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Pop-Up: Sleep Support Live Q&A

Arielle D.
ARIELLE D.
Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant
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Join our Tinyhood sleep consultant, Arielle Driscoll, for a one hour live Q&A. Arielle will be here to answer all of your questions about naps, night wakings, and more!

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Message Arielle
ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
30 min napper
CRISTINA, PARENT OF 5 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD

Hi Arielle,

Baby is 4.5 months and still naps only for 30 min, always while breastfeeding and no matter what I do ( hold his hand, tap on the back /tummy), still doesn't go beyond 30min. So I have to put him back to sleep every 2 hours.
In the night he normally wakes up 2-3 times a night.
Thanks

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Cristina,

Can you tell me what his schedule roughly looks like? What times do you try to nap him? When does he go to bed for the night?

Arielle

CRISTINA

Hi,
Thanks for quick answer
He normally wakes up at 6.30-7 then I calculate 2 hours since that time and put him down again. ( he gets cranky around that time).
Finally his night sleep is about 8-8.30 after his bath.
Thanks

Arielle
ARIELLE

Ok, so his bedtime is likely far too late. At 4.5 months, I'd be aiming for a schedule like the following:

Wake by 7 a.m.
Nap 1 around 8:30 a.m.
Nap 2 around 12/12:30 p.m. (12 if nap 1 is less than 1 hour)
Nap 3 90 minutes after waking from second nap
Bedtime 90 minutes after waking from nap 3 but no sooner than 5 p.m.

When babies are taking short naps throughout the day, they are not getting restorative sleep which leaves them overtired by bedtime. When a baby is overtired his brain fills with cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine. These hormones make it difficult for a baby to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. This is also true for naps - if you push a baby's wake time too much, he can become overtired and have difficulty extending his naps.

In addition to an age appropriate schedule, he probably needs to learn how to fall asleep independently without any assistance from you or another care giver. I would consider looking into some sleep training methods in order to get him to fall asleep independently.

With regard to naps, I would use "crib hour" for naps 1 and 2. You would use whatever your chosen training method is and when he wakes at the 30-minute mark, you would use that method until it has been one full hour from the time he fell asleep to attempt to get him to fall back to sleep. After one hour, if he has not fallen back asleep, you would get him up and move on with the day until the next scheduled nap time.

Let me know if you have questions!

CRISTINA

I tried putting him down at 7 rather than 8 and he spent 2 hours nursing and fussing before he fell asleep.
How could I put him down without having him cry and not nursing?
Thanks

Arielle
ARIELLE

7 is still probably too late. His third nap should end no later than 5 p.m., which would put bedtime around 6:30. This would mean you'd aim to have him ASLEEP by 6:30, so your routine would begin earlier.

In addition, it sounds like he has a nurse-to-sleep association. You would need to look into gentle sleep training methods to help him learn to fall asleep independently without nursing.

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Cristina - I hope the tips I shared will help your baby get a better night's rest! I am one of Tinyhood's sleep consultants and Tinyhood has a service where we can continue messaging privately for only $15. Let me know if you are interested!

CRISTINA

Hi. Yes, please Tell Me how can I do that. Thanks

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Cristina! You can go to tinyhood.com/subscribe :)

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Sleep
SARAH, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

What's the easiest way to get rid of the dummy/pacifier?

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Sarah,

The only real way to do it is cold turkey. Definitely do not cut the tip off as that is a safety hazard (baby could choke!). It will probably be hard for a night or two, then things should improve. :)

Arielle

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Sarah - I hope the tips I shared will help your baby drop the pacifier! I am one of Tinyhood's sleep consultants and Tinyhood has a service where we can continue messaging privately for only $15. Let me know if you are interested!

SARAH

Hi Arielle yes I have subscribed to the service . I

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
10-month teething baby sleep help!
JENNA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD, 9 MONTH OLD

Hi! My 10 month old had slept through the night wonderfully up until 8 months. Now she's been getting up at least once a night and sometimes more when a tooth is coming in. Do we need to re-sleep train her? We had done so at 5 months and it worked great. We just worry that she's in pain (Tylenol and Motrin have not helped at all) and that sometimes she's hungry if she didn't eat as well during the day (due to pain potentially?). I worry that if we sleep train again we will just regress every time a tooth comes in. She's EBF and I do nurse her back to sleep when she wakes up at night. TIA!

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Jenna,

Surprisingly, teething really does not cause prolonged sleep disruption. Maybe a night or two at most. It sounds like she's probably just hitting some developments (cognitive and likely physical as well) which can absolutely disrupt sleep. I would definitely recommend retraining. I would also just be sure she's otherwise healthy - ear infections can cause sleep disturbance and sometimes the only sign is poor sleep!

