How To Get 3 A.M. Sleep Help

Sleep Help At 3 A.M.

Picture this: it’s 3 a.m. You’re exhausted, overwhelmed, and feeling utterly defeated by your baby’s sleep issues. You would give anything (ANYTHING) to have a clear plan of action designed to help you solve your little child’s sleep problems…but it’s 3 a.m. Where can you turn? Who can help you at that hour?

We can. Sure, none of our team members are awake, but why should that matter? It’s our mission to bring affordable sleep coaching plans to families worldwide…and now, you can get a custom sleep plan 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

How, you ask? With an Express Sleep Plan™, that’s how!

Introducing The New Express Sleep Plan™ from The Baby Sleep Site®

Express Sleep Plan
So what is the Express Sleep Plan™? Glad you asked. The Express Sleep Plan™ is an all-new customized sleep plan option, designed specifically for parents who need a sleep plan fast. Here’s how it works:

  • Purchase an Express Sleep Plan™, and immediately receive an email with Helpdesk login information.
  • Login in to the Helpdesk, where you will be prompted to take a brief survey.
  • After completing the survey (a process which takes less than 10 minutes), hit the ‘Submit’ button, and voila! A customized sleep plan is available instantly, ready for you to download and print.

Pretty great, right? Because the Express Sleep Plan™ is 100% digital, it provides immediate sleep help around the clock. And even better, the Express Sleep Plan™ is incredibly wallet-friendly, making it perfect for families who want sleep help but have a very limited budget.

The Express Sleep Plan™ is a perfect cross between our do-it-yourself resources and our personalized coaching packages. While an Express Sleep Plan™ is software-generated and is not created by an expert sleep consultant (like our Personalized Sleep Plan™ is), it’s a great option for parents who want a sleep coaching plan that is more focused and customized than what they would find in a book, but who also feel comfortable implementing that plan on their own, without the help of a sleep consultant.

And here’s the beautiful part – every Express Sleep Plan™ comes with an upgrade option. That means that if you try your Express Sleep Plan™ for a week or two, and then decide that you need personalized help from a consultant after all, you can have it! Simply purchase a specially-priced upgrade package, and connect with your consultant – she’ll tweak your plan for you, if necessary (or even create a whole new one, if you need her to) and answer all your questions.

Keep in mind that the Express Sleep Plan™ is meant for babies or toddlers who are 4 months of age or older, and who are in good overall physical health. If your baby is younger than 4 months, or if your child has health issues that you think will impact sleep training, you’ll want to stick with personalized help from a consultant.

The Express Sleep Plan™ WORKS – Just Ask Jessica!

A low-priced, customized sleep plan that’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is ready in minutes sounds great…but does it actually work? Can the Express Sleep Plan™ really help your baby or toddler sleep better?

We’ll let Jessica answer that one. She purchased an Express Sleep Plan™ recently, and here’s what she had to say about it:

“Our little man is 19 months old and had a rough start with sleep. After about 4 months he slept pretty well, in his own crib in his own room. His sleep habits were well established until we moved. He did not transition well and we spent weeks trying everything we could from sleeping next to his crib on an air mattress to letting him sleep with us, to getting him a bigger bed that we could sleep with him in.

After approximately 3-4 weeks of no one in our home getting any decent sleep, we decided that the problem was beyond our ability to solve. I needed an expert to give me some guidelines that were tailored to our family’s needs. I loved that the Express Sleep Plan gave me ideas that were right for our family’s situation and took into account our comfort levels with crying and our baby’s developmental stage. We read the plan carefully and then slightly tweaked several of the strategies presented.

In short, it worked like a charm and we have spent three blissful days basking in well rested euphoria!! Reese is now sleeping in his bed all night (he still gets up several times a night, but we still stick to the plan) and mommy and daddy are sleeping in their own bed.

