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

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  1. Kimberly says

    @ Alison- I’m sorry it’s taken so long for us to get back to your comment! You sound like a terrific mom who is doing all the best for her son. As moms, it’s sometimes easy to question ourselves, but really we are the ones who know our babies the best!

    How often are you feeding him at night now? It’s really not uncommon for babies this age to need up to 2 feedings at night especially if they are going through a growth spurt which he might have been as he was getting ready to crawl. I would try making the first feeding to be a full one and see if that helps to get him sleeping more through the night.

    Also, keep in mind, that with some babies, certain teeth won’t bother them as much as other teeth, especially when it comes to the molars coming in.

    Hang in there! You’re doing a great job and clearly your son is very much loved.

  2. Alison says

    Hi Nicole
    I’m finding your website very refreshing and helpful. My son is 6months old. he sounds exactly like your first son. I was at my wits end and asked friends for advice. one friend recommended a sleep trainer for us becasue it worked well for their daughter. My son is very active and alert, he is intense and perceptive ( I read your temperament article :). It did not work for us. I found it was too rigid and didn’t take into consideration unique situations. I found her cruel and insensitive and that all of his sleep problems were my fault. I’m sure some were but I was exhausted and depressed. My husband actually brought me to the clinic because I cried uncontrollably for 4 hours straight, becaue Ifelt like a horrible mother that this wasn’t working. What really got me was nap training. My son would sleep for 45 mins during his naps( he was 4.5 months at he time). I was told by her that I had to leave him in his crib for another hour so that he would learn to fall back asleep. If I even took him out once before that time he would know I wasn’tserious and it wouldn’t work. I did this for 5 weeks. I went in a couple of times to flip him over because he was crying so hard. I emailed her distressed and she told me my time with her was up and that I would have to start the training all over again because he would not take me seriously. So I tried one nap and I lost it, broke down crying uncontrollably called my husband who told me to leave the house with our son meet him at work and forget the training. I did what I felt was right for the next week and a half and he has slept each of his naps for an hour and a half for 5 days in a row.:)
    I was beside myself crying and feeling like a failure that it wasn’t working for him but it worked for my friends daughter. I can’t listen to him cry anymore. i’m actually seeing a therapist for anxiety around parenting that wasn’t there before I started this training.
    All of your advice just seems so sensitive and understanding. It was nice to hear that you had blips in the road as well. I amfeeling more confident as a mother and your site has helped me a lot. Thank you soooooo much.
    Here is our night blip;
    Right now we have gone back to nursing to sleep, well drowsy (really drowsy) but awake (sort of). my son who used to sleep for at least a 7-8 hour stretch then he would feed once and sleep until 6:30-7am got up 6 times last night.
    I don’t know what to do, do I let him cry it out again?
    He already has 2 teeth and he didn’t do this when they came out. COuld it be that he wants to practice crawling? I did find him in his crib on all fours laughing the other night at 4am. too cute.
    Not so cute that it happened every 1-2 hours last night though
    what to do?
    Would love some advice on this. Do I move his feeding to another time in the nightly routine?
    Thanks nicole, I hope my rant makes sense. I’m just so excited about your website and that I have an understanding place to share my concerns and problems. It seems liek a lot of mums I talk to aren’t going through the same things as me.

  3. Ashley says


    I want to thank you for your wonderful article and advice. Tonight is the first night that my husband and I are trying the Ferber method with our 9 month old son. We had gone back and forth about using this method due to the CIO approach. As my son’s bedtime drew nearner I was feeling like an awful mother knowing that I was about to let my precious little boy cry himself to sleep. I was really struggling with hearing him cry unitl I came across your article. When I finished reading your article I found myself crying with a sense of relief! Your words helped me to realize that I am not a bad or cruel mother. Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your story. I am going to share your article with every mother I know! Merry Christmas!

    P.S. Have you published a book that can be purchased at a book store? I would love to buy it!

