Category Archives: Sleep Training

When Will Your Baby Sleep Through The Night?

 
When Do Babies Sleep Through The Night?

Sleeping through the night – it’s usually a parent’s #1 sleep goal. Unfortunately, it can often seem like a totally unattainable goal! If your baby or toddler is waking multiple times per night, you may wonder how on earth you will ever get your baby to sleep through the night, without waking.

Fortunately for you, this is a question we answer often for our clients – and it’s one we are answering for you in today’s article! What is sleeping through the night? When do babies start sleeping through the night? And most importantly – when will YOUR baby sleep through the night? Read on for answers, readers! :)

What Is Sleeping Through The Night?

It’s important to start by defining our terms. See, ‘sleeping through the night’ is actually a bit misleading. Why? Because sleeping through the night means different things to different people. For instance, many people consider ‘sleeping through the night’ to mean 8 consecutive hours of sleep, without any wakings. That’s probably because we adults consider 8 hours of sleep a full night’s sleep. Other parents consider sleeping through the night to be 11 or 12 straight hours of sleep without interruption (the number of hours most babies need).

Here’s the thing to remember, though: there is actually a medical definition of sleeping through the night. And it looks very, very different than most parents’ definitions! Medically speaking, a baby is sleeping through the night when she can sleep for 5 straight hours without waking.

So this is the first thing to remember, when you are thinking about when and how to help your baby sleep through the night – if your baby is already sleeping 5 hour stretches each night, then technically, he already is. However, most of us can’t function on 5 hours of sleep a night for very long, so if you’d like to see your baby sleep for longer stretches each night, that’s understandable!

When Do Babies Sleep Through The Night?

First, a word of warning: the information below represents averages, not rules. If your baby isn’t “following” these averages, don’t worry about it – every baby is different! This information is designed merely to give you an overview.

  • Newborns need to wake every 2-3 hours to eat, so you should expect newborn babies to wake every few hours at night. This is normal – newborns need to eat frequently in order to grow and develop properly.
  • 4 month old babies who are breastfed will need to eat 2-3 times during the 12-hour night stretch, but most 4 month olds can make it for one 5-hour stretch without eating at night. Formula-fed 4 month olds may have fewer nighttime feeds.
  • 5 month6 month old babies who are breastfed will need 1-2 feedings during the 12-hour night stretch; most babies this age can make it for at least one 5-hour stretch without eating. Formula-fed 5-6 month olds may wake less often for night feedings, and some formula-fed babies will be ready to night-wean by 6 months.
  • 7 month old babies who breastfeed may need 1 (possibly 2) feedings during the 12-hour night stretch. Babies at this age can generally do one 6-7 hour stretch without feeding at night. Formula-fed 7 month olds will likely wake once per night, if at all.
  • 8 month9 month old babies who are breastfed may need 1 feeding during the 12-hour night stretch. Babies at this age can generally go for at least 8 hours without feeding at night; some may be able to sleep 9 or 10 hour stretches without waking to feed. If your baby is still waking to feed by 9 months, we usually recommend an attempt at night weaning. Formula-fed babies are generally night-weaned by this point.
  • 10 month, 11 month, and 12 month old babies who are breastfed can generally sleep at least 10 hours at night without feedings; many are able to make it 12 hours without waking to eat. However, remember that it is still very normal for a 10-12 month old baby to wake once at night to feed, so if your baby still needs one night feeding at this age, don’t worry about it. :) Formula-fed 10-12 month old babies will likely be able to sleep closer to 12 straight hours at night.

When Will Your Baby Sleep Through The Night?

All of the averages listed above can be helpful in providing a snapshot of sleeping through the night patterns, but it still doesn’t answer your most pressing question: “When will my baby sleep through the night?” Obviously, I can’t answer that in a blog article – your baby is unique, and when he or she sleeps through the night is dependent on many different factors! However, I can provide some general pointers and ideas:

  • Premature babies may sleep through the night later than full-term babies, since babies born prematurely generally need a bit more time to catch up with developmental milestones.
  • Babies with health issues (particularly health issues that involve weight gain problems) may take longer to sleep through the night.
  • Babies with strong sleep associations may take longer to sleep through the night, simply because those sleep associations will take longer to overcome.
  • Temperament has a big impact on sleeping through the night. Stubborn, intense babies may be more likely to cling to their nighttime feedings, and be reluctant to change their sleeping patterns.
  • Families who bed-share intentionally can usually expect their babies to sleep through the night later than babies who sleep in their own cribs.

How To Help Your Baby Sleep Through The Night

If you know your baby is ready to sleep through the night – if she’s old enough, if she’s healthy, if you are confident that she is waking out of habit and not out of a need for nourishment – but she is still waking several times per night, then it might be time to consider sleep training. While it’s true that some babies will learn to sleep through the night on their own, without any help from mom and dad, many babies need a helping hand to get there. ;) You can help your baby or toddler sleep through the night by weaning him away from his sleep associations and helping him learn to fall asleep without help from you. Then, you will be on your way to sleep-filled nights!

The thing is, this process (of un-learning sleep associations, and learning to fall asleep without help) is tough for some babies – and so, by extension, it’s tough for their moms and dads, too! If you have tried sleep coaching on your own, but with no luck, why not try a personalized consultation from The Baby Sleep Site®? Your consultation will allow you to work one-on-one with an expert sleep consultant. Your consultant will craft a Personalized Sleep Plan™ just for your family, walk you through each step of implementing the plan at home, and then will support you throughout the process.
 
Browse our list of consultation package options here.
 

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

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

Have any ‘sleep through the night’ tips or insights to share? Questions about how and when your baby will sleep through the night? Share them below, and join the conversation!

  • Want to tackle sleep training on your own? Why not take a look at our 3-Step System To Help Your Baby Sleep? Available in three affordable packages, this book is designed to give you practical, hands-on tools you can use to help your baby learn to fall asleep on his own, and stay asleep (and stop fighting bedtime!). For toddlers, try The 5-Step System To Better Toddler Sleep. Struggling with napping issues? Check out Mastering Naps & Schedules, with over 45 sample schedules included. Best of all, both books is available to download instantly – you can put it to use as early as tonight!
  • Want an abundance of resources to help you in your sleep coaching? Consider becoming a Baby Sleep Site Member. Our Members Area is packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and teleseminars. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! And as a member, you have access to a once-a-week chat with one of our expert sleep consultants – ideal for those times when you need some expert advice! And the icing on the cake? Members enjoy 20% off all sleep consultation services. That savings alone can pay for the cost of membership!
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Will Sleep Training Make Your Baby Inflexible?

 
Will Sleep Training Make Your Baby Inflexible?

When you are getting up a million times each night with a sleepless baby, and suffering through microscopically short naps, you probably feel like you would do anything (A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G.) to get your baby sleeping through the night and taking long, restful naps. But there are parents out there who are a little nervous about starting sleep training – and not because they are nervous about trying it, or because they aren’t sure their babies are ready.

They are nervous about sleep training making their babies inflexible.

Specifically, some parents are concerned that if they they create predictable sleep schedules, and institute strong bedtime routines, they their babies will no longer be able to ‘go with the flow’ and catch a nap in the car, for example, or go to bed later than usual during a special occasion, or sleep in a pack-n-play at grandma and grandpa’s house.

This is a good question, if you think about it, and one that we think is worth answering!

Sleep Training Impact Depends on Your Baby’s Temperament

First, let’s be clear about something: sleep training most likely will not change your baby. Cry-it-out probably will not change your baby’s personality; neither will sleep training in general. Remember, your baby is born with certain temperament traits; this is why some babies are more relaxed and go-with-the-flow, while others need consistency and routine. Your baby’s inborn temperament traits will have much more to do with how flexible she is than anything you do (like sleep training) or don’t do.

Sleep Training May Make Your Baby More Sensitive To Schedule Changes

That said, it’s true that sleep training can, in general, make babies more sensitive to disruptions to your normal sleep schedule and routines. For instance, if you have been sleep training for a few months, and your baby has become used to napping twice per day, at the same time, in his crib, then it will probably be tough for him to miss one of those naps, or to catch the nap in the car.

Same for bedtime; if you have been sleep training for awhile and have a constant bedtime each night, you may notice that your baby isn’t able to stay up much later, or to fall asleep somewhere else at bedtime.

Finally, if your sleep training has been successful, you have no doubt gotten your baby used to her sleeping environment. That can make it a little difficult to travel with your baby; you may notice that your baby has a hard time falling asleep in a different room, or in a pack-n-play.

But keep in mind that ‘tough’ is relative in all of these scenarios – how ‘tough’ each of these is depends entirely on your baby’s temperament. Intense, persistent babies will react strongly to any change in the schedule – but that is true both before and after sleep training. More relaxed, easy-going babies may put up a little fuss to disruptions (which they may not have done prior to sleep training), but it likely will not be as a ‘big’ fuss.

Baby Sleep Training: Most Parents Find The Benefits Worth It!

So, what’s the bottom line? It’s this: sleep training will not fundamentally alter your baby’s personality or temperament. However, it will make your baby accustomed to certain routines and schedules, and after months of following a certain schedule, or sleeping in a certain way, it’s not surprising that most babies will react at least somewhat to changes in those schedules and routines. However, how strongly they react depends on innate temperament traits – intense babies will probably have big (and loud!) reactions, while easy-going babies put up a smaller fuss.

Is it worth it, then? That’s the question for some parents, particularly those who are on-the-go types, and like to have flexibility from day to day.

We certainly can’t answer that question for you – after all, you are the best judge of what’s best for your baby, and for your family! What we can say, however, is that every parent we have worked with would say that it is definitely, definitely worth it! For them, sleep training put an end to sleepless nights and non-existent naps, and gave them their lives (and their sanity!) back. Yes, it can mean that your baby is a bit less flexible in responding to schedule changes than she once was, but our well-rested parents would tell you that the nights of uninterrupted sleep are worth it! ;)

Plus, remember that if you prepare for schedule disruptions in advance, you can likely alleviate some of the stress to your child, and help him through it. Check out some of these articles on how to prepare for and deal with “schedule-busters”:

Nicole’s Note:
“I honestly can’t remember EVER getting an e-mail saying ‘I wish I hadn’t sleep trained!’ On the contrary, I most often hear ‘Why didn’t I do this sooner?’”

Ready To Sleep Train Your Baby? The Baby Sleep Site® Can Help!

If you are ready to be a well-rested parent, and are ready to trade sleepless nights for peaceful, quiet ones – look no further! Our team of consultants is waiting to craft a Personalized Sleep Plan™ for you, and to help your whole family finally get the sleep you deserve.
 
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.

Did sleep training make your baby seem less flexible? What do you think – is sleep training worth it? We want to hear your opinions, parents!

  • Want to tackle sleep training on your own? Why not take a look at our 3-Step System To Help Your Baby Sleep? Available in three affordable packages, this book is designed to give you practical, hands-on tools you can use to help your baby learn to fall asleep on his own, and stay asleep (and stop fighting bedtime!). For toddlers, try The 5-Step System To Better Toddler Sleep. Best of all, both books is available to download instantly – you can put it to use as early as tonight!
  • Want an abundance of resources to help you in your sleep coaching? Consider becoming a Baby Sleep Site Member. Our Members Area is packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and teleseminars. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! And as a member, you have access to a once-a-week chat with one of our expert sleep consultants – ideal for those times when you need some expert advice! And the icing on the cake? Members enjoy 20% off all sleep consultation services. That savings alone can pay for the cost of membership!
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How And When To Stop Swaddling Your Baby

 
How And When To Stop Swaddling Baby

How is swaddling like a pacifier? (Sounds like the first question in an I.Q. test, doesn’t it? ;) Don’t worry – no I.Q. test today!)

Seriously, though, that’s a question worth asking. Even though swaddling your baby and offering your baby a pacifier are very different activities, there are some similarities, aren’t there? Specifically, both swaddling and pacifiers are designed to comfort to fussy babies, and help them to relax (and hopefully, to fall asleep!)

And here’s another similarity – while both swaddling and offering a pacifier are great ways to soothe and comfort your baby, both can quickly become habitual sleep associations. Parents who initially love swaddling their babies, or popping in a pacifier, may not be feeling the love when they find themselves getting up every 20 minutes at night to re-do the swaddle, or to replace the pacifier!

And so, with both swaddling and pacifier use, there comes a time when parents start asking themselves, “Can I stop doing this yet? Should I stop doing this yet?” We’ve answered this question already, when it comes to pacifier use – check out our article How And When To Help Your Baby or Toddler Stop The Pacifier for tips.

Today, we are going to answer that question for swaddling. Specifically, we’ll look at how to stop swaddling your baby, and when to stop swaddling your baby.

When To Stop Swaddling Your Baby

The first question many parents have is, “When can I (or should I) stop swaddling my baby?” The good news is that there is no hard-and-fast answer to this. You “can” stop swaddling your baby whenever you feel it’s best. You know your baby best, after all!

Remember that while most people use swaddling as a soothing technique during the newborn stage, and then start to phase it out around 3 or 4 months, it’s not uncommon for babies to be swaddled when they are 6, 7, 8, even 9 months old. Most older babies will eventually start to reject swaddling, but that’s not true for all older babies; some will continue to sleep better while swaddled well past 6 months.

