Getting Baby To Sleep
Alex, mother of Rebecca, five months
Reshaping your relationships to include your baby can take great sensitivity and patience from both of you. See Chapter 9 for more on this.
Who Wakes at Night?
Everyone surfaces from sleep at night, but some babies and toddlers can turn over and go to sleep again on their own, others at some time or other and for a few months or more wake their parents for some help in returning to sleep.
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Almost all children who wake at night are physically healthy, and are waking for a variety of developmental or social reasons; just a few wake because they are in pain or as a result of a disability. Whatever the reason, the solution to the sleep problem remains the same: decide what you and your baby need and how you want to deal with it and then get the practical help or support you need to carry it through.
There are many reasons for sleeping problems and each sleeping problem may be the result of many factors. Some parents are good at setting up a smooth routine that allows their baby to sleep. Others, and especially those who feel the stress of difficult relationships, postnatal depression, poor housing or money problems, find it much harder. If your baby is premature, ill, had a difficult birth, is a twin, has a disability, or cries a lot, your very natural inclination to protect him from any more knocks can easily lead to habits that may perpetuate his dependency on you for sleep. More than one of these factors and the chance of a sleeping problem grows.