How To Put Your Baby To Sleep at Night In 6 Easy Steps

169 Flares Filament.io 169 Flares ×

How to Put Your Baby to SleepIt seems like it would be simple, but I remember being clueless when my baby was first born. How do you hold a baby or, (gasp!) change a diaper? How do you feed a baby? And, yes, how do you get or put your baby to sleep at night? This article will be a simple guide to this way-more-complicated-than-you-thought task a new parent has to figure out: How to put your baby to sleep.

When your baby is first born, you actually marvel at how instinctual it is, in a way. At first, most of us probably flail a bit until you realize the car or walking your baby around starts to soothe him. Or, woah, when I breastfeed him, he just falls right to sleep! Or, pop in the pacifier and he sucks a bit and off to sleep my baby goes. How easy! Hopefully…

What many people don’t realize is that in the near future, you may find that the very thing that was instinctual now takes way too long (I’m talking hours, not 10 minutes) or you’re up way too many times per night (I mean every 2 hours, not once a night). After all, your baby won’t sleep and it’s your fault (not in a bad way). Months down the line you may still be wondering, when will my baby sleep through the night? It varies, just like our babies, but it doesn’t hurt to try to follow these steps on how to put your baby to sleep and try to avoid the many pitfalls many of us fall into, from the very beginning.

How to put your baby to sleep

1. Time your baby’s sleep right

When your baby is a newborn, watch for sleepy cues (yawning, staring off in space, but before cranky!), and when your baby is older (around 6+ months), you may want to follow a sleep schedule (even if it’s not a rigid sleep schedule). If your baby is too over-tired, that generally works against you, even though you think it might be opposite (I heard many times “Keep him up and he’ll sleep at night.” Seriously? That made it worse!).

2. Tell your baby it’s time to sleep

Don’t underestimate your baby and believe he won’t be able to understand you from a young age. Sure, your newborn might not understand much, but say the same key phrase over and over for 6 months? 10 months? He’ll know. So, talk to your baby and tell your baby “Time to go to sleep. Night night. I love you.” or something similar, and always use the same phrase right before sleep.

3. Cue your baby it’s time to sleep

Start your bedtime or naptime routine. The value of a routine is that your baby will begin to anticipate sleep and begin to relax before you even finish it. The content of your routine isn’t as important as your consistency of using it. If you can’t do a bath every night, that’s okay. With younger babies, the routine can be very simple: Draw the blinds/curtains, read 1 or 2 books, diaper, pajamas, and turn on music or white noise. Always in the same order. We made our LeapFrog Baby Tad an integral part of our routine and once I turned the music on, I saw a yawn and droopy eyes. It didn’t happen the first time, it was the consistency of using him as my cue that mommy would leave after the music was over. As your baby grows older, the routine doesn’t necessarily get more complicated, but it does start to take longer, so don’t make it too many steps.

4. Soothe your baby, but NOT to sleep

After your routine, you will want to soothe your baby to be relaxed and sleepy. Different babies respond to different soothing methods. Many/most babies tend to like some type of movement like when they were in your womb. They may like being bounced, rocked, or walked around the room (in arms or the stroller). My eldest son not only liked movement, but it had to be pretty strong movement. None of this Level 1 in the swing. He had to be on Level 8 or so. Yeah we got jokes he would get “drunk” but that’s the only thing that worked when he was young! :D Experiment with what works best for YOUR baby. What worked for your friend may or may not work for you. This is often when you’d also feed your baby, but NOT all the way to sleep!

5. Watch for drowsy, but awake

This is the MOST important part! Ideally, you will put your baby down in his bassinet or crib or your bed (for safety, a co-sleeper is much better), if you are co-sleeping, while he is still awake. You want to soothe him, but NOT all the way to sleep as that’s what leads to sleep associations. Unfortunately, for some babies this is a magic trick to find the point your baby is sleepy, still awake, and doesn’t scream his head off once you lay him down. Finding the perfect point of drowsy, but awake can take some practice, so be patient with yourself if you don’t get it right the first few times you try it. Keep trying. And, if your baby is very young, honestly, it might not work!! Only some babies can “self-soothe” from a very young age. My boys were SCREAMERS, so they simply could NOT do this step until I taught them how, but not until they were about 4 months old (and some need closer to 6 months).

