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Sleep Support for Babies, Infants and Toddlers

Katie  P.
KATIE P.
Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant
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Putting your baby back to sleep 5 or 6 times a night? Second guessing motherhood? Resenting your snoring husband while your baby is screaming? Join Katie Pitts, certified pediatric sleep consultant and learn how to help your whole family get a better night's sleep.

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KATIE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Early wake up
DANIELLE, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

My 10 month old has been sleeping through the night since she's been 3 months old.

For the last 8 weeks, her wake up time in the mornings has been getting earlier and earlier. She used to sleep until 7 a.m. Now it's anywhere between 4:15 and 5:30!

What's happened??

Katie
KATIE

Hi Danielle. What does her schedule during the day look like? It's possible she is getting too much daytime sleep. Also, what does her bedtime routine consist of?

DANIELLE

Hi!

She naps twice a day, anywhere between 40 minutes to an hour. Her bedtime is 6 pm.

I've tried to keep her up later but she's exhausted by 6 pm.

DANIELLE

Her routine is the same every night. A solid food dinner, pjs, calming story time and a bottle in my arms. I place her in her crib in her room and not a peep until 4:15-5:30.

Katie
KATIE

The time for the Q&A is over Danielle. If you'd like to speak more about your little one and learn some ways that I can help, I'd be happy to discuss it with you during a free 15 minute evaluation call: http://sleepwiseconsulting.com/free-15-minute-consultation/

KATIE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
I haven't slept in over two years. Help.
ERIN, PARENT OF 5 YEAR OLD

Hello! My 27-month-old has always been a terrible sleeper. He was still waking up 4-6 times per night at one-and-a-half years old. These days he's still waking up almost every night - typically 2-3 times per night. He cries for us to come get him. We've tried everything: ignoring him, doing the gentle CIO method, sitting by his crib, bringing him in our room etc. None of these methods have worked, even when we've done them for months on end for consistency. We have a bedtime routine we follow and put him to bed at the same time every night. Suggestions? I'm losing my mind ... especially now that we also have a 4-month-old.

Katie
KATIE

Hi Erin. I'm happy to help get your toddler on a great sleeping track. What is your schedule? Do you have a bedtime routine? If so, what is involved?

ERIN

I think I missed the end of the session, but if you happen to see this and can offer help offline (I'll pay for good help!) let me know. We eat dinner at 7:15-7:30, and then pajamas at 8:10, books from 8:15-8:30, then it's lights out. (We're on a later dinner schedule because my husband and I both work full-time in the city.)

Katie
KATIE

Hi Erin. Let's schedule a free 15 minute evaluation call. During this call, you can tell me more about your toddler and then we can talk about some additional options for support. Here is the link to book a call: http://sleepwiseconsulting.com/free-15-minute-consultation/

Our Q&A is now over!
TINYHOOD, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD

Thank you, Katie! Sleep Wise Consulting offers a variety of sleep services for babies through elementary-aged children including a free 15-minute consultation. Check out Katie’s profile for more info!

KATIE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Almost 9 month old; sleep regression and teething?
EMILY, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

My daughter goes to bed between 6:30-7pm and sleeps till 6ish am. I bring her into bed with me and she will sleep till 7:30-8am. Nap time is a 30 minute nap late morning and a longer nap anywhere from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours mid-afternoon. We tried cutting out the 3rd nap bc she was taking it late in the day (4-5pm) which was starting to interfere with bedtime. Sleeping takes place in her own room/crib, laying her down awake, wearing a sleep sack, sound machine, and pacifier. Now we are a bit thrown off. She has been waking up a lot. Usually replacing the pacifier does the trick. Naps have been thrown off too with her fighting/screaming/not sleeping for naps (use to be very easy). I am not entirely sure this is all due to teething. How does one get through teething and/or sleep regression at this stage?

Katie
KATIE

Hi Emily. I would begin with making her complete a full night of sleep in her crib - no more finishing the morning in your bed. This can be very confusing for babies and cause them to wake multiple times in the night, along with protesting napping, because they are looking to snuggle with mom. Next do 2 consistent nap times of 9:30 and 2:00/2:30 with bedtime 3.5 hours after she wakes from her last nap.

KATIE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
6 month old nap schedule
CHARISSA, PARENT OF 5 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD

Hi Katie I have a couple questions...
1-My just turned 6 month old has been taking great naps until about 2 weeks ago. She sleeps 7-7 without waking and was napping 8:30/9 for 1-1.5 hours, 11:30/12 for 1.5-2 hrs and cat nap around 4. This became about 30 min than lots of crying and fussing. During this time she also got a cold. The last 2 days she seems to be be back to normal but not sure if her schedule needs to change or if it was just the cold.
2- how long should she be awake for, age still seems best at 1.5-2hrs before nap.
3-she sleeps in the Merlin. How do you suggest transitioning and when?
Thank you

Katie
KATIE

Hi Charissa. I would recommend dropping the merlin at this point or it can become a sleep habit for her. As far as her schedule, most 6 month old babies are ready for 2 naps and need around 2.5 to 3 hours of awake time. An ideal schedule is generally 7:00 wake up, 9:30 - 11:00 nap, 2:00 - 3:30 nap and 7:00 bedtime.