Best,
Arielle

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Jenna - I hope the tips I shared will help your baby get a better night's rest! I am one of Tinyhood's sleep consultants and Tinyhood has a service where we can continue messaging privately for only $15. Let me know if you are interested!

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
co-sleeping nursing 7 mo. baby multiple wake ups
CINDY, PARENT OF 5 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD

My little has teeth 5-7 cutting through right now and she just started daycare this week so I have been hesitant to sleep train her. However, we desperately need more sleep so I would like to come up with a plan to carry out next week after she's gotten used to her new daily routine. We started co-sleeping about a month ago because she would wake up often (usually crying/screaming really loudly) and I got into a bad habit of nursing her. She is an awesome daytime napper and will go right down in her crib while drowsy (still takes 3 naps), but just wants to be cuddled with me at night. She has been getting up every 90 minutes to 2.5 hours a night so I'm exhausted and at my wits end. Should I work on one thing first or just jump in and go full force with the Ferber method? Thank you!

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Cindy,

If you're comfortable with Ferber, I would just go for it. No need to work on one thing at a time. :)

Arielle

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Cindy - I hope the tips I shared will help your baby get a better night's rest! I am one of Tinyhood's sleep consultants and Tinyhood has a service where we can continue messaging privately for only $15. Let me know if you are interested!

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
16month old waking up screaming in the middle of the night/very early
CAROLINE, PARENT OF 9 YEAR OLD, 4 YEAR OLD

My 16month old has started waking up screaming - last night it was at 12:00. After letting her cry for 8min which did not seem to be decreasing, we tried going in and rocking her (until about 12:30), but when we put her down she started crying again. She then cried off and on until 1. Then woke up again at 2, cried for 15min, fell asleep. Woke at 4, cried 5 min, woke at 5am and would not go back to sleep. She goes to bed at 8pm with a bottle immediately before, cries for less than 10 min and then used to sleep to 5:45/6am. Other nights she has woken up at 4 screaming and won't go back to sleep either with or without a bottle. Any advice on what I can do to encourage her to not wake or up or go back to sleep on her own. She is waking the whole household. Thanks.

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Caroline,

For how long has this been going on?

Arielle

CAROLINE

3 nights so far. She is exhausted in the morning and then does two naps 45min, 1-1/2h (she was transitioning to 1, but not all the way there yet).
I did some sleep training at 8months (or so), but have since always gone back to letting her cry for 10min when her schedule gets messed up (travel, illness). Usually, she falls asleep within 10min both naps and nighttime sleep.. If she doesn't it means (or used to mean) something was wrong/she was not going to fall asleep.

Arielle
ARIELLE

Ok - I would take her to the doctor. I suspect an ear infection. https://www.drgreene.com/qa-articles/detecting-ear-infection/

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Caroline - I hope the tips I shared will help your baby get a better night's rest! Were you able to get her in to the doctor? I am one of Tinyhood's sleep consultants and Tinyhood has a service where we can continue messaging privately for only $15. Let me know if you are interested!

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Almost 18 mos sleeping problems
JENNY, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD

Hi Arielle!

I have an almost 18 mo old girl. We've sleep trained her 2-3 times. She's never consistently been a good sleeper. For the past 4-6 weeks, she's fighting bed time and instead of falling asleep by 7:30, its more like 8:30/9. Her wake up time hasn't shifted-- she usually wakes up between 6:30-7AM. Also, due to illnesses, she won't fall asleep unless she's laying down with one of us. We can then transfer her into her crib, but she will wake up around 1/1:30AM in which we just give in and pull her into her the daybed or guest bed for the rest of the night. I've refused to let her sleep in our bed.

She goes to daycare and consistently naps for about 2 hours. We've been on the go for the past couple of weekends so she's been taking her nap in car rides. Else, I can usually get her to fall asleep fairly easily (holding her) and can transfer into her crib and nap for 2-2.5 hrs.

I've been hesistant on re-sleep training her because to be honest, I have no idea when/if she's actually tired. Also, her cries are MUCH louder :-( My husband wants to just let her sleep in the daybed moving forward (she knows how to get out of the daybed safely). I feel like it is too early to move her out of her crib.

I am currently about 16 wks pregnant and I need her to sleep again, preferably by 7:30/8PM so I can get my rest!

Any advice??

Thanks in advance!!
Jenny

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Jenny,

It definitely sounds like she needs to be retrained to learn to fall asleep on her own again. With regard to bed timing, I'll need to know what time she typically naps.

