10 Naptime Tips You Can Use Today

 
Ten NaptimeTips
 
Naps that are too short, or naps that are erratic and don’t follow any kind of predictable pattern, can sure get a parent down. It’s especially frustrating when your baby or toddler has been napping well, but then naps suddenly go into a tailspin. (Hint – this often happens during a sleep regression, or during a nap transition.)

If you’re struggling with erratic or shortened naps, don’t worry – we can help! In today’s article, we offer 10 quick tips that you can put to use right now in order to help your baby or toddler nap better.

10 Naptime Tips You Can Put To Use Today

  1. Watch for sleep cues. Yawns, rubbing eyes, starting vacantly – these are all signs that it may be time for a nap. If your baby starts fussing, she’s already overtired – work to put her down a little more quickly next time. (Note that sleepy cues are great in the first 6 months or so, but after that, you can start to watch the clock a bit more to determine when it’s nap time.)
  2. Remember that skipping naps does not equal better sleep! Missed naps lead to more missed naps (even though it seems counterintuitive). What’s more, if your baby or toddler has skipped a nap during the day, you may need to offer an earlier bedtime to compensate.
  3. If your baby is simply refusing a nap, that’s okay – take a break and try again later. You don’t want to push a nap for too long; often, it’s best to take a break and do an activity, and then to try again “fresh” later.
  4. TV and sleep DO NOT MIX, so avoid using the TV as a pre-nap time tool to calm your child. What’s more, too much TV time can lead to less nap time sleep (or even missed naps), so keep your little one’s TV exposure to a minimum, and make sure that TV time happens well before, or well after, nap time.
  5. The right schedule is key – naps need to be spaced out around feeding times, and naps can’t happen too close to morning wake-up time or bedtime. Need a good, age-appropriate schedule in a pinch? Check out our sample sleep and feeding schedules by age!
  6. Bedtime routine are great – and so are nap time routines! We usually recommend that you do a shorter, mini-version of your bedtime routine before nap time. Keep it short, but make sure it’s cozy and relaxing, and that it prepares your baby or toddler for sleep.
  7. Dim light and silence usual make for great naps. If your child’s room is too bright, try room-darkening shades; if her nap environment is too noisy, we recommend trying white noise.
  8. Try for a consistent nap schedule. You don’t necessarily need a rigid, clock-based nap schedule (especially if your baby is young), but keep in mind that on-the-go naps aren’t usually as restful as naps that happen at home, in a crib or bed. If you have a busy schedule, try to make sure that at least one nap (preferably the first morning nap) happens at home.
  9. As mentioned earlier, if your baby was napping just fine and suddenly isn’t, it’s most likely one of two things: a sleep regression, or an impending nap transition. (Of course, you’ll want to rule out illness or teething as a cause.)
  10. If you’re trying to work on sleep training during nap times, and working on teaching your baby or toddler to fall asleep independently at nap time, keep in mind that nap training is tougher than nighttime sleep training, in many ways. We usually (although not always) recommend starting sleep training at bedtime, and then moving on to naps once you’ve conquered nighttime sleep.

Naptime Help That Works…Guaranteed!

Many parents think that our personalized consulting services are meant for parents who are struggling with night sleep – but guess what? We have so many consultation clients whose primary struggle is naps – and our consultants are more than willing to provide you with a Personalized Sleep Plan™ that focuses mainly on nap help. So why not connect with one of our caring, compassionate sleep consultants, and get expert answers to your nap questions 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.

Or, if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you may be more interested in all the nap resources we offer in our Members Area:
 
bss_ebook_masteringnaps_left Mastering Naps & Schedules — For starters, all Baby Sleep Site® members receive unlimited access to all our e-Books. That’s right – for the price of your membership, you can read all our e-Books at no additional cost! That includes Mastering Naps & Schedules. With over 45 sample schedules (all available for you to view in the Members Area), Mastering Naps & Schedules is THE e-Book for tired parents of non-napping kiddos! We tackle all your top napping issues, including how to get your baby or toddler to take longer naps, how to get your child’s naps to be more consistent and predictable, how to manage nap transitions, how to encourage good napping while traveling – and more! Become a member today, and access the e-Book instantly – no download necessary!
 
Tele-seminarNap Tele-Seminars — Another great members-only resource? Our tele-seminars. Hosted by Nicole herself, these 30 – 45-minute tele-seminars offer you insider-information and our trademark sleep coaching methods and techniques. We have several awesome nap-focused tele-seminars, including one on managing nap transitions, and one on lengthening short naps! Listening to these seminars is like getting a coaching session from Nicole! She’ll walk you through the basics of dealing with common nap problems and give you tried-and-true strategies you can implement at home.

Members-Only Nap Articles — And now, we’ve recently added a special members-only article on the hot topic of nap transitions: 5 Practical, Hands-On Tips For Managing Common Nap Transitions. Learn our 5 top secrets for how to gently and painlessly navigate nap transitions, and help them happen in a way that preserves your child’s sleep while also preserving your own sanity! ;-)

For more details about all our member benefits (including weekly chats with a trained sleep consultant and 20% off ALL sleep consulting packages), visit our membership page, and consider becoming a member today!
 

Have nap tips of your own? Need answers to your pressing nap questions? Share them below!

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18 Month Old Toddler Sleep Regression: 10 Survival Techniques

 
18 Month Sleep Regression
 
Oh, parents – I’m so sorry to have to break this news. After three (yes, THREE) sleep regressions, you’re not done yet. :( And the 18 month sleep regression? Yeah…it’s one of the worst!

BUT that doesn’t mean that you’re powerless in the face of the 18 month sleep regression – not at all! We’re always here for you, readers – even in the face of one of the toughest sleep regressions you’ll face.

18 Month Old Toddler Sleep Regression: What It Looks Like

Basically, you’ll know you’re facing the 18 month sleep regression when your toddler, who was sleeping just fine, thankyouvermuch, is suddenly NOT sleeping so fine. You will probably see shorter and more erratic naps, more bedtime drama, increased night waking, and/or really early-morning wake-ups.