CHARISSA

Great thank you! If she usually nurses at 2 how would you schedule nap/ feeding?

Katie
KATIE

7:00 wake up
7:15 nurse
9:30 nap
11:15 nurse
1:30 optional nurse
2:00 nap
3:45 nurse
7:00 nurse with bedtime routine

KATIE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Dealing with late night wake ups
STACEY, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD, 2 YEAR OLD

My son is turning two on Saturday. He has always been a bad sleeper, but has generally gotten slightly better with age. He'll often cry out randomly through the light then immediately roll over and fall asleep. In the past year or so he has started waking up between 12-5 am and stay awake 1-2hrs. He's mostly keep to himself - singing songs, talking, etc, only occasionally calling for us or needing intervention. The intervention times are hard, but more so it's that he's exhausted the next morning when we wake him for daycare. Secondly, I'm due in March and he'll be sharing a room with the baby - we're terrified of him waking her nightly with this! He's still in the crib (& likes it), bed around 7:30, and napping 1/day for 1.5-3hrs. And thoughts/advice are appreciated!!

ROSANNA

Following

Katie
KATIE

Hi Stacey. What time is his nap? What does your bedtime routine look like?

STACEY

His nap is at 12:30 or so daily -- this is the nap time for his class, but when he tends to be read for a nap regardless. At school he usually sleeps 1-2 hours, at home its usually 1.5-3 hours. We never let him sleep past 330, though thats rarely an issue. Bedtime routine has been the same since he was about 4 months, though times have changed over time - 5:30/6 Dinner and bottle, 6:30 Bath/potty/brush (not a bath every night), 7 reading, 7:30ish bedtime. He's great going to sleep - never any problem there. Sometimes he stays awake quietly for a bit (maybe 10-15 minutes) before falling asleep but no tears (except when we have to stop reading). He sleeps with a teddy, a stuffed excavator, and his ba-beep (blanket). Still sleeps with a paci though usually only uses it to fall asleep and then it falls out. We keep several in there so he doesn't have trouble finding another if he needs it at night.

Katie
KATIE

Hi Stacey. It's likely that the pacifier could be your culprit. Even though he has many in there, once he wakes in the night, by the time he feels around to find it, he has woken himself up enough where he is having trouble going back to sleep. I see this very often at this age. I would work on eliminating the pacifier and that should solve those night parties he is having!

STACEY

OK, we can certainly think about this, though usually when he is talking and singing and up during this time he has a paci either in his hand or his mouth.

Katie
KATIE

Yes, that's common and often why parents don't think it's the problem. It's the part before this that is your culprit...when he wakes, instead of quickly sliding to the next cycle, he has to find the pacifier. By the time he finds it, he has woken himself up too much to easily go back to sleep.

STACEY

Definitely willing to try it! Do you have recommendations on how to make that a smooth process for a 2 yo? I feel like the paci is the only thing that consistently helps him get to sleep and am scared of taking that away!

Katie
KATIE

Unfortunately, there isn't a quick tip for getting rid of the pacifier at this age. I generally recommend cold turkey but there can be a lot of tears which is why this is exactly what I see in my private consults. I definitely can help you through the journey though if that is something that interests you. Here is a link to book a call with me to talk about the process: http://sleepwiseconsulting.com/free-15-minute-consultation/

KATIE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Skipping Second Nap When Waking Later in the AM
BECKY, PARENT OF 6 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD, 19 MONTH OLD, 19 MONTH OLD

Hi Katie! My son is 13 months and we sleep trained him around 8 months so he goes down for naps without a problem and sleeps through the night. He typically wakes up between 5:30 and 6am and goes down for his first nap from 8am-10am and second nap around 2pm for 1-1.5 hours. Bedtime is around 6:30/7pm.

All of that works well, except when he wakes up at 6:30/7am. I love when he "sleeps in" but then his second nap gets messed up. His first nap gets pushed from 9-11am and then his second nap almost never happens. I try to put him down closer to 3pm but he just screams or plays for awhile but doesn't sleep. Then he seems super tired in the evening and we put him down earlier for bedtime.

Any thoughts on how we can get him to still take his second nap? Should we wake him early from his first nap or maybe push his first nap later and have him take one big nap?

