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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 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!
Early Riser-Help
KATRINA, PARENT OF 6 YEAR OLD, 4 YEAR OLD

My lo turned 19 months today and wakes between4-5 and i need help! it was 5-530 but now its even earlier. some history-a few months ago she would wake at 4 and i nursed her and she slept till 6. I then cut that feeding out by cio and she did ok after a week. Then I weaned nursing at 15.5 months by slowly dropping wakeup feed then bedtime. She was sleeping 630-6 for a month or so and now it is as 4-5am. i have tried cio but she is hysterical and never falls back asleep. i have tried going in and laying back down which sometimes works but then she is up in
15-20 minutes.
She then gets hysterical again and i end up getting her up. sitting on couch with cheerios, books or watching tv.
At 17.5 months, I moved her to one nap a day. it varies between 1130-1230 and she sleeps 90 minutes. i then try to aim bed 6 but usually 630 based on our schedule.
I
am out of ideas! she needs more than 9-10 hours of sleep a night and i cannot figure out what to
do. i have a 3yr old that i need to not wake.
--and to top it off she is sometimes back to two naps a day bc up
at 4 she is wiped by 9am.
TIA!!!

Arielle
ARIELLE

Ok - you'll have to push her through to the one nap. Giving her 2 naps doesn't help to push her to the right schedule. She may be tired, but she will eventually begin to regulate again. Is there a reason why her nap time varies? It would help if that was consistent. Does she fall asleep easily at bedtime?

KATRINA

it was suggested to put down at 1130 if up
at 530
and once she sleeps till 630
nap should be 1230. most days i oush through till 1230
with bed 6-630
but why the early rising at 5
andnow 4

KATRINA

most nights goes right out
but there are times she is screaming mommy and i have to pat her
that us new within last month
she used to just go right diwn

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Katrina - just wanted to follow up. Do you think she could make it to a 7 p.m. bedtime? I'm wondering if maybe she needs a tiny bit later bedtime.

KATRINA

i have tried bed between630-730
notjing seems to work :(

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Katrina,

How are things going?

Arielle

KATRINA

past 2 nights 630-545
so that has been better! so we will see!

Arielle
ARIELLE

That's great!

KATRINA

and now back to
430 wakeup with 5-7x up a night
she has a cold :(
i am dying
you would think she is super tired
i cannot make it to noon for nap
yesterday she slept 915-1030 and 1230-145
guessing today two naps too

Arielle
ARIELLE

Have you taken her to the doctor? I would definitely take her to the doctor. That sounds like an ear infection!

KATRINA

yes i did plan ontaking her today and sure enough ear infection
:(
on antibiotics so praying tonight is better

KATRINA

but now past fewdsys she also isnot going to bed for an hour or two past bedtime
screaming mommy
idk if seperation anxiety or part of being sick
i am doing checks every 15 min
very exhausting :(

KATRINA

how do you suggest pushing through from 430am till noon nap? she falls asleep on walks, car ride taking sister to school etc

Arielle
ARIELLE

It's very possible that she still has the ear infection. I have dealt with this on a number of occasions with clients. :/

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
How to stop rocking or sitting with baby or toddler until they fall asleep
EMILY, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD

We still rock or at least sit with (we try not to rock anymore) our 19 month old son on chair until he falls asleep instead of putting him in his crib awake. Any tips on how to stop this at such a late age? Thanks!

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Emily,

Are you looking for a gentle method?

EMILY

Yes, we would prefer a gentle method.

EMILY

Any thoughts? Thanks.

Arielle
ARIELLE

Yes! Sorry about that. So at his age, I would recommend the camping out method. Are you familiar with this method?

EMILY

No problem! Is that when you put him in the crib awake but stay in the room?

Arielle
ARIELLE

Yes. So because he is so dependent on you, I think this would be helpful to him. You basically slowly remove your presence in the room over the course of a few weeks. Check out this document for a better explanation: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7PXG7_AaoeEZTNJQmZzWnJVTzQ/view?usp=sharing

EMILY

Okay, thanks! I can't open that link for some reason, would you mind resending? Thanks!

Arielle
ARIELLE

Are you trying from a phone? It's a google doc and it is working, so you
may need to access from your computer?

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Toddler nightmares -- maybe?
SARAH, PARENT OF 5 YEAR OLD, 17 MONTH OLD

My kiddo is almost 2 and a basically great sleeper. She goes down by herself and sleeps through the night, and naps somewhere between 1.5 and 2.5 hours, always getting up at least 4 hrs before bedtime. Recently, she's started going through periods of a few days at a time where she wakes crying with nothing apparently wrong. Sometimes she has a hard time going back to sleep, especially if the wake-up is very early AM, but it's always possible to soothe her with snuggles, so I don't think it's teething or physical discomfort. Nightmares? Something else I'm not thinking of? Any advice?

