Night Weaning Quiz: Is Your Baby Ready For Night Weaning?

Night Weaning: Is Your Baby Ready For Night Weaning?
 
Night weaning. It’s a popular topic around The Baby Sleep Site®! Countless parents have contacted us over the years and asked, “Is my baby ready for night weaning?”

The answer, of course, varies from baby to baby. So much depends on age, but we can’t offer a simple ‘if your baby is this age, then yes, it’s time for night weaning’. Because we have to account for health factors, too – some babies simply need night feedings longer than others, especially if they have medical problems. And parent preference plays a huge part in this as well – some moms want to hang on to night feedings even after they’re no longer “necessary”, simply because they love that special time with their child!

The night weaning question has come up often enough recently, however, that we thought it was time we brought you this great tool to help you get a better sense of whether or not you and your baby are ready to night wean. Take this simple, 5-question quiz, and learn whether or not night weaning is something you can consider right now.

Night Weaning Articles

The night weaning quiz, below, will provide great insights, but if you want to do some extra reading on night weaning, take a look at these resources:

Night Weaning Quiz: Is Your Baby Ready For Night Weaning?

The quiz below is very easy to take – only 5 questions, and you simply need to mark a number from 1-5 for each question. Once you have answered each question, click the ‘Get Score’ button at the bottom (note that you do NOT have to enter your name or e-mail address in order to see your results). Your quiz results will show on a new page.


Is My Child Ready to Night-Wean?


Answer each question below by selecting a number between 1 and 5.

My child wakes just 1 or 2 times a night for a feeding
Less True – 1 2 3 4 5 – More True
My child always goes right back to sleep after a feeding
Less True – 1 2 3 4 5 – More True
My child does NOT need a feeding to fall asleep
Less True – 1 2 3 4 5 – More True
My child is NOT yet eating 3 solid meals per day
Less True – 1 2 3 4 5 – More True
My child is 9 months or YOUNGER
Less True – 1 2 3 4 5 – More True
Your Name:
Your Email:


Night Weaning Resources From The Baby Sleep Site®

Night weaning isn’t always easy, even if you know your baby is ready and have read all the right baby sleep book. You may need night weaning help – and we offer just that! Our team of caring and compassionate consultants is ready to provide the personalized help you and your family need. Your consultant will provide you with your very own Personalized Sleep Plan™ which contains specific night weaning plans and schedules.
 
Browse our list of consultation package options here.
 

Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.

Have night weaning questions? Ask – we’ll answer! Already a night weaning champion? Share your tips with us!

 
bss_ebook_3stepsystem_leftFor those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
 
 
 
bss_ebook_masteringnaps_leftIf you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine during the day, I encourage you to explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 45 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style.

 

bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOr, join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!
 

Can’t decide which product or service is right for you? Visit our Getting Started Page for help.

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Newborns Sleeping Through The Night? What About Breastfeeding?

 
Newborn Sleep Through The Night

Did you catch all the controversy a few weeks ago over the latest baby sleep book? The book in question is called The Newborn Sleep Book: A Simple, Proven Method For Training Your New Baby To Sleep Through The Night. The two authors who wrote it allege that by using their method (called “the Jassey Way”), you can start training your newborn baby to give up night feedings and sleep 8 hours or more each night, starting from about a week after birth. They boast an impressive 90% success rate among families who use their techniques.

That means 90% of families had newborn babies who were sleeping 8+ hours at night, and not waking to feed during nighttime hours.

To some people, that might sound awesome; to me, it sounds pretty scary.

Why The Jasseys’ Method Is Not Breastfeeding Friendly (Not Even A Little Bit)

The implications of this sleep training method are pretty unsettling – parents are supposed to start weaning their newborns from night feedings as early as three weeks after birth, and “distracting” their hungry newborns as a way to phase out middle-of-the-night feeds. Parents are also supposed to try and stretch all daytime feeds to four hours apart; the Jasseys allege that this “resets” a baby’s hunger receptors.

Riiiiiiight.

But aside from the awful mental picture of a parent “distracting” a very hungry newborn baby (makes me angry just thinking about it!), I was immediately struck by how anti-breastfeeding this is. Yes, we all want babies who sleep well, but not at the expense of breastfeeding and bonding. As many of us moms know, in order to breastfeed successfully, it is absolutely critical that you breastfeed often – like every 1-3 hours often! And feeding your baby on demand is crucial in the early days after birth. So how do those well-established breastfeeding best practices line up with the Jasseys’ method?

Here’s what I found, after reading the book: the Jasseys do instruct moms to nurse often in the first few weeks (3-4) after birth, in order to get their milk supply well-established. They go on to explain that after the first few weeks, you can begin spreading out and then dropping night feedings, and stretching daytime feedings to 4 hour intervals.

Sounds great, right? Except that it certainly won’t work this way for every family. Here’s the truth – according to Miriam (who is one of our sleep consultants and, remember, also a registered nurse and an IBCLC- certified lactation consultant), going 4 hours between feedings all day long, and then working towards reduced night feedings when baby is just 4 weeks old, will absolutely decrease breast milk supply for the majority of moms and babies, even if breastfeeding is well-established.

Here’s some math, to help illustrate:

Most breastfed newborns need 20-30 oz of breast milk per day (25-35 oz for 4+ months). If your baby is supposed to eat every 4 hours, day and night, that leaves room for six feedings in a 24-hour period. Except, according to The Jassey Way, you are also striving for 8+ hours at night without feeding, so that means fewer than six feedings. In order to consume 25 oz in, say, five feedings, that means a newborn would need to eat 5 oz of breast milk at each feeding, and that mom would need to be able to produce and store this much or more in her breasts between feedings.

But this “perfect” scenario is far from standard. Truth is, breast milk production and storage capacity varies GREATLY from mom to mom. Plenty of moms produce less than 5 total ounces within the space of a few hours – some moms produce more like 1-3 ounces between feedings. Moms with lower milk storage capacities simply have to nurse more frequently, in order to keep supply up, and in order to ensure that their babies are getting enough breast milk each day.

What’s more, while 4-5 ounces per feeding may be an average number, there are babies who consume more like 2 or 3 ounces per feeding, because that’s what their appetites (and tummy size) can handle. Babies with reflux, for example, have to eat small, frequent meals. There is simply no way to force a baby who’s a light eater, or who has reflux, to take in more breast milk at each feeding (my own son never took more than 4 oz, even when he was 9+ months old!).

