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Your Sleep Questions Answered by Cheekychops! Your Sleep Questions Answered by Cheekychops!
Thank you to everyone who took the time to write in their sleep questions for Cheekychops sleep consultants to answer! We wish we could answer them all, but... Your Sleep Questions Answered by Cheekychops!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to write in their sleep questions for Cheekychops sleep consultants to answer! We wish we could answer them all, but we share these 3 answers in the hopes that many people can benefit from the advice. 

To Angela, who wants her 31-month-old son to fall asleep on his own in his big boy bed; he currently falls asleep with Angela having to lie next to him, though sleeps 10.5-11 hours on his own.

It sounds as though your son can sleep once asleep, which is good. A lot of children who fall to sleep with a parent beside them wake up and want the parent to return to their spot to help them go back to sleep again, so your son may not be as dependent on you as you think he is.

In situations like this, you tend to worry about what will happen if you don’t lie with him (bedtime battles), refusal to lie down etc. Children of this age can kick up a fuss over something they don’t agree with it (anything can trigger them), but don’t let that stop you from following through with a plan if it’s not what you want.

First of all you have to ensure that your son’s request for your presence is a want (he wants you there out of habit) and not a need (genuinely anxious or scared about something). Provided it’s just a want, you should:

  1. decide to commit to the process. Once you start, you don’t want to go backwards and forwards – consistency is key.
  2. make sure you have a plan for yourself of what is your ideal scenario at bedtime – keep this in mind and work towards it.
  3. keep your expectations realistic. It probably won’t be easy (most parents lie with their children because it’s the easy option), so expect it to be up and down, expect to see some tears, stay calm and focused on your goal.
  4. Make sure everyone around you is on board and you all know what the action plan entails

To Scarlet, who has a 14-month old who has always been a good sleeper and napper but suddenly developed separation anxiety and bedtime battles and night waking, it seems there are a number of challenges present.

I would need to know more details to answer specifically, but based on what you say, I am wondering if the issue is to do with the awake window in between naps and nighttime sleeping. 14 months is a transition stage for a lot of children.

Make sure you spread his sleep out, making sure you are putting him to bed when tired and ready to fall to sleep. Usually around this age, the awake window is 5-6 hrs from getting up to going back to sleep. When fixing the issue, work with one strategy only. You mentioned different tactics (cry it out, going to lie with him, rocking), which can be confusing to your son. A child of this age and size is less likely to respond to rocking and it will take a lot out of you physically to keep it up.

Choose a strategy you are comfortable with, then don’t give in. Let me know if you’d like to discuss further.

To Joanna, whose 9-month old daughter is a great sleeper but occasionally has regressions, the best thing you can do is to continue to support her good habits.

I don’t believe there are sleep regressions per se at 9 months or 4 months, but children do go through certain motor and cognitive changes that can manifest themselves as a ‘sleep regression.’ It’s helpful to recognize that children are going through a normal development milestone that can have a seconday effect on sleep.

If your child is a good sleeper, and does well without any props, then make sure you continue to support this by not resorting to props during these times. For example, if your child does not feed through the night now, don’t feed her to return to sleep when she wakes; it may seem like a quick solution at the time, but can lead to habitual waking.

When children learn to crawl, they may wake up and get stuck in a funny position and be upset. Your job is go help your child become unstuck if stuck, not to offer any rocking, soothers, breastfeeding etc to help them go back to sleep, as they can do it themselves. If your child didn’t need a prop before, she doesn’t need it now.

To Reny and Shelly, your questions are great and thank you for contributing! It sounds like your questions could use some one-on-one feedback and I’d love to help – perhaps consider one of my services and I’d be very happy to assist. To Jen, it sounds like you have an ideal sleeper right now, maybe my post ‘Ready for the Big Bed?‘ can help. Best of luck to you all!

This post was contributed by Cheekychops Consulting. Cheekychops sleep and parenting consultants provide insight and step-by-step support to achieve happy babies, confidence parents and connected families. Our consultants have helped over 2,500 babies and families get the sleep they need. Find out more from Cheekychops on the blogTwitter, or Facebook.

Jessica Blumel

Nice to meet you! I'm Jessica a.k.a North Shore Mama. This site was born out of my love for my daughters and the desire to share my motherhood journey with fellow moms. I believe we're all in this craziness called 'parenthood' together and North Shore Mama is my way of reaching out to anyone who needs a laugh, a cry or dinner inspiration. Thank you so much for reading!

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