We really cannot thank you enough for your expert advice. It is hard to be a good parent when you are sleep deprived, and it is also hard to make good decisions and plans when you cannot think straight because you are so tired. Your plan literally helped our family get back on track and we are beginning to feel normal once again.

I highly recommend the consultation services to any family who may be in the same situation. There is so much advice out there and it’s nice to have the best of the best information synthesized into one helpful packet tailored specifically to your family. Again, thank you for everything!”

-Jessica S.

That last part – “it’s nice to have the best of the best information synthesized into one helpful packet tailored specifically to your family” – that’s what makes the Express Sleep Plan™ work so well. We’ve taken the best of the baby sleep books, as well as our collective years of experience working with sleep-deprived families, and turned it into a simple, easy-to-use software program that creates custom sleep plans in seconds.

Enter To Win A FREE Express Sleep Plan™ Today!

Intrigued yet? We hope so – and we hope that you’ll take a few minutes and enter to win a FREE Express Sleep Plan™ of your own! We are giving away one Express Sleep Plan™ EVERY DAY, starting today through February 6th. Enter below, and tell your friends!

Night Weaning FAILS: 7 Reasons Night Weaning May Not Be Working

Night Weaning Fails 7

There is no script for night weaning. When night weaning happens varies widely from family to family – some babies are basically done night feeding quite young (around 4 or 5 months, for some), while other families are perfectly happy to keep feeding their 2 or 3 year old at night.

And how to night wean? That’s unscripted, too! Some parents opt for a cold-turkey approach, while other parents prefer to use a longer, gentler, more gradual approach.

Remember, too, that when and how to night wean is a purely personal decision. Some moms are desperate to night wean as soon as possible, while other mamas really love the cuddly night feedings, and are reluctant to give them up! The when and the how are totally up to you – you should never feel pressured to night wean at a certain time, or in a certain way.

But all that aside – if there is one thing EVERY family wants, it’s for night weaning to be successful. Whenever you do it, and however you do it, you obviously want it to actually work.

But what if it doesn’t? What if all your best efforts to night wean your baby or toddler fall flat?

That’s what we’re talking about today, readers! Join us as we look at 7 common reasons why night weaning fails.

