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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!
18 mo dropping nighttime sleep
KATIE, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD, 16 MONTH OLD

Hi Arielle,

Thanks so much for your help. Our 18 mo was sleeping until between 7:00-7:30am almost consistently until about two weeks ago. She is now waking up at 5:50/6:00am, even though she is going to bed at the same time (7:30pm). She wakes up upset and crying, but will not go back to sleep.

She is also fussing more at bedtime. She actually *just* fell asleep (at ~8:05pm) after a solid 30+ minutes of fussing and crying when we put her down. We check on her and give her pats every ~10 minutes when we put her down if she is crying (if she's quietly fussing we see if she can work it out on her own).

I don't know what has caused this decrease in sleep! She is napping between 1.5-2hours during the day (from 1pm-2.30/3pm), and that's the same as before. She wakes up crying, and that's how it has always been. It could be her 2 year molars, but I don't see them coming in and it's been two weeks now.

Is this just our new normal? Or should I be doing something to get that extra 1-1.5 hours of sleep back?

Thanks, Kat

Arielle
ARIELLE

It's actually language related! At 18 months, there is a huge language burst that can cause sleep disruption in the way you're describing. It can last a few weeks. The best thing to do is remain consistent!

KATIE

Good to know, thanks! We will hold steady and hope she regains those hours soon!

Arielle
ARIELLE

Yes, I'm sure it will come back. :)

KATRINA

i will atest to a huge language jump
a few weeks ago at her 18 month checkup
i told doctor was not saying 2 word combos
and now she is saying 4 wordcombos
it was crazy how she exploded :)

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Night feeds
LAURA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

Hi Arielle-

I accidentally deleted my previous post about night feeds and you commented asking his schedule. He generally naps from 9am-10:30am and 2-4pm. We shoot for a 6:30-7pm bedtime and he is up for the day at 7am. (Lately waking at 10pm, 1am and 4am :/)

His nap schedule may not be ideal for his age but it seems to be the best we can do after almost 4 mos of cat naps...

Arielle
ARIELLE

I'm sorry - remind me - how old is he?

LAURA

6 months

Arielle
ARIELLE

What do you do when he wakes at 10/1/4? And how does he fall asleep for the night and for naps? Do you feed him to sleep?

LAURA

Hi Ariel,

Thanks for your response. I had the mindset that under 6 months of age,
babies can't be spoiled, so when he woke at night we would try and soothe
him: first try pacifier but he has since rejected it, patting his back and
'shooshing' him (works sometimes), then holding and swaying to sleep or
last resort feeding.

He is good at putting himself to sleep without nursing for naps and even
sometime in the early morning. At the moment, I am currently feeding him
before bed but he sometimes he falls asleep while feeding or shortly after
and other times, there's a gap between when he eats and actually falls
asleep.

Now that he's 6 months, I want to try and get him to sleep longer stretches
and think that cutting out the nursing association may help. Last night he
would not calm down at 1am with my husband but stopped immediately the
second my husband handed him to me which makes me nervous for this upcoming
weekend of sleep training :/

As I said in the post, we went through a nice stretch where he was sleeping
6:30-10pm (feed), then 10:15pm-5am (feed) and 5:15am-7am but he's back to
waking up every few hours now and will not go down unless he comfort feeds.
To be honest, bedtime has gotten a little difficult too because he's sleepy
at 6pm but lately won't fall asleep til 7:30pm so it's been a whole
process. I try to capitalize on putting him down when he's sleepy but he
fights it and has pretty consistently been falling asleep around 7:30pm;
should I just ignore the yawns and eye rubbing at 6pm and shoot for a
7:30pm bedtime?

He's 6 months and this is his rough schedule (we have a nanny home with him
during the day and I realize he needs to be on the eat, play sleep schedule
more than he is...):

bedtime: 6:30-7:30pm
up at 10pm to eat
sleeps: 10:15pm-1am (up to eat)
sleeps: 1:15am-5am (up to eat)
sleeps: 5am-7:30am
bottle 1: 8:30am
nap 1: 9am-10:30am
play
bottle 2: 12pm
play
bottle 3: 2:30pm
nap 2: 2:45pm-4pm/4:30pm
play, read, solids: 4-6pm
bedtime routine (book, quick bath, lotion, pj's, sound machine and nurse)
bedtime: 6:30-7:30pm

I appreciate any insight and/or advice. The past couple of weeks have been
tough with random events like teething and 6 month shots and I feel like
his good sleep routine went out the window when he started teething.

