Common words/phrases used when talking about babies/children’s sleep defined.
Sleep Pressure (often referred to as Awake Windows)
We all need a certain amount of sleep pressure in order to be able to fall asleep. The longer we are awake, the more this sleep pressure builds. Awake windows refer to the average length of time that babies/children can be awake before they have built up enough sleep pressure to need to sleep.
Self-soothing refers to a baby being able to regulate their emotions and upset. Often in sleep circles this is used to describe a baby who is crying and then left to calm alone to calm themselves down. This is often mis-used instead to describe self-settling which is very different.
Self-settling refers to your baby’s/child’s ability to relax and put themselves to sleep without needing support.
Drowsy but Awake
A phase so often used by Sleep Consultants online and in baby books yet never fully explained. My definition of this would be a baby who is nice and calm, relaxed, wound-down and tired. Yawning/eye rubbing/nuzzling but they haven’t closed their eyes or fallen asleep.
Naps under 30-45mins which is in fact a normall nap length and not considered a sleep issue (as long as there are enough of these over the course of the day)
10/15mins or so before a nap/bedtime in a dimly lit space with unstimulating activities.
Natural cognitive or physical progressions in your child’s development that can interrupt sleep for short phases.