Shipping and Delivery information - click here

GET IN TOUCH   icon-phone Created with Sketch.  Call or WhatsApp us on +44 (0)7591 474846


Read some of our great articles on a range of parenting topics from sleeping to teething. We publish new blog posts regularly and feature a number of baby sleep experts and their top tips

Understanding Sleep Associations | Advice from baby sleep expert Adele-Jean Ablet

Understanding Sleep Associations | Advice from baby sleep expert Adele-Jean Ablet

It’s bedtime, and your little one refuses to sleep without their favourite stuffed toy but it’s in the wash, or they won’t sleep for their grandparents because they can’t fall asleep with anyone other than you. Sound familiar?

You’re not alone. Welcome to the world of sleep associations.

What are sleep associations?

Sleep associations are the conditions in which your little one learns to need in order to fall asleep at night.

Why are sleep associations so important?

As adults, we generally wake up 3-4 times every night. This is because our sleep cycles are 60-120 minutes long and at the end of every sleep cycle, the body naturally wakes. However, we often don’t notice these wakings because we have developed the ability to settle ourselves back to sleep. But babies' sleep cycles on the other hand, are only 40-60 minutes long and therefore they are likely to wake more. This is why it is important for babies and children to learn to fall asleep on their own so that they can settle themselves back to sleep when they wake in the night.

Common sleep associations

  • Transitional objects such as stuffed animals, blankets, or special comfort objects.
  • Relying on parental presence to feel safe and secure.
  • Consistent bedtime routines, such as a relaxing bath, a story and a lullaby.
  • External stimuli such as white noise, night lights, or specific sleep environments.

The impact of negative sleep associations 
  • While some sleep associations can be beneficial, others can inadvertently disrupt sleep patterns, for example relying solely on being rocked to sleep at bedtime can lead to frequent nighttime awakenings and depending on the same association to fall back to sleep during the night.
    Nurturing healthy sleep associations
  •  Establish a consistent bedtime routine to signal the transition to sleep.
  •  Encourage self soothing by gradually teaching your little one to fall asleep by reducing
    the reliance on external comforts.
  •  Ensure the environment is conducive for sleep by making sure it is comfortable, quiet, and free from distractions. Personally, I love the SnoozeShade Plus Extra for on-the-go naps to keep the sleep environment calm and free from distractions, and if you use my code ‘ADELE’, you can get 10% off.

About Adele:

Adele is a certified paediatric sleep consultant and a dedicated nanny with expertise in special educational needs.

Adele offers online (or in-person) 1:1 or group support to help sleep-deprived parents with their little ones sleep. Adele supports parents in understanding the reasons behind their sleep struggles and puts together a bespoke plan that is tailored to your little ones needs to ensure restful nights.

Book a complimentary 30 minute call to discuss your situation and identify how we can work together using this link

Alternatively, you can find Adele on Facebook



Find the right SnoozeShade for your baby

Select your baby's sitting position in the pram: