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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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ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Napping and Home versus daycare
KRISTEN, PARENT OF 5 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD

Hello! My son Charlie is 6 months old. He sleeps great at night but is having trouble napping at daycare. He will sleep for a half hour in his crib around 9am and then be up again. Then another half hour later in the day. When I pick him up around 4, he will fall asleep in his car seat on the way home. When it’s time for his final bottle and bed, he is so tired that I end up putting him down asleep which I never did before (he was always awake). They put him down asleep at school. Any advice for what to do? Thank you!

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Kristen,

Do you know what the napping environment looks like? Is it loud and bright? How does he nap at home?

Arielle

KRISTEN

They dim the lights but the cribs are all in the same room. He is not doing great napping at home either and I have resorted to holding him which I know is not good but he needed sleep at the time. I tried putting him down awake but sleepy last weekend (only time we have him home) and he screamed.

Arielle
ARIELLE

Ok, it sounds like he needs to learn how to fall asleep independently for naps. Once he is able to do that at home, he will have an easier time doing that at daycare. I would recommend working on some nap training with him at home. Check out this document for more information: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7PXG7_AaoeEZTNJQmZzWnJVTzQ/view?usp=sharing

KRISTEN

Thank you! He definitely knows how to fall asleep on his own at night. He wakes up periodically during the night and in the early morning but puts himself back to sleep. Is daytime a different skill! Also - once he does it at home I should ask them to do it at daycare too, right? They put all the babies there down after being rocked. Thank you so much for your help.

Arielle
ARIELLE

It's different in that the drive to sleep is lighter so it can be harder to work on daytime sleep. Yes, once he does it at home I would definitely have daycare work with you to help him nap better.

KRISTEN

Hi Arielle! Wanted to keep you updated. Put Charlie in his crib for both his morning and afternoon naps and he fell asleep after only a few minutes of crying! Only 30 mins in the morning and so far 20 mins today and counting. Wondering if I should keep him in there to see if he will go back to sleep after 30 mins? An hour total no matter if he goes back to sleep or not? I’m so encouraged by the fact that he fell asleep by himself!

THERESA

Hi Arielle my some is almost 5 months old and he isn't sleeping very well he is easy to get to sleep but he's having ha hard time staying asleep any ideas?

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Bad sleeper
CRISTINA, PARENT OF 6 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD

Hi Arielle,
My 5.5 months old is quite a bad sleeper. Sometimes he wakes up at 5-5.30am and wouldn't go back to sleep until 7am no matter what I do.
During the day he naps for about 30-50 min max.
He needs to nurse in order to sleep 98% of the cases. The rest , he either sleeps in the baby carrier because we are outside or in the stroller.
On very rare occasions my husband manages to put him to sleep in a combination of rocking and using a pacifier which he normally refuses.
During the night he wakes up every 2 hours or sometimes even more. He nurses and falls back to sleep but when I put him in his bed he wakes up and takes me about an hour to make him go back to sleep again.
And nothing seems to comfort him once he is awake.
Any advice?

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Cristina,

It sounds like he has a nurse-to-sleep association and requires you to nurse him whenever he wakes and needs to fall back to sleep. This is very common. What you'll need to do is choose a sleep training method that you feel comfortable with and work on breaking this association.

Check out this document: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7PXG7_AaoeEZTNJQmZzWnJVTzQ/view?usp=sharing

There are sample schedules at the end!

Best,
Arielle

CRISTINA

Thanks for that. I will read the whole document in more detail but now just looking at the schedule for the 5 months old...
If i put him down for nap 1 at 8.45 and he only sleeps for 30 min ( crib hour has not been successful at all), then he will be tired again at about 11.30am ..so about 2 hours afterwards. At 11.30I put him down again so he would sleep from about 12.00-12.30. , therefore I need to put him down again at 2.30pm until 3pm .
Now the problem is that at 5pm he would be super grumpy again but not ready to sleep for the night.
So he naps again from 5-5.30 and we start bath at 7 and sleep at 7.30...
Takes him a while to fall asleep then wakes up when he touches the bed and it goes like this until about 9pm when I manage to put him down for about 1-2 hrs before he wakes up and start again...:(

Arielle
ARIELLE

He's actually very sleepy at 5 and very ready for night sleep. When a baby is overtired, his brain fills with cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine. These hormones make it hard for a baby to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. That paired with his nurse to sleep association leads to him waking quickly after naps and the waking every 2 hours in the night. It's a very common case and something I deal with daily!

