Monday, 22 June 2015

How Sleep is Like Jelly

People always look at me rather strangely when I say that sleep is like jelly. I suppose it is rather a strange comparison! Bear with me, though, and I'll explain!

When you make a jelly you pour the mixture into a mould. The mould is absolutely firm and unmoving, if it shifted about the jelly would never set into your planned shape! That is how things are when you first start working to improve your child's sleep. Whichever method you have chosen to use will need to be used consistently if you want to make much progress, it's no good to stick to your new changes for two days then do something different. You need a rigid mould.

But pretty soon jelly sets! Then you can take away the mould and it keeps it's shape. You can even wobble it about a bit and so long as you don't go too far it will go back into shape afterwards without much trouble. In the same way, once your little one has learnt good sleep habits you can relax a little bit. Since every child is an individual the amount you can safely "wobble" their sleep does vary but as a general rule a toddler doesn't need the same sort of strict routine that might have suited them as a baby and the child who has learnt to settle themselves wont be thrown backwards if you fall asleep with them while reading stories one night.

This is especially important to bear in mind while making your summer plans, whether you are going away on holiday, planning day trips or inviting guests to stay. Work out the wobble factor for your child, can they handle a late night at a BBQ? Fine to miss a nap one day? Happy to share a room for a few nights, but need you make sure it stays dark? Whatever it is, be confident that if you bear their needs in mind and don't take it too far things will go straight back to normal afterwards.