Since lists are nice, when you’re trying to troubleshoot, you can also be on the lookout for these signs:

  • Increased fussiness and crying (aka major crankiness!)
  • Changes in appetite
  • Extra clinginess and a need for more cuddle time

18 Month Old Toddler Sleep Regression: Why It Happens

If you remember, the 8/9/10 month sleep regression was the result of a ‘perfect storm’ of circumstances – at that age, your baby’s mobility and physical skills were just exploding, which led to disrupted sleep. Well, 18 months presents another ‘perfect storm’ – only this time, it’s a perfect storm of discipline issues! At 18 months, your toddler is no doubt learning that she can say ‘no’ to mommy and daddy (and say it LOUDLY at that) – and that defiance most definitely carries over to bedtime. While this growing independence isn’t all bad, by any means (this independent streak is also what will prompt her to learn how to put on her own shoes, and feed herself with a spoon), but it can lead to way more battles of will over things like bedtime and nap time.

And here’s what’s SUPER tricky about this: these two elements (your toddler’s newfound sleeplessness and your toddler’s newfound stubbornness and defiance) can end up influencing each other. Your toddler’s willful behavior can lead him to refuse naps or to shriek stubbornly for you each time he wakes at night. And of course, the lack of sleep caused by this regression can make your little one cranky, which leads to more tantrums and temper fits. It can turn into a vicious cycle of over tiredness and tantrums.

No wonder so many of our clients with 18 month olds report feeling like they’re nearing their breaking point!

Or course, the 18 month regression isn’t just about behavior issues – there are other factors in play here, too:

  • Teething could be to blame. Around 18 months, children are cutting the 4 canine teeth as well as well as their first molars. This can cause discomfort that leads to disrupted sleep.
  • Separation anxiety is still an issue for toddlers at 18 months. Most babies begin experiencing separation anxiety around 7 or 8 months, and for most babies, the anxiety is strongest from 10-18 months. This can lead to disrupted sleep as well — your baby may resist naps because he doesn’t want to be away from you, or he may wake at night and become upset that you’re not in the room with him.

18 Month Old Toddler Sleep Regression: 10 Survival Techniques

We first shared our 7 tips for 18 month sleep regression survival over on hintmama.com – check out the full list there!

For a quick, at-a-glance list of 10 tricks you can use to survive the 18 month regression – keep reading!

  1. Try a sticker chart to increase bedtime and nap time cooperation. Stickers hold great weight with most toddlers, so try using them as an incentive to help your toddler cooperate at bedtime and at nap time.
  2. Strengthen your bedtime routine, and give it a definitive end. Good bedtime routines are fairly short and VERY consistent. They also have a definite end – you might end with the same short song, or the same good night phrase. This is a strong signal to your toddler that it’s time for sleep.
  3. Try a lovey. If you haven’t given your toddler a comfort object, or a lovey, yet, this is a great time to start. If your 18 month old has something to keep in bed that feels cozy and comforting, it can minimize how often he calls for you at night or at nap time.
  4. Be prepared to offer extra naps (if she skips her usual ones) or an earlier bedtime. Part of the 18 month sleep regression involves fighting sleep (because what self-respecting toddler wants to sleep when she can play? ;)), so be ready to help your toddler compensate for missed sleep, in an effort to avoid over tiredness. (Just be sure that all naps are over by 6 p.m.).
  5. Offer a bedtime snack. Sometimes, a legitimate growth spurt can overlap with the 18 month sleep regression, so offering a high-protein bedtime snack can help to ward off middle-of-the-night hunger. Just make sure to brush teeth after snack time, and before bed!
  6. Offer a nightlight. By 18 months, your toddler may start having nighttime fears, so a very soft nightlight can provide a little reassurance.
  7. Offer simple explanations. Your toddler obviously isn’t at the age yet where you can hold real conversations, but it can be helpful to give your toddler reasons for WHY he needs to go to bed and get enough sleep. Keep your explanations simple, of course, and avoid over-explaining yourself (remember, your toddler is the king/queen of “but why?”) – but some simple explanations can help defuse sleep time drama.
  8. Don’t undo all your hard work. That is to say, if you’ve worked on sleep training, don’t go back to old sleep associations! Instead, comfort your toddler by doing mini-versions of whatever they find comforting. For instance, maybe hold your toddler when he wakes fussing, but hold him for a few minutes, instead of holding him all the way to sleep. Or lie down with him in his room, but be sure to leave before he falls asleep. This will provide comforting without creating new, bad sleep habits.
  9. Create firm ‘will’ and ‘will not’ boundaries, and then reinforce them for your toddler. For example, if your toddler isn’t allowed to sleep in your bed, then be sure to reinforce that even in the midst of the 18 month sleep regression. If you’ve decided for yourself that when your toddler cries for you at night, you’re going to wait 5 minutes before going into her room, then stay consistent with that.
  10. Be prepared to re-train, if necessary. Even small things, like a short cold, can throw off your child’s normally-great sleeping patterns. So it’s no wonder that a big sleep regression can do big damage! Don’t worry, though – you can get back on track. Give the regression a few weeks to sort itself out; at that point, if your toddler is still struggling with sleep, do some sleep training to get things back on track (trust me, it will most likely be a lot easier this time than it was the first time around!).

18 Month Sleep Regression Help That’s Guaranteed To Work

Toddler sleep problems are definitely solvable – but they can be TOUGH to solve on your own. So why not connect with one of our caring, compassionate sleep consultants, and get expert answers to your nap questions 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.
 

 
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!

How have you dealt with the 18 month old toddler sleep regression? Any tried-and-true survival techniques that we didn’t mention here? Share with us – we love hearing from you!

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365 Sleepybag: The All-Seasons Sleep Sack That Grows With Your Baby

 
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It’s no secret that wearable blankets, or sleep sacks, are hands-down the safest and best options for keeping your baby warm during the night. But chilly fall nights demand a heavier-weight blanket, while warmer temps require something lighter. Add to that the fact that you typically have to buy new blankets as your baby grows (most families have at least 2 sets of wearable blankets) and the cost can add up fast.

But what if you could buy ONE high-quality wearable blanket? One that worked in all seasons, that grew with your baby, that was made with high-quality construction and 100% organic cotton?

You can, parents!

