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Infant Sleep 101

Vanessa V.
VANESSA V.
Child Sleep Consultant
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Don't know what's normal when it comes to your little one's sleep patterns? Let's talk!

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VANESSA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Night time sleep
BAILEY, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My baby girl is 4 weeks old and is breastfeeding. Once night time comes around she does not like to get off my nipple. She will fall asleep, be passed out and once I hand her off to dad or try and put her down she instantly wakes up. So I’ve been sleeping on the couch sitting up while she lays on my chest after being done on the nipple. Is there any techniques I can try to get her to sleep without being stuck to me?

Vanessa
VANESSA

Hi Bailey, Welcome to the Tinyhood Q and A! Be sure to watch the Happiest Baby on the Block DVD, by Dr. Harvey Karp. I like the Dunstan Baby Language DVD too. It helps you figure out what the baby is asking for! burping, hungry, tired. Also, offering naps frequently - keeping awake times low (around 60 minutes). Check out the mybabysleepguide.com sleep averages chart. This will show you to offer naps frequently.

It is normal for the baby to have nights and days confused. How do we help you be safe at night? You have to follow her schedule. Rest when she rests. And sleep when she sleeps. This time will help you be rested and safe enough to be alert at nighttime.

This is a great time to have your partner do some baby massage to relax and calm the baby back to sleep. You can't do everything : recover from birth, take care of a baby, not sleep, breastfeed, cook and clean. Hand the baby off to your partner. Try the baby carrier for your partner to relax the baby back to sleep. Try different things to soothe, not just the breast: Bounce on the exercise ball, do the 5 S's from the DVD listed first, pacifier, car ride, stroller ride.

Letting the baby fall asleep on your chest is a HUGE risk for the baby. My pediatrician said it was the number one way babies suffocate or get entrapped. It is safer to put the baby down in the crib/bassinette, and let them fuss for 5 minutes. then have your partner pick them up if they didn't settle on their own. So, for the safety of your baby, DO NOT hold them and let them fall asleep on your chest, when you are not alert and able to supervise them. A famous SIDS advocate did this and he was a Cardiologist. His child died from SIDS this way.

BAILEY

Thank you. I appreciate all the feedback. Your tips are helpful and I’ll be sure to follow them

Vanessa
VANESSA

You are VERY welcome! It is a pleasure to chat with you!

VANESSA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
8 month old twins kid sleep schedule
BIANCA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD

Hi, I got some advice yesterday and made some adjustments to their schedule. Basically went back to their original schedule. 630 wake up, 9 AM first nap, 1:30 PM second nap, and bed time 6pm with them sleeping 1.5 per nap. Well they decided to wake early from their first nap but I managed to put them in their cribs a bit earlier and baby girl slept 1:10 to 2:10 and baby boy played around till 1.29pm. So I let him sleep till 2.30. What should I do for bedtime have them wait till 6pm. It will put both of them over 3 hours wake time? Should I hold them to the schedule or to the hours between from DWT? Also if one or both wake four hour before wake time do I try to put them back to bed?

Thanks

Vanessa
VANESSA

Hello Bianca! Welcome to the Tinyhood Q and A. Looks like you got wonderful guidance yesterday. You can use an emergency early bedtime of 5 pm or 5:30pm when the naps are not enough to get them to a normal waketime. More later from me :)

BIANCA

Thank you. I hope baby girl doesn’t get up too early.

Vanessa
VANESSA

Bianca, With Babies we follow the quote: sleep begets sleep. dr. Weissbluth. early to bed = less overtired babies. Fill up that sleep tank with more sleep. When they are getting wonderful sleep...you will find them even, extra sleepy during the daytime. All normal and part of the process

BIANCA

Okay, so would I follow the hours between sleep not exceeding 3 hours or just set sleep/nap times and if they have rough naps let the go to bed early?(example: wake 6:30, 9 nap 1, 1:30 nap 2, bed 3 hours after wake up?) ( and if so how do I figure out how early to put them to bed. My apologies in advance I’m very detail oriented and like this to fit in the box ( it’s rough knowing that babies will keep things out of the box)

Vanessa
VANESSA

Hi Bianca, Which Sleep Training Method are you using? Extinction, Timed Checks or Chair Method? Are you following the Crib 1.5 hour rule for naps? Are they together in the same room?

