You put your baby to bed and 40 minutes later, she’s up screaming. Sometimes she can fall back asleep on her own, but sometimes you go in and rock her or feed her to help her fall back asleep. What is that?
It’s called a 40 minute sleep intruder!
OK, so forget the fancy name, what does it mean? Hate to say it, but it’s a good indication that your baby is over-tired.
How to battle the 40 minute intruder:
1) Try an earlier bedtime: An early bedtime is a great way to battle a sleep problem, especially if your baby isn’t getting the sleep that they need. An earlier bedtime is like magic but without the magic wand! Start by moving your child’s bedtime 15 minutes earlier and see if that makes a difference. Keep moving the bedtime earlier by 15 minutes to find an optimal bedtime when your child goes down easily and stays asleep for the longest duration and wakes up happy and well-rested. Creating a sleep journal will help to see the trends.
2) Give your baby the benefit of falling back asleep on their own: It’s so easy to rush into your baby’s room at every cry. But find a time that you are comfortable waiting (even if it’s just 1-3 minutes to start) to help your baby fall back asleep on their own. For a baby older than 4 months, I suggest start with 5 minutes and work up to 15 minutes. Let your baby surprise you with their awesome soothing skills.
Say goodbye to those 40 minute intruders and say hello to a well-rested baby!