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Sleep: Baby's First Year

Caroline A.
CAROLINE A.
Certified Child Sleep Consultant
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Baby keeping you up way past your bedtime (and beyond)? We've all been there. Luckily, some some quality R&R is still possible! Just ask our Tinyhood Sleep Expert, Caroline Adcock.

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Irradic sleeping
NICOLE, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My son, who is 6.5 months, has been going to bed at 7 pm like clock work. He then wakes by 11/1130 which at that time I give a dream feed. He then wakes 2-3 more times and is up between 430/5. I’ll let him sit there for a few minutes but then when he just won’t go back down I’ll give him 3oz and then rock him. We are still room sharing and he can crawl like a pro and pull himself up. I’m going to transition him to his room next week when I take more bonding time. Any advice to get him waking less??

7 month old waking constantly through the night
TAUNEE, PARENT OF 6 YEAR OLD, 2 YEAR OLD

My 7 month old was always a great sleeper, from 6 weeks old sleeping the entire night occasionally waking up once or twice. Since about a month and a half ago shes started waking up more at night, we would give her her passie and shed fall back asleep. Its now escalated to waking up 2 to 4 times an hour almost every hour at night, screaming like shes in pain, and the passie wont calm her half the time we either rock her or nurse her back to sleep. Why is she waking so much suddenly?

Night time swaddling
MARGARET, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

Hi there, my son is almost four months and is sleeping through the night (woo)! That being said, the past few nights I’ve noticed that he’s up for a while in the middle of the night trying to get his hands out of his swaddle (which I secure pretty tight). He sucks on his hands during the day, so last night I swaddled him “arms out” and it was pretty much a disaster. He was fixated on his hands all night and didn’t get much sleep :(

Should I keep trying his hands out or go back to arms in? Any suggestions would be more than appreciated!

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
9 mo old naps
LAUREN, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My daughter just turned 9mo (and can now get into sitting from lying down on her own) and has suddenly decided not to lay down and fall asleep for her naps but instead get up and sit and play with the crib rails and cry. She still occasionally takes 3 naps, and I’m wondering at what times of day should she be napping? Bedtime is from 7/7:30 - 5:30/6 (if she wakes up before 6 we leave her in crib until 6). Naps typically were 8-9:15/9:30, 12-1:15/1:30 and occasionally a 30 min nap anywhere from 4:30/5-5/5:30.

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Lauren! I would recommend you switch her to two naps. You're doing the right thing by not getting her before 6 am, Her last nap (the one you will be scrapping) is way too late, so try this and see if things improve: 1st 8:30/9 am, keep her in her crib until 60min are up should she wake early, second nap 12:30ish. Base her bedtime off the end of her second nap, 3.5 hours later. Good luck!

LAUREN

Ok thank you!

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Nighttime sleeping
ABBEY, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

Hello, I have an 8 week old little boy and we are still not going more than 2-3 hour stretches even at night. Is that still normal at this point?
I’ve tried nighttime baths, extra milk, super dark, white noise machine. And he’s not a fan of swaddling so we don’t do that.
Also, he doesn’t seem to want to go to bed until 11:30p, even when i know he’s tired he just fights it
How can I get my baby to bed earlier and stay asleep longer thru the night?
Thank you

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Abbey! Yes, this can still be normal, and definitely, keep up what you are already doing with the super dark room and white noise. An 11:30pm bedtime is way too late, is he crying a lot/very fussy in the late afternoon evening hours? When you say that he fights it, that/s an indicator for me that he is overtired. A nice long soothing routine may help with that. Check out The Happiest Baby on the Block for tips on how to handle that. He still needs to take naps during the day that are no more than an hour apart, but go by his sleepy cues and get him down even before that when he shows signs of being tired (in that same nice dark sleep space that is hopefully his crib or bassinet or pack'n play). Also make sure that he always gets in a full feed.

ABBEY

Yes he gets very fussy lately around 9pm but he just won’t fall asleep. And he definitely naps during the day, some days more than others tho but it doesn’t seem to matter come nighttime. He just won’t sleep
And in regards to his feeding, at night he seems to put down 7oz of milk when his normal is 4.5oz right now. Ha. I don’t know what to do with this kid to get him down and stay down come 9pm

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
8 month old with short naps
MEG, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

Hi Caroline,

My guy is 8 months old and has short naps. His typical routine is up 630/7, nap 845-915/930 (usually only 30 mins, wakes up crying loudly), nap 12-115/130 (very tired by 12 and usually sleeps in his stroller with our nanny and gets a longer nap but if he’s home in the crib it’s usually around 45 mins) and then sometimes he’ll do 20 mins at 4pm. Goes to bed by 7. He wakes up once to eat between 3-5a.