Now, put those two together – a mom who produces less than 5 ounces, and a baby who consumes less than 5 ounces – and add in the forced 4-hour feeding intervals and early night weaning , and what do you get?

Most likely, you get a mom whose milk supply slowly begins to fail. What’s worse, she probably won’t have a sleeping baby to show for it, either!

While newborns can have ONE 4 or 5-hour stretch in a 24-hour period between feedings, that’s about all that most newborns and their moms can handle – ONE. Multiple long stretches, combined with dropped night feedings, will damage breast milk supply in the first few months after birth, for most moms.

What About Formula-Fed Babies? Will The Jassey Way Work For Babies Who Are Exclusively Formula-Fed?

But what about families who choose to formula-feed? It’s possible that many formula-fed babies may do well with the Jasseys’ approach. Formula-fed babies typically can go longer between feeds, even from a very young age, than can breastfed babies. What’s more, formula-fed babies tend to drop their night feedings faster than breastfed babies – in my experience, many 6-month old babies who are exclusively formula-fed can to go 8 hours or more without feeding. This is simply due to the fact that formula is harder for baby’s tummy to digest, and so it tends to stay in baby’s system longer, making baby feel fuller for longer periods of time. (Side note: this does NOT mean that feeding your baby formula will solve his sleep problems. To solve persistent sleep problems, you need to look at all the reasons a baby may wake, not just hunger).

But What About the Jasseys’ 90% Success Rate?

So, how do we reconcile the fact that the Jassey Way is not breastfeeding friendly at all with the fact that the doctors boast a 90% success rate?

First – I am convinced that many of the Jasseys’ patients, who tried and stuck to this sleep coaching method, did not exclusively breastfeed (or, at least, they didn’t exclusively breastfeed for long). I very much doubt that parents who were committed to exclusively breastfeeding lasted very long with this approach. Alternatively, I’ve had a lot of clients tell me straight-up that they simply ignored their doctor’s advice when it came to sleep training.

Second – I’m also convinced that this method no doubt DOES work, in the sense that it teaches newborns how to sleep through the night from a very early age. However, I don’t see that as a victory. It’s true that you can teach a baby to change their natural eating habits, and to sleep for long stretches at a very early age, but just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD. The truth is, human beings are incredibly adaptable; you can teach them to do all kinds of things, and humans can adapt and survive in a variety of conditions and situations. So it’s certainly true that newborns can adapt to this method of eating and sleeping. But surviving is not the same as thriving. What’s more, your primary goal during the newborn stage should NOT be 8 consecutive hours of night sleep, and long stretches between daytime feeding – it should be to care for your newborn in the best and safest way possible. Teaching a baby to sleep through the night has its place, but that just isn’t a realistic goal for a newborn. (And if you know me, you know that I am all about small, realistic goals for improving baby sleep!)

The Jasseys’ Approach DOES NOT Represent Sleep Training In General

I want to end with this: remember that the new Jassey sleep coaching book in no way represents sleep training in general. I’ve seen countless negative responses to the Jasseys’ book, but so many of those responses dismiss and criticize sleep training as a whole, as if what the Jasseys propose in the book IS sleep training.

This is simply not true. What’s true is that sleep training is a spectrum – on the one side, you have harsher methods, like cry-it-out, Babywise, and what the Jasseys outline in their new book. On the other hand, you have very gentle methods, like the Pick-Up-Put-Down method, or the Fading method. And, of course, there’s lots and lots in between. If you view sleep more like a journey, with the start being on fully dependent on you and the destination being fully independent, that journey can be weeks, months, or years long. YOU set the pace based on your present goals! We work with families who want to continue co-sleeping as well as families who want their toddler in a big boy bed. The range is vast and “success” is personal.

What I hope you’ll take away from this article is that while the Jassey approach should, in my opinion, be avoided (ESPECIALLY if you want to exclusively breastfeed – RUN from this method, in that case!!), sleep training itself is not bad. In fact, it’s a lifesaver for many families (our parent stories prove that!). But it has to be done carefully and safely, at the right time, with appropriate and healthy goals that are respectful of baby’s development, and using methods that align with your parenting philosophy. After reading the Jasseys’ new book, I don’t believe it fits that description. My team’s approach to sleep training, however, does.

Your turn – have you heard much about this new baby sleep book? What are your thoughts? We want to hear your opinions on this!

 
bss_ebook_3stepsystem_leftFor those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
 
 
 
bss_ebook_masteringnaps_leftIf you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine during the day, I encourage you to explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 45 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style.

 

bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOr, join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!

 
Baby_On_Computer_RESIZEDIf you are looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation, and want plenty support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations. Your consultation package will provide you with the chance to interact one-on-one with a trained sleep consultant, who will create a Personalized Sleep Plan™ for your family and then work to help you implement it at home.
 

Can’t decide which product or service is right for you? Visit our Getting Started Page for help.

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6 Week Sleep Regression, or Growth Spurt?

6 week growth spurt sleep regression

“My baby was sleeping so well…what happened??”

Sound familiar? We hear this all. the. time. Our answers vary, depending on the unique baby in question – in our experience, the answer can be anything from teething to illness to temperament to birth of a new sibling to nap transition. But often, our answer is – sleep regression.

Generally, we offer up a diagnosis of sleep regression for babies and toddlers who are the following ages:

But recently, we’ve been hearing more and more from parents about their 6 week old babies going through what seems like a sleep regression – baby was sleeping pretty well (for a newborn, anyway), but around 6 weeks, mom and dad are up every hour, baby is feeding constantly…what gives? Is this a 6 week sleep regression, or is to something else?

Sleep Regression Signs and Symptoms

First, let’s start with the definition of ‘sleep regression’. Remember, a sleep regression generally describes a phase or season in which a baby who normally sleeps well suddenly starts waking more often at night, and refusing naps (or taking very short naps) – for no apparent reason at all.

Common signs of a sleep regression include:

  • Increased fussiness and crying (aka major crankiness!)
  • Increased night waking and/or shortened or missed naps
  • Changes in appetite
  • Extra clinginess and a need for more cuddle time

6 Week Sleep Regression, or 6 Week Growth Spurt?

If your 6 week old baby is currently struggling to sleep well, you may be looking at that list and nodding your head – it may be that your baby has all those symptoms!

