Thursday, February 9, 2012

Top Sleep Tips

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by Rachel Rowell from My Baby Sleep Guide

This list will work for any age child, but it is especially made for younger children and newborns. I hope it helps!

Avoid overtiredness. I can't mention this enough. Pay attention to your baby's waketime, pay attention to your baby's sleep cues and consider keeping a sleep log. Keep in mind that newborns are often up only to eat and have their diaper changed and then it is time to go back to sleep. If you keep a newborn up too long, helping her go to sleep is going to be really hard--for the both of you! Find that optimal waketime and try hard to keep with it. And keep in mind that it changes and you need to change with it or you'll have a whole new set of problems!

Swaddle your baby. A newborn that is swaddled is more likely to sleep for longer stretches of time--for naps and during the night. She will also probably settle more easily to sleep. Now who wouldn't want that? I really like specially made swaddle blankets. I have found that they keep most babies swaddled better and they also make sure baby is swaddled the correct way (see hip dysplasia and swaddling). There are some great ones out there that even help keep those houdinies swaddled!

Help baby distinguish night from day. Some people go all out on trying to help baby distinguish night from day. They keep things crazy loud and bright during the day-- even during naps. I haven't found it necessary to do this to such an extent. Simply keeping things light and somewhat active during baby's waketimes during the day and quiet and dark at night is usually enough to let baby know the difference between these two times. And only change a diaper at night if you need to (they will end up sleeping in their own pee until they are potty trained so don't worry about it--you can't help it!). By need to I mean they won't leak their diapers. Try night time diapers, a bigger size up diaper, cloth inserts or even a soaker cover to prevent night time leaks. In older children, don't give them much to drink before bed.

And of course, the eat/wake/sleep cycle does wonders at helping baby distinguish day from night.

Avoid overstimulation. Newborns get overstimulated very easily. Even staring at your face can be pretty intense for them. I know they are cute, but try to contain yourself :) If you (or grandma) overdue it, you very likely will have a baby that has a hard time settling down for sleep. Older children get overstimulated too, so try to turn off the tv and stop the roughhousing at least 30 minutes before bed (how long before depends upon your child).

Avoid Sleep Props. Sleep props, like consistently nursing or rocking to sleep, don't always cause problems with sleep, but more likely than not they will. So try to "start as you mean to go on" as the Baby Whisperer says. Sometimes we have to do sleep props to survive or to ensure our child gets some sleep or to extend naps and that is OK. You do what works for you and your baby and your particular situation. Starting as you mean to go on is good, but sometimes it doesn't work out out perfectly.

Try to put your child to sleep drowsy but awake. As your child gets older you will probably be putting her to sleep more and more awake. If she starts to resist you when you try to get her drowsy before sleep, it is probably time to put her to sleep more awake.

Follow a Routine/Schedule. Children thrive on routines and consistency as you all know. Keep a consistent morning wake time. Follow the pdf method and the eat/wake/sleep cycle. Encourage full feedings. Try to avoid sleeping during feeds. Be consistent, but flexible.

Start a Pre-Sleep Routine. Make the sleep routine soothing, consistent, predictable and something to look forward to. Avoid things, like the TV, that may be stimulating. Dim the lights. Read a book. Sing a special song. Give lots of snuggles. Enjoy your special time together :)

Be consistent. I have mentioned consistency more than once during this post but it is important enough that I want to mention it again. If you want good results, you need to be {mostly} consistent. Also give things long enough time to work before you decide what does and doesn't work. It is fine to change things up, but don't throw ten different things at your child at once without ever giving them a good try. You'll send her for a tail spin and you'll have no idea what caused what and what helped or hurt.

Create a good sleep environment. Keep the temperature around 65-70 degrees Farenheit. Make sure the room is dark at night and in the early morning hours. Try to have your child sleep is his actual bed if at all possible. Avoid itchy clothing and use footed sleepers and sleeper blankets instead of blankets for young children. You might want to consider using white noise if you have a really noisy house or if you child seems to benefit from this.

Stick to an early bedtime. This one thing alone fixes so many problems! Most children do best with a bedtime around 6-8 (depending on naps, morning wake time, age and total sleep required at night). Bedtime may be earlier than usual for a while if you are adjusting to a dropped nap or other changes. It may also be super early for a while if you are trying to combat a cycle of over tiredness. Also, many babies do a bit better with a slightly later bedtime during the newborn period. This usually naturally moves earlier as they get older.

Consider tanking up with cluster feeding and the dreamfeed. Tanking up helps to {hopefully} extend night sleep and the dream feed helps to put the longest stretch of sleep right when you go to bed. And when baby starts sleeping longer, the dreamfeed will be the one and only night feed, instead of one in the middle of the night. NICE.

Feel comfortable with whatever you are doing. Don't do something unless you are comfortable doing it, especially when it comes to sleep training. If you do, you will feel crummy doing it and you will likely not stick with it. But remember, just because something is hard to do, it doesn't mean it is the wrong thing to do.

Watch your baby's cues closely and expect change. The one consistency with babies is their ability to keep changing! Change with them or sleep problems will pop up.

Trial and error is the only way to figure out if something actually works! You won't know until you try it! Waiting until you know exactly what will work (which is impossible to know) will just lead to a lot of waiting!

Realize that many newborns do not sleep well in the evening during their "witching hour". Instead of feeling frustrated about this, use this time to get out and do something with your baby (who won't sleep at home anyway). Use the swing or a baby carrier. Do what works to get you through this time. My youngest spent most evenings in a wrap the first few months of his life. It kept him content during this fussy time and he even fell asleep sometimes.

Learn about developmental periods that make sleep training or sleep in general tough. One of these is the Wonder Weeks. During this time your child mental (and often accompanying physical changes) that cause him to see the world in a while new light--and sleep often suffers. If you know about this, you'll have a heads up about what is going on and won't be so flustered. There are also developmental periods mentioned in the book Bedtiming that may not work well for initiating sleep training.

Relax! Don't obsess! Relax! Enjoy your baby. There will be sleep regressions and hiccups along the way. Remember, all babies have their off days just like we do. Don't worry about it.

Keep the end goal in mind when things are tough and you feel like giving up. Try working on one thing at a time. Find some support (like this site!). Have some {more} patience (remember, your baby is only X weeks old :)  Relax and don't let that bad nap ruin your day!


Katie {My Paisley Apron} said...

This is so fantastic!! What a great summary.

I would also add - start protecting baby's sleep from the time that your baby is One Minute Old. I do NOT mean start sleep training at one minute old, of course.

I know from experience that some babies are super overstimulated by all the tests that the hospital does in the first 48 hours after they're born. With my 1st, we came home with a super, super overtired and wired newborn - NOT pretty. With my second, I would sometimes ask the staff to wait to do a test or something if possible, if I had just gotten her to sleep after she had been awake, or if she had been difficult to get to sleep. It didn't always work, and I felt kind of like a crazy mom asking sometimes, but it was SO worth it.

HIS daughter said...

AWESOME post! My little man (our first) is due in less than 9 weeks and sometimes it can seem so overwhelming like just wondering if I will do things right etc so this post had some really neat tips :) Makes me feel a little bit more prepared :)

Sarcastic Celiac said...

Wow, so true! Wish I would have read this a long time ago, as I have learned many of these the hard way! (Errr... am learning...)

One of the hardest parts for me is balancing the two points of "Be consistent" and "Expect change". I feel like I am constantly trying to figure her out so that I CAN be consistent, but that things change so much that the same thing doesn't work very often!

I feel like some of that problem is that we battle overtiredness so often, that it's hard to know what to do if we ever get back to "normal" with waketimes and whatnot! Avoid OT like the plague!! (but don't feel too bad if it happens. Sometimes there just isn't much more you can do. And I have to learn to be ok with that.)


mountainmama said...

My son is 16 weeks old and we have been doing PDF from the get-go. But he still is not sleeping through the night and most days it is a challenge to get him to go 2.5 hours between feedings. When he was 8 weeks old I had to go back to work and my mom started watching him. She follows the PDF way so he can have consistency. But he still struggles. He will wake up most nights and talk to himself for around an hour in the middle of the night. Then he wakes up between 4-530 am to eat. His wake time is 7am so it makes it hard. I usually do his dream feed between 1045-1100. Any suggestions? I'm so exhausted and the book says he should be sleeping 10 hours at this age.

Plowmanators said...

Thanks everyone for your comments!

Plowmanators said...


My first question would be if he has some sort of medical issue (like reflux) that can cause it.

Also, see my posts on "Naps: Troubleshooting" and "Nighttime Sleep Issues." My oldest didn't STTN until 6 months and didn't start taking longer than 45 minute naps until he was 6.5 months, and those posts are mostly inspired by a list of reasons I think contributed to that.

mountainmama said...

No medical things that I know of- he does get hiccups ALOT. That may be some reflux. I will check with the dr. Thank you. I will also read those posts. I just recently found your blog and this 1st time mom has learned a lot!

Courtney said...

My 6 week old is sleeping from 10 (dream feed) until about 1:30 am...then he wakes every two hours the rest of the night. Is this 'normal' ? He is on a 2 1/2 hour EBF feeding schedule through the day and is a great napper all day...most of the time I have to wake him before three hours to eat. But he won't replicate this at night. Any suggestions?

conklinlove said...

Courtney...I have the exact same thing with my 6 week old. Hoping for some answers!

conklinlove said...

Courtney...I have the exact same thing with my 6 week old. Hoping for some answers!

Plowmanators said...

There could be a few things. It could be there is some pain. Maybe it is too cold. Maybe baby is uncomfortable. Maybe baby has days/nights mixed up.

I would look at pain first, then day/night confusion.

cvigneault said...

Hello, I love your blog and refer to it all the time. I have a 2 year old that followed BW perfectly, slept 10 pm - 7 am at 2 months and dropped dreamfeed by 4 months. My second baby is now 4 months old and is not quite there yet and I'm wondering if there's something I could do differently... I've read lots of comments and your blog on nighttime sleep issue but I just can't seem to find the cause for night waking. So, as of now, here's our schedule: wake up around 7:30, nap 9:30ish, feed 11:30, nap 1:30, feed 3:30, cat nap 5:30, feed 6:30, bed 8:15 and dreamfeed 10:15. We introduced cereal two weeks ago so he now gets it 3 times a day (morning, lunch and 7pm). He does fine all day, falls asleep on his own with little fussing all the time and sleeps well for naps for the most part (except for some normal 45 minute intruders). At night, he pretty much always wakes sometime between 4 and 5 am, but it can be as early as 2:30 am or as late as 6:30. So here's what the 3 scenarios are (about 33-33-33). 1- He just goes back to sleep on his own. No big deal. 2- We go in after 5 minutes, give him his stuffed animal, turn on mobile and within 10 minutes, he's back to sleep. We don't pick him up. 3- We do number 2 and after 10 minutes, he's still mad and fussing and I end up feeding him. He always goes back to sleep after that until morning or pretty much. However, as he often just goes back to sleep, I'm not sensing he's really hungry when I feed him. He does eat, but I think he likes the comfort. I am breastfeeding but the 6:30 feed is a bottle (5-6 ounces). I read you often suggest adding a feeding during the day, but I'm not sure where to add it without adding a nap. Maybe it is just a phase, but this has been going on for about 2 months now... we gave up the pacifier so that is not an issue anymore. Any other suggestions? Thank you so much!

Kim Harris said...

