Sleeping on One’s Own (with video)

Being able to let go and release oneself into sleep in center base care requires the infant to feel safe, secure, and at home with her environment and the people around her.

How else could she put herself into such a vulnerable state of being?

Unlike home,  babies in daycare must find their rest amongst a group of others..  At first, this can be a frightening and intimidating experience for the child.  Over time, however, infants cared for in centers practicing the RIE way will come to know their Primary Educarer;  be refueled during body care routines;  and acclimate to the sounds, sights and smells within the center community.

In time, she’ll learn how to sleep on her own not only at home, but also at the center.

Take a peek as Baby A lays herself down to sleep-

(Note: Placing two cribs in our mobile play space allowed us to observe the quality of sleep of a crib baby versus a floor bed baby while at the center. The cribs were placed in play space to observe the child’s initiative to self-regulate. Based on our observations, we now wait to utilize floor beds while cribs remain reserved for designated indoor/outdoor sleep spaces.)

How is Baby A able to fall to sleep so peacefully all on her own while her friends continue to play nearby?

Photo: David Vigliotti
Photo: David Vigliotti

This baby is cared for under the primary direction of a highly trained and experienced infant practitioner.  She shares her care with three other babies with whom she will come to know deeply as they grow and development together under their caregiver’s guidance.   In her relationship with her caregiver, Baby A has grown to trust that her needs will be met to their fullest..  Their interactions together during body care- be it sleep, eating, or diapering- refuel not only her physical need, but also those involving her social, emotional, and spiritual well-being.


Little Learners Loddge
Little Learners Loddge

Baby and Caregiver are in sync- when the infant is laid down to sleep it is because she has indicated to her Primary Teacher that she is tired.   She knows where she is headed as the environment and routine have been the same.  While some activity may continue around her, the group size remains small, minimizing the disturbance. On her own scheduled, rather than one prescribed by the adult, an infant ready to sleep knows what to do.

This baby has learned to trust.
Her caregiver, her environment,

Recommended resources:

Towards Independent Sleep

In Magda’s Words- YSCB

The Parent “Go To”- Janet Lansbury


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