How to stop using a sleep pod or nest

There are so many different sleep positioners, pods, nests etc. on the market. You might have heard of the Sleepyhead and DockATot brands, but there are many more available.  

Like many things to do with sleep and parenting, these types of sleep supports can be a divisive topic.

As sleep consultants, we don’t recommend the use of these sleep items. Instead, we follow safe sleep guidelines which recommend ‘the safest place for a baby to sleep is a separate cot, crib or Moses basket, with a firm, flat, waterproof mattress’.

That said, we know many families do rely on these positioners and might feel nervous about removing them as they are worried about their little one taking a backward step with their sleep.

That is where we can help!

Are you thinking about getting rid of your sleep nest? Perhaps your baby has grown too big for it, or you have researched safe sleep guidance and have decided it’s time to get rid of it?

It can be a daunting prospect if your baby is sleeping fairly well, but it can only benefit your baby going forward to take steps to remove it sooner rather than later.

You will be able to relax knowing they are in a safe, clear cot and they will have the chance to practice moving around and making the most of their freedom. We all move around a bit to get comfy right? Babies don’t want to be restricted as they grow. As soon as they are able to roll, we need to allow them to practice this.

So how do we do this?

You can decide to take the nest/pod/positioner straight out and see what happens (baby might surprise you!), or you can use this gradual approach:

Step 1:

If your nest has an inner tube, take it out and put it under your baby’s sheet, or roll a towel into a sausage shape and put that under the sheet. This gives the feeling of the nest, but with a little more space than usual.

Step 2:

The next night move the sausage shape further out so that baby has a bit more space. This gives them a chance to get used to being able to move around a little more.

Step 3:

Remove the sausage! It’s time to go cold turkey. Baby WILL still sleep. It is not the pod that does this – babies are all born with the ability to sleep, it’s just been part of their sleep environment that they are used to.

You can see our Instagram video below to show you these steps in practice:

If you need help with your baby or toddler’s sleep see our online courses and 1:1 packages for strategies and support.

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