6. Lay your baby down to sleep

Lay your baby down to fall asleep on her BACK for the first year, as recommended by the AAP (download a SIDS safe sleep brochure by clicking here). Your baby will likely sleep on his tummy, as he gets older. For young babies, you may need to soothe your baby all the way to sleep as I mentioned above, but ideally, your baby will be semi-awake and fall asleep on her own. This will limit further sleep problems down the line. If your baby is older, this is when you’d teach her how to fall asleep on her own without you helping her all the way to sleep. Helping her all the way to sleep is the same as trying to walk for her. She may learn eventually, but it will take longer if she doesn’t try (and fail) for herself. It takes practice, practice, and practice!

I hope this has helped you figure out how to put your baby to sleep. And, if you’re looking for more ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine, please be sure to pick up your FREE copy of 5 Ways to Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night, our e-Book with tear-free tips to help your baby sleep better. For those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3-Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using a unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night, when they don’t respond to the “easier” fixes. For those looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation with support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations, where you will receive a Personalized Sleep Plan™ you can feel good about! Sometimes it’s not that you can’t make a plan. Sometimes you’re just too tired to.

How do you put your baby to sleep?

169 Flares Twitter 4 Facebook 53 Google+ 2 Pin It Share 110 Email -- Buffer 0 Filament.io 169 Flares ×
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

29 Responses to How To Put Your Baby To Sleep at Night In 6 Easy Steps

  1. Anna Talis says:

    The “drowsy, but awake” approach is no doubt important, but it might not be possible for breastfed babies. My son would ALWAYS fall asleep at the breast, up to the time when I weaned him at about 27 month (by then, he was nursing only before going to sleep at night). I always felt frustrated with this advise and, at first, guilty that I couldn’t implement it. What, am I supposed to wake up my baby who drifted off nursing??? Or should I stop nursing him before he falls asleep? Neither seems reasonable.

    I think this article would be more complete if it mentioned the fact that “drowsy, but awake” might just not be an option for babies who’re nursed before going to sleep. It would still be useful to have nap and night time routines, which would then be somewhat augmented once the baby stops nursing before going to sleep.

    Thanks,
    Anna

  2. Nicole says:

    @Anna Thank you for sharing your experience! No doubt that everyone’s situation will be unique and I do want to clarify that for babies or toddlers who fall asleep during the bedtime process and then sleep all night, there really is not “problem” to fix. It is not a problem to nurse your baby all the way to sleep unless it later causes sleep problems for you and/or your baby (some parents are even fine with nursing their baby back to sleep all night and would not consider it a “problem” at all). Having said that, in my experience, when a baby or toddler frequently falls asleep during the bedtime routine, this indicates the baby or toddler is already over-tired and, in those circumstances, I recommend starting earlier. Ideally, it should take all of us about 10 minutes to fall asleep, which indicates we are not under- or over-tired. This is just a rule of thumb and if you found that this was the case all the time for your son, then there really was no reason to follow this advice. The “drowsy, but awake” concept is for those babies who will wake frequently to have their bedtime experience recreated over and over. Oh and I nursed my boys, but not always all the way to sleep (once they knew how to sleep, sometimes they would and sometimes they wouldn’t), so I wouldn’t go so far to say this is the case for all nursed babies. Some never fall asleep nursing. Thanks again for chiming in!

  3. Vie says:

    We did sleep training (Ferber) over a month ago. Now bedtime routine is bottle, diaper, and lullaby. But she still cries for ~10 minutes after we leave the room before falling asleep. It’s tough – I guess I did not expect her to still cry so much at bedtime. Are we doing something wrong?? Sometimes I think she may be overtired, but when we try an earlier bedtime, she still cries. She’s 6 months, and bedtime is 8 pm.