Thank you!

Katie
KATIE

Hi Becky! It's likely he is getting ready for the 1 nap transition! Here is an article to help with this change: http://sleepwiseconsulting.com/article-02/ In general, you will want to push his first nap later and then do an early bedtime :)

Congrats on having a great sleeper!

BECKY

I would love it if that is the case. Thank you!

KATIE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
4.5 months - no rhyme or reason
MERLE, PARENT OF 5 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD

My 4.5 month old has the most unpredictable sleep. Naps are either too long or too short or just right at various times of the day, each day. Her night wakings are totally random. Sometimes she'll sleep 8-4 and wake-up again 5:30-6...other days she'll have her first wake-up at 12 or 1 or 2. This can be with a nap from 4-5 or a catnap at 7. There's just no rhyme or reason - is this normal?

Katie
KATIE

Hi Merle. This is normal for a newborn but not necessarily for a 4.5 month old. It's likely that your little girl is relying on sleep props to fall asleep. A sleep prop is anything external a baby uses to fall asleep and stay asleep. This can be nursing, bottle, rocking, bouncing, or even patting her bottom. When are little one's rely on props to fall asleep, they have a hard time taking full naps and also sleeping through the night. In order to get her on a consistent sleeping pattern, you will want to work on putting her down 100% wide awake during all sleeping situations. If you need help getting rid of the props, I'd be happy to discuss it with you during a free 15 minute evaluation: http://sleepwiseconsulting.com/free-15-minute-consultation/

KATIE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
9 month split night
ROSANNA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

The last couple of weeks my 9mo old has been waking up and staying awake for a couple of hours in the middle of the night. He's never been easy to settle, but it seems to be worse than ever. He goes to bed around 7pm and I nurse to sleep but he wakes up and cries multiple time before finally staying asleep so he's not actually in bed until 8 or 8:30, sometimes later (absolutely will to go to sleep by himself). Now the same thing is happening during this 'midnight waking' (previously used to fall asleep easier during the night). He looks like he's asleep but the second I move he opens his eyes and screams when I lay him down, often rolling over and getting into crawling position or sitting up. He's now waking up later in the morning too, pushing naps later yet still getting tired at the same time in the evening. I tried extending his bedtime, but it's exhausting and stressful for both of us cos he's miserable by that time of day. What's causing these night wakings and how do I eliminate them?

KRISTIN

Following

Katie
KATIE

Hi Rosanna. I'm sorry for the delay in response. It sounds like your little guy is relying on a nursing sleep prop. A sleep prop is anything external a baby uses to fall asleep and stay asleep. When they rely on a prop and wake in the middle of the night, they need that prop replaced or have no idea how to fall back asleep. In some cases, they wake themselves up enough that they have trouble falling back asleep by the time the prop is replaced. In order to eliminate the night wakings, you will want to put your little guy down in his crib 100% wide awake so he can learn his own self-soothing skills. Move nursing to the first part of the bedtime routine. If you need help eliminating these props, I'd be happy to speak with you about some ways I can help during a free 15 minute evaluation call: http://sleepwiseconsulting.com/free-15-minute-consultation/

KATIE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Naps for 5 month old
MEGHAN, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD, 16 MONTH OLD

Thank you for your expertise, Katie!

Our almost-5 month old has always been a catnapper (30 minutes). Maybe once a week, her first nap will be ~1 hour+. She sleeps in a dark nursery in her Magic Merlin with white noise.

1) Will her naps ever get longer? I've been leaving her in the crib for 15 minutes after she wakes up, but she gets pretty mad...

2) I don't keep her awake for more than 2 hours - this works well. But, I'd like to move her to a "by the clock" schedule for naps, because I'm going back to work soon. I'm nervous to stretch her wakeful periods (and risking overtiredness) if she's only having catnaps. Any advice?

The good news: she sleeps through the night and didn't have a 4 month sleep regression... so if this is the trade off, I guess we'll take it.

Many thanks :)
Meghan

KRISTIN

Following

Katie
KATIE

Hi Meghan! Does she have a naptime routine? What has to happen at naps in order for her to fall asleep?

MEGHAN

Hi - we change her diaper, put her in the Merlin, get white noise going, and sing while lightly bouncing on an exercise ball. She's able to put herself to sleep drowsy, but awake - she just can't make it past 30 minutes.

Katie
KATIE

I would work on putting her down completely awake. Drowsy at this stage is likely your problem. She is waking after 30 minutes needing you to get her drowsy again. Everything else looks perfect! Don't settle for short naps - there is always an option :) If you take away the drowsy part and still aren't noticing improvement, I'd be happy to discuss it further with you during a free 15 minute evaluation call: http://sleepwiseconsulting.com/free-15-minute-consultation/