The Importance of Putting Your Kid to Sleep "Drowsy but Awake"
It's really important that you learn to put your baby to sleep when she is "drowsy but awake" so your kid can learn to do the last part of falling asleep on her own. If you have trouble visualizing what "drowsy but awake" means, imagine a sleep scale from one to ten—one being wide awake and ten being deep sleep. Six or seven is "drowsy but awake."
Here are some tips:
- You want to put your kid down when she's clean, fed, dry, calm and drowsy but awake enough to know that she is going into her crib (again at a six or seven on the drowsy scale). If she falls asleep too quickly, in less than five minutes or so, you probably put her down too drowsy. Put her to bed when she's a tad more alert the next night.
- If she's still waking up a lot at night, you may need to put her to sleep a little more awake, so she gets better at resettling herself when she stirs at night.
- Even when you put her down at the right point on the drowsiness scale, she might wake up a bit and protest and fuss as you lay her down. Don't worry—but don't let her get out and start the whole routine over again. Instead stay near by and use Sleep Lady Shuffle techniques to comfort and reassure her and she will learn to transition from drowsiness to sleep.
- If your child just doesn't get drowsy, if she's really good at fighting sleep to keep you close by and engaged, you will have to put her into her crib or bed anyway. But make sure you have an appropriate bedtime routine to help prep her mind and body for sleep. Once she's in bed, use your repertoire of soothing techniques to help her transition to sleep.
Do you normally put your kid down totally drowsy, totally awake or drowsy but awake? Or...sometimes one, sometimes another? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
More sleep advice articles:
- Commit to Getting Your Kid to Sleep
- Educate Yourself About Your Child's Sleep
- Start a Sleep Log
- Create a Soothing Bedtime Routine
- Create a Sleep-Friendly Bedroom
- The Importance of Putting Your Kid to Sleep "Drowsy but Awake"
- The Sleep Lady Shuffle: What It Is and How To Do It
- Do Step 1 of the Sleep Lady Shuffle
- Do Step 2 of the Sleep Lady Shuffle
- Do Step 3 of the Sleep Lady Shuffle
- Be Your Kid's Nap Coach
- Check Off Your Sleep Coaching Checklist
- Create a Solid Sleep Plan
- Nightmares and Night Terrors (And How to Tell the Difference)
- Potty Training and Sleep
- End Early Rising
- The Sleep Lady on Transitioning Your Kid from a Crib to a Big-Kid Bed
- Ending Bedtime Stalling