How many times have you been through this situation? You rock your baby to sleep in your arms until she’s out like a light, and then the moment you put her into her crib, her eyes pop open and she won’t go back to sleep no matter what you do.
I honestly don’t think I’ve ever met a parent who hasn’t experienced this, and it’s just as confusing for each and every one of them. Why on earth would a peacefully sleeping baby wake up the minute they get put into their bed?
Well, I’m happy to tell you that there’s actually a pretty logical explanation, as well as an easy way to solve the problem. I’ll share both with you in this week’s video!
I can remember when my first son was a newborn baby. We used to, my husband and I used to call it the three-tier system for getting him to sleep and it usually started with a lot of rocking until he was asleep and then the transition to his crib was where we started this tiered process and my husband used to say I start in tier one where I do some rocking here and then I move him down to tier two which is a little closer to that mattress and then tier three is right, just hovering right above that mattress and then I try to slide my hands out as quickly and quietly as I can and pray that he stays asleep and I know that you’re nodding along because this has probably happened to you too and it can be really frustrating as a parent because you think, why, why can’t you just stay asleep. I put you down, you were fast asleep in my arms.
If you manage to get yourself out of the bedroom, it usually only lasts for about 30 to 45 minutes and now he’s awake again and you gotta start the whole thing all over again.
Well, I now know that there’s a reason for that. When we fall asleep, we still are on some level aware of our environment. I mean, it makes a lot of sense if you think it from, think about it from an evolutionary perspective. I mean, we have to on some level be aware of what’s going on around us or we would not have survived as a species, right? We would have been eaten by the lion or whatever because we wouldn’t know that danger was coming.
So that has stuck with us and so when a baby falls asleep in your arms, they know that they are in your arms and if you manage to get them to the crib and get yourself out of there, when they come to the light part of their sleep cycle which is roughly at the end of the 30 or 45 minutes for a baby, that’s the length of one sleep cycle, there’s gonna be this little period of time where they’re very light if not coming right out of sleep before they go into another cycle and if they’re not in the same place they were when they fell asleep, they’re going to notice and they’re most likely gonna be fairly startled by this fact. I mean, think about it. If you fell asleep on the couch and somehow realized or became aware of the fact that you are now in your bed, wouldn’t you be surprised? Yeah, you’d be a little shocked, maybe even scared.
So a baby will often wake up that way. They kinda startle themselves awake and if they can sit or stand, they’re sitting or they’re standing and they’re usually crying as soon as their eyes open and that’s a good sign that they’re realizing hey, I’m not in your arms anymore, where am I?
So the good news is if you can get a baby to fall asleep in the same place they wake up then they’re going to start to become a more skilled sleeper even faster. So if we were even starting in the newborn phase, at least occasionally, obviously it’s not gonna be every time but some of the time try putting them down in their bassinet before they’re asleep and see if they can drift off to sleep in that bassinet then when they wake up or have any little moment of awareness, they hopefully can get themselves right back into another sleep cycle.
That’s one of the principles of the Sleep Sense Program is that we help teach our children to find independent ways of getting to sleep so that they end up waking up in the exact same place where they fell asleep.
Thanks so much for watching today. Sleep well.
If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 57,00 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you!