I need some advice. I read and re-read babywise manytimes! I have a 11 week old who has always been a good eater and sleeper (sort of). We were on the babywise 3 hour schedule and our pediatrician (at the one month appointment) suggested we stop waking him up at 3 hours to let his body learn to go longer between feeds and sleep longer. Sounds great, right? So, probably since about 5 weeks, we have let him nap up to an interval of 4 hours since the last feed. The result (maybe) is that he STILL can not sleep longer than about 4.75 hours (less than 5) during the night. He has NEVER slept five hours during the night. I am not sure if my expecatations are just too high (he is 11 weeks old) or whether letting him nap for sometimes 3 hours at a time during the day is ruining his night time sleep. It is hard for me to go against what the pediatrician says and earlier on he was a difficult baby to wake up to feed. I have tried extending waketime but that doesn't seem to be good for him (he gets fussy quick if he is tired and wants to sleep). He is certainly thriving size-wise with these 6-7 daily feedings. Sample schedule below - thoughts welcome!

between 6-7am wake and feed
7-8 - waketime/leave for daycare
8-10:30- morning nap
10:30-11:30 - feed and wake
11:30-1:30 - catnaps
1:30 - feed
2:00-5:30 - few segments of naps mixed with waketime
5:30-6:30 - eat and waketime (doesn't stay awake much longer than 30 minutes or so before getting cranky to sleep)
6:30-9:30 - nap (must be woken up usually)
10-1:45 - sleep
1:45-2 - feed
2-6ish - sleep until next morning.

Sin-2-Pun said...

I implemented BW successfully with DS. I followed everything to a T. He was pretty much an angel/textbook baby. DD is 4 wks old and is a SLEEPYHEAD. Besides the normal tactics, I have tried to wake her with wet washcloths (she shuddered then went back to sleep) and giving her 30 extra minutes of sleep as suggested in the book. So I still manage to stick to somewhat of a 3-3.5 hr schedule during the day. The midnight feeding, however, I decided to give it up. Tired mommy+sleepy baby did not equate to a good feeding time. So she can sleep from 10PM to about 2:30-3AM. I think 7 feedings is fine; however, I am afraid of when it comes time to drop the night feeding. Should I even do that?? I dropped DS's night feeding at 11 wks (yeah, I was a chicken butt =) ). If I drop that night feeding should I stretch the day feedings? Or slip in a day feeding somewhere so that she can continue to receive 7 feedings? This is how our day kind of looks:


Thanks in advance for your advice!

Megan said...

I'm not sure if I just didn't navigate to a post that already addresses this, but after a few hours of searching, reading, and useful but not relevant information I'm gonna ask:
My 10 1/2 week old daughter has recently begun fighting going to sleep. It is more her daytime naps than at night, but it does occur at night sometimes too. I say fighting sleep because she will be fine in your arms, calmed and ready to fall asleep but the minute she is even starting to be put down she begins wailing, not just a minor fuss - this is all out crying. Sometimes she even starts the minute she is put in her sleep sack. She does have reflux, but she is on medicine and her mattress is slightly elevated.
We've had a routine since birth which has worked just fine. I'm not really sure what is causing this and am wondering what I can do to help her be ok with going down. Are there tricks to helping a baby not fight going to sleep? I know overstimulation can be a cause, but this is consistently almost every nap (her very first nap is almost always a sure thing but it is the only one) and I haven't changed anything about her wake time that would vouch for overstimulation.

Plowmanators said...


One thing to watch with reflux is most meds are based on weight, so you will often need to have meds adjusted as your baby gets bigger. We only needed to do this until Kaitlyn was 3-4 months old, but it is different for everyone. So it could be a need in meds increased.

It could be that she needs her waketime length extended some--even just five minutes can do the trick. I would probably look into meds first, then waketime length.

Liz said...

