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Welcome To The Members Area! Forums Baby Sleep Help Does sleep pyramid technique change with age? Reply To: Does sleep pyramid technique change with age?

  • Emma H

    June 6, 2024 at 2:30 pm

    Hi Anastasia,

    It’s great to hear that your little one has learned to roll over! Have you noticed if he prefers to sleep on his tummy now that he’s rolling?

    When babies get a bit older, they tend to become more aware of their surroundings, and staying in the room can sometimes be distracting or distressing for them. If that’s the case with your little one, you might want to modify the settling pyramid method slightly. So you would complete the nap or bedtime routine, lay him down in the crib, and then leave the room, completing the watch and listen step outside the bedroom (by watching him on the monitor), similar to what I did in the video with my little one.

    When you are completing the watch and listen step, outside the room, remember that if he calls out but there are pauses between the call-outs, it doesn’t necessarily mean he needs you. It could be his way of saying, “Hey, this is different!” or just him settling to sleep. Babies can take up to 20 minutes to fall asleep, so if he calls out but there are pauses, give him the space to fall asleep without you in the room.

    However, if he calls out and there are no pauses, that indicates he needs you. At this point, you would enter the room and move up and down the settling pyramid. Once you enter the room, I recommend you stay until he falls asleep (but move down the pyramid so that he completes the last step of falling asleep on his own), as opening and closing the bedroom door could alert your little one and cause him more distress.

    Regarding your question about how often I needed to ‘retrain’ my daughter due to natural disturbances like growth spurts, teething, and sickness:

    The discomfort from teething and sickness can impact sleep and result in the need to retrain our little ones, if we change our responses to how we settle them to sleep and respond to them overnight. Therefore, I tried to be as consistent as possible with settling my little one and responding to her overnight when she was sick or teething to minimise these impacts. If she was uncomfortable due to teething (which meant she was also uncomfortable during the day and clingy) or sick (evident through coughing or a constant runny nose 😂), I would give her pain relief if needed before naps and bedtime, then proceed with her usual routine.

    I might have rocked her slightly longer but I still aimed to put her down in her crib while she was awake and then helped her fall asleep by patting if needed. I was also careful not to introduce a night feed if it wasn’t previously needed. Introducing a feed when it wasn’t needed overnight could have created a new sleep association, resulting in the need to ‘retrain’ if she didn’t naturally return to sleeping without it once she was well again. Instead, I would settle her back to sleep in my arms if needed and then put her back in the crib.

    Once she moved into her bedroom around 12 months, I would move a mattress into her room if I needed to sleep in the same room (such as when she had croup). This way, when she was well again and I didn’t need to be in the same room, her routine remained unchanged. This prevented her from getting used to sleeping in my bed, which could potentially require retraining her again.

    By remaining consistent and not introducing new sleep associations, I’ve had about ten occasions (which have lasted 3 – 7 days) where I had to provide more comfort than usual when she was unwell or in pain. However, she naturally returned to her usual sleeping pattern once she was well again or those teeth came through!

    I hope this helps!