That said, here are some general guidelines you can use to help determine when to stop swaddling your baby:

  • The average age to stop swaddling baby is around 3 or 4 months of age.
  • Newborns are born with a startle reflex, called the Moro reflex, and most babies don’t outgrow it until 4 or 5 months of age. So be careful about stopping the swaddle too early; if your baby’s Moro reflex is still strong, she may startle herself awake at night and during naps.
  • If your baby is able to break free of his swaddle, this isn’t necessarily a sign that it’s time to stop swaddling. However, if your baby is consistently breaking free of his swaddle every night, and if that means you have loose blankets in the crib, then it’s time to either stop swaddling or to switch to a safer swaddling blanket. We recommend the Miracle Blanket.
  • Swaddled babies should NEVER sleep face-down. So if your baby is starting to roll over on to her tummy while she sleeps, that is a strong sign that it’s time to stop swaddling your baby. Remember, when it comes to swaddling, safety first!
  • Make sure that your baby is not swaddled all day long. While swaddling for sleep is fine, especially during the newborn stage, babies need time to move freely as well, so that they can grow stronger and develop their gross motor skills. If your baby spends all of his sleep AND awake time swaddled, it might be time to gradually stop swaddling during his awake time.
  • If you are getting ready to sleep train, or sleep coach, you will likely want to stop swaddling first, before you begin sleep training. Part of the sleep training process involves helping your child learn to self-soothe, and babies need to be unsaddled in order to learn to self-soothe.

How To Stop Swaddling Your Baby

For babies who are not highly dependent on swaddling for comfort and are great self-soothers, or for babies who are becoming increasingly resistant to the swaddle, it will probably be easy to stop swaddling. But if your baby is very dependent on his swaddle to sleep, it may be tough to stop swaddling! Fortunately for you, we have tips. :)

In general, the best way to stop swaddling a baby is to do it gradually. This means starting by leaving one arm, or one leg, unswaddled at first. From there, you can gradually move to leaving both arms, or both legs, unsaddled. Eventually, you will build up to the point where you are not swaddling at all. The idea is that this slow, gradual transition makes it easier for a baby to get used to sleeping unswaddled.

SwaddleStrapThere are also some products on the market that can make the transition from swaddling easier. One is the Swaddle Strap, by Anna & Eve. This is honestly the coolest swaddling product (those Amazon reviews don’t lie!). The Swaddle Strap works well in its own right as a swaddling tool; it’s great for warmer months when a full swaddling blanket is just too heavy, and it also makes diaper changes so much easier. You can use it as a tool to wean from the swaddle as well; by using the Swaddle Strap, you can swaddle your baby’s arms snugly while leaving her legs free. This is a great first step to transitioning away from the swaddle altogether!

zipadeezipAnother product we love? The Zipadee-Zip. This awesome blanket is specifically designed to help you stop swaddling your baby, and make the transition away from the swaddle an easy one. The Zipadee-Zip offers babies a bigger range of motion than a traditional swaddle (which means that babies can practice self-soothing and can be a little ‘squirmier’), but it also provides enough constraint that it helps babies feel secure. This is a great product for older babies who may be attached to being swaddled but who are just getting too big, and to mobile, to be swaddled at night.

A final word, remember that any time you are weaning from a sleep association, the process can disrupt sleep. This means that if you decide to stop swaddling your baby for sleep, your baby may stop sleeping through the night initially. The process of transitioning away from swaddling can take a week or so, and during that time, your baby’s sleep may be affected. This is normal; once your baby is used to sleeping unswaddled, sleep should return to normal.

Swaddling And Sleep Help For Your Baby

What if it proves hard to stop swaddling your baby? What if your baby resists, or what if, after you stop swaddling, sleep never goes back to normal? And speaking of sleep – what if not even swaddling is helping your baby sleep throughout the night or take decent naps?? Well, don’t worry – this site is written just for situations like these, where the quick and easy fixes don’t always work.

If you need help to stop swaddling your baby, or if your baby just is not sleeping well (swaddled or not!), our team of trained consultants can help. First, browse our list of consultation packages and see which package is the best fit for your unique situation.
 
Browse our list of consultation package options here.
 

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

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.

When did you stop swaddling your baby? And how did you stop swaddling? We love hearing your stories and tips, parents! Share them below!

  • Feel like you can handle sleep coaching and swaddle transitioning on your own, but want to prepare? Why not take a look at our The 3-Step System To Help Your Baby Sleep? Available in three affordable packages, this book is designed to give you practical, hands-on tools you can use to help your baby learn to fall asleep on his own, and stay asleep (and stop fighting bedtime!). For toddlers, try The 5-Step System To Better Toddler Sleep. Best of all, both books is available to download instantly – you can put it to use as early as tonight!
  • Want an abundance of resources to help you in your sleep coaching? Consider becoming a Baby Sleep Site Member. Our Members Area is packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and teleseminars. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! And as a member, you have access to a once-a-week chat with one of our expert sleep consultants – ideal for those times when you need some expert advice! And the icing on the cake? Members enjoy 20% off all sleep consultation services. That savings alone can pay for the cost of membership!
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Has Your Baby or Toddler Stopped Sleeping Through The Night? Here are 7 Reasons Why.

 
Baby or Toddler Stopped Sleeping Through the Night

You know what one of the worst sleep through the night myths out there is, in my opinion? The myth that once a baby starts sleeping through the night, that’s it – night waking over! Forever! And they all slept happily ever after.

Except no, that’s not how it works. Yes, teaching your baby to sleep through the night, or teaching your toddler to sleep through the night, is a huge milestone. And once your little one is capable of sleeping through the night, you can look forward to lots of rested, sleep-filled nights.

But sometimes, even ‘good’ sleepers turn ‘bad’. That is to say that sometimes, babies and toddlers who have been sleeping through the night for weeks, or even months, suddenly start waking again. This is normal – sleeping through the night is not a ‘one and done’ kind of thing.

But why do babies and toddlers who have been sleeping through the night suddenly stop? That’s what we are tackling in today’s article, readers. So read on for details, and find out why your baby or toddler’s nighttime sleep may have suddenly taken a turn for the worse!

Baby or Toddler Stopped Sleeping Through The Night? 7 Reasons Why

  1. Sleep regression — This is your most likely culprit. Sleep regressions often creep up out of nowhere,and they tend to wreak havoc on sleep – both the nighttime AND the nap time variety! Your little one’s age will be a factor here – if your baby or toddler is around 3 or 4 months old, between 8 and 10 months old, around 11 or 12 months old, 18 months old, or 2 years old, then you can probably attribute the new night wakings to a sleep regression.
  2. Your best bet in the case of a sleep regression is to wait it out as best you can, without reverting back to old sleep associations.

  3. Growth spurt — Babies and toddlers go through a series of definite growth spurts in the first year, and those growth spurts can affect sleep in a big way. Namely, during a growth spurt, you may notice that your baby or toddler wakes in the middle of the night feeling hungry and wanting to eat. This can happen even if your little one has been sleeping through the night, with no night feeds.
  4. Your best bet in the case of a growth spurt is to offer extra feedings, and to remember that the growth spurt will pass. (Really, it will!)

