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How to Get Your 2-3 Month Old Baby on a Schedule {Freebies}

Have you noticed something about your 5 to 11 week old? Something that makes getting your baby on a schedule seem like a great idea?

Your Little Prince has transformed into King Crankypants. It’s like he’s been bewitched!

Actually, in a way, he has.

These weeks mark an important shift in your baby’s development.  Your newborn’s magical ability to habituate and tune out extra stimulations has faded away, replaced with…nothing. The new self-soothing skills he needs haven’t developed yet.

He’s in limbo. Stuck between having his OFF button pushed automatically, and learning how to do it himself.

This leaves you with an important choice:  Do you…

A) limp along and hope he figures it out.

B) Begin to put your baby on a gentle daily rhythm, even picking up a helpful tool to aid him in the transition.

Assuming you chose B, here are some pointers to get you started.  (If you chose A, you might as well stop reading this article and browse through some fun brain-candy instead.)

What a 2-3 Month Old
Schedule Is and Isn’t

We should probably begin by defining our terms.

In using the word “schedule,” I don’t mean rigid check-boxes with eating and sleeping appointments.  At this age, those kinds of “schedules” generally bring more horror than harmony.

I’m talking about a good flexible schedule that will provide him with a predictably soothing daily list of events. This rhythm will teach you how to push the “off” button at the right times, and (hopefully) avoid an overtired, overstimulated, fussypants nightmare baby.

Your goals for the 2-to-3 month old age range are simple.  Here are the four things we want to focus on as we put your baby on a schedule.

  1. Learn the proper expectations you can have for sleeping and eating.
  2. Teach your infant the difference between day and night.
  3. Pencil out a rhythm, but be prepared to adjust it throughout the day.
  4. As often as possible, start trying to put your baby down sleep-y, but not sleeping.

Baby on a Schedule Goal #1:
Set Healthy Expectations

Let’s take care of one thing right away. Every baby has a different “I can sleep through the night” timeline.  At this age, most babies are going to still need to get up at least once or twice for feedings.  They may manage a few 5-6 hours stretches (woo hoo!) but those 10-12 hour sleeping marathons are still several weeks away.

Besides that, if you’re breastfeeding, you don’t WANT your baby to go 10-12 hours without waking up to feed.  You need those nighttime feeds to keep your milk supply high.

If you suspect that your baby is inching closer to 7-8 hours without waking up to feed (which can happen around 12 weeks), keep a 48 hour feeding log and then share it with your Lactation Professional and Pediatrician. They can then confirm whether your baby can stop getting nighttime calories or not.

Also, there’s a growth spurt between 6-8 weeks that will make your baby hungrier than usual.  It’s very important that you feed your baby on demand during these times.   He’s sending out a message that big changes and milestones are about to be reached and he needs more fuel than before!

Most doctors recommend you feed your baby on demand for the first 3-4 months, to make sure he’s getting the proper amount of calories he needs to grow healthy and strong.  The kicker, is that sometimes babies aren’t actually hungry and so we end up feeding them when they aren’t, actually, demanding food.  If you’re struggling with understanding what your baby is trying to tell you, this article can help!

That said, let me share some of the typical eating and sleeping patterns for infants this age.  These are based on the average healthy, non-premature, baby. Use these guidelines as you try to put your baby on a schedule during the day. 

Reasonable Expectations for 5 to 8 Week Olds

I hesitate to list these, because I don’t want you to take them as solid-gold truth.  Your baby is an individual.  It is VITALLY important that you use his cues and patterns to help you learn where he fits on the “standard” scale.

So read this list with a grain of salt! ALWAYS run this by your doctor, the two of you (you and your doctor) are the experts on your baby! Not even a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach like myself knows your baby as well as you do!

Babies 5-to-8 weeks old generally sleep about 15.5 – 17 hours every day.  Their typical daily pattern looks like this:

  • 8-10 hours of sleep a night (interrupted by multiple nighttime feedings)
  • 6-7 hours of sleep during the day (divided into 4-5 naps)

A breastfed baby will typically still be eating every 2 .5-3 hours.  It’s normal at this age for a baby to have 8-12 feedings in a 24-hour period. Formula fed babies usually polish off about 4 ounces every 3-4 hours.

REMEMBER!  A high needs baby (colic, acid reflux, premature, etc.) will probably not fit ANY of these expectations!  That’s okay, because he’s not feeling well.  He’s a sick little guy and may need more feedings and cuddles than other babies.  Just remember to keep good records, brush up on your soothing techniques, and be flexible.  

Reasonable Expectations for 9-to-11 Week Olds

Somewhere around the 9th week, you’ll see his “sleep time” begin to shrink.  Instead of sleeping 17 hours a day, he starts sleeping only 15. Again, normally the pattern that emerges looks like this:

  • 8.5 – 9 hours at night, usually interrupted with feeding sessions. (Bedtime is usually around 9pm…something that will move closer to 7pm as he gets older.)
  • 5 hours of sleep during the day, split into three or four daytime “nap” periods

In regards to calorie consumption, a breastfed baby usually nurses every 2.5 to 3 hours at this age, while a formula fed infant can drink up to 4 – 5 ounces every 3-4 hours.

Scheduling Secret: Take Notes!

Like I said before, these are estimates!  The only way to really know what your baby’s natural rhythms are is to write crap down.  (Don’t try to remember anything. If you can’t remember the last time you showered, how are you going to remember how many ounces he drank last night at 2am?)

After you’ve taken notes for a few days, start looking for patterns by asking yourself…

  • Can I see a rhythm in how often he is eating?
  • Can I find a rhythm in how soon after he wakes up he’s ready to go down for a nap again? (Usually between 1 and 1.5 hours after waking.)
  • Can I see a rhythm in how long he’s napping?

You want to uncover what your baby’s unique rhythms are, so you can know better what your expectations should be.

Baby on a Schedule Goal #2:
Teach “Night” and “Day”

Our second goal to work towards is to teach your infant between day and night. Again, let’s start by defining our terms.

  • Whenever he is going to sleep, it is officially “night”.
  • Whenever he is going to be awake and play, it is officially “day”

When you pick him up for the morning feeding, welcome him with a bright smile.  Throw back the window shades, whistle a Mary Poppins duet with windowsill birds, or any other happy morning activities.  (Don’t feel chipper? Fake it.)  You want him to associate “day” with a brightness, noise, and swift movements.  Then, when you start seeing his sleepy cues for a nap (usually around 1 to 1.5 hours later), shut the shades, talk softly, sing quietly, and move slowly.

By doing these things, you’ll help his brain to start to notice that there’s a real difference between “bright playtime” and “dark sleeptime”.

Btw, “dark sleeptime,” means pitch black.  Either put sheets on the windows or grab some good travel blackout curtains.  A dark room is a HUGE step in helping your baby be a champion sleeper!  Don’t make the common sleep training mistake of having a cute nursery that’s utterly sleep dysfunctional.  That room’s purpose is for SLEEPING.  Forget that to your bleary-eyed peril.

Baby on a Schedule Goal #3:
Pencil Out a Daily Rhythm

Using the notes you’ve taken before, and my suggestions on what reasonable expectations are for your baby’s age, it’s time to pencil out a probably rhythm for your day. You should plan on doing this every day, since the exact times will vary daily.

Take the time he woke up, then write down an estimation of when you should start putting him down again. (Usually, for this age, the daily waketime window for naps is about 1 to 1.5 hours). For example, if woke at 6:30am, then you should begin to see him get ready for nap around 7:30am.  Then re-adjust the schedule every time he wakes.  Never let him nap more than 6 hours during the day.  You want his BEST sleep to be at night!

The Missing Schedule

In older versions of this article, I had included a suggested schedule here for parents to follow. However, the more I learn about scheduling at this age, the harder I realize having a “pre-planned schedule” really is.  So I removed it.  Which was stressful for several readers.  🙁

So, back by popular demand, I’m creating a sample schedule for you. Only this time it’s MUCH better because, besides being beautifully designed by our Art Director Lauren Hengeveld, it will walk you through exactly how to create your baby’s unique daily schedule. Remember, this schedule will look slightly different every day!

Napping at This Age: It’s Not You. It’s Him.

Don’t get discouraged about napping. It’s going to be all over the map at this age. Some days he will be a rock star napper. Other days he’ll flatly refuse.  Every day is going to look a bit different.  You will have to adjust your rhythm every few hours to match his cues, or he will get overstimulated and have a meltdown.  If that happens, do your best to get through the day and try to put your baby on a schedule again tomorrow.

Typically the crappiest nap at this age is the afternoon nap.  Just try to squeeze out 30 minutes if you can.  This means, don’t go to the crib unless he’s really screaming and it’s obvious to the world he’s not going to fall back asleep.

If that’s a stretch, sing, stroke his tummy, hold his hand…anything to try to extend the nap as long as possible.  Sometimes it will work, sometimes it won’t.

