Baby Sleep Questions: Frequently Asked from Readers

Various baby sleep questions answered on the topics of cry it out, baby sleep, baby naps, and baby sleeping through the night.

baby sleeping on colorful blanket

These questions were asked by readers of this blog.

Cry It Out Questions in General:

  • Meredith said… Thank you so much for this blog – It is so useful to me. I started my child with CIO at 6 weeks. It has only taken him a few days to deal with it. However, now he seems to be sleeping a LOT! I’m concerned he’s not eating enough although his diapers are the same as before he started sleeping more. I decreased his wake time and he is taking a 2-2.5 hour morning nap and two 1.5 hour afternoon naps, and is very sleepy during feedings and after feedings except in the morning. Is this normal for a 6 week old?
    January 2, 2008 3:06 PM 
    Plowmanators said… In my experience, yes. I was still fighting Kaitlyn to stay awake while she ate during her feedings at 6 weeks. Babies sleep a lot, and I think a common trend these days is to not have your baby sleep as much as they need. That trend seems to continue into toddlerhood and right on into adulthood. How many adults actually get the sleep they need in our society? Great job! I hope it continues to go so well!
    January 2, 2008 5:46 PM
  • Kristy said…
    I have a three week old formula feed baby who will go through two three hour feedings in the afternoons without napping. During these six hours I have feed, changed, and held/played with her but when I put her down she will cry the entire time before the next feeding. I will check on her every 15-20 min to try to calm her down again but she will start crying again when I put her down. While I hold her she will calm down but not fall asleep. Some times this not falling asleep will carry into the 9:30-10:00 feeding when she will not fall asleep until after the next 12:30 feeding. What can I do to get her the nap during these times? She is napping in the mornings for 2 to 2 1/2 hours but I have a very difficult time keeping her awake for more than 15-30 minutes after the feedings.Thank youKristy
    June 19, 2008 8:36 AM 
    Plowmanators said…
    Kristy, Sounds like you have a baby like Brayden was; doesn’t really like to sleep. You likely have your work cut out for you, but believe me that it will be well worth the effort in a relatively short time. Then in the toddler years, you will be even more happy you did it. I will first recommend you see these posts. If you have questions beyond that, don’t hesitate to ask:CIO Bootcamp: Waking Early From Naps/Won’t Fall Asleep For Naps:
    Easy Nap Fix:
    June 19, 2008 1:58 PM

Cry It Out at Night:

  • Katy said…
    Hi there! I’m new to your blog and am really enjoying it. Thanks so much! I have a question that I haven’t seen addressed anywhere:I have a 4 1/2 month old baby girl. Even though she’d go to a 4-hour schedule during the day without complaint, I keep her on a tight 3-hour schedule because she isn’t sleeping through the night. She’s a great napper and self-soothes with minimal or no crying.I know that Babywise says that some babies need to cry it out in the middle of the night, but what does that mean exactly? For 8 hours don’t feed the baby? Let the baby cry until 3 or 4 hours have passed an the baby might truly be hungry?Last night I fed my baby at 6:30 (then bed), 9:30, 12:30, 3:30, and 5:30. (Yes, I’m exhausted!) I let her cry each time to make sure she was really awake and at 5:30 I tried to see if I could soothe her back to sleep without feeding since it had only been 2 hours (no luck). Each time the baby sucked vigorously and took a full feeding. She’s just about average size-wise (not at all rollypolly) so I’m hesitant to drop feedings since she really does seem hungry. Because she would easily go 3.5 or 4 hours between feedings during the day if I let her I don’t think I have a milk supply issue. I’m at a loss on what to do– any thoughts?
    May 8, 2008 7:34 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    I think you are right to not move to a 4 hour schedule yet. Babies have an increase in need for food around 4 months, so she might be going through that. I also think you are right to make sure it isn’t a hunger issue. It sounds like she has some reason for waking, and since she seems to be able to go longer in the day, I would tend to doubt it is hunger. I would guess either she is waking because she isn’t able to self-soothe beyond a few hours, she is hot or cold, etc. I would really try to find out the problem.Once you have ruled out other options, you could CIO. See this post for other options. CIO in the night would mean whatever it means for you. The reason I suggest you rule out all other possibilities before doing it is so you can do it with confidence. Consistency is so key to CIO that you would have to be consistent to get good results. Good luck!
    May 8, 2008 11:13 PM
  • Amy said…
    Hey, there- I posted a while back about my little one waking early. (I’m the one with 8 kids) We made some progress and had finally gotten to a place of sleeping from 9pm to 6am. Unfortunately, she got Roseola after that and then a cold right after that-such a bummer! I have been up at night quite a bit through all this but now that she is all better I really need to help her sleep through the night. She is 10 months old and having a full bottle at 10pm and then crying at 4:30am! I let her cry for about 30 min and then give in and feed her-desperate to get back to sleep myself! I feel so discouraged at times because my other children I did babywise with slept through by 9 weeks and then even longer nights, 11 hours or so not long after that…She is sleeping now and I am tempted to just not feed her the df tonight to see what happens. I think I need to do CIO and I may wait until my dh is out of town next week. I think I have ruled out every other reason for her night waking…other than double checking with her doctor again to be sure her ears are fine, etc.I guess I am looking for ideas…or just some hope.ThanksAmy
    September 8, 2008 11:06 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    Amy, one thing is if you aren’t going to stick out the CIO, I wouldn’t even start it. Your baby is definitely smart enough and persistent enough to realize a mear 30 minutes of crying will get you in there. So I would either go all the way or not at all.The dreamfeed can interfere with good night sleep, so you can definitely try dropping it and seeing what happens. I haven’t ever done CIO in the night, but I ams sure with consistency and time, you can get there. Good luck!
    September 12, 2008 1:09 PM
  • jac said…
    Hi! I am so thankful for your blog and all of your advice here. I am, obviously, a first time mom, and need some help with my son. He will be 9 weeks on Saturday, and, although we do a dreamfeed at 11pm, seems to wake at 4:30 each morning. Sometimes, it doesn’t seem to matter when we do this feed however, he just wakes at 4:30am. Also, he eats at this feed, but not adamantly…he seems content to eat from one side, then nibble on the other, and fall asleep after de-latching himself and doing some ‘playing’ at the breast, it seems. He’s a big boy(9.3 at birth), likely around 13-14 pounds. My question is: how do I know, in fact, that he isn’t at least a little hungry, and therefore NEED that feed at 4:30am? Meaning, can I let him CIO yet? How will I know if it’s hunger, in which case I wait for him to extend his night on his own, I guess? Or whether it’s just habit, in which case I can let him CIO? I know I’m pushing the 9 week timeline here…is there anything else I can do to help extend the night? (I do the cluster feed 9:30 and 11pm already)Thank-you SO much!
    December 3, 2008 6:26 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    Jac, first, keep in mind that many babies take until 12 weeks to STTN, so don’t stress about this. I know you are looking forward to it, but don’t take this as a make or break of how well you are doing as a parent. There are really a lot that don’t STTN until they are older than 12 weeks, so bear that in mind. Do you have a consistent waketime in the morning? If not, make sure you start that. If so, how does he eat at that time? If he is still taking a full feeding, chances are he needs that 4:30 feeding still. If he doesn’t take a full feeding, he might be ready to drop it. See this post for ideas on that:
    Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime:
    December 5, 2008 11:53 AM

Crib to Bed Transitions:

  • Tanya Hebert said…
    What are your thoughts on the crib-to-bed transition? My daughter is 21 months and we are starting to think about it. Are there any indicators as to when it’s a good time? Any words of wisdom about making it a good transition all around? Do you recommend a toddler bed or going straight to a twin-size bed? Any thoughts/guidance you have is much appreciated. Thank you.
    May 20, 2008 2:48 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    Tanya, I did a post on crib to bed transitions today in response to your question 🙂
    May 21, 2008 11:06 AM