  5. Teething — By age 3, your toddler will have a mouth full of teeth – that’s a lot of tooth-growing in just a few years! No wonder, then, that teething pain and discomfort seems to constantly plague babies and young toddlers. And, of course, teething impacts sleep; an imminent tooth can make for sore gums, which in turn makes for night waking.
  6. Your best bet in the case of teething is to offer a little bit of pain relieving medication (although you will absolutely want to check with your baby’s doctor first!) You can also try giving your baby something firm to chew on (even better, something cold and firm.)

  7. Illness — Cold and flu season is (thankfully!) just about done here in the U.S., but a wise parent knows that illness can strike anytime – and those illnesses affect sleep. And even something as innocuous as a mild cold can really do a number on a baby or toddler’s sleep, leading to lots of extra night wakings.
  8. Your best bet in the case of illness is to ask your doctor what you can do to help your baby or toddler feel more comfortable.

  9. Nap Transition — Your baby or toddler’s nap needs change quite a bit in the first 18 months of life, and all those nap transitions tend to keep your little one’s daytime sleep and feeding schedule in a fairly constant state of change. Naps may happen later than usual, or not at all, and those changes to daytime sleep will definitely impact nighttime sleep.
  10. Your best bet in the case of a nap transition is to make sure that your little one isn’t napping too much during the day, and to make sure that all naps are over before dinnertime – no evening ‘naps’ allowed! ;)

  11. Schedule disruption — Sometimes, things come up – and those things don’t always fit into your schedule. “Schedule-busters” like vacation, or maybe an after-school sport activity for an older child, can disrupt your baby or toddler’s schedule to the point where night sleep will be affected.
  12. Your best bet in the case of a short-lived disruption (like a week-long vacation, or a holiday) is to get back on track as soon as you can. In the case of a longer-term disruption (like an after-school program that lasts 8 weeks, for instance), you may want to adjust the normal schedule to accommodate this new activity.

  13. Big life change — Big changes, like moving to a new house, the birth of a new sibling, a separation or divorce, etc. will definitely impact sleep. Changes like this may cause separation anxiety to grow worse, for one thing – toddlers may become extra-clingy, and may become fearful and weepy at bedtime. Even babies will feel these changes, though, since they will no doubt mean disrupted schedules.
  14. Your best bet in the case of a big life change is to offer your baby or toddler extra comfort, and to operation a modified schedule (if necessary) while the changes are happening. Then, get back on track as soon as possible once the change is done.

Help Your Baby or Toddler Sleep Through The Night Again

It’s true that babies and toddlers who know how to sleep through the night don’t do so always and forever. There will be night wakings, and sometimes, there’s really nothing you can do to avoid those night wakings (like in the case of illness, or growth spurts, or sleep regressions).

But remember, if your baby or toddler has never slept through the night, and still needs to be constantly rocked or nursed or held to sleep, you may have a bigger sleep problem that you need to deal with. Sleep associations like these can be changed, and you can help your baby or toddler learn to fall asleep on his own (which is the first step to learning to sleep through the night).

If you’d like to personalized help in changing your baby’s sleep associations and working towards sleeping through the night, we are here for you! Our personalized consultation packages offer a range of support, and our trained sleep consultants are ready to work one-on-one with you to improve your baby or toddler’s sleep. Take a look at our consultation packages, and see which one looks like a good fit for you.
 
Click here to see all our personalized consultation packages.
 
Once you purchase, you will immediately receive access to the Helpdesk, and you can set up your account, fill out your Family Sleep History form, submit it to a consultant, and get started on the journey to better sleep!

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 your baby or toddler stopped sleeping through the night? How are you handling it? Have questions about sleeping through the night? Ask them below!

  • Ready to work on your baby’s sleep issues, but want more information first?Why not take a look at our The 3-Step System To Help Your Baby Sleep? Available in three affordable packages, this book is designed to give you practical, hands-on tools you can use to help your baby learn to fall asleep on his own, and stay asleep (and stop fighting bedtime!). For toddlers, try The 5-Step System To Better Toddler Sleep. Best of all, both books is available to download instantly – you can put it to use as early as tonight!
  • Want an abundance of resources to help you in your sleep coaching? Consider becoming a Baby Sleep Site Member. Our Members Area is packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and teleseminars. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! And as a member, you have access to a once-a-week chat with one of our expert sleep consultants – ideal for those times when you need some expert advice! And the icing on the cake? Members enjoy 20% off all sleep consultation services. That savings alone can pay for the cost of membership!
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5 Steps To Help Your Baby or Toddler Learn To Fall Asleep Alone

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5 Steps To Help Your Baby Fall Asleep Alone

“Baby Falls Asleep Alone! Parents Overjoyed!”

Okay, so maybe the general public wouldn’t consider that the most amazing news headline in the world, but I’ll bet that for all of you sleep-deprived parents out there who are working on sleep training (and that’s pretty much all of you :) ), you would LOVE to apply that headline to your story.

Good news – you can. And we can help.

Why Does Your Baby or Toddler Need To Learn To Fall Asleep Alone?

To put it simply, your baby or toddler needs to learn to fall asleep alone so that he can eventually (when he is developmentally ready) sleep through the night. There is no magical age at which all babies can sleep through the night, of course – that is dependent on so many factors. But until your baby knows how to fall asleep alone, without your help, he will struggle to sleep through the night (or to take long, restorative naps, for that matter).

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

It isn’t exactly a small thing to teach your baby a brand new skill like falling asleep without help. That’s why we try to break the process down into manageable steps for the families with whom we work. Obviously, we can’t give all of you a consultation in blog article form, but we can give you an overview of what the 5 step process to helping your baby or toddler fall asleep alone looks like.

So, without further ado…here it is!

