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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!
New Baby Coming
ZANDRA, PARENT OF 5 YEAR OLD

My 18 month old cosleeps and we have a new baby due in 2 weeks or less. Is it too late to move him to his own bed? If not what's the best way to move him? And he also takes forever to fall asleep we lay down with him. Any tips on getting him down faster. Thank you.

Katie
KATIE

Hi Zandra. Ensuring that he has a good schedule is a great place to start. A wonderful schedule for an 18 month old is 7:00 am wake up, 12:00 - 2:00/3:00 nap, bedtime at 7:30. If the baby is coming in less than 2 weeks, I would either start TONIGHT to make sure he has enough time to adjust to his new sleeping space or wait to move him to his own bed because you do not want him to feel like he is being replaced by the new baby within a few days. I would wait until the baby has been home for a month or so and then make a big deal about your little guy getting his own room and own crib. Make sure that you stick 100% consistent. So if he needs to fall asleep in his own bed, it's important that he stays in his own bed the whole night. Here are some tips to help you get started: http://sleepwiseconsulting.com/free-download/

KATIE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
5 month old not sleeping
SHRUTI, PARENT OF 6 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD

My 5 month old is having a real hard time falling asleep and staying asleep at night. He is also not a great napper during the day. He probably only gets about 7 hours at night with frequent awakenings. He is recovering from a nasty bout of RSV and has been very congested and coughing for the past few weeks. Also he is on the smaller side, so I always nurse him when he wakes up so as to not deprive him the nutrition I think he needs. Thanks for your advice!

Katie
KATIE

Hi Shruti. It's possible to still teach your little one healthy sleep habits while allowing feedings at night. You will want to wait until he is healthy before you begin. Having a bedtime routine and ensuring that your little guy is not overtired will be a great place to start. Here is a link to download some of my best tips: http://sleepwiseconsulting.com/free-download/

KATIE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Never the right time to sleep train 7mo with lots of wake ups!
AROW, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD

Hello! Our 7mo daughter was a relatively great sleeper until she got a terrible cold and cough from daycare at 6months and simultaneously started rolling onto her tummy at night. She panics on her tummy and isn't able to roll from tummy to back so screams about half of the time, the other half she goes back to sleep.

She goes to bed by 7pm. Our nights typically have at least a few wake ups starting around midnight. It's completely unpredictable, and many times she is up on her arms, looking trapped on her tummy, wailing at the top of her lungs. Then she wakes up at 4, whimpers for an hour/wakes up and falls asleep until 5am when I feed her. I nurse her to back sleep and then she wakes for the day at 715.

The past few days she has been waking up at 1130 pm screaming bloody murder for an hour or more. We're at my in-laws for the next week with many relatives and small children. :/

We haven't sleep trained her out of this phase because it never seems to be the right time. Her nose is constantly blocked with the cold so she can't breathe, her coughs are really bad and wake her up, and she sometimes HATES her tummy and can't roll over from it, plus she hasn't gotten any teeth yet so we never know is she may be teething or not.

When/how do we sleep train knowing this will be a baby that will cry for hours unless we soothe her, that she is still sick and likely will be for the foreseeable future (daycare), and teething is hovering in the near future?

And in the meantime, what do we do to survive to the next week/few weeks?

Thank you!

Ps I only nurse her to sleep at the 5am feed. She is 50th percentile for height and weight. She sleeps in a sleep sack in her own room and we put her down with a wubanub which she can put in her own mouth at night. We have a white noise machine, blackout curtains, and a humidifier.

AROW

And she takes 2-3 naps during the day. She either goes right to bed or cries for 20 mins

Katie
KATIE

Hi Aimee. Okay - first, as far as the rolling, the best thing to help with this is to practice practice practice! Have tummy time and practice rolling both ways at least 10 minutes 3 times per day. Once she can roll both ways, things will get easier. You are right that you don't want to sleep train her when she is sick. Find (or make) a time when you have at least 2 weeks of as much normal activity as possible and start the sleep training process. You will want to pick a sleep training method you feel comfortable with and stick with it 100%! The hardest thing you can do for a baby is have them cry for a long period of time and then go in and soothe them to sleep - it's conditions the baby to cry a very long time to get what she wants, which is an unfair message to give her. If you need help with the sleep training process, I'd be happy to talk about some ways that I can help during a free 15 minute evaluation call: http://sleepwiseconsulting.com/free-15-minute-consultation/

As far as right now, ensure that she isn't overtired. She should be going to bed around 3 hours after she wakes from her last nap. Staying consistent with how you respond at your in-laws, even if you know that's not the way you want it to stay, will be helpful is creating a consistent message for her.

