The Estivill Method: How To Teach Your Children To Sleep Alone

 

Any parent knows the struggle before bedtime. It can be difficult to get your child to stay in bed and fall asleep, especially when fun things are happening! If you’re one of the parents with young children who is suffering through this time, we’ll try to provide you with some tips that will help you get your child into bed and asleep.The Estivill method is made up of a series of rules based on behavioral psychology that helps children create routines before bedtime that will help them fall asleep. It’s important to keep in mind that there are many different methods and accepted practice, and at the end of the day, you’ll know what’s best for you and your family!

This method has two parts that are important to its effectiveness. First, each parent must be firm but caring. It’s important that your child know you love them, even if you have to set strict bedtime rules.  The second part is setting up a bedtime schedule that will give your child a sense of comfort and safety. For example, rather than sending them to bed after dinner, work with them to explain each step of the bedtime routine. After a short time, they’ll learn to accept and anticipate it. If you’re ready to create a bedtime routine and get your child sleeping well, keep reading. We’ll tell you all about the Estivill method.

The Estivill Method:

The Estivill Method: How To Teach Your Children To Sleep Alone

The main goal of the Estivill method is to help each child learn their own sleep schedule and rely on it to go back to sleep if they wake up at night. If you are able to help them implement this method, not only will you feel less stressed about bedtime, you might also help prevent insomnia in your child. This method is based on real scientific tests, rather than just personal opinions, which means you can have a greater peace of mind knowing you’re doing something with a scientific foundation. For this method to be effective, you as parents will need to stick to the rules you’ve decided. While sometimes it can be hard, it is essential to trust the method and follow the guidelines to the best of your abilities. If the child has anything specific keeping them awake, like a fear of the dark or fear of being alone, try to handle those before getting them to sleep on their own.

How to apply the Estivill method to avoid insomnia in children

Creating a bed-time routine is essential for the modification of sleep schedules. Bedtime should be a happy experience shared between the child and parents, and should last about 20 minutes.

The routine that you create should be intimate and a positive experience, and start somewhere other than the bedroom. Maybe you want to listen to relaxing music on the couch, read a story, or prepare lunch or clothes for the next day. You can do any number activities that act as a “trigger”, that over time serves as an action that tells the child that it’s time for bed. Try to avoid watching TV to start this process, as it could wake them up and disturbs the emotional connection that you want to build before bed.

After this activity, whether it be reading or picking out tomorrow’s clothes, have the child go to the bathroom one more time and brush their teeth. Leave them in bed and say goodnight. The child will get used to falling asleep without a parent there. This will be important when they wake up at night and have to fall back asleep without a parent. You can leave a stuffed animal to sleep with them. This way, if they wake up at night they will feel safer knowing that the animal is still there.

The Estivill Method: How To Teach Your Children To Sleep Alone

The Estivill Method: How To Teach Your Children To Sleep Alone

Once you say goodnight, you can explain that you’re not leaving them and that sleeping alone doesn’t mean they’re being abandoned. They need to know that you’re helping them sleep well and you leaving isn’t a punishment. You may think about leaving the door cracked open so the child can hear you there, even though you’re not in the room.

If the child starts crying as you leave the room, don’t let it keep you back. Leave the room and wait before going back in. Wait a little longer each day before going back in to console your child. Make sure not to spend too much time and leave once the child has settled down. After going back in for a few days, let the child cry rather than going in. As more time passes, they’ll call you less and the child will learn how to sleep on their own.

The American Pediatric Association and the American Sleep Association claim that there are no negative side effects if the method is properly carried out. Children won’t be traumatized by teaching them how to sleep, so remind them that you’re helping them be independent and learn to do something new on their own, like eating or going to the bathroom.

Molly is a writer specialized in health and psychology. She is passionate about neuroscience and how the brain works, and is constantly looking for new content from interesting sources. Molly is happy to give or take advice, and is always working to educate and inspire.

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