Is your baby standing in the cot?
You survived the newborn phase (or daze) when it seemed like your baby’s sleeping patterns changed every week. You’ve survived multiple regressions and disruptions to your baby’s sleep (hello 3 month sleep regression, teething, immunisations and so on!)
Finally, things had settled down.
Until they learnt a new skill.
Suddenly your baby is standing in their cot, proud as punch and refusing to sleep.
They wake after a sleep cycle, stand up! Like a jack-in-a-box.
You pop them to bed at nap time, and they stand straight back up.
So what is the solution?
The first thing is not to panic. Your baby is going through a completely normal developmental phase. It’s all part of healthy growth and development.
So now that you know that learning to stand is a physical milestone all babies go through, you want to know how to get your baby to lie back down, right?
Your little one is so proud and wants to show off their new skill to you. It’s been a little bit boring spending all those months flat on their back or on hands and knees. Naturally they they want to stand all the time.
It’s very cute, but not so much at bedtime! In fact, it can can cause a bit of a sleep regression. And no parent likes that word: regression!
The way through this sleep regression, is to teach your baby to lie back down.
The bad news is you can’t physically “make” a baby that’s say, 8-10 months, sleep. It can’t be forced. You could try rocking or feeding them to sleep or feeding them to sleep, but forcing them usually only results in frustration (both yours and theirs) and delayed onset of sleep.
But never fear, I have some good news, too…
With a little patience and persistence you can support your baby through this stage and encourage them to embrace feeling of tiredness and go off to sleep.
If your baby is reaching the stage where they are falling asleep standing up, or becoming very upset, I suggest you start to physically lie them down in their cot.
Don’t confuse this with forcing them, though. That will only end in tears from you and baby.
You’re simply reminding them with a 'physical cue' that it is time to sleep and in order to sleep, they need to lie down. And you may need to do this calmly but firmly again as they will probably jump straight back up, and possible even be annoyed at you.
Yep, it’s frustrating, but work with them…
Whether you lie them down at pre-timed intervals, or every time they stand up is up to you as a parent to work out, every child is unique in how they respond, you will know your child best and what they will respond to best.
Remember this is not forcing a child to sleep, or assisting a child to sleep, so try not to become frustrated when your child is showing no signs of going to sleep, and you have been at this for 30 minutes or more. What you’re aiming for is your bubba to give in to that feeling of tiredness. Because what you resist, persists.
Be patient, understand this is hard for your baby, they are tired, frustrated and trying to learn how to switch off. Think about the times when you are both weary and wired and night, and you just can’t switch off.
Try singing to them, or talking in a soothing tone. If they do lie down you can stroke their face or back to encourage them to fall asleep, just be careful to stop before they fall asleep, so they learn to do it independently.
Spend some time in the day when they are not due a nap, learning to stand up, sit back down, and then lie down. Make it a game, tickle them and enjoy the time together, you are helping your baby form new muscle memory which will then enable them to easily be able to lie themselves back down in their cot.
This is also a good age to ensure they are sleeping in a tog-appropriate safe sleeping bag. A sleeping bag will ensure that when they do lie back down, no matter where they end up, they will not be cold, and they are less likely to progress trying to get a leg over the side of the cot if they physically can’t!
Standing in the cot is a frustrating milestone, and one which is responsible for some pretty big sleep regressions. But with a little patience and a lot of consistency you will be out the other side in a short time.
No stage is permanent. Remember that, wonderful mama!
If you continue to struggle with standing, or perhaps you have another parenting challenge, book your free online consult with me below, Remember, help is always here,
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