A very common issue for parents is that once your baby can pull themselves up - they want to have a go at bedtime, in their cot.
If this is happening at bedtime and delaying sleep, read on for some tips and information on why they do it and how you can help them settle during this phase.
Why is this happening?
When our little one's learn something new, they love to practice it in every waking moment - repetition is fun and key to mastery after all. Of course, their favourite time to give it a go is nap/bedtime. This is very normal and a phase that most babies will go through. Although it is frustrating, it is a great sign that development is on cue and they are excited to get practicing.
If you are dealing with a toddler standing in their cot, they may simply be undertired or just not keen to miss out on all the fun - they know at this age that when they are sleeping, life is carrying on and who wants to miss a party?
Some lucky parents never go through this phase, so don't worry if your little one never does it - they are all different and could be getting all the practice in they need during their awake hours.
What can I do to get them to sleep?
The first thing you can do is provide lots of daytime opportunities for them to practice their new skills. This can help wear them out for bedtime but also mean they have less desire to practice when they should be sleeping.
Check their routine, total day sleep AND awake windows are equally important and contribute to over and under tired babies and toddlers.
Like all phases, it won't last forever, ensure they are safe and not able to climb out of the cot. We can not force them to stop standing- this may cause more resistance and lengthen the phase.
Try to avoid turning it into a battle, if they keep standing when you try to lie them down, they may get more irate which is counterproductive for sleep. You can try to lie them down 2-3 times to see how they respond but, eventually, they will do this of their own accord when the desire to sleep takes over. If they are calm but standing, leave the room and see what they do. If they are upset, you can stay in the room with them and try patting the mattress to encourage them to lay down or just comfort them until they are sleeping.
If your child is still young enough to use a sleep sack, this could be worth a try, it's slightly more difficult for them to stand and if they do manage it, they shouldn't be able to climb which is the most important thing. It also means they won't wake up cold from blankets falling off every time they stand up.
Remember to be patient and calm, this is a phase and this too shall pass. Be consistent with your settling and boundaries but remain calm throughout so they can mirror this atmosphere.
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