  1. Identify your baby or toddler’s sleep associations. Does your baby or toddler need to be rocked to sleep? Fed to sleep? Held to sleep? These are your little one’s sleep associations. Sleep training is simply the process of changing your baby or toddler’s sleep associations. Once you know the sleep associations, you know what to focus on while you sleep train.
  2. Wean from the swaddle and/or pacifier (if applicable, and if necessary). If your baby is heavily dependent on being swaddled for sleep, you will want to work on weaning her away from the swaddle before you start working on sleep training. Check out this article on how and when to stop swaddling for tips on how to do that. If your baby or toddler needs a pacifier to sleep, you might want to try weaning from it. This is only necessary for babies and toddlers who have a really strong dependency on the pacifier, though, and whose pacifier use is interfering with sleep. If you decide to wean from the pacifier, browse this article on how to stop pacifier use for tips.
  3. Create a sleep routine. Bedtime routines, and pre-nap routines, are great for promoting sleep. If you don’t already have one, create a consistent pre-sleep routine. You can read this article for bedtime routine tips, and this article about common bedtime routine mistakes you will want to avoid.
  4. Create a sleep training plan. All your hard work has led up to this point – time to create your own, personal sleep plan! Decide which sleep training method you want to use (you can look at a ‘cheat sheet’ of common sleep training methods, or download our free guide, 5 Ways To Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night here – both will give you the info you need to get started.) Next, decide how you want to approach sleep training. It is generally best to start with bedtime and then move to naps, although that’s not true in every case.
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    Hey membersdid you know you can download a workbook designed to help you create your very own Personalized Sleep Plan™? Log in and take a look!
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  6. Implement your plan with confidence and consistency for 2-4 weeks (depending on the method you choose). This is where the hard work comes in. Once you have your plan on paper, you need to implement it and then stick to it. We usually recommend that parents stick with a plan for at least a week (2 is better) before making any changes. Remember, your goal in sleep training is to teach your baby or toddler to fall asleep alone. This is a new skill for your little one – and new skills aren’t learned overnight! So stay consistent in your sleep training, and give your baby or toddler time to learn a new way to sleep.

Parents, if you follow these steps, you CAN teach your baby or toddler to fall asleep alone, without your help. And that will be the first step on the journey to rested nights and peaceful naps!

Of course, we recognize that while some families will be able to implement this 5-step plan easily, many other families will struggle through it. We aren’t all blessed with easy children – some of us just need help with sleep training! We get that. If you’ve tried following this plan, but have gotten stuck along the way – or if attempting these 5 steps on your own just seems way too overwhelming – we can help! Our consultants can create your Personalized Sleep Plan™ for you, and then walk you through each step of implementation.
 
Click here to learn how you can work one-on-one with a sleep consultant.
 
Want to know more about how our system of personalized baby sleep help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.

How did you teach your baby or toddler to fall asleep alone? Share your tips with the rest of us!

  • Want to try these 5 steps on your own? Why not take a look at our 3-Step System To Help Your Baby Sleep? Available in three affordable packages, this book is designed to give you practical, hands-on tools you can use to help your baby learn to fall asleep on her own, and stay asleep. Or, if you have a toddler at home, try our 5-Step System to Better Toddler Sleep. Best of all, both books are available to download instantly – you can put it to use as early as tonight!
  • Want an abundance of resources to help you in your sleep coaching? Consider becoming a Baby Sleep Site Member. Our Members Area is packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and teleseminars. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! And as a member, you have access to a once-a-week chat with one of our expert sleep consultants – ideal for those times when you need some expert advice! And the icing on the cake? Members enjoy 20% off all sleep consultation services. That savings alone can pay for the cost of membership!
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3 Steps To A Better 6 Month Old Baby Schedule

3 Steps To A Better 6 Month Old Baby Schedule

6 months – the magical age! This tends to be the point at which parents decide that they are more than ready to sleep again, thankyouverymuch, and that it is high time they helped their babies get on a decent sleep schedule (and maybe even start sleeping through the night!)

As always, The Baby Sleep Site® is here to help! This article tackles common 6 month old sleeping challenges, as well as 3 easy steps you can use to help your 6 month old baby establish a predictable, healthy sleep and feeding schedule.

6 Month Old Baby Sleep Challenges

If your baby is still struggling with sleep at 6 months old, that’s okay (and understandable). However, take comfort in the fact that by this age, babies truly can start to follow a more predictable, by-the-clock schedule.

That said, if you are still struggling with your 6 month old baby’s sleep, the following factors may be making things even more challenging:

  • Your 6 month old baby has probably started eating solid food. By 6 months old, most babies have started solid food (in addition to taking in plenty of breastmilk or formula – that’s still the main source of nutrition for the first year!) While some babies transition to solids with no issues whatsoever, other babies react to starting. They show signs of food allergies, they develop tummy issues, etc. – and all of those can interfere in a big way with sleep!
  • Your 6 month old baby’s sleep associations are getting even stronger. By now, your baby has had 6 full months to develop strong habits associated with sleep. That means that if he has become used to being rocked to sleep, or fed to sleep, or held until he falls asleep, that is now a fixed habit. Same with using a pacifier to fall asleep, or being swaddled in sleep. That’s not to say that these sleep associations can’t be overcome – they certainly can! But a 6 month old baby will no doubt show a little more resistance to learning a new way to sleep than a 5 month old baby will.

6 Month Old Baby Sleep Developments

What’s happening with your 6 month old baby’s sleep? Several new developments, actually:

  • Your 6 month old baby’s naps should begin to consolidate. Note the ‘should’ – not all 6 month old babies will show signs of naturally establishing a nap schedule, and some will continue to take many short naps during the day. But most will. You will probably notice that the unpredictable naps you’ve been working with over the past 6 months slowly begin to merge into three semi-predictable naps.
  • Your 6 month old baby will likely be able to drop down to 1 night feeding. It’s still normal for a 6 month old baby to need 1-2 night feedings, but most 6 month old babies are able to get by with just 1 feeding at night. (Most – not all! Don’t feel bad if your 6 month old still needs to feed twice during the night). If your baby is nursing more than once or twice per night, however, work to gradually decrease those night feeds.

6 Month Old Baby Schedule: 3 Steps To A Better One

If you haven’t yet adjusted your baby to a somewhat clock-based schedule, it can be a daunting process to start. We understand that! That’s why we are outlining 3 steps to help you establish a healthy 6 month old baby schedule:

  1. 6 month old baby bedtime – To begin, establish a consistent bedtime for your 6 month old baby. Develop a bedtime routine, too – that’s key for signaling to your baby that it’s time for sleep! This doesn’t have to be exactly the same time each night – aim for having your baby down for bed within the same half-hour window each night.
  2. 6 month old baby wake-up time – Next, try to establish a consistent wake-up time for your 6 month old baby. This will be a bit tougher than the bedtime, because your baby may wake too early or too late, and what do you do in those circumstances? Well, if your baby wakes too early, treat it as a night waking – interact with your baby (whether you are feeding or simply offering comfort) and then put your baby back to bed until it’s wake-up time. If your baby sleeps past wake-up time, try to wake your baby within about a half hour of the established wake-up time.
  3. 6 month old baby first nap time – Once you have a pretty firm bedtime and wake-up time established, work to make sure that the first nap of the day happens at about the same time each morning. Again, this doesn’t have to be exact, but aim for putting your baby down for the morning nap within the same half-hour window each morning.

6 Month Old Baby Schedule: Suggested Feeding Amounts and Nap Times

Need help in knowing when (and how much) to feed your 6 month old baby? Want to see several sample 6 month old baby schedules that will help you create the best possible schedule for your 6 month old baby?
 