Baby Nap Questions

  • Stephanie said…
    I have a couple questions…1) My 8 month old is taking two naps a day now, usually about 1 1/2 hours. Sometimes, it’s 2 hours and sometimes it’s only 1. Lately, her second nap has only been 1 hour long, which means she wakes about 3:00pm. Her last feeding is 8pm which makes bed time around 8:30. Since there is such a long time between 3 and 8, she’s quite fussy in the evenings and I find myself doing things just “to kill time”. I can’t just play with her because she’s not happy; I usually have to walk around and hold her, go for a walk, etc. I’ve tried putting her down for a little cat nap, but it hasn’t worked..she just keeps crying and then it gets to be too late for her to sleep because then she won’t be ready for bed at 8:30. She is still waking anytime between 4-5 in the morning which I am doing everything I can to get that to stop. Do you think putting her to bed earlier, like 7:30 would make her wake even earlier in the morning, or maybe because she’s so tired at night, it’s affecting her night sleep? I know that sleep begets sleep, but it’s so hard to believe that if I put her to bed earlier, she’s not going to wake earlier. Or maybe, I should just keep doing what I’m doing until she starts sleeping longer into the morning?My other question, regarding sleeping longer and putting her to bed earlier. I’ve never done a dream feed. I didn’t even know what it was until a couple months ago, and she was already 6 months old, so I thought it’s not something I should be starting at that age when most people are trying to stop it at that age. BUT, is it possible that that may help her sleep longer in the morning, or will that just create yet another habit I will have trouble breaking later? 8 months of only getting about 5 hours of sleep at a time, I’d almost rather df and have an uninterrupted night sleep, but I also don’t want her to start relying on that and start waking for it. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP! I’m so exhausted; if I could afford it, I’d probably be taking my baby to see a sleep specialist! Sorry, I didn’t realize this was so long. Thank you!! And congratulations on baby #3!!!
    September 25, 2008 8:00 AM 
    Plowmanators said…
    Stephanie, Jenny, and Erin, I apologize–I missed all of your comments until now! If you are still having trouble, please let me know.
    November 10, 2008 3:28 PM 
    Amy said…
    Valerie,I am having the same problem Stephanie is/was having but my dd is 12 mos now! I am curious if Stephanie has posted anywhere-did things get better?Amy
    November 12, 2008 7:11 AM 
    Plowmanators said…
    Amy, so far as I know, I haven’t heard from Stephanie, but it is really hard to keep everyone straight 🙂 See this post for ideas:Dropping the Morning Nap (from 2 to 1 naps): Transition Time :
    November 22, 2008 4:14 PM
  • Elizabeth said… I have some of the same problems as Anna. My daughter who is 8 weeks will only nap for one hour – especially in the morning – so it seems impossible to get her on a 3 hour schedule. She can only stay awake for 1 hour as well. At night she is really sporadic with how long she sleeps and when she wakes up. I would say she averages 4 hour stretches at night, but sometimes it’s only 2 1/2 and others it’s 5-6.
    November 13, 2008 2:01 PM 
    Plowmanators said… Elizabeth, this is a common problem parents run in to. At that age 1 hour is acceptable for a nap, but no baby that age can stay awake for 2 hours. It just doesn’t mathematically add up. See the naps posts for ideas on extending naps; she is old enough to realistically start sleeping longer.
  • Jeannine said…
    Plowmanators what would you suggest for my soon to be 8 month old. She has a two up, two down routine except after 5pm, she naps until 6pm and I nurse her, so it looks like:7:00–nurse + solids 9:00–nap 11:00–nurse + solids 1:00–nap 3:00–nurse5:00–nap6:00–nurse + solids + bath + bed Although now she’s waking up at 2pm. How do I know its an intruder or she’s ready to drop the last nap or change her schedule completely. Thanks

    The Babywise Mom said…
    Typically in this case, if she needed to drop the last nap, she would have night sleep issues, not 2 PM sleep issues. I would try adding 5 minutes of waketime at a time to see if that helps things. But do also see “wonder weeks” blog label because that could explain the behavior, in which case you just “wait it out.”
  • Laur Laur said…
    I have a 6.5 month old as well and he sleeps roughly 10.5 hours a night. His naps are all over the place, however. Right now (for the last 2 months) he has been sleeping between 30-45 min naps, 3x a day. Because they are so short he tends to wake crying or fussy. I have tried letting him cry it out. My question is this, is it possible he could cut back to just two naps per day? Once he is up and out of his crib, he is quite happy (somehow with only that limited amount of sleep!)but I would like for his naps to be longer. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    The Babywise Mom said…
    He is old enough that he could have two naps a day, however I don’t think I would move to two naps with his naps being as short as they are. I would still with three for a couple more months at least.

    Laur Laur said…
    Thanks! He is doing better now and sleeps closer to 11-11.5 hours at night. His naps are closer to an hour too, which is an improvement!

Naps and Night Baby Sleep Questions

  • Mark said… Hi, i really enjoy your website–very helpful. have a coupel questions for you. my sara is 8.5 weeks old and is NOT napping well. she sleeps for thirty min (after cryign 5-10 when put down) then cries on and off during her whole naps. she is exclusively been breast fed and eating ~ 2.5 h or 3. i think she could go 3 all the time but i give in when she cries so much and try to feed her–she still falls asleep when eating 80% of the time. any advice welcome…… thanks, stacy
    March 30, 2008 3:57 PM
    Mark said… sara’s mom again–forgot to mention earlier i have been trying to do babywise since around 2 weeks of age. she averages around 45-50 min for eating and wake time until she starts yawning and getting fussy. i am trying to drop middle of night feedings. she feeds @ 8-9pm and at 1130pm (we wake her for these)and i am trygin to get her to sleep till 630. she starts crying around 410 and goes on and off with cryign till 6 when i usually cave in and feed her. need some help from experienced BW mom.
    March 30, 2008 4:02 PM
    Plowmanators said… When she falls asleep eating, make sure you don’t let her stay asleep, even for a couple of minutes. I noticed that when this happened with my daughter, she would cry a lot before a nap. She wasn’t a big crier usually (our first nap for “CIO” she didn’t cry even for a second). I finally figured out that when I let her sleep for a couple of minutes during a feeding, she would cry and cry at naptime. Here are a few posts I recommend if you haven’t read them already:
    CIO Bootcamp:
    Waking Early From Naps/Won’t Fall Asleep For Naps:

    For the middle of the night, I personally wouldn’t work on that until she gets better at CIO in the day. You both need the sleep in the night to make it through the day. Keep in mind that 15% of babies don’t start sleeping 7-8 hours until they are 10-12 weeks old. So I would wait until CIO in the day is going better–until she has figured out how to self-soothe. I would then evaluate the situation and go from there. There is a chance she will start STTN on her own once she knows how to self-soothe. If not, your nights of CIO will be significantly fewer if she knows how to self-soothe already. Good luck! It does get easier.
    March 31, 2008 9:44 AM
    Mark said… sorry to bother u again–thank you sooo much for ur advice. this is my delima–i go back to work in a week and i am trying to get her on the 7,10,1,4,7,10 schedule (i think that would work best for us)–she did great yesterday on it and naps were better–took ur advice about feeding. she is 11 pounds and 9 weeks on thurs–do u think she can go from 10pm till 7am? would you add a feeding around 4am. yesterday ate at 7,10,1,350,715,and 1030pm and woke at 245-300am just whiny and back to sleep with no intervention then at 5am woke crying and i fed her at 515 she ate for about 4-5 min on one side then slept and cried at 630 and i fed her at 645am. i am getting ANXIOUS about having to go back to work and how to best fit her schedule (i have to leave for work at 6am and my husband will take her to our cargiver @730 then i get off @ 3pm and can be with her @ 330p). i need HELP and advice on what schedule you would recommend…… i was hestiant to mess up her first am nap b/c those first 2 of the day are her best ones. (that is why i thought 7am would be good then my husband would leave house at 730 and she could be put down around 745am.
    April 1, 2008 7:45 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    Stacy,WEEKS 9-15Baby can gradually move to 9-10 hours of continuous sleep if breastfed, 11 hours if bottlefedOver the next few weeks, she should be able to sleep that amount of time. Until then, it might be a bit tiring for you with going back to work. It sounds like she needs to eat in the night still. I would wait before you respond like you did, but when she full-on cries, get her and offer a full feeding. It sounds like your projected schedule should work. Keep working toward it. Don’t worry about the night feeding until you can tell she doesn’t need it. Hang in there!
    April 1, 2008 2:43 PM
    Mark said... THANK YOU for your responses. i really enjoy your blog and find it so helpful!!!! one last question–would u just wake her up @ 3am or 4am and feed her or let her wake up crying then feed her even if it is 5 or 530am would you offer a full feeding since we are doing a 7am waketime.thank you :)stacy
    April 1, 2008 4:49 PM
    Plowmanators said… Stacy,Have you seen this post:Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime: I would just let her sleep until she wakes and feed her in the 5 hour. See that post for more ideas. Good luck!
    April 1, 2008 10:36 PM