Arielle
ARIELLE

What does her daytime schedule look like? And when is bedtime?

SARAH

She gets up between 6 and 6:30 am, takes her nap at noon or sometimes 12:30 on days she's in preschool in the AM, and then is down for the night right around 7 pm.

Arielle
ARIELLE

Typically these sort of wakings are related to being overtired, especially if the waking happens earlier in the night. I would try temporarily backing up bedtime to 6:30 and see if it helps her at all. The other thing I would do is make sure her room is cool enough. Sometimes when children get overheated, they can wake like that (it has been happening to my own daughter the past few nights in our in-between summer/fall weather - we've found we have to keep the AC on a bit!).

SARAH

Thanks! Happily, she's still sleeping through probably 85% of the time, so most of my sleep dep is only my own fault ;-)

Arielle
ARIELLE

Haha, I know how that goes. Good luck!

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Sleep regression?
REBECCA, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD

My 10.5mo old has been waking up at around 4:30am consistently for the past month or two, (sometimes earlier than 4:30, but most of the days around 4:30am). She'd also wake up crying. Sometimes she'll go back to sleep if I rock her long enough, but most of the time I have to nurse her. She has been sleeping through the night since she was almost 3mo old, until this happened. She takes two naps during the day, one shorter about 1-1.5hours, one longer about 2hours. She goes to bed between 7-7:30 and wakes up eventually around 6-6:30. We've tried to push her bedtime, help her take longer naps during the day, oatmeal in the night bottle to make her fuller, cry it out, and nothing seems working. Is this a sleep regression? Any advise on helping her sleeping through the night again? Thanks so much!

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Rebecca,

What time are her naps?

Arielle

REBECCA

First one is 9:30-10:30ish, second one is 1:30-3:00ish.

Arielle
ARIELLE

Ok, I'd put her to bed earlier and wake her from her second nap around 2:30. Aim for her to be asleep about 3.5 hours after she wakes from her nap, so that would put you at 6ish. This will help prevent her from being overtired at bedtime. I would also recommend a sleep training method be implemented for those early risings.

REBECCA

Thanks! So basically we should go by when she wakes up from her nap and put her to bed 3.5 hours after that? Also, when you say sleep training method, does that mean CIO?

Arielle
ARIELLE

Yes, go by when she wakes from her nap and then put her down 3.5 hours later. And no! You definitely don't have to do CIO if you don't want to. There are several gentle methods. YOu can check them out here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7PXG7_AaoeEZTNJQmZzWnJVTzQ/view?usp=sharing

REBECCA

Thank you! I'll make sure to take a look at them! Before I do that, just wanted to be clear, you'd suggest to implement a sleep training method before I nurse her for those early risings correct? How long should I do the sleep training method for?

Arielle
ARIELLE

Yes, that's correct. You use the method until she stops waking at that time. :)

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Wake times and dwt
ANDREA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD

Hi! We are sleep training our twins and I am working out naps still. 7 am dwt (though 7:30 would be nice :)) first nap 1.5 and then from wake two hrs hit or miss on length which is frustrating. If we want them sleeping 12 hrs at night but the don't sleep until 5 for third nap, how do you do this? They are 5.5 months, 4.5 adjusted.....

Arielle
ARIELLE

Babies are biologically predisposed to wake between 6 and 7 a.m. I personally tell clients that if their baby wakes at 6, then it's time to start the day.

At 4.5 months, I recommend the following schedule:

wake by 7 a.m. (but no earlier than 6 a.m.)
nap 1 around 8:15/8:30
nap 2 around 12/12:15
nap 3 about 1.5 hours after waking from nap 2
bedtime about 1.5 hours after nap 3

ANDREA

So my daughter wakes at 6 but then puts herself back to sleep and I wake them at 7. Is that ok or should I get them up when the first wakes after 6?

ANDREA

Also if. So one is 30 min or an hour still do second nap at 12??

ANDREA

Do you think they still need a dream feed at 11?? My son gulps 9 ounces but daughter only 4-5.