But here’s the thing to remember – most babies also go through a pretty pronounced growth spurt at 6 weeks, too. And that growth spurt will likely have your baby waking more often, and seeming to be fussier than usual, simply because your baby will be hungrier than usual, and will need more feedings.

So which is it? Sleep regression, or growth spurt? Both, actually – it’s a double whammy! In addition to a short, 2-3 day (or perhaps 1 week) growth spurt at 6 weeks, most babies also experience something that Weissbluth calls “the peak of fussiness”. By 6 weeks of age, most babies are growing out of their drowsy newborn state, and are starting to perk up and notice the world. And that world is quite overwhelming for them – so many sights and sounds and smells! What’s more, all that observing can really wear a baby out, causing overtiredness and increased fussiness.

If your 6 week old is struggling with sleep, it’s most likely due to this one-two punch: it’s the 6 week growth spurt AND that 6 week “peak of fussiness. (Of course, you’ll want to rule out illness or another source of discomfort first, if your baby is extra-fussy around 6 weeks). Take comfort in the fact that this phase won’t last long – the growth spurt will last just a few days, and even the “peak of fussiness” will last about a week or so – not nearly as long as a regular sleep regression. Once this phase passes, you should see your baby’s sleep improve again (that is, until the 4 month sleep regression hits!).

6 Week Old Baby Sleep Tips

When it comes to soothing your baby during the 6 week baby growth spurt, you’ll want to stick with gentle techniques – your 6 week old baby is still a newborn, after all! Check out the resources below for tips and techniques you can use to help your 6 week old baby sleep better during the growth spurt:

6 Week Old Baby Sleep Resources and Personalized Help

Essential Keys to Newborn SleepNeed help encouraging your newborn to sleep better, and to sleep longer stretches at night and during the day? We have a great resource designed to do just that. Check out Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep, the latest e-Book from The Baby Sleep Site®. Available in PDF format as well as a variety of e-reader formats, Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep is the tired parents’ #1 newborn resource. Developed by Nicole and Miriam (a lactation consultant, nurse, and Baby Sleep Site® sleep consultant), Essential Keys lays out everything you need to know about helping your baby to sleep better right from the start. It also includes information on feeding (both breast and bottle), baby communication, bonding with baby, daily routines, sample sleep schedules, and more. Download your copy today!
 
bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOr, join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! And this is one baby sleep resource that will grow with your child – our member resources are designed to help you during the newborn stage, as well as the baby and toddler stages! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant, as well as access to ALL our newborn resources. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!
 

Interested in personalized, one-on-one help for your newborn? Why not consider one of our personalized sleep consulting packages? Our consultations allow you to work directly with one of our expert sleep consultants, and to get a Personalized Sleep Plan™ that will work for your family.

First, browse our extensive list of package options and select the one that looks best for your situation.
 
Browse our list of consultation package options here.
 

Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Tell us about your 6 week old baby’s sleep! Did you (or are you) experiencing what feels like a sleep regression?

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Baby Night Feedings By Age – An Easy Reference Chart from The Baby Sleep Site®

 
Baby Night Feedings By Age Printable Chart

“How many times should be my baby be eating at night?”
“Is it time for me to night-wean, or are his night feedings still necessary?”
“I feel like my baby is up all night eating – is this normal?!”

These are questions we hear just about every day around here – and we thought it was high time we gave you a new resource to help you answer questions like these! But this isn’t just any regular blog article – no, today, we’re bringing you another awesome PRINTABLE chart!. A few months ago, we brought you a printable baby/toddler bedtime by age chart, and your response was overwhelming – that’s now one of the most popular articles on our site!

So, since it’s clear you love printable charts (and we don’t blame you!), how about another one? This time, we’re taking a look at night feedings by age. What’s standard at each age? How does “standard” vary based on whether you breast feed or bottle feed? Is your baby feeding too much for her age, or are her night feedings in line with what healthcare providers consider normal?

Read on and find out! And don’t forget to print off a few copies of this handy chart – keep some in your diaper bag, post another one on the fridge, hand them out to your girlfriends…you get the idea. ;) Scroll down to find out how you can download and print your own copies of this chart.

Baby Night Feedings By Age – PRINTABLE Chart

I’m no medical expert, but fortunately, I know someone who is ;) The content of today’s chart was created by our very own Miriam Chickering. Miriam is not only one of our Baby Sleep Site sleep consultants; she’s also a labor and delivery nurse with years of experience, as well as a board-certified lactation consultant. So to say she knows a thing or two about baby feeding would be an understatement! Let’s take a look at what Miriam advises are standard baby night feedings, broken down by age.

Baby Night Feedings By Age*

Age Breastfed Totals Per Night** Formula-Fed Totals Per Night** Notes
0-2 months 3-5 feedings per night 2-4 feedings per night Remember, newborns need to eat around the clock – newborns should not go more than 4 hours between feedings (preferably no more than 3 hours).
3-4 months 3-4 feedings per night 2-3 feedings per night Watch out for the 4 month sleep regression – if your baby is suddenly more wakeful, it may have less to do with a need for food and more to do with changing sleep patterns!
5-6 months 1-3 feedings per night 1-2 feedings per night As you can see by the numbers, most babies are starting to consolidate their night feedings at this time, as well as consolidating their sleep. By this age, most babies are sleeping less during the day and getting one nice, long stretch of sleep at night.
7-9 months 0-3 feedings per night 0-1 feeding(s) per night We find that most formula-fed babies are done feeding at night by this point, or are starting to night-wean. We usually recommend for ALL babies (both breast and bottle) an attempt at night-weaning here, if you feel comfortable with it.
10-12 months 0-2 feedings per night 0-1 feeding(s) per night Formula-fed babies are almost always done feeding by 12 months. If your breaastfed baby is still feeding at night by 10 or 11 months, this is perfectly fine – but try to consolidate it to one feeding, if possible.

*These night feedings are considered standard, but they also assume that baby is healthy, is gaining weight properly, has no food allergies or medical concerns, etc. What’s normal for your baby may look a bit different, based on unique factors. As always, if you have doubts about your baby’s feeding patterns, please speak with your healthcare provider, as they are the best resource for feeding concerns.