Thank you so much!!

Laura

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Laura,

Have a look at this document. I think it will help! https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7PXG7_AaoeEZTNJQmZzWnJVTzQ/view?usp=sharing

Let me know what questions you have.

Arielle

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Is afternoon nap too long?
LAUREN, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD, 2 YEAR OLD

Hi Arielle,

Thanks for your help! I have a question about naps. Right now my 4.5 month old's sleep schedule looks like this most days:

7/7:15am - wake
9:00am - 9:30am - nap
11:15-11:45am - nap
1:30 - 4:30/4:45pm - nap
7:00/7:30pm - bed

Then she usually wakes to eat once a night around 4-5am and goes right back down but recently I cut out a 10pm dream feed and it's been twice a night (around 1am and 4am). I'm assuming it's okay to let her sleep so long in the afternoon but I wanted to check with you. Would this potentially be affecting her night time sleep? She only takes catnaps in the morning so I feel bad waking her up from her afternoon nap if she really needs it but don't want it to come at the cost of night time sleep. I've been trying to follow the 1.5-2 hour wake time between naps.

Thanks!

Arielle
ARIELLE

I'm confused - are her first and second naps only 30 minutes long? And is the third nap 3 hours long?

LAUREN

Yes, that's right. Her two naps in the morning are only 30-40 minutes each but she'll sleep for a much longer stretch in the afternoon. Sometimes she'll wake up after 30-40 minutes into her afternoon nap but will put herself back to sleep.

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Lauren,

It's important that her first two naps be at least an hour. The first nap is shown to be mentally restorative while the second nap is shown to be physically restorative. The third nap is actually not restorative at all and should really only be a cat nap. The third nap is dropped between 6 and 9 months because it is not, in fact, restorative.

I would encourage you to do some sleep work with her on the first two naps to lengthen them out. I typically recommend a schedule like the following at that age:

Wake by 7 a.m.
First nap at 8:15/8:30 a.m.
Second nap around 12/12:15 p.m.
Third nap about 1.5 hours after waking from second nap
Bedtime about 1.5 hours after waking from third nap

She is likely having short naps for her first two naps because the timing is off. If nap timing is off, nighttime sleep will be affected, too.

Arielle

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Toddler sleep challanges
MARIA, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD

Hi Arielle,
My 21month old has picked up this bad habit in the past week of refusing food at lunch/dinner and waiting until story time/naptime or even bed time to demand food and then flips out if i don't give it to her. I don't want to reinforce bad habits, but I also don't want her to go to bed hungry. Do you have any suggestions?
Thanks!

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Maria,

My suggestion would be to hold the boundaries. Once she learns that she will not be fed at bedtime/story time/nap time, she will stop this stall tactic. ;)

Arielle

PS - She will NOT starve to death - I promise! She's at a limit-testing age.

MARIA

Yikes! I hope you are right. It's so hard to figure out if she's bluffing or not at this age because she still can't talk!

Arielle
ARIELLE

It's totally normal at this age. They push boundaries and need you to hold them. That actually makes them feel more secure!

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Dreamfeed
FRANCESCA, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD, 2 YEAR OLD

My baby girl is 4 mo. She sleeps great. 8:30 pm after eating until 7:20 am when I wake her. She hasn’t wanted to take a bottle ( been trying since she was 6 weeks and she has gotten worse) and LC suggested we try a dream feed with a bottle. I’m reluctant to try that Bc she doesn’t have a need for a dreamfeed and I don’t want to mess that up.

Any thoughts on that? Thanks.

Arielle
ARIELLE

Yikes. Well, I certainly don't want to negate what the LC said. With regard to sleep, however, I do not believe in dreamfeeds. And here is why: http://seacoast.citymomsblog.com/sleep/four-reasons-dream-feed-isnt-dreamy/

FRANCESCA

Ok thank you for this! Appreciate the explanation for the dream feed!

Arielle
ARIELLE

No problem! :)

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Newborn-3 Weeks Okd
ANGELICA , PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

I have a newborn (3 weeks old tomorrow) that can actually sleep four to five hours through the night if I let him. But during the day he can get kind of insufferable after a feed. Since my milk supply went down, I had to be consistent with the 2-3 hour gap between feedings and I feel like he does not nap as much As he used to because by the time I get him down, it is time for his next feeding. Is there a way to remedy this? Or should I just keep the schedule as is and once my milk supply comes back a bit more let him sleep more? Also, how much sleep is normal for a newborn this age ? Sorry for the bombardment! It's just strange that he could sleep through the night if I didn't wake him up to feed.

