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Infant Sleep 101

Caroline A.
CAROLINE A.
Certified Child Sleep Consultant
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Has baby's arrival thrown your family's sleep schedule into disarray? Help (and rest) are on the way! Join us to learn more about improving your little one's current routine. Led by Tinyhood Sleep Consultant, Caroline Adcock.

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Ask Caroline, our Certified Child Sleep Consultant!

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3 week old baby has trouble sleeping
SAVANNAH , PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

What can I do to help my baby fall asleep and stay asleep?

Caroline
CAROLINE

Try to stick with awake windows of 45-60 min max, to avoid baby becoming overtired, which makes both falling and staying asleep that much harder. Also check out "The happiest baby on the block" (dvd or book), Dr. Karp offers some excellent techniques on how to calm a fussy baby and maximize sleep.

SAVANNAH

Thank you!!

I try my best to get him to sleep as soon as he yawns and after about an hour of being awake. But he won’t go down...

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
No sleep
NADIRA , PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

Hey so for the past 2 nights my 1 month old daughter hasn’t been sleeping during the night. She’s constantly crying. We tried every tactic possible. We feed her as she needs. At times she throws back up a little. I’m so confused and frustrated. We are running low on sleep. She sleeps fine during the day, but why not nights?

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Nadira! There are several possible reasons for that. At one month old, she could still have some day-night confusion going on, which would lead to her sleeping more during the day than during the night. If her spit ups are more than just a little bit, she could have reflux which you should go see her pediatrician for. If she sleeps more during the day, maybe she's in a different sleep environment during the day than at night, she could have colic if the crying always starts around the same time every day (evenings) and lasts for a few hours, etc etc. Check out the Happiest Baby on the Block book or dvd, it offers some excellent strategies for addressing sleep/soothing issues in babies that age.

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
All night sleep
JESSIE, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

How do I get my 11 week old to sleep through the night? He wakes every 2-3 hours to feed.

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi (again ;-) Jessie! Waking every 2-3 hours to eat is very normal and to be expected at that age. They have tiny stomachs that can't hold very much food at once and so they need to eat more frequently. One way to ensure that he really gets the most sleep and doesn't get hungry prematurely is making sure that he is getting a full feed every time.

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Growth spurts
JESSIE, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My son is 11 weeks and he has been very sleepy lately. He also has been eating less. Before he'd be eating 3 oz every 3 hours. Now it's 2 oz every 1.5-2 hours or less, but he still has 6+ wet diapers and poops 1-2 times a day. Is he going through a growth spurt?

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Jessie! He could be, but this is really more in the realm of infant feeding/lactation, so why don't you hop over there and ask them?

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Cost
JOE

Is there a cost to use this site?

Caroline
CAROLINE

Yes, please check out the FAQs

4.5 month old won’t sleep
JESSIE, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD, 2 YEAR OLD

My 4 1/2 month old baby has been a poor sleeper from the beginning. Even now, his naps are an hour at most. This hadn’t been a huge concern to me as he was sleeping decently through the night, only waking to nurse and then immediately back to sleep. However, now when he wakes, he screams and cries even after he is fed. It takes about an hour to calm him down enough to get him back to sleep and he’s waking about 4 times in the night. Basically no one in our house is getting any sleep recently. I’m sure this is having negative effects on him, as he fussed all through the day now too. I’ve tried focusing on his teething as he is chewing and drooling like crazy but nothing seems to work. Should I be concerned or is this just a temporary rough patch? Is this the time to sleep train? My 2 year old didn’t successfully sleep train until he was one and i don’t want to go that long again this time around.

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Sleep
MEGAN, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD, 4 YEAR OLD

My two year old has always been a decent sleeper. Later he has been waking up every night and coming into our room. A couple months ago he started having night terrors but those have seemed to die down. No matter what I do he still wakes up and won’t go back to sleep. Any suggestions?

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Megan! Always walk him back immediately and be very boring and non- entertaining. Check out toddler clocks like Ok to wake, which will signal him when it's ok to get up in the morning. Also make sure that he is getting enough sleep for his age, as that can be another contributor to night wakings (12-14 hours per 24hours). If he is still taking a nap, have it end by 3pm.

MEGAN

I will walk him back to bed but he will get out of his bed and sit in his door way and just cry.

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Holding baby
OLIVIA, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

No matter what I do, my little one will not fall asleep by himself. What do I do? I feel like I'm only facilitating a bad habit when I hold him.

Caroline
CAROLINE

Up until baby is 12 weeks old, you won't be creating a bad habit if you let baby fall asleep in your arms. During the early weeks it's paramount to get the baby as well rested as possible. So do what it takes to get him or her to sleep at the right times, but be mindful that, as baby gets older, you allow for practice runs for baby to figure it out for him or herself.

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General advice
CAROL, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

If I should wait until my baby is four months old to sleep train, what can I do in the meantime to maximize sleep?

Caroline
CAROLINE

Use a pacifier, white noise machine, swaddle and darken the room the baby sleeps in to create an environment that's most conducive to sleep. In these early weeks, it's important to watch for sleepy cues to determine when the baby's ready to sleep again. Generally, a baby aged 0-6 weeks can only be up for 45-60 min tops before becoming overtired. If your baby is fussy a lot or seems like he or she hates the crib, to sleep etc. he or she could well be overtired. Also check out the Happiest Baby on the block for some great soothing tips!