What is independent sleep? And why is it so important?
A baby who falls asleep by a sleep prop (feeding, rocking, etc) will expect that same sleep prop when waking in the night, or for naps. Since babies have many sleep-wake cycles after 4 months, a sleep prop dependency results in frequent night wakings, which causes a restless and poor sleep for the whole family.
A baby who knows how to fall asleep on their own, will do so without the assistance of anything/anyone. The effect of this will result in a child being able to transition sleep cycle flawlessly, independently, and will eliminate unnecessary night-time wakings and extending nap lengths.
Every single person wakes through the night, even you. This may not be realized because most of us have the ability to fall into our next sleep cycle before our bodies are able to fully register that we are awake. When you put a sleeping baby to bed, you are interfering with the development of your little one’s natural sleep triggers. Babies and Children need the opportunity to experiment and figure out what best soothes them. Learning not to jump in too quickly and save your little one from frustration is an essential part in developing. Not only does this apply to multiple taught lessons in childhood it also applies to sleep.