  • Try to wean him away from napping in swings in the third month. Start him on a lower swing setting for each nap until it’s off, then transition him out of the swing entirely.
  • “Napping on the go” will backfire on you at this age.  Work hard to allow the first and second of the naps to occur at home, in a bassinet or crib.  Those two will be the most critical.
  • Even if you’re co-sleeping at night, have him nap in the bassinet or crib during the day to help him learn to fall asleep alone.
  • The end of the 3rd month is the idea time to switch to the crib from the bassinet (if you haven’t already).  If he hates this, start napping him in the crib the week before the move. If your baby just HATES sleeping in the crib, it’s time to put on your Sherlock hat and investigate.

Need An Extra Set of Certified Eyes?

If you’re struggling to find this rhythm, and he seems to be exhausted and overtired every day, you may want to consider signing up for a Super Sleep Session with a Gentle Sleep Coach (GSC).  You’ll fill out a health assessment, and then talk with either myself or my partner Amy for an hour about the different shaping strategies and tweaks you can use at this age to help him get the rest he desperately needs.

Our training as GSCs has given us a tushie-load of knowledge to toss your way. Knowledge about possible medical reasons your child may be waking (so you can head to the doctor with a list of questions), knowledge about the various external tricks we can use to help your baby sleep better – without having to use cry-it-out or other coaching methods at this tender age.

“Dear Heather, can I just tell you how amazing Amy is?! I loved my Sleep Session with her last night! She has literally been sleeping like an angel since Monday… and it has transformed our lives! I have my evenings back. Woohoo! Amy also equipped me with some great tools should Ellie decide to regress again. Thank you so much!” ~ Liz Vander Leeuw

Baby On a Schedule Goal #4:
Start Practicing “Sleepy But Not Sleeping”

One of the most important life skills your baby will need to learn in the first year is self-induced sleep.  All humans go through sleep cycles that cause us to periodically wake up.  As adults, our minds have been trained to put us right back to sleep.  Usually.

Your baby’s brain hasn’t learned that skill yet.  That’s why newborns require so much rocking, holding, singing, cuddling, to lull that brain.  This is pretty easy when they’re newborns because they are naturally habituating.

Not so anymore! That magical sleep trick is fading away, and putting your baby on a schedule is the fastest way to help him replace it. 

Provided that your baby doesn’t have any medical conditions like colic or reflux, you can teach him that skill without making him scream it out. The key is putting your baby in his crib when he’s good and sleepy, but not already sleeping.  Understand?

So use one of these 62 different sleeping baby tricks to get him yawning and glassy-eyed.  Then lay him down to finish the final journey to slumberland on his own. You won’t always get it right, somedays he’ll fall asleep too quickly.  Somedays he’ll fight sleepiness altogether.  Keep trying! Practice makes perfect! gradual sleep-happy improvements!

If he’s really struggling with this, try putting him down “sleepy but not sleeping” for the first nap of the day (or whichever nap he seems to find the easiest.)  Then after 3-4 days, add the next nap, etc. etc.  Oh, and this “Try Sleepy Not Sleeping” Rule doesn’t apply to those late night feedings! Let him snooze right through those.

A Few Final Sleeping Tips

When it comes to getting your baby on a schedule that seems natural, here are some final tips:

  • Avoid visitors or trips during the late afternoon and early evening hours.  Usually the best time to run errands is in the morning, when your baby is more likely to sleep through them.  (Test this to see if it applies to your baby.)  Better yet, see if you can’t run the errands on the weekend or when someone is available to watch your baby.
  • Make sure your baby’s tummy is being completely filled during feedings and he’s not snacking.  5-10 minutes snacks are not going to cut it. Understand his feeding personality and make adjustments. (That linked article is written for breastfeeders, but it’s completely applicable if you’re using formula.)
  • The Fussinator is especially strong in the 5-7 pm time range, right when work is over and Dad gets home.  Encourage the working parent that this cranky baby is going through a growth change and is not sharing any “I don’t like Dad” feelings.  He will plow through this season and be Dad’s number 1 fan again in no time.

These weeks with your infant can be some of the hardest times of the year.  Have you noticed any emotional changes in your baby during these weeks?  How have you handled them?

We ♥  honesty!  This post contains affiliate links that provide extra money for our mutual coffee habits addictions. Click here to learn more.

326 thoughts on “How to Get Your 2-3 Month Old Baby on a Schedule {Freebies}

  1. Hi!  Thanks so much for this incredibly helpful blog!  I am a FTM, with a 10 week old baby girl.  She has recently been diagnosed with acid reflux (which she has had the whole time, but it has just started truly affecting her) and it has placed a wrench into our sleeping situation.  We have changed her formula (thanks so much for the tips on how to best do that!) and have to keep her upright for an additional 30 minutes after she eats.  At night, this isn’t an issue.  She falls back asleep in my arms and goes right down after her feeding and additional 30 minutes of sitting upright.  But, during the day, this has made napping a huge issue.  She falls back into a very light sleep when I have her sitting up after eating, and then I have a really hard time getting her to take a nap later.  By the end of the day, she is incredibly tired and cranky, since she hasn’t had a good nap most of the day.  Is it better to just allow her to nap, regardless of the location (in the stroller while on a walk, in the swing) or should we continue to try and get her into the bassinet for a “true” nap?

    1. Wendy, considering her diagnosis, I would recommend having her nap in a Rock and Play, bouncer, or anything else where she is sitting up. At this age, go with whatever helps her sleep the best. When she gets older and the reflux is better, we can wean her off those things and get her into the crib. For now, do whatever seems to work the best – without any extra guilt. There’s nothing we can’t retrain and fix later. 🙂

  2. My just turned 3 month (breastfed) daughter has started to do her long sleeps from around 6pm. Her day sleeps are shorter so by 6pm she’s tired. We are trying to get her to link a couple of sleep cycles during the day but there are always implications somewhere else in the 24 hour period. She seems to only like 2 long sleeps in a 24hr period. We have been waking her at the 3 hour mark to feed/play in the evening to prevent a night of short sleeps. The usual being 1:45am, 3:45, 6am and again at 7am – which kills me. But what about this never wake a sleeping baby rule? It confuses me. Any suggestions much appreciated:)

  3. My 12 week old has started doing good sleeping at night from 10-4:30.  He then goes back to sleep. I need to feed him at 6:30AM for daycare, so I make that our wakeup time. He may change, but he currently wants to sleep after I change him and feed him, even with the lights on. He takes catnaps throughout the day (about 30-45 minutes), so is it okay to let him sleep for now after this time on the days we don’t have to go to daycare as long as we stick to the feeding schedule? I figure he is making up for the sleep doesn’t get in his naps.

  4. I don’t think my other question posted ? I had another question, I hope that’s ok! I am having a hard time putting my 3 month old to sleep at night. He does this thing where he falls asleep and wakes himself up a few minutes later and becomes hysterical. He does this three or four times before he falls asleep for the night so I’m having to go in and settle him three or four times-this usually lasts about a half hour to forty five minutes in total. I know he can self soothe because he sleeps for long stretches at night (like 8 to 12 hours long stretches) when he finally falls asleep for good but its just the initial putting him down that he doesn’t love! Any suggestions? Not sure what to do! Thank you!

    1. Hi Kelly
            Hmmm sounds like a clear case of Moro Reflex to me. Babies, from infancy to 4 or 5 months have something called a Moro reflex which is a natural, muscular reaction to certain stimuli like a loud noise or a sensation of falling. Some little ones are more sensitive to it than others and it sound like your little one falls into that category. While it can be a frustration, because it can disturb sleep by startling them awake, it is not something to be concerned about. Oh, and by the way, it’s fixable! There are a couple of things to try. First, make sure that your little one is REALLY fast asleep when you are laying him down (you can still do this because your baby is so young) and don’t begin to release your hands until he/she is fully laid down, asleep and secure. Second, you can keep your hand on his back until you know that he is in a deeper sleep. That gentle pressure for a bit can make a huge difference. Lastly, have you tried swaddling? That gentle, all around pressure makes them feel secure and can ease them away from the reflex.  Also know that he will grow out of this. These are all good things to give you great hope for his smoother transition into night sleep. Sounds like you have a great night sleeper though – congrats!
      Take care! Amy

  5. Hi Heather,

    I love your stuff! Wanted to ask-my 3 month old wants to sleep from 9pm to 9am…I used your tactic of moving bedtime back a half hour at a time when my 1st was a baby and it worked like a charm, he now goes to bed around 7 every night. I want to eventually get our 2nd to the dreamy 7 pm bedtime so my husband and I can have some time :). I can’t remember, should I move bedtime back and wake him up in the morning or should I let him sleep and he’ll naturally adjust as bedtime moves back? Incredible Infant has been such a blessing for me and my family! Thank you for all your help!