**”Night” in this chart refers to a 12-hour period of time.

*********************************************************************************************
Want to save and print this chart? CLICK HERE for a print-friendly PDF copy!
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Does this chart give you some encouragement? I hope so – look at those wide ranges of what’s considered normal and standard!

Now, we don’t get into toddler territory with this chart, simply because the vast majority of toddlers do not need to feed at night in order to grow properly. While breast milk and formula are still great for toddlers to consume, they can generally get what they need during daylight hours.

Need Night-Feeding Help From An Expert? Look No Further!

It’s all well and good to know what’s standard when it comes to night feedings – but what if your baby is far from standard? Maybe your baby is up all night, and you know it’s not because she needs to eat. Or maybe your toddler is still waking to feed at night, even though you’re certain he could drop that 1 a.m. feeding. How can you help your baby or toddler sleep well while still ensuring that he’s getting enough nourishment at night? Our team of expert consultants can gel you do just that! Connect with a consultant, and she’ll craft a customized sleep coaching plan, as well as a personalized day and night feeding schedule, just for your baby.

 
Browse our list of consultation package options here.
 

Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.

Your turn – what do your baby’s night feedings look like? Are you working on night-weaning? Ask your questions, share your stories and tips – we love hearing from you!

 
bss_ebook_3stepsystem_leftFor those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
 
 
 
bss_ebook_5steptoddler_smalFor those persistent toddler sleep struggles, check out The 5 Step System to Help Your Toddler Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your toddler sleep through the night and enjoy a better daytime schedule.
 
 

bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOr, join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!

 

Can’t decide which product or service is right for you? Visit our Getting Started Page for help.

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It’s A Labor Day Giveaway!

 
LaborDayGiveaway2014
 
Happy Labor Day a little early, Baby Sleep Site readers! If you’re one of our U.S. readers, then you’re no doubt gearing up for the coming holiday weekend – such a great chance to enjoy one last weekend of summer fun!

We’ve spent the past 5 years honoring this special holiday weekend with a giveaway (because who doesn’t love celebrating with free stuff?), and this year, we are returning to a favorite theme of ours – this year, we want to hear your very own “Labor Day” stories! Tell us your labor and birth story, and be entered to win one of the awesome prizes below (scroll down for complete details about how to enter.)

The Details

Entries for the giveaway will be accepted starting today through 8:59 PM EST on Monday, September 1. There are multiple ways to enter this giveaway, including leaving us a comment sharing your birth story – scroll down for complete details.

The Prizes

We have some really exciting prizes this year…take a look!

Grand Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card

amazon-GCThe Grand Prize Winner for the Labor Day Giveaway will receive a $100 Amazon Gift Card, good to purchase anything on Amazon! Gotta love the gift of Amazon cash!!
 
 

Baby Shusher™ Collection or Baby Shusher™ Swaddle Set

Baby Shusher CollectionWe adore the Baby Shusher™ line of products – their original Baby Shusher™ is one of those miracle, must-have products for parents, and they’ve recently added a line of gorgeous, 100% cotton muslin swaddle blankets into the mix. The blankets are beautiful, soft, and breathable, while the Baby Shusher™ creates that perfect “shushing” noise your baby needs to sleep soundly. Winning the Baby Shusher™ collection is like winning the gift of sleep in a box! Baby Shusher SwaddlesThis set is perfect for moms of newborns, but the swaddle blankets and Baby Shusher™ work wonders for older babies, too. One winner will receive the full Baby Shusher™ collection, and one winner will receive a set of 3 Baby Shusher™ swaddles.

A Baby Sleep Site Basic Sleep Consultation

mom on computerSpeaking of the gift of sleep – we’re also giving away a Basic Sleep Consultation Package as part of this year’s Labor Day Giveaway! The Basic Consultation Package includes your very own Personalized Sleep Plan™, created for you by one of our expert sleep consultants, as well as a follow-up e-mail you can use to ask your consultant additional questions. Between the expert plan that’s tailor-made for your family and the caring, compassionate follow-up support, you are sure to find the sleep help you need with a Basic Sleep Consultation from The Baby Sleep Site® Believe us – you’ll be surprised how far you can get with your plan and one e-mail! One winner will receive a Basic Sleep Consultation Package from The Baby Sleep Site®. If you are an existing customer, your account will be credited the value of the Basic Sleep Consultation Package.

Zipadee-Zip Wearable Blanket

ZipadeeZip Wearable BlanketThe Zipadee-Zip is one of our favorite wearable blanket products – its innovative design makes it the perfect tool to wean babies away from full swaddling. And did I mention it’s available in a rainbow of colors and prints? So many cute patterns to choose from. This high-quality blanket is sure to last you years, which means you can pass it on from one baby to the next; talk about value! One winner will receive a Zipadee-Zip Wearable Blanket in the fabric of their choice. Don’t want to wait to see if you win? Order one now at http://sleepingbaby.com and use code LABORDAY (in all caps) to get $5 off your order.

Stephanie, created of the Zipadee-Zip wearable blanket, is one of our favorite people in the world, and when she heard that we were doing a birth-story themed Labor Day giveaway, she was eager to share her own birth story with all of you! Here it is:

Stephanie Parker, Creator of ZipadeeZipI was induced into labor with our daughter, Charlotte, who is now 3 years old because of how far past her due date she was, so when I became pregnant with our son, I was hoping that things would happen a bit more naturally. Our son, Maverick, was born on February 16th of this year and he came into this world in a way that only a baby named ‘Maverick’ could!
Maverick was always an active little guy and would often wake me up in the middle of the night while I was pregnant because of how loud his hiccups were! On the 16th, he woke me up once again, but this time it was with more than hiccups! I woke up to a hard kick followed by an audible ‘pop’… followed by my water flowing like Niagara falls! I was so excited that he came into the world in his own timing and I will never forget the excitement of rushing to the hospital knowing we were about to meet him. After having lost a baby to miscarriage only a year before Maverick was born and being told that I may not even be able to get pregnant again, the birth of our little guy brought more joy than I can even express in words!

Swanling Slumber Sleeper™, Slumber Swan, and Slumber Silkie

MySlumberSleeperThe Slumber Sleeper™ is an innovative approach to creating a cozy, loving and safe sleeping environment for your child. Created by Swanling Innovations, this innovative 3-in-1 sheet is the perfect safe sleep solution for your child – it’s a mattress protector, fitted sheet, and sleep blanket all in one! Paired with the wonderfully soft Slumber Swan and luxurious Slumber Silkie, both with the snap-in-place system, you and your child will enjoy a better (and safer) night’s sleep. One lucky winner will receive the Slumber Sleeper™, the Slumber Swan, AND the Slumber Silkie.

