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Baby Sleep Support

Caroline A.
CAROLINE A.
Certified Child Sleep Consultant
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Have the holidays thrown your family's sleep schedule for a loop? You're certainly not alone. Maximize your ZZZs in the new year with support from Tinyhood Sleep Consultant, Caroline Adcock

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CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Is there any hope??
TESSA, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

So, my newly 9 month old (born three weeks early) has never been a good sleeper. Even in the hospital the nurses made jokes about how he “just wants to be with his Mama!” He is a healthy little dude who eats everything we give him, is gaining weight and has enough diapers. However he has never slept brought the night. He once did a 6 hr stretch, but that was after shots and a dose of medicine. A good night is 3 wake ups, and usual is 5-6, and that’s with me bringing him into bed with me due to being so exhausted. Naps aren’t any better and I have to hold him and then he’ll sleep an hour, otherwise he will only do 20-30 min nap because he’ll wake up and refuse to sleep if i try to lay him down. When he was new we would nurse to drowsy, then rock to sleep as he refused to be put down drowsy. Now I nurse to sleep, then put a pacifier in and try to lay him down. My husband can give him his bottle then rock him to sleep. However now we lowered his crib, so he wakes every time we try to lay him down. Our ped described him as a high needs baby, and after doing some reading I believe he fits that profile. He doesn’t fussy much though, unless he’s sick. He goes immediately to inconsolable crying. At 6 months (and I’ll still try every other week for naps now) we tried CIO and he would puke or poop every time, so that didn’t work. We’ve tried everything to get him to sleep: read countless books and articles, adjusted schedules, adjusted naps, wake times, Bed times, routines, tried nearly every “sleep sack” type thing on the market, and nothing has worked. Please please tell me there is some hope! Thanks in advance.

TESSA

Also we put him in his crib to play and know it’s an ok place to be and be comfortable and he’s fine, but if we try to lay him down at all he will get upset.

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Tessa! You have a lot going on. So the first thing you would want to get in the habit of is laying him down drowsy but awake, another thing you have to work on is breaking his sleep associations with being held/nursed to sleep. He does sound like a very persistent little guy and your attempts of trying CIO likely fed into him being even more persistent... I would love to help y'all to figure this out, but this can't be done via Q&As. It requires me to dig deeper and design a plan that y'all can follow and support you along the way. If you are at all interested, check out the packages we offer and let me know!

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Getting baby to sleep at night
YARLY, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My 8 week old seems restless and overactive after 7-8pm I start getting her ready for bed by dimming the lights feeding her quiet the environment around her. However she seems to be the most awake at this time. Sometimes she will sleep and then wake up after 45minutes and want to play. She wants to feed again around 10pm and then will not go to bed. She will fuss and take a pacifier but still very awake. We have no problem during the day with getting her to sleep. But then morning comes and she wants to sleep for hours on end. I have to constantly wake her to feed. I wish she did this at night. I can’t seem to get her to know that quiet time is bedtime. One time I was so exhausted I let the tv play and fell asleep on the couch with her in her rocker in the living room and she slept four 1/2 hours straight! I don’t want her to get used to this. Please help.

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Yarly! Sounds like she should be going to bed for the night sooner, the behavior you're describing is classic for an overtired baby. Watch her sleepy cues and get her down within an hour from waking from her last nap. She could also still have some day night confusion going on, so expose her to lots of light during her (brief) waketimes during the day and keep everything calm and subdued during the night. Also don't let her sleep any longer than two hours for her daytime naps.

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Letting baby cry
BAILEY, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My daughter is 8 weeks and I’m trying to get her on a schedule. I am putting her down in her basinett but she immediately starts to cry. How long should I allow her to cry for before picking her up?

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Bailey! If it's just fussing you can see if offering a pacifier will help her to go to sleep. At this age, there is no point in letting them "cry" cry, so if that happens, pick her up until she is calm and put her back down before she is asleep. It may require several cycles of this before she goes to sleep.

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
My son will be 3 months on January 14th, and he will fall asleep downstairs and I’ll transport him to his crib usually not to long after ...
LAUREN, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

And he will wake immediately the second he touches his mattress in his crib and starts crying and screaming. What can I do to fix this, he is fed and changed always before I lay him down so idk what’s happening.. HELP ME!!

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Lauren! Get him used to getting into his crib before he falls asleep within his wake window, which at this point is between 1 to 1.5 hours. Lay him down drowsy but awake. Offer him a pacifier and let him practice self soothing. It may take some time and may not work every time, so if he fusses and won't go down, you can shush/pat or pick him up and put him down, put always only to the point where he is calmed, not asleep.

LAUREN

Why do you not want to put them down when they are asleep?

Caroline
CAROLINE

Because they need to associate the crib environment with going to sleep lest you create a sleep association that you have then go and train out of them later.

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Overnight feeds, crying/groaning
ERIN, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

I have two questions regarding my 9 week old and his sleep schedule:
1). This past weekend my son finally slept for an extended period of time overnight (10 pm - 4 am) two nights in a row, which was wonderful. Since then though, he has gone back to his previous sleep schedule of waking to feed both at 1-2 am and 4-5 am. Do you have any recommendations for a bedtime routine/appropriate timing for bed/timing of last feed, so that we can get into a better overnight routine with less awakenings?
2). My son has consistently had episodes of very loud grunting, crying, groaning, and squealing overnight since he was about 2-3 weeks old. Episodes seem to start around 3 or 4 am (typically after his second overnight feed) and are incredibly disruptive to both his and our sleep and are distressing to us because he is so upset and little helps. I think it is associated with gas because he kicks and pulls his legs up during the episodes, and I have been hoping he would outgrow this but there have been no signs of this so far. Oftentimes, he wakes like this in the morning and despite being hungry won't feed and will continue to cry until he passes gas or has a bowel movement, after which he is ravenous. Any recommendations on how to prevent and/or relieve these episodes or is this something he just needs to grow out of?