  • ProudMum said… Hello,I have discussed before with u many of mine baby issues. I really got benefits from ur nap articles. she is self soother from around 2 months when she got her thumb. night sleeping is always fine. I never give her sleep training. my nap problem was identification of her wake time. which is 1 hr 10 min if she sleeps well before. she is now five months old today. but problem is that she always wakes up crying after 1 hour. i let her cry for sometimes but it didnt solve the problem so I always feed her and then she goes to sleep. so I never be on 3 hr schedule. She is not taking solids.Same is the case with her she always wakes up at 6:25 am and need feed which is around 5 mins and then she takes time and goes back to sleep.I am worried because when she finally wakes up around 8:30 or 9 she is not genuinely hungry. So how should I handle both of these situations.
    July 22, 2008 9:56 AM 
    Plowmanators said… Proudmum,For your 6:30 feeding, see this post:Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime: Have you tried a shorter waketime for naps? It sounds like she doesn’t know how to soothe herself through a transition and so she is using you. See this post: Waking Early From Naps/Won’t Fall Asleep For Naps:
    July 23, 2008 3:30 PM 
    ProudMum said… baby is five months now. i have started solids. she eats all of it with great interest, but she wanna take nap right after it. even if its not time of nap is it normal?
    July 24, 2008 3:01 AM 
    Plowmanators said… ProudMum, So did you start solids then? A couple of days ago you said your baby didn’t take solids. It is not normal to nap right after a meal.
    July 25, 2008 1:58 PM
  • Anna said… Hi, I have a nine-week old little girl who is a really good baby. She’s breastfed, but she’s not really sleeping through the night yet, and her night time sleep doesn’t make sense to me. For example, one night I fed her at 8, put her down at 9 and she slept until 4:30. I know, that’s great, BUT the next night, I did the same except I added a dream feed at about 11. She slept until 4:30. And, it’s not always 4:30, so I don’t think she’s “stuck”. Last night, she took 5.5 ounces (I pump for her last feeding so I know she gets enough) at 11 p.m. and woke up at 3:30. I feed every three hours. She’s napping for about an hour in each three hour cycle, but she ends up having that nap in the middle of the cycle. I can’t seem to get her to stay awake long enough to make the hour the last hour of the cycle, if that makes sense. Any advice you have would be great!
    November 13, 2008 1:06 PM 
    Plowmanators said… Anna, see the blog label “naps” for ideas on fixing the naps.As far as STTN, understand that many babies don’t STTN until 12 weeks old (many even older) so I wouldn’t worry about that.Also, some don’t sleep as well with a dreamfeed as they do without. If your baby isn’t sleeping better with the dreamfeed, then just forget about it. Then you can go to bed earlier 🙂
    November 19, 2008 3:03 PM

Baby Nighttime Sleep Problems

  • monkeymom said…
    My daughter is 14 weeks old. She goes to bed between 630p and 700p. She usually wakes around 10-11pm and eats a 6oz bottle and then again at 3am (although this has been 5am for the past two days). I have to wake her up at 7am and she is usually still sound asleep. When she wakes she is happy, but not hungry. Do you have suggestions on whether I should try to drop the 3am feeding and if so should I try decreasing the amount of formula as mentioned in some of the blogs before? Also she naps (on a good day) from 9am-11am and then from 1pm-3pm. Should she have a third nap in there somewhere?thanks!
    August 26, 2008 11:18 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    Yes, you should have a third nap, but only about 45-60 minutes long. You can certainly try dropping that night feeding. It shoulds like she is moving toward that. See this post for more:
    Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime:
    August 30, 2008 9:22 PM
  • jencwu said… Sorry, I’m not sure if this is the right place for this question or not, but I couldn’t find what I was looking for. Typically we don’t have any problems with our little one sleeping at night… I let him fall asleep nursing after he’s gotten a full meal and he will stay asleep for 4-5 hours usually. Last night was quite different though. He woke up around his usual time, about 3:30 to feed. After he finished and fell asleep, I put him in his crib as usual about 4:30. As soon as I got to my bedroom, however, he awoke and cried on and off for an hour until I got up to nurse him more. He was not very interested in eating but did fall asleep again. So once again, I laid him in his crib only to hear him crying when I got into my room again. At this point I decided to let him CIO and my husband took over so I could get a little sleep. He finally fell asleep about 45 mins later at 6:15 but only slept for 45 mins because then it was time for him to wake up and eat. What would you recommend for these types of situations? This is really the first time this has happened. (You probably know this from my other posts but he is almost 6 weeks old)
    August 31, 2008 4:43 PM
    Lorri said…
    I do know that 6wks is when my little guy hit a growth spurt-and he didn’t necessarily want to eat more, but definitely was a little more finicky through the night.This is about where we started creating bad habits because he didn’t eat-I though something had to be wrong and felt sorry for him and started rocking him back to sleep.
    September 1, 2008 2:17 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    Thanks Lorri for your thoughts. 6 weeks is a growth spurt age, so you definitely need to watch for that, and it is always good to caution against starting bad habits.
    September 5, 2008 10:11 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    jencwu, thanks for posting the age–there are so many people who comment here that I have no chance of remembering each child’s age :)For a one night occurence, I think I would have done pretty much like you. I would have listened to the cry at 4:30 for about 10 minutes while I figured out the reason for the crying. If it sounded like he was in need of help, I would have gone in and checked the diaper. But I don’t think I would have fed him again. One hour is definitely not needed if he took a full feeding the first time. I would have made sure all was well, then put him in bed and let him cry.One thing I would wonder about if this continues to happen is if your holding him until he is asleep is causing it. I would feed him and when he is done eating, put him in bed.
    September 5, 2008 10:10 AM
  • kathrynyanus said…
    Hi. My son is 20 weeks old. For the last month or so he’s been sleeping from 10 or 10:30pm until 7am. All has been going well there. He also has been doing very well napping during the day. About 2 weeks ago we went from (3) 2-hour naps to (2) 2-2.5hr. naps with 2 short cat naps as needed. All was good there too. Now all of the sudden, he’s not sleeping well. For the past 3 nights he has either gotten up in the middle of the night (sometimes 1am, other times 4am) or woke early (5 or 6am instead of 7am). I go into his room and settle him and he goes back down. And for the naps, he’s really giving me trouble. He only sleeps about an hour and then he’s up and mad (screaming). I give him 10-15 minutes to settle himself but now he won’t do that anymore. I even let him CIO for 30 minutes but that didn’t work. When I finally get him from his nap, he’s not super hungry. I’ve even increased the amount of rice cereal I give him just in case he’s going through a growth spurt. The only thing I can think of is that this all started when I started giving him rice cereal. But I was always told that giving him the cereal would help him sleep BETTER, not worse. I am not sure what to do, but I don’t want to keep going into his room during naps and the middle of the night to settle him down for fear of this becoming habit. Any suggestions or thoughts?
    January 6, 2009 12:44 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    He might have an intolerance for rice. Some do. And some get gassy and in pain with rice. I would first take him off of rice and see if that helps. Give him a few days for it to get out of his system.See also this post: 5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions :
    January 10, 2009 2:01 PM
  • Lindsey said…
    Hi! My husband and I were SO grateful for your blog when we became parents 7 months ago. We started BW day 1. Our daughter started STTN at 6 weeks. She is 7 months, now. We had 45 minute intruder struggles for 8 weeks, and just recently began napping well again when we moved to a 4 hr schedule because she was not hungry at earlier feedings. I am a teacher, so her wake time is early! Her schedule was like this: 6:15 wake (was always asleep when woken) 6:30- 7 oz. bottle 4 tbs. oatmeal and 1/2 stage 1 fruit. 7:45-8:00- down for nap (she can’t make it the full 2 hours there, yet)10:15- up from nap (very long morning nap) 10:30- 6 oz. bottle 12:15- nap 2:15- up from nap 2:30- 6 oz. bottle 4:00- dinner- veggie and fruit 4:15-5:00- catnap 6:15- bath time 6:30- 7 oz. bottle 6:45 story time 7:00- bed For the last week, she has been waking early, playing. This will last up to 2 hours. I consulted all posts about early wake-time. I thought it was a feeding issue, so we increased morning and night feedings to 7 oz. After trouble shooting that idea for 3 days with still waking an hour to 2 hours early, I am wondering if she is sleeping TOO much during the day. Even though EC reminds me VERY much of your Kaitlyn, we attempted the cold turkey drop on the afternoon nap like Brayden. This has created a very grumpy baby that takes at least 45 minutes to fall asleep in her bed. Do you have any other advice for us? Thank you so much for all you do, freely!