ANDREA

I nurse during day and do formula the last feed before the dream feed (which I nurse again)

Arielle
ARIELLE

If the first nap is under one hour, I would definitely back up the nap a bit. Closer to 11:30. And I do not recommend dream feeds at all. http://seacoast.citymomsblog.com/sleep/four-reasons-dream-feed-isnt-dreamy/

ANDREA

I am just not sure without of my girl will make it through the night. Do you believe in sleep training or do you just feed if thy wake up in the middle of the night?

Arielle
ARIELLE

If they're only 4.5 months adjusted, I would offer 1-2 feeds in the night and then use a sleep training method for any other wakings

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
7 months
JOMOLE, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

My seven-month-old baby girl her naps are 15-20 minutes four times a day and at night I try to put her to sleep around eight but she wouldn't go to sleep until 10 11 o'clock then she wakes up crying at 2:30. I tried to put her to sleep by rocking my holding her in my arm she wouldn't stop crying until she gets fed. Then after that she'll go to sleep but she wake up around seven in the morning she needs milk again. I started solid A month ago three times a day. Please help!

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Jomole,

It sounds like you need to work on some sleep training with her. 15-20 minute naps are not restorative naps at all so by the time she goes to bed she's overtired. When a baby is overtired, her brain fills with hormones that make it difficult for her to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. I recommend a schedule like the following:

wake by 7 a.m.
first nap at 9 a.m.
second nap at 1 p.m.
bedtime 3 hours after waking from second nap (but no earlier than 5 p.m.)

She needs to learn to fall asleep on her own, so you'll need to find a sleep training method to help her do so.

Best,
Arielle

JOMOLE

How do I do the sleep training method?

Arielle
ARIELLE

It depends on which method you'd like to use. You can learn about the methods here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7PXG7_AaoeEZTNJQmZzWnJVTzQ/view?usp=sharing

JOMOLE

Thank you so much

Arielle
ARIELLE

You're welcome! Good luck!

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Toddlers and Sleep Crutches
LAURA, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD

Hi Arielle,
Our 20 month old son refuses to lie down and fall asleep unless I have my hand on his back. We were traveling a lot this summer, and I let him develop this sleep crutch when he was having trouble falling asleep in new places. Now that we're home, I'm having the worst time breaking this new habit. We've had the same bed time routine since he was 3 months old, but now when I put him in his crib, he refuses to lie down unless I put my hand on his back. Once he's almost or all the way asleep, I can gently pull my hand away and leave the room, and he'll (usually) sleep through the night with no problems. If I pull my hand away before he's asleep or refuse to put my hand on his back, he will scream and cry for hours. (When we sleep trained the first time at 5-6 months old, straight cry it out worked best for him. This time around, he will scream for hours without settling, so it doesn't feel like the right approach. I've also tried sitting next to his crib either silently or talking to him, but it still results in him screaming inconsolably.)
I'd appreciate any advice you have!
Thanks,
Laura

Arielle
ARIELLE

Ok - I would recommend checking out the "camping out" or "chair" method. It's very common at his age to develop dependencies quickly. Since he relies on you so much, I'd be hesitant to completely get rid of your presence immediately, so I think this gentle method would work well for him. :)

LAURA

Thanks! Do you have any tips for moving from the "pat/stroke baby to sleep" phase to the "sit next to baby but don't touch him" phase? That's where we're struggling. Me just sitting next to him isn't cutting it. :)

Arielle
ARIELLE

You just have to be consistent with him in your reassurance. You just tell him "I'm not going to pat you, but I will sit here until you fall asleep." Repetition of this will eventually work. ;)

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Different daycare and home nap schedules?
DEVON, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD, 2 YEAR OLD

Hi Arielle:

My 12.5 month old, Jesse, is starting daycare 3 days per week. At home, he takes naps at 9 and 2 that each last about 80 minutes. For a couple of months now, his night sleep has been from 7-6.

Jesse's daycare has the children in his room on a 1 nap schedule, eating lunch at around 11:30 and then napping starting at noon. For the past 2 days, Jesse's school nap has been just 80 minutes, so we've put him to sleep a half hour early (6:30), and he has woken up a few minutes before 6.

Do you recommend that we make the switch to 1 nap at home too so that his days are consistent? I've heard of toddlers having different weekday and weekend schedules, but Jesse's school days are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, and I wonder whether having a different home nap schedule on Monday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday would be confusing. That said, I know most babies aren't ready to transition to 1 nap so young, so taking 2 naps on his home days could really help him avoid getting into too much of a sleep deficit.

Thank you for any/all suggestions!
Best,
Devon

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Devon,

Does it seem like he's needing two naps on the days he's not at daycare? If so, give him two naps.

