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Sleep Tips: When kids wake at night

Posted October 2, 2012

Irene Gouge of Loving Lessons Pediatric Sleep Consulting often hears from parents who are able to get their baby or child asleep at the beginning of the evening. The problem comes when the child wakes up throughout the night and can't fall back to sleep on his own.

Why can't they just fall back asleep? Because, sometimes, they don't know how, Gouge said. Irene Gouge Sleep Tips: Help kids get back to sleep

If parents are rocking, feeding or holding a child until she is asleep, they likely haven't developed the skills they need to fall asleep on their own.

If you want your child to go back to sleep on his own, then you need to remove those so-called sleep crutches such as rocking or feeding with something else such as a sound machine or a lovey.

Gouge talks more about it in my video interview with her. Find more tips from Gouge in the box above and go to her website to learn more about what she offers. We'll have another tip next Wednesday.

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  • marthahpieper Oct 3, 5:48 p.m.

    When children wake at night it is often because they have bad dreams. I am a child psychotherapist who has written a chldren's book, Mommy, Daddy, I Had a Bad Dream! (http://www.mommydaddyihadabaddream.com) to help children with bad dreams. Joey a bouncy kangaroo has a series of bad dreams which his parents help him to understand. When children realize that bad dreams are "Stories we tell ourselves for a reason. We just have to understand the reason," they begin to think of dreams as puzzles they can solve. This empowers them and counteracts the helplessness the dream has made them feel. Eventually, many children can figure out their dreams themselves and put themselves back to sleep. Martha Heineman Pieper, Ph.D.