7 Reasons Night Weaning May Not Be Working

  1. Your baby is too young to night wean safely. This is just common sense, in some ways – don’t try to night wean a 2 month old, because that little baby is just too young to go all night without feedings! But we do find sometimes that parents are trying to night wean their 5 or 6 month old, because they are under the impression that all babies should be able to sleep through the night be 4 months. But really, it’s perfectly normal for a 6 month old baby to need one, or sometimes two, night feedings. So don’t rush this – if there are signs that your baby still needs her night feedings, then don’t rush to eliminate them. Not sure if your baby is ready to night wean? Check out our quiz, Is Your Baby Ready To Night Wean? for help.
  2. Your baby is eating too much solid food. Keep in mind that while it’s fine to start introducing solid food when your baby is about 6 months old, breastmilk or formula should still be the primary source of nutrition for your baby’s first year. Why? Because breastmilk and formula is calorie-rich and nutrient-packed, compared to solid food, which is actually fairly light on calories. If your baby is taking in too much solid food, and not enough breastmilk or formula, he may be making up for some of those lost calories by feeding at night. To solve this, simply cut back on the solids and add in one or two more breastmilk or formula feeds.
  3. Your baby is a distracted daytime eater. Sure, you can feed your baby every 2 hours during the day in an effort to pack in all her calories during daylight hours…but if your distractible little eater is too preoccupied with what’s happening around her to actually each much, odds are she will continue to wake at night to feed. You can work on this by feeding your distracted eater in a dim, quiet room; this will minimize the stimuli around her, and help her focus on feeding.
  4. You aren’t feeding your baby enough during the day. One of the most common errors parents make when night-weaning is not adjusting how much they offer milk/formula or solid food during the day. They mistakenly think baby either doesn’t need additional calories during the day or they believe they will automatically get them. But, in some cases, you need to make a concerted effort to increase daytime calories precisely so your baby doesn’t need them during the night.
  5. In your baby or toddler’s eyes, your boobs > the bottle. Just because your baby CAN get nourishment from the bottle doesn’t mean he WANTS to. Even babies who will take a bottle willingly may still strongly prefer mama’s boob, and that may be at the root of your issue. If your baby will grudgingly take formula or expressed breastmilk from a bottle, it may be that he’s not taking enough, because he’s waiting to get his milk fresh from the source (a.k.a. YOU!). This tends to really be a problem for working moms whose kiddos drink from bottle all day, but then who want to nurse all night. The solution here is simply to gradual phase out the nighttime nursing until your little one gets the picture, that the boobs just aren’t available for nursing anymore.
  6. Your baby doesn’t know how to self-soothe to sleep. Here it is – this is the reason why most night weaning fails, in our experience. If your baby doesn’t know how to fall asleep independently, without being fed to sleep, then there is no way night weaning is going to work, because every time your baby wakes during the night, he needs you to come and feed him back to sleep. You can usually spot these sleep associations kinds of feedings – often, your baby will wake, cry, you’ll feed him for about 90 seconds, and then he’s back out. Clearly, he’s not hungry – he just needs help to fall back to sleep. The solution for this? Teach your baby how to fall asleep independently, without feeding to sleep. Or, in other words, work on sleep coaching. ;)
  7. Your baby knows how to fall asleep independently, but the associations between nursing to sleep is very strong. This is the one that stumps many parents. Your baby knows how to fall asleep independently, and does it sometimes (like at nap time, and at bedtime) – but she’s still waking all night and needing little mini-feeds. In these cases, it’s likely that your child just has a particularly strong association between feeding and sleeping, and that strong association is showing itself at night. The fix here would just be to stay very consistent and committed to your night weaning plan, and to help soothe your child during night wakings without feeding to sleep.

A quick disclaimer – sometimes (very, very rarely) night weaning may not work because you have a hidden, hard-to-spot nursing problem. For instance, you may have low milk supply, so even though you are feeding often during the day, your baby isn’t getting enough nourishment and needs to feed at night (just as an example – there are other nursing problems that can cause night weaning issues). This is most likely NOT a problem for the vast majority of you, and you shouldn’t worry about it unduly. But if you suspect that you might have a nursing issue, it’s best to get in touch with a local lactation consultant for more information. Or, if you want sleep training support from an experienced lactation consultant, you can check out our special breastfeeding packages, each of which is serviced by a trained lactation consultant.

Need Night Weaning Help? Look No Further – Check Out These Baby Sleep Site® Resources!

Night weaning can be tricky, especially when everything you try seems to fail. But don’t worry – we can help! Our team of expert consultants is ready to offer you compassionate, caring support that is 100% personalized to your unique situation. We will craft a Personalized Sleep Plan™ specifically for your family, that walks you through every step of night weaning, in a way that matches your goal and parenting style.

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.

Do you have night weaning tips or questions? Share them below, and let’s get the conversation started!

 
bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOur Members Area is 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!
 

Essential Keys to Newborn SleepNeed help with your newborn’s sleep? Check out our newborn sleep e-Book, Essential Keys To Your Newborn’s Sleep. At over 90 pages long (and containing a variety of sample schedules for breastfed and formula-fed babies from birth – 16 weeks), this e-Book truly is a one-stop resource designed to help your newborn establish healthy sleep habits, right from birth. Whether you’re a brand new parent or an experienced parents who needs to brush up newborn sleep basics, Essential Keys To Your Newborn’s Sleep is a comprehensive and budget-friendly resource that will provide the information you need to work towards excellent sleep for your whole family, from day one.
 
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.
 