Introducing the 365 Sleepybag. We came across this new product recently, and thought it was so incredibly cool. In fact, Amber, one of our sleep consultants, had a chance to test it out on her own little cutie of a daughter, and she loved it! Here’s what she had to say:

Amber“I am so impressed with the 365Sleepybag! For my eldest child, I had to purchase 2-3 wearable blankets (in different thicknesses) in every size, which really added up over the years. The design of the 365Sleepybag is ingenious, and the quality is superb! I love that the light weight and medium weight blankets can zipper together to become a heavier weight blanket for those super cold winter nights. I worry about whether my youngest baby is too cold or too hot at night all the time. And when we go on vacation or to visit relatives, I never know which wearable blankets to pack, so I bring them all and this takes up way too much space. The Sleepybag takes the guess work out of packing. And because it is so long, it will last until she is a toddler! Of course, I love that it is organic too!”

We could say a lot about how much we like this sleep sack, but this video says it all. Take a few minutes to watch:

Looks amazing, right? After testing this out ourselves, we can say with confidence that this is a high-quality, well-designed, ingenious sleep sack that will grow with your baby. Because it’s an all-seasons sleep sack, you can use this one product year round – no need for multiple sleep sacks! And because it’s such a high-quality sleep sack, you will no doubt be able to use this with ALL your babies – think of it as an investment in your growing family. :)

serena1_800The inventors of the 365S Sleepybag, Santosh and Shanti, are in the final phase of bringing their innovative product to the market – they just launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to help them bring their sleep bag to parents everywhere (and it was just chosen as a Kickstarter staff pick!). And as a campaign backer, you are entitled to special discounts and FREE shipping! Pretty nice, especially considering that Christmas will be here before we know it – and these would make fantastic Christmas gifts for any moms on your list (heck, they’d make a great gift to you, from yourself!).

Here are the details:

  • Pledge $60 Australian dollars ($54 U.S. dollars), and you’ll receive the summer bag shipped FREE! You can also opt to order the $75 AUD ($66 USD) spring/autumn bag; if you do, that will ship free with your summer bag. This represents a $25 savings over the regular retail price of $160 AUD.
  • Pledge $120 AUD ($105 USD), and get the complete 365 Sleepybag shipped FREE anywhere in the world! You choose the size and the color. This price represents a $40 savings on the regular retail price of $160 AUD.
  • Pledge $330 AUD ($290 USD) and get THREE 365 Sleepybags shipped FREE anywhere in the world. You choose size and color. This is a great option for groups – go in with two of your friends, and save a little in the process! This pledge level represents a $50 AUD savings on the 365 Sleepybag’s regular retail price.
  • Pledge $400 AUD ($351 USD) and get FOUR 365 Sleepybags shipped FREE anywhere in the world. You choose size and color. Another great group-buying option! This pledge level represents a $60 AUD savings on the regular retail price.

Remember, your pledge will not be billed to you until the campaign has ended successfully, and the 365 Sleepybag campaign has met its full financial goal.

Your support doesn’t just get you a top-notch sleep sack system at a great price – it also supports two entrepreneurs who are committed to using only organic, eco-friendly materials, and who insist on ethical and fair manufacturing of their product.

We hope you’ll head over and support this innovative couple and their fantastic sleep sack today!

This article was underwritten by 365 Sleepybag. All opinions are ours entirely. The Baby Sleep Site sponsors only those product which we believe are high-quality and will be beneficial to you, our valued reader.

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Daylight Savings and Baby/Toddler Sleep – 2 Tips To Help Your Child Adjust To The Time Change

How Daylight Savings Time Affects Baby and Toddler Sleep
 

Daylight Savings tends to be a big topic here at The Baby Sleep Site®; we start getting e-mails in the Helpdesk up to a month before it ends, asking for suggestions on how to help babies and toddlers ‘fall back’ and adjust to the time change.

After working with many, many, many families to adjust to new time change schedules, we’ve learned a thing or two about how to make the transition a smooth one.

And that’s what we are talking about today! We’re presenting two strategies for surviving the daylight savings time change.

2 Options For Surviving Daylight Savings

  1. Do nothing. If your baby’s is fairly adaptable to change, and is not sensitive to overtiredness, then you can simply do nothing, take the time change in stride. This means sticking to your baby or toddler’s normal schedule as best you can. The exception to that would be the morning wake-up time; that will likely be earlier for a few days, or maybe a week. For example, if your baby normally wakes at 7 a.m., then after the time change, she will probably wake closer to 6 a.m. However, keep naps and bedtime close to their usual times. You can bump them up a bit if your baby or toddler seems really exhausted, but remember, this is a short-term solution. You don’t want to do this long-term, or you will create a long-term schedule change.

    This is also a good option for babies and toddlers who are waking up and going to bed too late. If this is the case, and if you would like your child’s wake time, naps, and bedtimes to be a bit earlier than they currently are, consider yourself lucky — the end of daylight savings will shift your child’s schedule backwards by an hour!

  2. Tweak your child’s schedule ahead of time. If your baby is already waking up too early in the morning, in relation to your ideal family schedule, we recommend doing some preemptive work ahead of time to ease the transition. Moving your baby’s schedule isn’t always easy, but in the next week or two, you can successfully move your baby’s schedule forward by an hour and then move it again, if necessary, to achieve your family’s ideal schedule.

    For example, if your baby is waking at 5 a.m., and you’d like her to wake at 6 a.m. or later, you can move her schedule forward one hour to 6 a.m., wait for the time to change (where she will be waking at 5 a.m. once again) and then move her schedule forward again. This works best when your baby is at least 8 months old, but some 6 month old schedules can be moved as well. Younger babies generally will adjust naturally within a few days to two weeks as long as you don’t strictly stick to the earlier schedule (a young baby’s sleep is already highly disorganized).

If you are interested, our Shifting Schedules e-Book outlines detailed steps (with examples) to moving your baby’s schedule. Available exclusively to Baby Sleep Site® members, it deals with managing early-morning wake up times, as well as late bedtimes. It also provides tips and insights that are useful for tackling the time change. It even includes a case study that follows one family’s schedule shift as they worked one-on-one with Nicole. Members have the option to download and print a copy of the e-book at no cost.