    The Babywise Mom said…
    It doesn’t look like she is sleeping too much in the day. It actually might be that she needs a different bedtime. There are also lots of other possible reasons. See the post “5-8 month sleep disruptions”

Sleeping Through the Night Questions:

  • ProudMum said…
    baby 13 weeks old. she some nights sleep from 8:30 to 5:30 am without feeding and some nights she wake up at 3 for it. in this one week she does that. This is not a growth spurt for sure. i am breastfeeding her. what cud be reason?i check everything at night nothing is changed.
    May 23, 2008 6:07 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    ProudMum, It could be a lot of things. See this post for ideas:Nighttime Sleep Issues:
    May 23, 2008 4:56 PM
    ProudMum said…
    thanx for ur reply.she sleeps at 8:30pm and she takes four naps. last nap is 45 min and first nap is hardly 30 min and remaining two are around 1.5 hrs. what shud i change to stop 5:30 am waking . becuz she doesnt sleep after feed she sleeps at 6:30 and wakes up at 7:30. please advice me. she is 13 weeks old.
    May 24, 2008 11:35 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    ProudMum, Be sure your waketime isn’t too long. At that age, it should be about an hour long. See this post for those early morning wakings:Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime:
    May 26, 2008 10:06 AM
    ProudMum said…
    wake time when ? before night time sleep or when she wakes up?
    May 27, 2008 5:22 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    By waketime I mean playtime. The period between when she wakes up and goes down for her next nap or for bed for the night.
    May 27, 2008 10:55 PM
  • sarah said…
    my second child is 9 months old and has always been a challenge for me. my first child was a great “babywise” baby. my 9 month old is starting to wake up at 6 and sometimes 630, when she used to wake up at 7 or 730. i let her cry it out usually but only for about 30 minutes because i dont want her waking up her older brother. im still nursing her and she eats table food. she takes two naps ranging about 1 1/2 to 2 hours in length. any suggestions on getting her to sleep a little longer. she goes to bed for the night at 8. thanks so much.
    August 13, 2008 7:21 AM 
    Plowmanators said…
    Sarah, If I were you, I wouldn’t even do CIO if you aren’t going to stick with it. I understand why you aren’t, and I am sure a 9 month old is sure that you aren’t. One thing to remember that according to BW, 10 hours of sleep is acceptable. She might just be a baby who does not need a lot of sleep. A good thing about that is that people tend to keep the same sleep dispositions, so you might have a nicer time in the teenage years 🙂 10-12 Hours of Sleep:
    August 13, 2008 8:32 PM
  • The Parkers said…
    A couple questions about STTN: My son is 10 weeks old tomorrow. He dropped his middle-of-the-night feeding at about 3 weeks (what a blessing!!). We still do a dream feed at 10:30pm, and then he sleeps through the night. The issue for us is that he is not at all consistent with his wake time in the morning. It is usually between 4:45 – 5:45am, although I am desperate for it to be a consistent 6am. My questions are: (1) For a 10-week-old, if he goes back to bed after his dreamfeed at 11pm, he should be able to sleep until 6am, right? (Or does the dream feed not count because he doesn’t really wake up, in which case his sleep time really begins when he goes to bed at 7pm?) (2) We have somewhat tried CIO to extend his sleep time to 6am, but not very religiously. If he wakes at 4:40, should I just let him belt it out until 5:30 (within the half hour window), or until 6:00 (when I’d prefer that he wake up)?(3) Do I wait until he has a consistent morning waketime before I start trying to remove the dreamfeed? (For context, he currently eats about 7oz of breastmilk, 6 feedings per day — he’s a hungry kiddo!)Thanks!
  • December 11, 2008 7:46 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    Parkers,1-Yes, in theory a 10 week old could make it 7-8 hours after the last feeding, but a certain percentage don’t do that until 12 weeks or older.2-That is up to you. If you think he is not hungry, you can try CIO. If you do decide to try CIO, be consistent with it. If you aren’t consistent, it won’t work.3-You want to wait a couple of weeks after STTN at least before dropping the dreamfeed. See the lable “Dreamfeed” for more on that.
    December 18, 2008 2:58 PM
  • susanne said…
    Hi Again. First, thank you thank you thank you for answering all of my questions. I find your blog extremely helpful and glad I stumbled across it! My son started to sleep 7-8 hours a night at 8 weeks old. He did this for 2 weeks. Then just this week (11 weeks old) he has regressed to only sleeping 6 hours of sleep. One night it was only a 5 hour stretch. Will he get back to 7-8 hours of sleep without my help? Or should I do something to encourage him to sleep 7-8 hours again? I know that baby wise says that by 12 weeks babies should be able to sleep at least 10 hours so I am not sure what is going on. Here is my current schedule. 8:00 Wake & Feed10:301:304:007:009:4010:00 Bed** He was typically waking just once between 4:30-6:00 for one additional feeding (but now that he is only sleeping 6 hours he seems to need 2 feedings in the night.)Do you think I need to add an additional feeding in? My experience with a dreamfeed in the past is that it messes up his night time sleep and does not sleep for a long stretch at night. So do you have any other suggestions on how to get an additional feeding in without a dreamfeed? Thanks for you help!
    December 12, 2008 8:58 AM
    susanne said…
    Okay, I wanted to update you since I wrote my last comment. My son started to sleep for 7-8 hours again. Perhaps he was going through a growth spurt when he started to wake at night after only sleeping for 5-6 hours. Either way we are back to sleeping longer stretches. He even slept for 8.5 hours last night . Thanks for your blog! I’ve enjoyed reading it.
    December 15, 2008 8:50 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    Susanne, I am glad the sleep went back to where you want it. Just FYI, BW says by 15 weeks, not 12 weeks, baby can sleep 9-10 (not 10) hours at night. The ages are between 9-15 weeks. For most, it is a gradual move toward 10 by week 15.
    December 18, 2008 3:01 PM
    susanne said…
    Thanks for responding to my previous question from this posting. Also, thanks for clarifying how much sleep he should be able to achieve right now. You have been a huge blessing in my life and I am glad that you have taken the time to respond to all our questions. I have another questions related to my previous question. My son is now 14 weeks old. He is currently sleeping about 7-8 hours of sleep a night. He wakes up about 2 hours before his wake time and I give him just a few minutes of nursing (2-4 min) an put him right back to bed. Based on his age, he should be able to sleep for at least 9 hours, right? I have read your post about early morning waking and I have slowly started to decrease the amount I feed him. I know with your daughter you just decreased the amount, but was there ever a point once you decreased the amount you feed her that you had to let her cry a little? I hope you had a Merry Christmas and Have a wonderful New Year!
    December 31, 2008 9:13 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    Susanne, You were the last comment of 2009! Thanks for your thanks, I appreciate it :)I never had to have Kaitlyn cry at all in the night, but that doesn’t mean no one ever does. I think once you get down to the next step being no food, you can try CIO and see what happens. Good luck!
    January 6, 2009 6:57 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    Umm…Susanne…you probably figured this, but I meant last of 2008, not 2009 🙂
    January 8, 2009 2:05 PM
    susanne said…
    I knew that you meant 2008 🙂 Thanks again for your imput/ help. I hope that you pregnancy has been going well so far. I will continue to keep you in my prayers.
    January 8, 2009 2:29 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    Thanks Susanne. I really do appreciate the prayers.
    January 14, 2009 5:17 PM
  • wearyparents said…
    Hi I have been reading you blog for a few weeks now and want to say thankx it has helped me a great deal. However, we are really struggling at the moment. My almost 19 week old has never sttn. We are still up at least once during the night. He is on a 31/2 hr routine and does quiet well during the day. He starts he day at 6.30am and has his last feed at 5pm in bed by 6 then I dream feed him at 9.30pm. Then he wakes between 2 – 4am. At first he was having a feed at this time now its like he wakes out of habit and wakes up so much he wants to play. I will often offer a short feed however he comes on and off smiling at me. If we leave him to cry he can go on for an hour and wakes up my 2 1/2 yr old. He just wont settle back to sleep and cries and cries. We usually will go in and out on iregular intervals and try to settle him with patting and soothing. Im out of ideas. My husband and I are so tired. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
    December 18, 2008 4:11 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    If you are sure he is waking out of habit and not need, I suggest the following post for ideas on how to break this feeding without CIO: Early Morning Feedings Before Waketime:
    December 29, 2008 3:24 PM
  • bcb said…
