are born with the ability to do so, yet it’s considered a learned behavior. You can’t tell a child to close his eyes and sleep, instead, they have to learn this on their own. Some children will learn this immediately, while others will take some time.
My child hasn’t learned how to sleep yet, what do I do?
If this is the case, then you will need to take a step back so that he can achieve this on his own. He might throw a tantrum, kick his legs around, rock his head side to side, or just scream with frustration. Eventually, he will learn how to sleep on his own.
You can also consider a sleep training program, which will teach you how to cope with this process. The program can give you more insight, reflection, tips, and tricks on helping your child to sleep better at night. It can also help reduce crying during this whole process and reduce nightmares.
Keep in mind that everyone has different ways to relax and drift slowly to bed. Your child will definitely and eventually find a relaxing method that’s perfect for him or her. Unfortunately, he would not be able to make that self-discovery if you are constantly picking him up and standing right next to him. The best thing to do is to motivate and provide some positive reinforcement to help him.
The common mistakes that parents make are constantly rocking and cradling as well as touching the child. It’s an unintentional way of teasing the child, making him or her feel frustrated. This frustration can lead to anger and crying, so it’s best to provide support and take a step back to let nature take its course.