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Do you want more sleep?   Yes! I need more sleep.

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  1. Nicole says:

    I have a 17 week old who was sleeping from 10-5. When we adjusted her bedtime to 7 pm (approx) she started waking between 2-4 am to feed (we also dream feed her around 10pm) . When she started this waking to feed pattern, we got in the habit of giving her a pacifier in the middle of the night to try and get her to go longer (if she woke at 1:30, the pacifier might get her to sleep until 3 before she ate). Now she has become addicted to the pacifier and instead of just waking the once to eat, wakes multiple times a night and cries until we put her pacifier back in. Its gotten to the point where she’s waking 8-10 times a night and we’re exhausted. Your points on sleep association are well taken – clearly we’ve created one with the passy. My question is she sleeps swaddled but during the day she likes to chew on her hands a lot. If I’m going to start sleep training now do I take her out of the swaddle so she can chew her hands instead of the passy (which obviously she needs us for)? She’s also started teething but we’re giving her Tylenol at night. I don’t expect her to give up the two night feedings at this point but would like to eliminate all of the other wakings where she’s clearly not waking to eat. Please help!!

  2. mackenzie says:

    Hi, my son just turned 1 a few weeks ago. Always been a bad sleeper. He does sleep in his bed. He wakes 1-2 times a night, when I go in to give him a bottle he just wants me to pick him up. He goes to sleep between 7:30-8. Bath, book, bottle (in crib, would like to break that habbit as well). Recently he’s been waking around 10-11, I try to give him a bottle and he won’t take it. As soon as I walk out he gets hysterical. I am a stay at home mom, he gets 2 naps a day, one in morning, one in after noon, about an hour each, happy cheerful baby during the day. I am not against CIO. How can I get him to sleep through the night, and fall asleep without his bottle?

  3. Morgan says:

    Thanks, Kimberly! You’re advice was right on! We just stuck hard to our bedtime routine and he was asleep at about 7:30, then I just told myself I was not going to feed him before 2 am. If he woke up, I would wait until it was more than just a little whine to see if he would go back to sleep and if it turned to a cry I would go in and pat his behind to soothe him. If he remained calm and quiet I would stay and rub his back and pat his behind, but if he cried louder or got upset that I wasn’t picking him up, I would just leave and let him cry it out. I also set a morning limit that we weren’t “getting up” for the day before 6:30 am because he naturally wakes up at 5 am, but since I’m staying home with him that was just too early for me, so I would make him cry himself back to sleep until then. I guess the timing was just right, too, because I had tried this before it worked this time after only a few nights. Now he sleeps from 7:30 to somewhere between 2 and 3 am and now sleeps until about 7:30 am!
    Hali, I swear we have the same kid! My little guy is also a horrible napper, never sleeping more than 20-30 min at a time. But we’ve compromised on a napping schedule, now. He takes a 30 min nap at 10 am, then our “big nap” after lunch, at 2pm, I do a mini bedtime routine and put him down. He still wakes up after about 30 min, but I go in and do the same thing as I do at night, and he goes back to sleep for at least another 30 min; he usually sleeps longer that second go. I want him to sleep for atleast 1 hour total for his “big nap.” Then, depending on how crazy the day is, he might take another 30 min nap before dinner.

  4. Hali says:

    Hello, my baby is similar to Morgan’s- he’s 7 months and he wakes once at night, I nurse him and he goes back to sleep. But he is taking 3, 20-30 min naps. How can I get him to nap longer? I have tried waiting to put him down later but he just sleeps the same amount of time. He seems very crappy and clingy during the day- always tired but then cries for 20 min before falling asleep then wakes up 20 min later. Sometimes if I need a nap, I will get him then lay down with him and he will fall back asleep with me- so I know he is tired. I’ve tried letting him fuss but it just turns into a long screaming session and eventually I have to get him b/c it is time for a feeding. It’s a viscous cycle and a crabby baby. Any advice?

