My Baby – Week 51
Your baby's first birthday is next week! You are probably busy preparing, but remember, keep it simple! Try to plan the party during hours that your baby is usually awake and active, and remember to take lots of pictures!
Separation Anxiety at Bedtime
You may have dealt with separation anxiety when leaving your baby with a sitter, but as your child matures, you may find that he is experiencing some separation anxiety at night when you put him down to sleep. Just as in dealing with separation anxiety during the day, it's important to remember that separation anxiety at night is a completely normal part of growing up, and it won't last forever. However, keeping your child company whenever he wakes up, or until he falls asleep, won't help him exit this phase any quicker, but following these tips may help ease separation anxiety at bedtime.
Keep the night calm –
During the hours leading up to your baby's bedtime, keep the mood in the house calm. This will help keep your baby's stress level low before the stressful separation that comes at bedtime.
Give your child some pre-bedtime attention –
During the hours leading up to bedtime, try spending some extra time focused on your baby. Put your reading away, turn off the news, and try to give your child as much attention as you can.
Stick to the routine –
A routine can lower stress levels for your baby because she knows exactly what to expect. Switching even a little detail, like skipping story-time or doing things slightly out of order, might not seem like a big deal to you, but it can be very unsettling for her. Predictability is reassuring and comforting for your child.
Don't pick him up, turn on the light, or stay until he is asleep – Whether it's when you first put him down, or when he wakes up in the middle of the night, try to avoid these behaviors. If he pulls up, it's best to just lay him back down in his crib and say goodnight again in a comforting tone.
And remember, sometimes babies wake up at night because they just aren't feeling well. Ear infections and teething can be particularly painful at night, so you may want to check with her pediatrician if you have any concerns. In the case of teething or an infection, the pediatrician may be able to prescribe something to help with the pain.