Wednesday, August 27, 2008

5 Minute Rule - It works for Babies, too!

Not so long ago I told you about the 5 minute rule I use with my 3-1/2 year old son when it comes to nap time. (Click here to refresh your memory.)

But after talking to a girlfriend about her infant daughter feeding every two hours, I realized the 5 minute rule can be applied in many other situations.

This advice comes from my pediatrician, which in my book, is a reputable place. It all started when my daughter just wouldn't sleep at night. My pediatrician recommended putting my daughter to sleep five to ten minutes later every night so that she might sleep later into the morning (you know, instead of waking up at 4am!).

Here is the root of the advice. If you try to change a baby's schedule by keeping them up for an extra hour, you are going to get nothing but an hour of screaming, crying, and torture for yourself. Instead, you just modify the schedule by five minutes at a time so the baby doesn't notice the change.

Obviously, going along with this advice means a gradual change and that things aren't going to change drastically overnight. Although, in the case of my daughter, I can recall keeping her up five minutes later and her sleeping an extra 25 minutes that first night, which on that day, made my year!

If you step back and look at this 5 minute rule of gradual change, it can also be applied to children of any age (which includes husbands!). Kids might balk at having to go to bed an hour earlier than they are used to, but they really won't notice 5 minutes. And in the case of my girlfriend's daughter eating every two hours, instead of trying to hold her off for three hours, just hold her off for two hours and five minutes, and gradually keep adding five minutes.

Try it...it's only five minutes!

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