BIANCA

I guess mostly Extinction, I did sleep training note really know about the methods. In the beginning I did do checks but for the most part stayed out. Up until yesterday they were sleeping 1.5 for naps so I didn’t really “do crib hour”. They are in the same room and so are my husband and I. (Don’t have another room). Yesterday I got baby girl as baby boy didn’t fall asleep till 20 minutes after baby girl and did want her to wake him.

Vanessa
VANESSA

Bianca, Try to use a sound machine near you as parents. Another sound machine near the babies. Place a visual divider between you and the babies - sheet tacked to ceiling or a foldable room divider (3 panels).

Naps - it takes 2 weeks after you start nap training to begin to see his effects. Crazy? right? If you respond consistently, they will act consistently. With twins, things can take some time to come together with naps. If you give them "crib 1.5 hour" for naps for a month == you will have the naps you want for them.

Vanessa
VANESSA

In general, I would try to let them get used to each other's noises (cries and sounds). I would leave them. Let them wake each other up and give them a chance to self-soothe back to sleep with the influence of each other's noises.

However, I don't live with you! hahah. If that suggestion sounds crazy. Just do the above for night time. Some twin parents separate twins for naps (one in dining room &one in bedroom.) Just depends on how you want to approach it initially. You know them best. Just know that you are teaching them something when you enter the room and rescuing one. I wouldn't keep going in and rescuing one for more than a month. You are not technically nap training if you pull one twin out. Just something to think about. As always, prevent overtired babies. You find the best path for you and your family.

BIANCA

I will do that.
For the most part I do let them figure it out in the beginning of naps but would get the on that woke early. So I will just leave them in the room for the full 1.5.
Does the wake time between naps and bed need to be adjusted if they wake early or should I just let them stay up till the schedule nap time if they wake early? And would I do the same for bedtime or would that be the one time I adjust the schedule. A few weeks again I felt we had a good routine, I did follow a 2.5/3/3.5 but then a few weeks ago they started getting up super early. So that’s when I started to change things thinking that there schedule was wrong (as some said it was off and it sounded like they were overtired).

BIANCA

Okay, I guess if I’m doing crib time there will be not time adjusting. Thank you for your guidance. I will try this and keep you posted.

VANESSA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
4am wake ups!
MEGHA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD, 12 MONTH OLD

Good morning. My 4.5 month old is waking up EVERY MORNING at 4a. He’s wide awake and ready to party. He has a three nap a day routine ranging from 1-2 hours and eats about 30-35 ounces of formula a day. He is in bed with a routine of bath/bottle/book/bedtime every day around 6:30-7p, i hope him about 10 min with a shush and pat and he’s asleep! We dream feed around 11p and then he’s up again around 2:30a, then he’s able to be soothed quickly without a bottle (not sure if i need to be giving one now, he’s not sucking his hand or crying). I have given him a bottle before and he would sleep, but wake again Around 4a! Every morning.... 4a I keep the room dark, don’t talk to him, I shush and pat.... nothing. He gets quiet but doesn’t sleep. I’ve also tried feeding him then - nothing. He’s just up. I don’t wanna get him used to me holding him but it would easily be over an hour of patting and holding until he got drowsy enough to sleep. I don’t want to leave him be either because then he over tires and messes up the rest of his day. I am trying to stay consistent.... help.

Vanessa
VANESSA

Hi Megha, You are an awesome teacher of sleep!! He is so lucky to have a mom so focused on keeping him rested. A couple of tips for you: if you can move the bottle before the bath, this will reduce the suck to sleep association, try letting him fall asleep without the shh patting at bedtime, skip dream feeds after 4 months old. You need to lay him down awake a 2 -3 rating on a scale of 10 of 10 being in a deep sleep and 0 being wide awake. How he falls asleep at bedtime is very important. If he can do it by himself at bedtime, he is better able to transition through the sleep cycles. This means removing parent driven sleep associations. Start at the first nap of the day.

I didn't answer your 4 am question. Removing dream feeds after 4months of age and falling asleep by himself quiet, yet awake need to be addressed first. If you give the first feed, sometime after midnight and the sleep is solid, it will inform the second part of the night of sleep. Translation: sleep from 6:30pm -12am solid with no interruptions, helps the second part of sleep be easier.

MEGHA

Thank you! Does that mean increase his volume during the day??? He gets 5oz every 3 hours and usually seems full around 30-35 ounces. If his first feed is 12a.... then 7/10/1/4/7 should get him to 30oz. We will drop the dream feed tonight and start the 2-3 rating of sleep starting tomorrow. But if he cries, do I let him? Bottle then bath. Got it!


Hopefully that works. Thanks again!