    • Nicole says

      @Ashley I’m so glad this website has helped you! I have not published a book that you can buy at a bookstore, yet, but it’s a future plan of mine. 🙂 I hope it’s going well with your son’s sleep! Good luck!

  4. heather says

    your experience with your first son is almost identical to my experience with my own right now! thanks for sharing and giving me a little hope.

    week 3 of finally resorting to CIO and while it’s been better than him waking every single hour to nurse, it’s still not working and i’m at the end of my rope. he cries to sleep every single night and for every nap), and he also cries during nighttime sleep transitions to the point where i cave and go in and nurse him to sleep, where it starts the cycle all over again. i wonder if we should night wean him? right now we’re feeding him once at about midnight and then again at 5am. *sigh*

    anyway, thanks again
    .-= heather´s last blog ..hangin’ with charlie & august =-.

    • Nicole says

      @Heather Sorry you’re having a tough time! You didn’t say how old yours is, but two feedings sounds typical for 7 months and under (or so). I wish I could give more advice, but I’d need more detail. I hope it’s better by now. Good luck!

  5. Challene says

    Thank you so much for this article. My son will turn one on December 2 and I am having some sleeping issues that I need to face. When he was younger (before he could stand up) I used to swaddle him and he was able to go to sleep on his own just fine. He always woke up once or twice at night to nurse and he has slept through the night about a dozen times. But ever since he has been able to stand up, puting him down to fall asleep on his own has not worked, but that is because I haven’t let him cry it out or anything. I swore I would never rock him to sleep or any of that, but now he is almost a year old and here I am rocking him to sleep for both night sleeping and naps. He has also been sleeping in our room but in his crib at night. During his naps I put him in his crib to sleep. We are getting over sickness’ now and while he has been sick he has been co-sleeping with us. I feel like I am in such a bad position with all of this and all I want is for him to fall asleep on his own and to sleep in his own bed and room at night, all night. Doesn’t everyone want that? 🙂 I read what you wrote and I need to start puting him down to sleep before he falls asleep but drowsy. When I do, he immediatly gets up and starts crying. I have tried to let him cry it out but I didn’t try too hard. I felt guilty. I know I need to work on this, and it is my fault for not doing it. I have been waiting for all of us to be feeling better. Now it is time to do it and I just feel like I need to the support and determination. This needs to end sometime and I can’t wait any longer. He is already coming up on the year mark. If you have any suggestions, please help me. 🙂 Thank you for your info and your story. It has helped me and will motivate me to help my son so he can sleep better and then we can sleep better too! 🙂

    Thank you, Challene

    • Nicole says

      @Challene You’re welcome!! There is a lot in between rocking him to sleep and cry it out, so do try to start slower as you will be more likely to commit to it. I know how hard it is and I’m glad my story has motivated you! 🙂 Good luck!

  6. Caroline says

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!! It’s such a relief to hear we are not alone.