Arielle

JENNY

Usually between 12-2 at daycare. On weekends, if we're out and about, sometimes from 1-3ish. Nap starts no earlier than 11:30.

Thanks! Jenny

Arielle
ARIELLE

Ok, I think she's going to bed too late. I'd try getting her down for bed around 4/4.5 hours after she wakes from her nap - so during daycare days, that would mean having her asleep by 6:30 at the latest. It sounds as though she is overtired by bedtime, which causes the fighting of bedtime. I would also definitely choose a training method to help her fall asleep independently again. If she already knew how to do so previously, it shouldn't be too hard to get her back on track. It will just take consistency!

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Jenny - I hope the tips I shared will help your toddler get a better night's rest! I am one of Tinyhood's sleep consultants and Tinyhood has a service where we can continue messaging privately for only $15. Let me know if you are interested!

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
11 month old - nighttime waking and early mornings
VICTORIA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

Hello! I am having the nighttime screaming issue as well with my 11month old, this last week he has been waking anywhere between 11pm and 1am and screaming the house down. I offer him water thinking he might be thirsty which he takes but then continues to scream for anything up to an hour!! He is still in our bedroom, but only until we move which is a little over a week!!! He also wakes super early around 5:30am, if there is anything we can do about this?! We put him down at 6:30pm and he's usually asleep by 7pm with no interventions. He takes 2 good naps 1 hour to 2 hours & falls asleep independently. Is this just a phase or product of us all sleeping in the same bedroom?? Also now he is older and used to us being there should I stagger/slowly introduce his sleeping alone in his own room or for all of our sanity put him right in there on night one??

Thanks in advance,
Vicky

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Vicky,

It could be any combination of those things - sharing a room, his age (there is a LOT going on developmentally at that age), etc. That being said, I would probably not address anything until after you move. Once you move, I would recommend setting up his new room FIRST and make sure it's all unpacked the first night you put him in there. Let him get used to the house for a few nights, then I would pull the plug and put him in his own room. You'll likely need to figure out a method you're comfortable with using because, given his age, he will likely fight back a bit. ;)

Arielle

VICTORIA

Thanks so much, to make matters more complicated we travel 2 days after we move so I'm thinking we leave putting him in there until we get back. We are happy to do CIO just wanted to be reasonable to him too so a few days of acclamation before pulling the plug sounds good to me. Thanks again

Arielle
ARIELLE

Smart plan. I'm here if you need me after the move!

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Victoria - I hope the tips I shared will help your baby get a better night's rest! I am one of Tinyhood's sleep consultants and Tinyhood has a service where we can continue messaging privately for only $15. Let me know if you are interested!

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Waking at night
CARA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

We have been doing sleep training for my 6.5 month old son for several weeks now. He's much better at falling asleep on his own but still wakes a lot at night - 3-5 times. Bedtime is 6:30/7 depending on how tired he is - sometimes we just can't get to 7. I'm feeding around 12/1, around 3 and sometimes again at 5 and/or 6 if he wakes then. He tends to wake many times in the early morning hours. Should I let him cry longer when he wakes? Is it not a good strategy to feed him around 5/6 when he wakes then? I find that if I feed at every wake after 5 (usually once or twice) I can get him to sleep until 6:30 or 7.

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Cara,

What does his daytime schedule look like? At what time does he nap and for how long does he sleep?

Arielle

CARA

First nap around 2 hrs after waking, subsequent after about 2.5 hrs wake time. Bed time I aim for 2 hrs after last nap. Naps can be anywhere from 30 mins to 1.5 hrs. Usually at least one long nap per day.

Arielle
ARIELLE

Is there any regularity as far as which nap is longer?

Also, my guess is that he probably has a feed-to-sleep association, which is why he wakes so many times a night. How is his weight? Is he eating enough during the day?

CARA

He's really small, only 15 lbs 3 oz at the 6 month check up. He never cries for hunger, only around sleep. As for which nap is longer it's pretty random. There already has been so much crying I'm finding the nap training difficult.

Arielle
ARIELLE

Are you nursing or bottle feeding?

CARA

Nursing exclusively

Arielle
ARIELLE

And how many times does he nurse during the day?

CARA

Many - I'm not sure, I don't count. Maybe 10 times or more. I'm not sure if it's better to nurse more often or to wait longer between feeds to ensure he gets the hindmilk?

Arielle
ARIELLE

Have you considered chatting with one of our lactation consultants?