On days when he is only taking one nap, I would put him to bed even sooner. I would do as early as 5:30. This will help him throughout the night.

Arielle

SARAH

I just want to empathize with this! My daughter's daycare moved her to one nap at 11 months, and then she was so tired she'd take a short nap and be exhausted by pickup! I gave her two naps on home days for almost a year to help her catch up, and then when she was ready to go to one nap every day, her school naps magically improved and all was well.

DEVON

Hi Arielle: This is our first week, with our new schedule, so I'm just starting to have the opportunity to watch him and learn how he's doing. Today is our first home day, and he has easily fallen asleep for both of his naps (9 and 2), which makes me think they are still appropriate for him.

Thanks for your advice. We'll try an even earlier bedtime for him tomorrow!

Best,
Devon

DEVON

Thanks for the anecdote, Sarah!

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
4 month old naps
LAURA, PARENT OF 6 YEAR OLD

Any advice for getting a 4 month old to have decent naps while also getting her older brother to and from school at the prime nap times? She wakes around 7am and the earliest I can get her home and down for nap is 9:15am. Then she only sleeps for 30 min and we have to leave to pick him up at 11:50am. I have no clue what to do!

Arielle
ARIELLE

What time is drop off?

LAURA

Drop off is ar 9am so we have to leave our house by 850am.

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Swaddle
FRANCESCA, PARENT OF 5 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD

My baby girl is 4 months old. We still swaddle her at night to sleep with arms in. She sleeps all night that way. She isn't turning yet so hence arms in. For naps we have her arms out and she does well. We tried to do that at night but she started waking up. How do we transition her to sleep with arms out at night so she isn't waking up. And if we do have to go through the wake ups do I nurse her or just try to get her to fall asleep again. Thanks!

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Francesca,

At her age, I would definitely recommend arms out. You can try a transition sleepsack like the Zippidy Zip - that my help. How frequently is she waking up at night? And what does her schedule look like? When does she nap and for how long? When do you put her to bed?

Arielle

FRANCESCA

She naps maybe 3 times a day. 2 of the naps are typically 1.5 hrs and if she gets to 2 hrs I wake her up. Bedtime routine starts at 7:20 and she is asleep by 9 pm. It's taken a little longer these past couple days bc we are trying to get her to fall asleep on her own at night using the Pick Up/ Put Down Method. We used it for naps and she does really well. She sleeps until 7:30 am generally. Today I woke her up at 8:10 am. She sleeps in her room in her own crib.

Arielle
ARIELLE

Ok, it sounds like she needs a more age appropriate schedule. Schedules may seem a bit rigid, but we can't fight with biology. Babies are biologically disposed to sleep well at certain times of the day. When babies don't have a predictable, age appropriate schedule they can struggle quite a bit. For her age, I would recommend the following schedule:

wake by 7 a.m. each day
nap 1 around 8:15/8:30 a.m.
nap 2 around 12/12:15
nap 3 about 1.5 hours after waking from nap 2
bedtime about 1.5 hours after waking from her third nap

Right now, she's going to bed far too late which can then lead to night wakings.

FRANCESCA

Hmm well she is usually asleep by 8:30 but bc of the sleep training it has extended to 9. She doesn't wake up at all if she is fully swaddled. Are you suggesting if she goes to sleep earlier then she would sleep all night with her arms out? How long should a 4 month baby be sleeping through the night? 12 hours? I thought she was doing great compared to my son who used to wake up at 1 am. Haha. :)

FRANCESCA

Oh and should I let her wake up on her own in the morning or wake her up at 7 am?

And thinking about the upcoming day light savings. Do you have suggestions for managing that with babies? Thanks again!

Arielle
ARIELLE

Yes - I am saying that it may help her sleep better at night. When babies go to bed overtired, their brains fill with cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine. These hormones make it difficult for them to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. I would wake her by 7 a.m. if she is not yet awake.

You can learn about daylight savings: http://seacoast.citymomsblog.com/sleep/tips-survive-end-daylight-savings-time/

FRANCESCA

Ok so if I unswaddled her and put her to sleep 1.5 hrs after last wake up from nap she should sleep thru the night as if swaddled.

And if she does wake up middle of the night should I nurse her or try to get her to go to sleep without nursing. Thanks!

Arielle
ARIELLE

Not necessarily, but it will help her. I would continue using your method with her.

At 4 months, it's completely normal for babies to want to nurse about 2 times in the night.

FRANCESCA

How long should all the naps be?

Arielle
ARIELLE

Naps should be a minimum of 1 hour.

FRANCESCA

Thank you Arielle