It’s difficult not attending to a child’s cry at night. Time will seem to stand still. Actually, most infants stop after an hour. The crying may be harder on one parent than the other, and arguments may result. It becomes even more difficult when one or both must work the next day. By 6 months, children’s overall health, happiness and development have reached a point where they’re capable of sleeping longer, waking up and self-comforting themselves to fall back asleep. Here are two methods on how you can get your child to sleep.
Cold turkey: It’s best not to visit the crying infant at all. But if you must, follow the “putter” principle. One of the parents goes into the bedroom and quietly “putters” about without turning on lights or picking up the child. Conversation should be kept to a minimum. If your child does not need help, such as a diaper change, quietly leave.
Graduated Ignoring: For parents who cannot go cold turkey, the graduated method is recommended. However, in the end, a parent must be willing to endure crying for a longer time up to two or three weeks until the situation is resolved.
With either approach, the primary objective is to help children learn to manage the distress they experience when they wake up and must put themselves back to sleep. Think long-term reward for short-term discomfort. Learning good sleep habits early on is best for both the child and the parent.