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Sleep: Baby's First Year

Vanessa V.
VANESSA V.
Child Sleep Consultant
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Having difficulty decoding your little one's sleep habits? You're certainly not alone. Troubleshoot your family's current routine with the help of Tinyhood Sleep Consultant, Vanessa Vance.

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VANESSA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Baby Self-Soothing
ELLEN, PARENT OF 5 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD

Hi - my son is 10 months old and he has been a challenging sleeper since the beginning. The main issue has been that once he is awake, sometimes he gets so worked up and upset, that he cannot calm and go back to sleep without a lot of work. I got him to take the pacifier early on which helped him. He started sleeping through the night at 7 months and would find his pacifier in the crib. I took the pacifier away (regrettably) about a month ago and gave him a small blanky / lovey thinking he would find that comforting. Instead he wakes up and cannot soothe - he's not really into the lovey. This happens at various points in the day too - he gets so worked up he has a hard time calming down. The only thing that works is nursing at this point. I am still nursing him and he loves it, he begs for it when we sit together. Nursing is the only thing I have to soothe him now and I am starting to create bad habits again with nursing at night / having him in bed with me. Any tips on how to help a baby self-soothe?

Vanessa
VANESSA

Hi Ellen,
I am sorry your son is having changes in his sleep. You didn't overtly say this -- I assume he will not take the pacifier back now? You already tried to give it back to him?

I don't blame him, it sounds divine for HIM. Mom, breast, and family bed. Why would he like the pacifier any more? I am being a bit dramatic here...but you get my point. Try removing all of these incredible things and STAY with being consistent. Just offer the pacifier. If he doesn't want the pacifier, then, my best advice is to sleep train. Have you done sleep training before with him?

Here is a blog post about the methods: http://www.weebeedreaming.com/my-blog/sleep-coaching-methods

This is a great tool for sleep averages: http://www.mybabysleepguide.com/2013/02/average-sleep-charts-by-age.html

Keep me posted!
Vanessa

VANESSA ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Sleeping during the day, not at night.
TINA, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My son will be 7 weeks old tomorrow. We have struggled with sleeping the past week or so. We bath him at 7 pm, dress him for bed, feed him and put him down to sleep. He usually will sleep for 1 hour starting at 8 pm. By 9 pm, he’s wide awake and fussing. Last time for example, he was up almost all night. The only time he was asleep was when I finally put him on my chest for 1 hr and 40 minutes. Today he’s making it up by sleeping. How do I undo this new cycle and keep him up and alert during the day and sleep at night?

We live in NYC and the weather does not permit outdoor walks Or much light exposure. The living room is bright and I keep him here during the day. Bedtime is in the bedroom with dimmed lights and white noise.

If he stays up during he night, should I keep him up during the day?

Thoughts?

Vanessa
VANESSA

Hi Tina!! you are on the cusp of a very big change in your son's life. Night time sleep will begin to organize around 8 weeks of life. It is typical to have a very early bedtime of 7pm (finished routine) and sleep 4-5 hours of sleep solidly. example 7pm - 12am.

Currently, it is normal to not have any organization to sleep (more sleep during day or night can be common, short naps, erratic sleeping). This will change soon.

Around 8 weeks is a common evening fussiness peak. Avoid this fussiness by offering an earlier bedtime of as early as 6 pm/7 pm. It is known as the purple crying period. http://purplecrying.info/what-is-the-period-of-purple-crying.php

Here are some additional resources:
1. http://www.mybabysleepguide.com/2013/02/average-sleep-charts-by-age.html
2. DVD - teaches soothing and swaddle. happiest baby on the block by Dr. Karp
3. DVD Dunstan Baby Language. helps you "hear" what your baby is telling you.

zzzzz, Vanessa