Reminders About How Daylight Savings Affects Bedtime

Keep in mind that late bedtimes equal overtiredness. And overtiredness equals restless nights for babies and toddlers, and even earlier morning wake-up times. So watch your baby’s bedtime carefully, and make it earlier, if needed (for a few days, at least – while your baby adjusts). Here’s an example, to help you visualize this point: if your baby normally goes to bed at 7 p.m., after the time change, 6 p.m. will ‘feel’ like 7 p.m., since it WAS 7 p.m. just a few days ago. So if your baby seems sleepy around 6 p.m., respect that, and put him to bed a little early (maybe at 6:15 or 6:30). This shouldn’t be a long-term strategy, of course (few families want a bedtime that early!) But it’s a good short-term strategy.

Prepare For The Time Change Like A Pro, With Our Resources!

The end of Daylight Savings Time is right around the corner – we’ll be “falling back” before we know it! If you’re too tired or overwhelmed to do a bunch of reading and to create your own DST prep plan, let us do the work for you. You can connect with one of our caring, expert sleep consultants today, and she’ll send you your very own Personalized Sleep Plan™ that will walk you through every step of DST prep. It will also outline the steps you need to follow to improve your baby or toddler’s overall sleeping habits.

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.
 

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! Even better – as a member, you have access to our #1 Daylight Savings preparation resource, our Shift Your Child’s Schedule e-book. This e-book is the perfect tool for helping you gently shift your child’s schedule in order to accommodate the time change – and member can download and print a copy of the book! And don’t forget that as a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant, which is perfect if you have truly tough, pressing DST questions that require expert help. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!

 

How are you planning for the end of Daylight Saving’s Time? How do you anticipate it will affect your baby or toddler’s schedule? Let’s put our heads together and share some tips and advice!

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How To Put Your Baby or Toddler On A Schedule

 
How To Put Your Baby or Toddler On A Schedule

Sure, we’ve got a ton of helpful sample sleep and feeding schedules by age on our site – but since your baby or toddler presumably can’t read yet, how are you supposed to get your child to, you know, actually follow one of these sample schedules?

Having a schedule is all well and good, but how do you get your child’s day to match said schedule?

Fear not, parents – we here at The Baby Sleep Site® are known for our awesome scheduling help. And in today’s article, we bring that scheduling help to you! Read on to learn how you can gently help your baby or toddler follow a predictably daily schedule.

How To Put Your Newborn Baby On A Schedule

Remember that when it comes to newborns, you have to use the word ‘schedule’ loosely. Your definitely don’t want to try for a clock-based schedule with your newborn – instead, you want to think in terms of shaping a loose schedule that’s based more on routine and ordering your baby’s activities than it is on the clock. You’ll also watch your baby’s sleep and hunger cues carefully – they are the single best indicator of what your baby needs.

In order to promote healthy sleep habits, we usually recommend an eat-play-sleep schedule: you feed your baby, engage him in an activity (like reading a book, playing with a soft toy, etc.) and then put him down for a nap. While it’s not based on fixed feeding and sleep times, this rhythm will support the timed schedules that come later. You can also work towards helping your baby learn to fall asleep alone by putting him down slightly awake for at least one nap of the day.

Once your baby is about 8 or 10 weeks old, you can start working in one or two fixed points into the daily schedule. This will be a step towards a schedule that’s clock-based.

See our sample newborn sleep and feeding schedules, or check out our e-book on newborn sleep, Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep.

How To Put Your 4 Month Old Baby On A Schedule

By 4 months, your baby still isn’t ready for a strict schedule, but you can work towards a semi-clock based schedule by 4 months. You’ll still want to focus mainly on establishing strong routines, as you did in the newborn stage, but you can work towards plugging in more fixed points into your baby’s schedule – at this age, the first morning and first afternoon naps make good fixed points, as well as morning wake-time and bedtime.

You can also work towards establishing strong sleep-time and bedtime routines at this age. Start by creating a predictable, consistent bedtime routine. Later on, you’ll do a mini-version of this routine at nap time.

Keep in mind that the 4 month sleep regression usually strikes at this time, and that will throw off your baby’s sleep in a big way

See our sample 4 month sleep and feeding schedules for more information, or perhaps consider becoming a Baby Sleep Site® member. Our Members Area provides you access to over 50 sample schedules by age.

How To Put Your 5, 6, or 7 Month Old Baby On A Schedule

You can start moving to a by-the-clock schedule at this point, if you want to (although if you’re more of a go-with-the-flow parent, you certainly don’t need a rigid schedule!). By 6 months, most babies are eating solid foods, so you can start to carve out more fixed “meal” times and sleep times. Naps will also start to consolidate, for most babies, around 6 months or so, so it may be easier to have a predictable, timed nap schedule at this age.

As for how to get your 5, 6, or 7 month old baby onto your desired schedule – you will simply extend your baby’s awake time between naps (do this VERY gradually), until your baby’s naps line up with the scheduled times.

Still, plan to be flexible – while your baby’s schedule may become more predictable overall, there will still no doubt be days when your little one throws you for a loop! And often, when you try to force a rigid schedule too soon, you end up focusing on the clock instead of on your baby’s cues, which leads to a cycle of overtiredness.

See 5 month, 6 month, and 7 month sample sleep and feeding schedules here. Or, consider purchasing a copy of Mastering Naps & Schedules, the e-book designed to solve your persistent nap challenges!

How To Put Your 8, 9, or 10 Month Old Baby On A Schedule

For this stage, you’ll do the same thing you did above – you’ll gradually increase your baby’s awake time until it lines up with the 2-nap schedule you’re working towards. In general, it becomes easier to achieve a clock-based schedule at this age, simply because by this time, your baby is most likely down to just 2 naps per day, and you’re out of that “hamster wheel” of constant nap transitions that you experienced in your baby’s first 6 months of life. From here on out, your baby will have 2 naps per day for quite awhile, until she transitions to 1 nap in early toddlerhood.

Do keep in mind, though, that your baby will go through the 8/9/10 month sleep regression during this time, and that will likely mean set-backs with any schedule progress you make.

See sample 8 month, 9 month, and 10 month sleep and feeding schedules here. Or, if you’re continuing to struggle with getting your baby on a predictable schedule, you may want to consider a personalized sleep consultation with one of our expert consultants.