Just trying to optimize things before going back to work in 2 weeks! Thanks in advance.

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Erin! At this age, there isn't much in the ways of scheduling that you can do other than paying attention to both his wake windows (about an hour) and his sleepy signs, as his sleep organization is still a work in progress for a while. About your second question, talk to your pediatrician if he can recommend anything at all, but usually they outgrow it if there isn't an underlying medical reason. Gas drops, gripe water etc. are not proven to help. There is a newish product on the market, the Windy (by the same people that make the Nose Frida) which I have heard good things about. Good luck!

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Teaching to self-soothe
MOLLY, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

My daughter (11 weeks) will start daycare at the end of the month, so this week I started trying to get her in the habit of taking regular naps in her crib, and being able to self-soothe to sleep. After nursing and a bit of play, I’ll rock her till she’s drowsy and then put her down. She will usually close her eyes, but then wake up after 5-10 minutes and cries. I wait a few minutes, rock to comfort again and put her back down, and the cycle repeats. Sometimes she will eventually get to a longer sleep, but most of the time we just repeat this for an hour+ until it’s time for the next feeding. Am I doing this right? Will she eventually start sleeping through from the first time? We are in a dark room, swaddled with white noise. I sometimes try the pacifier, which will calm her down, but she usually spits it out after a few minutes. Any tips appreciated.

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Molly! Do you pay attention to her ideal wake window and sleepy signs? At this point she can't be up for more than an hour before she gets into the overtired zone, which will then complicate everything that follows. If you suspect that she needs a nap but just can't take one, cheat and wear her so that she at least gets some sleep under her belt and try again next time.

MOLLY

That’s helpful- I do often resort to the carrier when she won’t go down in the crib. I’m a little confused about awake windows for this reason: Cora is a very slow eater. Our nursing sessions usually last between 45-75 minutes, and she is half-asleep for much of that time, though she is still sucking. So she clearly gets some rest during nursing sessions. I’m not sure how to consider that kind of rest when looking at her awake windows.

Caroline
CAROLINE

You can't count this as you would a nap. There has to be a clear distinction between eating, playing (not so much perhaps right now) and sleep. So maybe try to get her to be more awake while she's eating and cap it at 45min max so you can get her down again with a little buffer within her 1 hr wake window.

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
I need more advice 👩
MEGAN, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

When do babies sleep through the night and what are some of the most successful techniques to wean from nightfeedings?

I did cold turkey for about a week, then I’m not sure why, probably cause I was tired and not thinking clearly, I gave in and now we have night feedings again. My new tactic is to pull him off quickly.. just letting him get a bit, and decreasing his time on the boob to less each time.

Will he ever sleep through the night? 8mo

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Megan! It kind of depends on how you define sleeping through the night. There is a big variance between kids, and it also depends on whether a baby still needs to eat at night. But at 8/9 months it is reasonable to expect a child to sleep for 10-12 hours straight. Going cold turkey can work if you are really consistent (given of course that the child is growing well etc etc), and a little more graduated you can stop offering one feeding and keeping another, or gradually decrease the amount given. Unless your son has a sleep association with being nursed, weaning alone should be enough to get him to sleep through the night eventually.

MEGAN

Thank you very much. This really helps

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Restless Sleep
LISE, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My almost 8 week old daughter, does not seem to ever have a peaceful sleep. She tends to grunt, moan and stretch throughout the night and tends to wake herself up every hour and a half to 2 hours. She will normally fall back to sleep after 30 mins if I give her a top up feeding, but it is causing her to be tired all day long.

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Lisa! Some infants are really restless sleepers. Until the 8 week mark this can be helped with swaddling, but recent recommendations by the AAP tell us to stop swaddling at the 8 week mark. She may be a little overtired. Try offering her a pacifier and pay attention to her waketimes between naps during the day, which shouldn't exceed 1 hour from getting up from a nap to going back down, in a dark room, with white noise into a crib or similarly safe sleep environment. Good luck!

LISE

Any advice for fighting sleep? She likes to see all that is going on around her and fully wakes at almost any little sound during the day.

Caroline
CAROLINE

Sorry, I just realized I misspelled your name Lise; a really dark room and using a white noise machine should take care of the distractions. 8 weeks is the prime age for them to be interested in everything, as there is some cognitive development going on. This should get better within a short while.

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Nightmares at 14 weeks? Pacifier?
BEATRIZ, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

Is possible that my LO 14 weeks old has nightmares?. She yells a lot after half an hour when she falls sleep and she seems very upset. I put her the pacifier and i talk to her and she calms down after a while.
And other question I have, my daughter just sleeps if she has the pacifier, but obviously she is too small to get it herself, so I have to get up several times at night to put it on her mouth. At what age they learn how to do this themselves? Is there anyway she learns how to sleep without it?. She is very dependent!.

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Beatriz! Sounds like your daughter has a sleep association of some sort, is there something you do routinely to get her to sleep? The pacifier could be it. At around 4 months most babies show difficulties with going to sleep and staying asleep if they haven't previously learned how to self-soothe. About your second question, it depends on the child. A better course of action would likely be to wean her from the pacifier and teach her how to self soothe now.

BEATRIZ

How can i teach her to sooth herself?

Caroline
CAROLINE

You would pick a sleep training method and give her the room to learn it.