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Poll Results: What Method Did You Use to Drop the Swaddle?


Cold turkey: 28 votes (29%)
Gradual weaning: 9 votes (9%)
Unwrap arms but leave trunk wrapped: 23 votes (23%)
Stopped nights/swaddled naps: 2 votes (2%)
Stopped naps/swaddled nights: 11 vote (11%)
Other: 6 votes (6%)
Still swaddling: 17 votes (17%)

Total of 96 votes


I get a lot of questions about what time should be considered bedtime. Generally speaking, your bedtime will be after you 7ish PM feeding. There are exceptions for some families. Here are some things to consider when setting your bedtime:
  • Bedtime happens before the dreamfeed. So if you feed at 7 PM, then dreamfeed at 10 PM, your bedtime would be after your 7 PM feeding. You would just then wake up your baby, feed him, and put him right back down.
  • What is your waketime and how long does your baby need to sleep at night? If your baby wakes at 7 AM and is a 12 hour a night sleeper, you need to have bedtime at 7 PM. If your baby wakes at 7 AM but is a 10 hour sleeper, then bedtime is adjusted accordingly.
  • The time of your last feeding. For the baby, bedtime will come shortly after that last feeding.
  • Amount of waketime needed between feeding and bedtime. This will likely depend on the napping situation. If your child is down to two naps and has a liquid feeding at 7 PM, he likely doesn't need any additional waketime. But if he has an evening nap, he might need a short waketime to be tired enough to go to bed.
  • In setting your bedtime, make sure it is consistent from day to day. Pick a time that you are willing to be home to enforce.
  • Consider your family's situation. I know moms whose husbands don't get home until the early evening. Some of those moms have a later bedtime for baby, and consequently a shorter waketime. For Brayden's first year of life, my husband was finishing his last year of college and also working to support our family. He didn't get home until 8:30 a few nights a week. Brayden's bedtime was 9:30 so he could have time with his dad. Once my husband graduated and worked normal hours, Brayden's bedtime moved up. Remember, your schedule serves you. Kaitlyn's bedtime has basically always been between 7-7:45 for her lifetime because we don't have that extenuating need we did with Brayden.
For Toddlers
  • You can tweak these same principles for your toddler. Be sure he is getting 10-12 hours of sleep at night.
  • Make sure you start your bedtime early enough that he can go to sleep at a good time.
  • Adequate sleep is vital for a cooperative, happy toddler. Take note of your child's actual bedtime and make sure it is aligning with your optimal bedtime.
  • You can have nights that are different, but try to keep it so 5 of 7 days are a consistent bedtime.
Related Posts:
Reader Questions:
  • Kate said...
    Some days my 4 month old doesn't nap well and by the end of the day she is just exhausted. Her last feeding is at 7:30, so I try to keep her up until that time, but she will be really fussy and sometimes even fall asleep then I wake her at 7:30 to eat. Do you think on those days I could feed her a little early and put her to bed earlier or what would you do? Thanks
    May 29, 2008 5:51 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Kate,I would feed earlier and put her to bed early. If this starts interfering with your morning waketime, then I would shoot for a nap right before bed instead, but if she will go down early, that is a good idea.
    May 30, 2008 3:09 PM
  • Jennifer said...
    From day 1, my baby's most awake time has been after 9 pm. She first slept through the night from midnight to 8 am. I know bed time is supposed to be earlier, but when she wakes up for her last feeding, she is WIDE awake (so I've never done a dreamfeed). She's 15 weeks now and I've been waking her up at 7:15 am every day for a few weeks and she's going to sleep around 10 pm now and I still have to wake her up at 7 am. Do you have any suggestions on how to move up her bed time? If I was able to do so, would I add in a dreamfeed? I'd appreciate any suggestions. I love your blog!
    May 29, 2008 10:57 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Jennifer,Your daughter is at the age the dreamfeed is often dropped, so I wouldn't add it in. If I were you, I would just put her down 10-15 minutes early for a week and see how it goes. I would then move it up another 15 minutes the next week, etc. until you get bedtime where you want it. If you think you can, you can do the move every 4ish days instead. Just feel it out and see how it goes. Good luck!
    May 30, 2008 3:11 PM
  • Haley said...
    My son is 6 1/2 months old. He has five liquid feedings a day on a combo 3 to 4 hour schedule. He is on a combo schedule because sometimes he is ready to eat at 3 hours and sometimes he doesn't want to eat yet. We start our day at about 8:30 am so our last feeding ends up being at about 9:30 which means he gets to bed at about 10:30. Is this too late for him to go to bed? I see all these posts about bedtime being at 7 or 8 pm and I just don't see that happening for us ever. Our schedule works fine for us especially since my husband doesn't always get home early and wants to play with him before he goes to bed. But I guess I am wondering if I am doing something that I will regret later. Any suggestions or is what I'm doing fine?
    June 2, 2008 9:44 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Your child is getting 11 hours of sleep, which is in the 10-12 hour goal you want for nighttime sleep. Many people with an earlier bedtime also have an earlier wake time. So their kids are going to bed at say 7:30, and waking at 7 AM. As you drop naps, you will most likely need to move bedtime up a bit earlier. Do what works for your family. :)
    June 2, 2008 11:15 PM
  • May said...
    I am always a little confused about bedtime feeding. Should I count the sleeptime starting at the beginning of the last feeding and ending at when he wakes up next morning?Moreover, I wonder about the last feeding time. My son Alex is into his 14th week. His bedtime is around 10pm, now 9:45pm and he generally wakes up around 5am now. He generally woke up from his last nap around 7:30 pm or 8:00pm. That gave me 1.5 to 2 hours before his bedtime. Should I put him to bed sooner? Should I feed him again before his bedtime? If I do not feed him again before his bedtime, he would have 9-10 hours without food.
    June 15, 2008 4:47 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    May, I would feed him around 7:30/8:00 when he wakes, then put him in his PJs and do a bath or whatever it is you do at that time of night, then put him to bed. I would then wake him at 10 PM, feed him, change diaper if needed, then put him right back down. If that seems to overly disrupt him, I would just let him sleep through and see what time he wakes in the night. He is old enough that 9-10 hours without food is just fine for him.
    June 16, 2008 10:26 AM
    May said...
    Thank you for the suggestion. Now I have a new problem. I have been feeding him around 8:30 or 9pm, and put him to bed around 9:30pm. Alex kept waking up at 2:30am or 3:30am during last two nights. Seeing him frantically putting his fist into his mouth, I fed him both nights. He ate a lot. But my doctor's nurse said that since he had been sleeping through night, I should not feed him during the night. Should I just let him cry himself back to sleep around that time? Before this episode, he had been sleeping through the night, albeitly getting up early at 5am sometimes. Could it be my milk supply not enough? Or could it be that I brought him to my mother-in-law's place for a day, he had too much stimulation?
    June 17, 2008 5:23 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    May, It could be overstimulation. It could also be a growth spurt. I personally don't like the notion that if they slept through before, they will never be hungry again in the night. Some try to feed their growth spurt in the night. If you think he is hungry, I would try to add feedings in the day, or feed him at night. I wouldn't ever let a baby go hungry.
    June 26, 2008 11:05 PM
  • Kate and Robbie said...
    I need help. I just found this blog...sent straight from heaven i swear!! I know this post is anyone reading this at all?? Ive just started baby Dr. strongly disagrees with it for some reason? But we are doing it anyways...My 2 and half month old doesn't nap very long though out the day with the "3 hour routine". We notice at night, his first stretch is always the longest...about 4-5 hours. So we have his bed time till about 9:30 (having feeding at 8, bath time, then bed). Is this too late? I read about these Moms who have their kids down at 7 pm, and I wonder how their baby actually makes it through the whole night? Will mine ever? he seems to wake up all the time at night even...with his wakeup times a bit speratic, sometimes 5 or sometimes 6, or sometimes 7? Am I doing something wrong. Help!!!
    June 25, 2008 10:12 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Kate,Babies that go to bed at 7ish are older than yours OR they go to bed at 7ish but then eat again around 10ish. It takes time, but through consistency and effort, you can do it! Look through this blog at all the posts. Be sure to look at this post: Starting Babywise Late:
    June 26, 2008 11:09 PM
  • BethL513 said...
    I need help with bedtime please! Our 6 week old has been doing great on Babywise since day 1, but after our 4:30pm feeding, things seem to fall apart and change day to day. I nurse and have to supplement after each feeding due to weight gain issues. At 4:30, I nurse on each side and then she takes a 3oz bottle of formula. The last week or so she seems to get hungry again by 6:30 but if I give her 4oz at 4:30, she spits up. She also won't take a nap after the 4:30 feeding. If she does, she won't go down again until much later also throwing things off. So, so far it's working for us to wake up at 4:30, eat twice and then go down at 8ish.At the 6:30 feeding (ideally 7) she takes a 4-5oz. bottle of formula. We then start our nighttime routine of quiet wake time, pajamas or bath, some rocking then to bed by 8.I then wake her up at 10pm and feed her. However, she is VERY sleepy and I can get a full nursing in but she refuses the bottle. When that happens, she's up at 2 starving and will nurse and take a bottle and then sleep until I wake her at 7:30. if I'm lucky enough to get her to take a bottle at 10pm, she'll sleep until 4ish, only nurse and then get up at 7:30. My question is, I hate tanking her up in the middle of the night and having 3-7:30 being her long stretch as that's the feeding we'll hopefully be elinating soon, so I want her nice and full at 10pm but if I struggle too much to make her take the bottle, it just wakes her up and she's hard to get back down. Should I continue what I'm doing and let her get full at 2 and reevaluate at 8 weeks or rearrange our afternoons/evenings and try to get her to take a feeding right at bedtime (8ish) and see what happens? I worry that she'll wake up at 12 and 5 which I'm hesitant about since the 7:30 is working out so well.I wish she would nap from 5:30-7 but she just won't. She'll either scream awhile and fall asleep at like 6:15 or she'll go right down and then not want to sleep until 9:30 or so.Any advice welcome! She'll be 7 weeks on Monday.
    July 24, 2008 2:30 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Beth,I would put her to bed earlier. Like 7:30. Then maybe she will have had enough sleep to wake more at 10. She also might just not be one to wake at that time. Kaitlyn wasn't at that age. She refused to wake. I fed her around 8ish I think then put her to bed and she woke twice in the night. It isn't ideal, but she slept better that way. I just had to go to bed soon after she did so I could get some sleep :)
    July 25, 2008 2:29 PM
  • The Burkes said...
    This blog site is an absolute treasure! Thank you so much for being willing to serve others with your experiences and advice!! I've passed it on to several Moms. Our LO is 2 months and is sleeping 10 hours through the night. We started BW from day one. Her dreamfeed is at 10pm and most mornings I have to wake her at 8am. Before the dreamfeed I feed her at 8pm. My question is after we drop the 10pm feeding is 8pm still an acceptable bedtime? During this 8pm time she'd eat, stay awake and then be put down? Is that how bedtime works...or should it be feed at 8pm and put her straight down (like dreamfeed)? I hope I'm clear.
    August 22, 2008 1:48 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    You could do it either way based on what your baby needs. What we did was feed, change into PJs, story, prayer, bed. So, there was waketime but not usually as long as other waketimes.
    August 28, 2008 7:53 AM
  • Kelly said...
    My daughter is 7 1/2 weeks. We've been doing BW since birth. She does great except for evenings. Her schedule is 6:30a, 9:30, 12:30 , 3:30, 6, 8:30, 11. She only has 45 min of waketime during the day feedings. After 6 she very rarely naps until 11. I've tried feeding every 2 hours, moving the 11:00 up, using a swing, using a pacifier...Occasionally she'll sleep for an hour somewhere in there but that's rare. This has made establishing bedtime difficult since she doesn't really go to sleep until 11. Did either of your children have an evening fussy time? How would you suggest handling it?
    October 21, 2008 1:53 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Kelly, Kaitlyn definitely did not have a fussy time. Brayden did until we started BW. I would persevere and keep trying. Try not to stress abou it but keep working on it. Hopefully by now your baby has improved. The first three months are the hardest, so as your baby approaches the 3 month mark, hopefully things are improving.
    November 12, 2008 11:33 AM