    Hi there, I just discovered your blog and have been visiting daily as I’ve been using Babywise and various other books from the start. I have a question concerning my 14 week old daughter. From the beginning she has always been a really great sleeper – only getting up once a night for a feeding and sleeping 4-5 hours at a time from the day she was born. About a month and a half ago we stopped her middle of the night feeding as she didn’t seem to need it. She would only get up around 3ish and cry for her pacifier and would go right back to sleep as soon as it was in her mouth. She would then get up around 6 for a feeding and I would put her back to bed for a few more hours until 9am or so. Well, for the last week and a half, she has been getting up more and more throughout the night. Last week she started to get up around 4am and 5 am for her pacifier, then a few days later it was 3am, 4am, and 5am consistently and last night it was 1am, 3am, 4am, and 5am…I do not think she is hungry as she goes right back to sleep with the pacifier but seems to have an issue with falling back asleep on her own if the pacifier falls out. We had her on a feeding schedule of every 3.5 hours for the past 2 weeks, eating about 6oz each time. However, after she began waking up more in the middle of the night, we decided to go back to feeding her every 3 hours. When this didn’t improve things, we thought maybe she was sleeping too much since we were putting her to bed at around 7pm every night, swaddled in her crib, then waking her around 9:30/10 for a quick feeding then back to bed again. We were also putting her back to bed, swaddled in her crib, after her 6am feeding. She would be out cold during these naps. We’ve now been trying to keep her up until 9pm, removing that 2 hour nap in the evening, and the past few days have also stopped her 2 hour nap after her 6am feeding…instead trying to get her to take a few good naps during the day. Nothing has worked. Do you think she was sleeping too much? Should we go back to putting her down at 7pm and 7am? I’m completely at a loss…thanks in advance!!
    January 14, 2009 10:41 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    bcb, There are several possibilities. One is growth spurt. Did she have her 3 month growth spurt yet? That is the first thing to check and rule out.Second is possibly needing only 3 naps in the day. So is your waketime for the day 6 AM or 9:30/10? If it is 9:30/10, I would either move her bedtime back or waketime up so that from bed to the time you expect her to be up for the day is not more than 12 hours (10-12 hours). Third is the possibilty of it being a common 4 month problem (4 month Sleep Problems : ).Finally is the pacifier. My thought is that if it isn’t a growth spurt, it is the pacifier. I get A LOT of questions from moms with babies about the age of your baby who are suddenly experiencing sleep trouble because of the pacifier. I don’t have experience with pacifiers, but link a good article about it in this post: Is it Okay to Use Pacifiers with Babywise?
    January 20, 2009 1:41 PM
  • Doug and Jennifer Gross said…
    I am so glad I found your blog. My son is 19 weeks and still does not sleep through the night. I think total he has 3 nights since he was born. I have followed Babywise almost to the tee and don’t know what to do. He will only sleep 3 to 4 hours at night and then wake up. I stopped his nighttime feeding at least a month ago and he is eating solids now. He naps well during the day, three 2 hour naps. He is on a 4 hour routine and it doesn’t seem to bother him. He wakes up happy from naps and waits the full 4 hours to eat. Please help! He is eating 5 times a day, I don’t put him to bed until around 10 because if I put him down at 7 he would be up by 11. I have tried to let him CIO but he just keeps crying. What should I do?
    January 15, 2009 7:26 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    Jennifer, see these posts:Nighttime Sleep Issues:
    Baby Whisperer: Sleeping Through the Night :
    January 20, 2009 3:25 PM
  • boysrus said…
    Hi there,Please help….My third son is 9 weeks old and isn’t being consistant at night. He sleeps from8:30 till about 3:30/4:30 am most times but then throws in a 1:30am…What am I doing wrong. He dropped the 11:30pm feed on his own a few weeks ago. I’ve tried doing a DF around 10/10:30pm but most nights he wont have it and when he does have a DF he seems to do worse at night….WHY??? He’s on a three hour schedule during the day and does great with it. My two older boys would go from 1am till 7am and then I would move the feed back to 12am and then to 10pm within no time….both were sleeping from 10pm till 7am at 8 weeks of age…why isn’t it working with this one…he sleeps 6-8 hrs a night but early instead of later. How do I get him to switch to 10pm -7am?? HELP I’m so tired during the day with a two year old who keeps me extrememly busy whether I slept good or not….uuuuggghhhh!!thanks,Tina
    February 5, 2009 7:51 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    A small percentage of parents find that their child does much worse at night with a dreamfeed. Kaitlyn was that way. She eventually had one, but it was just the 8 PM feed that moved back over time.Not all babies sleep through the night by 8 weeks. It wouldn’t be that there is something wrong with him or you; it just happens. Boys especially rarely sleep through the night by 8 weeks, so the fact that you had two do it is something to he happy about :)I understand your tiredness. I would suggest you go to bed earlier so you can get a long chunk of sleep in when you can. I had to do that with Kaitlyn for a while. You just can’t rest as much in the day with a two year old, and you need your sleep for patience with older kids. See the blog label “sttn” for ideas on troubleshooting, but from what you told me, it isn’t that there is something wrong but just that he isn’t there yet. Good luck and hang in there!
    February 10, 2009 6:57 AM
    boysrus said…
    Thank you. I’m going to let him go from his late evening feed (7:30/8pm) and hope and pray he starts sleeping till 7:30 am soon enough. And to think I thouht #3 was going to be a piece of cake at night….LOL. I’m glad to hear it’s not something I’m doing wrong!!Thanks,Tina
    February 10, 2009 2:56 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    Sometimes it is good to hear :)I remember hearing from a mother of 8 several months ago. Her first 7 had been no problem, but #8 threw her for a loop! So it happens to everyone 🙂
    February 12, 2009 5:00 PM
  • TBird said…
    Hey Val.My question is about the middle of the night feeding. My DD usually wakes between 2a and 4a for a feeding. But the last couple of nights, she’s been waking at 1:30am. My question is, should the middle of the feeding get gradually closer to the dreamfeed(10p), or the waketime feeding(7a)?I just assume it’s supposed to get closer to the waketime feeding and eventually she’ll drop it, but it makes sense to get closer to the DF feeding too.
    February 12, 2009 11:44 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    Both ways do make sense. With both of mine, the feeding got closer to morning waketime. Some just flat out drop it. I am sure moving it back closer to the DF is possible, but it might also be a growth spurt thing.
    February 17, 2009 8:57 PM
  • Kerri said…
    Hi there,I stumbled upon your blog the other day. I have three children. I used BW with the older two and am using it as well with my 3 month old. We are having problems with night time with our 3mo old. Here current schedule is 7:30 wake up and nurse.(very consistent because I will wake her even if she doesn’t wake on her own)8:45 goes down for a nap. She is swaddled for her nap and cries for about 5 minutes and then goes to sleep. She sleeps till 10:30am.10:30am nurse12:00 (sometimes a little bit early) naps till 1:30 or 2pm.2pm nurse3:30 or 4 down for nap. This is a tough nap for her. She seems to consistently wake at 4:30. Sometimes I am succesful at getting her back to sleep before her 5pm feeding. I go in and check on her tell her everything is ok pat her back for a moment and leave the room.5pm nurse7pm nurse7:30 bed10:00 dream feedthen the fun begins 🙁 For the past 4 nights she has woken up between 2 and 2:30 am. Before that she would wake up anywhere between 2 and 4. I would nurse her and she would go right back to sleep and then we would start our day at 7:30. However because she started waking at the same time each night I was pretty sure she was stuck on a time and not hungry. So we have been trying to briefly comfort her and then leave the room and let her CIO. She likes to be swaddled but can get compeltely unswaddled in the night. I’ve tried everything I can think of to make sure she can’t get out. I think that she might be waking up because she has become unswaddled. However I don’t think going in and reswaddling her each time will help her sttn in the long run? Dh and I decided to try CIO. We just finished our second night and we are both very tired and very discouraged. She will wake it two we will comfort her and make sure she is ok and then the crying continues for about 10 min. She fell asleep for 45 min and then was back up cried for 30 or 45 min. Slept for an hour and then woke up at 4am at which point I fed her because we agreed I would nurse her at 4am if she woke. We felt like we had to put some end time on the whole ordeal. I’m sorr this is so long. Any suggestions? I thought an outside perspective might be helpful.Thank you so much for your time. Kerri
    February 19, 2009 9:23 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    Kerri, typically if the baby falls back asleep then wakes soon after, she isn’t really ready to STTN. I would say she is either hungry or waking for some other reason (like the swaddle). Three months is a growth spurt time. If she is hungry, feed her. If she is waking because of the swaddle, consider dropping it. good luck!
    February 24, 2009 1:49 PM
  • shroffmom said…
    I am so confused. I have a 6.5 mth old. She is still having a tough time sleeping through the night. SHe goes to bed at 6:30p and wakes up around 5:30ish, I let her CIO until 6:15, but she hasn’t adjusted. So then our napping is off. Her wake time is about 95min, so she has been having 3 naps a day. But in the last couple weeks. He first two naps are only 1 hour. I thought it was the hour intruder but she doesn’t go back to sleep. So does that mean she is trying to drop one of those?? Her 3rd nap is only 1.5hrs if I am lucky. I feel like they should be longer. What am I doing wrong? Thank you for any help or suggestions!