    1. I’m so glad it’s been helpful, Kelly! I can’t believe we’re old enough now to help you with your 2nd baby! That’s amazing! Thanks for sticking around that long!

      I wouldn’t wake him in the morning. Usually they adjust on their own. 🙂

  6. Hi Heather

    This 2-3 month routine has worked like a bomb wow! AND LB is not sleeping with me, he is in his cot (I’ve been co-sleeping since birth) and sleeps from 22:00-03:00!! Then 04:00 to about 06:30/07:00, which is AMAZING considering I was up with him every 1/2 hours from 12pm – 7am and rarely had a 3 hour nap. I admit I bring him back to my bed for the 3am feed 🙂

    I am searching on your site for a guide of a routine for a 4-5 month old, please can you direct me to the link or share with me. My LB will be 3 months old on the 1st July ’16 and he will be going to daycare on the 1st Aug, so I want to make sure he gets in a good routine, and I need advice about feeding to, when do they drop feeds? (I’m breastfeeding, and will express while at work).

    Love love love this site, thank you SO much for you advice, you have no idea how this has changed my life…by getting in some good hours of sleep.

    1. Kerry, I’m so glad to hear this!! 🙂

      I actually don’t have a 4-5 month article, because there are a LOT of changes at that age. (It’s like a whole new kid!) Because of this, we really prefer to work with families one-on-one in this age group. We’d love to get to know you a little better, write up some specific recommendations, and then discuss and tweak those with you over the phone.

      Would you be available at all early next week? Perhaps Tuesday or Thursday? We have several Super Sleep Sessions available during that time. This way we can talk over your son’s health history and be able to make better recommendations for getting you past the sleep regression! Also, going back to work can be a major adjustment, so we can share with you things you might expect so you’re not thrown off by anything!

  7. Hi there! Love your blog. It’s helped me so much, especially not having much prior knowledge before my son was born. They seriously need a class on infant sleep in addition to the birthing/baby care class! My question is in regards to naps. I have a similar situation to those I’ve seen comment. My son is a great sleeper at night (for the most part). He only wakes once to feed before the morning (around 7:30). Naps though? Totally different story! He will only nap like 30 min most of the time. I make sure to watch his cues, and wake times. I’m usually doing 1.5 hour of wake time. I am wondering how long to try to extend his nap, and how? He’s 8 weeks now btw. Any advice is appreciated! Thank you! 🙂

    1. Michelle, napping is such a challenge! A few ideas: 8 Weeks is right at a growth spurt. Give him some extra feedings, making sure he’s getting FULL before he stops, which may help him sleep longer. Then see if it gets any better over the next few days as the growth spurt fades. If it doesn’t, Amy and I would love to look over his sleep logs and dig into different shaping methods and things you can try to help extend those naps. We’re starting something called Super Sleep Sessions that can really help in situations like this, where you’re not 100% sure what’s going on and you need an extra pair of well-trained eyes to peek around and give recommendations! Click here to learn more about the Super Sleep Sessions. We’d love to work with you one-on-one!

  8. Hi

    I really enjoyed this article. I have one issue I’d like to run by you.

    1) My baby is 10 weeks and his routine is similar to Ned. With the exception that for him to nap or be put down he needs to fall asleep on my chest (nap and late night sleep inclusive). Once he is asleep I can put him down and he will sleep well. How can I slowly break this so that he is sleeping without my help. Can you help with more guidance on putting down sleepy and not asleep? Anything short of being completely asleep he will wake (immediately or soon after) screaming. Thank you so much!

    1. Hello, Frankey!

      I’m glad that you enjoyed the article. Sometimes schedules can be tricky especially in regards to sleepy and non-sleepy little ones! I do have a few thoughts that hopefully will help you. Your little one loves the close intimate security of you and one way to simulate that “snuggle” feeling for him is to swaddle him up. Swaddling worked wonders with my babies. That way, every time he gets swaddled, he begins to associate that with going to sleep. You might try allowing him to fall asleep on your chest WHILE swaddled a couple of times to see if that would help the transition. Also, the Rock N’ Play http://amzn.to/28SpA5C is also a very helpful tool to help get little ones down to sleep. Eventually, you’ll be able to transition your little one into falling asleep on his/her own in the crib, but for now, you might try swaddling and the Rock N’Play to be very helpful. You can find more tips to helping him transition to independent sleep at http://incredibleinfant.com/go/super-sleeper-tips. Thank you so much for commenting and good luck!!!

  9. I have a 8 weeks old im basically noting down how she feeds and gets sleepy to create our own routine. She tends to cat nap in the morning then her largest naps and nap 2 and 3. Should i wake her after 2 hours if its an afternoon nap so she sleeps better at night?

    1. At this age, it’s hard to tell. Personally, I would test it out and see what happens. Then make sure you’re getting her down an hour or so afterwards. You don’t want her getting overtired. Hope it can help!

  10. Thanks so much for this article! It’s very interesting and well put together and I’ve enjoyed reading all the comments (it’s great to know I’m not the only one seeing a lot of the exceptions to the rule.

    My little girl is about 9 weeks old and sleeps really well through the night, about 5-7 hour stretches, followed up 3-4 hours after he early morning feed…when I can actually GET her to sleep at night. I can’t get her to fall asleep before 1am no matter what I do. Swaddling pisses her off (she wants her hands free it would seem but then bats her hands around like its play time which obviously won’t work for bedtime and/or nap time), baths seem to wake her up and energize her (no matter how much she yawns through the whole thing), nursing makes her sleepy but she wakes up half way through and wants to play, bright eyed and bushy tailed, much to my dismay.

    I’ve tried to put her down sleepy yet awake but find a she doesn’t eat fully when I do that and often wakes up in 30 min or so freaking out because she wants more to eat and can’t soothe herself back to sleep. If I put her down drowsy, suddenly she’s wide eyed and can’t soothe herself to sleep with or without my help (i.e. Softly talking or singing, rubbing her belly or back, holding her hand, etc.) She constantly kicks around and gripes at me and becomes an escape artist, kicking blankets and swaddled away and snaking her hands free. If I’m not walking her at night, she’s freaking out completely. I’ve tried to let her cry it out on several occasions only to have an overly tired baby after 45-60 minutes since she completely melts down at that point. Pacifiers sometimes help during nap times during the day but she rarely will sleep more than 45 min at a time. She rarely accepts a pacifier at night and wants to nurse every hour until she passes out. Which obviously is more likely her soothing technique I’m guessing.

    She was diagnosed with reflux at 4 weeks and we’ve started treating that successfully. Her symptoms are completely nonexistent at this point. At that point she started sleeping well at night (when I get her to sleep finally). She sleeps and naps in the same room and I’ve gotten her room as dark as possible for naps during the day.

    I have to go back to work in two weeks and so far am so exhausted I can’t see straight. Any other helpful hints to try with my night owl daughter?

    1. At this age, Jen, it’s okay if she’s not going down drowsy but awake. Getting the reflux under control and soothing her should be your primary concerns. Cry it out may make it harder in the long run, so do whatever works to keep her calm and sleeping. I’ve written a free series of sleeping tips I would encourage to check out. Each email gives “homework” or things you can do immediately to help your sleeping situation. Click here to learn more about it. I really think, reading your situation, you’ll find some good tips there!

  11. Heather,
    Thanks for replying. She’s is probably just about 11 lbs now. The crib naps are happening at least once a day but they are no longer the 2 hr marathons she did in the swing. Now she wakes after 45 min and that’s it. She can fuss or 5-10 min and out her self back to sleep but that’s hit or miss and hard to listen to. It’s never a wailing cry but on and off. Oh well. For afternoon nap (3rd) that’s super hard to get her down anywhere but my arms but she all sleep there for an hour.
    Still 3 hr stretches between feed so to nought and she definitely can’t do 2 hrs of active time (including feeding) during the day before getting tired. So I watch her cues and it’s max 1.5 hrs and sometimes less before she has pink eye lids and is yawning.
    We do a feed and meds at 6:30-7, nap by 8 and then food again at 9:30 at the latest. Then 12, 2:30-3, 6, 8 and 10:30 food and meds. She is up at 1:30 and 4 usually.
    So 6 feeds (ebf and I have an oversupply so there is plenty) at least during the day. Sometimes there’s more in the evening.
    Oh and she’s not a pacifier fan, on rare occasion when she’s fussy or in the stroller she’ll take one but usually not.
    I’m just waiting for her to grow a bit and maybe sleep more at night.
    She does try to have a quiet conversation with me when I put her down drowsy and awake. It’s adorable.

