Yes, I know there is no such word.

It’s the term we use to describe the process whereby you ignore your child when they require attention but are supposed to be asleep. For example, a nappy change in the middle of the night.

We have found that by not making eye contact or talking to our child (or each other) during these periods she gets to know that it is sleep time and not time to wake up and play. It is important to be very quiet and very calm and gentle during these times.

It is advantageous if you can start this method as soon as is practical as it takes a bit of time to get them used to it. You can still comfort your child with touch if necessary but definitely don’t talk to them or look them in the eye.

It is equally important to be more interactive and noisy every time it is time to get up. A big “good morning, how did you sleep? What a lovely day” etc. is a good way to let them know that sleep time is over.

We discovered this when our child had very bad nappy rash and we were reluctant to let her sleep all night in one nappy. Unfortunately we had to wake her up to change her and initially we had trouble getting her to settle again.

After a couple of nights she realized that we were not going to engage her or get her up so she just went back to sleep. We now do this every time we have to disturb her during the night.

This technique really came into its own recently when our daughter started waking up an hour early in the morning. I went into her room to find her standing up in her cot. Without saying a word or making eye contact I walked up to her and put my hand on her head.

I then adjusted her blanket, patted her pillow and eased her back down into bed and tucked her in. She tried to engage me by saying “Daddy, daddy, up, up” but when she received no response at all she just settled back down again.

We did not hear from her again until her regular wake up time of 6.45am. This will hopefully prove very useful during daylight saving time changes.

Good luck..!

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