CARA

No I'll do that

Arielle
ARIELLE

Yes, I would do that. He could be waking out of hunger OR he could be waking because he has a nurse-to-sleep association. I would definitely recommend checking in with a lactation consultant first. :)

CARA

He definitely has that and we are trying to break it.

Arielle
ARIELLE

Ok. I would still speak with the lactation consultant about how frequently to feed. :)

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Cara - I hope the tips I shared will help your baby get a better night's rest! I am one of Tinyhood's sleep consultants and Tinyhood has a service where we can continue messaging privately for only $15. Let me know if you are interested!

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
19 mo climbs out of crib
TINA, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD, 17 MONTH OLD

Our 19 mo old has never been a good sleeper. She is now able to climb out of her crib with ease. We used to let her cry herself to sleep for about 10 min, but that is now not possible because she climbs out as soon as she is put into the crib. If we put her back in, she climbs out immediately again. My husband now lies in an adult bed with her until she goes to sleep, but this is a time consuming process with a lot of crying. She is a late sleeper -- bedtime around 9 pm, wakes up about 7:30-8 am. She also wakes up in the middle of the night (now multiple times) and is currently sleeping in an adult bed with a mattress low to the floor. One of us has to go in to make sure she stays in bed and doesn't climb out since she would climb out of the crib in the middle of the night, too. She needs to be sleep trained again but not sure how to do this without a crib

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Tina,

Developmentally, it would be very difficult to retrain without the use of a crib. Are you able to drop the crib mattress all the way to the ground? This is often a good solution.

At what time does she nap during the day? And has her schedule always been so late?

Arielle

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Tina - I hope the tips I shared will help your toddler get a better night's rest! I am one of Tinyhood's sleep consultants and Tinyhood has a service where we can continue messaging privately for only $15. Let me know if you are interested!

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Naps and nights
ANDREA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD, 2 YEAR OLD

I have a couple questions!
1. I am struggling to get my daughter to sleep in her crib. I have twins 5 months (about 4 adjusted). My son does fine at night in it, but for her I brought her Rock n' playin....
2. Naps! I am having such a hard time putting them down. Do you just put them down and let them cry?
3. I was given the Merlin Suits, wondering if they are worth using!

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Andrea,

It sounds like you'll probably need to do some sleep training with her/them. I would recommend looking into sleep training methods that you feel comfortable implementing with consistency (there are gentle methods and firm methods - you'll need to find something you feel comfortable with). I would NOT recommend the Rock 'n Play for any sleep - it's not suited for sleep and is a safety risk.

You'll likely need to do some nap training with them, too. This may involve some crying depending on the method you choose. What times are you trying to nap them? Do they eventually fall asleep?

I would not introduce the Merlin at this point. Do they still have a strong startle reflex?

Arielle

ANDREA

Lucy does, Liam not so much. I secretly just tested it out on a nap and he has never slept longer! But I totally understand what you are saying. I have read so many sleep training books. Was settling on the Sleep Easy method, they are all kind of the same but I think I am ready. I cave a lot as with twins there is always one that goes down easy and the other not so I just want a moment....but short term pain for the long term :)

ANDREA

Liam can often put himself to sleep. I am trying to work on the 1.5 wake schedule. So they get up around 7, first nap 8:30, etc. until I start bedtime routines at 6:30 and they are usually in bed at 7. Thatbeing said the naps have been really inconsistent and if I am getting an hour I am lucky and sometimes the third nap wont happen for one of them :(

Arielle
ARIELLE

Yes, with twins you definitely need to keep them on a synched schedule. If one wakes, it's best to wake the other within 15 minutes to keep them on a similar schedule. And yes! There is always one baby that fights sleep more than the other. And I have to tell you, in boy/girl twins, it is SO frequently the GIRL who is the fighter! ;)

I would aim for a schedule like the following:

wake by 7
first nap around 8:30
second nap around 12/12:30 (12 if the first nap is under an hour)
third nap about 1.5 hours after waking from second nap
bedtime 1.5 hours after third nap

They may be quite overtired by 7 p.m. bedtime especially if they are skipping that second nap! When a baby is overtired, his brain fills with hormones that make it difficult for the baby to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. If she is extra bad with her naps, then she's extra overtired by bedtime so an early bedtime will be your best friend. Never put a baby to bed any sooner than 5 p.m. - but 5 p.m. bedtime temporarily when naps are bad can be a LIFESAVER. Really!

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Andrea - I hope the tips I shared will help your babies get a better night's rest! I am one of Tinyhood's sleep consultants and Tinyhood has a service where we can continue messaging privately for only $15. Let me know if you are interested!