  12. Great blog and very helpful to understand what’s going on with baby sleep. I’m amazed you keep answering questions so many years after the original posting.
    I’m a FTM of a little girl and trying to make sure I’m in a good spot with sleep shaping she’s 10 weeks old nap far she’s a good mapper albeit in the swing. I’ve been lowering the swing setting and hoping to transition to the crib for naps next week. She gets up for the day at 6:30 which singing for us and she’s in some heart medication so we need to have her up early to take it. She will go down for her morning nap around 8 and can sleep as long as I let her but I limit it to 2 hrs. She then eats and we only nd she’s down again at 11:30 or 12. The afternoon nap is always hard and is either in my arms or a carrier. I’ve been following her cues and we do a last feed around 7:30-8 and she will go to sleep in her crib without too much rocking around 8:30. I do a dream feed and medication at 10:30 but she will still wake up at 2 and at 4:30.
    I’m concerned that she can nap really long in the am and that’s making it harder for her to sleep at night? She did one 5 hr stretch from 11 to 4 twice last week but now back to 2 night feeds. Any advice? I will be trying to do morning naps in the crib in the dark too. I feel like it’s great to have such a good baller as I can get a lot doe but I’d rather have the night sleep sorted. Thank you.

    1. Elena (Love your name, BTW – it’s my 2nd’s name! *highfive*)

      Also, EXCELLENT job on weaning her off the swing and moving towards the crib. *highfive* You’re a rock star! No, I don’t think the longer nap in the morning is contributing to the evening feedings… It’s hard for me to say. I would need to look over feeding and sleep logs, know her current weight, etc. etc. Lots of details that are missing here. First, check with your doctor and get his thoughts about her nighttime feeding habits. Does he feel this is consistent with her weight and health? You could slip in there at 1:30 for a few nights and do a dream feed, then stop and see what happens. By disrupting the usual rhythm with the dream feed, she may just decide to skip it. If those things don’t work, let me know and we can brainstorm again!

  13. This has helped me so much. Yet, now at the 4 months and 2 weeks mark, baby is completely off due to trying to make the crib move (naps only). Plus, I do understand the sleep regression around this time causes sleep issues. Anyways, she is not napping for longer than 30-40 minutes in the crib and then I cannot get her back to sleep to complete her nap (even trying comfort nursing). Leaves one cranky over tired baby come later afternoon/evening. Once she does fall asleep around 7-730, it’s a 39 minute nap, not bedtime for her. Is this just an adjustment phase? Also, she is not going to bed until around 830-9. How do I get baby to sleep earlier and stay asleep? Is there a certain time a baby does not need to be napping so she will sleep earlier? Any insight would be greatly appreciated, this week has been exhausting on us all!

    1. Krystal, I’m so glad to hear it was helpful! You are exactly right – this is a sleep regression period. 🙁 The good news is that it’s almost over! Firstly, make sure the nursery is COMPLETELY dark. You want her to be so bored after she wakes up at 30 minutes that she MIGHT just go back to sleep. 🙂 If you can’t get her back to sleep after a few minutes, go ahead and get her up – just watch her like a hawk for signs of sleepiness. I’m guessing that might happen about an hour (maybe 1.5 hours) after she woke up. Try to get her down for a NEW nap sooner and see if that helps. As she moves beyond this major development shift, her napping should start to settle down and you should be able to start moving her bedtime up by 30 minutes every 3-4 days. Unfortunately, skipping a nap isn’t going to help her go to bed earlier. In fact, it will make it WORSE, because she’ll be overtired and in her “Second wind” that will make getting her settled for bed that much harder.

      I hope this can help, Krystal! I have a new program coming in May that you may be interested in. It’s called Super Sleeper. Click here to read more about it. The coaching portion is going to be focused on babies older 6 months, BUT there’s going to be a TON of good information in the program for younger babies, so if you’re at ALL interested, go ahead and sign up here. I’ll email you when we launch and you can receive lots of sleeping tips to help you through the next few months!

  14. Hi my baby is 8 weeks on Wednesday and is 15 weeks on Monday actual date.

    Firstly I would like to say I have commented on here before with problems I have been having with my LO and the advice I got was AMAZING!

    Ok so my LO has silent reflux and is on Opramozole 5mg a day for the last two weeks and i have seen an improvement yay! also he has milk protein intolerance and is now on Nutramigin Pureamino and is happy on that so far.

    My question is should I be getting him into a routine? he has never been the best sleeper but i have just got on with it.

    Would appreciate a response as to anything I can change or ass to improve please.


    A rough guideline to our usual day-


    7am wakes opramozole given,changed and sterilising done for the morning whilst tablet takes effect ( was told to give 30ins before feed)

    7.30am feed now my little man will generally drink between 90-130mls

    stays awake usually for an hour or so with smiles and play


    9am nap

    10.30am feed/change

    11am nap

    1pm wake

    1.30pm feed

    play time

    3pm nap

    4.15pm bath

    4.30pm feed

    play time

    5.30 nap

    7.30pm feed

    play time/story time

    8.30 nap

    10.30pm feed

    11pm nap

    1.30/2.30 am feed

    1.45/2.45 nap

    4.45/5.45 feed

    nap for an hour or 2 then wakes for the day


    Can I help my LO sleep any longer by changing anything or is this normal? it would be nice if he slept 4-5 hour stretches at night ! but if not thats ok every baby is different.

    He sleeps through the day quite well, sometimes cuddles but I often try putting him down in his moses basket which is in the front room with us and he sleeps well, but should he be in his nursery in the cot?

    I have kind of gone with the flow with him but I know routine is important at some point as well which I have heard many say start from 8weeks?





    1. Andrea,

      I love that your attitude is relaxed because that really can translate to your little one (if you’re stressed about sleep that can make baby stressed!). At 8 weeks you can’t start sleep training yet because your little one doesn’t have the ability to self soothe (that comes around the time of his 4 month milestones) but you can do some sleep shaping. For example: I do think it’s a good idea to start having him nap in his nursery during nap times. If he gets used to this now it will help when the 4 month sleep regression hits. Also, it sounds like he hasn’t quite figured out that there’s a difference between day and night. You might already be doing this, but if not, you can help by making play time during the day more rambunctious and having little to no interaction with him at night when he wakes to eat (try to skip changing his diaper unless you can tell it’s a bowel movement or he’s too wet to keep that diaper). I’m guessing that you are already trying to keep lights low for night feedings, anything you can do to help him know that it’s night.

      Congratulations, mama! Sounds like you are doing a super job.

  15. Hi! After a very rough night, I am writing to you out of desperation. My son will be 10 weeks on Tuesday and last night he went down at 8:30pm and slept until 11:30pm then would not go back to sleep no matter what we tried until 4am where he slept about an hour and a half until 6:30AM. At that point, my husband got up for work and brought him to bed with me to nurse where he slept on and off until 9AM because I was utterly exhausted.

    The first few weeks of his life he was impossible to get to sleep. We ended up cosleeping as a last resort (he HATED his bassinet and would scream bloody murder if put down). After a few weeks we got him sleeping in a Rock n Play in our room, but we found that we were waking each other with our movements and sounds.  For the past two weeks we’ve managed to get him to sleep in the Rock n Play in his own room next to ours. This has been going quite well and he was sleeping anywhere from 3-5 hour stretches at a time and waking approximately 2 times a night to feed (he is EBF). The problem is we have not been able to pin down a bedtime – sometimes he would stay up until 10/11pm, but recently he has been getting knocked out between 7-8pm (I mean KNOCKED OUT, no waking him). We thought this was a sign he was ready for an earlier bedtime and so we’ve put him down for the night at that time and then he’d wake around 10/11pm, I’d feed him and he’d be back down until at least 2am. But more and more often now he’s been difficult to get back to sleep once he wakes up at 10/11pm for that feed. He naps every 2 hours during the day (more on that later) and he seems to be treating that first stretch of sleep as an extended nap, instead of it being nighttime sleep. It is not uncommon for me to be trying to put him back to bed after his first wake for at least an hour and up to 2.5 hours. We thought we were past the day/night confusion but now I’m not so sure? His room stays dark with the exception of a night light so we don’t bump into things and we use a white noise machine which he seems to like.

    As for napping during the day, this is where we have a real problem. He will only nap in his carrier attached to me or his father. This was a lifesaver in the early weeks, but now he is getting heavy and it is cumbersome to be wearing him for hours a day (he will nap in it anywhere from 30/45 mins-2.5 hours while I can hardly bend over when he’s in it, use the bathroom, sit down because he likes movement but hates the swing, etc.) He used to sleep very deeply in the carrier, now he is fussy when he is in it kicking his legs and flailing his arms now that hes discovered them, and once he does fall asleep he wakes often but usually falls back asleep. There has been a handful of times where we have successfully been able to transfer him to the newborn bassinet part of the Pack n Play, or his Rock n Play in his bedroom, or the boppy, but he will awaken within 15 minutes and appear angry to have been moved while he was asleep. Getting him down to nap without the carrier is next to impossible, even if he falls asleep on me and I transfer him. Still no luck. Up until last night he was a pretty good sleeper at night, so I don’t understand why the day napping is such an issue. He loves the Rock n Play at night, but won’t tolerate it during the day even if with the same environment (his bedroom with white noise on and blinds down). Please help!

