Sleep Consultant Shares 1 Thing That Can Help Babies Fall Back To Sleep

“I promise this one thing will make a huge difference in them settling back to sleep and learning to fall asleep independently."
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A paediatric sleep consultant has shared the one thing she believes makes a “huge difference” in helping babies settle back to sleep – and it requires very little effort on your part.

Lily Horbatiuk suggested that if a baby hasn’t slept for very long and then wakes up, parents should try what she’s dubbed the ’100 second rule’.

“I promise this one thing will make a huge difference in them settling back to sleep and learning to fall asleep independently,” she said in a TikTok video.

So, what’s the 100 second rule?

Her tip involves watching the monitor and counting to 100 when your baby starts to stir from their sleep. Her recommendation is that only after you’ve finished counting should you intervene.

“Don’t go in as they’re fussing and just watch and respond versus react,” she says.

“It’s normal for babies to wake up, they just need time to put themselves back to sleep so giving them even just 100 seconds ... can make a huge difference and likely they will put themselves back to sleep.”

Parents were divided by the advice, while some agreed that waiting works for them, others suggested they couldn’t leave their babies to fuss for that long.


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What do other sleep experts think of this advice?

Daisy Ferns, a sleep consultant who runs Lavender Blue Sleep Consulting, tells HuffPost UK she’d “absolutely recommend” for parents to use this technique with their children.

In fact, she’d even suggest they wait three minutes before responding.

“This is because a lot of children move about, make noises and may even cry out as they are transitioning between sleep cycles, and by rushing in you may hinder them falling back to sleep by themselves,” she explains.

“If they haven’t settled within this time then of course respond in an appropriate way, and if you have a child under four months old, with additional needs or if they’re ill then it may not be suitable.”

Holistic sleep coach Emily Whalley, of Fox and The Moon Sleep, suggests there are too many variables when it comes to this approach and it’s not a one-size-fits-all scenario.

“If a baby is waking and stirring, babbling, seemingly happy, then giving them time to go back to sleep is absolutely fine,” she tells HuffPost UK.

“I would also say that leaving a baby while moaning for a minute or so to go back to sleep isn’t the wrong thing to do either, we have to have some nuance when it comes to our babies and how we respond.”

But she takes issue with the narrative that revolves around parents thinking they need to let their children fall back to sleep independently, especially as “babies’ and young children’s nervous systems do not have the capability to understand that sleep is safe to do independently”.

“My problem with this message is that parents will try it – it may work, it may not – but if it doesn’t work I worry how that will make parents feel and how that will impact on their stress levels,” she concludes.

Ultimately, it’s worth a shot – but if it doesn’t work for you, remember it doesn’t reflect on you as a parent. We’re all built differently and some babies are simply better at sleeping than others.