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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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Ask Arielle, our Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant!

Message Arielle
Early wake ups
TAMARA, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD, 2 YEAR OLD

Hello,

I have an 11.5 month old and I would like to get him to sleep longer in the mornings. We have had the same bedtime routine since he was 2 months and he falls asleep by 7 pm every night on his own and sleeps until 5-6 when he wakes up, breast feeds and then goes back to sleep until 7/730 typically. I would love to prolong the sleep so he sleeps through until 7 without the earlier wake up. We have tried some cry it out this week and he does go back to sleep for 20 minutes or so but then wakes up again before 6 and after feeding goes back to sleep again. Any suggestions? His daytime naps are not great because he is in daycare and he is the kid who ever wants to miss out on the fun- but generally two 30 min naps around 10:30 and 2:30, sometimes longer but not usually.

Thanks!

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
11 week old night sleep questions
LAUREN, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD

Hi there, my 11 week old seems to have a nice long chunk of sleep at the beginning of the night, but not after that. She goes to sleep around 7pm, sleeps until between 11 and 1, and then is up every 1.5 to 2 hours or so until she is up for the day around 7:30am. She nurses and goes back to sleep fairly easily, but how do I extend the interval between these wakings? I know she's still little but just want to be proactive if we can.

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Lauren,

This is actually really common. Her nighttime sleep is still consolidating so I would just give it a bit more time and the second half of the night should come together in the coming weeks!

Arielle

LAUREN

Phew - if I know that it's normal, it makes everything a lot easier :) Thanks!

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Monsters?
TAMEKA, PARENT OF 6 YEAR OLD

My daughter turned 3 in July. She's only ever slept with us a handful of times only when she's sick. Lately, within the last month; she's been resisting at night saying there's ghosts or monsters outside, so she wants to sleep with mommy. I try to assure her that there are no monsters. She cries for a few minutes and then goes to sleep. Should I be doing something different?

Also, the new probem is I could only get her into an afternoon pk3 program. It's from 12:30-2:30. She's always slept from 1-3:30. The last couple days she has slept from 3:15-5:30, and the issue is that she's not interested in bedtime. She's tossing and turning until 10. Her normal sleep time was from 8pm- 6:30am.

Arielle
ARIELLE

Oh gosh. I definitely wouldn't be napping her that late! I would rather see her skipping her nap altogether and then going to bed around 6/6:30. With regard to the monsters, you should make "monster spray" with her!! http://happyhooligans.ca/monster-spray-help-child-afraid-monsters/

TAMEKA

❤️ Thank you so much. I was wondering if skipping nap was the best idea. Monster spray looks sooo cute. We we going to make it today! ❤️

Arielle
ARIELLE

Awesome! Let me know how it goes! :)

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
toddler up late
CINDY, PARENT OF 6 YEAR OLD, 4 YEAR OLD

Hi! My toddler (who will be 3 in November) depends on one of us (usually Daddy) to fall asleep next to him, so it's no surprise that when he wakes up at night (typically 2x) he calls for one of us. It wouldn't be a big deal if he fell asleep quickly, but bedtime has turned into a long process starting at 8:00 with books stories for about 20 minutes, but then he won't fall asleep until 9:15/30. We tried to make sleep rules, but he would challenge them. Any advice you have to offer would be much appreciated.

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Cindy - What time does he nap during the day? And for how long?

CINDY

He usually naps from 12:30-2:00. It used to be longer, but have decreased more recently. He also wakes up around 6:45/7.

CINDY

I honestly don't think he's getting enough sleep because he gets pretty cranky (even though I know it can be typical of toddlers). : )

Arielle
ARIELLE

Yes, so I would be aiming for bedtime around 6:30/7 instead of 8. Are you able to do that?

CINDY

If we go up at 7:30 he's down by about 8:45 so it still takes a while, but don't think earlier would work. What about removing the dependency of a parent?

Arielle
ARIELLE

Do you mean earlier won't work with your schedule or you don't think earlier would work for him?

CINDY

Both (since we want to be consistent).

Arielle
ARIELLE

The problem is that when children 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 throughout the night. They can cause delays at bedtime, night wakings, and early wakeups. I personally believe he is very overtired by the time he's put down for the night which then leads to your issues at night.

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
7 month old night wakings
MONICA

My 7 month old daughter (approaching 8 month) woke up at night and stayed awake in my arms for over 2 hours for the past 2 nights. She's sleep trained, falls asleep on her own, takes 3 good naps during the day, and still have one feeding at night. Although, some nights she's able to do an 8 or 9 hour stretch without nursing. We put her to bed between 7:30 and 8:00 pm. Why do you think she's waking up like that? When she woke up, I nursed her, rocked, bounced, sang, shushed, put her in her bed, kept her in my arms...I think I've tried everything but she can't fall asleep until she's exhausted after more than 2 hours. She doesn't seem to have any discomfort (ruling out teething), she doesn't seem very hungry either. She's just plain awake, like if she was jet-legged. What can I do different when/if this happens again? And what can I do to prevent this? Thank you very much!

Arielle
ARIELLE

I would actually visit the pediatrician. She may have an ear infection. Sometimes the only symptom of an ear infection is poor sleep!

MONICA

Wow, I didn't think it could be possible. We'll check, thanks.

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Sleep routine
MARIE, PARENT OF 10 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD

At what age do you recommend getting a newborn on a sleeping schedule? Our 4 week old sleeps 2-3 hours during the day and usually 4 hours at night but we struggle with the correct time as to when we should put him to sleep for the night.

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Marie,

You can't actually get newborns on exact sleep schedules because they do not yet produce melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep. Their circadian rhythms are not established until closer to 4 months, so aiming for a schedule is a bit difficult prior to that. That being said, at 4 weeks I would aim for bedtime sometime between 6 and 8 p.m. I'd also make sure he is not awake for more than an hour at this point (probably closer to 45 minutes). That will help him from becoming overtired!

Arielle

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
2 year old sleep issues
MEGAN, PARENT OF 7 YEAR OLD

My son is turning 2 next week. My husband puts him to bed at night, but I have continued to go in when he wakes up in the middle of the night and will nurse him. It's been the "easy" thing for me to do, but I'm ready to sleep through the night!! I guess I've been hoping he would grow out of this, but the habit has obviously been created for him. How do we break the habit? He goes to bed around 7:30. Currently he wakes up once during the night and then wants to get up for the day around 4:30-5. For the middle of the night waking, do I stop going in and send my husband to calm him down? He gets so worked up if no one goes in. How do work on getting him to sleep 30-60 minutes later? Thanks!!

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Megan,

When is he napping and for how long?

Arielle

MEGAN

Usually he naps around noon or 1 for about 2 hours.

Arielle
ARIELLE

Ok, I would probably try to get him down closer to 7 if you can. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but tightening up the time between the nap and bedtime can help with overnights immensely, especially with early wakeups like that.

I would have dad go in and try to soothe him. And I would also not allow him to get up prior to 6 a.m. 4:30/5 waking would be considered a night waking and you would have dad go in at that time as well.

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Newborn sleep
DANIELLE, PARENT OF 5 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD

Our 5 day old has his days and nights flipped. How can we switch him to days? Thanks!

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Danielle,

The best thing to do is to make daytime bright and keep volumes (talking, TV, etc) at a normal level. Don't let him sleep more than 2 hours at a time before waking to feed him. At night, make sure it's very dark and very quiet (white noise is great for this). At night, let him sleep until he wakes (as long as he is back to birth weight). It can take a few weeks to sort this out but he should get the hang of it soon!

Arielle