Bitta Kidda Wearable Lovie

BittaKiddaWearableLovieThe Bitta Kidda Wearable Lovie is ready to start a sleep revolution for your entire family! It’s a patented baby sleep garment with a built-in lovie attached. It’s a safe, effective alternative to traditional lovies and provides comfort to your baby through the night. The Wearable Lovie is always in reach as your baby goes in and out of sleep cycles. Plus, as your baby becomes increasingly active in the crib, The Wearable Lovie cannot be thrown on the floor where other comfort items always end up. It is the tool that helps your baby learn the art of self-soothing and independence in the crib. The perfect addition to every child’s sleep routine, the Wearable Lovie carries your baby through the crib years and transition to the big kid bed. One winner will receive a Bitta Kidda Wearable Lovie.

How To Enter

Ready to enter? Use the widget below to begin entering the giveaway. You can do all of the entry options or just one – it’s up to you! As we mentioned above, we’d love to hear your birth/labor story in comments.

Deadline to enter is Monday, September 1, 2014, 8:59 p.m. EST.(*Please note that all shipped prizes are available to US residents only with the exception of the Baby Shusher which can be shipped internationally.)

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Why Baby Sleep Site Consulting Works

 
Why Baby Sleep Site Consulting Works

If you’ve been following your our latest Family Features series, then you’ve read Jennifer’s story, and you noticed that Jennifer worked with several sleep consultants – without any success – before coming to The Baby Sleep Site®.

Believe it or not, we hear that from other clients, too – they try other sleep consultants before ending up at The Baby Sleep Site®, and finding consulting help that actually works.

(I should also mention that many of our members and e-book customers have told us the same thing – they tried a number of other books or sleep websites before finding The Baby Sleep Site®, and getting the help they needed.)

So, what makes The Baby Sleep Site®‘s consulting services different from other consultant services? Why does Baby Sleep Site® consulting generally work, when so many others fail?

Not to toot our own horns or anything, but we’ve got some reasons to share with you ;) Keep reading for details!

Why Baby Sleep Site® Consulting Works

For starters, when you work with The Baby Sleep Site®, you don’t just get one consultant – you get a whole team! This means you have access to a diverse group of ladies, all with different skill sets and backgrounds. Sarah, for example, has worked with children with special needs as a therapist for years. Jen has a therapy background as well. Miriam is a nurse and lactation consultant. Elaine is a doula and specializes in newborn sleep help. I could go on and on here, but I’m sure you get the idea! There isn’t a sleep consulting company out there that gives you access to the collective wisdom and experience of 12 different sleep consultants, all working alongside each other in real time.

What’s more, you get the benefit of years of sleep consulting experience. Sleep consulting programs are cropping up all over the web, but can I tell you something? We’ve been around longer than many of them. It’s true – Nicole has years and years of consulting experience, and our consultants have worked with tens of thousands of families from across the globe. So it’s not an overstatement to say that our consulting team has seen and heard it all – I don’t think there’s a sleep challenge or unique family situation that you could present to our team that they haven’t dealt with already!

And keep in mind that at The Baby Sleep Site®, we are 100% committed to providing personalized, tailored solutions to our consultation clients. We DO NOT believe in one-size-fits-all solutions, because we’ve learned that plans need to be personalized to be successful. This is in stark contrast with some other sleep consulting programs – in fact, we had one client recently tell us another service had someone reading a script to her and asked her zero questions! This is the beauty of our consultations – not only are they incredibly affordable, when compared with in-home consultations, but they are customized to fit your baby’s temperament and personality, your unique family lifestyle and situation, and your own parenting philosophies and goals.

Finally (and perhaps most importantly), our Baby Sleep Site® consultants are focused on exactly two things during the consultation process: you and your baby. We have heard countless stories from moms who’ve used other sleep consultants, and who’ve told us some version of this story: “The consultant only cared about us ‘succeeding’ by sleeping through the night. When that didn’t happen, the consultant blamed me for not trying hard enough, or for not doing things right.” Let me just tell you right now, that won’t happen at The Baby Sleep Site®! Your goals are our goals, and your feelings about the process are incredibly important to us. Our consultants are some of the most caring and empathic women you’ll ever “meet” (virtually, that is!) At no point will they pressure you, or guilt you, or make you feel like something is wrong with you and your baby.

Take The Next Step – Book Your Baby Sleep Site® Consultant Today!

Have you been struggling with your baby or toddler’s sleep, but aren’t sure where to turn for help? Do you want someone to guide you throughout he sleep coaching process, but aren’t certain whether a Baby Sleep Site® consultant is right for you? Why not take the next step and finally reach out for the help you know you need? It might just be one of the best investments you ever make for your baby!

 
Browse our list of consultation package options here.
 

Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.

Have more questions about our consultation process? Ask away – we can’t wait to answer!

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QUICK SLEEP TIP: Why Your Baby Wakes Up Crying

 
Why Your Baby Wakes Up Crying

“Why does my baby wake up crying?”

That’s a question we hear a lot – and it’s the questions we’re answering in today’s quick tip article!

Why Your Baby Wakes Up Crying

Well, for starters, your baby may obviously wake up crying sometimes due too the need to eat (hunger is a powerful motivator!). Additionally, your baby may wake up with a wet or dirty (or leaky) diaper, or may wake up because he’s too hot or cold. These are all perfectly reasonable reasons for a baby to wake up – and they’re all reasons that mom and dad need to address, either by feeding or changing baby.

A bit less straightforward is the fact that many babies wake up due to their sleep associations. Some sleep associations are pretty straightforward causes of crying upon waking – for example, if your baby’s pacifier falls out, she may very well be pretty frustrated that she can’t put it back in, and that may lead to tears!

But some other sleep associations are less easy to spot as the cause of crying upon waking. If you normally rock or nurse your baby to sleep, she may cry when she wakes up because she’s no longer moving and/or sucking. Similarly, if you typically hold your baby for sleep, he may cry if he wakes up in his crib and is no longer behind held.