    I think what we will try tonight is continue with naps until about 7:30pm and then try to put him down around 9/9:30pm and either we will go to sleep at that time, or wake/feed him before we go to sleep if later. Hopefully this will get him to sleep a longer stretch so we can get more sleep, but I am still at a loss of what to do with his extended wake time after night feeds and day naps remain a mystery 🙁

    1. Madelyn, I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had such a tough time! Hopefully I can encourage you with a few things. Most importantly, this is around the time when he is going through a major growth spurt. This means he’s hungrier more, and everything gets pulled out of whack. That’s a big reason why I recommend parents look for “rhythms” rather than rigid schedules for the day. Think of it in terms of approximations. “He goes down for a nap approximately 1 hour after waking” etc. Unfortunately, naps are very commonly all over the place at this age, they often don’t settle down to a predictable rhythm until closer to 4-5 months, so don’t feel like you’re doing anything wrong. He’s still very much in an adjustment phase – trying to figure out how to do life on the “outside”. Don’t feel pressure to move him to the crib – if he’s sleeping in the carrier or the Rock ‘n play, just leave him. You can wean him away from those things when he’s a little longer. (Also, go over the signs of acid reflux with your doctor. If he consistently prefers to be sitting up while he’s sleeping, he may be struggling with GERD or Silent Reflux – where there’s no spitting up you can see.)

      I think a 9:30 bedtime is totally fine at this age. When he gets older you can start moving it up by 30 minutes until it’s closer to the 7:30 time frame. For now, though, go with your gut on the bedtime thing.

      I’m starting a new program in a few weeks called Super Sleeper – it’s designed to provide lots of support and tips for babies at any age range. You can see Super Sleeper here

  16. Hi! My baby is turning 10 weeks this Thursday and I am having issues making him sleep through the night. During the day he has a schedule in which he eats every 3 hours (eats and plays for 1 hour and then naps for 2). He has no problem napping during the day. For his last nap, I only let him sleep for 1 hour and try to keep him awake for 1 hour before I start with his bedtime routine (bath, pijamas, turn lights off, bottle). We put him in his swaddle when he is really sleepy (he doesnt like it when he is awake) and then off to his crib. This is around 8pm. After that he wakes up at 2-3am and then at 630am.

    He has reflux (he is medicated and is really well) so we have to put a pillow under his mattress. Because of this he also rolls from one point of the crib to the other which I believe makes him uncomfortable.

    Could you give me advice on how to start the bedtime routine after his last nap until bedtime. How long should he be awake? Should there be only 1 feeding between this two? Please help! Thanks!

    1. Michelle,

      It might not seem like it (I remember how the lack of sleep starts to catch up with you by month 3!) but your little guy is doing pretty well with sleep especially for having to deal with acid reflux too. I do have one schedule recommendation. Why don’t you try fitting in a dream feed (dark room, and no interaction so hopefully he pretty much stays asleep for the feed) at 10:00 right before you go to bed. That might get him past the 2:00 feed. Give that a try and see if it helps.
      Also, have you considered a Rock N Play for nighttime sleep? This works really well for babies that have reflux because it keeps their heads elevated but also keeps them secure (without the rolling to the side). I hope this helps!

  17. Hi, I love this blog! Great advice and it comes from warm place?. So my baby boy is almost 7 weeks old. He’s the only boy (I have 3 girls also) and he’s got GERD. I’ve kinda mastered the reflux but my issue is during the day he will not stay up lol I’ve tried everything and he’ll sleep right thru it lol. But as soon as 1030pm roles around he thinks it’s time to party lol and won’t go back to sleep til about 1 or 2am. He’ll sleep til about 4am then sleep again til 7 or 8am. Any advice is appreciated in getting him to 1. Stay up during the day and 2. To get him to go to sleep for the night at least by 10 and I can work on it from there. Or is he doing what he’s supposed to at this age? Lol I’m completely out of practice as my girls are 16, 10 and 8?

    1. Natasha, I’m so glad you are finding the blog helpful and enjoyable. That warms MY heart. 🙂 During the day, I would try to help him understand the difference of Night/Day – bright wakeups, quiet bedtimes, etc. Also, he might be hitting the 8-week growth spurt a little early, which can also be playing a factor. See if you can’t take a little more time in a dark room getting him ready for bed at night, moving that up by 30 minutes. Or you could try to slip in there for a dream feed at around 10:00 and see if that helps! (A dreamfeed is when you slip in and do a feeding in the dark with as little stimulation as possible – no talking, no lights, no diaper changes, etc. You want him to DREAM straight through the feeding.) Hope this can help! 🙂

  18. My baby is 7 weeks old. He is my first. He is breastfed. He sleeps for good stretches (2-3 hours during nighttime and naps), but only on my chest in a recliner or on my arm in the bed. I have yet to successfully put him down in his bassinet for more than 10 minutes. During awake times, he usually starts to fuss after 20 minutes maximum if he’s note being held. Am I doing something wrong? Will he grow out of this needy stage or am I creating a needy baby?

    1. Jessica, you’re not doing anything wrong, don’t worry! Some babies just need a little more reassurance after childbirth. He went from a quiet warm place to a LOUD crazy one! Will he grow out of it? Yes and No. Yes, it will get better, absolutely. No, in that you’ll have to keep in mind that he may be more sensitive to some things (bright lights, loud noises) and may need more reassurance from you during separation anxiety periods.

      For now, I would look into getting a good baby carrier or sling. This way you can have your hands back (yay!) and he can still feel you’re close enough to stay calm. I’ve written a few articles about this you can check out. This one talks about the benefits of baby wearing, and this one discusses the best carrier brands and types. Hope they can help friend! You’re doing a wonderful job. He knows he’s loved!

  19. Hello! Thanks for taking the time to respond to all of these comments!! Seriously. So great. I tried to find an answer to my questions before leaving a comment but being a FTM, I just have to be annoying and ask about my specific situation 😉
    I have a 12 week old and am afraid I’ve ruined her!!! Haha. I’ve been tracking her sleep to see a routine but it’s all over the map. She typically can’t go longer than 1-1.5 hrs awake but will randomly be awake for 3 hrs and be just fine, although she still feeds every 2 hours (EBF) which I think is on the high side. Anyway, I’m fine with not having a predictable routine (although, if you have suggestions that’d be great) but my main concern is how to get her to soothe herself.
    This is where we find ourselves:
    NAPS – she only falls alseep if you bounce on an exercise ball while holding her. Putting her down once she’s out is like dismantling a bomb – no matter where you put her (i.e. Crib, Mamaroo, couch). Also she always wakes up screaming (like someone has stabbed her) and I’m not convinced she’s actually awake because her eyes are closed I can sometimes soothe her by putting a binky in and playing white noise, is that normal?? Basically this turns into me laying down with her for most naps bcs it’s the only way she’ll keep sleeping… See? Told you I was messing her up 😉
    Lastly, at night she was sleeping 5-5.5 hrs but has gone back to 4 hrs, tragic. Not sure what happened but our routine is similar there… Bounce until she’s out and then put her in the Mamaroo – she doesn’t seem to have an issue with it at night and doesn’t really care if it’s on or not.
    Any suggestions? I don’t know what my exact question is, other than HELP! I think I’ve coddled my child and given her 10,000 sleep crutches ?

    1. Marina,

      I’m glad you did contact us, we want to be a help and encouragement, especially to first time moms! Raising a child seems so confusing and mysterious when you are doing it for the first time (you get used to not knowing what’s going on by the second child 🙂 ).
      The really great news is that it’s almost impossible to ruin your little one in regards to sleep (yay!). I just keep thinking that you must be in really good shape by now if you’ve been holding her and bouncing an exercise ball every time she naps! It’s an intense exercise program for you! 🙂
      What is helpful for you to know is that your little one really doesn’t have the skills to self soothe yet (these come after her 4 month milestones). However, you can help by doing some sleep shaping, like using the white noise machine and the pacifier as you have been doing.
      Take a look at this article for some additional ideas to try with your little one. It addresses sleep training but there are a lot of ideas that fall under sleep shaping too. The two ideas that I would look at doing right away would be 1. Keep a sleep journal, if you haven’t already. This will help you see if maybe, just maybe, there might be a natural rhythm that you can work with. 2.Make your nursery “need a night light to see where you’re going” dark, this is for the daytime naps too.
      Hope you find something here to help with this wonderful sleep journey you’re on!

