Active sleep, quiet sleep: Parenting influencer reveals game-changing advice for parents of newborns

For parents of newborns, navigating their stop-start sleep can be incredibly difficult and feel never-ending. 

But one mother of four has gone viral on TikTok for video passing on the advice she recently received after having her fourth child, which she says would have saved her sanity with her other children. 

Chrissy Horton has over 300,000 followers on the social media app where she shares parenting advice. 

"Please tell me I'm not the only parent who just discovered this about newborn sleep," she said in a recent video that's racked up nearly 4 million views. 

"I am on my fourth kid, MY FOURTH KID, and I just learned this about sleeping and it would have saved me so much if I'd known about it earlier." 

Horton explained she discovered babies regularly alternate between active and quiet sleep - up to 50 percent of the time for each. So even if your baby appears restless or 'awake' in their cot, you may not actually need to pick them up or soothe them - in fact, you might be waking them from sleep. 

Horton credited the tip to influencer 'Taking Cara Babies' while showing the difference in her own baby.

"Quiet sleeping" was the peaceful, still sleep parents crave, but "active sleep" saw her baby wriggle and appear unsettled. 

"I would hear my babies do this and just assume that they were frustrated and wanted to be picked up, so I would pick them up, but in actuality, I was waking them up," she added.

She told other mums to "give it a few seconds" and the baby should naturally settle and calm once more.

Baby and toddler sleep consultant Chris McFadden told Metro the advice is legit - and he shares it with all new parents.

"Babies don't start sleeping in cycles of light and deep sleep - like us adults - until around 4 months," he told the UK outlet, confirming that before then, newborn sleep was split evenly between both active and quiet sleep," he said.

"In quiet state, this is what you'd expect anyone sleeping to look like: quiet and still, no eye movements, very relaxed and peaceful.

"Active sleep is very different. The baby will be less still and will be moving and wriggling around, they will be making noises and their eyes may be open."