Our sleep consultants answer a ton of questions on a daily basis for their sleep consultation clients – they are a knowledgeable bunch of ladies, to be sure!
Recently, we got to talking about the most common questions our consultants hear. What are the most pressing questions that parents routinely ask The Baby Sleep Site®‘s consulting team?
Read on to find out!
The Top 10 Questions Clients Ask The Baby Sleep Site®‘s Sleep Consultants
- How do I get my baby to stop waking so early?? Ah, yes — the early rising question! Well, there are several things you likely need to do to solve this problem. You may need to make schedule adjustments, or offer a bedtime snack. It’s also generally a good idea to treat any early-morning wakings as night wakings – in other words, don’t get your baby up for the day at 5 a.m. if you don’t want 5 a.m. to be your typical morning wake time. Of course, for all the details about how to shift your child’s schedule to a later wake-up time, you can check out our book Shift Your Child’s Schedule, or set up an appointment with a sleep consultant.
- Should I keep feeding my baby at night, or is my baby ready to be night-weaned? How can I tell if she’s waking from hunger or habit? Here’s the short answer: depends on your baby’s age. Here’s the longer version: it is perfectly okay for babies to feed up to about 12 months of age (although by that time, a baby’s who’s still feeding at night should be down to one feeding during a 12-hour night). However, most babies are ready to stop feeding at night by about 8 or 9 months. Most babies are down to just one night feeding by 6 months or so, but before that time, be aware that your baby will wake to eat several times in a 12-hour night. Of course, you have to take other factors into account, too, besides age – medical challenges, unique family circumstances, etc. We should also mention that we find formula-fed babies are generally ready to night-wean a little earlier than babies who are exclusively breast-fed. Above all, remember that night-weaning your baby is a personal choice, so don’t feel pressured to wean too soon!
- How do I transition my baby from sleeping in my arms/in my bed/in the swing/etc. to sleeping in her crib? In today’s modern age, there are lots of places for a baby to sleep – in a carseat, in a swing, in a bassinet…not to mention all the “old fashioned” sleeping spots, like in moms arms or in mom and dad’s bed! But how do you get from there to baby sleeping peacefully in her own crib? The steps we recommend to make that transition vary from family to family, and depend on unique factors. Generally, though, we recommend a gradual approach in which the transition is broken down into a number of smaller, mini-steps. Our consultants break down the transition into those mini-steps and then assign a timeline, so that parents know how many days to work on each mini-step.
- Why is my toddler resisting bedtime? Nothing like toddler bedtime drama, right? The reasons for bedtime resistance vary, of course, but common reasons why your toddler may be resisting bedtime include overtiredness (especially true during nap transitions), too much nap time sleep, a nap that happens too late in the day and ends too close to bedtime, and sleep associations.
- How can I sleep train without waking my other children? This is such a tricky one. For starters, if your kiddos share a room, we recommend moving one of them out (generally, the one who’s not sleep training, since the child who’s working on sleep needs to get used to sleeping in her usual sleep space). If your kiddos don’t share a room, but siblings are still waking during sleep training, you might consider trying white noise to block the sounds of any commotion during the night. Finally, remember that even if sleep coaching disturbs your older kids, it’s still worth it – in the end, it’s better two have two kids up at night for a short while if it means one will learn new and permanent healthy sleeping habits. When everyone’s sleeping well within a few weeks, it’ll all have been worth it!
- Do I have to get rid of my baby’s pacifier in order to sleep train? Hmmm…depends. Is the pacifier a problem? If not, then it might be okay to stick with it. But if it’s causing you grief, because you have to replace it all night long when your baby spits out out, or if you know your baby is too dependent on it to sleep well, then it’s generally best to wean your baby from the pacifier and help your baby learn how to sleep without it.
- Why does my baby wake up as soon as I lay him down in the crib? The answer to this one is usually very straightforward – it’s sleep associations! If your baby is accustomed to falling asleep in your arms, then it’s natural that once your arms are no longer there, she will wake up. The key in this situation is to gently wean your baby away from needing to be held for sleep, and the first step in that process is usually to start putting your baby down for sleep drowsy, but awake.
- How can I get my baby to nap longer? “How can I get my baby to nap longer?” is the million-dollar question, for many parents! Well, for starters, eliminating your baby’s nap time sleep associations, and putting your baby down awake in the crib at nap time will go a long way towards helping to lengthen naps – once your baby can fall asleep without helps, in many cases, naps lengthen naturally. However, some babies need help in learning how to nap for a full hour or more. That’s why our consultants break nap traininginto two parts: learning how to fall asleep at nap time, and learning how to go back to sleep after waking too early from a nap
- How can I maintain a good nap schedule while still making sure that I can get out of the house and stick with my weekly activities and errands? As much as we encourage parents to sleep coach, we certainly don’t want to create a bunch of miserable moms who feel like they can’t ever leave the house due to baby’s nap schedule! While naps at home, in the crib are usually better than naps on the go, it’s okay to have the occasional nap in the car, or in the stroller. If your baby is taking two naps, for example, it’s okay for one of those naps to happen on the go a few days per week. And if you have a regular, standing outing (like a mom’s group, or a fitness class), you can build this right into your daily schedule (or better yet – have your sleep consultant do it for you!).
- My family is taking a trip soon – how can I make sure that sleep doesn’t fall apart while we’re on vacation? Never fear – we’ve got you covered on this one! Yes, traveling will disrupt sleep somewhat – it’s likely that any missed naps or bedtimes during travel will cause problems, and you can pretty much count on the first nap or two, and the first night, at the place where you are staying will be a little rough. But you can get sleep back on track during sleep. You can read our tips for ensuring better naps while traveling, and general tips for maintaining good sleep habits while traveling.
Have Your Own “Tired Parent” Questions? Ask A Sleep Consultant Today!
This is a nice overview of our parents’ most common sleep questions, but these answers are by no means as extensive and detailed as the answers you would get from a sleep consultant, if you were a client. Our clients are able to provide personalized answers, that are tailored to your unique circumstance – that’s what makes our services so unique! So if you have your own set of pressing sleep questions, why not connect with one of our caring, compassionate sleep consultants, and get expert answers today?
Browse our list of consultation package options here.
Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!