In Action: Love of Independent Playtime

Yesterday I wrote some thoughts from when Brayden was sick about two weeks ago (see Night Hunger ). Here is a recap:

About two weeks ago, Brayden woke up at 4:45 AM. He was sick and had thrown up in his bed. Since he is a sun riser, I raced like a mad-woman to get this bed cleaned up and remade before the sun came up and signaled daytime to him. Unfortunately, I didn't make it. He kept telling me he had already gone to bed and it was daytime.

He was obviously tired. We started our day officially at the normal time. I put him in independent playtime when it was time. When I went to get him from independent playtime, he was asleep on the floor. He had taken a pillow and blanket off his bed and had taken a little nap. He then took his afternoon nap as usual when it was time.

This is something I love about independent playtime. If Brayden is tired because of sickness or a growth spurt, he will just take a nap during that time. If he were around people, he would never do that, and he isn't the type to ask for a nap. But if he is alone, he will choose to nap if he needs it.

So keep at it and keep implementing it. If you haven't started yet, do so. It is well worth your efforts, for so many reasons. Here are other posts about independent playtime:

Night Hunger

About two weeks ago, Brayden woke up at 4:45 AM. He was sick and had thrown up in his bed. Since he is a sun riser, I raced like a mad-woman to get this bed cleaned up and remade before the sun came up and signaled daytime to him. Unfortunately, I didn't make it. He kept telling me he had already gone to bed and it was daytime. I gave him some books and told him to sit on the couch and read them. I then went to the other couch and tried to sleep. Brayden is a big talker, so of course this didn't work :)

Around here, Sesame Street comes on at 6 AM. He never sees this show for obvious reasons, so I thought I'd turn it on and he would be enthralled and let me sleep. I turned it on and went to my bed. As I got in bed, I was suddenly starving. I was surprised at how hungry I was. I had eaten normally the day before. I am not pregnant and not nursing--no "growth spurt" for me. It was odd to me that I would be so hungry over an hour before my usual breakfast time. (By the way, in case you are wondering, my Sesame Street idea didn't work too well. Brayden is not long distracted by the TV and was in my room within 15 minutes, at which time I just got up).

That experience helped me really understand how sometimes a baby could just wake up and be starving in the middle of the night when he usually can make it through without a problem. If an adult who isn't growing or producing anything and has been eating normally can wake up and be hungry, then certainly a quickly growing baby can do the same.

So when your baby has times of waking in the night, be aware of that possibility, and while it isn't necessarily "typical" it also isn't necessarily "odd." I didn't wake up because of hunger, but once I was up, I got hungry. So when you are solving nighttime sleep issues, keep that in mind. Your baby will likely take a full feeding if he hasn't eaten in 9 hours, but it doesn't necessarily mean hunger is what woke him up.

I am always saying to feed a hungry baby, and I certainly am not saying to not feed your baby if he needs it in the night. There is a great method for testing hunger a friend of mine came up with. She will sooth her baby to sleep if she wakes and won't go back to sleep. If her baby goes back to sleep and stays asleep until waketime, then she can safely assume it wasn't a hunger issue. If the baby goes back to sleep but wakes again in the night, then there is a good chance it is because of hunger. Also, if the baby simply won't go back to sleep even with help, then she assumes it is hunger. Take note that she doesn't sooth over and over; just the first time the waking is random. This helps her more quickly asses the reason for waking.

See this post for more ideas on solving nighttime sleep issues:

Helpful Routine Information

Jamie H. from one of the Babywise Groups I am in sent a chart out a few months ago that lists several items from a daily routine. It is has some helpful information on it, so I thought I would post the information here. There are some discrepancies between the chart and the book, so I have noted those differences.