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Angelica,

At his age, sleep will be erratic until closer to 4 months. Also, there is a 3-week growth spurt that could be causing this issue. I would try to get him to sleep about every 45 minutes and not focus on how long he's actually sleeping.

At his age, he needs 16-18 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period.

Arielle

ANGELICA

So even if his feed is taking a little longer than 45 minutes I should take him off my breast and put him down?

Arielle
ARIELLE

No, if he's still nursing, go ahead and let him finish.

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Day Care and Sleep Changes
MEREDITH, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD, 20 MONTH OLD

Hi there! We recently changed our 17 month from a nanny to day care and now our otherwise great sleeper is pretty inconsistent. Any tips on making this transition to day care naps (3 days/week) any easier on her? She especially seems to be extra amped up at bedtime - taking 30+ minutes to fall asleep. Thanks!

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Meredith!

How long ago did you move her? When does she nap and for how long? When do you attempt to put her to bed?

Arielle

MEREDITH

About 3 weeks ago she started day care, has been napping there for 1 full week now. She sleeps 11-12 hours at night and 1-2 hour naps. If she gets 11 hours at night, her daytime naps seem to be shorter. We aim for a 6:45-7pm bedtime, Earlier if she wakes up from her nap on the earlier side. She's up by 3 the latest at day care

Arielle
ARIELLE

Ok, at what time does she nap?

MEREDITH

12:45 she goes down at day care. She has slept until 3 twice now at day care, but sometimes its as early as 2. If she naps at home, I put her down for 1 and she sleeps until 3

Arielle
ARIELLE

Ok, at 17 months, I like to see toddlers going to bed sometime between 4 and 4.5 hours after waking from their nap rather than a set time. If the nap is shorter it would be closer to 4 hours. Additionally, it's important to know that daycare transitions can take a few weeks and that around her age there is a huge language burst that can disrupt sleep. I think it's kind of the perfect storm for her.

MEREDITH

I had a feeling we were taking another mental leap around this time. When we put her down for bed shes happy, but literally goes through her entire vocabulary before falling asleep - sometimes it takes 40 minutes to tire herself out! I will use the 4 hour tip as a rule of thumb for now. Thanks so much!

Arielle
ARIELLE

You're welcome!

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Waking up early in the morning
R, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

Our 8.5 month old previously good sleeper has started waking up around 4-5am, last night he woke up crying really loudly. Finally fell asleep when we brought him over to our bed. He usually sleeps in his crib in our room. He usually sleeps by 8:30pm and wakes up by 6:30am.
I'm not sure what's causing him to wake up early in the mornings..?

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi - can you tell me what his daytime schedule looks like? When does he nap and for how long?

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

Hi! We are going to start sleep training our 6 month old this weekend. Do you have any good resources (books/websites) we should checkout before doing So? It seems he has a breastfeeding/sleep association as he's been waking a few times at night and won't go back down until fed. Thanks!

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Laura,

My personal philosophy is that books and websites don't help because all babies are different. Books and websites give very general advice and don't take into account individualized situations of each family and child. I hope that makes sense? You could always subscribe to Tinyhood and work directly with me for a small monthly fee. Just something to consider. ;)

Arielle

LAURA

Thanks! That's exactly why I haven't read much about sleep training but figured I'd ask since we're going to attempt to tackle it in a few days. If I subscribe to tinyhood we can work together more directly? Or is your fee separate?

Arielle
ARIELLE

I have limited availability on Tinyhood but will get back to your questions within 24-hours. If you need more immediate assistance, I can send you my email to learn more about working together more closely.

ARIELLE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Sleep schedules over time
FRANCESCA, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD, 2 YEAR OLD

What are the ideal nap times and sleep times as babies get older?how does it change? 4, 5, 6 months and so on?

Arielle
ARIELLE

Hi Francesca,

You can check out the information in this document: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7PXG7_AaoeEZTNJQmZzWnJVTzQ/view?usp=sharing

Let me know if you have questions!

FRANCESCA

Thank you very much!!!

Arielle
ARIELLE

You're welcome!