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
8 mo old naps, continued..
MARLENA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD

Hi Arielle-
Thanks for the follow up questions to my post yesterday. My 8mo generally* wakes up between 6-7a and is put down to bed between 6-7p.
With a 7a wake up I have her down for nap 1 at 9:15a (wake time 2.25h), and then (try to!) follow a wake time pattern of 2.75/2.75/2.5hrs. She's always napped 30min max and I've had very limited success with crib hour/crib 75m for extending naps. Note I transitioned from 4 to 3 naps roughly 3 weeks ago, and LO still wakes after 1 (30m) or 2 (60ish m) sleep cycles after being put to bed.
LO falls asleep awake independently in crib for most naps and at bedtime. She wakes 1-3x in the night. If night wakings are close-ish to bedtime (before 10pm) I try to shush/pat back to sleep. Generally after 10pm I'll feed her. I am nursing her back to sleep during these night feedings. I will pick up/put down/nurse depending on level of hysteria but try to do this as a last ditch effort.
We use white noise, a sleep sack, and a pacifier and have a consistent bedtime routine. I'd like to wean her from the nighttime feedings but she's small for her age (not quite 15lbs) and it's hard to tell when she's actually hungry. Extinction for the MOTN wakings is not currently an option due to our living situation.
I've read that babies need to get enough to eat during the day (I'm exclusively breastfeeding so not sure how much! With some solids) and that I should address night wakings with my preferred sleep learning method. I've also read that better day sleep helps better night sleep and vice versa and I'm at a loss for what to do about extending naps.
Aaaaand I don't know how to handle early wake times, for instance she woke up today at 5:45a, napped 7:42-8:08a, napped 11-11:29a, and is currently down since 2:30a (I'm expecting her to wake any minute). I don't know when I should put her to bed (6p?).
Would love your thoughts on naps and general approaches to night wakings.
Thanks!

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Marlena,

Are you subscribed to Tinyhood? I think you could benefit from some closer work with me. It's kind of a large situation and it would be hard to just give you "quick tips" in this forum. Would you be interested in a subscription if you do not yet have one?

Best,
Arielle

MARLENA

Hi Arielle-

Yes, I've got the Tinyhood app downloaded on my phone. Is there something else needed to subscribe?

Thanks!
Marlena

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Marlena,

Let me get back to you shortly - I will check on the link for you!

Arielle

Arielle
ARIELLE

You can go straight to: https://www.tinyhood.com/subscribe

:)

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Schedule
KATIE, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD, 19 MONTH OLD

My eight month old is not on a regular napping schedule yet. She typically wakes up at 630 AM and goes to bed at 6 PM with one wake up around 3 AM. She takes her first nap of the day at 8 a.m. usually but after that she takes one to two more naps during the day but at various times. I or her nanny put her to sleep when she seems tired. She typically goes down for her nap very easily. She always sleeps 2 to 3 hours during the day but I'm wondering if we should get her on a more consistent schedule. This "schedule" seems to be working for her but it would be nice to know exactly when her naps will be throughout the day.

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Katie,

I typically recommend the following schedule at 8 months:

Nap 1 around 9/9:30
Nap 2 around 1/1:30
Bedtime about 3 hours after waking from second nap
*babies typically drop their third nap by 9 months*

Hope this helps!
Arielle

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Average sleep time and nap schedule for a two year old?
MARIA, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD, 6 MONTH OLD

Hi Arielle,
Just wanted to check if we are on track. About how many hours a night and per nap should I be clocking with my toddler? Our bedtime is at 730pm and our naptime is around 1230pm. Does this seem reasonable? Thanks!