Vanessa
VANESSA

Assess hunger during the day. Check with the pediatrician if you have any questions on feeding volumes. Generally, the max a baby can intake is 32 oz per day. If the growth chart is going well, just follow the lead of the baby about hunger during the day.

Vanessa
VANESSA

Sleep training is how you teach him to self soothe at night, when he cries

Vanessa
VANESSA

http://www.weebeedreaming.com/my-blog/sleep-coaching-methods
pick a method to teach sleep via sleep training with this blog post

MEGHA

Thank you! I was trying to avoid tears but I may have to do it! Otherwise ill be the one always crying!

VANESSA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
No sleep at night
JISSETTE, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

My 2 mom old baby sleeps great during the day he falls asleep in his crib no pacifier no rocking all on his own but at night he wont go to sleep at all ive try to always keep lights off no talking at night time but he wont go to sleep and when he would fall asleep as soon as I put him in his bed be wakes up is like if I have a different baby at night time lol this is stressing me out what can I do to help him sleep at night is there a routine I can do to help him fall asleep at night ??

Vanessa
VANESSA

Hello Jissette, Welcome to the Tinyhood Q & A. It is normal for babies to have their days and nights confused. Was your baby preterm or early? Typically, you will notice the nighttime sleep begin to organize around 8 weeks or when the social smile emerges. You will notice that the bedtime begins to move earlier 6-7-8pm and you can get one predictable sleep stretch of 4-6 hours of sleep beginning at bedtime. Please put yourself to bed early with the baby. Or you will miss the 4-6 hours of solid sleep too.

In the 4th trimester, try to be more go with the flow - follow the baby's cues and rhythms.
Rest when the baby rests. Sleep when the baby Sleeps. It will all add up to preventing you and the baby from being overtired.

My favorite resources for this time period are the Happiest baby on the Block DVD, Dunstan Baby Language and the mybabysleepguide.com - sleep averages chart. Offer naps per the wake time on the sleep averages chart.

This is a time period to bond, recover from birth, and enjoy those cuddles. As a skill to build on---when the social smiles emerges/around 8 weeks, try laying the baby down quiet yet awake (1st nap of the day). Keep adding more and more naps. Also, Try it at bedtime. This is a great time to introduce the crib and their own room, b/c they are ready to follow cues.

Congratulations!

VANESSA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
4 month old waking up every 1.5 at night
LAURA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

My baby has never sleept thought the night; but around 3 months we had a couple of good nights waking up at 2 am; feeding and then at 5 :30 wpuld completly wake up. I have tried not to breastfeed him evwry time that he wokes up but nothing else seem to work. Please let me know if you got any advice.

I'm supplementing with formula and thinking on introducing solids soon, he seems to be hungry all night.

Vanessa
VANESSA

Hello Laura, Thanks for joining us at the Q & A with Tinyhood. Here is a wonderful link that will help you understand why your little one keeps waking up every 1.5 hours at night.
https://www.sleepbabylove.com/4-month-sleep-regression-suck/

Vanessa
VANESSA

His brain is advancing. This is why you are seeing major changes in his sleep. It is a wonderful time to teach sleep training. If you use sleep training to teach him how to self-soothe, he will learn to sleep longer at night. You can still keep up to 2 feeds per night: after midnight and between 4-5 am, if you and the pediatrician are comfortable with this plan.

VANESSA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Wont sleep at night!
JOHANA RAMOS, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

Hi there I have a three week old baby girl! She is my first! What can I do for her to sleep more at night! She does not like to be put down but falls asleep on me in seconds! I dont know what to dooooo!!!!!

Vanessa
VANESSA

Hi Johana, Congratulations on your baby girl and becoming a mother! Welcome to the Tinyhood Q and A. You are in the thick of it -- for sure! Everything she is doing is so normal. Sleep is very unpredictable at this point. Offer her a nap every 45-60 minutes. Rest when she is resting/sleep when she is sleeping = you closing your eyes for 30 minutes and letting the laundry, dishes, chores pile up. Preventing her and you from being overtired is the key to success.

JOHANA RAMOS

So she went to sleep like at 9 am woke ap at 1 i change her diper and she went back to sleep on her baby crib with no work or trouble. I think she can sleep all day if i let her. But i think because if that at night she is not that sleepy anymore and it takes lots of work to put her down to sleep! During the day she dies not have to be on me but i night she wont let go!