Hi, I have a question about naptime. I've read many of the previous posts, but I can't seem to find help for our issue. Our three-week old previously was a great sleeper, and is still a good night sleeper, but naptime has been a nightmare. She won't go down. We swaddle her and usually end up rocking her a bit because she is so fussy. We try putting her down awake, half awake, and asleep and she still will not nap. I've been cutting back her waketime so much that at this point, she feeds and then has 15 minutes of playtime. I've tried to be sure we are not overstimulating her. After feeding, she is soo sleepy, and we spend so much time trying to keep her awake. By the time she is awake, it's time for a nap! We are shooting for naps between 1.5 and 2 hours. Is that too much? Often, she will sleep in 15 minute spurts. We let her fuss, but when she starts to scream, we go in. We alternate checking the diaper, re-wrapping, replacing the paci and rocking her. Any advice? Sometimes I feel like I should just let her rest after a feeding, so she gets some rest, but I am really trying not to give up on Babywise. (She is going through a growth spurt at the moment, which makes this ten times worse, but it started before the growth spurt).

Nadia Fatima said...

I recently started my 5 week old baby on the BW routine. But instead of Feed-Wake-Sleep - my baby is preferring to wake (play)-feed-sleep. Any tips on how I can get her to follow feed-wake-sleep instead? She is not a huge eater so likes to feed little bit at a time, but does well feeding over a 45min-60min period (3oz formula). Thanks so much!!

Rachel said...

Hello, I've read numerous comments and blog posts to see if anyone is having the same issue as me, but I haven't seen anything, so I'm just going to ask! First, I'm so glad I found this blog! It has so much great information on it that I am/will be using, so thank you! I haven't read the books (I just ordered them to get more information and they're on their way) but I did CIO with my now 2.5 year old at 4 months and he caught on VERY quickly. Only took a couple days and he was going to sleep without a peep. He got himself on a schedule around six weeks and I just adjusted as he got older. NO ISSUES! I now have an almost 11 week old and started getting her on schedule about a week ago because she wasn't on one at all and my toddler's noise was waking her when she would start to fall asleep. We were holding her until she fell asleep and at night I would rock her to sleep. Most nights took an hour, some two, before she'd stay asleep when I laid her down. I KNEW I couldn't continue this and decided to start CIO earlier than with my son. From the start, she went down for naps with minimal fussing or crying, but bedtime is a TOTAL different thing! I'm trying to get her on a 2.5 hour schedule, but there was only a couple days where she napped the whole 1.5 hours, otherwise it's only 45 min to an hour. If I try to leave her, she just cries and she won't fall asleep in her swing. So I get her up, feed her and wait until she cues she's ready to go back down. Her morning nap(s) are usually the only ones she sleeps the whole time. The afternoon ones are the shortened ones, then her evening one is where the problem comes in. We live in MN, so the sun goes down at 430. She goes down for her evening nap between 430-530 depending and she fights it. When she finally goes to sleep, it's only for 20-30ish min. IF she stuck to her schedule, her bedtime would be 730, but this short nap makes that impossible. When I kept her up for 1.5 hours one of the first nights, she must have been too tired because she cried for two hours before falling asleep, then she was up every 20 mins or so until 1am! So I made sure that didn't happen again. Her waketime during the day is 40 min, so I try to get her fed, bathed and down within 40 mins. I know she's tired, but every time I lay her down for bed, she cries. Most nights off and on for hours. She'll cry for an hour or so, finally be quiet for 20 min to an hour, then wake up and start crying again. I apologize for how long this is, but I'm trying to include enough info for you to maybe figure out what may be going on. Does she have the "witching hour" thing even if she falls asleep for a short while? Should I just drop the evening nap? But then I'm afraid she'll be too tired and make it worse. Is it possible for babies to be afraid of the dark? I know that sounds silly, but I don't understand why she does fine all day, then as soon as it starts getting dark, she won't go to sleep. I'm at a total loss for what to do or what's going on. If you have any suggestions or ANYTHING I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you!

Paola and Wes said...

Hi! Thank you so much for you blog, it's wonderful! I love your summaries and love the mom's stories and posts!

