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Help Your Baby or Toddler Sleep FAQ

Can you recommend any baby sleep books to read?

Please see my Resources page for more information.


Why does my baby need to be rocked/nursed/patted/swung to sleep all the time and then wakes up as soon as I put him/her down? I have to replace the pacifier multiple times per night. How can I stop?

Please see my post about sleep associations.


How can I transition my baby to the crib after co-sleeping?

The longer you’ve been co-sleeping, the slower the approach should be. If your baby is not sleeping through the night, you might want to get my free guide by signing up on my mailing list and you may also want to check out my Baby Sleep Detailed Guide.


Why does my baby wake every 30-45 mins?

We all wake briefly between sleep cycles. It is when we know how to go BACK to sleep on our own, without external intervention, we can continue sleeping. Be sure to break any sleep associations. However, if it is happening at naptime, it is very common for babies to take shorter naps up until 6 months while their sleep organization is maturing. Be sure to encourage baby to go back to sleep and lengthen his/her napping. Read more in my free guide 5 Ways to Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night.


Why sleep train?

Healthy sleep habits are very important for all of us. Poor sleep habits have been found to last until adult years and it is a lot easier to form healthy sleep habits and break bad ones in the early years of one’s life. We all feel better on a good night’s rest without interruption. In the same way sleep deprivation and sleep fragmentation is hard on you, it is hard on your baby. You will be doing your child a favor by allowing them to learn this very important skill about how to fall asleep and stay asleep. We all must learn it and we all make better parents when we feel better rested.

To learn more, please read how sleep training is not cry-it-out.


When can I put my baby on a schedule?

Please read my tips on when you can put your baby on a schedule.


What are sleepy cues? What are overtired cues?

Sleepy cues include staring off into space, less active, and yawning. Overtired cues include crankiness, fussiness, and eye rubbing. Get to know your baby and experiment with the best time to put him/her down for sleep.


My baby won’t nap! What can I do?

Please read my article on how to get your baby napping or how to get your toddler napping.


How much should my baby sleep and what time should bedtime be?

Please read my article on baby sleep needs.


My baby sleeps fine at night, but not during the day (or vice versa). Why?

Different parts of the brain handle daytime and nighttime sleep, so while night sleep might be fine, daytime is typically a bit more difficult for some babies (or vice versa). Just keep working on it and he/she will start to “get it”.


What is a typical nighttime and nap routine?

The typical nap routine is usually a short 10 minutes and can include diaper change, read a book, bottle/nursing/sippy, singing, rocking, and put down DROWSY, BUT AWAKE. The bedtime routine is usually a little longer and may be the nap routine plus a bath first or longer soothing time.


Why do we need a sleep routine?

Routines are important to cue the baby to sleep and so he/she knows what to expect.


What does “drowsy, but awake” mean?

Ideally, drowsy is when baby is just about asleep, eyes closed and when you put him/her down he/she re-settles him/herself and goes to sleep. We are not always successful at achieving the perfect drowsiness level, but you want your baby as relaxed as possible before you put him/her down, however, you do not want to take an hour to do this. Most nap routines are about 10 minutes and bedtime routines about 20-30 minutes, depending on whether you give a bath or not. Do not make routines so long that you are putting baby down too late just to get the perfect drowsiness. He/she will get better at sleeping and will be able to get in his/her crib fully awake and go to sleep.


Does my baby have trouble sleeping because I am nursing?

No. Babies can form a sleep association with nursing, but nursing itself is not the problem as babies can just as easily form a sleep association with a bottle. The important key here is that baby learns to fall asleep on his/her own regardless of his/her food source. I nursed my eldest son for 13 months. Don’t wean to fix sleep problems!


When can I night-wean my baby? When can a baby go all night without eating?

The answer to this question varies widely among experts and pediatricians alike. Some will say once they double their birth weight while others will say 1-2 feedings up until 9 months is normal. Some say they need to eat on demand every 3 to 6 hours until they are on 3 square solid meals per day. Many will say by 6 months they can go all night without eating and some say by 3 or 4 months. I personally believe that babies vary and so will the answer to this question and thus it is up to you, who knows your baby best, to determine whether he/she needs to eat at night. It is important to note that it is not normal for a baby to need to eat every hour or two once they are at least 3 months old. If this is happening, it is likely your baby has a sleep association with a bottle/nursing.


It seems like my baby can just go and go and go, sometimes not napping at all. Can it be that he just doesn’t need as much sleep as other babies?

It is not very likely. Babies need a lot of sleep and overtired babies actually can get very hyper. The human body releases hormones to fight fatigue. We might call this a “second wind.” It is important for development to make sure your baby gets enough sleep.


How should I handle traveling and sleep training?

Do try to do the best you can while traveling but keep in mind your baby will be in unfamiliar surroundings and you may have other guests to worry about. You may have to break some “rules” while on vacation, but the good news is a previously sleep trained baby gets back to sleeping the same as prior to vacation usually within a night or two.

Read more baby travel tips.