If you’re a parent, chances are you know what sleep deprivation feels like. You may have even heard of the term “sleep associations” before—but what exactly does it mean? In short, an assisted sleep association is when an infant or toddler develops a sleep pattern that requires certain conditions in order to fall asleep (e.g., being rocked or nursed). These can become ingrained over time if they are not addressed early on. Let’s take a closer look at the topic of assisted sleep associations and how to address them.
What Causes Assisted Sleep Associations?
Assisted sleep associations often arise out of good intentions from parents or caregivers who are trying to help their little one get to sleep. For example, rocking a baby until he falls asleep may seem like a good solution for getting him down for the night; however, this can lead to the baby developing an association between rocking and sleeping which could cause problems later on. If your child has difficulty falling asleep without being rocked, this could be indicative of an assisted sleep association that needs to be addressed in order for him to develop healthy sleeping habits.
How Do I Address Assisted Sleep Associations?
If your child has developed any assisted sleep associations, it’s important to take steps now in order to break these patterns before they become too ingrained. Start by easing your child out of any existing routines; if he has become accustomed to being rocked, try gradually reducing the amount of time that you do this each night until he no longer needs it in order to fall asleep. It may also be helpful to engage in quiet activities before bedtime such as reading books and playing soft music, as these can help create positive associations with going to bed. Finally, make sure that your child’s bedroom environment is comfortable and conducive for restful sleep—no distractions such as TVs or toys allowed!
Assisted sleep associations can be difficult for both parents and children alike but with patience and consistency, they can be broken. Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to addressing assisted sleep associations; instead, it is important that you find what works best for you and your little one so that everyone gets the restful night’s sleep they deserve! With just a few simple changes and some extra TLC, you can help ensure sweet dreams for years to come!