Check our our sample 6 month old baby schedules here!
 

6 Month Old Baby Sleep Help

If you are struggling with your 6 month old baby’s sleep, remember that you don’t have to struggle alone! We are here to help you – it’s what we do! Sleep training can be tough, and hundreds of parents turn to us for sleep coaching help every month. We can help you, too. Take a look at our consultation packages, and see which one looks like a good fit for you.
 
Click here to see all our personalized consultation packages.
 
Once you purchase, you will immediately receive access to the Helpdesk, and you can set up your account, fill out your Family Sleep History form, submit it to a consultant, and get started on the journey to better sleep!

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 is your 6 month old baby’s schedule? Share your scheduling tips with the rest of us!

  • Feel like you can handle sleep coaching on your own? Why not take a look at our The 3-Step System To Help Your Baby Sleep? Available in three affordable packages, this book is designed to give you practical, hands-on tools you can use to help your baby learn to fall asleep on his own, and stay asleep (and stop fighting bedtime!). For toddlers, try The 5-Step System To Better Toddler Sleep. Best of all, both books is available to download instantly – you can put it to use as early as tonight!
  • Want an abundance of resources to help you in your sleep coaching? Consider becoming a Baby Sleep Site Member. Our Members Area is packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and teleseminars. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! And as a member, you have access to a once-a-week chat with one of our expert sleep consultants – ideal for those times when you need some expert advice! And the icing on the cake? Members enjoy 20% off all sleep consultation services. That savings alone can pay for the cost of membership!
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Baby Night Feedings: How To Know When They Are Necessary

 
How To Know When Baby Night Feedings Are Necessary


 

Water is wet. The sky is blue. Babies eat at night. These are basic facts of life.

Except that last one isn’t quite so straight-forward, is it? I mean, yes, newborns eat at night (a lot), and even as they grow, babies need to eat at night for awhile – night feedings help to ensure proper growth and development.

But what about unnecessary night feedings? You know – those ‘feedings’ that are actually just nursing or bottle-drinking for comfort? Those ‘feedings’ that last 2.2 seconds before your baby is conked out again? Those feedings that happen 20 minutes after the last feeding ended. Yes, night feedings are necessary, but how can you tell when night feeds are necessary, and when they are not?

Read on and find out!

Baby Night Feedings Are Probably Necessary When…

  • …your baby stays awake for long periods if you don’t feed. A baby who fusses or cries persistently if he’s not fed is likely hungry, and needs food. This is a pretty reliable sign that your baby’s night feedings are likely necessary, if you’ve ruled out poor sleep habits.
  • …your baby is not eating enough during the day. Some babies get in a bad pattern of eating little and sleeping lots during the day, and then waking often and feeding a lot at night. In this case, a baby technically does need the night feedings – but the larger goal should be to reverse the pattern, so that most feedings happen during the day! You can download our free guide, 5 Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night, for more tips on how to reverse that kind of eating/sleeping pattern.
  • …after feeding, your baby sleeps soundly in 3-4 hour stretches. A baby who wakes at night, takes a full feeding, and then goes back to sleep and sleeps well was probably a hungry baby who needed the feeding in the first place. :)
  • …your baby is a good self-soother who can fall asleep independently and goes back to sleep without help after a feeding. This may be the best sign that your baby’s night feedings are necessary. If your baby has overcome all his sleep associations, is able to fall asleep without your help, and goes down awake in his crib after a feed (and is then able to put himself back to sleep), you can rest assured that the night feedings likely necessary.

Of course, age is a factor in night feedings, too. Newborns and young infants must feed at night in order to grow and develop properly. And it is perfectly normal for babies to feed once per night up until 12 months old (although we do recommend an attempt at night weaning at 9 months). So keep your baby’s age in mind, when looking at the factors above. Not sure when your baby should be feeding at night? Check out our sample schedules by age for night feeding tips.

Baby Night Feedings May Not Be Necessary When…

…your baby is using waking out of habit (not hunger) and is using night feeds to soothe back to sleep. Only one point necessary in this section, because unnecessary night feedings are pretty straightforward. (At least, they are straightforward to understand – actually fixing them may be more challenging! ;) )

Unnecessary night feedings are unnecessary because your baby is using them for soothing and comfort, and not for food. The scenario goes something like this: your baby wakes during the night and is unable to fall back to sleep without help. So she cries for you, and you offer a feeding (because you think she may be hungry). She feeds for a short time and then falls asleep mid-feed. You lay her back down to sleep carefully (so as not to wake her up). But then, just a short time later, she’s awake again and crying. So you repeat the process. You may do this 6, 7, 8 times each night (or maybe even more!)

THIS right here – this pattern – is the #1 sign that your baby’s night feedings are probably not necessary. There are exceptions to this, of course, but by and large, this pattern represents a sleep problem that will need to be fixed eventually.

How To Stop Unnecessary Baby Night Feedings

Feeding ScheduleIf, after reading this, you feel confident that your baby’s night feedings aren’t necessary, the question remains: what should you do about it? How can you solve this problem?

That’s up to you, of course; there are many ways to sleep train your baby, and change her sleep associations so that she is able to fall asleep without help and stay asleep until she is truly hungry and ready to eat. But sleep training can be an overwhelming task. That’s why we created The Baby Sleep Site®, and it’s why we are here to help! If you want personalized help for your baby’s sleep, from a trained sleep consultant, browse our list of consultation packages and and choose the one that looks best for your unique situation.
 
Click here to learn how you can connect one-on-one with a sleep consultant.

Or, if you’d like to know more about how our system of personalized baby sleep help works, Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.

Questions about your baby’s night feedings? Ask them below! Sleep training tips for other parents? Offer them – we love to hear your insights!

  • Ready to work on your baby’s night feedings on your own? Why not take a look at our 3-Step System To Help Your Baby Sleep? Available in three affordable packages, this book is designed to give you practical, hands-on tools you can use to help your baby learn to fall asleep on her own, and stay asleep. Or, if you have a toddler at home, try our 5-Step System to Better Toddler Sleep. Best of all, both books are available to download instantly – you can put it to use as early as tonight!
  • Want an abundance of resources to help you in your sleep coaching? Consider becoming a Baby Sleep Site Member. Our Members Area is packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and teleseminars. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! And as a member, you have access to a once-a-week chat with one of our expert sleep consultants – ideal for those times when you need some expert advice! And the icing on the cake? Members enjoy 20% off all sleep consultation services. That savings alone can pay for the cost of membership!
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5 Easy Ways To Start Sleep Training TONIGHT. (You Can Do #1 Right Now!)

3-6 MonthsIf you have been working on your baby or toddler’s sleep for any length of time, then you know that sleep coaching tends to take time. Sure, some parents see miraculous results overnight, but that’s the exception – it’s not the norm! For most of us, sleep coaching involves days or weeks of work before we see real, meaningful results. The work is worth it, of course – the payoff of a full night’s sleep is worth anything!