How To Put Your 11 or 12 Month Old Baby On A Schedule

By now, even the most unpredictable babies tend to fall into SOME kind of regular daily schedule – even if it’s not the schedule you intended! ;) At this age, it’s actually best to start paying more attention to the clock – and it’s also best if you focus on extending your baby’s awake time. While young babies need short wake time in order to ward off over tiredness, at this stage, you’ll probably need to focus on extending your child’s wake time to ensure that your baby’s bedtime doesn’t get too late. It’s especially important to make sure that the afternoon nap isn’t too late in the day.

See sample 11 month and 12 month sleep and feeding schedules here.

How To Put Your Toddler On A Schedule

Of all age groups, a toddler’s schedule is often one of the easiest to achieve. As long as your toddler is napping independently and can nap long enough, your toddler will fall into a predictable schedule. You can set the schedule based on the clock and, generally, will get a good night’s sleep and a good nap out of him. Granted, over-tiredness can still lead to shorter naps or night-waking or your baby waking too early, but if you follow a standard 5 hours awake before and after the nap, most toddlers should do pretty well.

See our sample toddler sleep and feeding schedules for more information.

Baby and Toddler Scheduling Help That Works…Guaranteed!

If scheduling help is what you need, we can certainly help with that. We have a team of caring, compassionate expert consultants standing by, waiting to create a Personalized Sleep Plan™ for your family.
 
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.
 

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_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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Baby Sleep…There’s An App For That! [GIVEAWAY]

Baby Sleep Site AppNeed baby and toddler sleep tips? Want topical sleep articles organized by category? Craving a custom schedule that’s based on your baby or toddler’s unique wake-up time?

Now, there’s an app for that!

Readers, we are so excited to introduce you to the BRAND-NEW Baby Sleep Site app! Designed in partnership with our good buddies at Baby Shusher™ and available for Apple devices (including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch), this app gives you the baby and toddler sleep info you need right at your fingertips.

Oh – and did I mention it’s completely FREE?

Our new app contains the best of our Baby Sleep Site blog articles, quick, at-a-glance sleep tips by age, recommended sleep products, and best of all, a schedule-generator tool that will create a custom sleep schedule for your child!

We are so exited about this app. SO excited. The Baby Shusher™ team and we have spent over a year working on it, and we’re so excited that it’s finally ready for you, that we decided to celebrate.

And how do we celebrate at The Baby Sleep Site? That’s right…with a giveaway!

Baby Shusher™ + The Baby Sleep Site® = Better Baby and Toddler Sleep!

To celebrate the launch of our Baby Sleep Site app, we’re giving away several exciting prizes – take a look below!

GRAND PRIZE: $100 iTunes Gift Card

itunes_giftcardWho could use $100 to spend in iTunes? We sure could! And one lucky winner will receive just that – a $100 iTunes gift card. Use your gift card to buy music, movies, TV shows, apps, books…and more! You can use your $100 iTunes gift card to purchase anything in the iTunes Store, the App Store, the iBookstore or the Mac App Store. Splurge on yourself, or save it to give away as a Christmas gift!

One lucky winner will receive a $100 iTunes Gift Card. Both U.S. and international entrants are welcome.

Baby Shusher™ Collection

Baby Shusher CollectionHave we mentioned how much we love the whole line of Baby Shusher™ products? From their patented Baby Shusher™ itself, to their line of super-soft cotton muslin swaddles, it’s clear that Baby Shusher™ really does promote better baby sleep (and who couldn’t use a little more of that in their life?). And because these two products work so beautifully together, Baby Shusher™ recently began offering their Baby Shusher™ Collection. Each Collection contains a Baby Shusher™ that will create a constant, steady “shushing” noise that’s perfect for soothing a baby to sleep, as well as several muslin swaddles in cute printed patterns. These make perfect baby shower gifts (ask us how we know!!), but if you have a baby at home, we won’t blame you at all for keeping it all for yourself. ;)

TWO lucky winners will each receive a Baby Shusher™ Collection. Both U.S. and International entrants are welcome.

Basic Sleep Consultation Package from The Baby Sleep Site®

BabySleepSiteSuccess220Baby sleep books are nice, but personalized baby sleep help that’s tailored to fit your baby’s personality and your parenting goals? That’s GREAT. And that’s exactly what we offer with our personalized consulting packages. Each of our packages provides you with a Personalized Sleep Plan™ created specifically for your family by your own personal sleep consultant, along with follow-up help that you can use to ask additional questions. It’s the personalized nature of our consultation packages that makes them so effective – that’s why we have over 15,000 families worldwide who are sleeping better now, thanks to our consultation support!

One lucky winner will receive a Basic Sleep Consultation Package. Both U.S. and International entrants are welcome. Existing customers will have their account credited with the value of the Basic Consultation Package.

The deadline to enter is Sunday, October 12th at 11:59 PM U.S. EST.

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Helping Your Baby With Reflux (GERD) Sleep Better

 
Baby Infant Reflux GERD Sleep Tips
 

GERD may be its official name, but most of parents simply call it reflux (or perhaps acid reflux). And if you have an infant with reflux at home, then you know first-hand what sleepless feels like, don’t you?

We work with so many families who have a baby with reflux, so we’ve learned a thing or two about how to help alleviate infant reflux symptoms, and to help babies with reflux sleep soundly.

Keep reading for all details!

Symptoms of Infant Reflux/GERD

First, we should really look at what the most common symptoms of baby reflux and GERD are. Common symptoms* include:

  1. Spitting and vomiting
  2. Constant hiccups
  3. Feeding disturbances
  4. Chronic irritability
  5. Discomfort when lying on the back
  6. Sleep disturbance
  7. Chronic cough and/or congestion

*from the book Colic Solved, by Bryan Vartabedian – an excellent resource if you have a colicky baby with reflux at home!

So many parents we work with suspect their infants might have acid reflux, but haven’t checked with their healthcare providers yet. If your baby has the reflux symptoms listed above, make an appointment with your healthcare provider and take steps toward treatment. Some healthcare providers prefer to wait for symptoms to subside or improve, while others prefer to start medication sooner rather than later. Either way, you will want to plan a course of action with your healthcare provider before you start to work on improving sleep.

Also, remember that while spitting up is considered a classic sign of reflux, there is such a thing as “silent reflux”. If your baby seems fussy and uncomfortable after eating (especially if you lay him down after eating), or if you hear lots of tummy gurgling after your baby eats, silent reflux may be to blame.

