Whether you have an infant who has just started smiling, a baby who has trouble falling asleep, or a toddler who still wakes up a few times a night, they will all benefit from napping or sleeping in a consistent sleeping place.
So what exactly is a consistent sleeping place? It could be their crib or bed in their room, a bassinet in your room, or a playpen at naptime. Regardless of where they sleep, the key is to keep it consistent.
Here are 3 reasons why a consistent sleeping place will help your child go to sleep easier, and get better quality sleep.
1. It becomes a positive sleep cue
If you use their crib or playpen as their consistent sleeping place, your child will begin to associate that location with sleep. As they get used to sleeping there all the time, falling asleep will become easier and require less assistance from you. If you’ve been used to rocking, swinging or driving your child around to help them fall asleep, using a consistent sleeping place like their crib will eliminate the need to provide those sleep props. Think about all the extra time you’ll have!
2. It will have consistent conditions
Having a consistent sleeping place means that you can control the sleeping environment. The more consistent your child’s sleeping environment is, the easier it will be for them to fall asleep and stay asleep longer. It’s best to keep the room as dark as possible, a cool temperature around 20 degrees, quiet, comfortable and of course safe to prevent SIDS. Ensuring all those conditions are present when your child falls asleep in the swing in the kitchen is very difficult! Your child is more likely to wake sooner than they should.
3. It will be easier for them to go back to sleep between sleep cycles
I had a client say to me, “After my daughter falls asleep in the living room in her bouncy chair, we gently carry her to her crib for the night. Could this be the reason she wakes up at night?” My response was “absolutely!”
Think about it – how often have you suddenly woken up while sleeping at a hotel or a friend’s house and wondered “where the heck am I?” You wake yourself up more just to figure out how you got there! The same is for children. When the child wakes briefly between sleep cycles (as we all do), they do a quick check to make sure everything is as it was when they fell asleep. If things have changed, like where they are sleeping, they will likely wake up fully and call for you. If they are in their consistent sleeping place, they will likely roll over and go back to sleep peacefully.
Need help getting your child to be a better sleeper? Visit my BabyZzz website for more information on how we can work together!