    • Nicole says

      @Caroline You’re very welcome!! 🙂

  7. becca says

    Hi Nicole. I can’t tell you how refreshing this website is to have come across. I have a son that is almost 5 months old and unfortunately I have been back at work for the last 2 months, my milk supply has dropped, and we have introduced formula/bottle. I already went through the guilt of this, but have come to terms with the fact that he will thrive physically and mentally just as well. About a month ago we introduced a bedtime routine and he goes to bed each night at 8pm. I felt good about accomplishing this. About 2 weeks ago we moved him from the bassinet by our bed to his own crib in a separate room, although this room is just a few feet from ours (feels like the same room). This was and still is an adjustment for him but I am convinced he enjoys it because he can roll around and be comfortable (he was growing out of the bassinet). Our doctor told us at 4 months that he is old enough, healthy enough, and weighs enough to let him get through the night without a feed. Since I have stopped breast feeding, we decided to only feed him once with a bottle when he woke up. I am not trying to get rid of this feeding. Since both my husband and I work full time and he continues to fuss and wake us up every 3 hours for COMFORTa nd won’t go easily back down (probably because i nixed the feeding), we feel that our household is falling apart. We have many arguments in the wee hours of the night and our patients in non-existence. I feel this is unfair for our son and the vibes in the house are not good. I got extremely overwhelmed when I began my research on sleep training. There is one extreme of putting the baby down in the crib at 7pm and not going back until 7am and this i do not agree with, nor can handle. The other extreme is to feed and comfort on demand, let the baby in the bed with you forever and ever, but this too I find does not work for us. I was happy to come across your approach because it seems to be working somewhat for us. Up until a week ago he always got rocked to sleep in our arms until he was in a deep sleep. I am now rocking him until he gets sleepy and putting him down. He looks at me like “what are you doing?” but I have noticed at day 4 he is slowly getting to sleep with a little bit of fussing and be reassuring him from his bed side. Then we did the cry out when he woke next, but in intervals, waiting 5 mins, 10 mins, 15 mins- and for two nights in a row, I did not have to go beyond 20 minutes- we all fell asleep and woke happy.
    UNTIL last night- augh. we did everything as usual but he woke at 2am and fussed, i did the 5 mintues, 10 minutes, 15 minutes and each time the cry got louder and more upsetting. I finally waiting 30 minutes and he was a mess. Let me also add that for the past 4 days i have NOT been picking him up from the crib, but soothing him with my hand and shhing and the pacifier. It got so bad last night that from 2-5am he was on and off crying. It was horrible. I was just about to pick him out of the crib at 5am when i just held his hand for 15 minutes and he went back to sleep for good. I can imagine why- it had been 3 hours of off and on crying.
    I feel HORRIBLE today. What went wrong? we were on a good flow and now this? He is just about 5 months, is this too long? i have some questions for you-
    is this too soon or should i keep it up even though this last night was so discouraging?
    is picking him up out of the crib going to naturally push us back?
    you say to do 5 min intervals each night, but lets say i made it to 30 mins last night, do i start with 30 mins tonight?
    we are unfortunately going away the next 2 weekends- is this going to throw things off?
    i just feel so defeated, yet i know this sleep is important for my son. i am already feeling guilty that i work full time and he loves day care more then me- but i am told this is a complex. i just don’t know if my timing is right on this sleep training.
    and lastly- if i am doing the cry-out method that is the one where i am still going in and comforting him without picking up vs. the one when i am not going in at all- will this take longer?
    thanks in advance for your reply. again, thank you for this article.

    • Nicole says

      @Becca (((HUGS))) It’s all so overwhelming. I fully disagree with your doctor and I know I am not a doctor, but I just don’t agree that all 5 month olds can necessarily go 12 hours without a feeding and many need 2, maybe even 3, feedings at this age. There are adults that don’t go 12 hours without eating, so I don’t know why we expect our babies to. So, I can imagine that when he was crying 2a-5a he was probably hungry. 🙁 Typically, when they are beside themselves, they are hungry. I also say that if baby wakes, cries/fusses, goes back to sleep and wakes again shortly (~20-30 minutes) he is hungry. In general, with cry it out, it takes a good 3-4 nights to see a lot of progress, but even then it’s not a cure-all for everyone. There will be good days and bad days, unfortunately. In general, doing check-and-console can take longer, but not usually, unless you’re my son. 😀 Lastly, don’t EVER EVER worry about your son loving daycare than you. We have a nanny and she sees the boys 40+ hours a week and they still prefer mommy and daddy. There is just something about mommy’s kisses and mommy’s hugs that can NEVER be replaced by another caretaker. Being a working mom I know all too well about the guilt, but I do also think we have very good quality time together because it’s that much more precious because we don’t have a lot of it. Hang in there! It will get easier. I promise!

