How To Make A Crying Baby Sleep
The Kissing Game
Try this procedure if your child appears anxious at bedtime or needy in the day or if you don’t feel right leaving him alone to sleep. It is particularly suitable for children between six months and two years, but it can be used for pre-schoolers too.
After a relaxed bedtime routine, kiss your baby goodnight, and promise to return in a minute to give another kiss. In fact, you should return almost immediately to give another kiss, take a few steps away and then another kiss, put away something in the room and then kiss again, pop outside for a few seconds and then another kiss, and so on. So long as your child is lying down with his head on the pillow, or on the cot mattress, he gets more kisses, but no more chat, cuddles, stories, plays or drinks. Just kisses until he is asleep. Think of yourself as being on a piece of elastic – bobbing back and forth to your child.
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If your child jumps out of bed, keep it light. Say something like Come on now, you know the deal, into bed and I’ll give you a kiss. Then help him back to bed. Some children cry from crossness and some giggle, but none are frightened by this approach.
When your child is almost asleep it’s difficult to judge whether to go in again for another kiss. Again it’s up to you, but remember that you have made a contract with your child – you’ll kiss him in a minute if his head is on the mattress. Maybe it’s worth the risk of rousing him just one more time so that he’s completely secure about the programme.
The programme requires a lot of energy and time initially, but it can be enjoyable for parents and baby alike, in spite of the sore lips! Be prepared to give up to 300 kisses on the first night over a three-hour period and remember to put your dressing gown on when you get up at night, because you could be busy for some time and feeling cold is a powerful disincentive to seeing it through. Gradually, it will take less time and fewer kisses for your baby to sleep.