Why some babies have a harder time sleeping than others
Let’s face it, not all babies are born with equal temperaments. Some are born with easy-going, laid back personalities and others are more persistent, spirited and alert. Did you know that 80% of my clients are those with these alert, super bright personalities…
These babies often reach physical milestones like rolling, crawling and walking on the earlier side. They are the kind of children who know what they want and will often hold out until they get it. Therefore, it is no surprise that these kids often fight sleep and have a little more trouble falling asleep than the average baby. Many parents of these babies tell me that their kids need less sleep than the average baby.
Don’t fall into this trap – alert kids do not need less sleep than the average child, if anything they need more sleep.
However, these super bright kids find it hard to shut out the world. Instead of yawning and showing sleepy cues when they are tired, they often get excited or wired up, it’s no wonder their parents think they need less sleep. More than this, they notice EVERYTHING and can be stimulated by almost anything. They pick up on emotions and often resist change. These babies do not usually drift in and out of sleep, once they wake up they are very alert and aware of what’s going on even in the middle of the night.
Therefore, alert babies need to be taught MORE than the average baby how to fall asleep and shut out the world. So pick a sleep coaching method that works for you and that you can be consistent with (I love the gentle approaches) and when your baby is 6 months you can start sleep coaching
Here’s what else you can do (even before the 6 month mark):
- Establish schedules and routines. Make a set bedtime and set nap times, and try having naps in the crib not on the go. In addition, alert children tend to be less flexible sleepers, and are more often extra sensitive to disruptions in routine, be it from from sickness or a weekend away. Once your child is back in his routine be prepared to “re-train” your baby for a few days
- Stick to your child’s sleep window. Since your baby may not show you when he is tired, make sure you put him to sleep at the right time for naps and bedtime. Keeping him up later will not make him more tired, it will let him give a second wind and then he’ll really be too wired for sleep.
- Make your child’s sleep environment as boring and under-stimulating as possible. Room darkening shades are essential, the darker the room the better. White noise is also a fantastic tool as it can help them cut out distractions. Obviously no toys or mobiles in cribs.
- Have a soothing bedtime routine: Alert children need around 30 minutes of wind down time before bed. You can incorporate quiet activities such as reading stories, and massages to help them wind down. The deep pressure touch can help those babies who are also sensory seeking.
- Night Wakening’s: Respond to your child before they get too upset as it will be easier to calm them down.
Just remember that although spirited kids present a tough beginning for you, these are the kids who are creative, bright, empathetic, and intelligent beyond their years. You just need to learn how to handle their intensity, set strict limits and structure and most importantly respond with love.
Do you have an alert baby? Comment below…………