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Infant Sleep 101

Caroline A.
CAROLINE A.
Certified Child Sleep Consultant
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Tired of feeling tired? We hear you, loud and clear! Get the expert advice you've been searching for right now. (And, a better night's sleep—guaranteed!) Led by Tinyhood Sleep Consultant, Caroline Adcock.

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CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Having to wake to feed
RACHEL, PARENT OF 23 MONTH OLD

My LO is 6 days old and we are just home from the hospital. Now that there aren’t nurses coming in hourly, he is really settling in and getting great sleep. Maybe even too much sleep? I have to wake him up to feed him and feel bad about it, but I was told to feed him every 2 to 3 hours. I’ve let him stay asleep for 4 before. We are still getting 8 feedings in a day, he is pooping and peeing as he should, and he does have periods between feedings during the day when he is awake and alert, so I think he is fine. I guess my question is should I be waking him up to eat and if so, should I wait until more of the 3 or 4 hour mark, knowing that some of his other feedings are closer together - like 2 hours - and we can still get in all 8. Thanks!

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Rachel! Sounds like your little guy is doing great! I would still follow the advice about waking him up to eat until you had an opportunity to talk to your pediatrician about it. When they are that little, it's also about keeping them properly hydrated, and as you know, their stomach volume is tiny and depending on several factors (born premature, difficult delivery etc) they can be extra sleepy in the beginning. So I'd say feed him every three hours even if that means you have to wake him up. This will not negatively impact his ability to develop a good sleeping pattern down the road.

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Night sleep
BAILEY, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My baby is 8 weeks old and is nursing. At night she will fall asleep on my nipple and seem to be in a deep sleep however once I try to put her down she is wide awake again. Any suggestions to get her to sleep while in her bassinet?

Another question separate to my first, on average they say babies sleep 15 hours a day. When my baby is nursing and her eyes are closer but she is sucking would we count that as sleep? Or is she not asleep until she is completely done nursing

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Bailey! Try to work on getting her off the breast before she is asleep and lay her down in her bassinet. Offer her a pacifier. At 8 weeks, babies should be getting an average of 16-18 hours of sleep per 24h period. She may be asleep when her eyes are closed and she is sucking, but it's most likely a lighter and less restorative type of sleep.

BAILEY

Okay. Thank you

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Drowsy but awake
MOLLY, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

I’m confused about the advice to put your baby to sleep drowsy but awake. Our daughter is 19 weeks old. I would like to get out of our current habit of nursing to sleep, but I am aware that she is too young to really sleep train. If I put her to sleep drowsy, and she cries and wakes up, what do I do? Pick her up and rock/bounce her? Would that be trading one crutch for another? Would like to begin to teach her to self-soothe but not sure what the actual steps are. Thanks!

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Molly! The key is that she starts to associate the crib environment with going to sleep and not your boobs. There are different ways this can be done- and at 29 weeks she actually is old enough for structured sleep training- one method could be picking her up until she is calm and then putting her back down while she is still awake. This method can mean repeating this back and forth many times until she finally falls asleep by herself, so you wouldn’t be reading one crutch for another because she would eventually learn (on consecutive nights) to go down easier and easier by herself.

MOLLY

Sorry that’s a type, she is 10 weeks not 19!

Caroline
CAROLINE

Yes, at 10 weeks she's too young for any strict scheduling, but slowly getting her used to falling asleep in her crib is still something you can start doing now. If you need some more ideas about soothing techniques, check out the Happiest baby on the block. Good luck!

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
No cry sleep method to sleep through the night?
MEGAN, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

Sorry I am new to this app.

I feel like a total and complete failure cause I can’t seem to get my 8mo to sleep through the night. I tried ferber, it’s not for us. I also want to get him off night feedings. We start the night in the crib, but as of last week we are ending the night in my bed together. I actually do t mind that it’s the nursing and the crying and the waking every 2 hours that I am trying to end.

Every night is different. Tonight he lasted 3 hours in crib, two nights ago it was 7 hours, night before that it was 5.

Wtf am I doing wrong. I wish I knew what I was doing and I didn’t suck so bad.

Thanks

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Megan, no worries ;-) Don't be so hard on yourself, I bet your kiddo didn't exactly come with a manual. It sounds like he has developed a sleep association, which means he needs the same circumstances that are present at bedtime/when he is going to sleep when he wakes up (and we all have brief wake ups throughout the night), in order to go back to sleep. His schedule may be off, too. The best way to solve these problems is to wean him from the sleep crutch and to stop bringing him into your bed.

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Need Recommendations
JULIANA, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

I need recommendations of routines to sleep my baby is 8 months old when I sleep at 9:00 pm he always sleeps two hours and then stays awake until 12:30 am which is when he actually falls asleep

MEGAN

I would also like advice on this. I put my 8mo to sleep at 8ish, and he wakes 3-5 times in the night... usually around midnight it’s next to impossible to get him back to sleep.

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Juliana! It sounds like his schedule could be off. He should have two good naps during the day at this point and go to bed between 6-8pm, with a morning wake time no later than 7am.

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Frequently wake ups
RUMEYSAM, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

Hi! We went to vacation for four days last week. We were in a hotel ,I tried to follow my baby’s nap and sleep schedule at there. She was good. She woke up on her usual times. But when we came back home. She started to wake up almost every hour. It is so tiring. I give her pacifier to put her sleep back. But, she wakes up again after an hour. I don’t know what to do. I feel like she becoming dependent on the pacifier. That makes me worried.
She normally sleep 3 to 4 hour stretches.
She is almost 4 months old.
Thanks

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Rumeysam! You could be seeing what’s often called the 4 months sleep regression, where babies that have not previously learned to self soothe have the biggest problems going to sleep and staying asleep. If you suspect that she can’t go to sleep and stay asleep without the pacifier than it’s probably time to wean her from using it.

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Still waking up
NICOLE, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD, 19 MONTH OLD

Hello my 11 month old still wakes up 2 a night for a bottle, it is the only way I’m able to put him back to sleep is with a bottle. I feel like I’ve tried everything to stop it. Any advice on how I can get him sleep through the night? I’m due in April with my second baby and there is no way I’d be able to be up with both throughout the nights

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Nicole! You will have to stop feeding him at night for this to stop. So see if your pediatrician gives the green light and then choose a sleep training method with which to respond to the wakings. If you’re consistent it shouldn’t take to long before he gets it.

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Not sleeping thru the night
BLANCA , PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD

My 18mth old boy still wakes up every 2-3hrs & some nights every hour-1.5hr. He still breastfeeds but it's mainly for soothing. What can i do to so he can sleep thru the night?

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Blanca! It sounds like he could be having a nurse to sleep association, in which case you need to stop letting him use you as a means to go back to sleep in order for him to develop self soothing skills.