15 Tips For Better Baby and Toddler Sleep In 2015

15 Tips For Better Baby Toddler Sleep
Well, readers, you know what they say — new year, new start! If your baby or toddler is struggling to take restorative naps, or is having a hard time sleeping through the night, now is the time to take action! With some work on your part (and some help from those of us here at The Baby Sleep Site®), 2015 really can be a year of peaceful sleep for your whole family.

With that in mind, here are are 15 tips you can use to get started on improving your baby or toddler’s sleep, and to ensure that you have a well-rested year ahead. :)

15 Tips for Better Baby and Toddler Sleep in 2015

  1. Change your lifestyle
  2. Instead of making a long list of resolutions, commit to making a lifestyle change. Just like a crash diet doesn’t work in the long term, a ‘quick fix’ probably won’t provide lasting changes in your baby or toddler’s sleep habits. Instead, focus on making a lifestyle change, in which you change the way you view your baby’s sleep. Commit to getting rid of unhealthy sleep habits (like falling asleep in front of the TV, or having inconsistent bedtimes).

  3. Do your homework
  4. Most of the parents who will visit this site in the next year are well-informed and well-read, so this goes almost without saying, but do some reading and research about your baby’s sleep and make sure you know age-appropriate milestones. Our blog is a great place to start! ;)

  5. Have realistic expectations
  6. While we have helped some families achieve miraculous results in just one e-mail or phone call, that certainly isn’t our norm. Some families need 30 days of unlimited e-mails, and frequent tweaks to their Personalized Sleep Plans™, before they see results. We aren’t miracle workers, but we d keep working with you to find THE solution that works for YOUR family. Your baby is unique and may or may not respond as quickly as some of the lucky few who have success in one or two nights. So please, have realistic expectations for your baby. Know that it may take days or perhaps even a few weeks to see any improvement. If you are realistic, you will have less frustration and more success, since you are less likely to give up before he has time to learn. This is especially true for slow-to-adapt babies.

  7. Stop comparing your baby to your friend’s baby
  8. It’s soooo frustrating when your friends around you all have babies who sleep great or did after five minutes of crying or something. Believe me, I know! But try not to believe the many ‘myths’ your friends may tell you about sleeping through the night. And consider that a) not all people define “sleeping well” the same way (some might not mind replacing a pacifier three or four times per night, but you might), b) it doesn’t mean they won’t have different sleep issues later (babies change a lot in the first two years!) and c) all babies have easy and hard things about them (some might struggle with sleep and others with eating, for example).

  9. Trust your instincts
  10. Sometimes our instincts are wrong (like if you think keeping baby up later will give you more sleep, when usually the opposite is true), but many times they are right! You know your baby best. If you start to wonder if you are making too many excuses for bad sleep, you’ll know it’s time to make a change.

  11. Plan for setbacks
  12. No doubt that just when you figure out the first thing, a second thing pops up: “She was sleeping great and then learned to roll! AAAHHH!” Teething, sleep regressions, illness, growth spurts – setbacks like these are all normal, so be prepared for them.<

  13. Don’t put off sleep training because you think it’s “too early” or “too late”
  14. True, there are ‘ideal windows’ for sleep training – and you can see them in this past article. But here’s the thing – there’s no time like the present! If you have a newborn on your hands, you can start working on sleep right now – today – using our e-Book Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep. It’ll help you lay a foundation of healthy sleep habits that’ll last a lifetime. And if you have an older toddler on your hands, whose sleep associations are deeply entrenched? It’s NOT too late to sleep train – we have so much experience in helping parents sleep train their toddlers! (We wrote a book about that, too – it’s called The 5 Step System To Better Toddler Sleep.)

  15. Set goals
  16. One helpful step you can make is to set (realistic) goals for your baby’s sleep. If you don’t know where you want to go, it’s very hard to find a path there. Make sure that your goals are specific – instead of setting a goal like ‘sleep through the night’, try setting one like ‘down from 3 night wakings to 2 within first 10 days’.

