Why is my baby standing in her cot?

Why is my baby standing in her cot?

Why is my baby standing in her cot?

You survived the first 6 months when it felt like your baby’s sleeping patterns literally changed weekly.

Things had settled down, until now!

Suddenly your baby is standing in their cot, all smiles and refusing to sleep. They wake after a sleep cycle, stand up!


You pop them to bed at nap time, and ping they stand straight back up.

Like a jack in box. Legs straight, knees locked, standing and not sleeping!

Mum is frustrated, baby is getting progressively more and more tired, what is the solution?

Your baby is going through a completely normal developmental phase, don’t panic.

Learning to stand is a physical milestone all babies go through, the way through this sleep regression, is to teach your baby to lie back down. 

If your feeling frustrated by your babies lack of sleep, you might be tempted to try to “make” your baby go to sleep.

The bad news is you can’t “make” a 10 month old sleep, sure you could try rocking them to sleep or feeding them to sleep.

But forcing a baby to sleep at this age usually only results in frustration, delayed onset of sleep and frequent night wake ups.

Instead we need to look to support our baby’s through this stage and let them yield to that feeling of tiredness and go off to sleep. If your baby is reaching the stage where they are falling asleep standing up, or becoming very upset, I suggest you start to physically lie them down in their cot.

You are not forcing them to sleep, or forcing them to lie down and stay down, that will only end in tears from you and baby. You’re simply reminding them with a 'physical cue' that it is time to sleep and in order to sleep, they need to lie down.

I understand they will probably jump straight back up, and possible even be annoyed at you, but this is when we know we are getting through to them, and we are changing the situation. Whether you lie them down at pre timed intervals, or every time they stand up is up to you as a parent to work out, every child is unique in how they respond, you will know your child best and what they will respond to best.

Remember this is not forcing a child to sleep, or assisting a child to sleep, so try not to become frustrated when your child is showing no signs of going to sleep, and you have been at this for 30 minutes or more. You have provided the wonderful sleep environment, a full belly and your baby is in bed at the right time, the onus is not on you to fall asleep or force your baby to sleep, the onus is on your baby to give into that feeling of tiredness, and fall asleep.

Be patient, understand this is hard for your baby, they are tired, frustrated and trying to learn how to switch off.

Try singing to them, or talking in a soothing tone. If they do lie down you can stroke their face or back to encourage them to fall asleep, just be careful to stop before they fall asleep, so they learn to do it independentlyUnderstand little children actually lock their knees in place when they first learn to stand up, so they aren’t trying to be difficult they genuinely need help to learn to lie back down.

Spend some time in the day when they are not due a nap, learning to stand up, sit back down, and then lie down. Make it a game, tickle them and enjoy the time together, you are helping your baby form new muscle memory and brain synapses which will then enable them to easily be able to lie themselves back down in their cot.

This is also a good age to ensure they are sleeping in a sleeping bag and you are not relying on duvets or blankets. A sleeping bag will ensure that when they do lie back down, no matter where they end up, they will not be cold, and they are less likely to progress to trying to get a leg over the side of the cot if they physically can’t!

Standing in the cot is a frustrating milestone, and one which is responsible for some pretty big sleep regressions. But with a little patience and a lot of consistency you could be out the other side in a matter of days not weeks!

Emma Purdue


  • Oh my goodness my son has just started doing this, thanks for the advice I almost rocked him to sleep today, just to make him take a nap! I will check out the sleep guide if things don’t improve soon.

    Elena on

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