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  • Writer's pictureAndrea

6 Reasons Your Sleep Crutch Is No Longer Working

The newborn days are exhausting, but simple. Feeding to sleep, contact naps, and long sways on the rocker are the sweetest ways to put your baby to sleep. And as long as they don’t get overtired, they can fall asleep just about anywhere with little effort.

Their needs are constant, but it’s a short list.

Sleep schedule 4 months
6 Reasons Your Sleep Crutch Is No Longer Working

There are many ways to help your newborn go to sleep, it’s just a matter of finding out which one they love best. I’ll be honest though, that 4 month sleep regression can change so much about your child’s sleep, and how as parents, we approach it. What used to work great for everyone, might not be serving you anymore, so it’s time to make moves to change it.

A quick lesson on sleep coach terminology. A sleep crutch is what we call anything that your child requires someone else to do in order to fall asleep. This can look like rocking, feeding, a pacifier, etc. in order to fall asleep. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. But it can be tiring if you always need to go help them fall asleep every time they wake in the night. It can be great at first, but disruptive to both of your sleep.

If you knew how to help your baby get their sleep, but things aren’t working like they used to, listen up! Here’s why your tried and true sleep crutch isn’t working anymore.

1. If you’re up to speed on what a dream feed is, and how it can be great for your newborn, then you know that the benefits here are limited time. Once your little addition isn’t freshly minted anymore, it can get in the way for their longest stretch of sleep and cause more hassle than it’s worth.

2. Not so different from a dream feed, feeding to sleep can become the Achilles heel you didn’t intend. In order to help your little babe practice their independent sleep skills, do their feed at the beginning of their night (or nap!) routine instead of last. This way their tummy is properly full, but they don’t associate the need to eat with going to sleep.

3. Being a paci dance pro. You’re probably a great dancer, even if you don’t know it! Doing the paci dance means replacing your baby’s soother every time it falls out so your little can fall asleep. The soother was probably a great tool for a while, but when baby believes they can’t fall asleep without it, it’s often the thing standing in the way of long sleep stretches.

4. As your baby gets older, they become more aware of their surroundings. They may go to sleep happily in your arms after being rocked, but it’s pretty confusing when they wake up in their crib. We all wake up in the night, even if you don’t remember. But I bet you’d be pretty alert if you went to sleep in your bed, and woke up at McDonalds. The more alert your kiddo gets, the more falling asleep somewhere and waking up in a different place, doesn’t work like it used to.

5. Resilience. There comes a point when you can forget about Awake Windows, and move to a set sleep time each day. Babies aren’t as sensitive to being overtired as they get older, and a precise nap time isn’t as critical. They gain more stamina, so things like rocking or replacing that soother can become a fun game instead of lulling them to sleep.

6. The science of your baby’s sleep changes after the 4 month sleep regression, so it’s no surprise that how they fall asleep changes too. As they get older, those fave sleep crutch habits can cause interruptions as they drift off to sleep. Some babies can do well on less sleep than others, but as each babe gets older they spend more time in a light sleep stage, and can wake up easier. Combine lighter sleep stages with requiring someone else to put them back to sleep, and you could be spending most of your night trying to get your little one down to rest.

If I’m being honest, moving away from your previously tried and true sleep crutches is as big a change for you as a parent, as it is your little. And getting support for you makes all the difference as you support your child in falling asleep without needing help. Choosing to partner with a sleep expert who knows how to walk you through it, answer your questions, and troubleshoot as situations come up means you’re spending your time contacting me directly instead of consuming dozens of contradictory opinions on the internet.

Book your call to get started, and make yourself a priority while also getting your sleep. You really don’t have to choose.


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