  17. Make a Plan
  18. If you’re going on a road trip across country, most people make a plan. Some will plan it down to the last detail, including where they will stop for potty breaks, while others will make looser plans. If they make it to a nearby city to their planned stop, they might stop sooner or later, while others will do anything to stick to their plan and stop when and where they planned to stop. Neither of these plans are ‘better’ – both reflect the personality types of the people who made them. So, regardless of your personality type, remember that success usually starts with a plan (even if it’s not super-detailed). Now, as to how to get a sleep plan – we can make one for you, or you can access our sleep plan template and workbook in the Members Area.

  19. Get Support
  20. Whether it’s another friend going through a similar situation, your partner/spouse, a friend on Facebook, your parent helping you through, or one of our sleep consultants, one thing that helps you succeed in making a big change in your life is your support network. Holding yourself accountable by “checking in” with someone also helps you succeed. So, try to get your support lined up before you start.

  21. Make sure to lay the groundwork before you start sleep coaching
  22. There are a few things you should do before you start any kind of sleep training, including catching up on sleep (both you and your baby or toddler should do this) and possibly visiting your doctor, if applicable. To read the full list, check out 5 things to do before sleep training.

  23. Try keeping a sleep log
  24. You can do this before you start sleep training, to determine how much sleep your baby is getting, and to spot any trends in sleep. But it’s also a good idea to keep a sleep log/journal while you are sleep training. Keeping a record of what works (and what doesn’t), and charting your baby or toddler’s progress over time, will be a big help to you as you work on sleep.

  25. Work on a great schedule
  26. Sometimes, small changes to your baby’s sleep and feeding schedule is enough to make a big different in sleep. For instance, if you are struggling with night waking, try adding in an extra feeding to your daytime schedule. Or, examine the timing of your baby’s naps, and make sure they don’t fall too closet bedtime (and that they aren’t forcing your baby to stay awake too long). I know this may seem like a big task, but we have a ton of resources to help! Take a look at our sample sleep and feeding schedules by age, or try making a customized nap schedule for your child, using our custom sleep schedule generator.

  27. Stay consistent!
  28. I know, I know — we sound like a broken record, right? ;) We say this a lot, but it’s an important point to remember! The number one key to successful sleep training is consistency. You have to give a plan time to work, and you have to faithfully stick to that plan, before you’ll ever start to see progress. So don’t throw in the towel after just a few nights – instead, stick with it. If you haven’t seen any meaningful changes in 7-10 days, then consider making changes to your plan.

  29. Take that first step
  30. Why is a bullet point about taking the first step the very last thing on our list? Because once you have your plan, taking that first step is often the hardest. Very often we build up how terrible sleep training will be in our head and, often, it’s worse in our head than in reality. We’re afraid we’ll be sleep training a tortoise and we’ll feel guilty because our baby won’t sleep and it’s our fault. The first step in solving any problem is usually the most difficult, but it’s also one of the most important.

Remember – your family can do this! Take that first step today, and you’ll be well on your way to a 2015 that’s filled with relaxing, peaceful nights!

And speaking of taking that first step, remember – you don’t have to do it alone. You can call in a pro to help! Our team of expert sleep consultants is ready to create a Personalized Sleep Plan™ just for your family. The plan will walk you through every step of the sleep coaching journey, and will be 100% personalized to your child’s personality and needs, and will mesh with your parenting goals and philosophies.

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.

What are your sleep-related plans for 2014? Any of you planning to sleep train? Feel free to ask questions and share your tips below – we love hearing from you!

 
bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOur Members Area is 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!
 
Essential Keys to Newborn Sleep Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep is THE newborn sleep book that will help you to not only improve your newborn’s sleep using gentle, sleep-inducing routines – it will also answer your feeding and newborn care questions. You can even buy a bundle package that includes the e-book AND a Personalized Sleep Plan™ PLUS a follow-up email to use for further support!
 
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_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.
 

