Drowsy but awake is NOT helpful

by | Jun 12, 2023 | bedtime routine, Quick Baby Sleep Tips | 0 comments

Drowsiness is NOT helpful at bedtime… WHAT?!?!

If you’ve done your research about baby sleep you’re probably familiar with the term drowsy but awake.

It is a buzz term for sure.  But my question is what is drowsy?


Is drowsy the first time a baby rubs his eyes?  Is drowsy when a baby has very soft eyes while they finish up their last feed?

Is drowsy when a baby looks like he is about to fall asleep on mom’s shoulder?


So here is my thing… drowsy can be all of these things.  The word drowsy is so darn subjective.


What you think is drowsy is different than what your friend thinks is drowsy, which is different still from what I believe is drowsy and so on.

There’s no way to provide the perfect amount of drowsy, and I am here to tell you that drowsiness during the bedtime routine could actually be the little piece that needs to be changed.


Drowsiness is in fact, the first stage of sleep.  If your baby is too drowsy at bedtime you could be receiving a false indication that your baby can fall asleep independently.


If this is the case, when your baby wakes in the middle of the night (like all humans do) your baby won’t be able to get themselves back to sleep, because they did not do it independently at bedtime.


Think of it like this… Your baby falling asleep is like a little journey, going from point A to point B.  Point A totally awake, point B totally asleep.  If your baby gets any assistance getting from point A to point B when falling asleep initially at bedtime, then they are going to look for that assistance at any subsequent wakes throughout the night.


TL;DR… drowsiness is the enemy of independent sleep for babies.  That sounds dramatic, I know, but it could be what’s causing for difficult nights.

Go through your consistent bedtime routine and at the end, put your baby in the crib awake.  This way you know they are falling asleep 100% on their own.

Questions??  Drop them in the comments, I am always happy to help!



Your Sleep Bestie,





AM Smiles is a highly effective baby sleep coaching service designed for busy families.

I help you harness the power of sleep training to improve the spirits and lives of you and your family through proper rest. I’d love to talk to you about your little one and help you get back to living life well rested! ❤️