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Infant Sleep 101

Caroline A.
CAROLINE A.
Certified Child Sleep Consultant
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Looking to solidify a sleep schedule in 2018? You can take the first step right now—just join the Q&A to find out more.

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CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Should I wake baby to change her
BAILEY, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My baby is 6 weeks and has been getting into the routine of getting put down around 12-1AM and usually sleeps until 9-10AM. It’s AMAZING. I still get up and pump every 3 hours to keep my supply up but my main question is should I be waking her up to change her in the middle of the night? When I wake for pumping I smell her to make sure she hasn’t poked and is sitting in poo poo but if it’s just pee I usually leave her. I don’t want her sitting in pee too long however I fear the midnight diaper change would wake her up and she would have trouble going back to bed.

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Bailey! That’s great! I hope all the sleep is happening in an infant safe sleep space. I wouldn’t wake her “just” to change her. I would make sure however that she has a good layer of diaper cream on her bootie so her skin is protected if you don’t change her. You can always do a test run and see if she goes back to sleep if you wake her and then not repeat it if she’s got trouble going back to sleep.

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Is my baby’s sleep normal?
TORRENCE, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

Hello. My baby girl is 11 weeks now and still waking up every 2-3 hours at night (like a newborn). I am breastfeeding exclusively on-demand except for the occasional bottle of pumped breastmilk she gets from her dad or a babysitting when I am not around. When she wakes up in the night, I assume she is hungry because she always feeds somewhere between 5 and 20 minutes (but usually around 10 minutes). She usually fall asleep after nursing and I put her back in the bassinet and she sleeps for another 2-3 hours. She is a big baby for her age (she was 13 lbs 3 oz and 24.75 inches at her 2 month appointment). She has very rarely slept for longer stretches, more like 3 1/2 to 4 hours and once for 6. I am going back to work in two weeks, I am worried we are all going to go insane if she doesn’t sleep longer. Is this typical at this age, and is there anything I can do to stretch her out on feedings and waking during the night? Thank you for your help!

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Torrence! The average number of feedings per night for a two months old (and we go by the age according to due date) is up to three feeds. But as this is the average, it may be 4 for some and 1 for others. Make sure she is well rested during the day as this will help with night sleep as well. The maximum awake time at two months is about an hour, at three months it's up to 1.5 hours. But always watch her sleepy cues and her down within that window for her naps and naps to bedtime. She is too young yet to sleep train. Maybe it would be helpful for you to also talk to a lactation consultant as they may have more insights on how to dial back on the night feedings. Good luck!

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Night feeds
MEGHA, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

Good morning, as you know we plan to sleep train mid January when our son is 6 months. He is a big baby and likely could do okay with not feeding at night - however, when we sleep train should we not consider his night cries as hunger? Should we wean off night feeds first? And when is the best time to buy the one week package to start the process?? Thank you! Happy holidays!

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Megha! You can do either, it doesn't really matter. You can even sleep train while keeping a night feed. Maybe work on delaying your response to when your feeding him right now for a little and see how that goes. You can purchase the package now or closer to your target start date, we wouldn't do the intake until you are close to getting started (48-72 hours prior to is usually what I recommend). Thanks and enjoy the holidays!

MEGHA

Thank you!! Sounds good!!!

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Sleeping alone
JADE, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

I am planning on starting the self soothing at bedtime tonight and over my long upcoming weekend so that my daughter learn to sleep in her bassinet instead of on me at night. I know she will have a complete meltdown but how long am I supposed to let her cry it out? I’ve tried this before and it seems to be never ending until I just give in and pick her up. I have gone back to work and NEED the sleep now more than ever but I’m concerned as to how long is too long for her to cry it out. Any suggestions?

ILAHA

I had the same problem, until I decided swaddle him , now he sleeps longer

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Jade! I don’t recommend sleep training before a baby is 4 months old counting from the due date. However, getting her off her chest and into her own safe sleep space isn’t only important to get you more sleep but also because it’s safer for her. The AAP recommends to only swaddle until a baby reaches 8 weeks of age btw. Put her in a sleep sack, make sure she is fed and comfortable and then prepare for a longish process. Put her in her bassinet when she is tired but not overtired or asleep, and try to pat shush when she starts to get fussy. Good luck!

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Sleep schedule
JENNY

Hi
We have a bedtime routine for the baby but how can i get hime to sleep a little longer?

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Jenny! Can you give me a few more details?