10 Baby and Toddler Sleep Articles That You Loved in 2014 (#1 Was SO Popular!)

The Top 10 Baby Sleep Articles of 2014
We’re fast-approaching the start of new year, and as we close out 2014, we thought it would be fun to go back and revisit the 2014 blog articles that you loved most!

With topics ranging from helping your little one learn to fall asleep independently, to answers about top CIO questions, to age-appropriate bedtimes, these articles were really popular last year. Take a look below, and see if we’ve included your personal favorites!

10 Baby and Toddler Sleep Articles You Loved In 2014

10. 10 Things Nicole Wants You To Know About Sleep Training

You guys sure do love hearing directly from Nicole. ;) And no wonder – she’s a wealth of sleep training wisdom! In this article, Nicole shared the top 10 things she wishes everyone knew about sleep training. Learn what “finished” sleep training means, what Nicole thinks to toddler sleep training, why we parents sometimes need more “training” than our babies, and more!

Want to bask in Nicole’s sleep training wisdom? Click this link to learn the 10 things she wants you to know about sleep coaching your child!

9. How ‘The Wonder Weeks’ Affects Your Child’s Sleep

Ever heard of a neat little book called The Wonder Weeks? It’s designed to walk you through the early years of your child’s development, and to alert you to common “fussy spells” that actually become big, developmental leaps forward for most children. The theory is that if you know approximately when these “wonder weeks” occur, the symptoms of each, and how each fussy spell is actually preparing your kiddo for a mental leap, then you can better-respond to your child. Well, we like this theory a lot, but we were curious: how does each “wonder week” impact a child’s sleep? And so we studied, and researched, and wrote – and the result was this post!

Curious about how the various wonder weeks will affect your baby or toddler’s sleep? Click the link to see our chart!

8. Sleep Regression, Growth Spurt, or Both?

Growth spurts can be tough to navigate – most babies and toddlers wake more frequently during growth spurts, and need to eat more often than usual. But the same can be true of a sleep regression…so how do you know which is which? Is your little one going through a particularly noticeable growth spurt, or is this a sleep regression rearing its ugly head? It’s important to know, because you you respond to each may be different.

Want our insights on how you can tell a sleep regression apart from a growth spurt? Click on over and get the scoop!

7. FREE Customized Baby and Toddler Sleep Schedules

Okay, okay, so this isn’t exactly an article – it’s more of a totally-free-customized-daily-schedule-generator. But hey, who doesn’t love a FREE tool that creates customized schedules based on your child’s age and usual morning wake time? This has proven to be an incredibly popular tool so far, and it’s one that we know many of you will return to again and again as your child grows.

Want your own customized baby/toddler nap schedule? Click through for details!

6. Top CIO Questions Answered

Cry it out is a controversial topic among sleep-training parents…we get that. But it’s also a topic that we find many parents have questions about. Well, what if I told you that Nicole herself was available to answer your most pressing CIO questions? She is, in this article! She answers the most common CIO questions we hear in our help desk, and sets the record straight on a variety of CIO-related topics.

Want to see the questions, and hear her answers? Click this link to read the article!

5. 3 Key Ingredients For Better Baby and Toddler Sleep

If you are going to work on improving your baby or toddler’s sleep, there are a ton of ways you can go about doing it. The pace at which you sleep coach, the sleep training method you use, the order in which you tackle sleep problems…all this is 100% customizable! But no matter how you approach sleep training, there are 3 key ingredients to better sleep for your baby and toddler, and you will need to address each of them in your sleep training.

What are these key ingredients? Click over to find out!

4. 5 Steps To Help Your Baby or Toddler Learn To Fall Asleep Alone

Learning to fall asleep independently, without mom or dad’s help, is the #1 most important step in the journey towards sleeping through the night and longer, more restorative naps. Until your kiddo can fall asleep without your intervention, you likely won’t make much progress towards better sleep, since he’ll need you there to put him back to sleep every single time he wakes. But this is one of those ‘easier said than done’ scenarios, isn’t it? That’s why we published this article – it offers 5 steps you can work through to help gently wean your kiddo away from her sleep associations, and to put her on the path towards independent sleep. (And don’t let the title fool you – “alone” doesn’t have to mean “alone in a crib in a separate room”. These steps work for co-sleeping and room-sharing parents, too!)

