How dra­matic is your baby when there’s a change?

Mother & Baby (Australia) - - Special Report -

Dra­matic ba­bies ex­press them­selves in­tensely WHEN THEY FEEL some­thing deeply.

Help your dra­matic baby sleep bet­ter

“If some­thing – any­thing! – hap­pens to up­set your dra­matic baby at bed­time, it can im­pact on her sleep be­cause she gets very worked up,” says Ni­cole. “She finds it hard to come down from that pitch of feel­ing, and reach the point where she’s re­laxed enough to sleep.”

Luck­ily, there is a lot you can do to help her sleep. Make it your goal to get – and keep – her calm at bed­time and nap time. So if she gets worked up once you’ve put her down, stay with her in the room, as she’ll find that re­as­sur­ing. Open a book and start read­ing the story: that will keep you calm and lure her into want­ing to look at the pic­tures or hear your voice. Or sing a lul­laby, as the rhyth­mic sounds will soothe you and your baby. Cud­dling can also help, as it raises her lev­els of the hor­mone oxy­tocin, which re­duces stress. Bright light in­ten­si­fies emo­tions, so using a dim­mer switch will help sub­due her outburst.

“A dra­matic baby may re­act strongly to changes in her sleep rou­tine,” says Ni­cole. “For ex­am­ple, she may re­sist the change from sleep­ing in your room to sleep­ing in her own room. So it’s best to make small, in­cre­men­tal changes to her rou­tine. In this case, you could start off by hav­ing bed­time rou­tine in the new room, but sleep in the old room. Then move to bed­time rou­tine plus naps in the new room. Then try putting her down in the new room and stay­ing with her un­til she falls asleep.”

Pick your bat­tles, too: de­cide what’s non-ne­go­tiable, and be more re­laxed about other, less im­por­tant, is­sues.

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