    The Lins said…
    I think you might be putting her to bed too early. She might not be at the point she can sleep 12 hours between feedings. I have the same thing going on with my 6 mth old’s naps, though. She only takes one nap that exceeds an hour (afternoon), but it’s usually almost 2 hours. For the other naps, I’ve just been letting her get up even though it’s been shorter than before. She’s happy and alert during her wake times, so I think she’s getting all the sleep she requires from those naps. I’m wondering if I should drop that third nap since sometimes it’s only 25-30 minutes.

    Shroffmom said…
    Thanks for your ideas. I have tried to put her down later, but she is just so tired by 6pm. Tonight I got her to 6:45p, so we will see if that makes her sleep alittle later. Also when I came in after her nap his afternoon she was sitting up, so maybe going through different developmental things are throwing her off her naps too. Or at least we can hope!! Thanks again for your reply and your encouragement.

    The Babywise Mom said…
    shroffmom, I would consider the strong possibility that she doesn’t need to sleep 12 hours. My three year old son has never slept 12 hours. Anywhere from 10-12 hours is acceptable. See10-12 Hours of Sleep: you want her to sleep later, putting her down later using stratigies in this post:Time Change Strategies: she hasn’t had her 6 month growth spurt yet, that might be the reason for short naps. All other ideas are in these posts:5-8 Month Sleep Disruptions : Minute Intruder: Troubleshooting:
  • Acasiadetawator said…
    HELP. My son is 13 months and has been not napping well for both his naps for the past 2 weeks i.e. short 45 min nap in the morning and crying for an hour and a half for the second. I thought maybe he was ready for one nap so I started putting him down at around 1230. He sleeps 1.5hrs to the second. Do I let him cry for the whole 3 hrs and hope one days he’ll just sleep the whole time?? I am going crazy, he needs sleep. I am in university some days and work others so its been hard to keep a perfect schedule for him. I feel like an awful mother because I can’t figure out a schedule that lets him get the sleep he needs…

    The Babywise Mom said…
    I would move him back to two naps. He might be going through a normal transition period. See the post “dropping the morning nap…transition period” or something like that :). You might need to change waketime length instead of dropping it all together.
  • The Camperos said…
    I have read all your posts on dropping naps and weaning naps. My daughter is 13 months old and the last month has been difficult with her naps. Seems like 2 is too much but one is not enough. She has been a 7am to 7pm baby most days. So with this waketime in the am she used to nap at 10am but if I do this she isn’t ready to sleep again until 4pm and won’t go down until 9pm. (This is when I shorten to 45 minutes or less.) If I do one nap she only makes it to 11:30 but crabby since around 10am. She only sleeps about 1.5 hours on average and cannot handle being awake from 1pm to 7pm! I have tried pushing her one nap a bit later 12, 1230 or 1 (I do daycare for 7 other toddlers who nap around 1pm and would be ideal to have a quiet house for a while:) and she is a mess cries a lot in bed and short naps! I guess OT right? So what is your suggestions. I have alternated days to try it out but the results are the same I posted above. Do I keep going trying to get rid of the am nap and she will eventually adjust and take longer naps or be able to stay awake longer? Or do I go back to 2 naps and have later bedtime/shorter naps. Any advice very helpful thanks!

    The Babywise Mom said…
    It doesn’t sound like she is ready for one nap. If that is the case, she will only get more tired as time goes on and her sleep will get worse. I think it is possible that she is up too long and catching a second wind. I would try putting her down after being awake for 2-2.5 hours and see what happens. Try it out for about a week. So you would do:7eat 9nap 11eat 1nap 3eat 6-7ish eat then bed

    The Camperos said…
    Thanks! I think you are right she does much better with 2 naps. I know she can do 1 if there is a day that she has to but it is usually to bed early that night.:)
  • Jenna said…
    HelloHopefully I haven’t missed this answer while scanning the site. If its already listed please direct me! My son is almost 11 months old and has been doing everything by the book. About a week ago I started an attempt at dropping his 3 nap and since then its been touch and go. His previous schedule was as follows:8 am Wake/ breaky (nurse/ solids)10-1030 nap time12 wake/ lunch (nurse/ solids)2-230 nap time4 dinner (nurse/ solids)6-7 nap time730-8 nurse/ down for the nightWe decided to try and drop the 3rd nap at which point I would nurse him again at 630-700. Instead of going down for a nap he would go down for the night. Since he was napping well during the day and it made sense to us to just drop the 3rd nap and put him down for the night. ( We also have a friend who puts her son down at 630 for the night and he gets up at 8, of course I realize every baby is different but thought it worth a try). We have now been at this for about 5 days or so with mixed results. The first day or two he woke up at 730 and talked until 8. Then a couple days after that he was awoken by a random early morning bowel movement (which he never does that early). One night he woke 3-4 times according to my husband which we think might be related to teething as he’s been pulling at his mouth on and off for the last 3 weeks. This morning he woke at 630 and whined on and off until 8. I changed his bum and gave him a little medicine as he was pulling at his mouth. He was fine every time I picked him up so I’m thinking he just wanted to get out of bed. So here is my questions: Should I continue with our course as maybe it will take a few more days if not another week? OR is it unrealistic for him to go down for the night at 630? He does show sleep cues around that time every night so I know he does need some kind of rest! Thank you for your time and again my apologies if I’ve already missed a similar inquiry.

    The Camperos said…
    Hello Jenna. I am not the expert but I thought I could advise in my experience a bit as every child is different but most BW kids fall into a kind of similar pattern. My DD is 15 months old. We dropped her third nap around 8-9 months, most BW moms I know drop somewhere between 6-10. Most BW babies at your child’s age are on a two nap schedule each nap 1-2 hours long, often longer. Your child probably needs that 3rd napp becuase the other two are too short. Try to lengthen these and he will naturally not need that third nap. When my DD has been super tired(one nap for the day at her present age or possibly a short second nap) she has gone down at 6pm or 630. I have seen other mom’s in BW groups who’s baby has a normal bedtime of 630. If your child is ready at this time and still wakes at or close to desired waketime go with it. Hope this helps a bit. I am interested to see what the expert says:)

    Jenna said…
    Thanks for your comment! I’m starting to think he is just no ready. He generally naps, on average, 1 1/2 hours. Sometimes less if he gets down too late. Yesterday he was down in time and skipped his afternoon nap entirely. This has happened before when we tried dropping a nap, mistakenly, a couple of months ago. We we’re in the middle of moving houses, he wasn’t sleeping so we thought he was ready to drop the afternoon nap. That of courses backfired an he stopped napping well entirely and was waking up early in the morning. Unfortunately there is no “getting him to nap longer.” We consider 1 1/2 hour adequate because he rarely gives us anything more. We follow his sleep cues which are roughly the same time everyday. If we try to extend his wake time then his nap time decreases. Hence the inability to “lengthen” his naps. This also happens if we put him down too early. That said, he simply might not be ready and perhaps we’ll just have to wait until he’s older. Would still love to hear feedback especially if anyone out there has had a similar issue. Thanks so much for all your help!

    If anyone has any more advice I would really appreciate it! It is now week 3 of trying to get my son to drop the 3rd nap. We are trying to distract him and play with him until 7pm then feed and straight to bed. Now we are finding he is waking up at 7 and whining/ crying/ playing. Of course he then gets tired earlier which throws off the rest of his daily schedule. PLEASE HELP! It, of course, could be he’s just not ready at 10months to drop this 3rd nap. Plus he’s getting his bottom molars in…..

    The Babywise Mom said…
    Jenna,I think Camperos made a great point. 1.5 hours is an acceptable nap, but it is on the low end of naps, so compared to a baby who is napping for 2 hours, that would put him in need of a third nap.The teeth could be doing it.Honestly, it is VERY uncommon for a baby to go to bed and sleep for 14 hours. Really uncommon. Your friend is literally only the second baby I have ever heard of doing that. I would say you shouldn’t expect your baby to sleep more than 12 hours. So if he is going down at 7, expect him to wake at 7. If you don’t want him to wake at 7 AM and he can’t make it past 7 PM, then go back to having a third nap. Good luck!

    Jenna said…
    I have finally sorted out my sons naps so I thought I should share! Yes! Finally!As mentioned previously he eats on every four hours. I was previously giving him his dinner at 4pm then attempting to just nurse him before bed (at 8 then worked my way down to 630) However, trying to drop that 3rd nap was an issue especially since he’s also teething. I had thought of switching his 4 pm meal to 630 and my idea was confirmed when i spoke with a friend and she mentioned that is what she does with her son (who is a fantastic sleeper). Now Ollie just nurses at 4 pm then nurses again at 600-630 followed by dinner with the family. This is wonderful because we can now show him the value of eating together as a family. This is also a help because his tummy is now fuller to aid in overnight sleep!He now eats with us then we go straight into his nighttime routine putting him in bed around 700-730. Some days he wakes up around 8 and other days he wakes up around 7ish but just plays until we go in and get him. Its great!Thanks for you help and comments! This website has been such a valuable resource for me!

    The Babywise Mom said…
    Jenna, thanks so much for sharing! It is always fun to hear, and I think it is very valuable for future readers 🙂
  • Hannah Belle said…
    PLEASE HELP! From 4-6 months of age, my son would sleep beautifully with the following schedule:7 – 4 oz bottle, cereal8:30 – down for nap10 – 4 oz bottle11:30 – down for nap1:00 – 4 oz bottle + jar of fruit2:30 – down for nap4:00 – 4 oz bottle5:30 – down for nap7:00 – 4 oz bottle + veggie jar8:00 – bed for the nightHe has slept through the night since 3 months. At 6 mos of age, I started working noon-6, and my mom took over keeping him. Apparently he stopped resting well for his 11:30 and 5:30 nap and she failed to tell me until it was a regular thing. Then, we moved two weeks ago (just as he turned 8 mos), and it has been HORRIBLE ever since. He stills sleeps beautifully for his morning nap — get up at 7, eat, play for about an hour and half, go to sleep and sleep for 1.5-2 hours. Everything after that is a struggle. He screams when I put him in his bed, he does not sleep for the 11:30 or 5:30 naps AT ALL, and when he does finally go to sleep for the others, he only sleeps for exactly 45 mins and wakes up screaming, NOT happy like he used to. In fact, the only time he wakes up happy is first thing in the morning and after that long morning nap.I realize he is at an age that he does not need all those naps, but because he was in someone else’s care, I missed out on the dropping/weaning process and need some tips on where to go from here. I am totally clueless as to how much he should be eating, when to put him to bed, about how long he should be awake/asleep, etc. Any, ANY tips would be greatly appreciated. We are all cranky and miserable the way things are going now!

