When the drowsy baby won't fall asleep

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When the drowsy baby won't fall asleep

So it's not uncommon for a baby, especially when they learn that new exciting skill of sitting up in the bed, when they used to be put to sleep with a bottle or nursing, now all of a sudden, you have your nice soothing bedtime routine, you think they're almost asleep, you put them in the crib, and then pop! Up they go. They sit up in the crib like where are you going? What are you doing? You need to get me out and rock me, hold me, bottle feed me, breast feed me, longer so that I'm not aware that I'm being put in. So again this is your child signaling to you that you need to help them learn how to put themselves to sleep without being rocked, nursed, bottle fed, whatever it was, the sleep crutch that you were using before. So that means still having your relaxing soothing bedtime routine. Only this time, don't panic when they sit up. And maybe make sure they're even a little bit more awake, so they don't feel tricked and panicked that you've done this. And stay with them, and offer them that physical, verbal reassurance. Sit next to them. Pat the mattress. Encourage them to lie down. I really don't want you to do the lie down, sit up, lie down, sit up - that go on and on and on, and you'll never win. Just encourage them to lie down. And when they do, you can give them a little stroke and a pat, and stay with them until they're completely asleep. And then you can begin to move out over the next week or so.

See Kim West, LCSW-C's video on When the drowsy baby won't fall asleep...


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Kim West, LCSW-C

Psychotherapist & Author, The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight

Kim West is a mother of two and a Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical (LCSW-C) who has been a practicing child and family social worker for more than 19 years. Known as The Sleep Lady by her clients, over the past 12 years she has helped thousands of tired parents all over the world learn to listen to their intuition, recognize their child’s important cues and behaviors, and gently create changes that promote and preserve his or her healthy sleep habits. 

West has appeared on the Dr. Phil, Today Show, NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, TLC’s Bringing Home Baby  and CNN, and has been written about in a number of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Baby Talk,  Parenting, The Baltimore Sun, USA Today, The Telegraph, The Irish Independent and the Washington Post. West hosts the sleep section of The Newborn Channel, played in maternity wards in hospitals across the country. West is the author of The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy with Joanne Kenen. She is also the author of 52 Sleep Secrets for Babies and The Good Night, Sleep Tight Workbook.

Kim received her master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. She lives with her family in Annapolis, Maryland.

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