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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bss_ebook_freeguide_leftWant FREE sleep help that you can put to use right away? Download a copy of our free guide, 5 Ways To Help Your Child Sleep Through The Night! The guide is available to download instantly, which means you can start using the techniques in it as early as tonight. So download now, and learn why your baby is waking at night – and what you can do about it.
 
 
Click here to learn more about how to get your free guide.

A better night’s sleep could be just a few clicks away. So don’t wait – download now, and start your journey to better sleep tonight!
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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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3 Other Consultants Failed Jennifer. We Didn’t.

(written by Jennifer Smith)
 
WashingtonIMAGE1Oh, how I remember the day I signed up for the personalized sleep plan on The Baby Sleep Site. Tears rolled down my face as I hit the payment button. I had just read the testimonials of other parents and knew, without a doubt, that I would never, ever be in their company. After Maddy’s severe colic finally abated, we had a window of about three weeks where she slept just like all the books said she would.

And then, it stopped. She would only sleep if she was on me in the baby bjorn and I was moving, or in my arms and I was bouncing on the exercise ball. I remember bouncing as my husband left for work early in the morning; when he returned late in the evening, I was still there, still bouncing. Thank heavens for my iPad, my Netflix subscription, and “30 Rock.”

The worst, though, was when neither bouncing, nor the baby bjorn, nor vigorous gliding would work. Hour upon hour of screams and cries. We re-read every book and tried every method. When that didn’t work, we contacted sleep consultants. Two fired us because their methods should have worked but didn’t. The third just stopped responding. I spent long days checking and consoling Maddy through naps she never took. At night, it would take at least 90 minutes and sometimes more than three hours of absolute misery for her to find the sleep we so desperately wanted her to get. I tried to remember my mom’s advice: “if mom isn’t relaxed, baby cannot be relaxed.” But nothing seemed to work. Until we found co-sleeping. Relieved, we gave ourselves over to it. It wasn’t restful, it was completely disruptive to our household, but at least Maddy was sleeping and we were getting more sleep than we were used to.

And then that, too, stopped working, and we were back to square one.

When I confessed to my husband that I had engaged yet another sleep consultant, I sobbed. “It’s just more good money after bad, but I can’t live like this any longer. I have to have something, even if it’s just false hope.” If that sentence reads dramatic, you’re getting sleep. Sleep deprivation, as my friend told me, is the thief of perspective. It is also the thief of joy. We loved Maddy desperately, and we desperately needed her to sleep so we could get the rest we needed.

When the personalized sleep plan arrived, I devoured it and felt a huge rush of relief. I showed it to my husband, who also took heart. It was helpful, understanding, and clear. Context was provided for all the suggestions and there was enough wiggle room for us to tailor it to our specific parenting styles and abilities.

WashingtonIMAGE3As we proceeded, guess what? It didn’t work. And so I dropped it. Having been dismissed before, I just didn’t have the heart to be turned away again. But I came back because I had to—I just had to try again. That’s when we found out that “generous” doesn’t begin to describe The Baby Sleep Site’s email support. I explained what happened to our consultant, Liz, and she picked it right up, asked questions, conferred with me, and together we tweaked the plan. In the ensuing weeks, I emailed over large issues and very small questions. I mean, I wanted ALL MY BASES COVERED so I asked every single question I could come up with—sometimes more than once. Liz responded in a timely way and always addressed both the questions asked and those that were implied—the questions I was too sleep-deprived to form. The kindness and care Liz showered on us surprised me. With other sleep consultants, they were certain and directive. “Do this, and Maddy will sleep.” But the suggestions didn’t always work. And sometimes, we proved fallible (as people—sleep-deprived or otherwise—are prone to be). Liz walked me through every little detail, cheered us on for every success, and reassured me with every misstep.

With the counsel of Liz and The Baby Sleep Site, Maddy went from co-sleeping to sleeping through the night in her own crib with the least amount of tears of any sleep training program. What seemed to me an insurmountable mountain was summited one step at a time. I really felt roped to Liz and knew that she had my back if I slipped or was unsure. The directions from her were so helpful and clear that every night, I knew going in exactly what to do. When Maddy had trouble clearing a new hurdle, and I started to feel helpless, I just reminded myself, “your only job right now is to do x.” Knowing that Liz was keeping an eye on the big picture allowed me to just do the next thing. I didn’t have to worry about how on earth Maddy was EVER going to sleep in her crib ALL NIGHT. I just had to do x. I just had to do y. And then, as the successes started piling up, I became more confident. And as I became more confident, so did Maddy.

It’s hard to put into words just how much our lives have changed. I become quite emotional when I think about it. My husband and I can now talk without Maddy present—a huge gift. He and I can sleep in the same bed all night long. By ourselves. Instead of trying to figure out how to make it through another day, I am rested and happy when I hear Maddy stirring in the morning. We can think about expanding our family. I can read a book, or a magazine, or watch a show.

A few weeks after successfully sleep training Maddy, she became ill with a bad cold. She was terribly congested and could only find rest if I held her upright in my arms. Once she was well again, who was happy to get back to their respective sleep spaces? EVERYONE.

I thought our case was hopeless, I really did. With the help of The Baby Sleep Site, I am another proud member of the satisfied client list. And I am as well-rested as any mother of a strong-willed and independent 18 month-old can be.