Thanks for your help!
Meg

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Meg! Try to get him to 9 am for his first nap and keep him in his crib for a solid 60min (even if he doesn't sleep this is to extend his time asleep over time). While the timing of the second nap is generally good, if he is up so soon from his first nap it's too late. So try to have him down at 11:30 so he doesn't get overtired. This nap also needs to happen in his crib (dark room, white noise). Motion sleep is not restorative. As long as he wakes up prematurely offer a third cat nap around 3pm (no longer than 30 min) and get him to bed 2-3 hours after waking up from his last nap.

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
4 month old sleep regression?
MORGAN, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

Not sure if it’s a sleep regression because she’s only ever slept good when she was a newborn, but lately, I’ll put her to bed around 730/8 and she wakes up around 9 and is up until 1130pm! And it’s such hard work to get her back to sleep. She doesn’t like to be rocked to sleep or just put down in her bassinet to sleep. It makes it so exhausting trying to find what she needs/wants in order to fall asleep. She takes good naps during the day, one in the morning for about an hour and one in the afternoon time for an hour. Idk what to do but IM TIRED! Lol

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Morgan! I think it's probably a combination of her not getting enough day sleep, maybe the sleep regression and a dependence on you to get her to sleep. Try to get her on a three nap schedule, with the last one being a cat nap between 3-4 and a waketime between naps of no more than 1.5 to 2.25 hours and then get her to bed about two hours after she gets up from that last cat nap. If she doesn't respond to that in a few days it may be time to sleep train.

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Help I'm exhausted
ALEESE, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

My 10 month old doesn't sleep through the night. Bedtime is 8:30-9 and he wakes up usually at 12am then 3 or 4 which I give him a bottle of milk then wakes at 6. Sometimes it's more and I will hold him/rock him back to sleep. I'm exhausted any help?

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Aleese! At 10 months old, your son should be clocking 11-12 hours of sleep at night (and 2.5-4 hours during the day) so try to get him to bed sooner, about 3 hours after he gets up from his last nap. Be careful with the rocking/holding to sleep because this can create (or maybe already has created) a sleep association for him (=he needs it to fall asleep or get back to sleep). Also, see if he is truly hungry during the night and check with your pediatrician if he really still needs to eat or if it may have become a habit.

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
3 months
DAYANA, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

Is it normal that a 3month baby doesn't take naps during the day? And when she does take a nap it won't be more than 45min.

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Dayana! Yes, it's normal, but it's not what we would want. A baby that age needs 15.5-18 hours of sleep per 24h, and 4-7 hours of that should happen during the day. Ways to get there are watching awake time (not longer than 1-1.5 hours between naps) and having baby sleep in a dark room with white noise. So watch your baby's sleepy cues and her down when you can tell she's getting tired. Good luck!

CAROLINE ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Bassinet
DANIELLE, PARENT OF 23 MONTH OLD

My baby is 19 days old and he has only slept in his bassinet maybe 3 times. He prefers to sleep on my chest or in bed with me, however when he does this I am unable to sleep because I’m watching him making sure he doesn’t fall off of my chest and making sure I don’t roll over on him. Any tricks to getting him to sleep in his bassinet?

ALETHIA

i use to used a basket that smell like me and he fall sleep easy to sleep

DANIELLE

I’ve tried laying him on a shirt that smells like me but it didn’t work

ALETHIA

blanket

ALETHIA

but i did used a smaller bassinet where you can be in his on bed by you

ALETHIA

alright did you try getting him to sleep and then put him in his bed

DANIELLE

Yes, he wakes up within minutes of me laying him down

ALETHIA

wow i don't know what to say

Caroline
CAROLINE

Hi Danielle! Yes, the first couple of weeks are tough as they get used to living on the outside! But you are right, it's unsafe and you don't get any sleep that way! Here's my recommendation: get the room really dark (blackout shades), use a white noise machine, and swaddle your son to suppress his Moro reflex. If you don't want to fool with swaddle blankets I can highly recommend the ergopouch cocoon. Introduce a pacifier (if you are breastfeeding it's ok to do so at this point if the feeding goes well). Also, check out The Happiest Baby on the Block for soothing techniques. Be mindful of the really short awake window that your baby has at this age. He can't be up for more than 45 min, and maybe even less before becoming overtures. Once overtired, its hard for them to fall and stay asleep. Lastly, even when they do sleep, you can't expect very long stretches out of them because they still have to eat often at this point. So if he only does two or three hours, that's perfectly normal. Learn his tired signs (could be fuzziness, staring off in the distance, yawning etc), and immediately get him down (ideally before) when you spot them. Hang in there, it'll get better!