Arielle
ARIELLE

It varies by child. How many is she clocking in right now?

MARIA

Her nap is usually about 1.5hrs and nightime sleep is around 11.5 hrs

Arielle
ARIELLE

That's perfect! Anywhere from 12-14 hours is about right. :)

MARIA

Great, thanks! :)

Arielle
ARIELLE

You're welcome!

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Transitioning to One Nap
TAMMY, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD

My son just turned one years old, a little over two weeks ago. I'm looking for advice on when to transition to one nap, signs for readiness, and how to transition. Right now, he sleeps 11-11.5 hours a night usually 7:30 to 6:30/7:00. He naps at 10 & 2. First nap is 50 mins to an hour, and second nap is usually an hour and 20 mins. He goes down for naps pretty easily, and goes to bed 4 hours after his last wake up. He's with a nanny during the day and we want to make sure the transition is easy on us all. We are going on a vacation in the next month, and being at one nap would be great. But again, we're trying to make sure the transition is easy.

He just went through a little rough sleep due to learning to walk. So, we're trying to choose the right timing.

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Tammy!

The average age for a baby to transition to one nap is 15 months. It sounds like he's doing just fine on two naps right now and I wouldn't mess that up! You'll know it's time to transition to one nap when he begins either skipping naps, both naps get shorter, bedtime becomes difficult, middle of the night wakings occur, or early wakeups (any combination of these things). The 2-1 transition is really different for each child so it's hard to give generalizations with regard to schedule. Some children do better with a shorter wake time before the nap and a longer wake time after the nap and before bed while others do well with a longer wake time in the morning and a shorter wake time in the afternoon. You can certainly check back in with me when you think it's time to transition!

Arielle

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
8 month sleep regression
ANNA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

Hi!

My 8month old that used to sleep through the night, 7-6/7, has all of a sudden started to wake up 2-3 times a night. One night he was up every 2hrs, usually I find him on all fours rocking, sitting up or standing in crib - these are all new skills. It's almost as if he gets into those positions in his sleep and then wakes up and cries, like he doesn't know to lay back down himself. I think he has nightmares too as he can wake up screaming/crying and be like he's still asleep but so upset. I usually have to hold him to go back to sleep. Will this phase go away as he's mastered these skills more? It's been 1 wk so far. Same usually for falling asleep for naps, he'll be super tired but then gets on all fours/sitting/standing and then can't fall asleep unless I go back in and start over. How do I best support him in this phase without creating bad habits? He usually falls asleep on his own in crib unless he's teething or now in what seems like the beginning of a sleep regression when I have to hold him a lot. I try to lay him down before completely asleep but not always possible.
Thanks!

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Anna!

Check out this article: http://seacoast.citymomsblog.com/sleep/regressions-and-sleep/

It should give you lots of tips! Let me know if you have questions!

Arielle

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Nap 2 wake time
ANDREA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD

Ok, nap question 🙂. Nap 1 success, put down at 1.5 and sleep 1.5 hours after like 2 min of fussing and wake up happy. Nap 2 tried to put down at 1.75, my boy cried 15 min then fell asleep for 45min then woke up and started crying and right before the hour mark when I was going to get him he fell asleep again. WOO HOO. Do I keep the 1.75 or should I try moving it up to the 1.5 or the opposite? This nap stuff is exhausting, I am actually looking forward to the 2 naps a day because 3 or 4 is killing me!

Babies are 4.5 months adjusted, 5.5 actually. Just started sleep training as well. Boy sleeps through the night girl wakes up a couple times and usually goes back on own, accept for 4am! Today she cried 45 min and I caved and got her (I know I was not consistent!).

Arielle
ARIELLE

If you're doing wake times it's totally fine to stick with 1.5 hours right now and then slowly move forward slowly over the next few weeks.

ANDREA

Ok thank you. Is there a time when you use nap times rather than wake times??

Arielle
ARIELLE

I personally work around "by the clock" schedules but every baby is different so it requires some work together to figure out what that would look like for your children.