    The Camperos said…
    Hannah BelleI would say your child is ready to push the naps back a bit. At that age my DD was sleeping 7pm-7am. 9am or 915-nap10 or 1030 snack1230 or 1pm-nap3pm snackOften at this age she would skip her evening nap if she was rested enough. If so I would put her down early at 6pm or 630pm.I hope you get it worked out and he is back on track soon. I am interested to hear what the pro says! FYI there is a great babywise moms group on too if you are interested.

    The Babywise Mom said…
    Hannah Belle, I would start with a two up, two down approach. So have him up for two hours, down for two hours, up for two hours, down two hours.His third nap, if he needs it, will likely be about 45 minutes long or so.I think that is a good starting point and a schedule that most 8 month olds should be able to do. Be consistent and he should get back on track. Good luck!

23 thoughts on “Baby Sleep Questions: Frequently Asked from Readers”

  1. We have been doing, or trying to do CIO since my son was 6 weeks old, he is now 17 weeks. He has not been very good at sleeping during the day. Recently, he has been worse. He will nap for maybe 30-50 minutes but does a lot of crying. Two weeks ago we stopped feeding him when he woke up during his middle of the night feeding. Now he wakes up twice and we have to let him cry it out. He was also affected by that bad lot of formula. He has been off of it for about 2 months now. Do you have any suggestions?

  2. Hi Val – I scanned all of these questions/comments and even the link to Reader Nap Questions, but they all seem to be for babies much younger than mine, so I have to ask my question (sorry in advance for the length) – desperately hoping you can help!My almost-17mo old son has generally been a great night sleeper. He still cries for 2-5 min when I put him down at night but he does not cry at all when my husband puts him down (though we use the same routine) so we chalk it up to him just liking me better 🙂 and having a harder time separating. Either way, he falls asleep on his own and sleeps all night.Naptime has never been so easy. He has always been a champion fighter in this case. (Currently at one nap per day – dropped morning nap a few months back, so it's not a dropping issue). Sometimes he has stretches or days where he'll go down without a fight, but it is regular for him to have days where he will cry for awhile before falling asleep. Until 2-3 weeks ago, he would eventually fall asleep, though sometimes after 30+min of crying. Now he has been crying for an entire hour with very little breaks. I am almost 100% sure it is not teething/sickness or anything else – he is totally normal at all other times of the day and at night. So I just let him cry for that hour because I want to keep the principle of naptime and parent-direction sacred. I have to let you know that I work and so our nanny puts him down 4 days a week – but I have told her the rules and she says she abides by them (although the angst of working outside the home is that you never really know if that's what's going on – I really hope that lack of consistency is not what's causing this!).Anyway, I guess my main questions are – why do I still have a crier?! Is there any chance that he just doesn't need a nap anymore? Am i being too hard on him to let him cry that hour and then just give up on the nap? Today we tried putting books in his crib so he'd have something to do besides cry, and he's still in there screaming… any ideas? THANK YOU for taking the time to answer – I LOVE your blog and appreciate all the time you put into it to help us moms out here!!

  3. Sum,Yes, he still needs a nap FOR SURE, so that isn't it.You know, there are so many angles here I am thinking this might be a good "help a reader out question." I don't have experience with this age group crying before naps, and experience counts for a lot. Would you be okay with me posting this as a question to see if a reader has ideas for you?

  4. My daughter is almost 15 weeks old. We have been implementing babywise/baby whisperer since she was 8 weeks old. For the first 4-5 weeks things were going really well; we were even getting a lot more consistency with her nighttime sleep where she was going 7-9 hours, once even 10! Her current bedtime is 9 pm which seemed to be working for her and us. Anyway, she hit her 3 month growth spurt about 2 weeks ago and started waking 2-3 times at night, which she hadn't done since before babywise. So, I went ahead and fed her since I knew it had to be a growth spurt but I upped her calories during the day which baby whisperer suggests by going back to 2 1/2 hours between feedings and giving her a little more formula (I mostly breastfeed). Anyway, after several days she went back to only waking once at night (even though she still was only giving us about a 6 hour stretch which wasn't back to "normal"). But, these last 4 nights she's started waking at least twice again. Could she still just be growing and need more calories, hence the multiple times at night she's waking up? I just don't quite know what to do. Any suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated or any blog posts you could point me to would be wonderful! Thanks so much 😀

  5. Hey Val – Sorry I just saw your response! I had been checking back regularly but skipped a couple weeks with the Thanksgiving craziness. Yes, I would love for you to share my question with your audience – feel free to paraphrase my ramblings as needed :). A month after my original comment we're still dealing with lots of crying at naptime (but perfection at night, which I am thankful for). Also – fyi, I had a talk with our nanny and she really seems to be consistent in letting him CIO for the nap (plus my husband has been home a lot lately and can vouch for it). Thanks!

  6. Stikos, it could be that she is entering the 20 week "wonder week" phase (see wonder week blog label). It is one of the hardest leaps.But I would also be aware of your milk supply. Supplementing with formula can cause a drop in supply, so you might want to monitor that.

  7. thank you SO much Kathrynyanus! Your comment was exactly what was going on with my son! He is 15 weeks tom. It is SO frustrating to hear what everyone else starts to give you advice and then thats when you get lost in this long whirlwind and your instince gets confused. So im going back to just formula (instead of rice cereal as well) then im going to try to spoon feed him oatmeal once in the mornings until he eats that well. THank you SO much. The Lord had anwsered my prayer!

  8. HI! I'm in DESPERATE need of help! I've been doing babywise since baby was 3 weeks and he is now 14 weeks. Everything has been going BEAUTIFULLY… baby started sleeping 9 hours every night since he was 8 weeks old. BUT, for 2 weeks now he has been waking up EVERY night sometime between 2am and 5am and takes a full feeding. I've left him for up to 30 min. thinking he may fall back asleep but no such luck. Our schedule has been consistent… the only slight change occurred about 4 days before he started waking in the night. We simply extended his waketime as he was consistently waking up 30-45min. before his feed time. I really don't want to do CIO but have NO idea what is going on. He doesn't seem hungry before any of his usual feed times. PLEASE HELP! thank-you!p.s. We have also been experiencing witching hour since he was 6 weeks old. Yesterday he finally went to sleep after his 7pm feeding (around 7:30) and we did a dreamfeed at 9:30pm. Is this too much sleep? i.e. will he be able to make it to 7am with so much sleep?THANK-YOU

  9. It sounds like your baby is having a growth spurt and started waking in the night to get the extra food in. So when he wakes early from the nap, feed him. You will have about a week of feeding every 2 hours in the day, but it will help so nighttime sleep isn't interrupted and will most importantly get him the food he needs.That is not too much sleep. Once I was wise enough to know, I did bedtime right after the 7ish feeding, then a DF, and woke baby in the 7ish hour.

  10. I have a 2 year old and soon will have a newborn. We are in a situation where the baby will need to share a room with our 2 year old. I am considering keeping baby in the living room until he sleeps at least 6-8 hours and then moving him in with his brother. Do you have any advice on newborns and toddlers sharing rooms?

  11. Jamie,I don't have experience with room sharing. I do think it is helpful to have the baby sleep in your room or another room until baby is sleeping 7-8 hours or so. Sound machine or humidifier helps block out noises of each other.Also, most find they can't nap kids in the same room, so it is good to put one in your room or something.

  12. Help!! My daughter is 21 weeks and has been sleeping through the night since 9 weeks. She goes to bed between 830 and 9 and wakes between 7 and 730. She is having two long naps (1.5-2hrs) and a short nap (30-45min) a day (sometimes having to add a second cat nap). This week she has started waking at 2am and again at 5am. I fed her the second night she woke at around 330 because she kept waking after dosing and she was acting hungry. The 3rd niight she didn't wake at 2am, but at 4am, I gave her soother and she slept for another hour. The 4th night I decided to do a dream feed. She only slept until 5am. And once she wakes at 5 the only way to get her back to sleep is putting her in our bed (I don't feed her at this time). She is still swaddled and she does get out of it most nights. I'm unsure if shes ready to drop the swaddle at times she seems frustrated to get swaddled, but we hsve tried unswaddled and She doesnt sleep She has also started rolling alot from back to front but she hasn't been doing it at night. She got her vaccinations Monday of this week, slept fine that night, but the next night it went downhill. Since her vaccines her appetite has dwindled a bit as well. I'm wondering if it's time to start cereal.

  13. Judy,There are posts on "wonder weeks" that will help tell you what is going on. It could be growth spurt. It is an age for growth spurts and the four month sleep issues.