But sometimes, starting can just seem so daunting. What do you do first? Should you start with a nap, or with bedtime? Lots for an exhausted, sleep-deprived parent to consider!

As always, we are here to help. We know that sleep coaching can be an intimidating process to start, so we thought we’d help make it easier. Below are 5 things you can do tonight that will help kick off the sleep coaching process for you and your baby, and start your whole family on the road to better sleep. Think of this as your ‘quick win’ – you can put each of these strategies to work tonight – no waiting necessary!

5 Easy Ways To Start Sleep Training TONIGHT

  1. Identify your baby’s sleep associations. This is easy – you an do this right now, in just a few minutes! Think about how your baby or toddler typically falls asleep. Does she fall asleep while nursing, or drinking her bottle? Does she fall asleep while you rock her? Does she fall asleep on you, or in your arms? All of these are sleep associations – they are things your baby needs in order to fall asleep. The process of sleep training is simply weaning your baby away from her sleep associations, so that she can learn to fall asleep on her own, without outside help. Once you have identified your baby or toddler’s sleep associations, you have identified the problems that need fixing. That’s step one!
  2. Start a bedtime routine. If you haven’t already, start a bedtime routine tonight with your baby or toddler. It doesn’t have to be long (it shouldn’t be, actually – 15 minutes is sufficient!), and it doesn’t have to be complicated (again, it shouldn’t be – you want straightforward and simple). Read a few books, sing a lullaby, give kisses and cuddles, and then its lights out. Pledge to do this routine every night; that’s what puts the “routine” in bedtime routine. Once you have instituted a strong routine, it will help your baby or toddler better understand what’s expected of him at bedtime.
  3. Shorten your baby or toddler’s time spent with a particular sleep association. Now that you know how your baby or toddler falls asleep, work to shorten whatever association she has. For instance, if your baby needs to be rocked to sleep, try to cut back a little on the time you spend rocking her. If you typically rock her for 30 minutes, try rocking her for 20 and then holding her without any movement for 10. If you do this gradually, you will eventually (and gently!) wean your baby away from the nursing. Same with feeding your baby or toddler to sleep, or holding her until she falls asleep – slightly reduce the time you spend doing these things. This is the first step towards changing your baby or toddler’s sleep associations.
  4. Don’t race in when your baby or toddler starts crying after a night waking. I’m not telling you to let your baby cry-it-out. You may choose that method if you feel it’s best for you situation, but know that I’m not instructing you to do that, necessarily! Rather, I’m encouraging you to wait a few moments between the time you hear your baby or toddler cry and the time you pick him up. Remember, not every cry is truly a cry for help – some cries are simply noises that our babies or toddlers make as they briefly wake between sleep cycles. In those cases, if you were to wait a few minutes, you might find that your baby or toddler settles himself, without your help. So when you hear a cry tonight – just give it a minute. See if your baby or toddler can re-settle without you.
  5. Track the times of all night wakings. You can’t really know what you’re working towards, in terms of your baby nighttime sleep or daytime schedule, until you know what the current situation looks like. So tonight, and over the next few days, track the timing of everything. Make note of all night wakings. Write down bedtimes and wake times. Note all naps, including when they start and finish. Same with feedings. What you are doing here is starting your sleep log; that will become important as you continue to work on sleep training. A sleep log will show you any patterns or trends that may be happening in your baby or toddler’s sleep, and it will also help show you where you are making progress and where you need to continue to focus your efforts.

You Don’t Have To Sleep Train Alone

Remember that, while you certainly can sleep train your baby or toddler on your own, you don’t have to. That’s what we are here for! Sleep training can be tough, and hundreds of parents turn to us for sleep coaching help every month. We can help you, too! Take a look at our consultation packages, and see which one looks like a good fit for you.

Click here to see all our personalized consultation packages.

Once you purchase, you will immediately receive access to the Helpdesk, and you can set up your account, fill out your Family Sleep History form, submit it to a consultant, and get started on the journey to better sleep!

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.

Ready to start sleep coaching? What are your plans? Have you sleep trained before? How did you begin? Share your tips!

  • Feel like you can handle sleep coaching on your own? Why not take a look at our The 3-Step System To Help Your Baby Sleep? Available in three affordable packages, this book is designed to give you practical, hands-on tools you can use to help your baby learn to fall asleep on his own, and stay asleep (and stop fighting bedtime!). For toddlers, try The 5-Step System To Better Toddler Sleep. Best of all, both books is available to download instantly – you can put it to use as early as tonight!
  • Want an abundance of resources to help you in your sleep coaching? Consider becoming a Baby Sleep Site Member. Our Members Area is packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and teleseminars. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! And as a member, you have access to a once-a-week chat with one of our expert sleep consultants – ideal for those times when you need some expert advice! And the icing on the cake? Members enjoy 20% off all sleep consultation services. That savings alone can pay for the cost of membership!
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The Pacifier Trick Every Parent Should Know

Pacifier Tip Every Parent Should Know

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, for many of us, pacifiers are a necessity. It’s estimated that anywhere from 75% – 85% of babies and toddlers have used a pacifier for soothing at some point. And it’s understandable – pacifiers can be a great way to provide instant soothing, and to calm fussy, inconsolable babies or toddlers. (That’s the love ‘em part!)

But the problem is that pacifier use can quickly become habitual – before you know it, offering a pacifier occasionally for comfort turns into offering a pacifier constantly, so that you can get your baby or toddler to sleep. And that can turn into being woken multiple times each night by a little one who is screaming for you to come and replace the pacifier that fell out of her mouth. (That’s the hate ‘em part!)

We’ve written before about pacifiers and sleep: check out this article on pacifier basics, and this one on how and when to wean from the pacifier. But today, we’re taking a look at something new. Today, we’re talking about a super clever pacifier trick that every parent with a pacifier-loving little one at home should know.

What’s the trick? How does it work? Read on, readers – this one’s too good to miss!

‘The Dream Paci’ Tip, Care of The Hint Mama

Today’s pacifier tip actually comes from a friend of The Baby Sleep Site – it’s from Jennifer Saranow Schultz, also known as Hint Mama. Jennifer’s blog is known for its practical tips, designed to make parenting cheaper, easier, and (as she puts it) a bit more humorous!

All of Jennifer’s tips are great, but we were particularly excited about her ‘Dream Paci’ tip. We knew this was one that our own readers would appreciate. So, with Jennifer’s permission, we’re bringing The Dream Paci Tip to you today!

‘The Dream Paci’ Tip – How It Works

The Dream Paci Tip is basically a variation on the idea of a Dream Feed. Many of you are no doubt familiar with that idea – basically, you sneak into your baby’s room at night, after he’s fallen asleep, and wake him slightly. You wake him just enough to eat, but not so much that he’s entirely awake. The idea is that by ‘topping off’ with breastmilk or formula, you can actually increase the time between night feeds, and get a bit more sleep yourself.