Beyond these reasons, though, here’s something to remember: we all wake up briefly between sleep cycles from time to time. Our babies are no different. Sometimes, your baby may wake slightly and cry between sleep cycles. This is often the cause of those weird 2 minute crying spells that you sometimes might hear in the middle of the night, or during a nap. Do you know what I mean? Those times when you hear a cry, but by the time you’re up and moving toward baby, he’s already fallen back to sleep? The cause there is just brief waking during sleep cycles that happens to be accompanied by some fussing.

That goes hand-in-hand with the next point: for some children, waking up crying is a sign that they aren’t really done sleeping yet, and need more rest. We suspect this has something to do with temperament – while some babies might wake too early from sleep and be fairly quiet and content, others will just wail. This was the case for Nicole:

“With my first-born, if he woke up crying, it 90% of the time meant that he was not done sleeping. He may have awakened in between sleep cycles and had trouble going into the next one.”

In these cases, it’s sometimes best to wait a minute or two when you hear crying that you suspect is just waking between sleep cycles – sometimes, your baby will go right back to sleep. Or, even if you ultimately to go in to comfort your baby, you’ll know that the goal should be to help baby get back to sleep, because she isn’t fully rested yet.

Finally, keep in mind that some babies (and toddlers, for that matter) cry after waking even if they’re fully rested. Some babies will wake up from a marathon nap crying, or will wake after a long night of peaceful sleep just wailing. In these cases, the problem is most likely that the child just needs a bit of time to fully wake up. (Heck, I know adults like this – I’m one of them, in fact!! ;) I don’t wake up crying, but boy, do I need plenty of time and space to fully wake up!) In these cases, you can try simply cuddling your child, or offering a small snack or a favorite toy, and allowing your child to slowly wake up.

So, in short, if your baby often wakes up crying, you’ll want to evaluate the reasons. If it’s not something that requires immediate attention, like hunger of an uncomfortable diaper or illness, then evaluate whether or not it may be a sleep association. To do that, you’ll want to think about how your child falls asleep (in your arms, in the rocker?), and then compare that to how your child is waking up (in the crib, alone?). Finally, keep in mind that temperament makes a difference, too – it may just be that crying is one way that your child lets you know he’s not done sleeping, or it may be that your kiddo is one who needs to wake up slowly, and is going to fuss a bit while he does it! ;-)

If you suspect that sleep associations are causing the problem, you may want to consider sleep training – this will help your baby gradually learn a new way to sleep, that doesn’t involve negative sleep associations. If you need help with sleep coaching, you can check out our library of do-it-yourself sleep coaching resources in our Members Area, or you can get one-on-one help with an expert sleep consultant. Whichever route you choose, know that you can overcome negative sleep associations and help your baby or toddler sleep through the night – and we can help!

Does your baby wake-up crying? What do you think the reason is? Have questions about crying upon waking? Ask, and we’ll answer!

 
bss_ebook_3stepsystem_leftFor those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
 
 
 
bss_ebook_masteringnaps_leftIf you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine during the day, I encourage you to explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 45 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style.

 

bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOr, join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!

 
Baby_On_Computer_RESIZEDIf you are looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation, and want plenty support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations. Your consultation package will provide you with the chance to interact one-on-one with a trained sleep consultant, who will create a Personalized Sleep Plan™ for your family and then work to help you implement it at home.
 

Can’t decide which product or service is right for you? Visit our Getting Started Page for help.

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Baby Lovey – How and When To Introduce (and What Should The Lovey Be, Anyway?)

 
Baby Lovey

“Lovey”. Have you heard that term before? We at The Baby Sleep Site® use the term lovey to mean any comfort object that a baby or toddler brings to bed, and which provides comfort and soothing. Some people also call them ‘comfort objects’, or ‘transitional objects’. While not every baby or toddler attaches to a lovey, many do – and as many parents have found (maybe you’re one of them!), loveys can be great, as they provide children with a physical object that they can use to comfort themselves.

Baby Lovey – What Is It?

Really, a lovey can be anything that’s safe for a baby or toddler to have at sleep time. Most loveys are what you’d think of as “normal” comfort items – blankets, or stuffed animals. However, in our work with parents over the years, we’ve heard of some very strange loveys indeed! We’ve had parents tell us their babies used the following items as loveys:

  • throw pillows
  • pacifiers (or soothers, or binkies, or dummies – depends on your name for it!
  • toothbrushes
  • board books
  • spoons
  • washcloths and hand towels
  • puzzle pieces (big ones)

And of course, there’s my personal favorite – a hair extension!!

Baby Lovey Safety

We are big believers in promoting safe sleep, and in sticking with the rules of creating a safe sleep space. For that reason, it’s key to remember that if your baby is under a year old, you should avoid putting any items in the crib that may be a SIDS risk. Not sure if a particular lovey is safe for your baby? We always recommend checking with your baby’s healthcare provider.

You’ll also need to think about choking hazards – no loveys that have small, detachable pieces, or even pieces that are sewn on but could potentially detach (think stuffed animals with small, plastic eyes sewn on).

Baby Lovey – Why Have One At All?

Some of you may be wondering why you even need to offer a lovely in the first place. Well, the truth is, some of you won’t – your babies will be able to self-soothe without any objects (maybe by sucking their thumbs, or stroking their faces or hair, etc.) Not every child needs a lovey.

But if your are sleep training, or working on helping your baby or toddler learn to self-soothe independently, without you in the room, a lovey can be a lifesaver. A lovey becomes a comfortable, familiar object that can serve to instantly soothe your baby or toddler. This is especially great when you’re out and about, or when you’re traveling – just bring the lovey along, and it’ll go a long way towards helping your baby sleep!

What’s more, a lovey can really help during sleep regressions – during those times, your baby is going through so many physical and developmental changes. And speaking of changes, loveys can really help your baby navigate any big life changes – like moving to a new house, the birth of a new sibling, etc.

Basically, a lovey is a positive sleep association that can help soothe and comfort your baby, and help them to relax and fall sleep. And who doesn’t want that? ;)

Baby Lovey – When & How Should You Introduce One?

As for when to introduce a lovey, the short answer is that it depends on your baby. Some babies will naturally take to having a lovey at a fairly young age, and will develop an attachment to some object fairly early one. If so – then your job is done!

For others, though, the process may look different. So when should you introduce a lovey? Well, don’t worry about offering a lovey during the newborn stage – your baby doesn’t yet have the ability to form an attachment to an object, so a lovey won’t matter at this point.

