Babies To Sleep
Alternatively, leave your baby to sleep but return every so often to reassure yourself and him
After the bedtime routine on the first night, stay out of sight for five minutes; if he is still crying afer this time, return and reassure him that you are still there. If he is standing up, lay him down; if he is still lying down, gently stroke him Then leave. This time wait for ten minutes; if he is still crying and shows no signs of quietening, go in again and repeat what you said before. The next time leave it for 15 minutes. On the first night, leave a maximum of 15 minutes between all subsequent visits. The whole procedure may take anything between two or three hours the first night. Older children usually take longer and tiny babies less time.
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On the second night, wait for ten minutes before you go to reassure him for the first time, and then 15 and then a maximum of 20 for all successive visits. This time the total time until he sleeps should be shorter. On subsequent nights increase the waiting times by five minutes.
Leave your baby to go to sleep for this many minutes before you return to reassure him briefly. There’s nothing magical about these timings. Decide what you and your baby can manage and stick to it.
Some parents like to look their child straight in the eye and say something like Go to sleep now’; others prefer to deliberately avoid their child’s gaze and just pat their child’s back or lay him down again, or you could try the approach on page 21. It’s up to you. The important thing is to do the same thing on each occasion, and make it simple and minimal. Do not give him anything that he cannot get on his own. You want him to be able to go to sleep without needing you. So don’t offer a bottle or a cuddle or a song. It is important to sound and behave confidently. Your confidence is your child’s security.