Updated 03/20/2012 01:34 PM
Child Wellness: Infants and sleeping habits
When you have an infant, sleep becomes a luxury. Marcie Fraser examines some of the challenges of getting a young child to sleep.
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Most parents will tell you the first year with a new baby is a blur. The challenges of getting a child to sleep are many.
For some parents, getting their child to sleep on their own seems nearly impossible. To begin with, it's important to set up a series of sleep transitions before you run to pick them up.
"I think the question might be ‘what if there is a problem, what if they start screaming the second you leave?’ For the really little ones, you can pick up again and sooth them outside and put them back. You just don't want them to fall asleep in your arms," said Paul Glovinsky, Ph.D., psychologist.
Stick to your bed time rituals - consistency is key.
"You start to make it clear without saying anything really that you are not going to hold them. They are going to be in the bed, after a week or so that will be pretty clear to them and at that point what you want to do is make a point of saying 'good night Sarah.' Once you establish something like that, you want to be consistent,” said Dr. Glovinsky.
When your baby is crying in the crib, some parents fear there is something wrong and tend to the baby. Allowing your child to settle themselves is a necessary achievement.
"It's okay for your child, within reason, to settle themselves in bed and you can differentiate between the kind of whining or crying that comes with not getting everything perfect and the kind of crying or screaming that signals there is big emergency," said Dr. Glovinsky.