A cry of distress. A scream of terror. A loud bang. Many things can wake a parent up in the middle of the night. Sometimes parents get lucky and little one goes back to sleep on their own. Sometimes it takes a bit more; a diaper change, a bottle/drink, some rocking and singing. Sometimes parents are not lucky at all and little one just will not fall back asleep.
When our son was born we received a LOT of advice on this. Co-sleep, baby wants to know you are close by. Give more food, make him pass out from a food comma. Never co-sleep, besides smooshing him it will give him the habit of coming into your bed at night as he gets older. Buy earplugs and let him cry it out. Everyone had something to say on the matter.
As my husband was working part time at nights when my son was born many of these suggestions did not work for us. With my husband coming home from work between 11 PM-midnight and my getting up at 5 AM, or son usually waking up shortly after my husband was going to bed, bringing him to bed with us did not work. My husband is a restless sleeper, noises keep him awake and an excited toddler definitely makes noises! Would always try to get him back down with a diaper change, bottle and some rocking; unfortunately this rarely worked. He just wanted to play!
We created the cozy spot. It started with some blankets in my son’s play area where I could crash as he played and wore himself out. It kept me close by him so he felt safe, and I was right there if needed. He typically fell back asleep just as it was time for me to get up and go to work.
As you can see, my son really liked his cozy spot. as he got older and his play area become bigger, so did his cozy spot. it eventually became a bunch of dog pillow beds covered in blankets on the floor in the play room. Thankfully we did not need it much after he turned 2. For some reason between age 1 and 2, my son did not like to sleep the night.
Our daughter is now almost 17 months and we have used the cozy spot a few times. Typically she wants to snuggle when not feeling well and now that our schedules are different bringing her to bed with me is not as challenging as it was with my son. I do still prefer the cozy spot as I feel its safer for her in case she wakes up while I doze. She can play safely and I still get sleep while being near by. Its a win-win for us!