Today’s blog is looking at things we need to know about baby development and baby sleep. Moving babies on to the next stage cause mums a lot of angst. You’ve just got your little cutie sleeping really well then comes along those pesky developmental leaps. They start rolling over, moving around the cot and getting stuck and screaming out for you to help them.

I also see many babies being swaddled for way too long, often swaddled until 7/8 months old creating a big issue with sleep. This interferes with their ability to self-soothe and rollover. If your baby can’t put their bare hands in their mouth and roll over its very tricky to achieve a sleep through. Research has found a link between lack of mouthing and sensory processing issues. This reflex and developmental skill for mouthing i.e. placing their hands in their mouth take place around 12 weeks.

These are really common scenarios I get asked about:

My 4.5-month-old just learnt how to roll today! Yay! Only she can’t roll herself back and for her last two periods of sleep she could not settle herself as she’s never slept on her tummy before and essentially “got stuck”.

It took half an hour for us to settle her – eventually on her back like she’s used to. But how do we teach her that she can sleep on her tummy and not only use it for cobra pose??

Worried about her getting to bed tonight 😳 Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!

Best thing I can tell you is that it will pass. In future try settling her on their tummy to teach her that tummy sleeping is normal and what she should be doing. Once they can roll they are not a SIDS risk. This stage is a pretty short-lived thing so just keep rolling him to his back to sleep and after some nights she will be able to just roll both ways and it will be fine.

Sit by the cot, place your hand briefly on her back to teach her this is what you want her to do. Allow her to cry and feel frustrated. You don’t need to calm her, the baby’s job is to calm themselves. Your job is to be present and support this process.

baby sleep

But you don’t want to create “learned helplessness” where they need you to roll them – temporarily it’s OK if it’s just a learning curve but be careful. And lots and lots of rolling practice in the day! Use toys to teach him to roll front to back. And know that it will pass!

The next stage is 6-9 months and they get stuck sitting up 🙈😂 just know it will pass and help him/her work through it and settle him down, lots of teaching in the day etc. good luck!! Oh, and just in case it helps…a few bad nights of them learning these new things doesn’t undo your sleep work. They are just leaping their brains! It does go back 🙂

Then you have the 6-8 month leap and separation anxiety hits the big time.

This is one mums story – For those who have not long gone through 8-month leap and separation awareness. My poor little pet is now crying when I put her in bed AND catnapping, she also woke at 4.30 am which is unusual. I tried magic presence this afternoon. After a 30 min nap. 20 minutes of crying 😭 (I had earphones in to take the edge off) how long did this last for you?
I’d love your tips and any advice you can offer about how to deal with the waking?

  • My son has been through this stage a few time’s (6, 8 and 11 months) he turns 1 tomorrow. If she responded well to your initial sleep training, it won’t take long. First, 2 stages lasted 2-4 days and the last one just 1 day. You’ll both get there!!
  • My lad is still going through at nearly 11 months, I’m sorry, not helpful but we kept giving in and putting him in bed with us and now have made it so much harder for him so my advice is don’t be as soft as me because you’ll only make it harder for him like I have for my lad
  • my first baby was a dreadful sleeper. This time we decided to be firm early. I’m hoping that this won’t last too long. I get anxious about big changes because of past experiences 😱
  • We went through separation anxiety a few months ago and impacted his sleep he would panic when we put him in the cot and I checked some previous posts on the group and Karen had advised to going back to doing Magic Presence as soon as settling to sleep so we went back to doing magic presence for about 5 weeks-  and within a few days it all got sorted and was so worth it. It also really helped his separation anxiety during the day. It really does get better – you got this 🙌🏻
  • We just go through it 😫😫 I was being soft like above picking up and cuddling. Karen advised to go back to doing Magic Presence and I’m happy to report that after a few days of tough love (magic presence, no pickups at all) she cried for maybe 2 minutes before bed last night then put herself to sleep without me having to go in. Day naps have also improved too! Be strong you can get through it xx
And literally within no time, things are back on track. And if they’re not then you need the new online Nurture Sleep Program to help you.