  4. Erin says:

    When we try the “drowsy but awake” strategy, I have a really hard time finding that magic point to put my 4 1/2 month old down. As she falls asleep when I’m bouncing her on the exercise ball, her eyes are generally either wide open or slammed shut. I’ve generally tried to put her down as soon as they close, but if she’s too awake, they’ll pop wide open again and she kicks and cries until I pick her up again. And there’s no point trying to put her down when her eyes are still open. Sometimes she’ll fall asleep immediately after I pick her back up, other times it takes a few more minutes (or more) of bouncing to get her calmed back down. If I try to soothe her in her crib she gets more and more agitated. I will attempt the “drowsy but awake” put down a couple times and if it doesn’t work after, say, 3 or 4 tries, I have to go ahead and have her fall asleep in my arms. It seems that each failed attempt makes her more and more keyed up and eventually she can get so agitated that we’ve actually ended up missing the nap entirely.

    All that said, lately, I’ve been focused on trying to get her to nap on more of a schedule (it was all over the place when I was trying to go off her morning wake time and then watch for drowsy signs), so I’ve been putting her down totally asleep. But I have been trying to lay her down in her crib sooner and sooner after she falls asleep. Sometimes her eyes will open, she’ll turn her head to the side and close her eyes again. Is that making any headway towards “drowsy but awake?”

  5. Jenny says:

    I’m having a time with my almost 10 month old. We’ve had one night that he only woke up once and the rest of the nights have been several times and out of desperation and need for rest to do my job I started putting him in the bed with me. He always starts off in the crib but only after he’s fallen asleep in my arms and then laid down. He’s at the age that if I put him in the crib awake he immediately pulls himself up and starts bouncing and if I’m not in the room crying. The cry it out method is not for me or him we tried it when he was smaller. I have his nightly routine that I’ve followed since he was probably 4 months. He definitly can’t go back to sleep on his own because he cries every time he wakes up. I feel so desperate right now and I have dark circles to prove it. My husband works 24 hours so its all me some nights and I’m exhausted. He’s not a napper either, the ladies at his daycare can get him to nap only about 15 mins at a time. So have I completely ruined him by putting him in the bed with me and letting him nap in my husband’s arms? Please help!!!

  6. Nicole says:

    @Vie I know how hard this is! How much earlier have you tried bedtime? Crying before bed can indicate over-tiredness, but if her bedtime “should” be 7 p.m. then trying at 7:30 p.m. will still lead to crying even though it’s “earlier” so make sure you are trying early enough. At 6 months, I would expect her bedtime to be within 2-3 hours MAX from waking from her last nap of the day. There are some babies who do continue to fuss or cry before bedtime pretty much all the time, but most will be minimal. You may be interested in this article about knowing when you’re done sleep training: http://www.babysleepsite.com/sleep-training/knowing-when-youre-done-sleep-training/

    @Erin That definitely sounds like progress with her naps and she “fluttering” her eyes! Of course, day and night sleep are different, so it’s possible you’ll have great success with one and not the other, so just keep that in mind. It sounds like you’re definitely going in the right direction there, so keep trying! She is still young and it does take some practice and persistence on your part. It sounds like you’re doing great! Good luck!

  7. Vie says:

    Nicole – that article was helpful. Certainly there are times when she just fusses a bit and falls asleep (mostly for naps). But at bedtime she cries pretty hard. We generally start the routine at 7:30, and she’s in bed at 8. She usually wakes up around 6/6:30, but has been having some earlier morning wakings.

    We’ve tried earlier bedtimes – in bed by 7:30, but hubby is worried about her getting up even earlier in the mornings. He believes she will only sleep 10 hours (per Ferber’s book). Usually when we try the earlier bedtime, we only do it once. How long should we stick with it before we know it works or doesn’t work?

  8. Lisa says:

    I would love a similar 6 step process for putting a toddler to sleep, and keeping them there! Might have to be more like 10 steps….

