When I talk sleep with parents I always talk about, what P2B calls the sleep podium.
What is the P2B sleep podium?
Parents are so focused (some can be – said in the nicest possible way – obsessed) on getting their baby to sleep and they will do anything to get them to sleep. From rocking, feeding, bouncing, driving around at 2am in the morning, climbing into the cot, pushing the pram around the streets at midnight … trust me I have seen and heard it all.
What parents don’t understand is that babies, like adults, cycle through sleep cycles. In between each sleep cycle there is usually a ‘waking’ period. To sleep longer your baby must transition into the next sleep cycle. This may take some babies 3 minutes whilst it can take others 20 to 30 minutes.
This is where my podium comes into play.
Gold = 1st = your aim = sleep.
All parents want this magical sleep. Sleep is amazing and the ultimate parent goal!
Sliver = could be white gold = 2nd = the next best thing to sleep = unstimulated rest where your baby may play in their cot.
By leaving your baby in the cot when happy means you are giving them the chance to go back to sleep aka to link their sleep cycles. If they don’t go back to sleep that’s OK. Their little bodies have not been stimulated, and therefore their bodies have been rested. This is why it is important not to have a mobile over the cot. The more boring and dull that room is the better chance you have of your baby going back to sleep and/or coming out of the cot well rested. Remember when you would come home from work and collapse on the couch for 20-30 minutes to chill? Or now when your little one gives you a 20 minute powernap which allows you some much needed downtime? It is that rest, that downtime, that allows your body to recuperate. No it isn’t sleep but it is the next best thing. If your baby is happy in the cot leave them be.
Bronze = 3rd = no one wants to come third =no one remembers who came third = abort sleep.
As soon as your baby wakes up you go to them, even if they are happily playing and talking to themselves in the cot. You teach them that they must have someone there as soon as they wake, you aren’t giving them a chance to link their cycles and their little bodies by the end of the day will be overstimulated and overtired which can lead to a very difficult night settle.
Just some food for thought!