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WOW – just wow. Jennifer’s story is proof that our sleep consultants really can help just about any baby sleep – even a baby who has baffled three other sleep consultants! And they will do it in a supportive, non-judgmental way that leaves you feel encouraged and empowered instead of defeated and abandoned. And as Jennifer’s story shows, it’s not an overstatement to call a consultation with The Baby Sleep Site® life-changing. In Jennifer’s case, it absolutely changed her life, and saved her from spiraling even further into exhaustion and despair. A consultation with a Baby Sleep Site consultant really is an investment – in your baby’s (and your) health, in your sanity, in your relationship with your partner, in your overall quality of life…this is more than just a purchase. It’s an investment in your family. And we hope it’s an investment you’ll consider making today!

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Sleep Regression, or Something Else?

 
Sleep Regression or Something Else

Is it a sleep regression…or is it something else? That’s a question that many parents would like the answer to. After all, until you uncover the root of your baby or toddler sleep problems, you can’t know how to respond to them, and how best to solve them.

Today, we bring you a brand-new quiz, designed to help you uncover whether your baby or toddler’s recent sleep problems are the result of a sleep regression, or something else entirely. Take the easy, 7-question quiz, and you’ll get additional insights into whether or not the sleep problems you’re facing are due to a sleep regression or not.

After you see the results of your quiz, please come back to this page and scroll all the way down for resources. If your problem is a sleep regression, we have many sleep regression articles available. If it’s something else, there are links below designed to help you get at the root of your baby or toddler’s sleep challenges.

Sleep Regression, or Something Else? A Baby Sleep Site® Quiz


Sleep Regression, or Something Else?


Please answer each question below by indicating whether the statement is more true or less true, using the radio buttons. When you have completed each question, click the ‘Get Score’ button (note that you DO NOT have to enter your name or e-mail address). Next, enter the captcha code that is shown, and then your results will show on a new page.

My child falls into one of the following age ranges: 3-5 months, 8-10 months, 11-12 months, 17-19 months, 22-25 months. (Mark ‘1’ if your child falls outside these ranges, and ‘5’ if your child falls within one of these age ranges.)
Less True – 1 2 3 4 5 – More True
My child is currently learning a new skill (a new skill = sitting up, crawling/creeping, puling up to standing, walking, etc.)
Less True – 1 2 3 4 5 – More True
My child usually sleeps well at night, but recently, he/she is waking more frequently than normal.
Less True – 1 2 3 4 5 – More True
My child usually naps well, but recently, he/she has begun having shorter-than-normal naps, and sometimes missing naps.
Less True – 1 2 3 4 5 – More True
My child has been extra-clingy lately.
Less True – 1 2 3 4 5 – More True
My child has been crying and fussing more than usual lately.
Less True – 1 2 3 4 5 – More True
My child is normally able to fall asleep independently, without my help (independently means you lay him/her down for sleep awake, and then your child is able fall asleep).
Less True – 1 2 3 4 5 – More True
Your Name:
Your Email:

Sleep Regression? Resources That Can Help

If your quiz indicated that you are most likely facing a sleep regression, take a look at the following resources:

Not A Sleep Regression? It May Be One Of These Problems

If the results of your quiz indicated that your baby or toddler is probably not or most likely not going through a sleep regression, you may be wondering what IS going on with your little one’s sleep. Take a look at the following resources for help:

Sleep Regression Help That Works – Guaranteed!

 
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_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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QUICK TIP: Dream Feed Dos and Don’ts

 
Dream Feed Tips

In some cases, a dream feed can be a great way to “top off” your baby at night, before you go to bed, and guarantee yourself an extra-long stretch of sleep during the night. But in other cases, a dream feed is simply a sleep crutch that doesn’t actually improve sleep (and certainly doesn’t promote sleeping through the night) and tends to cause more problems than it solves.

But how can you know whether or not a dream feed is a good idea for your baby? We have dream feed dos and don’ts for you in today’s article – read on for details!

Dream Feed DOs

A dream feed can be a true blessing and a great tool when used in the following scenarios:

  • A dream feed an work well for babies who are younger than 6 months.
  • A dream feed is especially great for newborns (provided you don’t wake your newborn up too much during the feed!)
  • A dream feed can be good for breastfeeding moms who have supply problems and need to nurse more frequently, or for breastfeeding moms who also work outside the home.
  • A dream feed works well for babies who are able to wake up enough to feed, but not so much that they’re fully awake.

Dream Feed DON’TS

A dream feed isn’t a silver bullet solution to sleep problems, however. A dream feed usually won’t work well in the following situations:

  • A dream feed doesn’t usually work well for babies who are older than 9 months (because by this age, most babies don’t need any night feedings and are ready for night weaning).
  • A dream feed won’t work well for babies who are extra-alert and perceptive; you run the risk of waking them too much when you wake them for the dream feed.
  • A dream feed will do nothing to fix a persistent sleep association. If your baby consistently wakes shortly after the dream feed, it’s likely you have a sleep problem on your hands that involves more than simple hunger.

Will A Dream Feed Help Your Baby Sleep?

So, will a dream feed help your baby? That depends on a lot of unique factors, as I mentioned earlier, but here’s the main thing to remember: if your baby is breastfeeding, is not super-alert and responds well to being slightly roused at night, and is under 6 months old, then a dream feed may be worth trying, as a tool to improve sleep. But if your baby is over 6 months old, and if your baby usually wakes shortly after the dream feed, then it may be time to identify your baby’s sleep associations, and to start working on sleep training.

Baby Sleep Help From The Baby Sleep Site®

 
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.

Does a dream feed help your baby sleep? Why or why not? Share your dream feed stories and questions with us!

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