How to transition from a sleepyhead to a cot
If you’re anything like me, the second you found out you were pregnant you probably wrote a ‘baby must have’ list and on top of this I can guarantee was the infamous ‘Sleepyhead.’ Described by other mothers as a ‘baby must have’, it certainly helped Rupert sleep well for the first 5 months of his life. But what happens when you want to make the transition from sleepyhead to his cot.
I attempted this recently and the results were disastrous. Firstly, Rupert has learnt to roll – meaning without the close confides of the sleepyhead, he would roll over onto his tummy, wake himself up and then scream the house down because he then couldn’t roll back. Next, we discovered that his little arms and legs (due to all of this rolling!) we’re getting caught between the bars of the cot (Patrick and I were TERRIFIED that he would trap an arm and dislocate it!) So, how DO you evict the sleepyhead AND enable a good night sleep for your little one? Little Me London’s baby expert, Rachel Waddilove, explains all.
1. Start by removing the sleepyhead during your baby’s daytime naps. This not only means he has time to get used to sleeping without it, but it also means that when he does roll over and get stuck (!) you are there to quietly roll him back. Doing this a couple of times when it is daylight will be far easier than when it’s 3am in the morning
2. Have a routine. When he is in his cot (minus the sleepyhead) and rolls over, before getting stuck, do the following: Walk into the nursery quietly, without saying anything or making eye contact. Slowly turn him over so he is lying on his back again and then leave the room. You will find that for the first couple of times, he will scream blue murder when he rolls onto his tummy and can’t roll back, but eventually he will either figure out how to turn onto his back, or he will be happy sleeping on his front.
3. Buy breathable cot bumpers. If you are worried about arms and legs getting stuck in between the bars of his cot, invest in some BREATHABLE cot bumpers. Cot bumpers have had some bad press as parents worry that they can become detached and could fall on the baby and suffocate them. By getting breathable cot bumpers, ideally with Velcro, they will stay firmly attached to the cot and the mess design will allow air to circulate.
4. Move quickly. Try and get your baby out of their sleepyhead before they get too attached to it. I would suggest moving them out of it by the time they are at least 2 months old. It’s much harder to make a change to their sleeping routine when they get older.
About Rachel Rachel Waddilove has worked for many years as a private maternity nurse for clients including Zara Phillips and Gwyneth Paltrow. She now runs her own consultancy service Rachel’s Babies and has written numerus baby books to help new parents.