I am a new mom, I have a baby girl who is 6 weeks old! I have been using Babywise since day 1 (loosely of course based on her needs but it's really starting to come together!). She does wonderful at night and goes down right around 730 after her nightime routine and puts herself to sleep, dad does a dreamfeed at 10 and she gets up once at 3 to eat and then right back down until 7 a.m.

My problems lie during the day, she won't nap between feedings or will have a very short nap. She'll nap in the swing so I have used that so she'll get some sleep but I stress that I am creating a prop!

She does so great a night but naps are just a struggle. She does well with her first morning nap sometimes but after that the day is a battle to get her to nap! Any suggestions on what could be the culprit. I tried to let her CIO but I just couldn't do it, I'd go in and try to soothe her without picking her up and she'd calm down but start to cry again when I'd leave. Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated!

Ky1115 said...

Hi! I am struggling with a cycle of overtiredness. Do you have suggestions on how to break this? My son is 7 weeks old. His naps were so off yesterday, it took me two hours to get him to sleep last night. For his first nap this morning, the only way he stays asleep is if he sleeps on me. Any suggestions? THANKS!

Scott Shanahan said...

Hello I have a newborn that is exactly two weeks old. We've been following PDF and she is gaining weight and getting enough, but she is not sleeping at night (she was up until Saturday night, today is Tuesday if this not read for while). She is put to bed at 11:00 PM and woken up at 7:00 AM. Until Saturday that was going ok. Some nights she would be up until 1 or so. However, Saturday she went down at 11:00 was woken up at 3 to eat and would not go back to sleep until around 6. Sunday night she was put down at 11, but did not go to sleep until around 2. Last night, Monday, was the worst ever. She was fed a lot at 11:00, was put down, but would not go to sleep. My wife finally came to bed at midnight and I took over. If I would pick her up I could get her to sleep, but as soon as I put her down she woke up. Around 12:45 or so she put herself to sleep in her bed, but was up about 5 minutes later. I got her down at 1:30, but she was up again 25 minutes later. After that she was up until I fed her at 2:40 or so and tried putting her down, but she began screeching. I let her cry it out for 20 minutes, but it just got worse. I went to her room and put my hand on her chest and she calmed down. I rubbed between her eyes and she fell asleep around 3:20, I thought for the night, but she was back up at 4. I massaged between her eyes again and she fell asleep until around 5:15. I tried again, but she would not go back to sleep. I woke my wife at 6:00 and she fed her. I am not sure what happened after that as I went to bed. We just don't know what to do and are terrified of what tonight will bring. Any advice will be appreciated.

Paola and Wes said...

My baby was a a lot like that at her age, she is now 11 weeks and sleeping 7-7 with a dream feed around 1030. I think that in her young age it's hard for her to sleep more than a couple hours however I feel for you on the "naps" she's taking instead of sleeping.
In order to "train" my LO I would feed her then use techniques I learned in the Happiest Baby on the Block DVD (the Five S's) to lull her to sleep after each night feeding (at 2 weeks I was still feeding every 3 hours). Another thing we did was starting at 7 p.m. we did a our night routine (feed, wash hair/bath, start using words like "night night", "sleepytime") and she quickly learned that all those activities meant sleep. Also putting her in the crib/bassinet when she is drowsy and starting to fall asleep vs once she's asleep. Then helping her by rocking her or jiggling her a little if she gets cranky again.
Do you think she may have gassy issues? I did use the over the counter gas medicine a couple times in those first few weeks to alleviate any gas pains she may be feeling!
In that your LO is so young I wouldn't worry too much, it'll come together (albeit those sleepness nights are painful!!) I would concentrate on making sure she learns night time is for sleeping and I swear on the "routine" we established early on as well as teaching her to go back to sleep using the Five S's.
One thing we did find was that our baby was cold....we double swaddled her and she started sleeeping better, so may try that!
It took a couple weeks but in no time she caught on.
Also babies tend to "wake up" around 2 weeks, so it's not surprising she was sleeping so well and now isn't! She'll get there. Also at such a young age CIO is not always recommended, it's up to you of course, but usually crying at this age means something is wrong.
Good Luck! Sounds like she may be overtired too (usually a sign of that is the naps vs a good long sleep)...I would recommend keeping an eye on her wake times, at that young age it should be more than a couple minutes after she eats...I batttled with the too long of wake times for a while and my LO getting overtired too!
Don't be nervous, the baby will sense that and could make her nervous. Just know these sleepless nights are very numbered esp if you are following PDF/Babywise -- it's worked so well for our family!