Beyond the newborn stage, the suggestions of when to introduce a lovely vary. Some pediatricians say it’s fine at 4 months, while other caution to wait until 9 months or even a year. Again – if you’re hesitant about when to introduce the lovey, and what kind of lovey to use, talk to your healthcare provider.

As for how exactly to introduce the lovey – there are a series of steps we typical recommend to consultation clients that are designed to help introduce the lovely gently, and to help ensure that baby accepts it and bonds with it. Want to read these steps? We lay them out in one of our members-only articles, The Baby Sleep Site’s 5 Step System To Introduce A Baby Lovey, in our Baby Sleep Site members area.

Baby Loveys We Love

When it comes to loveys, there are loads to choose from! Here are two of our favorites:
 

813yQLkob7L._SL1500_The Angel Dear Blankie: We LOVE these adorable baby loveys! Choose from 37 (yes, THIRTY-SEVEN) different colors and styles. The super-soft blankie is attached to a super-cute stuffed friend, making these an ideal lovey for babies.
 
 
 
 
81oligQ0qfL._SL1500_ Breathable Baby: These breathable loveys are cute and soft, but because they’re made of breathable mesh, they reduce the risk of SIDS. Cute AND safe – pretty nice!
 
 
 
 
 

How To Help Your Baby Attach To A Lovey and Learn To Self-Soothe

Need help getting your baby to learn to self-soothe? (Remember, being able to self-soothe is usually the first step towards longer naps and sleeping through the night.) Well, look no further – we’re here to give you the help you need! Our caring, compassionate consultants are standing by, ready to create a Personalized Sleep Plan™ that will help your baby learn to create positive sleep associations and start waking less often.
 
Browse our list of consultation package options here.
 

Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.

Have questions about baby loveys? Ask, and we’ll answer! Have tips? Share them with your fellow parents!

 
bss_ebook_3stepsystem_leftFor those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
 
 
 
bss_ebook_masteringnaps_leftIf you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine during the day, I encourage you to explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 45 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style.

 

bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOr, join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!

 
Baby_On_Computer_RESIZEDIf you are looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation, and want plenty support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations. Your consultation package will provide you with the chance to interact one-on-one with a trained sleep consultant, who will create a Personalized Sleep Plan™ for your family and then work to help you implement it at home.
 

Can’t decide which product or service is right for you? Visit our Getting Started Page for help.

 
 
Disclosure: The Baby Sleep Site™ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other product affiliate programs. If you click on a product link above and make a purchase, The Baby Sleep Site™ may (but not always) receive a small commission from the company selling the product. This commission will not affect your purchase price. We only recommend products that we believe are quality products and are good for our readers.

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2 Quick Tips For Making Tough Daycare Nap Schedules Work

 
2 Tips To Make Tough Daycare Nap Schedules Work

You don’t have to have school-aged kids at home to enjoy back-to-school season! But we here at The Baby Sleep Site® know that back-to-school season can be tough – if you have older kids, you have to work on reeling in your summertime schedule and get more serious with bedtime and morning wake-time, for example. (Hint – for help on getting your older kiddos ready for school, you can read our 3 tips for implementing a back-to-school sleep schedule.)

And many of our moms of babies and toddlers tell us that fall is the season when daycare schedules shift – babies “graduate” to different rooms as they get older, and that can translate into different nap schedules. Sometimes, that’s just fine – but often, it’s very challenging! Generally, we find that daycares tend to decrease naps a bit faster than we usually recommend (for instance, most 12 months olds are placed in the toddler room, and are only given one afternoon nap, but we usually recommend that parents try to hold on to two naps until 15-18 months of age). And the timing of daycare naps is very fixed – not starting nap time early if your little one woke up earlier than usual!

So, what to do? You can’t change the daycare schedule, usually – so how can you make the new daycare schedule work for your baby or toddler without sacrificing sleep?

We’ve got two tips designed to help you do just that. Keep reading, and get the details you need to keep the new daycare schedule from creating sleepless nights and missed naps in your house!

2 Tips For Making Tough Daycare Nap Schedules Work

  1. Calculate how much wake time the daycare’s nap schedule demands, and then compare that with how much you know your baby or toddler can tolerate. In our experience, daycares often expect a bit more wake-time from babies and toddlers than is age-appropriate (not always true, of course – but we see this happen quite a bit with clients). For instance, if the daycare schedule leaves 5 hours of wake-time between morning drop-off and the afternoon nap, but your baby can only manage 4 in the morning, then you’ll need to accommodate for that by changing bedtime, or re-arranging other parts of your daytime schedule.
  2. Try to prepare your baby for the new daycare schedule early. If you know that daycare will soon change your baby or toddler’s daytime nap schedule, try to get a head-start. Begin slowly moving towards the daycare schedule at home, by gradually shifting nap times until they match the daycare’s. This can help to gradually acclimate your baby to what’s coming, and might help ward-off over tiredness.

Finally, remember to take heart – this will be a short-lived trial! Your baby or toddler will eventually adjust to the daycare schedule just fine. :) Until then, though, if you’re going crazy trying to make the daycare schedule work for your little one, you could always consider connecting with one of our caring and compassionate sleep consultants! They will create a custom schedule that will work for your whole family – and for your daycare provider!
 
Browse our list of consultation package options here.
 

Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.

You can also check out our special members-only article, 5 MORE Tips For Making Tough Daycare Nap Schedules Work, for extra do-it-yourself scheduling and sleep coaching tips.

Are you facing daycare schedule challenges? Ask your questions, and we’ll answer! Have tips? Share them with your fellow parents!

 
bss_ebook_3stepsystem_leftFor those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
 
 
 
bss_ebook_masteringnaps_leftIf you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine during the day, I encourage you to explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 45 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style.

 

bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOr, join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!

 
Baby_On_Computer_RESIZEDIf you are looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation, and want plenty support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations. Your consultation package will provide you with the chance to interact one-on-one with a trained sleep consultant, who will create a Personalized Sleep Plan™ for your family and then work to help you implement it at home.
 

Can’t decide which product or service is right for you? Visit our Getting Started Page for help.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Tired Parent’s Top 10 Sleep Questions

 
Top 10 Questions Tired Parents Ask

Our sleep consultants answer a ton of questions on a daily basis for their sleep consultation clients – they are a knowledgeable bunch of ladies, to be sure!