Vanessa
VANESSA

Some resources to help the 4th trimester be easier for you -- watch the Happiest Baby on the Block DVD by Dr. Harvey Karp. It is available at the library, half priced books, and on amazon. Ask on FB mom groups if anyone has one you can borrow. It teaches soothing methods and swaddle methods.

Vanessa
VANESSA

more to come soon. :)

Vanessa
VANESSA

Day and night confusion lasts until around 8 weeks. After 8 week of age, if you offer an early bedime (6pm - 10 pm), you will get 4-6 hours of predictable sleep at the beginning of the night. This is when night sleep organizes. 4-6 hours is considered sleeping through the night at 8 weeks old. It is imperative you sleep during the first part of her night after 8 weeks.

Vanessa
VANESSA

She sounds like she is an amazing day sleeper. It is normal for her to be sleeping more during the day at this age. This will keep on happening until 8 weeks - 16 weeks.

Vanessa
VANESSA

Check out the mybabysleepguide.com sleep averages chart. it will tell you what is normal for her age. Another resource to get at the library or from a FB mom group would be the Dunstan baby language DVD http://www.dunstanbaby.com/. I have seen it occasionally at 1/2 priced books. Also, on Amazon. The DVD goes over different sounds that help you figure out if you need to burp, feed, offer sleep, is it gas keeping them up.

Vanessa
VANESSA

Let me know if you have any other questions. I just want to reassure you that you should feel so proud of her and amazed by her! Grab those cuddles while they last, it is much less cuddling after they are 4 months old.

JOHANA RAMOS

Omg THANKS FOR ALL THE INFO!!! Amazing tips!

VANESSA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
8 month old
MEGHAN, PARENT OF 8 YEAR OLD, 5 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD

My almost 8 month old has started waking at 1am. I give home a bottle and he goes back to bed. He wakes again around 6:30. I usually put him to bed at 7. Any ideas how I can start avoiding this becoming a major pattern?

MEGHAN

Him not home.

Vanessa
VANESSA

Hey Meghan! Welcome to the tinyhood Q and A on sleep. What was the pattern like before recently? Does your 8 month old have any history with sleep training? if so, tell me which method you used.

Vanessa
VANESSA

An 8 month old is typically awake for 2 hours and 15 minutes - 3 hours before they need a nap. Naps typically happen at 9 am and 1 pm. Bedtime is anywhere from 6 pm - 8 pm, depending on his afternoon mood. Is he tired? Move bedtime earlier. 7 pm is a great bedtime for his age. Typical 8 months old have 0 - 1 feed per night.

How do we reduce one of the bottles down? or both bottles to 0 feeds at night? Through teaching self soothing via sleep training AND being consistent most of the time after sleep training. (follow the 80%/20% rule - go out to a wedding once per month and be late for bedtime and be off on the nap time once per week. If you vary more offen than that, sleep issues can arise).

MEGHAN

No sleep training. He has always been a fine sleeper. Naps usually in the am then again in the afternoon, one might be shorter than the other. We are pretty consistent about bedtime and routine pretty much bc i need him in bed before baths for my other two. Only thing I have noticed is that since he started eating solids he has been thrown off a little, he'd wake earlier in the am etc. not sure if he's hungrier?

MEGHAN

Everything you listed is pretty in line with him. I don't want to put him to bed earlier than 630-7 though bc I'm scared he'd wake super early. He eats dinner with us around 530-6. Should he be eating more food? Is that why he's waking?

Vanessa
VANESSA

Hi Meghan, Before I answer your questions about food. Can you tell me about how his sleep used to be? What do you think changed? Does he fall asleep quiet yet awake at bedtime? I need to get a sense of what happened before and what is happening now.

The drive to sleep is greater at night and the drive to eat is greater during the day, after 4 months. It is unlikely solids related. Also, how many oz per day is he eating/ how many breastfeeding sessions during the daytime is he having?

VANESSA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Too many wake-ups
FERNANDA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

My baby is 4 months old and still waking up a lot at night. When can I expect that she will sleep through the night?

Vanessa
VANESSA

Hi Fernanda! Thanks for joining us for the Q & A session. Every baby has a slightly different plan. Some start to sleep through the night at 4 months. Many do no require night feeds after 9 months

Vanessa
VANESSA

Fernanda, does your baby fall asleep at bedtime in a quiet, yet awake state? On a scale of 0= wide awake to 10= deep sleep....how sleepy is your little one when they lay down at bedtime? What sleep aids do you use to relax your baby at bedtime? (feeding, breast feeding, pacifier, rocking, shhhh, patting, etc)