KATIE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Nightmares/Night Terrors?
PAULA, PARENT OF 6 YEAR OLD

Hi Katie,

My daughter is around 2.9 years and has been waking up in the middle of the night screaming about something for the past few weeks. I am not sure if its nightmares or night terrors but she doesn't seem to be awake. She will just start screaming "No, no, I don't want to...." Sometimes its something that happened that day like she didn't want us to turn off a tv show at noon and then at 3am she is screaming it and other times we cannot figure out what she is saying. Sometimes she is still laying down and others she is sitting straight up but her eyes are still closed. We have let it go and she has fallen back to sleep for the night and other times it happens 4-5 times a night. Some of the parents have suggested keeping a journal so i can try to figure out what is causing it which I have but I am not seeing a pattern just yet. Should I try to clam her and risk waking her or do I leave her be? Any suggestions on what this could be and how to deal with it would be great! Thanks!

Katie
KATIE

Hi Paula. Night terrors are different from nightmares in both the experience and symptoms. When a child is experiencing a night terror, she may scream and appear anxious and often not recognize you when you approach her. She could be sweating and have a racing heartbeat. The child is often inconsolable. The terror typically lasts between 5-15 minutes and then subsides. It’s typically more upsetting for the parent than the child because the child does not usually remember them. These can occur if your little one is working on a developmental milestones. Your toddler is also more likely to have night terrors if either parent had them or a partial arousal sleep disorder such as sleep walking. The most common cause is sleep deprivation. Traveling to a new time zone, moving to a new home, sleep apnea, fevers or a later bedtime can also be a cause.
Here are a few tips. If your child is having a night terror, monitor the child but avoid interfering as this can worsen the episode. Make sure your child is physically safe. Put your child to bed earlier. Keep a regular schedule for your child. Don’t talk about the terror with your little one in the morning.

KATIE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Transfer to the crib
MARGARITA, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD

How can i teach my 17 month old who still breastfeeds and sleeps with me to sleep on her own without crying? I'm a single mom and by the time its timw to sleep the last thing I can manage is her crying. Help, I miss my sleep.

Katie
KATIE

Hi Margarita. Unfortunately, there isn't an easy quick answer here...and this question goes beyond our simple Q&A; however, that doesn't mean there isn't a solution. You will have to commit to a few long nights but by night 3, you should have a great little sleeper. You will want to pick some type of sleep training method that you feel comfortable with and stick to it 100%. Here is a resource guide with some of my best tips to help you get started: http://sleepwiseconsulting.com/free-download/

KATIE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
5 am wakeup
SARAH, PARENT OF 10 YEAR OLD

Oh and one more thing! My 4 month old goes to bed around 8 pm and keeps waking up around 5 am. She's someone's able to resettle herself, but any tips to avoid that? (I can't get back to sleep at that time even when she does!). Thank you!

Katie
KATIE

Please add this question to your previous question thread.

KATIE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
4 mth old won't nap
AK, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

Hi! My 4 mth old sleeps straight through the night like 9-7 but he hardly naps. He might cat nap for 10-15 min if he falls asleep eating but our pediatrician said he needs 2-4 hrs of sleep during the day. I've tried his crib, Rock n play, sleep suit. But he just doesn't stay asleep. Pediatrician said to put him down in his crib and let him cry for up to 45 min. I worry when I do this and he cries like 10 min in that it's because he has to burp so he's not going to fall asleep if he's uncomfortable but if I go in and burp him he's wide awake and just screams after. Help!

Katie
KATIE

Hi AK. Your little guy sounds a lot like mine used to at this age! It's very frustrating to not have any breaks throughout the day and on top of it, you have a tired little guy. I agree with your pediatrician that some type of nap training is necessary. There are other options besides cry it out - I'm actually not a huge fan of cry it out, especially at this age. I would pick a sleep training method you feel comfortable with and stick to it 100%. Within a few days, your little guy should be napping like a champion! If you need help with this, I'd be happy to discuss some ways that I can help during a free 15 minute evaluation call: http://sleepwiseconsulting.com/free-15-minute-consultation/

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

Welcome Katie Pitts from Sleep Wise Solutions! Katie is here to help you get your babies and toddlers to sleep better. She will be answering the first 40 questions so ask early!