  20. I’ve been reading all your comments all very interesting! My daughter and granddaughter are living with us and my 4 month old granddaughter does not sleep through the night yet she wakes up about 4-6 times during the night! She’s a very good baby but is also a very light sleeper. Do you have any suggestions? I would really appreciate it! Thank you. Robin

    1. Robin,

      There are a lot of factors that could contribute to her waking multiple times a night… The good news is that after she passes her 4 month milestones then she will be able to self soothe (though she might need a little help in learning to do this). This article might be helpful for your daughter.

  21. Hi,

    I just started reading your articles and spent  a lot of the evening reading some of the other comments made by other moms hoping to find some help with my own.

    I am working on nap routines and trying very hard to get him to go down sleepy but not sleeping.  I thought I would tackle naps before I tackle bedtime.  At bedtime, I wait until he is fully asleep before I put him in his crib just so that my spouse and I can get some sleep.  For naps, he will not go down without a fight.  The moment he is in his crib he starts to cry/scream.  I’ve made the room dark and with white noise.  He is so used to falling asleep in my arms or while nursing, its hard for me to believe he will grow out of this bad habit!!  I’ve tried leaving him in the crib to cry for 2 mins before I pick him up and he usually settles right when I pick him up.  Do you suggest I do something different?  Should I pick him up right away? or just pat and shush?  How long do I do that for before I should call it a day and go back to the way I know works? Or do you think he still is too young for sleep training? I just feel my failed attempts are making him more tired and therefore more fussy and upset and I just don’t know what to do anymore.  You probably have answered these questions a million times! I’ve just read so many things and now I’m pretty confused, desperate and at my wits end! I want him to be rested and to keep my sanity in tact!


    Thank you!!!!!

    1. Hilda,

      Tired mama! It’s rough trying to figure this all out while walking around in a sleepless fog, huh?!
      So, tell me this, how old is your little guy? This will help me know how to answer your questions.
      If it’s easier you can also e-mail me by going to the About link on the first page of the site and clicking on Contact.

    2. Hilda,

      Finally an answer! 🙂

      Your little guy really is too young for sleep training. He won’t have self-soothing skills until after his 4 month milestones. Until then you can do sleep shaping. This is what you are doing when you make sure his room is dark for naps and use a white noise to block out other noises. Take a look at this article for some more sleep shaping ideas. Also, take a look at this article (I know it’s about newborns but there is some good information there that still might be a help). This one lists a number of helpful articles so you can have our most popular sleep articles at your finger tips.
      Hope this helps you and your little guy. Let me know how it goes!

  22. Thank you for being willing to answer questions first off! My little guy is 11 weeks tomorrow and we have the sleepy but awake thing going pretty good for his first stretch of sleep and he’ll go anywhere from 3 to 4.5 hours. But after the first feeding it all goes downhill. He basically doesn’t go back to sleep and I end up pulling him into bed with me just so we can both get some much needed sleep. Currently his bed time is 8pm. And while I was on maternity leave I woke him at 8am (in bed with me). I started back to work 2 weeks ago and he doesn’t really sleep well after 1am. And is up at 6 when I leave but I know he doesn’t want to be and neither does my husband. The middle of the night feedings go pretty smoothly and he falls right back asleep but I put him in the pack n play in our room and he’s restless within 30 min sometimes as soon as I put him down. I am breastfeeding and supplementing but the first night feeding he’s only taking my milk but won’t wake for a bottle afterwards. I think I covered all the details…any help with getting my little guy to sleep on his own in the pack n play after the first feeding would be so appreciated!!

    1. Nicole,

      The first thing that comes to mind is, I wonder if he would do better in a Rock N Play. They feel much more like mommy’s arms (more secure than a Pack N Play). It really might be just a “too much wide open space” problem. If you want to try one out before you purchase it, check with your friends on Facebook and see if anyone has one you can borrow.

      Hope this helps!

  23. This post changed my life! I was mixing up hungry/tired cues and kind of assumed young babies would nap when they needed to on their own. I can’t believe what a difference I’m seeing in just 2 days of following the tips/schedule in this post for my 9 week old. Thank you!!

  24. I have an 11 week old little girl, Maggie, who is not a great sleeper. With the help of your site i have gotten her to sleep better at night, but her napping during the day is horrible. She usually eats at 7am so I lay her down at around 9 if I can keep her awake that long. Within 35-45 minUtes she is awake and screaming. I sit by her crib and rub her forehead and try to get asleep again for sometimes another 30-40 minutes. If I can get her asleep again she is awake almost as soon as I leave the room. If I pick her up she falls asleep in my arms and I can’t get her back down again. Then it is time to feed her again, but trying to keep her awake for 2 hours is so hard, because she didn’t get good sleep during her first nap. I try to keep her awake, but she gets so overtired, she keeps getting more and more upset. Do I put her down earlier? Or do I try to keep her awake. It’s like a domino effect each nap she sleeps bad, it’s harder to keep her awake. Any suggestions?

    1. Vanessa,

      Yes, you are so right! Put her down before she gets too tired. You have run into the “too tired to sleep” downward spiral! So sorry, it’s not fun. But the good news is that you can find your way out. Just put her to bed 20-30 minutes sooner for each nap to start and go from there (move it up even earlier if needed). The schedule we provide is only a suggestion as each child will need different amounts of sleep. It sounds like your little one is going to need more then the schedule calls for. I hope this helps! If she is still struggling with naps after you give this a try then I recommend you take a look at Heather’s Napping Webinar. It would be so helpful!

  25. hi! I’m a first time mom and I’ve found this blog to be incredibly helpful! We have a 12 week old little guy and thanks to this article he is rockin nap times, in his crib, three times a day for an hour each nap. We are thrilled with his progress!

    Where we are struggling is at night. We have established a bed time and a routine we strictly follow. He is unswaddled at this point because he has been rolling from front to back for a while (we wanted to get ahead of the unswaddling as a result). He is waking roughly every two hours- ?

    Here is his nighttime schedule:
    Down at 8:30
    Up at 11:30 to feed (breastfed)
    Up at 2:30 (BF)
    Up at 4:30 or 5 (bottle, formula)
    Up at 7 BF
    Up for day 8:30

    We have been supplementing with formula since the beginning because my milk did not come in right away. We are also ensuring full feelings during the day(sometimes to the point where the little guy spits up) finally, we are cluster feeding at night, ending with 2-3 oz of formula before bedtime.

    Until 3 weeks ago he was sleeping for a good 5 hour stretch, now we are in this pattern and we are EXHAUSTED!

    Any advice on what to try to get our little guy to sleep through the night?

    Thank you!

    1. Neffie,

      It sounds like you have quite the precocious little guy! If he is rolling over all ready (good choice to transition him out of swaddling) he may have also hit his 4 month sleep regression early! This usually happens when babies start moving more and therefore startle themselves awake. That being said, you may just have to push through until he settles in to his new movement ability. However, you could also try a Rock N Play for a month to give him more support through the night. I would ask around (use Facebook?) and see if a friend has one you could borrow. If you decide to give this a try I recommend seat belting him in. 🙂 Hope this does the trick. We’re so glad the site has been helpful!

  26. Yes! Thanks so much for the follow-up, Danielle. I think we’re getting him down just about as quick as we can. No matter what the clock says, we’re swaddling him just as soon as we see any signs of sleepiness. Do you think you might be able to give me a bit of advice on how to start our day off on the right foot?

    Right now, we’ve been aiming for a 7 AM wake-up, but since he usually wakes up between 5:15 AM and 6:15 AM, we haven’t been coming all that close. Naturally, this throws off our morning {unless he doesn’t seem especially hungry and I can hold him off a bit}. His next scheduled feeding is at 9:30 AM {which we don’t usually make it to, because of the early wake-up} followed by feedings at: 12:00 PM, 2:30 PM, 5:00 PM, and 8:00 PM. His bedtime is at 9:00 PM and has been an anchor. He goes down easily and stays asleep until his Dream Feed at 11:00 PM, after which he is able to sleep until 2:15 – 3:15 AM.

    I would love to stretch out his nighttime sleep, which would make me less reliant on having to slip in naps during the day {especially since his naps have shrunk to 30-45 minutes}, but I’m not sure there is much I can do on that front. However, in the meantime, if you have any advice on how to stretch out his naps and tweak our schedule that would be such a big help!

    1. Christine,

      The Napping Webinar would be perfect for you. It’s the best $20 you will spend (sleep is worth so much more that that!). You will learn all sorts of information, much more than I could give you in a sentence or two.

  27. I have a happy and healthy six and a half week old who is absolutely thriving, but with his daytime naps down to 30 -45 minutes, I am pretty tired out! Last week, we were on a roll. He was following the Babywise recommended sleep schedule for 4-6 week olds almost to the letter, and I felt like I had gotten a fairly good grasp on his sleep signals (yawning, glassy eyes), but it has been downhill since then! In the last couple of days, he has been smiling up a storm and he seems especially friendly right before I put him down for a nap, so he’s revving up just as I’d like him to wind down. He’s also smiling at the mirror when he’s supposed to be going to sleep. Before this week, his “Wake Time” was only about an hour, but now I’m wondering if I’ve got the timing right. I’m not sure if it’s the chicken or the egg but with the short naps, he’s started yawning while he’s eating (a first for my “Miss Piggy” eater!) and it seems like he’s not always getting full feedings, even with encouragement, which could also be contributing to his short naps. Would so appreciate your advice!

