Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bedtime Separation Anxiety

'our baby used to fall asleep easily and sleep through the night. but suddenly he clings to us and cries when we put him down and also wakes up crying during the night.'

i'm pretty sure most of the parents will encounter this kind of problem. after several months of sufficient night sleep, suddenly our babies show his or her new 'attitude'. not to worry. this kind of problem is known as bedtime separation anxiety. it's similar to day time separation anxiety that usually happens when we send our babies to the daycare or taska.

fortunately, there's solution to help our babies conquer their fears of being alone:

  • know that it's normal. it means that he's growing up, but still has a ways to grow.

  • have a peaceful prelude to bedtime. keep the hour or two leading up to bedtime as calm, reassuring and nurturing as possible. put other matters on hold until he's asleep. this will keep his stress level low before bedtime.

  • rely on routines e.g. a bedtime ritual (a story, a song, a cuddle). each night it reassures your child that the same events will take place in the same sequence and can also become the start of a night-time cycle that your child will come to anticipate.

  • try to bridge the gap with a transitional (or comfort) object such as favourite small stuffed animal, a small blanket.

  • be reassuring but not sentimental. give your baby a hug and kiss before you put him down in his cot, then say your good night. a loving but light tone in your voice will help; if your baby senses that you're anxious about leaving, he will be too. if your baby cries, continue calmly and quietly reassuring him. gently put him back down if he's pulled up. don't pick him up, don't turn on the light, and don't stay until he's asleep.

  • be consistent. this deserves repeating and repeating. without consistency, life is confusing for young children.

  • try not to feel guilty. staying with your child all night won't help him overcome night-time separation anxiety but a consistent routine, lovingly enforced will.

(excerpts taken from What to Expect)

1 comment:

mrs plain-june said...

sudah oke kah encik adam??