  9. Cara says:

    My almost 9-month-old always goes to her crib awake after her regular bedtime routine, but getting her over the drowsy and into sleep is really hard. She’s a spirited child and her little arms and legs flail and she will often wake herself up that way just as she starts to go to sleep. We end up having to hold her down until she drifts off. She’s probably overtired as she is transitioning from 3 to 2 naps and she still wakes at least twice at night. I’m trying to train her to fall asleep without breastfeeding and am trying to night wean her as well. My husband tries to help with the night wakings but if he goes in instead of me she screams that much more and is difficult to console without at least a bottle. We’ve found that the earlier she goes to bed the more she wakes during the night but her current 8pm bedtime seems to leave her more tired. She wakes up around 6-7am every day regardless of her bedtime. Are we trying to do too many things at once? We’ve been sleep training for about 2 months now and the naps are better but we’re still holding her down to get to sleep. Will breastfeeding her at night interfere with her learning to get back to sleep? We’re all very tired!

  10. Whitney says:

    I put my 9 month old to sleep with a short routine and then lay down with him. We do bath if there is time, then draw shades, put on pajamas, read one book, then turn off the lights. I put him down on a futon mattress on the floor, usually nurse him (he does not fall asleep nursing — never has), and then lay next to him. If he fusses, I sometimes stroke or pat his back or chest. I try to offer minimal involvement. He eventually settles and then drifts off on his own. I started this method because I wanted him to learn to sleep, but I did not want to abandon him to cry it out by himself. By lying next to him, he knew I was there. While he did fuss/cry for a while in the beginning before falling asleep, now the fussing is minimal. Then, I leave the room, usually just before he drifts off.

    If he is particularly over-tired (this is sometimes a problem because it is hard to get him to nap again if his last nap ends early, around 3-3:30 pm, and bedtime is 7:00), I will sway with him in the (becco gemini) carrier to calm his body before laying him on the mattress. He does wake at night, usually twice, and mostly just wants reassurance or the pacifier. I don’t find it a problem so have not tried to change it.

    My first son was very intense and the type that was a screamer and needed lots of movement. He always fell asleep while nursing or with squats in a carrier. I didn’t want to repeat the 2 hourly wakings of my first son, but I didn’t want to do cry it out either with my second. Sometimes I think you just have to be flexible. Cribs don’t work for all babies, and it is so nice to just lay down next to him and come and go as necessary.

  11. Nicole says:

    @Vie You are not alone worrying your baby will wake even earlier, but they need 11-12 hours at night, on average, and I can’t tell you how many times it works much better than families think it will! I have had some families ONLY change bedtime and see a huge transformation. I can’t say that will happen for you, of course, but earlier bedtimes definitely can work wonders. I would try for about 3 days, because our internal clocks do need time to adjust. I find Ferber’s book is definitely “low” in terms of averages for young babies. I tend to see Ferber apply more to 11 months and older, but not all babies. I see Ferber really kick in more around 2 years old, in my experience. Good luck!

    @Lisa Good idea and yes, probably more like 10 steps! LOL I will definitely work on that, but will try not to include “Chase your toddler around to get those pajamas on a moving target.” ;-)

    @Cara Nap transitions can be very difficult. I tend to break things in stages, so I do think working on night-weaning and self-soothing and nap transition will leave you with a very over-tired baby, which can often make things worse. I’d work on nap transition and bedtime and then do night-weaning separately. For the holding her arms/legs down, have you given her time to adjust? I ask because if I keep holding my son’s bike while he pedals, he will always believe he needs me to. But, one day I will have to let go and let him try. It might take some practice, but maybe after a few days she will adjust. It may be worth it to try! (We are working on no training wheels, but not there just yet!). Good luck!

    @Whitney Your routine of teaching your son to sleep sounds awesome and I did something very similar to my son, too! Thank you so much for sharing your experience with others. It helps a lot.

  12. Jenny says:

    Nicole, you addressed everyone’s comments with exception to mine. I’m seriously considering paying for your advice but it seems like you’re choosing not to comment on my son’s issues so maybe I should search elsewhere. Shall I assume that he may have too many things going on for your type of guidance?