Phase One: 1 – 2 months (Stabilization Period)

0-2 weeks
  • 2.5-3 hour cycle
  • 7-8 feedings (however, in Babywise it says 8-10 feedings in a 24 hour period)
  • 6-8 naps (though I think it can be 5-8 naps)
  • Nap are 1 hour -1.5 hours long
  • Waketime is 15-30 minutes long (I am not sure if this included feeding time; I find it to be more like 15-45 minutes long--many two week olds will stay awake only long enough to eat, which is why there is the 15 minute length)
  • Sample schedule from this age: *=no waketime after feeding
    7:00 am
    10: 00 am
    1:00 pm
    4:00 pm
    7:00 pm
    *10:00 pm
    *1:00 am
    *4:00 am
    (If it were me, I would have 2.5 time intervals in the day so there are at most 2 night feedings...I consider 10 pm to be night feeding).
3-8 weeks
  • 3-3.5 hour feeding cycle (However, in Babywise it says between weeks 5-8, your baby might be ready to eat every 2.5-3.5 hours. So I would say 2.5-3 hour until 5 weeks, then maybe 2.5-3.5 if baby is ready)
  • 6-8 feedings (However, in Babywise it says between weeks 5-8, your baby might be able to go down to 7 feedings in a 24 hour period--but only after she starts sleeping 7-8 hours at night. It also says not to go down to 6 feedings until after 8 weeks old)
  • 5-6 naps (though the exact number is going to depend on how many feedings you have in the daytime)
  • Naps are 1.5-2 hours long (though I would add that they can be as short as 1 hour if you are still on a 2.5 hour cycle)
  • Waketime is 30-45 minutes (though I think some might be able to go as long as one hour)
  • Sample schedule from this age: *=no waketime after feeding
    7:00 am
    10: 00 am
    1:00 pm
    4:00 pm
    7:00 pm
    *10:00 pm
    *1:00 to 3:00 am
    *Additional am [possible]
Phase Two: 3-4 months (Extended Night Period)
9-15 Weeks
  • 3-4 hour feeding cycle (though Babywise says this shouldn't happen until weeks 12-15 at the earliest. So I would say anywhere from 2.5-3.5 hour cycle, moving possibly toward 4 hour cycle at the end of this phase)
  • 5-6 feedings in a 24 hour period (Though Babywise says starting at 13 weeks, your baby should be at 5-7 feedings a day)
  • 4-5 naps (though exact number does depend on number of daytime feedings)
  • Naps are 1.5-2 hours long (though Babywise does say 1.5 hours)
  • Waketime is 30-60 minutes long (some babies might be able to move up to 1.5 hour waketime, and most should be able to do 60 minutes total at least)
  • Sample schedule for this period: *=no waketime after feeding
    7:00 am
    10: 30 am
    2:00 pm
    5:30 pm
    *9:00 pm
    *(11:30 pm)
    Sleeping through the night!!!! The goal! (STTN means Baby can gradually move to 9-10 hours of continuous sleep if breastfed, 11 hours if bottlefed. I will also add, you don't want to extend your routine until baby is sleeping through the night. You also don't want to extend it until that dreamfeed is dropped, so that 11:30 feeding would be gone before you dropped daytime feedings. You want long, continuous sleep at night for optimal development. So, if this were me, I would have a 7:30 feeding right before bed. I also wouldn't have that 9 and 11:30 feedings. If baby needed an extra feeding, I would shorten the daytime schedule back to three hours to work the right number of feedings in).
Phase Three: 4-5 Months (Extended Day Period)
16-24 Weeks
  • 4 hour feeding cycle (though I will point out that not all babies are there yet, so don't stress if yours isn't)
  • 4-5 feedings (though Babywise says 4-6 liquid feedings)
  • 3 naps
  • Naps are 1.5-2 hours in length
  • Waketime is 45-75 minutes (could possibly be 1.5 and maybe even two hours--but be aware if longer waketimes start creating shorter naps--I also think babies this age will be able t do at least 60 minutes of waketime)
  • Sample Schedule for this age: *=no waketime after feeding
    8:00 am
    12: 00 pm
    4:00 pm
    *8:00 pm
Phase Four: 5 Months and Older (Extended Routine Period)25 weeks and older
  • Family Cycle (this means baby will align meals with the family. Be aware that you need 4-5 liquid feedings. Most babies will stick with that 4 hour routine until close to a year)
  • 2 naps a day (however, this doesn't happen until 6 months at the earliest. By 6 months, Babywise says most babies can drop that third nap. Babywise II says a 6 month old will need 2 naps and a catnap (short nap). I have found Babywise II to be more accurate for my children. Both Babywise II and Toddlerwise say that by 8 months, most babies will be able to drop that 3rd nap (catnap). Remember, you are the parent. If you have a big sleeper and she is still sleeping well at night, you don't need to eliminate that nap.)
  • Waketime of 60-90 minutes (though baby will be able to move to at least 2 hours and longer during this time period)
  • Sample Schedule for this age:
    8:00 am + solids
    12: 00 pm + solids
    5:00 pm + solids
    *8:00 pm
Be sure to check out this post for all Babywise Milestones as listed in the book:
Babywise Milestones :
Also, for more sample schedules, see this post:
Sample Schedules :

What Age Did You Drop the Swaddle Completely?


1-4 Weeks: 20 votes (14%)
5-8 Weeks: 24 votes (17%)
9-10 Weeks: 10 votes (7%)
11-12 Weeks: 5 votes (3%)
3-4 Months: 20 votes (14%)
4-5 Months: 18 votes (12%)
6-8 Months: 16 votes (11%)
9-12 Months: 0 votes
12 Months or older: 0 votes
Not Yet!: 27 votes (19%)

Total of 140 votes

"Yes Mom"

"Of all the practical helps we can offer, this one has undoubtedly the most impact on a child's willingness and ability to comply the first time" (On Becoming Childwise, p. 122).

Does that sound too easy? I think it does. A little too easy. It sounds easy enough that at times I let if fall back in my radar. Despite the easiness of the way, let me assure you that it absolutely does work.

When you give instructions to your child, you want to require him to give you a "yes, mom" (or yes, dad) response. For you, hearing a "yes, mom" lets you know your child heard what you said. If your child doesn't obey, you know it is because he chose disobedience, not that he didn't hear what you said.

For your child, "yes, mom" is your child committing to obey. Years ago, a person's word was completely trustworthy. If someone verbally committed to something, they did it. We have been taught in our modern age to lie, cheat, and steal to get where we want to go. We tell people what they want to hear. If you want a commitment, you need it in writing. But our children haven't learned that yet. They are still pure. We all know that morally, a verbal commitment should be honored as much as a written one.

Of course, your child will have moments where he "yes, moms" and then doesn't follow through. But it really does make a huge difference on the rate of obedience. There is a communication theory that many people have heard about. It is called "self fulfilling prophesy." This theory basically states that if you tell yourself something will happen, it likely will--for better or worse. When your child agrees to obey, he is creating his own self-fulfilling prophecy.

The first time I tried "yes, mom" I knew we had a winner. Why? Because it was so hard for Brayden to say. He didn't want to say "yes, mom." He was avoiding eye contact. He was struggling internally. He tried just nodding. I told him no, I wanted a "yes, Mama." He finally gave it. I knew that he knew if he said "yes, mom" that he would be committing himself.

Starting "Yes, Mom"

  • Sit down in a time of non-conflict and explain the new rules about compliance.
  • When you first start "yes, mom," you need to tell your child to say it. You tell your child "In five minutes, it is time for your nap. Say 'yes, Mama.' " Your child should then say it.
  • Require eye contact when giving instructions. If your child is used to ignoring you, you might need to hold his face in your hand to get that eye contact. Eye contact helps your child focus on instruction. Also, it is a great communication skill for your child to develop.
  • Practice what you preach. If you are going to require your child to respond "yes, mom" when you call his name, you should do the same for him. Like I said, eye contact is a great communication skill. It tells the speaker that you are listening. When your children call to you and talk to you, you should respond with a "Yes, Brayden" and look him in the eyes. I have also read in an article that responding with a "Yes, Brayden" or "Yes, Honey" to your child is a lot more inviting and friendly than a "what." You are more approachable with a "Yes, dear." If you want your children to be kind to you and others, you need to be kind to them.
  • After some time, your child will surprise you by saying "yes, Mom" on his own without any prompting. Be sure to thank him and tell him what a good boy he is to say that without you reminding him.
Resistance to "Yes, Mom"
You can be pretty confident that the day will come that your child refuses to say "yes, mom." Be prepared for how to deal with that so you aren't standing open-mouthed. Brayden quickly learned that when he said "yes, mom," it meant he had to comply. Just last week we were outside and I told him in five minutes it would be time to go in for his nap. I told him to say "Yes, Mama." He responded, "No, Mama." I said, "You don't have the freedom to tell Mommy, "No, Mama." You need to say, "Yes, Mama." He then let out a whimper but said, "Yes, Mama." When the five minutes were up, he went inside, washed up, and got in bed with no problem.
You also will likely have moments when your child says "yes, Mom" but then doesn't follow through. If/when this happens, be sure you have a consequence. "I am sorry you chose to disobey Mommy, now you won't get to play outside after your nap" for example. Be sure you have a consequence fitting for the offense, will mean something to your child, and also that you follow through with that consequence. See this post for more on that:
Tantrums and Discipline:
In conclusion, don't let the easiness of the way deter you from using "Yes, Mom" with your child. You will be surprised by the results.
Related Posts:
Reader Comments/Thank Yous:
  • heather said...
    I wanted to thank you also for your post on "Yes, Mom" for today. Even though I have such a young child, I think it's a great idea to be thinking in advance on things like this. Thanks!!!
    May 22, 2008 8:52 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    You are welcome Heather! It is a great tool to have on your radar.
    May 23, 2008 4:54 PM
  • Dana said...
    Yes momma is such a wonderful parenting tool! I've found with my son that reminding him in sign language helps me get eye contact. It also keeps me from having to verbally say it so many times each day.
    May 23, 2008 11:18 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks for your added testament Dana!
    May 23, 2008 4:56 PM
  • Don & Denise Sullivan said...
    I absolutely agree with this. Our 19 month old son can say "mama" but cannot say "yes" yet. So whenever I give him an instruction, I tell him, "Say "Yes Momma"" and he'll look at me and nod his head "yes". When he does this, he almost always complies. If he refuses to nod his head "yes", that earns him a timeout and afterwards, he'll give me the "yes momma" and comply. It has helped him tremendously.
    May 24, 2008 5:47 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks for your thoughts Denise!
    May 26, 2008 10:07 AM

Transitioning from a Crib to a Bed

For many Babywise moms, the transition from a crib to a bed is much easier than they anticipated. That is how it was for us with Brayden. We moved Brayden from the crib to a twin size bed when he was 21 months old (but close to 22 months old). At the same time, he also moved to a new room. It was shortly before Kaitlyn was born, and I wanted him to be fully adjusted before Kaitlyn came along to sleep in the crib.

