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Breaking free from broken nights

Breaking free from broken nights

tired mum

Do you often wonder if your child will ever sleep through a whole night?

The allure of a whole night of unbroken sleep is too much for many families. It seems so unrealistic that it’s almost not worth contemplating for fear of continual disappointment.

There are so many methods out there that it can become overwhelming and is confusing at the best of times.

Here’s the secret!

The secret is to observe YOUR child and discover THEIR needs. There is no generic way to resolve sleep challenges without creating a source of stress for either parents or children.

Montessori education is all about observing each child as an individual, and supporting them so they learn everything they need to – at their own pace. The principle of observation relates to all kinds of human necessities: sleeping, eating, toileting, language, coordination, independence, self-discipline etc.

This is how I help families find their own solution for sleep training, although I prefer to call it sleep assistance.

sleeping newborn

Discover where your child is on the path of human development

Little children can’t help but follow their unconscious drives that guide them towards developing everything they’ll need as an adult. These include creating vital characteristics that combine to produce their personality – emotions, a strong will, intelligence, self-esteem, a positive self-image and the ability to express their needs.

There are specific times during the first sub-plane of human development (0-3 years) when sleep can become a challenge: 0-3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 16-18 months, 2 years, 2.5 years. All these are times of great change within the brain and body, and we see this demonstrated in changes in your child’s behaviour.

When we observe these changes and respond to them accordingly, things get better again and your child progresses further along their individual path of development. But if we miss some of the signs and continue in the way that worked before, we will see negative characteristics forming that can be difficult to change if we leave them too long.

whole night's sleep

3 essentials for a whole night’s sleep

Here are the basics for finding the best way to help your child sleep through the night:

  1. Routine: every child relies on a basic routine for feeling secure. This changes as they develop and it’s imperative that you respond to these changes as needed. Create a routine based on observations of your child, so there are regular times for waking, sleeping, feeding, bathing and playing. Your child’s brain creates strong neural connections through repeated experiences,                                                           which leads to a calm and happy baby.
  2. Avoid any physical contact at the moment your child falls asleep: this is vitally important because our bodies remember the precise feeling experienced when falling asleep, and seek to recreate this every time we enter a new sleep cycle.
  3. Comfort your child when they cry: this doesn’t mean letting them go on and on crying with no end in sight. It simply means showing you’re there to listen to their feelings, just like you would listen to a friend in distress. We know their tears won’t go on for ever – they just need a shoulder to cry on, some kind words and hope that things will be better soon.

I’ve helped many families find their own way to a whole night’s sleep and would love to help yours too.

Click here to view the Platinum Package that I recommend for sleep solutions, and feel free to contact me for a informal chat with no obligation.

Photo credits: freedigitalphotos.net

2 thoughts on “Breaking free from broken nights

  1. Rochelle Post author

    Hi Carine, thanks for your response. I wrote this article primarily for families who are experiencing problems getting their children to sleep through the night. I know other co-sleeping families who have no problems at all, like yours. But many parents never get a whole night’s sleep and I’ve found that these basics make all the difference for them. It’s great that your children are good sleepers – I’d expect that of course 🙂 Do you have any suggestions for families experiencing sleep challenges that you’d be happy to share? All the best, Rochelle x

  2. Carine Robin

    I agree with you most of the time and this article is gentle and respectfull but physical contact at bedtime is not an issue, as well as sleeping with your baby/toddler/young children or breastfeeding to sleep (you didn’t talk about that specifically but it’s close physical contact). It’s natural and expected by children from birth. It doesn’t mean it works for everyone but remember that Maria Montessori observed children in their family in India where children were not sleeping alone (to the very least, they were sleeping with siblings or grand-parents).
    Children can be very independent or work toward independence and still need comfort to fall asleep. And yes they might want the same comfort when they wake up in the middle of the night or answering their need of contact might help them to sleep through. My eldest slept through from 2 years old despite being fed to sleep, cuddle to sleep and we were cosleeping. I didn’t do differently with my second who sleeps mostly all night but he will ask for comfort if he wakes up at night. I don’t see that as an issue. I will sleep in my own bed for 12 hours one day but for now, I’m a mum night and day 😉

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