  13. Nicole says:

    @Jenny Oh no sorry about that! It looks like I was answering when yours came in around 11:30 a.m. my time, so I did not see it and then I answered all after my last comment. I apologize and definitely did not mean to leave you out. :) I would say a resounding “NO!” you have not ruined your son and co-sleeping has worked for many many families and is an option, if you wanted to try it. Otherwise, I would focus on teaching your son how to fall asleep in the crib, instead of your arms, staying with him the whole time so you would not do CIO. It sounds like you need a solid routine that includes him going to sleep on his own. Many times parents feel like the only choice is to have him fall asleep in your arms or cry it out, but there really is an in between. Stay with him and soothe him crib-side and reassure him until he falls asleep in the crib. Then, worry about night-wakings, and not before. I can definitely provide a more detailed day-by-day / step-by-step plan if you chose to get a Personalized Family Sleep Plan, but hopefully this is enough to give you some direction. Good luck!!

  14. Cara says:

    Thank you Nicole. We decided to focus on the self-soothing and the nap transitions, as you suggested. She’s almost there on the naps but still quite tired by the time our bedtime routine rolls around. It takes a long, long time to get her to sleep without holding her because she will flip over and stand up but we persisted and she eventually tired herself out. Then we just put a hand on her belly to soothe her while she drifted off. The first night was HORRIBLE. But the second night after one wake up at 10pm she slept all night last night! I guess the night feeds were just a soothing issue/sleep association and not for hunger at all. Hopefully we can continue this and get ourselves caught up on sleep. She’s so smiley today after a full night’s rest. Good luck to everyone else!

  15. jessica miller says:

    jenny,
    i just had to respond to you because i am always saddened when i hear mothers ask if they have ruined their child by cosleeping and nursing to sleep. if anything you have done just the opposite. long before and still in many cultures worldwide, this instinctual parenting was the norm. unfortunately, women are made to feel guilty and inept if their babies wake, cosleep or nurse to sleep. This is not only normal but natural and many babies thrive this way. especially if you are a working parent cosleeping is a great way to bond and make up for lost time during the day. there are many great resources available to you with a vast amount of research backing the positive long and short term benefits to cosleeping.

  16. Jenny says:

    Thansks Nicole and Jessica for your responses. The guilt of co-sleeping does weigh down on me at times but I’m forced to do it out of necessity. I’m still exhausted because I’m such a light sleeper and my little guy tosses and turns and cries out sparatically throughout the night. So, I’m still sleep deprived and torn about how to help fix his sleep behaviors. I hate to throw my arms up in the air and just give up because I want more than anything to help him learn to sleep on his own. If I put him down awake he stands up and starts bouncing in his crib and crying so I’m forced to hold him. Its a vicious cycle that I know that I created by waiting to long to sleep train.

  17. Ramya says:

    I have 10 months old daughter, she is never a 10-11 hrs sleeper… Max of 6-7 hrs at night with 2-3 nursing in between. But from a week, she has started screaming when she gets up in between. she is uncontrollable and will go back to sleep only if i nurse her. Please help me to give her a better sleep.

  18. Sasha says:

    Good article! I wish I read something like this when my boy just arrived! (now he`s 2,5 yrs) I just fed him to sleep or just put him, never thought it will lead to the whole bounch of problems when I take him off the breast. if we had a routine by that time – things would be much easier.
    New moms, start routine now, untill it`s too late!

  19. Marian says:

    Jenny,

    I would like to sympathize with you. I have very similar issues. We have an 13 month old girl who fell asleep at the breast since birth and that problem no still persists. She wakes up a lot during the night crying because we put her back in her cot and only falls asleep again when nursed. When she sleeps with us in the bed, she cries less, but is still very restless and sometimes crawls into my arms or onto me.
    She actually slept well until 4 months when I started going back to work. Since then it has been a battle with sleep that is not improving. We have tried introducing a “lovey”, which she is not interested in, and taking her off the breast before she falls asleep, which does not seem to work either.