Why Baby Reflux/GERD Interferes With Sleep

Speaking of sleep – why exactly does baby reflux interfere with sleep? Simply put, babies with GERD are in fairly constant pain and discomfort. The stomach acid that comes up repeatedly after feedings can seriously irritate the lining of your baby’s throat, and cause a feeling of constant heartburn.

What’s more, laying your baby flat on her back to sleep (which is the safest way for babies to sleep, in order to reduce the risk of SIDS) tends to make the symptoms of reflux and GERD even worse. So really, the best and safest sleep position for your baby is also one of the worst positions for her acid reflux!

No wonder, then, that baby reflux and GERD causes disturbed sleep! Babies with reflux tend to have trouble sleeping through the night and taking long, restorative naps, since their discomfort makes it hard for them to stay asleep.

How To Help Your Infant With Reflux/GERD Sleep Better

Keep in mind that the majority of newborns and young babies have occasional bouts of reflux – some spitting up here and there, or a bit of tummy pain is very normal for newborns, as the sphincter muscles that keep stomach contents down aren’t well-developed. Most babies outgrow their reflux symptoms as they mature. However, babies with severe reflux, or GERD, may struggle with reflux symptoms for months on end, and be extremely uncomfortable after feedings.

If your baby is young (3 months old or younger), or if your baby’s reflux symptoms are fairly mild, there’s a lot you can do to alleviate the problem at home, without medication. Those steps include:

  • Keeping a log of your baby’s feeding times, as well as periods of discomfort. This will help you cross-reference when reflux symptoms appear in comparison with when baby ate last, and that may help you see patterns that you can address.
  • Holding or sitting your baby slightly upright after feedings, for 20 or 30 minutes. You don’t want to hold your baby completely upright, but rather, you want your baby to rest at a reclined angle (think 30 or 45 degrees) until the formula or breastmilk she just drank is digested. If you lay her down flat right after a feeding, there’s a good chance that much of that meal will come right back up.
  • Consider using a wedge under your baby’s crib mattress, to help elevate her upper body. We like this one, from Dex Baby. If your baby is wiggly, and prone to sliding down off the wedge, you can use a product like the Baby Stay Asleep to help position your baby on the wedge, and prevent her from wiggling off.
  • Comfort your baby often, but try to begin weaning away from sleep associations as your baby grows. It’s so natural to want to comfort a baby who’s in pain – and that’s what you should be doing! Especially in the first few months of your baby’s life, you can’t possibly spoil her, so do whatever you need to in order to help her feel calm and cared for. Yes, things like rocking your baby to sleep, or holding her while she sleeps, may become sleep associations you have to undo later, but in the newborn stage, we recommend that you do whatever you have to do in order to get sleep – and that goes for caring for your baby with reflux, too!

    However, as your baby gets older, and passes the 4 month sleep regression, it’s time to start gently weaning your baby away from any sleep associations, like rocking to sleep, or sleeping in the infant swing. Remember, the reflux will eventually resolve itself, but the habits your baby develops may stick around, so do your best to begin gently undoing them as your baby grows.

  • Sleep Training A Baby With Reflux or GERD

    It’s one thing to manage your baby’s reflux, but what about when you’re sleep training? Well, for starters, we strongly recommend that you see a healthcare provider and get your baby’s reflux under control before attempting to sleep train. Again, minor reflux usually resolves itself as your baby grows, but more GERD often requires medication.

    Once your baby’s reflux is being treated, you can sleep train with confidence. We usually recommend that when you are working on sleep training, you’ll want to move the last feeding of the night to an early point in the bedtime routine, since you’ll need to hold your baby semi-upright for 20 or 30 minutes before laying him down for bed. You’ll also need to do the same for middle-of-the-night feedings, too – just be careful that as you hold and rock your baby, you don’t rock him to sleep!

    You’ll also want to be realistic in your feeding expectations, if your baby has reflux. Remember, babies with reflux need to eat smaller, more frequent meals. So it may not be realistic for you to expect a 5 month old baby with reflux to sleep 10 straight hours through the night! Instead, plan for more frequent feedings – and plan to night wean a bit later than average, as well. We often find that babies with reflux continue needing night feedings longer.

    Personalized Sleep Help That Takes Your Baby’s Health Into Account

    Sleep coaching a baby with reflux can be truly tough…you have to walk the tightrope of helping your baby feel comfortable and alleviate her pain, while also working to avoid any negative sleep associations that will mess with your sleep coaching plans.

    So why not let us help? Our team of highly-trained, caring sleep consultants has worked with thousands of families like yours – they know exactly how to account for your baby’s reflux and GERD while still ensuring that you have Personalized Sleep Plan™ that will teach your baby positive sleeping habits and move your whole family towards sleeping through the night.
     
    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.

    Has reflux or GERD affected your baby’s sleep? What about sleep training? How have you coped? We love your stories and tips – let’s hear ‘em!

     
    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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QUICK TIP: Why Your Baby Won’t Sleep In The Crib (And 3 Tips To Help)

 
Baby Won't Sleep In Crib

“Oh, sure, my baby sleeps – just not in the crib.”

Sound familiar? So many of our Baby Sleep Site® families tell us their babies sleep beautifully in moms arms, in the baby sling, in the stroller, in the carseat, in the swing…but NOT in the crib. And since crib sleep is what many parents are working towards, this can be quite a problem!

Why Baby Won’t Sleep In The Crib

If you think about it, it makes sense, right? Your arms are so warm and snuggly (and they smell like you!) In the sling, baby is is pressed right up against you. And the car seat, stroller, and swing – they move, just like your baby did when she was in your womb. Simply put, babies prefer to be held snugly and gently rocked, because that’s exactly what they had for 9 months during your pregnancy.

But the crib? It’s flat, it’s stationary, and it’s decidedly un-snuggly (especially if you follow safe sleep guidelines, and don’t allow soft objects or loose blankets in the crib). No wonder, then, that baby would much prefer to sleep on you, or in a snuggly, moving contraption, like the swing.