I was nervous. I didn't want him to get out of his bed and play instead of sleep. We moved him over, and things went smoothly. We had no problems. A Babywise child typically has little difficulty (relatively speaking) with this transition because he is trained to obedience. He is required to obey mommy all day, so why should night be any different? It isn't.

On Becoming Toddlerwise Tips
Toddlerwise talks about this transition starting on page 135. Here are some highlights:
  • Typically happens between ages 18-24 months.
  • The only thing that holds your child in bed to sleep is your word. There are no longer physical boundaries. Your word needs to be obeyed in the day if you want it to be obeyed at night.
  • Moving to a bed is a freedom. Be sure your child is ready for that freedom.
  • You can include your child in purchasing the new bed and the sheets etc. (although we didn't do this; we already had it all).
  • The child can help set up the bed and make the bed.
  • Do it on a night when Mom and Dad can both be there in the morning to make a big deal out of the transition.
  • Do not allow your child to get out of bed without your permission. Teach them to call to you when they want to get up.
  • Buy a side rail for the bed for your child's safety.
My Tips:
  • Be sure your child has something familiar to carry over to the new bed. You want to be clear that this new bed is where your child now sleeps. Brayden had a few stuffed animals that he slept with in his crib. He also had his blankie. I put those on his bed with him to sleep just like he had in his crib.
  • Have a naptime and bedtime routine. Singing a song, reading a story, etc. Whatever your routine is, it will help signal your child that it is now time for sleep. See this post for more: Sleep Routine:
  • Get a side rail for sure. This helped me feel much better about his safety in the night. I also put a pillow at the foot of his bed, and a pillow between the side rail and the pillow at the foot of the bed just to help have a boundary. He has never fallen out of bed (his bed is against a wall).
  • If you put the bed against a wall, you might need to roll up some blankets to put between the mattress and the wall if there is a gap.
  • I have said it before, but if you read stories, I recommend not reading them in the bed. We used to do that. Bedtime ended up being dragged out. Kids are very good at lengthening out the time of the bedtime routine. We read stories in a recliner--and we also have a predetermined number of stories that will be read.
  • Give lots of praise for obedience and show a lot of excitement over the transition. I know I was emotional, but I didn't show that to Brayden.
Toddler Bed vs. Twin BedWhat type of bed you get can be a tough call. In the end, I think you need to make the decision that is most convenient for your family. Here is some criteria to consider:
  • Price. We already owned a twin bed. I considered buying a toddler bed for Brayden, but in the end decided to go with what we had. We would have had to buy the toddler bed and the mattress since we were using the crib mattress for the crib. We also would have had to store our twin bed somewhere while using the toddler bed. In the end, it just logically made more sense to use the bed we already owned.
  • Extras. As I mentioned, toddler beds require a crib mattress. If you will have another child while your toddler is using the toddler bed, then you will have to buy another mattress. If not, you already have the mattress and the sheets for a toddler bed.
  • Future Use. Is this your last child? Are there other children in your future? Will you have other children who will get use out of the toddler bed? How long would you anticipate using the toddler bed before buying a twin? One determining factor for me was that Brayden would be moved to a twin bed in a couple of years anyway. I decided it was better to just stick with buying stuff for one bed rather than two. If you have future children, however, they could use the toddler bed when the child moves to twin. When we have our next child, we plan to have Brayden and Kaitlyn share their room. At that time, we will either get bunk beds or a trundle bed for under Brayden's bed. So I knew the toddler bed wouldn't be used in the future by Kaitlyn.
  • Space. A toddler bed is a lot smaller than a twin bed. If you have limited space right now, you might want to go with the toddler bed instead of the twin.
  • Safety. This really isn't a huge deal, I think (not that I think safety isn't a huge deal, but that either bed is safe). The fall from a toddler bed is a shorter distance than from a twin bed. But as mentioned above, you can take measures against that. A toddler bed is easier for a toddler to get in and out of (for better or worse). Brayden has a step stool next to his bed to help him get in and out (it is pretty high).
In the end, one bed isn't fundamentally better than the other. Do what is best for your family's situation and your child.
Staying in Bed
  • If your child gets out of bed after you instruct him not to, evaluate yourself and see if there are parenting gaps you need to correct.
  • When your child calls out to you, respond. You want to reward him for listening to you. I can see some kids calling out after a few minutes and declaring the nap over. Respond and inform him that naptime is not over yet, that he needs to sleep, etc.
  • Toddlerwise says to initially instruct your child to not get out of bed until you come get him. So how long is initially? Toddlerwise doesn't say. Brayden is almost three, and I still don't allow him to get out of bed until I come get him. I know Brayden and know that sleep is absolutely last on his list of priorities. If I allowed him to get out of bed on his own, I think he would get up and play with his toys instead of sleeping. Things might be different with Kaitlyn since she loves to sleep. For now, Brayden still stays in bed until I get him. I can see him moving in the direction of being ready to take that responsibility on himself, but he isn't ready yet. You will have to decide when your child is ready. Of course you want the day to come when your child gets up on his own. He needs to be completely ready to take a nap, then get up. Not lay for a while then get up and play.
  • What do you do if they get out? Brayden never did this until several months ago. He went about a year without ever getting out of his bed without permission. I went in and told him he needed to get in his bed. I then told him he needed to stay there until Mommy or Daddy came to get him. I then put him in his bed and left the room for a few minutes. I went back in and he was in his bed. I praised him for obeying and being a good boy and got him out (it was the end of his nap). This happened a couple of times (seemingly randomly). It seems to be fine now.
  • Whatever your rules will be for staying in bed, decide on them before you move your child over so you are ready if you are faced with your child getting out on his own.

Church Nursery/Daycare/Playcenter


I know that many churches have nursery for children starting at young babies. My kids don't go to nursery until 18 months, so I don't know how starting young affects a child's view of nursery. I only have 5 more months to go before Kaitlyn goes to nursery! At our church, it seems like most kids have a difficult time when they first go to nursery. I find this to be completely understandable. They are in a strange room, usually with strange people, and wild children. It seems Babywise babies really don't have a huge struggle with mom leaving them alone in the nursery, though some do.

The first day my son started nursery, I stayed in the room for a while (like 20 minutes). I waited until I was sure he was comfortable there before I left. Then I told him I was leaving and hugged him and told him I would be back in a little while. He was fine for about an hour, then an older kid hit him and he cried and they came to get me. The next week, my husband stayed with him for about 20 minutes again, then he left. My son was fine that day. We haven't had a problem since.

When it comes to how you leave your child in the nursery (or daycare or play center while you work out) you have to do what you think is best for the personality of your child. My son does better if he has someone familiar there with him at first while he gets used to things, but quickly warms up to the situation. With my daughter, I think I will have to just put her in there, say goodbye, and walk out. The longer I would stay, the more likely I believe she will get clingy to me.

Whether you stay for a bit or leave right away, I think it is always good to tell your child you are leaving. I don't think it is good to sneak out. Your child will notice your absence at some point. Just keep the good-bye short, simple, and matter-of-fact. Save your emotion for once you leave the room (I know I got teary-eyed when I knew my son had graduated to nursery age--it is bittersweet).

