Questions for Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin
Do you have any particular advice to parents on how to read the book?
I think it is important that you don’t over-dramatise the book. I know some parents told me that if they read the book with too much emphasis and too many different voices, then the child won’t fall asleep. But if the other one reads it in a calmer way then the child is more likely to fall asleep. It’s important to not make it that exciting, so as not to overstimulate the child.
You describe the technique quite clearly in the book but can you adapt this?
Exactly, I give some recommendations on how you can read the book. But the most important thing is to observe your own child and adapt the book according to how the child reacts to the story – you can add things, you can take away things, you can play with it as much as you want, as long as it gives the result of relaxation and sleep. All children are unique, just like we adults are. So one approach won’t work for every child.
Is the book something you could also recommend using at that time in the night if the child wakes up and has trouble getting back to sleep?
I’m not sure many parents would want to read the book in the middle of the night. But I know I turned on the audio book when he woke up when he was younger, smaller, and he would fall asleep again. It can work but it’s a personal choice.
What do you do to get Leon, your son to go to sleep – do you have a particular night-time routine or ritual?
No, we don’t have any special rituals or routines, it changes all the time. However we did start to play the audio book of The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep to Leon before he was even born, in the womb. So hopefully it was familiar to him and helped create a habit of relaxing to the story right from the beginning. Now we only use it when Leon is having trouble relaxing before bedtime.
If children wake in the middle of the night, do you have any advice on how to get them back to sleep?
Leon, my son can sometimes wake up and calling for “mummy” mostly and then we just bring him into our bed and he falls asleep with us mostly. But when he was younger, we tried to keep him in bed when he was waking up. We would go into his room until he fell asleep again, and that seemed to be another good way of connecting the bed with sleep.