Helping Your Grandchild Sleep Through the Night

So … your grandchild is learning to sleep through the night!

That might sound a little crazy to you. The idea that a baby needs all of these rules and regulations around their sleep can seem a little, well, unnecessary to some people.

But hear me out. I’m not going to go into the amazing and extensive research that’s been done into the science of sleep in the last twenty years. I love talking about it, but that’s not the point of this article. So let’s just forget about the science behind it for now. Let’s get right down to the brass tacks and talk about what’s in it for you!

As a grandparent 

You’ve earned a few rights that are yours and yours alone. You’ve earned the right to treat your grandkids like royalty and to spoil them a little, and I would never suggest otherwise. You’re entitled to write the rulebook a little differently when you’re watching them, and with a lot of grandparents, that means keeping them active while they’re with them, because they might not get to spend as much time with them as they’d like. 

But one thing that’s been well-known since the stone age is that a well-rested baby is a happy baby, and because of that, if you stick to the plan that their parents have laid out, I can absolutely guarantee you that the time you do spend with them will be loaded with smiles, laughter, engagement, and all of that other stuff those cherished memories are made of. 

Think of it as “quality, not quantity”

Babies who have gotten enough sleep are more likely to engage with others, interact with their surroundings, and laugh and smile and do all the goofy stuff you love to do with them.

That means that even if you miss out on that hour or so that they’re napping, the time you do spend with them will be exactly what you’re hoping for. Fun, happy, and full of smiles and laughter.

So at this point, I hope I have you thinking, “Well, it’s less time but it’s better quality time, so I’m on board.” 

Well here’s the kicker. It’s not actually going to result in less time with your grandkids. It’s going to result in a whole lot more. Maybe even more than you’re hoping for, but I’ll leave that for you to decide. 

Because once their parents realize that they sleep as well at your place as they do at home, they’re going to start asking you to babysit all the time

Seriously. All the time. 

When I had my first-born

I was terrified to leave him with anyone. Even with my in-laws, and my mother-in-law was a pediatric nurse! But knowing how hard he was to get to sleep, and how challenging the next day would be for everyone if he was up all night crying, I just didn’t want to put that burden on anyone else. 

But once my in-laws got on board with the program, and Charlie started sleeping well while they were babysitting, my husband and I felt so much more comfortable about leaving him with them. At first, it was just while we went out for dinner, but after a few nights of coming home to them saying, “He went right to sleep at bedtime and hasn’t made a sound since,” we decided to try a full overnight out on our anniversary. 

After that went well, we asked them to watch him for a couple of nights, and before Charlie was three years old, we were going on week-long vacations and felt absolutely confident leaving him with his grandparents, because we knew everyone was going to have a great time. 

Give it a try

So even if this whole approach might seem a little abstract or new-age to you, I urge you to give it a try. The parents will be happy that you’re on board with their agenda, which is a reward in itself. But after a few days of following the schedule, I’m certain you’ll see so many smiles and giggles out of your grandchild that you’ll be even more in love with this grandparent position than you ever thought possible. 

Dana Obleman
Creator, The Sleep Sense Program
Sleep Sense Consultants

Dana began her private practice in Vancouver, Canada in 2003. After struggling with her own child’s sleep, she drew on her dual degrees in Psychology and
Education to create The Sleep Sense™ Program, a complete sleep resource for parents which has sold almost 100,000 copies in more than 30 countries.

She has personally trained a global network of over 200 Certified Sleep Sense™ Consultants to carry on her work in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Namibia, Finland, and the United Kingdom, as well as the United
States and Canada.

Today, Dana lives in Sarasota, Florida, with her husband and 3 children, where she continues her life’s work to educate and empower families with healthy sleep

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