I have also heard from many nursery workers that they perfer you to just leave. If your child is crying and throwing a fit, it is easier for them to work with your child without you there. Again, you need to know your child's personality. When I stayed with Brayden, he wasn't clinging to me and crying. He was just looking to make sure I was close by in case he had troubles. I could see Kaitlyn crying for a minute when I leave. But she would quickly get over it. I will be sure to keep you all abreast of the situation when it arises. The nursery workers can come get you if your child won't calm.

I have a Babywise friend whose son did great in nursery for 6 months, then suddenly didn't want to stay in there. That lasted for about 3 Sundays. She believes it was simply separation anxiety. They also happened to get a new nursery worker at the same time, and she was mindful of the situation. Unfortunately, we live in an age where you have to be very careful. If your child really doesn't like nursery, or suddenly starts disliking nursery, I would be sure there isn't a serious reason (like abuse from a nursery worker). I know the vast majority of workers out there would never harm your child in any way, but some would. The safety of our children should always come first. I hope I didn't scare us all today :)

As always, please share your tips/experiences with leaving your child with caregivers.

Related Posts:
Reader Comments/Thank Yous/Advice:
  • Dana said...
    Thanks for your thoughts on this! Here's my experience: We started each of our children in nursery at 3 mo. My son (3yr) has loved nursery from day one. The only times he ever had problems were when I was volunteering, and he didn't want me holding other babies. My daughter (11mo)hasn't had any problems in nursery, except a couple times she wouldn't take a bottle from the worker. She even doesn't seem to have any problem when I volunteer w/ me holding other babies. I think starting them early helped, plus the fact that we have consistant nursery workers they are used to being around.
    May 20, 2008 2:11 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks for your thoughts Dana! I think some kids have a more natural tendancy toward "jealousy" than others. It is interesting.
    May 21, 2008 11:06 AM
  • mommytoisabella said...
    I had a very good experience with leaving Isabella in a church nursery. We were visiting the US during the holidays and at first I was hesitant about leaving her in the nursery at 4 months. I was sitting with her in the nursing mothers room or the family room. However with so many kids in there I could not concentrate on the messages. Being when I am at home in Kosovo I am the nursery worker in the church, therefore I am unable to attend the services, I decided while in the US to put her in the nursery and she did well. All of the nursery workers we surprised at what a good baby she was. When I checked her in there was a sheet where I could write down what her needs where i.e. the time to give her a bottle and if she needed a nap etc... The nursery workers were surprised that I knew the times she would be hungry and tired. Thanks to Babywise. I would get comments like "she was the only baby that didn't cry."
    May 22, 2008 1:53 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks for sharing that! It is a nice sucess story :)
    May 23, 2008 4:44 PM
Reader Questions:
  • popuri said...
    Hi, in our church, the nursery room is open to babies & nursing moms as soon as they turn 1 mth old until they start to walk. The only issue is that they expect non-nursing moms to attend the service no matter what age the kids are. Some kids did great and stay with the roomful of strangers without a tear. My kid just won't. He is shy & gentle by nature and needed someone familier to be around. So I had to stay around. However, I noticed as he grows older 12mths, he begins to warm up to strangers a little better, by smiling, still hiding his face. At least he doesnt cry. So i start to spend some time in the nursery with him until he warms up to the surrounding and then tell him I am leaving and will come and get him later.

    I do this progressively and lengthens the time I am away. I also make sure there is a care-giver he will be comfortable with. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it does not. Then I realised he did better in a room with not so many people & when it is not too noisy. We have a different set of care-givers each wk, it is difficult for the child to form relationship with my son is trained in babywise mtd at home.

    Do u have any suggestions how can parents can work together with the church for kids who won't stay without thier moms? Is there something we can do with the current structure? thanks!
    July 29, 2008 10:05 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Popuri,I don't know if there is really a good solution for you. Does he have independent play at home? If not, that might help. It is hard since he doesn't have consistent people in the nursery. I think what you are doing sounds good. Some kids really don't like other noisy kids, especially when they are the oldest. Otherwise it might just be something you have to continue solowly working ont.
    August 1, 2008 11:14 AM

4 Month Sleep Problems

I have had a question about 4 month sleep troubles, and realized I don't have a post on it. There is a reason I have no post. It is that there really isn't much to say other than that many moms find there to be some sleep disruptions--either naps, night, or both--that accompany 4 months of age.

It is good to have a post on it to point that out to moms who don't know. Here are some polls of interest:

With the first poll, 95% of those who responded said they had sleep troubles at 4 months. The second poll had 68% of responders saying they never had troubles. Here is the breakdown:
Poll Results: Did Baby Seem to Experience Any Kind of Sleep Troubles Around 4 Months of Age?
  • Yes! Naps!: 23 votes (42%)
  • Yes! Night!: 9 votes (16%)
  • Yes! Naps & Night!: 19 votes (35%)
  • No: 3 votes (5%)
  • Total of 54 votes
  • 95% of responders experienced sleep problems around 4 months of age.
Poll Results: If your baby experienced sleep troubles around 4 months of age, how long did those last?
  • 1 week or less: 0 votes
  • 2-3 weeks: 8 votes (25%)
  • 4 weeks: 1 vote (3%)
  • 1-2 months: 5 votes (16%)
  • 2-3 months: 2 votes (6%)
  • 3-4 months: 1 vote (3%)
  • 4 months or longer: 0 votes
  • Never ended!: 2 votes (6%)
  • Never had troubles: 12 votes (68%)
  • Total of 31 votes
There is a large difference in those results as far as number of people with sleep troubles. There weren't a lot of responders for either poll, so I believe I will do the poll again at some point.
If your baby starts to have sleep troubles around this age, I would check out the suggestions listed on these posts:
Once you have worked through these, just hang in there and continue to press forward. Once you have done all you can, try to not stress.

I have a theory on a reason for these sleep troubles, and that is that the baby needs more calories. I never had sleep troubles at 4 months with either child, and in fact, that was the age both of my kids really clicked and things went perfectly. It was a honeymoon age for them. Brayden didn't nap for a long period, but he stopped crying for his naps 4 days before he turned 4 months old. Things just really started clicking for both kids at that age. I start solids at 4 months.