Recently, we got to talking about the most common questions our consultants hear. What are the most pressing questions that parents routinely ask The Baby Sleep Site®‘s consulting team?

Read on to find out!

The Top 10 Questions Clients Ask The Baby Sleep Site®‘s Sleep Consultants

  1. How do I get my baby to stop waking so early?? Ah, yes — the early rising question! Well, there are several things you likely need to do to solve this problem. You may need to make schedule adjustments, or offer a bedtime snack. It’s also generally a good idea to treat any early-morning wakings as night wakings – in other words, don’t get your baby up for the day at 5 a.m. if you don’t want 5 a.m. to be your typical morning wake time. Of course, for all the details about how to shift your child’s schedule to a later wake-up time, you can check out our book Shift Your Child’s Schedule, or set up an appointment with a sleep consultant.
  2. Should I keep feeding my baby at night, or is my baby ready to be night-weaned? How can I tell if she’s waking from hunger or habit? Here’s the short answer: depends on your baby’s age. Here’s the longer version: it is perfectly okay for babies to feed up to about 12 months of age (although by that time, a baby’s who’s still feeding at night should be down to one feeding during a 12-hour night). However, most babies are ready to stop feeding at night by about 8 or 9 months. Most babies are down to just one night feeding by 6 months or so, but before that time, be aware that your baby will wake to eat several times in a 12-hour night. Of course, you have to take other factors into account, too, besides age – medical challenges, unique family circumstances, etc. We should also mention that we find formula-fed babies are generally ready to night-wean a little earlier than babies who are exclusively breast-fed. Above all, remember that night-weaning your baby is a personal choice, so don’t feel pressured to wean too soon!
  3. How do I transition my baby from sleeping in my arms/in my bed/in the swing/etc. to sleeping in her crib? In today’s modern age, there are lots of places for a baby to sleep – in a carseat, in a swing, in a bassinet…not to mention all the “old fashioned” sleeping spots, like in moms arms or in mom and dad’s bed! But how do you get from there to baby sleeping peacefully in her own crib? The steps we recommend to make that transition vary from family to family, and depend on unique factors. Generally, though, we recommend a gradual approach in which the transition is broken down into a number of smaller, mini-steps. Our consultants break down the transition into those mini-steps and then assign a timeline, so that parents know how many days to work on each mini-step.
  4. Why is my toddler resisting bedtime? Nothing like toddler bedtime drama, right? The reasons for bedtime resistance vary, of course, but common reasons why your toddler may be resisting bedtime include overtiredness (especially true during nap transitions), too much nap time sleep, a nap that happens too late in the day and ends too close to bedtime, and sleep associations.
  5. How can I sleep train without waking my other children? This is such a tricky one. For starters, if your kiddos share a room, we recommend moving one of them out (generally, the one who’s not sleep training, since the child who’s working on sleep needs to get used to sleeping in her usual sleep space). If your kiddos don’t share a room, but siblings are still waking during sleep training, you might consider trying white noise to block the sounds of any commotion during the night. Finally, remember that even if sleep coaching disturbs your older kids, it’s still worth it – in the end, it’s better two have two kids up at night for a short while if it means one will learn new and permanent healthy sleeping habits. When everyone’s sleeping well within a few weeks, it’ll all have been worth it!
  6. Do I have to get rid of my baby’s pacifier in order to sleep train? Hmmm…depends. Is the pacifier a problem? If not, then it might be okay to stick with it. But if it’s causing you grief, because you have to replace it all night long when your baby spits out out, or if you know your baby is too dependent on it to sleep well, then it’s generally best to wean your baby from the pacifier and help your baby learn how to sleep without it.
  7. Why does my baby wake up as soon as I lay him down in the crib? The answer to this one is usually very straightforward – it’s sleep associations! If your baby is accustomed to falling asleep in your arms, then it’s natural that once your arms are no longer there, she will wake up. The key in this situation is to gently wean your baby away from needing to be held for sleep, and the first step in that process is usually to start putting your baby down for sleep drowsy, but awake.
  8. How can I get my baby to nap longer?How can I get my baby to nap longer?” is the million-dollar question, for many parents! Well, for starters, eliminating your baby’s nap time sleep associations, and putting your baby down awake in the crib at nap time will go a long way towards helping to lengthen naps – once your baby can fall asleep without helps, in many cases, naps lengthen naturally. However, some babies need help in learning how to nap for a full hour or more. That’s why our consultants break nap traininginto two parts: learning how to fall asleep at nap time, and learning how to go back to sleep after waking too early from a nap
  9. How can I maintain a good nap schedule while still making sure that I can get out of the house and stick with my weekly activities and errands? As much as we encourage parents to sleep coach, we certainly don’t want to create a bunch of miserable moms who feel like they can’t ever leave the house due to baby’s nap schedule! While naps at home, in the crib are usually better than naps on the go, it’s okay to have the occasional nap in the car, or in the stroller. If your baby is taking two naps, for example, it’s okay for one of those naps to happen on the go a few days per week. And if you have a regular, standing outing (like a mom’s group, or a fitness class), you can build this right into your daily schedule (or better yet – have your sleep consultant do it for you!).
  10. My family is taking a trip soon – how can I make sure that sleep doesn’t fall apart while we’re on vacation? Never fear – we’ve got you covered on this one! Yes, traveling will disrupt sleep somewhat – it’s likely that any missed naps or bedtimes during travel will cause problems, and you can pretty much count on the first nap or two, and the first night, at the place where you are staying will be a little rough. But you can get sleep back on track during sleep. You can read our tips for ensuring better naps while traveling, and general tips for maintaining good sleep habits while traveling.

Have Your Own “Tired Parent” Questions? Ask A Sleep Consultant Today!

This is a nice overview of our parents’ most common sleep questions, but these answers are by no means as extensive and detailed as the answers you would get from a sleep consultant, if you were a client. Our clients are able to provide personalized answers, that are tailored to your unique circumstance – that’s what makes our services so unique! So if you have your own set of pressing sleep questions, why not connect with one of our caring, compassionate sleep consultants, and get expert answers today?
 
Browse our list of consultation package options here.
 

Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.

Your turn – what are your top “tired parent” sleep questions? Ask below, and we’ll answer!

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