    1. Christine,

      Boy, sleep in the first year is a trick, isn’t it?! Just when you’ve got it down to a science everything changes!
      I think the most important thing I can say is that he is giving you and chance to get away from the clock (even though sometimes it can be a help) and focus more on events. What I mean is, sometimes it helps to thing sleep/eat/play, repeat. 🙂 If he is acting tired during his feed then try moving it up so you can get him down a little earlier. It’s counterintuitive but if your little guy misses his “go to sleep” window that will shorten his naps. Putting him down sooner can help him sleep longer, who knew! 🙂
      Hope this helps!

  28. My daughter is 10 weeks old and is formula fed. I really want to get her into a napping / feeding routine but she is all over the place I don’t know where to start. She will only nap in my arms, if I put her in her Moses basket she either screams and carries on or lays awake, she then gets over tired and cranky and needs a bottle to go back to sleep in my arms. She only goes 3 hours between feeds yet she’s drinking between 5-6oz we bath and get her ready for bed at the same time every night, which is 630ish and she wakes twice during the night for her bottle, and only every sleeps for 2 hours at the most after her second feed. She suffers from really bad wind so this doesn’t help as it wakes her sometimes, I have tried Infacol, Gripe Water and now Dentinox. I have tried a sling and for two weeks she was napping for 3 hours, an hour after she woke up in the mornng, however she seems to have taken a sudden disliking to the sling and barely sleeps for an hour. Does anyone have any advice please.

    1. Becca,

      Have you talked to your doctor about the possibility of acid reflux? It’s something you might want to run past your pediatrician. This article has a good description of acid reflux.
      Also, she might do better with a Rock N Play since it keeps the baby’s head elevated and she will feel nice and secure, tucked in and comfy. Regarding the gas, have you tried probiotics? These will help her digestive tract, so helpful for a little one who’s digestive system is still developing.
      If the probiotics don’t do the trick then it’s probably time to talk to your doctor about switching formula. Take a look at this comprehensive list of the major brands.

  29. hello 🙂
    So my ten week old son is in a good routine of 6oz every 4 hours. He goes into his night sleep approx 10pm. At the moment I give him a couple of oz as I go to bed about 11pm to see him through until he wakes at 4am for a feed. However in this night feed (4am) he only takes about 3/4oz it hardly seems worth waking up for. Is there anything I can do during the day? Or at his 11pm feed to help him through the night?
    Thanks in advance

    1. Jenna,

      Run this by your pediatrician first. If your doctor feels like your little guy is gaining well and is at a good weight then I do have a suggestion. Try to help him out of his 4:00 feed by waking him at 3:30 and doing a dream feed. If you can satisfy his hunger before his little internal alarm wakes him then he might get used to sleeping through. Try this for 3-4 nights and then drop the dream feed and see what happens!

  30. Hi Heather! Hoping you can give me some advice. I have four month old twins who have been really good sleepers. But right now they are hitting the four month sleep regression and definitely showing signs of it. They used to nap a lot during the day and now they fuss during their morning nap but I can usually get them back to sleep… During their afternoon nap, they wake After 45 min on the dot crying REALLY hard. We have tried some crying it out and giving them their pacis, and we know they aren’t asleep just transitioning because their eyes are wide awake… But they do seem sleepy still.

    At night they sleep well from about 12-7 after their night feeding. They do the same crying thing after we put them in their crib after their 7 pm feeding (we feed every 4 hrs). They are also apparently going through a “wonder week”/growth spurt. We are also swaddling with one arm out trying to wean off swaddle but I think they’d still wake and fuss if both arms were in. We are trying to sleep train them but not sure if it’s the right time? What do you think? Thank you so much!!

    1. Carol, those sleep regressions are the pits, for sure. I would encourage you to avoid trying to sleep train during this regression. In my experience, if a baby isn’t ready any training ends up taking just as long as if you waited a few weeks. Not only does it take longer, the babies tend to cry more. I would take this time to continue to work on weaning out of the swaddle, and doing other “External” things – like making sure the nursery is dark and there’s a noisemaker to drown out any stimulating sounds.

      You may want to try slipping in there at around 40 minutes and trying to shush them back asleep immediately when they show signs of waking – but that depends on their temperament. In regards to the training, though, I’d wait until the growth spurt is past. Hope that can help, even if it’s not what you were hoping to hear… 🙁 Feel free to comment back if you have any other questions. xoxo

  31. Hi! Looking for some advice. None of my friends experienced this. My 3.5 month old naps right on schedule (very 1-2 hours) for about 1 hour each time (longer if I let her sleep in the swing). When it’s time for bed, she goes down without any issues and will sleep anywhere from 3 (ugh) to 7 (yay) hours in the first stretch. Here comes the problem. After the first stretch, regardless of what time she wakes to eat or how long she was asleep for, she will not settle. She will fall asleep in my arms and I do the exact same thing I do for naps and bed time, but she is up within five minutes. I try 3-5 times. The past couple of nights I have caved and let her sleep the remainder of the night in her swing so I can sleep or else I’d never make it through the day. This isn’t anything new, she’s always been this way. We used to have to place her swaddled in the bouncy chair for the last bit. She is still tired and falls asleep no problem, just not in her own bed. Why? And what can I do? I’m thinking 3 months is too young to CIO. HELP! ?

    1. Jennifer, honestly it sounds like she may be struggling with a “Witching Hour” of the evening. (Here’s a post on that.) My middle child went through that – was an absolute unconsolable nightmare between 7 and 9 every night. It passed eventually, but it was tough for sure.

      If the swing works right now, I’d say use it without guilt. She is too young to sleep train at this age, because there are too many variables with her sleep and age right now. Things that don’t start to iron out and stabilize until around 18-20 weeks. Do whatever works, as long as it’s a safe sleeping area. You can always wean her off the swaddle and swing later. Right now the name of the game is SLEEP SURVIVAL. 🙂

  32. Thank you for your encouragement Heather. I am persevering! Still stuffy and now has a cough…joy! Checked out at doctors and need to just ride it out as not an infection. Using a nasal aspirTor, vapour rub, saline spray, raised cot, so seems I am doing everything possible to help her at the mo. The full feed tip is something I am going to tackle as although she feeds well during the night, the daytime feeds are short with on/off behaviour and moaning…seems to get trapped wind during day and I think is also easily distracted! Will concentrate on that and see how things improve. Thank you again.

    1. Hope it can help and encourage you Briony! Sounds like you’re doing everything you should be doing. She is a blessed little girl to have such an attentive and loving mother! Hang in there. xo

  33. Please could I have some advice? I have a 15 week old, 12lb baby, who was waking at 12pm and 4am for feeds having had a last feed at 6pm and asleep for 7pm. For the last 4 weeks she has had a cold so is very sniffly and coughs. Over the last week she started to feed at night every 2 hours for 2 nights and for the last 3 nights has woken 4 times for a feed. I am breastfeeding and she will feed for 30-40 minutes so feel it is hunger that wakes her. Just in case I have looked at her clothing and bedding in case too hot or too cold. Last night it was 21 degrees so wore a short sleeved body suit, sleep suit, muslin swaddle, a sheet and 1 cellular blanket. She wakes happy and chatty ready to play, but over the past 2 days moans and comes on and off the breast while feeding. She feeds every 2 hours during the day..this has been for weeks and is an improvement as had issues with weight gain in the early weeks due to my milk supply following an operation. She was then feeding every 1.5 hours..
    Current routine..
    Wakes naturally every morning at 6:30 no matter what time the last feed was. Awake time is 1 hr 20 mins to 1 hr 30 mins. Eat, activity, sleep
    Feed 7am
    Nap 1 hr at 7:30
    Feed 9am
    Nap 30-45 mins 10:15/30
    Feed 11
    Nap 30-45 mins 12:15/30
    Feed 1
    Nap 30-45 2:15/30
    Feed 3
    Nap 30 mins 4:30
    Half feed 5pm
    Bath 5:45
    Feed 6pm
    Bed 7pm

    Last few nights awake at 10, 1, 3, 4:45..

    Any advice appreciated. Thank you

    1. Briony, These weeks are SOOOO hard! But you really are doing so wonderful and meeting her little needs. The best news of the day is this: these days WILL pass. She will continue to grow and get stronger, this kind of routine is not a sign of the next 18 years of your life. It’s probably not even a sign of the next 3 months of your life. So hang in there and keep your eyes on the horizon. 🙂

      Is she still stuffed up? If so, she might be pulling off the breast so often to breathe. Either suck her nose out with a good aspirator like this one, or perhaps use a saline spray to help her breathe. This post shares other ways to help a congested baby, it may be helpful.