This is only a theory. I haven't done even informal surveys to figure this out. I am not suggesting you start solids at 4 months if you don't want to. It is merely a theory. So I ask these questions of you:
  • If you had 4 month sleep troubles (either night or naps), did you start solids at 4 months?
  • If you did not have 4 month sleep troubles, did you start solids at 4 months?
  • If you are over your sleep troubles, do you have a theory as to why they happened (now, in retrospect)?
  • Do you think there was anything you did that helped your baby get over the sleep troubles, or do you think he/she just "outgrew" it?
I would be interested in starting a dialog about this issue. Perhaps we can pinpoint this down and help future moms with this 4 month difficulty. Thanks for contributing!
Reader Comments/Advice:
  • Meghan said...
    I agree with you, I think it's a calorie thing - four months seems to be the age that things really started to click with both my girls (3 yrs and 5 months). We also start solids at 4 months and never experienced sleep troubles during that time. I think some babies just start to get hungrier for something more around that age.
    May 19, 2008 1:32 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Megan, mmm-hmmm, I do think it is a calorie thing. I think a hard thing with my calorie theory is that some babies probably don't need that calorie increase at four months. Some would be earlier and some later...Thanks for your input :)
    May 20, 2008 10:19 AM
  • Andy said...
    We didn't start solids at 4 months, but we haven't had any troubles. It has been so much easier than the first 3 months. I read in "The Wonder Weeks" that there is a fussy time during weeks 15-19 that preceeds a big developmental leap. During this time, babies can be more clingy, crabby and have trouble sleeping. This could be why so many babies struggle at 4 months. My baby didn't have any sleeping trouble, but she was much fussier than she had previously been. I have two theories on why we haven't had any sleep trouble at 4 months. First, I read in Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child, that daytime sleep regulates at 16 weeks and night sleep becomes more adult-like. As soon as my baby hit 16 weeks, she completely stopped waking early from naps and started sleeping much more soundly at night -- no crying out like she used to. Second, I think it really helped to start CIO early on. It seems like the "accepted" age to start CIO is 4 months (this is what my pediatrician recommended). It's possible that a lot of people wait to do CIO, which makes 4 months a difficult time. We started CIO at 6 weeks, so, I think, by the time we hit 4 months and her sleep was regulating, my baby had already learned how to soothe herself and everything just came together at that point. Sorry that this is so long-winded. :o) I was really worried that we would have trouble, so I did a lot of reading on it. I'm looking forward to hearing what other people think.
    May 19, 2008 2:22 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Andy, Thanks for sharing that. I have heard good things about the wonder weeks, thanks for bringing it up. That is interesting about what they say about 4 months...but my kids weren't that way at all. Things were really smooth and basically perfect. No talking back :), very content to observe things around them...I have also read in various places that sleep regulates around four months. But obviously there are many people for whom that is not true :)I would agree with starting CIO early on. That would be an interesting thing to add to the questioning. I started CIO with Kaitlyn at 1 week and Brayden at 9 weeks. I am trying to find variables that change from home to home (so we can help future moms of 4 month olds), which is why I find the wonder weeks and sleep reglating at 4 months interesting and totally believed that to be true before starting this blog, but can't really see those as being the reasons things go smoothly for some and not others--all babies are the ages described in those two theories. You know what I mean? Thanks for all of your thoughts! I am glad you brought up the CIO thought.
    May 20, 2008 10:35 AM
    Andy said...
    I see what you're saying about the regulating working for some and not others. It was literally like a light switch went on for my baby at 16 weeks, though, but maybe it's because she is naturally more of a sleeper. I have several friends who didn't start CIO until 4 months and they had an awful time of it with naps and night waking. So, maybe the early CIO had a bigger impact than I thought.
    May 20, 2008 10:58 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Andy, I hear you. Things were the same for us at four months. I was shocked to hear of problems at four months. For us, it was a lovely time :)
    May 21, 2008 10:58 PM
  • Elizabeth said...
    We also had the 4-month nighttime troubles, even though Noah had previously been sleeping through the night since about 9 weeks. At first I would get up and nurse, and then later switched to giving him his paci instead and he would still fall back asleep once he had it. My doctor (who is a Prep for Parenting supporter) advised me to let him CIO, since he obviously didn't need the calories. He called it a "trained night crier", and that Noah just needed to learn to self-soothe. Sure enough, after about a week of CIO at night he stopped waking up, and has only had troubles since when experiencing occasional growth spurts.
    May 19, 2008 11:27 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks for your thoughts Elizabeth. That also makes me wonder about pacifier use and the four month issues. I appreciate all of these thoughts to help us narrow down possible reasons better. The more experiences the better!
    May 20, 2008 10:50 AM
  • Tim & Jamie said...
    My son will be 5 months old on the 30th of this month and this week has begun to have sleep issues during nap time. he wakes up 45 minutes into his nap I would let him CIO but he just sits in his crib and talks to himself. If I get him up he is cranky and fussy about 45 minutes into his awake time. I had him on a 3 to 3 1/2 hours schedule until about 2 weeks ago and have not been able to troubleshoot his nap time problems as he was fine before. He sleep great at night and has slept 12 hours since 8 weeks old. I have never had a problem with him until the last 2 weeks. I am thinking about starting him on rice cereal to see if that will remedy the problem, but so far I have not been able to get anything else to work. Thank you for your blog I read it all the time and look to it for some great insight as I navigate my way through the first year of my childs
    May 20, 2008 3:15 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Jamie, Good luck troubleshooting! I believe 5 months is a normal age mentioned in the book for 45 minute naps. I hope you figure it out soon!
    May 20, 2008 10:52 AM
    Rachel Stellaaa said...
    Jamie, My son did the same thing as yours around 4 months for a couple weeks. He would wake up happy after a short nap so I'd think maybe he was done napping but then be tired shortly after. He never seemed to wake up due to hunger. I still don't know why he did it. It just went away eventually. Maybe he was just too excited about his surroundings?
    June 2, 2008 5:09 PM
  • IzzysMama said...
    My lo fits the developemental leaps schedule in "The Wonder Weeks" book to a T! I never understood why she would do so great for a couple of weeks and then all the sudden start sleeping horribly and then a couple weeks later start sleeping great again. After reading that book I realized that so far, her sleep problems have been associated with her development. I think she is just so excited about her new world she cant sleep. I remember 4 months was the biggest but I think it happened at 2 months as well.
    May 20, 2008 9:26 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks Izzy's Mama!
    May 20, 2008 11:00 AM
  • Dana said...
    I did have sleep issues at 4 months with my daughter, but not with my son. We started solids at 4.5mo with my son, but not until 6mo with my daughter(Interesting!)With my daughter, I think part of the problem was I moved her schedule too soon. She had reflux, which I never had diagnosed, but I'm positive of it now. I believe the reflux caused her to not eat consistantly due to the pain. I thought at the time she just needed her feedings moved farther apart. Boy was I wrong. When I finally gave up the 4 hour schedule and moved her back to a 3/3.5 hour schedule everything started to smooth out. So definitely a calorie issue in combination with too early of a schedule change. HTH with your theory and advice for other moms!
    May 20, 2008 11:03 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Dana, thanks for your thoughts! It is a good reminder to be sure to follow the needs of your child; we can't force things our kids aren't ready for. My daughter also needed a 3-3.5 hour schedule for a longer time because of reflux.
    May 21, 2008 11:00 PM
Reader Questions:
  • Krystal said...
    My daughter used to sleep from 9:30pm-7am, w/ no problem, but now (she is a little over 4 mo. and it has been going on for about 6 weeks) she eats at 10pm and can't seem to make it to 7am w/o waking up at least once during the night. I don't feed her-we stopped feeding her in the middle of the night when she was about 8 weeks old. She scoots around in her crib,so during the night at least once she gets herself all crammed into the corner. I always go and move her down at least once, and sometimes she goes right to sleep after that, but sometimes she cries for awhile. If she wakes in the night (because she's in the corner) at 2-3, she will still wake up at 5:30-6:30 and cry until I go get her. If she doen't wake at 2-3, she will still wake 5:30-6:30. Our day doesn't begin until 7:00! If this was just every once in awhile, I would just go w/ the flow, but it is EVERY night! Our days are fine-she takes great napes-anywhere between 1 1/2-2 1/2 hrs. every time. She rarely wakes early out of those. When my son was her age he slept from 8:30-8am. If anyone has any advice for me, that would be great!
    February 3, 2008 6:28 AM
    Becky said...
    I am having the same problem with my 4.5 month old son that Krystal had. How long does it last? Are you "back-sliding" if you feed him? I only feed him if I cannot get him to go back to sleep. This happens maybe just once a week, but he is waking up 1 or 2 times a night just about every day of the week.
    April 14, 2008 8:00 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    I have to appologize to Krystal because I didn't know this comment was here! It is hard to say how long this lasts because it will depend on your baby. For some, it honestly is months. For others, it is only days. I don't think it is backsliding if you feed him. If he is hungry, always feed him. There is a growth spurt at 4 months and a general need for more food. I will do the next poll on this question so you can get an idea of how long it lasted for others.
    April 14, 2008 2:09 PM
    Becky said...
    Thank you very much! After reading your new post on the pacifier, I think that may have alot to do with our sleeping habits as well. Thanks for your response and for the upcoming poll. It will be interesting to see the results! Thanks again!