  8. Jen says

    Thanks for this website Nicole. It’s nice to know other moms have experienced similar things… it’s true, parents of easy sleepers have NO idea what we go through, having a kid that just won’t sleep. My kid is exactly the same… no matter how much you soothe her, or how deeply she is asleep, she will often wake up the second you place her down in the crib. And then you have to start all over. It is incredibly frustrating. None of the “no-cry” methods ever worked for my daughter. She is now 7 months old.

    She was colicky in the beginning. We co-slept for a while, to try to get everyone more sleep, but then she started to wake up MORE often while cosleeping (like every hour… talk about sleep deprivation). We moved her to her crib and let her CIO at 4 and a half months of age, and after about a week of hell, it seemed she had finally figured out how to go to sleep on her own. But this past week we seem to have seen a relapse. She will go to sleep like usual, then wake up exactly 30 minutes later, crying for no apparent reason. If I then go in and nurse, she goes right back to sleep and sleeps for 8-10 hours straight. But some nights she, once again, wakes when placed in the crib and we have to no choice but to let her CIO again. I thought I was done with CIO after that week at 4 months old, which was just about the worst experience of my entire life. What could be causing a relapse now? I am putting her to bed between about 7:30-9:30 PM, is that too late at night? Also, how would naps affect nighttime sleep at this age? She takes only short naps — 30 minutes to an hour. I have been letting her take a short third nap around 4-5 PM, but she doesn’t always want it. Would love any suggestions you may have. Thanks!

    • Nicole says

      @Jen Cry it out wasn’t a cure-all for us either and it can be incredibly frustrating. They go through a lot the first year and developmental milestones can affect sleep as well as teething, etc. You didn’t mention how old your daughter is now, but yes, anything after 8pm can be late if she’s still really young. With my son, he always cried more when he was overtired. The better babies nap during the day, the better they sleep, usually. Hope this helps!

  9. Rachael says

    Hi there, i feel like a waited abit late to CIO with my first daughter, we did it the first time around 7 months and it worked quickly by day 4 she was a amazing sleeper sleeping all night from 7:30 then up at 7am but we quickly slipped back into old habbits as i was 5 months pregnant with my second daughter and it was easier to go into her room 5-6 times a night to give her a bottle and often just take her to our bed so we could get some sleep. now she is 11 nearly 1 year old and ive just had my second daughter and im tired and at my wits end really now we started the sleep training tonight and i put her down when she was really tired its taken nearly 3 hours for her to go to sleep, she gets upset easily but is very strong willed. just hoping its gets better because we all could use a great nights sleep haven’t had one in months, any suggestions on how to make this any better, need abit of support, and thank you for all the information, the best advice ive read on these websites, xx

    • Nicole says

      @Rachael I am familiar with strong-willed babies! I hope it has gotten better by now. 3 hours is LONG! But, I find once they become toddlers, it does get a bit tougher as their will only gets stronger. I’ve often had parents tell me they feel they waited too long even by 10 months old. With a newborn and a toddler, you definitely need to break the sleep associations. Make sure you give your daughter a lot more reassurance during the day as the transition with the baby might add some uneasiness. I’d probably have more suggestions if I knew more details, so I’ll just say hang in there and good luck!!!

  10. Ally says

    Hi Nicole,
    Thanks for all the great info. I started CIO with my 6 months old daughter last week. She was waking up 3 times a night and will fall asleep after breastfeeding. I did not night weaning (feeding her while asleep and slowly cut down the amount) Now i just put her down at 7:30am and feed her before I go to bed. It’s been 8 days now and she is doing well going to sleep on her own but she wakes up at 4am and cries an hour before going back to sleep (until 6or 7am). I am not sure at this juncture, if it’s better to switch method or to just stick it out. Why is it that she seems to know how to go to sleep on her own but can’t do it in the middle of the night? Would love any suggestions you have.

    • Nicole says

      @Ally 4-6 a.m. is the lightest sleep of the night, so this is a common complaint. It takes some practice for them to know how to fall back to sleep during their lighter sleep. 8 days of crying for an hour is a lot, though. Is that time for a feeding?