Consistency is the key to success when it comes to helping your little one sleep fall asleep and sleep through the night. Sleep training is not easy, but when staying on course, it will be worth every effort. No matter what the bedtime routine is or what happens when you leave the baby’s room for the evening, the absolute essential to quality sleep is consistency.
Changes in your regular schedule will happen, whether it is the holidays, vacations, or sickness. These times will call for an exception where your baby will miss a nap or even stay up way past their bedtime. When is this exception okay? Hopefully not very often, but as often as absolutely necessary.
Factors to Consider With Change in Routine
Consider these factors: How well does your child readjust after a change and is it worth getting off schedule? Many children are resilient when it comes to a change in their regular schedule, but others can take days to rebound from the slightest mix-up. Most little ones are out-of-fix the day after a difference in their normal routine. This is the time to ask yourself if enjoying a few hours of fun is worth what the day following will hold for your family.
There will be times in your life when repetition will not be “the normal,” and actually it is not a bad thing. You have to enjoy life and experience new things, so exceptions will need to be made at some point in the child’s routine. It will be important during these times to assess the benefits and the challenges that go along with the change and then prepare for each situation.
Beware of Early Changes
It is never wise to make changes too early in the sleep program. If you began training a week or two ago, this is not the time to go on vacation or visit friends and family for overnight stays. After a month or so of successful, sleep-filled nights, then you can choose to make a slight change in the rules on occasion. Bending the rules is much smarter than breaking the rules. Do your best to keep to your schedule no matter where your day takes you.
If you are driving to your vacation destination, drive during baby’s regularly scheduled naptime. If you are visiting a friend during naptime, take your stroller or Pack and Play so your little one can still get their sleep. This may not be the ideal, but it is a great way to bend the rule, and not break the rule. An overtired child has a much harder time falling asleep. This creates a monster at bedtime, and you end up with a bad night. This cycle is easy to fall into, and one you never want to begin.
The decision of when to make an exception to sleep routines falls entirely on you. You will know if your child can handle the change, so if they can, try. If you don’t think they are ready, play it safe. You will be happy you did. Your little one will be able to handle change much better as they get older, so be patient. Take the time required now to help your child become a champion sleeper.
Contact Adele Thompson Sleep Consulting
Being a mother to two little boys, I know how sleep can affect your life negatively or positively. Sleep is the foundation for your child to learn and grow and helps them experience life with joy and excitement. Schedule a call with me, and I will help you and your family get the sleep you deserve.