What is motion sleep?
Sleeping in a car seat, stroller or swing in movement are all examples of motion sleep. This is when a child falls asleep from the rhythmic movement. Many parents say that is the only way they are able to get their little one to sleep. We have all done it at one time or another!
However, motion sleep is not restorative sleep. It puts and keeps your baby into a light sleep in which they are still aware of what is going on. This type of sleep does not allow them to go into the next sleep cycle which will provide deep quality sleep.
There are times when motion sleep will happen because life happens, but always try to make crib sleep a priority to allow your child to get the good stuff. This is where they will get the healthy sleep that will restore their little minds and bodies.
Motion sleep is comparable to junk food or what is called “junk sleep”. Have you ever been hungry and grabbed a bag of chips to tide you over until the next meal? Then, when it is time to sit down and eat a healthy meal, you aren’t hungry anymore so you skip over the good stuff. I actually have a name for this type of sleep, I call it “potato chip” sleep.
Crib or bassinet sleep is also the safest sleep. The car seat, stroller, and swing were not intended for sleep and can be dangerous for a sleeping child.
When offering sleep, I recommend following the ABC’s of sleep
A: ALONE-Sleeping alone means without any blankets, stuffed animals or bumper pads. There should be nothing in the crib but a firm mattress with a tight fitted sheet and baby. It may not look fancy like you see in advertisements, but it is the safest way to put your baby to bed.
B: On their BACKS-When you put your baby into the crib always put them on their backs. This is the safest sleep position for your baby.
C: In a CRIB or bassinet-This is the safest place for your baby to sleep. Make sure the crib is a certified crib and there are no recalls on it.
You can read more about safe sleep here.
Besides motion sleep not being restorative, falling asleep in motion is a sleep association. A sleep association is an action or object that all of us use to prepare us or help us to fall asleep. We all have sleep associations. I know for me; I arrange my pillows in a certain way. Then, I rearrange my pillows, each time I wake up.
If your child falls asleep while being rocked or held, when they wake up during the night or while transitioning sleep cycles during naps, they will “call” out to you to help them go back to sleep again.
If you need help transitioning your little one from motion sleep to crib sleep, reach out for a free 15-minute consultation. You can email me at email@example.com.