    Apart from just letting her cry, we actually do not know what to do anymore.

  20. Debbye says:

    @ Cara- Great news! Thanks for sharing and we look forward to more good news! :)

    @ Jessica- Thanks for your input and for supporting other parents here. It is true!

    @ Jenny- If co sleeping is not allowing you to get any sleep, then you may want to change that and continue to teach your son to fall asleep and back to sleep on his own. It is a vicious cycle, but it is not too late for him to learn! Don’t give up, and remember that you are free to choose what you want to do to handle the situation and go for it! Here are acouple of links with information that may help you form a plan too:
    http://www.babysleepsite.com/sleep-training/sleep-training-from-no-cry-to-cry-series-part-1/
    http://www.babysleepsite.com/sleep-training/sleep-association/
    You may want to consider a sleep consultation package (http://www.babysleepsite.com/services), as you sound at the end of your rope and we can give you a step by step and day by day plan to follow. I wish you all the best and hope to hear good news from you soon!

    @ Ramya- Your daughter likely needs much more sleep. Here is a link to a sample schedule: http://www.babysleepsite.com/schedules/10-month-old-schedule/ Use it as a reference to begin to try and get her sleeping more and at the right times. While crying when waking is quite common, (read this great article-http://www.babysleepsite.com/sleep-quick-tips/baby-wake-up-crying/ )You may need to work on the schedule and begin to help her learn that she can fall back to sleep without nursing. The links I gave to Jenny in the comment above should be very useful in helping you research ways you can help her learn to sleep too.
    Good luck!

    @ Sasha- Thanks for writing! yes routine is a must, and it really does help many parents to talk to their baby/toddler about what to expect!

    @ Marian- So sorry you are still having sleep issues. As you know, your daughter has a sleep association with nursing, and you will need to break that cycle before she can learn to sleep on her own. There is a wide range of things you can try that lie between CIO and co sleeping. This article outlines various sleep training methods: http://www.babysleepsite.com/sleep-training/sleep-training-from-no-cry-to-cry-series-part-1/
    Good luck, and please consider a sleep consultation package if things do not improve (http://www.babysleepsite.com/services/)

  21. Christina says:

    My seven month old is a dreadful sleeper. Naps during the day are extremely difficult, with maybe two 30-45 minute naps. Night time wakings are going from bad to worse, he easily woke a dozen times last night. I am settling for whatever sleep I can get from him, however I can get it, but now he will often no longer nurse to sleep and if he does it only lasts half an hour.

    Clearly he is hideously overtired and I feel we are stuck in an ugly cycle. He is too tired to sleep yet too tired to learn to sleep. Co-sleeping has not answered our problems and I’m not sure what to do from here. I am *fairly* sure his reflux which was a big factor earlier has settled down though he continues on medication for this.

    Do I bite the bullet and try to soothe him in his cot, knowing that I can’t do the same even in my arms? Should I persist in doing whatever I can in getting him to sleep in the hope that his chronic overtiredness will ease and he’ll be more receptive to learning how to sleep?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  22. Debbye says:

    Hi Christina,
    Sorry things are so rough! You may have more success if you work only an night time sleep and let him and get him to sleep however you can for naps. It is quite possible that if you help however you can to get him the daytime sleep he needs, things will ease up and he will not be SO over tired at bedtime and you can start to work on night time sleep. Here is an article outlining different methods for helping teach him to sleep: http://www.babysleepsite.com/sleep-training/sleep-training-from-no-cry-to-cry-series-part-1/
    And an article about sleep associations too:
    http://www.babysleepsite.com/sleep-training/sleep-association/
    And perhaps a sample schedule to use as a reference and as a goal: http://www.babysleepsite.com/schedules/7-month-old-baby-schedule/
    Good luck, and I hope sleep improves soon!!!