  5. christina says:

    Hello there,

    I’m having a similar problem to Marta. I have a 13 m/o who has been a really good sleeper till now. Always had the same routine and would always sleep through the night(apart from the odd occassion) we moved house when she was about 9m/o. It disrupted her sleep for about a week and I tried the ferber method which seems to work. Last weekend we had visitors at home, her normal bedtime came and I tried to put her to bed – she cried for a good 20 mins. I checked on her twice but left her and eventually she slept. I put this down to our guests being round and her being aware she was missing out on something. She was fine for the next week then again this weekend my parents visited and we had the same tantrum. This time she took a very long time to sleep even though she was left alone. I have found since then that every night this week she has fussed as soon as I put her in her cot. After her bath and milk I usually take her in her room in the dark – give her a big cuddle, tell her I love her and good night then put her in her cot and leave the room. This has been fine but this week as soon as I put her in the cot and take a step towards the door she screams. I ‘ve tried settling her again, patting her back and she virtually falls asleep but the second I go to leave she starts again. I left her to cry and the first night it was 20mins the second night 20 again last night and now it seems longer and longer – last night was 30 mins and eventually I snapped and told her to “just go to sleep” as I raised my voice I could tell she was scared and I picked her up and cuddled her – whilst doing this she fell asleep and I put her in her bed and she slept till 4:30am and again with the same screaming. This is so odd, she has been sleeping from about 7:45pm till about 6:45am for so long. Her routine has been the same too – I just don’t know what to do? I don’t mind allowing her to cry if t will help but I’m not sure it is helping?

    • Kimberly says:

      @Jamila, Can you feed him earlier before the bedtime routine? For example feed him first, then jammies, book or music, cuddles and rocking just to drowsy, then lay him down. Also, hopefully, he is on some medication that is helping. With babies with reflux, sleep training might take a little longer.

      @Morgan- You might want to wait a few minutes to see if he’ll settle himself back to sleep without your help. Sometimes they might just cry for a minute or two and then go back to sleep. This way you avoid him thinking that if he cries you will come. If he becomes louder or cries past whatever time limit you have set, then you might want to go in and reassure him but I don’t recommend picking him up. I also don’t recommend going in to feed him before he wakes as this can just teach his body to start to wake on it’s own at that time. As he learns how to go back to sleep on his own when waking, he will start to sleep through the 1 am waking.

      @Christina- Unless there has been some other major change in her life that might be causing some anxiety, it’s likely that might be trying to “test” the limits so to speak and to try and let you know that she wants to go bed differently. In this case, it would be important to be consistent and keep sending the message that it’s bedtime. If you give in too much she’ll know that if she cries enough that she will get what she wants. That’s not to say to ignore her but try to keep it consistent with how you were putting her to bed before. Toddlers are very much known for testing the limits and it will be a matter of being firm with letting her know the limits.

  6. Morgan says:

    My question is with CIO, what do you do when they wake up in the middle of the night?

    My LO is 7 months old and is a very persistent and intense little guy that can cry for 2+ hours before crying himself to sleep, and he’s like you described above: if you go in at all, it ‘teases’ him and only prolongs the crying and intensity of the process, so we don’t go in to check on him once we put him down.

    We already have a good bedtime routine where he goes to bed about 7:30 and nurse I him when he wakes up between 1-2 and he is up for the day at 6:30. The problem is when he’s off his nap routine or sick or teething-he could wake up every 1-2 hours or wake up every time I lay him down asleep (which is frequent). So I will now put him down drowsy but awake every time and let him CIO and learn to put himself to sleep. But what do I do when he wakes up at night? If it’s before 1-2, do I go in and let him know that we’re here (without picking him up), that he’s not abandoned, or do I just let him cry himself back to sleep? Is going in at all when he cries just further teaching him that I come when he cries? So do I set an alarm at say 1 to go feed him on my schedule rather than his to prevent this? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  7. Jamila says:

    My 5-month old son has had reflux problems since he was just a few weeks old. We are in the process of beginning to start a sleep training plan, but I did have a question regarding a baby with reflux. We need to hold him upright for ~10min after a feeding to control his reflux, but by this time he is well asleep when we need to place him in his crib. Do we need to wake him slightly before putting him down? Or is there some other way to go around sleep training when dealing with an infant with reflux? I’ve just always heard, “Never wake a sleeping baby !”. Any advice you could give, would be SO helpful !

