1. Listen to your instincts/intuition always.
You know your child best and have intuition about what he or she needs. If you feel something will not work, or something is not right for you or your child, don’t do it. If you feel that your child needs you, respond and don’t worry about bad habits and messing things up. The process you are following and the skills you are building will cement these habits into lasting ones. Meeting your child’s needs means building security, forever.
At night, when children are going through regressions, acting fussy and not wanting to be put down, there is a reason. You are the main source of comfort, because your child cannot calm down alone (all children need to be comforted at times). When your baby or toddler struggles to sleep, it is almost always because of pain, discomfort, separation anxiety, or restlessness from developmental changes.
2. Conform the approach to your child’s temperament and needs.
Find methods that mesh well with the way that you are doing things now. You will understand what this looks like when you read #5. Worry about what works for your child and what he or she needs, and it will be right for both of you.
3. Offer comfort and reassurance.
Babies and toddlers who can’t regulate their emotions need their parents to do this for them. Identifying what helps your child relax and settle is an important step towards helping your child fall asleep on his or her own. Relaxing is what you want your child to do. Right now, your baby needs help through motion, being held in your arms, feeding, or having little to no contact (for sensitive temperaments).
Pay close attention to what brings comfort to your child while falling asleep. Some babies get worked up quickly because of their sensitivity, fussy dispositions, or FOMO. Do what will help him or her feel at ease going in the crib, so that you can progress!