Help! My Sweet Little Sleeper is Playing in the Crib!!
In this month’s blog, I want to talk a little bit about playing in the crib. If you are a veteran of the Sleep Sense program, this might sound like something you’ve experienced. If you’re not, this might sound like the craziest thing ever. If you’ve got a child who’s not sleeping well, the idea that they might be playing in their crib is probably pretty crazy to you, but it happens. If you’ve got a child who can sleep well, can sleep independently, feels great about their crib, is happy to go there when it’s sleep time, you will find that there will be periods in your child’s life where they’re having a party in that crib all by themselves.
This usually happens around naptime. You put your baby down for their nap, and they have a party in there for an hour or more, before finally falling asleep. I get asked the question, “What should I do? He’s in there playing and he’s supposed to be napping, or he’s supposed to be going to sleep at night. I don’t know what to do? Should I give him trouble for it? Shouldn’t I?”
My advice is to definitely not scold her for it. It’s often a developmental phase that your child is going through. It often happens around the eighteenth month to two-year mark. It has a lot to do with language acquisition. They’re learning so much at such a rapid pace, that they need time to process it.
They often do this by babbling, singing, or talking, and that’s part of the process of organizing all this new information. Try not to panic about it. If your child’s in there for an hour, hour and a half, shouting, and singing, and having fun, true, they didn’t sleep, but it was still a break. You got a break. They got a break. It’s still a rest because there are limited chances of running around and moving in the crib. You can just call it nap time. Go in, get your child out, and proceed with your day.
If he doesn’t nap you may need to move bedtime a little earlier to try and compensate for that, but try not to panic. It usually fades out in a week or two, and then they go back to napping well. Same thing with bedtime. It could just be that your child needs some time to play, and talk, and do all this stuff. Give it a week or two and see if it goes away on its own. If it doesn’t, then you may need to look at eliminating the daytime nap.
I find that most toddlers will happily take a nap, but then at bedtime want to a have party until 9:00 at night! If that’s happening, into the third or fourth week, it’s time to look at the nap. Otherwise, I want you to just let it go. It boils down this, you can’t force someone to sleep.
You could go in there and scream the house down if you want to, but if she’s not going to sleep, she’s not going to sleep. You just remind yourself that you’re giving him ample opportunity to take a great nap, get to bed on time, and sleep a perfect night. You’ve given her all the skills she needs to be an excellent sleeper, and the rest is up to her. If he wants to play for an hour before he passes out, fine. If he wants to play through the whole nap, “Oh well.” It’s not going to last forever. It’s an important part of development.
If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 57,00 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you! Book your FREE 15-minute discovery call HERE!