Is your baby learning to stand up? Is he having a hard time getting down? Here are a few tips for how to get him back to sleep!
When your baby is anywhere between 9 and 12 months, he will start pulling himself up. He’ll begin to grip on anything he can get a good grip on, from the chair and crib to your legs and window curtains.
The excitement of seeing your little one standing on two feet like a pro can be immense.
However, there’s a downside.
Often, babies get in a standing position in their crib without knowing how to get back down.
So, they’ll start fussing and crying until you come to their aid to lay them down.
Luckily, there are some steps you take before this becomes a new sleep association. Taking the right steps ahead of time will lead to a good night’s sleep in the long-term, both for you and your baby.
Here are four steps for getting your baby back to sleep when he’s learning to stand:
Practice standing up during the day
The first thing you want to focus on for the first few days is to let him practice this new skill during the day.
Sit together on the floor, get him something to hold on to, like a couch or your fingers, and let him pull himself up.
You can also practice this skill while your little one plays in his crib. Encourage him to pull himself up on the bars, and then help him get down into a sitting position.
The more he practices during the day, the less he will need to do so at night. Soon, he won’t even need you to lend a finger.
If he’s not upset, let him be
If your baby wakes up in the middle of the night and gets into a standing position without being able to get back down, let him be.
Give him the space to teach himself how to stand up and sit down without interfering, but only if he’s not upset.
He’s not crying or cranky, so I wouldn’t recommend interfering with him as this can only make him more upset. You’ll only risk stimulating him too much, and once this happens, you might have more trouble getting him to sleep.
Although he may fall asleep on the rails, don’t fret. This will only happen for a few nights until he finally masters the skill to put himself down. In case he falls asleep in a standing position, gently lay him down so that he doesn’t fall over as he could startle himself awake or get hurt.
If he’s upset, lay him down
If he’s pulled himself up and he’s crying for you, go to him and lay him down once.
Give him a kiss and tell him that it’s time to go to sleep.
If he jumps right back up, then this is a sign that he’s eager to play. Don’t encourage him by laying him down again.
My advice is that your first approach to getting him to sleep when he’s upset should be more hands-off than hands-on.
So, the first thing is to try giving him verbal reassurance for several minutes to make him calm down. Don’t lay him down or play with him.
If this doesn’t work, then you can provide more hands-on support. Pat him gently on his bottom, rub his head, scratch his back, or hold his hand. If there’s anything that you know calms him down, do it.
Hopefully, doing so will help him settle and make him fall asleep.
Avoid creating sleep associations
How you put your baby to sleep will dictate how he learns to go to sleep. It’s called “sleep associations” and are the behaviors your baby associates with going to sleep that he can’t sleep without them.
For example, if you nurse him or hold him every time he wakes up at night, this will become the only way he knows how to go to sleep.
Even after he learns how to go from standing to sitting, you’ll be left with a baby who associates sleep with nursing or rocking.
So, make sure you comfort him while he’s in his bed as best as you can without getting him outside.
At the end of the day, have peace of mind knowing that this phase is only temporary. Be consistent and remain patient. Practice, practice, and then practice some more.
Most importantly, don’t forget to stop for a moment and think of the amazing fact that your little one is growing and learning all these new tricks.