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Why tired and awake can look the same

If you are wanting to help your baby learn to fall asleep independently but are currently getting them to sleep yourself with rocking, feeding or holding, there is a mindset shift that you will need to undergo! Let me explain…


For a baby to fall asleep in their cot from being completely awake there will usually be a period of 5-20 minutes where your baby will be awake in their cot but winding down. This is something that will feel strange, as they appear to be “wide awake” when in actual fact they are getting ready to sleep.


During this winding-down time your baby might be rolling around, crawling, singing, standing, chatting, slamming legs, moving their head from side to side, moaning, whinging, rattling the cot bars, sucking fingers and hands. Lots of these things don’t necessarily look like tiredness, but all of these are really normal things that babies do when they are winding down. I know, strange right.


For you as parents it’s about getting used to seeing your baby getting THEMSELVES to sleep rather than you “doing sleep” for them. It can be unnerving for you as you are used to putting them down into their cot totally conked out, but when you are putting them down awake, as long as you are following a routine that is age-appropriate (or have timings that are working for them) then they are actually tired, they just aren’t asleep!


Putting your baby down awake and them getting themselves to sleep in their cot is one of the main keys to getting your baby’s sleep working well and getting those longer stretches of sleep consistently happening. So don’t feel alarmed if your baby seems wide awake in their cot, trust your routine timings and that you’ve put them down when they are tired and give them the space to actually fall asleep.

If you need help with this, our sleep programmes will guide you routine, sleep environment and how to get your baby falling asleep by themselves, step-by-step.


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