  14. I was looking for some clarification on what exactly STTN means. I've been reading other people's comments and some say that their baby is sttn and waking between 4-5am. Is it sleeping through the night if you feed and then put back to bed? To me, sttn is sleeping from the time they are put to bed until your optimal waketime. BW says that a lot of babies start sleeping through the night arond 9 weeks, but I also saw in one of your posts that babies can normally only go 9-10 hours at night by 15 weeks old. Does this mean from the time they're put down to bed or the time from their last feed, such as the dreamfeed? So what does BW mean by being able to sttn around 9 weeks? My daughter is 9 weeks old, and she has been sleeping from the 10-10:30 feeding until 4-4:30 (with some variations) almost since birth. Does that mean she's sleeping through the night? That's only 6 hours from the last feed, but about 7 hours from the time she's put to bed. Lately, though, she starting waking at 3:30am, and I'd feed her, and she'd still sleep until 7 as she does when she wakes at 4. She did this for 3 nights, and then last night she woke at 2. I let her cry for a bit and she did fall back asleep, but woke again at 3, when I then fed her. She again slept until 7. Nothing else has changed as far as amount of feedings, bedtime, etc. Could this be a possible growth spurt even though she's still sleeping until 7 in the morning after the feed, even though it was earlier than usual? I'm wondering if I'm doing something wrong or she will just start sleeping longer again and then eventually sleep until 7 without needing the 3-4:30 feeding? At what age should she not need the early morning feeding and be able to go all the way until 7?Thanks!!

  15. Stephanie, The exact definition (in my mind) varies based on the age of the baby.Officially with BW, if a baby is sleeping 7-8 hours, it is sleeping through the night. At 9 weeks, 7-8 hours would be STTN. That is usually from the dreamfeed until the morning wake up time. It does sound like she could be going through a growth spurt. The exact age she won't need it is hard to say. There is a wide variance that depends on things like size of baby, personality, and I think even milk fat content can impact. Some babies wake more often in the night for food with a growth spurt and some will wake up more in the day–some do both.

  16. My baby is 12 weeks old. Long story, but he's been on a 3 & 1/2 hr feeding schedule for 2 months. We follow babywise but he can't seem to STTN yet. His last feeding is at 8am and then we wake him up to do a late night feeding between 11:30-12am. We've been trying to get him to sleep until 6am which is the first feeding of the day but he consistently has been waking up at 4am hungry. Do I stick with current schedule and feed at 4am and at 6am or should I switch things up and start feeding him every 3 hours during the day assuming he's not getting enough in the day to STTN? Then go back to 3 & 1/2 hrs after he's STTN? Please help! Thanks. 🙂

  17. I'm never really sure the best place to leave comments…they could probably fit under several different topics. I have a nighttime sleep problem issue. My daughter is 13 months old and has been a great sleeper since she was about 6 weeks. She has gone through bouts where she'll wake at night for a while but then go back to normal. Well, all of a sudden, for the past 3 nights, she has been waking at night and NOT going back to sleep. The first night, she went to bed fine like she normally does and fell asleep right away, but woke around 11pm. I let her go for a while, but she wasn't getting any quieter, only louder. I went in and rocked her and sang. It took a while for her to settle; she was talking and pointing. When she was settled and looked sleepy again, I laid her back down and she let me lay her down and I went back to bed. About a half hour later, she woke crying again with no signs of stopping. So I did the same thing again. And again, she let me lay her back down and leave, but about a half hour, she woke again. This time my husband went in and rocked her. He said she was trying to talk and wanted to play, but he held her tight and she eventually gave in and calmed down. After he laid her down, she stayed asleep for the rest of the night. This whole process took until about 3am. She was her happy normal self during the day and slept normally for her naps. The next night, she went to bed fine and fell asleep quickly. This time she woke around 3am and again, I let her go for a while, but she was screaming and not getting any quieter. I went in and tried to do the same thing as the night before. She just seemed wide awake. She did not want me to sit down. She kept pulling at me pointing to her door, and she would just cry while I tried to rock her. I did this for a while, and she did settle eventually, so I laid her down, but she cried immediately. I picked her up and tried again. She kept pointing and talking, wanting to look at books, etc. I tried laying her back down again after about 30 minutes of rocking. She didn't cry right away, but about 10 minutes later she did. My husband tried to do the same thing as the night before with holding her tight, but she never settled. She didn't even close her eyes. She just kept talking and pointing.

  18. We finally decided to just close all the doors so she didn't wake everyone else and let her cry. I think she was quiet for about a half hour, but she was still crying at 5. So I decided to just get up and go downstairs with her. I was hungry, so maybe she was. I got her some milk and cheerios and put on a baby einstein video. She was so awake! She ate and played for a bit. I put her back to bed at 6:30am where she fell right asleep. It was Sunday, so we had church. I woke her at 9, and she was really out. It took a while for her to wake up. Again, she was her normal self during the day and slept good for her nap (only 1 because of church). Sunday night, she went to bed fine again, falling asleep right away and slept all night! But last night, again, she woke around 11 and was awake! Both my husband and I tried to rock her and calm her, but she wasn't having it. We brought her in our room while we were thinking of what to do, and she was all over the place on our bed…laughing, playing, talking…not acting tired at all! After about 30 minutes, I put her back to bed, and she cried immediately. She woke my other daughter, so while I was putting her back to bed, my husband tried to rock the baby. He said she laid on his chest for about 20 minutes, but never fell asleep or even closed her eyes. I put her down again, and she did cry right away, but I left her go, and she fell asleep pretty quickly after that and continued to stay asleep the rest of the night. We were thinking she was scared so I put a brighter night light in her room. I'm not sure if it made any difference or not. My first thought would be that she's in some kind of pain; either ear or teeth, but she doesn't show any signs of pain during the day or for her naps. I'm baffled. I've dealt with night wakings before, but never to the extent that they wouldn't go back to sleep! She will also not lay with us. My first would lay with us if she woke in the night for whatever reason, and fall right back to sleep and allow me to lay her back down asleep. But this one has never laid with us. She will just talk and want to play. The only other thing I could think was that maybe she was sleeping too much during the day. She sleeps for about 1.5-2 hours in the morning and about 2-3 hours in the afternoon; what I thought was completely normal for her age.And I definitely am not forcing her to sleep. She falls asleep right away and there is no doubt that she's ready for the naps either! So…I was hoping you'd have some words of wisdom for me! My husband and I are exhausted and don't have any idea what to do about it. Thank you!

  19. My 15 month old has been a bad napper since about 6 months old. I have tried everything. Just wondering if you might do a post about how to interpret a sleep log. I've done them multiple times but I can't really figure anything out. Thanks!

  20. Hello! I am so glad I found your blog. I just keep re-reading Babywise hoping that the answers to my questions are in the pages but I have some unanswered concerns!My son is 13 weeks old. We have been doing Babywise since he was 4 weeks old.We wake and feed him at 8:00am, then we are on a 3-hour routine with feedings at 11:00, 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00. Bedtime routine starts around 7:00 (bath and massage) with the 8:00 feeding near the end of the routine, followed by one story, a song and put down in bed. Dreamfeed is at 10:30 or 11:00. So he gets 6 feedings during our “day”.He falls asleep pretty well around 8:45 or 9:00pm by himself (no pacifier, though sometimes we use a pacifier for a minute or two before naps to help him “chill out”, then we do Elizabeth Pantley’s gentle removal technique, hopefully before he has fallen asleep).He was waking pretty regularly 1 time in the middle of the night (usually 2 or 3am) to feed, and at 8 weeks (so a month ago) we started trying to eliminate that feeding. We usually would do this by trying to get him to just go back to sleep if he woke up (but we always wait a few minutes to make sure he is really awake… though finding that fine line before he gets too worked up). A lot of times we give him a pacifier and he goes back to sleep.For a while it was going well. He would go back to sleep and make it until almost 6am sometimes (which is earlier than our 8:00 wake-up time, but it was progress over 2am!). Then we had a couple of 6-hour stretches and two 7-hour stretches when he didn’t even wake for us to put him back to sleep.But now he is back to waking up at 2:00 or 3:00am, and sometimes even wakes up two and three times in the middle of the night. I feel like we are making backward progress and I am looking for some help!1. Do you have any reassuring words that we are not too late? Babywise makes it seem like my son should have been able to sleep through the night (9 hours) by 7-9 weeks if I was following the principles of PDF, which I think I am, although I continually go back to review to make sure I am not missing something! It seems like 7-9 weeks was quite a while ago. Is there still hope? Is 7-9 weeks the ideal, and some babies reach the goal later and that is OK?2. What would you do? He really eats at the middle of the night feeding, so maybe he needs a 7th feeding during the day. Should I add a feeding during the day? If so, how do I do this without disrupting his routine? He has been on an 8:00-11:00-2:00-5:00-8:00-(11:00) schedule for 2 months so he really knows it.THANK YOU for any help you can give!


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