Transition Techniques - the ''tip-toe'' effect!
Updated: Feb 17
Transition techniques for keeping sleeping babies asleep! It's a major mission when you're trying to move a sleeping baby from one area or environment to another. It's not until you realise the noise changes, heat changes and all those other varying factors you wouldn't usually even consider, until you have a sleeping tiny one to content with! I like to refer initially to the transition of the car seat to the house! It's always one I get asked about. Actually physically trying to maintain that sleeping baby from one environment to a completely new one without waking them! There are a few top tips of wisdom I can share to help! I've put together some points below that can help you be the under cover parent ninja that you are!
So many points to consider, but give these a try! And if you need any further help you can contact me of course. ● Ensure your baby is properly asleep. Like, really properly. Trying to lay them down when they are in too light a sleep will likely wake them up again and set you back to the beginning! Their limbs should be floppy and breathing slow and steady.
● Ensure long hair/loose clothing is tied back so as not to tickle their face as you lean over
them to lay them down.
● White noise is fantastic and there are a number of apps and inventions that can deliver this to create a constant noise to help with a smooth and uninterrupted transition. This is great to try if they are not quite in a deep sleep. If you have the patience to ''SHHHHHHHHHH'' then go for it!
● Warming the crib with a hot water bottle/heated wheat pack and using brushed cotton
sheets can make the transition from warm arms / a body heated area (like a car seat) to cool crib much smoother.
● Maintain body contact for as long as possible, holding your baby’s arms/limbs close to
their body to avoid sudden jerks as you lower them down gently to their mattress.
● Make this movement as smooth as possible!
● Put their feet then bottom down first, followed by laying their head gently on the mattress.
● To release your arm from under your baby (ideally this won’t be the arm with a watch or jewellery on! I know - so much to consider, but it will become second nature ) gently and smoothly slide it out, pushing down INTO the mattress so as not to
disturb your baby - so they don’t move, and the pressure is transferred to the mattress
● When they are completely laid down (and your arm is released!), gently and slowly move
their arms down to rest onto the mattress either side of them, (or place their hands on
their tummy) and use both your hands to maintain gentle pressure either side on your
baby’s arms to keep them close to their body.
● Then slowly remove one hand and shift the other to put some gentle pressure on their
chest, this is very soothing for babies. Once you’re sure they’re staying asleep, gently
remove this hand by slowly reducing the pressure until your hand is completely off them.
● If at any point once they are laid down they start to fuss, you may need to put gentle
pressure back on their arms/chest or stroke their head for a short time (if not too
stimulating), and/or shush them to soothe.
What if they still don't settle?
● Always remember, babies have a sixth sense. They can pick up on your jitters or stress. They are clever little minds! So, as hard as it is sometimes with life, you must try and be relaxed whilst transitioning your little one. (I know, I know, it's not that easy but worth a try!).
● If they really won’t settle, it can sometimes help to roll them onto their side towards you,
support their ‘top’ shoulder and arm with your left hand and pat their bottom in an
upwards motion with your right hand. Slowly reduce the pat intensity and frequency until
you can stop and they stay asleep. Gently roll them completely onto their back for safe
sleep, once settled.
● When they do settle, breathe a sigh of relief and 'tip-toe' away! Give yourself a rest or downtime time now. You deserve it! Remember, these times don't last forever. You might even just miss them.
If you would like further support, please contact me! Or please visit www.sweetdreamssleepcoaching.co.uk/book-online to book a consultation and bespoke sleep coaching package tailored specifically to your family's needs and parenting style.