    April 14, 2008 9:37 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    You are welcome! Some moms find pacifiers to have no negative effects on sleep, while others find it to have a lot of problems.
    April 17, 2008 4:47 PM
  • becca & nathan said...
    My son will be 4 months old on the 23rd! His nights vary...he does not sleep through the night yet. I do not do a dreamfeed because I thought when I was doing it that he slept better without it. So his nights have been varying between waking up once (around 2 or 3), or waking twice (last night around 11:30 and then 3:45). My first question is, should I try the dreamfeed again to see if that will cut out the waking? It seems like I always want to try it again, then I try it for one night and it doesn't work, so I go back to normal. Do I need to give it a week to see if it will work? I am also thinking that this is the age he is supposed to drop the dreamfeed, not add it, so I don't know if this is a good idea. We are normally on a 3 hour schedule. Yesterday, however, I decided to let him sleep as long as he wanted for naps because I think he is overtired (lots of crying at bedtime for the past week or so). He slept 3 hours in the morning, 2.5 in the midafternoon, then about 1 hour in the late afternoon. He went to bed with minimal fuss. Should I consider that just a "catch up" day, or should I think about extending his schedule. 1) I know that they are supposed to STTN before doing this. and 2) He only can usually get about 1 hour of waketime still. Sorry for such a long comment...any help is appreciated! Thanks!
    May 20, 2008 7:38 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Becca,If I were you, I don't think I would try the dreamfeed again. You are right, you are at the age to drop it. I think I would just stick it out.As far as extending schedule, you could try it. It is possible it was just a catch up day. Some moms find their nights get better with extending the schedule. IF your son is waking in the night from hunger, though, then I wouldn't extend your schedule to the point of dropping a feeding. And if it were me, I would try to get down to at most one feeding a night before extending to the point of dropping a day feeding (and in fact I would wait until all night feedings are gone, but like I said, some moms find night feedings stop once a 4 hour schedule starts). You could try a combo schedule (3-3.5 hour schedule) and not drop a day feeding and see how he does consistently.
    May 20, 2008 10:58 AM
    becca & nathan said...
    Thanks, Val. That's really helpful. I am wondering about the combo schedule...Do I have to be consistent about which feedings are 3 and which are 3.5, or can I just be flexible and see which nap he sleeps through? This morning, he woke at 3 hours on the dot for his 10 am feeding, and now it is 1:05 and he is still sleeping. Would it mess things up if I just let him sleep until 1:30 making this a 3.5 cycle...and not necessarily doing it every day? I have read your post about establishing a consistent schedule...still not sure how to plan a combo schedule. thanks again.
    May 20, 2008 11:11 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Becca, I think that if you took note of when he seemed to be able to go longer, you will see a pattern. I would try to make it the same feedings that have a longer time interval so you can be sure metabolism is stabelized.I would take several days to take notes of when he wakes for feedings and see if you see a pattern. In the case that you asked about...if you normally wanted the feeding to be at 10:30, then the next at 1:30...then he woke at 10:00, I would let him sleep until 1:30 so that you are back on track.
    May 21, 2008 11:03 PM
  • Kate said...
    I'm one of the Moms having the 4th month trouble. Before this, she has only woken once during the night since she was 7-8 weeks old and it was always b/c she was hungry. There were a few exceptions but would go right back to sleep if I gave her a pacifier. So, I've never had to do CIO b/c she never cried at night. I tried doing an extra feeding during the night, but she wouldn't really eat. I tried doing an extra feeding during the day, but it was the same thing-she wouldn't eat. So, I know it's not a hunger thing and she won't even take the pacifier. We decided Sunday night to do CIO. I'm not ready for what I know is the best way to do CIO. Instead we've been doing the method where you increase time and go in for a minute and pack their back. I know this method takes longer but it's all we're ready for. However, my sister-in-law just called and she, her husband, and 2 kids (2yr old and baby) will be staying w/ us Thur. and Fri. night. We won't be doing CIO those 2 nights and I guess I will just feed her. Is that going to totally mess my daughter up b/c I plan on going back to letting her cry after they leave? What's the best way to handle this? Thank you
    May 20, 2008 10:56 AM
    Kate said...
    Tried to post this earlier, but can't find it so sorry if this is a repeat. I'm one of the Mom's having the 4 months trouble. My daughter has only woken once during the night since she was 7-8 weeks and it was always when she was hungry. There were a few exceptions but she would go right back to sleep if we gave her the pacifier. I tried giving her an extra feeding during the night-she wouldn't it. Tried an extra feeding during the day-same thing, wouldn't eat. So, I know she's not waking b/c she's hungry. She also won't take the pacifier, so we decided to do CIO. I've never had to do CIO before b/c she's never cried at night before.My sister-in-law just called and she and her family (2yr old and baby) will be staying with us Thur-Sun. I don't want to CIO while there here and keep everyone up. How would you handle this? Should I just feed her while they're here and hope that puts her back to sleep and then start back w/ CIO when they leave? Is that going to totally mess her up?I wonder if I'm having trouble since we never did a dreamfeed. A dreamfeed never worked with her, I tried a few times. But when she was waking once a night the time would vary anywhere from 2-4:30AM. I wonder if since whenever she woke she got fed, now that she is waking up more at night she is having trouble putting herself to sleep. Just a thought.As usual, thank you so much!
    May 21, 2008 7:38 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Hi Kate, Your other post is on this page :)I might wait to CIO until your sister-in-law is gone. If not, you can certainly to back to it once she is gone, and it is just fine to modify your approach to be courteous to your guests. Your daughter might have a slight regression when you go back to CIO, but she should make up ground faster than she originally made it.There are a lot of moms who don't do a dreamfeed, so I don't know if that is the problem. Good luck with your CIO!
    May 21, 2008 10:57 PM
  • Jessica said...
    My daughter, 16 weeks, has just started having trouble, primarily with her naps. She has gone from taking two 2-3 hour naps and one 45 minute nap to only napping for one hour per nap. She has also woke early in the morning once (Praise God only once). I am not 100% sure what is going on. There are so many new things happening with her right now. She is teething, her eat habits have changed (wanting to take only 2oz. at some feedings), she is now sleeping unswaddled and she can turn over.At first I was contributing the sleep disturbance to her being able to turn over (each time I have gone to get her, except once, she has turned herself over). Now, I just don't know. I don't know if I should allow her to CIO and learn to sleep on her back (she is a tummy sleeper). I don't want her to CIO when she is hungry or having teething pain.I have gotten her up at each nap today and this last nap she ate almost 4oz. So, I think she was hungry.
    July 17, 2008 2:01 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Jessica, This is a hard situation when you have so many factors to work through. I would focus on one at a time. I would first assume it is teething because if it is, it can be easy to fix and is easy to test. I would give her tylenol before her nap (20 minutes before or right before). Then it should be working at the transition time and she can make it through.If not, move on to growth spurt because this is one you don't want to ignore if it is the case. Try feeding her when she wakes early. This age is common for growth spurts.After that, move on to other possible factors. Focus on one at once. It will take some time, but hopefully you can figure it out. Good luck!
    July 21, 2008 4:09 PM
  • benmagmom said...
    HELP! My daughter is 4 months old. She had been sleeping through the night (approx. 11 hours) for about 2 months. The last 2 weeks have been a nightmare. She is up at night. I've tried treating it as a feeding issue and tried to let her CIO to no avail. She does eat, but she's up so much it's interfering with her daytime happiness (and my sanity). Plus, she's not eating as much at her first morning feeding. She seems to be awaking relatively regularly at 1:30-2:30 and then again at 5:30-6:30. Our daytime schedule is first feeding at 8 am. (This is because my son's preschool/activities begin at 9 am. So I have to have time to feed her and get him where he needs to be.) Then she sleeps from 9:30-11. I feed her again at 11 (so I can pick him up from activities at noon). She takes about a three hour afternoon nap and a one hour evening nap. These have been varying from day to day no matter how hard I've tried to nail it down. Aft. is either 1-4 with a 5-6 evening OR 2-5 with a 6-7 evening. Then bedtime is either 7 or 8 because of the varying aft/eve naps. I think one of the issues is that she is going to sleep too early to wake up at the appointed time which is 8 am. But I really don't know how to get around it because no matter what we've done, ever since we dropped the late evening feeding she has wanted to go down for the night between 7 and 8. Obviously 13 hours would be a real stretch but so is 12. I've also tried to lengthen time between feedings and alternatively get back on the 3 hour feeding schedule. But she is determined to take the very long aft nap. Even when she was sleeping through the was only until 5:30-6:30 so I would feed her then she would sleep until 8 and feed again to be up for the day. I really need help getting her to sleep through the night again. Additionally, I have added solids since she has been waking during the night because of course I'm thinking it's a hunger issue. I've been giving her cereal around 12:30 (even though BW says to combine it with breastfeeding), but it has really helped to tide her over into her long aft nap and it would be too soon to breastfeed again. Then, I give her solids again before her last feeding of the day. Both of these feedings are not the BW way. I tried to give her solids this morning directly after her 8 am feeding and she wouldn't eat much of anything. Then, I was going to give solids again after her afternoon nap.Please tell me what I should do to improve this situation or improve my schedule. The most important things are being able to drop off my son at 9 am and pick him up at noon. Nothing else is static during the day. Thanks so much! Love your blog!!