Bridget Lolli said...

First I would like to say your blog has been very encouraging and helpful as a first time mom so thank you!

I have a 7 week old who we implemented BW with since day 1. Starting around 3-4 weeks she has become a terrible napper! We start our day at 7am and our routine is 3 hours long. Her first nap of the day typically is 1 hour to 1.5 hours. The naps progressively get shorter from then on out when we get her to sleep 20-30 min here and there. I would mind her lack of naps if she weren't so fussy and overtired from not napping! We follow all your sleep tips mentioned above with a sleep routine, watching her cues like a hawk, cluster feeding and dreamfeeding, etc but nothing seems to help her. Once I hear her start to cry, I give her some time to settle but she ends up crying harder and louder. I go in to calm her and then put her back down but the process continues until it is time to feed her again. After her dream feed at 10, she goes down without a fuss and continues to do that with all her night time feedings. She was also originally sleeping after her dream feed until 4-5am but now she wakes up at 2-3 and then again at 5-6. I fear she is doing that because she is not sleeping well during the day. I also fear we will introduce bad napping habits if this trend continues! I do believe she has some GI/reflux problems that gripe water has helped tremendously. Any suggestions and encouragement would be much appreciated so I don't feel like a BW failure!

tfincke said...

My LO is 9 weeks old and we have implemented BW from the beginning pretty much, but she has always struggled to nap. We are on 7:30-7:30 schedule, and she does very well at night (currently only wakes once if at all around 5 with a dreamfeeed anywhere between 10-11). However last week I started to put her down earlier in a consistent environment, and it worked miracles for about 5 days. We were able to notice patterns that helped us determine when the "right" time to put her down was, and would adjust slighty if she woke a little early. But for the last 7 days, she has completely regressed and won't nap at all unless in my arms or my bed with me (I was desperate one morning). We try to put her down in her room (in the same consistent way) at the "right time" and she just screams (more than she ever has before) and doesn't work through it. I try a few more times and then do whatever it takes to get her some sleep (stroller ride, my arms, etc.). She is feeding every 3 hours but is only getting in cat naps making it very hard to determine when the "right" time to go down next is and it becomes a vicious cycle. I will say that even though she isn't napping well, she is very happy when awake.

I am doing eveything this post mentions but nothing seems to work. Help, i'm desperate!

Paola and Wes said...


Don't let regressions get you down, they will happen but they will pass. I remember things would be going perfectly and then it would all fall apart. They could be going through a growth spurt or have something else going on. A GREAT app is WonderWeeks, it can tell you when "cranky" periods are, when happy periods are, and to my amazement it was always pretty accurate. I had a horrible time with naps as well. My LO just hated them (was always a good night sleeper though) and I just had to work so hard at getting her to nap the right number of hours. Try to instill other methods to get her to sleep vs holding her (I know you have to sometimes) but I can remember spending many naps just trying to soothe her, rock her while she's in the crib...without taking her can be draining for you but it will train her to fall asleep in the crib and on her own. I know what you mean about it becoming a vicious cycle but at this young age it's never too late to start over. I wasn't comfortable with CIO so I used other techniques in Baby Whisperer and other training methods to soothe her (the KEY though is to not get her out of her crib). Hang in there, it will all come together, and I know how hard it is <3
My LO is now almost 3 and still going 8-7 with a 2 hour nap every day and it's great, I believe firmly in BW and you're doing an awesome job!!!


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