A Positive Attitude: Better Sleep For Baby And You

Latest update: September 20, 2018

Author: Heidi Holvoet, PhD

A relaxed and positive attitude effectively helps your baby sleep better. Teach her to love sleep and simmer down yourself with simple relaxation techniques.

Creating a positive attitude towards sleep for your baby and yourself is a great idea. It is the best start for a lifetime of good sleep.

And right now, it will help with sleeping through the night, settle well at nap times, go to bed with pleasure, ... not only now, but also as a toddler, growing up child and later as an adult.

Being positive about bedtime is all about teaching your child that sleeping is a good thing. Not only good because it is healthy and necessary, but because it can be a very pleasant experience.

And of course your child's positive attitude starts with yours. Even better, if you manage to relax in your baby's sleep matters, you will find that it works wonders: not only do you feel better yourself, you transmit that to your little one ...

... and she'll have much more restful naps and nights.

The 2 most important tips for a positive attitude

  • Sleeping is fun!

    One crucial lesson for your little one is that sleeping is a good thing. Tiny as she is, even a newborn will feel your positive, or negative, feelings toward sleep.

    Think of a baby, hearing either one of the next two sentences, several times every day:

    "O no, time for bed! I'm so sorry but you need to go to sleep now. Poor thing ..."

    - or -

    "Time for bed little one. Time to cuddle up nice and warm and have a nice nap, enjoy ..."

    A bit of a difference, right? And the impact is huge.

    It's so simple, but using the second sentence is a superb way to build that all-needed positive attitude. One that your little one will keep for the rest of her life.
  • Let go ...

    This is really good advice. But it can also sound like the worst!

    How do you let go or relax on command?! I know. It can help to realize though that it's OK for a baby not to sleep through the night, yet. It's OK as a new mom or dad to be tired. It's not a race as in whose baby is the first to sleep through the night.

    Of course you really want a good restful night yourself too. But if that doesn't happen yet, really, it's normal, and it's OK. Of course you're concerned and you worry. But try to let go, in the sense that knowing that it's normal, and it will get better, you don't have to be super worried. Allow yourself to relax about it even just a little bit. You will feel better.

    Try some of these relaxation techniques. They're super easy to do, fun and: they help.

One related tip from my own experience: hide that clock! (or phone!) At first I spent many nights calculating how much (ehm, little) I had slept. At each feed I was checking my alarm clock and did my math.

How little hours had I had, how little still to go, etc.

But the numbers made me worry more about the exhaustion and sleep deprivation I was piling up rather than be helpful in any way!

Then one night, I just hid the clock. I did not calculate anymore, and just let things happen. And you know what happened, I suddenly slept more and better. Just because I wasn't worrying in that way anymore, I was calmer. My little baby girl seemed to feel this. Even if she didn't magically start sleeping through for 12 hours, there was a clear improvement.

So, strange as it may seem, the less you worry about "she has to sleep through the night", the easier it becomes to get there.

Try to incorporate the simple positive attitude changes in your daily routines. You will feel the benefits!

What to do if your baby wakes up every hour?