    July 20, 2008 4:33 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    benmagmom, So does she insist on the long afternoon nap even if you don't feed solids at 12:30? I would move away from that and get a shorter afternoon nap. 3 hours doesn't really come until they go down to 1 nap a day. She can do 2.5 if needed. Really I would try to get to a 3 hour schedule. Feed at 8, 11, 2, 5, and 8. If she needs to do 2.5 somewhere (like in the evening) and 3.5 somewhere (earlier in the day) that is fine. You can do the combo schedule. I would get those feedings in there and see how that goes. Good luck!
    July 21, 2008 4:14 PM
    benmagmom said...
    Yes, she does want the long afternoon nap even if I don't give her solids. She began taking the afternoon nap before I introduced them. I only introduced solids when she started waking during the night thinking it was a hunger problem.I'll try to do more of a three hour schedule. If you were doing two solid feedings...when would you do them? i switched (tob be more in line with BW) to just after breastfeeding after her morning nap and I was thinking again after her afternoon nap. what do you think?the reason we kind of moved away from the three hour schedule is because she wouldn't take a full feeding...then would want to eat much two hours later and got into a snacking pattern.??? I'm so confused!
    July 22, 2008 12:01 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    IF you are breastfeeding, I would do lunchish time (the feeding closest to lunch that you have time to feed solids) and dinnerish. The reason is you have the most milk in the morning. If you are formula feeding, I would do breakfast and dinner. Spread it out. You can also do a combo schedule. I would check out this post:Getting a Consistent Schedule: and Combo Schedule is Okay:
    July 23, 2008 9:59 PM
  • Claudia said...
    My almost 4month old is always been an angel baby and textbookbaby. We had dropped the 9pm feeding and moved it to 8 or 8:30 pm. Now he wakes up at nine or even 10 to feed. Just as this phase was gone and going back to his 8:30 schedule again. Now he is waking up at 1am or 2am to feed. He has his full feeding. I hve been breastfeeding and last weekend I gave him formula when we went out to see family. He got a little bit of astomach flu as I was told because he started to not have his full feedings and not want my breast. He is better now. I am confused...Should I start the rice cereal in a bottle or spoon? Because he seems hungrier now. He started screaming last night went put to bed for his last nap. When should I extend his waketime could that be it? He still has about 6 naps a day and last from 45min to 1hour. When do I start the 3 naps a day. I have been following his cues that's why I haven't started the 3 naps because he gets sleepy as schedule. He is also still in his 3 hour routine for feedings. Please help! Everything seems to have become a mess.
    September 1, 2008 12:07 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    If he had the flu, my guess is that he lost weight and/or didn't gain the wait he needed during that flu. So, he needs more food right now. I wouldn't start rice for this reason alone because it will take weeks to get to a point where he is eating enough to really make a difference. If you were going to start solids anyway, then go ahead and start trying. I would try to add a feeding during the day or add a dreamfeed to help. You can try a longer waketime at that one naptime, but only extend by about 5 minutes at a time to be sure you don't add too much.
    September 5, 2008 2:20 PM
    Claudia said...
    Thank you so much for your advice. He is back on track. He did need those extra feedings at night. He got used to waking up at 1 or 3 AM, so I would let him talk to himself, he would move around his crib and even screamed a little and would go back to sleep. He is 4 months now so I started the rice cereal with a spoon. He has been doing great but on wednesday he woke up at 5 am. He is a tummy sleeper, he will pull himself to sleep in his tummy but now when he is not wanting to go to sleep he will roll to his back. He is very vocal so he will start babbling really loud! When he sees me he will smile and and laugh loud. I gave him a feeding and made that his first feeding of the day. When do you start the 3 naps? And when do I start the 3 meals? I give him his rice cereal at 8 with his last nursing feeding. I nurse for 20 min give him cereal at the table with his dad's help and back to the breast for 5 min. each breast.
    September 12, 2008 10:53 AM
    Jessica said...
    Claudia -You still start giving your LO 3 meals with rice cereal one week after you started giving him rice cereal for one meal per day. Two weeks after that you can introduce veggies or fruits - whatever you prefer. BWII suggests starting veggies first but I started with fruits.My daughter went to two 2 hour naps and one 30-45 minute nap at around 4 months.Your son sounds much like my daughter with talking to himself and then smiling when you come in - that is her! She woke at 5 a.m. today. Fun!Val has great solid information here:
    September 12, 2008 11:25 AM
    Claudia said...
    Jessica,This is so awesome having you and others give advice. Specially when most people I know that have kids have never heard of babywise or read any books or they very stong opinions of babywise and gtell me to burn it! I bought all series of babywise and sheperding a childs heart and I find all of them helpful.I have been feeding him one meal of rice cereal for 2 weeks and today I am starting with 2 meals of rice cereal. I was taking it slow because of his diarrea. I guess tomorrow I will do three!Last week he wasn't eating muchand yesterday he was waking up 30 to45 min into his nap and ready to eat so I am guessing he is getting better.Thanx so much for the advice.
    September 22, 2008 11:00 AM
    Claudia said...
    He sleeps on his tummy but now he rolls to his back and can't get himself to his tummy quite yet but he tries when I don't come to help. It is frustrating! He also has been waking up this past 2 days at dawn. One time at 3am and yesterday at 5am. I was trying to let him CIO but my husband would tell me to feed him because it could be a growth spurt. Since past sunday he has been taking short naps. So unlike him. I thought maybe he is hungrier because he had been feeling bad with vaccines he got fever and diarrhea. I have been monitoring eat. Take my time to feed him when he wakes up earlier to see if he will go back to sleep. If he doesnt I will feed. I monitor his cries. This past few days his baby talk has been more of a wining. So I tried the tylenol but less than the dose needed. He still woke up early from his nap but not wining.At this point I think it is mixture of teething,growth spurt and when I wait to get him he is also more aware of his surroundings so he explores his feet and mobile attached next to the crib.Good luck to both us.! I have decided to treat it as a growth spurt for now give myself a week.
    September 24, 2008 12:57 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Claudia, you go to two naps possibly as early as 6 months. Most are around 8 months. Some are older (Kaitlyn was 11 months). See: Dropping the 3rd Nap (evening): See this post for three meals: Solids: How to Start?: and Solids: What's the Schedule:
    October 21, 2008 11:26 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Claudia, for rolling, if you are still having problems, see:Nap Disruptions: Rolling, Standing, Crawling, etc:
    October 21, 2008 11:28 AM
  • Mom2BoJo said...
    My 4 1/2 month old son has been having these same nighttime sleep problems - I'm so tired! He eats during the day at 6:30, 10:30 (with cereal), 2, 6 (with cereal), and 9pm. He was previously sleeping 10-11 hours at night, and now is waking every night between 2:30 and 3. The first couple of nights I just fed him. Last night I let him cry but gave him his paci, patted his back, etc, and he eventually went back to sleep. He is doing a lot of the things that others have mentioned here: scooting around his crib, rolling over, looking up at his mobile, talking to himself, etc. Also, he is drooling and chewing a lot during the day, so maybe teething? I am not sure what I should do next. He is such a sweet and predictable baby, and I am grateful for the Babywise method, as well as this informative blog! Please help with some advice. Thanks!
    October 7, 2008 5:53 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Mom2BoJo, if you are still having problems, I would move back to three hours a day rather than four hours. If he is having a growth spurt, he needs to eat more often, so adding a feeding to the day will help eliminate the need for night.
    October 21, 2008 11:30 AM
  • Piper said...
    I have a question...sorry I don't have time to read through all the other questions to see if this one has been asked. My baby was 16 weeks yesterday. She started sleeping through the night at 6 weeks. We have never had to do CIO at night and only had to do it for 10-15 minutes on occasion during the day (sometimes off and on for 45-60 minutes but I would move her to the swing and this is rare). The last week or so she has started loudly crying when I put her down for a nap. It still does not last more than 10 minutes, but she starts fussing when I walk towards her bed and crying loudly as soon as I put her in bed. She seems a little fussy with nursing and seems to want more but when I offer she doesn't even try to latch on or she does and pulls right off. I am not really sure what a specific question is...more does this seem normal? This is my first baby and I think in the back of my head I am just fearful I am losing my supply. I do 6 feedings (including a dream feed, which I have tried to drop the last two days but am putting it back in tonight because she wakes at 530am instead of 8am without it). Also, she often does not seem hungry at all after 3 hours so I am wondering if this is some of my nursing issues.
    October 13, 2008 7:03 PM
    Piper said...
    I have a follow up to this now. Now my baby is starting to cry incredibly loud as soon as we walk in her room. If we walk out she stops. It's like she knows she is going down to bed. We do other things in her room such as read, change diaper, play with toys, but somehow she seems to know when it is nap time and starts crying as though it is the WORST thing she has ever suffered through. It used to be that we could put her down and hardly hear a fuss but all of a sudden over the last 2 or so weeks she has become so angry when we put her down. This only happens for naps. At night she goes down just fine and still sleeps through the night just fine. In the morning I either get her up at 8 or she wakes about 730 and chats with herself until 8. Sometimes she gets up at 730 ready to start the day, but this is rare. I know BW pays off, but this is starting to make me doubt it because we seem to be going backward.
    October 18, 2008 6:38 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Piper there is going to be some reason for this. It doesn't seem normal. You are going to have to do some thinking and trouble shooting to figure out the reason for this. Is she teething or sick? It is impossible for me to guess why she suddenly doesn't like naps; you will have to think through possible changes recently that could have made her this way. Perhaps she just needs a longer waketime. Even 5 minutes could do it.
    October 21, 2008 11:35 AM