The Dream Paci is similar – only it involves pacifiers, obviously ;). Here’s Hint Mama’s explanation (the post actually came from her husband — apparently, he handles their toddler’s night wakings. What a guy!) :)

…after several nights of waking up multiple times throughout the night to replace a missing pacifier, I followed a trick mentioned in many sleep training books and “sprinkled” multiple pacifiers (usually about six) in the crib when we said goodnight to our daughter. This “sprinkle,” which made it easy for our daughter to pick up a replacement pacifier in the middle of the night and go back to sleep without screaming, worked like a charm for about a month or so.

Then, our little pumpkin caught on to our trick and thought it would be a fun game to throw all the pacifiers out of the crib while she settled in for the night. Each evening, we could hear the sound of pacifiers bouncing on the ground one after the other, and she was back to waking up in the middle of the night screaming for us to come in and give her a pacifier.

And there was no question that she was doing this intentionally. One night, we watched on the video baby monitor as she pushed pacifiers through the holes in her crib onto the floor and even stood up to chuck one pacifier against the wall in her bedroom.

That’s when I came up with the “Dream Paci.” It works like this: Instead of putting all the pacifiers into our daughter’s crib when we tuck her in and she’s awake and aware that they are there, I now place two in the crib when she’s awake (and she throws these out of the crib as expected). Then, I tiptoe into her room later in the evening when she’s dreaming and fast asleep, and scatter the six pacifiers all around her crib.

If you decide to try The Dream Paci, however, just be sure that you don’t accidentally wake your baby or toddler up when you sneak into the room to do the pacifier sprinkle! That happened to Jennifer’s husband once:

So far, this trick has generally worked like a charm. The one exception: One night I woke our daughter up by accident when trying to sneak into her room. In retrospect, I probably went in before our daughter was fully asleep. So my advice to others trying to employ this trick would be to wait to do the dream paci until it’s been at least an hour from when your little one is asleep.

One final note, before we wrap up – remember that pacifier associations can be strong for lots of babies and toddlers. And while tips like this can be great solutions for some families, other families may find themselves in a position where they need to buckle down and solve the pacifier association once and for all. This is especially true for those families whose sleep is being seriously disrupted by the constant pacifier-related night wakings.

If you need to work on your baby or toddler’s pacifier associations, we’re here to help! This is a common issue, and it’s one our consultants have dealt with many times. Take a look at our consultation packages, and see which one looks like a good fit for you (hint – the Deluxe Package is the most popular!).

Click here to take a look at our consultation packages.

Once you purchase, you will immediately receive access to the Helpdesk, and you can set up your account, fill out your Family Sleep History form, submit it to a consultant, and get started on the journey to better sleep! 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.

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Speaking of Hint Mama – she’s hosting a Baby Sleep Site giveaway on her site right now! Head over and enter for your chance to win a 3-month Baby Sleep Site membership. Your membership will give you full access to The Baby Sleep Site’s Members Area, including all e-books, case studies, tele-seminars, and member chats!
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What do you think of The Dream Paci, readers? Have you tried something similar at home? Is this a tip you think would be helpful for your situation?

  • Want to tackle your little one’s pacifier association on your own? Why not take a look at our 3-Step System To Help Your Baby Sleep? Available in three affordable packages, this book is designed to give you practical, hands-on tools you can use to help your baby learn to fall asleep on her own, and stay asleep. Or, if you have a toddler at home, try our 5-Step System to Better Toddler Sleep. Best of all, both books are available to download instantly – you can put it to use as early as tonight!
  • Want an abundance of resources to help you in your sleep coaching? Consider becoming a Baby Sleep Site Member. Our Members Area is packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and teleseminars. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! And as a member, you have access to a once-a-week chat with one of our expert sleep consultants – ideal for those times when you need some expert advice! And the icing on the cake? Members enjoy 20% off all sleep consultation services. That savings alone can pay for the cost of membership!
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How To Gently Transition Your Baby or Toddler From Co-Sleeping

How To Transition Baby or Toddler From Co-SleepingCo-sleeping can be a bit of a controversial topic, can’t it? Some parents are committed co-sleepers, while others are refuse to co-sleep at all (for a variety of reasons).

But do you know what? We’ve learned, in our years of helping sleepless families, that most families don’t fall into these two extremes. Instead, we see families who never intended to co-sleep, but who are because it helps everyone get more sleep. We see families who want to co-sleep for a season, but not long-term.

For these families, there comes a time when mom and dad are ready to transition away from co-sleeping, and to move their baby or toddler into a crib (or a bed). But this is one of those ‘easier-said-than-done’ things, isn’t it? Way easier for me to type ‘transition away from co-sleeping’ than it is for you to actually do it! ;)

Fortunately, we are here to help with this process. Today, we’re looking at how you can gently transition your baby or toddler away from co-sleeping.

How To Gently Transition Your Baby or Toddler From Co-Sleeping

You can use these 4 steps to gently wean your baby or toddler away from co-sleeping, and towards sleeping in his or her own bed (and hopefully sleeping through the night!):

  1. Lay the ground work. This is more for toddlers than babies. Start by explaining the transition, and pointing out all the good things about it – big kid bed, new sheets, etc. There are even books like this one designed for your toddler, to help him feel better about the transition. For babies, you should make sure she has ample play time in the room and crib, so it is familiar.
  2. Sleep together in the “new” room. Consider moving to your baby or toddler’s room, temporarily, to help her grow more comfortable with the new sleeping space. As the days go on, add more and more distance between you as she falls asleep and as you sleep all night (or day if you are napping with your baby).
  3. Sit by the crib or bed while your baby or toddler falls asleep. When you feel ready, remove your sleeping arrangements out of your little one’s room, and instead sit on a chair by the crib or bed, and stay with your baby or toddler while she falls asleep. If this is tough for your little one, offer whatever comfort is necessary, but avoid getting into bed with your baby or toddler, since that would be a step backwards in the process. Once your little one is asleep, leave. Ideally, it should take less and less time for your baby or toddler to fall asleep each night, as she grows more comfortable with the new arrangement.
  4. Leave the room before your baby or toddler falls asleep. It’s hard to say exactly when you will be ready for this step as all babies are unique. But, once you feel your little one is ready, do your bedtime routine, settle your baby or toddler into bed, and then leave. Once you’ve reached this point, you can consider the transition done, even though some nights may be easier than others. ;).

Have you made the transition away from co-sleeping? How did it go? What tips would you offer parents who are going through this? We want to hear from you!

Need more help in making the co-sleeping transition? We have lots of do-it-yourself resources, as well as personalized packages that will make the transition as painless as possible.

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