3 Tips To Help Baby Sleep In The Crib

How can you gently encourage your baby to sleep in the crib? Try the following tips:

  1. Swaddle, swaddle, swaddle! If you’re not already, try swaddling your baby for sleep. Swaddling can help baby feel more secure, since the swaddle sort of feels like moms arms, or like the coziness of the sling or baby swing. If your baby is too bit (or too old) to be swaddled tightly in a blanket, try a Zipadee-Zip – it offers more range of movement, and it zips closed (and is therefore super-secure – good for older babies), but it still provides the snuggly security that comes with swaddling
  2. Eliminate movement slowly. If your baby’s particular sleep association has to do with movement (rocking in your arms, or in the baby swing, for example), start by eliminating the movement. For example, if your baby will sleep only in the swing, continue putting your baby in the swing at sleep times, but gradually phase out the swinging. This sleep training technique is known as “fading”. Once your baby has learned to sleep without movement, you can switch to putting baby to sleep in the crib.
  3. Put baby to bed drowsy, but awake. Once you have gotten your baby used to sleeping without movement, and without being held in your arms or in the sling, it’s time to try putting your baby down in the crib drowsy, but awake. This is key – your baby needs to know she is falling asleep; this is an important step on the road to sleeping through the night. You can help your baby become drowsy, but then be sure she’s at least slightly awake when you put her down in the crib. You can gradually work towards baby being fully awake when she goes down for naps and at bedtime.

The beauty of these tips is that they are suitable for babies of any age. They’re so gentle, you can even use them to help a newborn sleep!

Baby Won’t Sleep In The Crib? We Can Help!

Teaching your baby to sleep independently, in the crib, can be a monumental task. That’s why we offer personalized help from a team of highly-trained sleep consultants. When you connect with a consultant, she’ll create a Personalized Sleep Plan™ for your family that will guide you through every step of teaching your baby to fall asleep independently (which is the first step on the road to sleeping through the night).

 
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.

Essential Keys to Newborn SleepNeed help encouraging your newborn to sleep better, and to sleep longer stretches at night and during the day? Check out Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep, the latest e-Book from The Baby Sleep Site®. 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.
 

 
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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Better Baby Sleep, Brought To You By ZipadeeZip and The Baby Sleep Site

Zipadee-Zips3

Your baby is perfect – but your baby’s sleep may not be!

Believe us, we get it. At Zipadee-Zip and The Baby Sleep Site, we spend each day connecting with exhausted parents just like you, who are looking for solutions to their babies sleep problems. Whether you’re facing seemingly-endless night wakings or short, erratic naps, we know first-hand what you’re going through (we’re all moms ourselves – we’ve been there!).

We may be separate companies, but our core products complement each other perfectly – combine the snuggly soothing of a ZipadeeZip with the The Baby Sleep Site’s proven sleep coaching methods, and what do you get?

You get a sleeping baby, that’s what!

And that’s why, for the first time ever, Zipadee-Zip and The Baby Sleep Site are teaming up to host a joint giveaway – because we want to give you, our awesome readers, the gift of better baby sleep!

Sign up to receive this free guide, 5 Ways to Help Your Child Sleep Through The Night and gain 5 entries into the giveaway. Keep reading for details about the giveaway, and be sure to enter today, using the entry form below. Best of luck to all of you – and happy sleeping!

A Better Baby Sleep Giveaway, from ZipadeeZip and The Baby Sleep Site

Enter To Win One of Two Zipadee-Zips!

ZipadeeZip Wearable BlanketWhat do you need for better baby sleep? For starters, you need the right equipment. That’s why we’re offering TWO lucky readers a warm, snuggly Zipadee-Zip in the fabrics of their choice!

Why is the Zipadee-Zip THE must-have wearable blanket for your baby? Simple – the unique star-shape design provides your baby enough range of movement while still creating that snug, cozy, womb-like feeling that translates into deeper, longer sleep. It keeps little hands warm, it helps teach baby to self-soothe to sleep, it’s easy to buckle into infant carriers or carseats, it keeps baby warm in the baby carrier…the list goes on! Long story short, the ZipadeeZip is a product that will truly grow with your baby, and it’s high-quality construction will last for years – meaning you can pass it down from one baby to the next!

Two lucky winners will each receive a Zipadee-Zip in the fabrics of their choice. Both U.S. and international entrants are welcome.

Enter To Win a Deluxe Sleep Consultation, from The Baby Sleep Site!

Mom-Newborn-SleepWhat else do you need to help your baby sleep? You need a solid foundation of baby sleep knowledge. Even better, you need a personalized plan that will take all the baby sleep information out there and condense it into a set of personalized recommendations that fit your baby’s temperament, your parenting philosophy and goals, and your family’s lifestyle.

That kind of personalized help is exactly what you get when you purchase a consultation with The Baby Sleep Site. These personalized sleep consultation services allow you to connect with highly-trained, caring sleep consultants, who will craft a Personalized Sleep Plan™ for your child, and then walk you through every step of using the plan at home.

Of all the consultation packages offered (and there are quite a few to choose from – there’s a consultation package for every budget!), the most popular package by far is the Deluxe package. The Deluxe package provides you with a Personalized Sleep Plan™ as well as three follow-up e-mails that you can use to ask your consultant for additional help.

One lucky winner will receive a Deluxe Sleep Consultation from The Baby Sleep Site. Both U.S. and International entrants are welcome.

Giveaway Entry

You can enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below. To sign up to receive the FREE sleep guide and gain 5 entries into the giveaway, be sure to fill out the option for joining The Baby Sleep Site and Zipadee-Zip Free Sleep Guide Mailing list. Once you have entered your email address, you will you need to click on the link in the confirmation email you receive. You can then download the guide immediately.

Entries for the giveaway will be accepted today through 8:59 PM EST on Thursday, October 9, 2014

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Wonder Weeks Chart: How The Wonder Weeks Affect Baby and Toddler Sleep

 
Wonder Weeks Baby Toddler Sleep
 

The Wonder WeeksIf you’re a mom in today’s day and age, you’ve no doubt heard about The Wonder Weeks. This book, written by a husband-and-wife team, outlines the 10 “wonder weeks”, or regression stages, that all babies go through in the first 20 months of life. The book outlines when and why each “wonder week” happens; it also offers parents insights into how to help their babies navigate each wonder week, and turn it into a leap forward for baby.

The book is quite interesting, and we’ve heard from many parents that this is in there list of top, must-have baby books (you can see comments from real moms over on the Wonder Weeks Facebook page). Of course, as people who eat, sleep, and breathe baby sleep, we’ve always been most interested in how each of these wonder weeks stages impact a baby’s naps and nighttime sleep.