Want to know more about these 5 steps so that you can try them at home? Click the link to read the post, and get started now!

3. 5 Ways To Start Sleep Training TONIGHT

Sleep training can be overwhelming, man – where do you start? What issue do you tackle first? That’s why we often tell parents that the first step is the hardest to take. We know how overwhelming it can be to even think about trying to overcome your little one’s sleep challenges – especially if you’ve got A LOT of sleep challenges on your hands? Multiple night wakings + bad naps + a handful of strong sleep associations = a situation that feels so impossible to solve, you may just decide to not even try. That’s why we wrote this particular post – we wanted to make it feel a little easier to take that first step, and to begin working on sleep training. This post lays out 5 simple things you can do right now, this very day, to get started on improving sleep.

What are these 5 simple steps? We’re glad you asked. ;) Click through to read the article and learn how you can get started on sleep coaching right now!

2. 7 Tough Sleep Situations That Require Personalized Help

Do-it-yourself sleep training? That can definitely work, which is why we provide a whole lot of do-it-yourself sleep training resources! But here’s the thing – like so many things in life, some people find that they need professional help in the sleep training department. Just like not everyone can fix their own automobile without help from a mechanic, and not everyone can do their own taxes without the aid of a CPA, and not everyone can remodel their own bathroom without consulting a plumber, not everyone can sleep train successfully without a sleep consultant. So when can you sleep train on your own, and when does it make sense to consult a pro? We can’t define that for everyone, obviously, but in our years of work, we’ve identified 7 distinct scenarios in which families usually need help from a sleep consultant.

Want to know what those 7 scenarios are? Click this link to read all 7!

1. Baby and Toddler Bedtime By Age Chart

Boy, did you ever love this one!! And we don’t blame you; who doesn’t love super-helpful, printable charts? In this article, we shared our recommendations for the best bedtimes at every age and stage, from birth through toddler-hood. And that’s not all – we also shared general sleep tips for each age, as well as total sleep ranges and average “wake times” that are best for each stage. So yeah, this is basically your one-stop article for sleep! And because we love you, we made it printable – print off copies for yourself, for your friends, for your family members — print as many as you want, and use this hand resource again and again!

Want to know when exactly we think you should be putting your baby or toddler to bed? Look no further – click over to read (and print!) our handy bedtime chart.

Make 2015 Your Year Of Peaceful Sleep, With Help From The Baby Sleep Site®!

Ready to banish your sleep challenges once and for all, and start the new year off rested and refreshed? We can help!! Our team of expert sleep consultants is standing by, ready to craft a Personalized Sleep Plan™ that’s 100% personalized to fit your baby’s needs and personality, and to match your parenting philosophies and goals.

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.

Which articles were your favorite this year? Did any particular favorites stand out? Share your thoughts with us!

 
bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOur Members Area is 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!
 
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_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.
 

6 Words Every Tired Mom Should Hear

6 Words For Tired Moms
Attention, tired moms everywhere (and I know about 95% of you reading this article right now are tired moms!!) – we have a message for you.

We know how overwhelmed and exhausted you are. We know that you love your little one so much it practically hurts, but that you are simply drowning in sleep problems. We know that you feel desperate and alone as you try to get your baby or toddler back to sleep at night. We know you sometimes wonder if you’ve done something wrong, or if you’ve “ruined” your child’s sleep…after all, your friends all have sleeping babies!

And to you, exhausted, overwhelmed, desperate moms, we say this: You are doing a good job.

When your baby was a newborn, sure, you rocked and fed him to sleep all day, because you knew that newborns need regular feedings and lots of skin-to-skin contact. You didn’t spend time worrying about whether or not this was creating sleep associations, because you were too busy caring for a new little person.

