Have you recently birthed your baby? Are you waking up in a panic in the night? Are you searching for your baby in your bed only to find they're asleep in their cot/bassinet where you settled them?
This phenomenon is more common that parents might realise. I remember this vividly in the first few months after having our little girl. Waking up in bed and thinking she was in my arms or that I was feeding her when she was actually fast asleep in her bassinet where I had settled her. This would happen most nights sometimes a couple of times a night. My partner would have to remind me that she was in her bassinet next to our bed and I would even need to check she was actually in her bassinet with my phone torch to be 100% sure!
There isn't a lot of research around why this happens but here are my thoughts on this...
Whether you're breastfeeding or bottle feeding, Mums with a new baby typically feed their baby whilst sitting in bed overnight. You're tired, waking up multiple times a night and it's just way more convenient to sit in bed, feed your baby and then settle them back to sleep afterward. Whether it's a protective response or slight confusion that might come from having broken sleep due to waking up to baby - you may find you wake up in the minutes or hours after that feed and don't remember that you've actually settled your baby back in their own bed.
If you forget that your baby is in their own bed, you naturally will look for them and worry that you may have fallen asleep feeding and that they're still in the bed with you.
These panic wake ups seem to be less common as your baby gets closer to a few months old and night feeds start to reduce down to 1 or 2 overnight.
My tip to help reduce these panic wake ups would be to feed your baby at night sitting in a rocking chair or other chair in your room or theirs. If you don't feed baby in your bed, you might find your brain won't associate your bed with your baby and you'll remember more clearly that they're actually in their bassinet or cot.