And we thought it was about time that we shared what we’ve learned about the wonder weeks and sleep with you!

Wonder Weeks Chart: How The Wonder Weeks Affect Baby and Toddler Sleep

Week Name Description Impact on Sleep
5 Weeks Changing Sensations Your newborn is “waking up”, becoming more alert, and noticing the world around her. This is understandably overwhelming for newborns! This is when “the witching hour” usually starts – that period of fussiness from about about 5 – 10 or 11 p.m. Be available to cuddle baby often (wearing baby is a great idea at this time); you may also need to feed more frequently in the evening. Baby may also go through a growth spurt at this time. Finally, keep in mind that this wonder week overlaps a bit with the 6 week peak of fussiness.
8-9 Weeks Patterns Baby is beginning to recognize and create simple patterns in his world; he’ll practice moving his hands in the same way over and over, or make the same grunting sound again and again. All this curiosity and alertness can make it hard for baby to settle and fall sleep, so be sure to make your nursery sleep-friendly – it should be dim and quiet. This is also a grew time to begin working on simple sleep time routines – start doing the same patterns of events at nap time and bedtime.
12 Weeks Smooth Transitions Baby’s movements become smoother and more coordinated; baby also begins to recognizes changes in her world, and the patterns of these changes (i.e. every time the dryer buzzer goes off, mom leaves the room). Baby is getting squirmier at this age, and becoming more active – and that can mean changes to your sleep routine. Your baby may start breaking free of the swaddle. Some parents find that baby’s newfound ability to roll interferes with sleep – baby can roll from back to tummy, but not the other way around. Other parents notice that their babies settle into a semi-regular sleeping and feeding schedule at this age.
15-19 Weeks Events Baby is learning to recognize cause and effect, and to predict outcomes (i.e. ‘If I drop this toy, it will fall to the ground, and dad will come and pick it up’). Welcome to the 4 month sleep regression! If baby’s sleep was predictable up to this point, it may all fall apart now. Continue to work on building consistent sleep routines; this will help baby learn that certain events mean sleep is coming. You may also want to work on identifying any sleep associations baby may have; that will help with sleep training. There’s also another growth spurt that happens around 4 months.
23-26 Weeks Relationships Baby begins to perceive distance at this point – the world becomes a much bigger place for her! This may be one reason why many babies begin rolling/crawling at this time. Separation anxiety may become a problem at nap time and bedtime, since baby now understands that when you leave, you’re far away. This is also a great time to sleep train your baby – work on weaning your baby away from her sleep associations, and on helping her learn to fall asleep independently. Finally, there’s yet another growth spurt that happens around 6 months, for most babies.
33-37 Weeks Categories Baby is learning that various things can be grouped together – for example, his blocks may all look different, but he recognizes that they are all blocks. Baby also makes big strides in mobility, learning to crawl well, to pull up to standing, and possibly to take assisted steps. This Wonder Week coincides with the 8/9/10 month sleep regression. Baby’s sleep may be seriously disrupted, thanks to all his new-found mobility. But baby may also begin to experiment with cause and effect at sleep times – ‘If I cry, what will mom do?’ Your baby will quickly pick up on any patterns, so make sure not to create any new sleep associations at this stage. Finally, if baby is still waking to feed at night at this age, we usually recommend an attempt at night-weaning. (Oh, and P.S. – there is (you guessed!) another growth spurt to watch out for, around 9 months.)
42-46 Weeks Sequences Baby begins recognizing the steps involved in simple tasks, like getting dressed, or making lunch. Baby can also apply this to his own tasks – socks have to go on before shoes. Routines are so key at this stage; most babies love knowing what comes next, so work to continue strengthening your sleep routines. You may find that your baby goes through the brief 12 month sleep regression around this time, and tries to give up her morning nap; we advise that you stick to two naps for now, as most babies this age can’t manage with just one nap.
52-55 Weeks Programs Your toddler builds on his understanding of sequences, and starts to learn that there is more than one way (or one “sequence” to accomplish the same task. This is also when most toddlers start showing strong preferences (i.e. pink socks are great, but green socks are bad). Welcome to toddlerhood, parents! At this stage, separation anxiety often comes back with a vengeance. You may also start to see some nap time and bedtime resistance at this point, as your toddler is learning to assert his independence and preferences.
61-64 Weeks Principles This stage is related to the cause-and-effect breakthrough we saw in the 15-19 week stage, only now, your toddler is learning how to use cause-and-effect to achieve her goals. She is also learning that her actions have certain consequences It’s time to talk about the D-word, parents – discipline. Your toddler is learning fast how you respond to her actions, so be sure that you are sending the right messages with your responses. This is the time to start establishing boundaries and setting limits for your toddler surrounding sleep, and enforcing them. We often tell parents that at this age, sleep problems are rarely sleep problems – they are discipline problems.
72-76 Weeks Systems Your toddler is capable of understanding larger systems now – for instance, she knows that the procedures and expectations at daycare are different than those at home. Your toddler can also change her behavior and actions to suit different situations, which explains why your toddler may be sweet and helpful for the babysitter, but grumpy and whiny for you (which is not at all uncommon, by the way!). If it hasn’t already, your toddler’s ‘toddler attitude’ may show itself full-force around this time. Continue to enforce your sleep time boundaries and limits. By 17 or 18 months, tantrums are common. Toddler tantrums at bedtime and nap time are especially frustrating – it’s key that you stand firm during these tantrums. Also, watch for the 18 month sleep regression that happens at about this time; it tends to be one of the toughest.

(Chart created by The Baby Sleep Site®. All views regarding how the Wonder Weeks impact baby and toddler sleep are ours, and are not taken from The Wonder Weeks book. For full information on each Wonder Week, reference the book itself.)

Whew – that’s a lot of information to take in, isn’t it? If you’re struggling to make sense of all this, remember that you don’t have to make sense of it alone. Check out our Baby Sleep Site resources below, and let us guide you down the path to better baby and toddler sleep!

Baby and Toddler Sleep Resources That Work – Guaranteed!

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_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_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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Has your baby gone through the Wonder Weeks stage? How has it affected your baby’s sleep?

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