When your baby was six weeks old, you found that it was just easier to let him sleep in the baby swing, or in the baby carrier – that allowed him to get the sleep he needed and kept him from fussing. Sure, wearing a baby around for hours a day wasn’t exactly comfortable for you, but you did it, because you couldn’t stand to hear your baby fuss.

By the time your baby was few months old, you started trying a pacifier as a way to soothe her. And it worked! Only now you have to replace it a few times during each nap, and pretty often at night. All that pacifier-replacing is making you a bit crazy, but you do it, because you love your little one and want her to feel comforted and soothed.

Sleep may have started to improve a bit, but then the 4 month sleep regression hit, and everything fell apart again. You were totally stumped as to what had happened, but you knew one thing – there was no way you were going to let your little baby suffer and cry! So you went back to rocking, nursing, holding to sleep. You may have even started to try co-sleeping, as a way to keep your baby close to you for constant comfort. You couldn’t understand why sleep was falling apart, but you did know one thing: your baby needed you.

When your baby was 6 months old, you may have started day-dreaming about what a consistent daily sleep schedule looked like, and how it would feel to actually sleep through the night even once. You looked longingly at your baby, and wondered if it might be possible to teach your baby to sleep better…but then you figured that would probably involve tons of crying (on your baby’s part AND your own!), and you knew you couldn’t stand that – so you kept on rocking and nursing and holding and offering the pacifier, and offering your baby plenty of “help” in falling asleep.

By the time your baby reached 9 months, you were starting to wonder if you’d ever sleep again. You may have started to feel like you weren’t even enjoying your child anymore, and that your constant exhaustion and sleep deprivation were keeping you from being the kind of mom you wanted to be. You knew that by this time, your baby “should” be able to sleep through the night, and take pretty consistent naps, but you had no idea how to get your little one to that point. You thought about sleep training again, but you had no idea where to start…with nights? With naps? With the crack-of-dawn waking? You felt too overwhelmed to even begin, so you just did the best you could to help your baby (and yourself) get some sleep each day.

Now, your “baby” may be a toddler, and those sleep problems that you’d hoped she’d outgrow are still around. In fact, in some ways, they’re worse – now, she’s popping out of her new ‘big kid’ bed all night long, she’s stalling at bedtime and throwing huge tantrums when it’s time to take her nap, she’s up before 5 most mornings…and you don’t know what to do about any of it. By this point, you are no doubt wondering what on earth you did “wrong” as as mother, to get to this point.

Our answer: you didn’t (and you aren’t) doing anything wrong. You are doing a good job. In fact, if you haven’t heard this enough lately, let us be the first to say it: Great work, mama!

See, things like breastfeeding to sleep, rocking to sleep, holding to sleep, co-sleeping to help improve sleep…these are all things that can create sleep associations, which in turn can create short naps and lots of night waking. But you know what else? These are the things that loving, caring, nurturing moms do! You should absolutely not feel guilty about cuddling/holding/rocking/co-sleeping your baby to sleep – those are all things that GREAT moms do!

Remember this, too – nothing about your baby’s sleep is a problem UNTIL IT’S A PROBLEM. If you’re happy putting your baby to sleep, if you love co-sleeping, if you don’t mind the nighttime wakings – AND if you have a happy and healthy child – then you don’t have a problem on your hands.

It’s only when all the things you have to “do” to put your child to sleep, and to help him stay asleep, become unmanageable for you that you have a problem. And fortunately for you, it is a problem that we can help you solve! Better yet, we can do it in a way that fits with your parenting style, with your child’s unique personality, and with your goals for your family. Just connect with one of our trained, expert consultants, and she’ll get to work creating a Personalized Sleep Plan™ just 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.

Want to vent about your own baby and toddler sleep struggles? Have a sleep story to share? Leave your comments below!

 
bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOur Members Area is 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!
 
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_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.