| Sleep Advice |

Positive Sleep Associations⠀


A young child will create sleep associations from day one. Whether it is being fed to sleep, rocked to sleep, put down awake, dummy, comforter, swaddled or in mums bed, they will begin to associate these signs with sleep. ⠀

There is not only one correct association, however, it is important to remember that when a child wakes between sleep cycles, they may need that same sleep association to fall back asleep. Sleep cycles are much shorter in babies than they are in adults and they will rouse between them even if they are a ‘good’ or ‘solid’ sleeper. It’s what they need to drift off back to sleep that may vary greatly. ⠀

This is where you need to decide what you’re comfortable with as a parent. For example, if your child is rocked to sleep then they may need to be rocked to sleep every time they wake. If you are happy to do so then there is no need to sleep train or make changes to the association. ⠀

However, if this is resulting in lack of sleep for yourself and for your baby, then it may be time to introduce a more positive sleep association that does not include you. This where you can choose something like a transitional object (comforter) or a different settling technique such as patting their back and then move on to standing in the door way at chosen intervals. ⠀

The important thing to remember is that whatever you choose to do, needs to feel right for you. Some parents are happy to replace the dummy numerous times a night, some prefer to put a child down awake and others enjoy co-sleeping. These are all creating different sleep associations, all of which are positive if both child and parents are getting enough rest. If the sleep association begins to cause sleeplessness then it may be time to make some changes. 

Melbourne VIC Australia

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