How flexible is your baby?
Social babies are very flexible. They’ll happily ADJUST TO NEW PEOPLE and new places.
AFTER SOME PATIENT WORK, YOU’VE GOT YOUR BABY INTO A GREAT SLEEP ROUTINE. THEN SHE FALLS ILL. ONCE SHE’S FEELING BETTER AGAIN…
A. She’s absolutely convinced that long cuddles and being rocked to sleep is the new normal. You have to start your sleep training all over again.
B. It takes her a few nights to adjust, but within a week she’s back to settling herself.
C. She reverts back to her great sleep routine straightaway. Bliss!
AT HOME YOUR BABY SLEEPS PRETTY WELL. WHEN YOU GO AWAY SHE…
A. Can’t settle – she wakes up in the night and early in the morning, and seems to be out of sorts.
B. Takes a bit longer than usual and wakes a bit earlier than usual, but her sleep settles down after the first night or so.
C. Still sleeps pretty well – not quite as well as at home, perhaps, but certainly nothing to be concerned about. YOU DECIDE TO HAVE A NIGHT OUT AND GET A BABYSITTER. WHEN YOU’RE OUT, YOUR BABY… A. Wakes up, sees the babysitter and goes absolutely bananas! B. Wakes up, has a bit of a fuss that it’s the babysitter and not you, frets for a short while, then goes back to sleep. C. Doesn’t wake up once while you’re gone. You get back to a sleeping baby and a relaxed and happy babysitter!
Help your knows-her-own-mind baby sleep better
“Your baby is probably a very good sleeper – as long as she’s in her own home, with her normal routine and with people she knows around her,” says Nicole. “The problems start when something changes: you go on holiday, have a babysitter or are out and about at nap time.” So the key thing to remember is that your knows-her-own-mind baby needs consistency. Give her a clear bedtime routine, and a shorter version of the very same routine at nap time, every day.”
If you’re going on holiday, expect that she won’t sleep as well, but try and give her the best chance of decent sleep by keeping her sleep environment consistent: so take the same sheets with you, along with the same white noise, and the same sleep bag. Introduce her to her travel cot before you go away, too, by putting her down for her naps in it for a week or so in the run-up to your holiday. She will fuss about it, of course, but it’s easier to deal with that fuss at home.
“The other thing that can disrupt a knows-her-own-mind baby at bedtime is if someone arrives unexpectedly in the middle of the bedtime routine,” says Nicole. “Even if it’s someone she’s very used to, like Dad, his unexpected appearance, plus the new smells and change in temperature he brings into the room, will be enough to knock her off course. So ban helpers at bedtime!”