  23. Kat says:

    Well the putting to sleep is not the problem for me..staying a sleep is.. My girl goes to bed at around 7pm, then she’ll wake up an hour later and fuss, but I won’t go in and she’ll usually go back on her own.. then around midnight she’ll stir and I have to go in and reassure her by patting her and she’ll go back down.. then around 4 am she’ll do the same thing but sometimes it’ll take an hour of me going in and out and laying her down and telling her its still bed time, and she’ll go to sleep again for about an hour.. so she’s up for the day by 6 am if not earlier.. I’m exhausted of being up so much.. I’ve tried even feeding her at around the 4 am wake up to see if that puts her down, but it has no effect, she still fuses for an hour before finally going back down. I don’t know what to do any more. Her naps are good too,she goes down easy at about 9 am (for an hour to an hour and a half) then again at around 2pm she’ll go down for another hour or two.. any suggestions?? Also, she is now 10 month old if that helps..

  24. Christina says:

    Thanks Debbye, those links are helpful. Thanks for the advice, it is appreciated :) .

  25. Debbye says:

    Hi Kat-
    It sounds like you are doing everything right in trying to teach your daughter how to fall asleep on her own, and working on finding the right schedule and a good routine. Since she is able to fall back to sleep when she wakes at about 8:00 at night, have you tried leaving her for 5 minutes or so before going in to help her back to sleep at midnight? Often, a baby is just used to you coming in and helping, and is relying on that to fall back to sleep. Many times, just given that 5 minutes or so, a baby learns that she can fall back to sleep on her own.
    Sleep problems are VERY common at this age. Here is a link to an article that may help. It explains more about this “sleep regression.” http://www.babysleepsite.com/baby-sleep-patterns/8-9-10-month-old-baby-sleep-regression/
    And that 4:00 waking sounds like she is over tired. Working on the night time wakings may help with that too early waking, and you may want to try a bit of an earlier bedtime while you are working on helping her sleep better in the night, to help combat the over tiredness. Here is a link to our sample 10 month schedule, to use as reference: http://www.babysleepsite.com/schedules/10-month-old-baby-schedule/
    Since you sound like you have been struggling with this for a while, if you find that you just need more support, please consider a sleep consultation package.
    You can read about all of our sleep consultation packages here: http://babysleepsite.com/services
    I hope that you will not need our services, and that sleep improves soon!
    Best wishes!

  26. Debbye says:

    Hi Christina,
    I am glad the information was helpful! I hope sleep has improved!!

  27. Carolyn says:

    I’m not sure I understand how to put your baby down when they’re drowsy but not asleep. When I put my 9 month old son down, unless he’s out of it he wakes right up, fusses, cries, tries to sit or stand or roll around. Even when he IS asleep and I put him down I have to pat his back a little to get him to settle into being in the crib rather than in my arms. Am I supposed to just let him wake up and soothe him while he’s in the crib? Honestly when I’ve tried it does nothing to calm him down. What are realistic expectations? I know this is a key step in sleep training and I’m having a hard time understanding how to implement it. Any input would be great, thanks!!

  28. Debbye says:

    Hi Carolyn,
    Putting baby to sleep “drowsy but awake” is a process, and not many of us are lucky enough to have a baby who cooperated right away! I would recommend doing the same as when you put him in his crib all the way asleep, but begin to start that transition just a moment earlier. Starting with an alomst aleep baby is a good start too, and if he stirs when you put him down, go ahead and soothe him to sleep. Pat or otherwise soothe him in his crib, and yes, he may get upset during this learning period, but you will be there to soothe him and help him through it.
    Good luck! :)

  29. Carolyn says:

    Thanks for the advice. It seems to be a veryyyy slow process, but I guess that’s normal?

    Also, my son’s napping seems to be going better than nighttime sleep. I think it’s because life is not as consistent in the evening due to work meetings,going to the gym, or other things that come up in life. I’m trying to get it to be more consistent and put everything to the side for awhile. Should the nap routine and bedtime routine be the same? different? similar? What about for putting him back to sleep after night wakings/feedings?

    Thanks again!
    Carolyn