  8. Stef says:

    My baby, 17 weeks old, will only sleep at the breast. We are co-sleeping, to enable us to have a good nights sleep. Although, i’m constantly waking with him to ‘shove it back in’ to go back off to sleep. I would say this is about 6 times a night. I’m fully aware that i must’ve been lazy as this is an easy option but i now want to break this habit but don’t know where to start.
    We have set his cot up ready in the last couple of days but haven’t yet tried. I dont want to fail so i have to be 100% confident that i will not ‘give in’ half way through the night.
    Please, please help

    • Kimberly says:

      @Marta- It would be difficult to say at this point if further sleep training is needed especially since she’s teething and she reached a major developmental milestone (pulling up). The pacifier may be part of the problem but if she’s been able to go to sleep on her own before, then it seems likely that she will return to sleeping well after teething and once the newness of pulling herself up wears off a bit. The key thing here, will be for you to be consistent with sending her the message that it’s time to go to sleep and for nightwakings. Go in and check, pat, console a bit if needed, but continue to send the message to her that it’s time to go back to sleep.

      @Stef- The 4 month mark is a good time to start working a sleep training plan. Since he’s still pretty young, it may be some time before he’s fully sleeping through the night and of course, will still need to feed at night a few times, but it’s still a good time to start moving away from co-sleeping (since you’ve stated that’s one of your goals) and to also start working on teaching him how to fall asleep or go back to sleep on his own. A good place to start formulating your plan would be to go through this series starting here: https://www.babysleepsite.com/sleep-training/sleep-training-from-no-cry-to-cry-series-part-1/ and go through the whole series. If you wanted something more comprehensive to help you come up with a sleep training plan, then I’d recommend Nicole’s ebook, The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep which can be found at http://babysleepswell.com Good luck and please know that there will be some days with setback. Break it up in to smaller chunks!

  9. Marta says:

    Hi, I’m so happy to have found your website.

    My daughter is 11 months old now. Since about 3 months old until 10 months old she was the perfect sleeper! We would bathe her, feed her, then put her to bed while still awake and she would fall asleep on her own, with us in the room but ignoring her totally. She did have a pacifier with her but it would often fall out before she settled down for the night. Then no night wakings until between 6 am and 7 am when she woke up for the morning. We never had to do any sleep training to get her there before.

    All this changed when she learned to pull up at 10 months (much harder to settle at night, and waking a couple of times needing us to come by and pat her back etc. – give a brief reassurance). Now she is teething, with 4 teeth coming in at once, and nighttime has gone down even further! She went back to falling asleep great on her own (again, usually the pacifier is there with her but falls out before she is actually asleep), but now wakes 2-3 times every night and needs our reassurance and/or the pacifier. What can we do??? Is she considered previously sleep-trained since she was falling asleep on her own before and settling herself? Will this ever go back to her normal routine on its own or should we try sleep training at this point? Thank you!

  10. Tonyad says:

    I have a 7 1\2 month old daughter. i have the hardest time getting her down to bed. our routine is around 8 we feed her some baby food, then its bath time, lotion-ed up, and bottle. I try to just rock her until she’s somewhat asleep and lay her down to get her used to putting herself to sleep. but as soon as i lay her down she starts crying. and then that usually just wakes her up fully and then she’s not tired anymore. one time it happened and she didnt get to sleep until 1:30am. she sleeps usually until 5:30 or 6am and then some mornings she sleeps later which is good. im not having a problem with her sleeping through the night its the getting her to sleep thats she problem. And she never wants to take a nap.

    • Kimberly says:

      Hi Tonya,
      It’s going to take a few days (maybe even a week or so) of being consistent with the plan outlined in this post to help your daughter learn to settle herself to sleep and to learn that while you’re still close and available to her but that you are serious about her going to sleep when you set her down. I’d also recommend starting her bedtime routine earlier. Ideally, she should be settle down for sleep between 7 and 7:30. At this age, she is capable of learning to fall asleep and settle on her own when its time. She crying because she frustrated at having been put down and of course, wants to snuggle with mommy some more. But the more you are consistent with putting her down and that while you come in and reassure her, she needs to understand that since it’s bedtime, snuggle time is over.

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