      Secondly, it’s possible she’s going through a growth spurt – perhaps something to ask your doctor about. Usually the growth spurt is at 12 weeks, but since she’s small, it makes sense that it may be hitting now. If it IS a growth spurt, it should pass within a few more days. Allow her to eat as she needs to – she’s stimulating your milk supply so that it makes more milk – since she’ll need to drink more at 15-16 weeks than she did at 12-13 weeks. (Hope that makes sense.)

      Thirdly, try to make sure she’s getting full feedings as best you can. Babies love to fall asleep on the breast, it’s very comforting to them (and it’s so sweet for us!). That said, especially before bed I would try to keep her awake through the entire feeding so I know when she’s done, she’s full – and not just falling asleep with only a half-filled tummy. Try stripping her to her diaper and wrapping her in a blanket, or blowing softly on her face, or even taking a warm wash cloth and dabbing her cheeks if she nods off during a feeding – anything to gently keep her awake and focused on her eating task until she’s good and full.

      Start with these things and see if they help. If not, let us know and we’ll see if we can’t help you with a Phase Two plan! xo

  34. My two and a half month old son does well with naps and feeds all day but once we hit the witching hour around 7pm he refuses to eat. Any tips on soothing him enough to breast feed? Right now I’ve resorted to loosening the straps on our Ergo baby so he’s low enough to breast feed while in it. But he’s getting heavier so I’m not sure how much longer I can do it this way!

    1. Heidi,

      Have you tried nursing in a dark room? I know this isn’t always possible but if you can remove other stimulation that can sometimes help!

  35. Hopefully you still check for comments on this post because I would love your feedback.
    My 9 week old son has some of the worst colic I have ever seen. Nothing, except for sleep, seems to soothe him at times- usually bedtime. He has all the suggestions you gave for a sleep environment: pitch black room, warm, dry, swaddled, fed, burped, white noise maker, quiet room, etc etc. He has been diagnosed with reflux so I put him in a nonswinging swing to sleep. We are still having nights (and days) where he absolutely refuses to sleep. If he does sleep during the day it is for very short intervals and he screams until picked back up out of the swing.
    There is no reason for him to be crying like he does other than he lacks self-soothing skills. What are your suggestions? I am so desperate!!

    1. Rachel,

      I’m so sorry for the struggle you and your little guy are having! If he has been diagnosed with reflux (and you don’t suspect any other medical reason for the crying) here are some things you can do: First, you are probably already doing this but, make sure to keep him upright for 20-30 minutes after each feed. Second, have you tried probiotic drops? They have been proven to help babies that have reflux. Third, is your little guy on medication? Zantac is usually the first drug prescribed – it makes the bile less acidic. It can be prescribed and used for a long period of time. Prevacid is usually the next thing they prescribe. It actually reduces the amount of acid being produced. Because of this, it can only be prescribed for a short period of time – which is why it’s usually the last resort.
      It sounds like you already have the sleeping at an incline covered. If the swing isn’t working well though I highly recommend you try a Rock N Play. It’s designed to keep baby’s head elevated and babies feel secure because of the “cuddling” construction. Also, if you don’t yet have a baby carrier I recommend you get one. This is a good go to when your little guy isn’t napping well. You can strap him on and then he can sleep while you have your hands free and can attend to other things (this might save your sanity!). This will help you avoid the “too tired to sleep” downward spiral too! Here’s an article about baby carriers if you want more info.

      Hope some of this helps and you both can have better sleep and peace in the near future! Hang in there, taking care of a baby with reflux is not an easy job!

  36. Hi there,

    Firstly, this website
    Thank you so so so so much for noy nly the content BUT also the interaction that you have an thats really great to see and reassuring!

    SO… Im a first time mum to a 10 wk baby girl (born 2 weeks OVER)
    I am struggling with her sleep especially during the ‘witching hours’.
    Im reading what other mums do and their routines are like and Im getting stressed out because I now feel that I don’t have a strict routine

    I aim to start from 530ish with a bath and then a feed at around 630.
    at 7-730ish I aim to put her down in her cot but the ‘witch’ arises and she doesn’t want to sleep and she would cry and be distressed.
    She used to sleep in a moses basket but has outgrown it being to long. I have started putting her down in her cot during the day and I have a porto cot in the bedroom.

    She cluster feeds at night but I feel that she may be over stimulated with daddy being home and the TV on and so many distractions.
    Its really getting to me.
    when she does fall asleep, she will sleep 5-8hrs.
    what am I doing wrong?
    Is she overstimulated?
    I guess my other concern is that there is so much pressure on mums and the performance of their babies sleep, its so stressful and I feel that Im not doing a good job because of this expectation.

    is there a schedule I can follow to help me out?
    I feel I cant even leave the house

    Looking forward to hearing from you !

    1. Julez,

      First of all, congratulations! You did it, you gave birth to a brand-new human being, talk about being part of a miracle!

      Secondly, You are so right that there is too much pressure (sometimes we do this to ourselves, I know I did!) to do things just so with the first. If you can find ways to stay calm this will help your baby. So, if friends and family offer to help, let them! If you need more quiet before your baby’s bedtime, talk this over with your hubby. It will help you both if you remember that this super intense time is almost over. Babies really do settle a bit when they reach the 3 month mark. I think it’s great that she’s doing 5-8 hours straight when she falls asleep!

      Also, you might find that you really don’t need 2 hours to prep for bedtime. Baths can be short at this age, check out this fun article, so maybe you could start the bedtime routine at 6:30 after you’ve had dinner with your husband. Be prepared to cluster feed since this seems to help her relax from what you’ve mentioned. If you can watch a show with earbuds on your phone while she’s doing this maybe it will be relaxing for you too!

      I know it feels like you are tied to the house when your baby is so little. For one thing, you feel so tired when you finally get your little one to sleep there’s no energy left to get up and go somewhere! If you can, I recommend setting up a date with your husband on the weekend or coffee with a friend. Just keep it simple and short for now. You’ll be surprised how much it helps to just walk out the door all by yourself and be away from your sweet baby for a short time. It will make you want to come home and you’ll be so happy to see her when you do!

  37. Hi,

    Just wanted to say I love your blog! I’m having some trouble with my 14 week old sleeping through the second half of the night. He has always been a pretty consistent sleeper and was sleeping from 9pm-4am (starting at about 7 weeks) wake up for a feeding (he’s EBF) and get back to sleep right away but only sleep in 30-45 minute spurts. Since the evening routine can be a little tricky with feedings and short cat naps, we moved his bedtime bottle to 730pm and bedtime at 8pm. Now he’s up for a feeding between 2 and 3 am and then from that point on is off and on until we give up around 6 or 7am.  This now has thrown off our morning nap schedule because he is pretty much exhausted (and so are we) so our “wake up” time usually varied. We moved him into his crib about 2 weeks ago and has absolutely no issues during the first 6 hour stretch.  He will sleep solid the second half of the night if we put him in his swing (even without movement and with it reclined to a lying position) which we have done out of desperation.  His room is dark, we use a white noise machine, and  a sleep sack.  Do you have any advice on how to make the second half of the night more consistent and solid?  Thanks!

    1. Ellen,

      I recommend moving his bedtime up. Try putting him down at 7:30 and if that doesn’t change things keep moving it up by 15 minutes until you find his “sweet spot”. This is one of the counterintuitive sleep principles: If you miss the “need to sleep” window and the baby gets too tired then they won’t sleep as well during the night. Give this a try and see if it does the trick.

  38. I love this blog. It is the best information I have found so far. Thank you for all of your great advice. This is my fourth baby. With all of my other kids I was able to resolve their sleep issues, but I am really struggling with this one. She will only sleep if I hold her. Even when she is not sleeping she wants to be held. I held her for 21 hours in a 24 hour period a few days ago! I am desperately trying to get her to sleep in her bassinette. She cried quite a bit last night when I put her down. I went in periodically to quiet her down. Once she finally went to sleep, she slept pretty well. This morning she woke up and I fed her. Then we played for an hour and half. She started getting tired so I put her to bed, but she refused to go to sleep. I kept going in periodically to quiet her down. She finally slept for about 20 minutes. At this point it was time for her to eat again so I fed her. After I fed her, she was very tired and went right to sleep. Since she missed her morning nap I felt like she didn’t need to play after this last feeding. So, if she misses a nap or gets a very short nap, should I still try to keep her awake after her feeding? If I should keep her awake, how long should I keep her awake for? Now that she is sleeping, should I wake her up after 2.5 hours? You said not to let them nap for more than 2.5 hours.

    1. Stephanie,

      How old is your little one (I’m guessing between 2-3 months since that’s what this article is about, right?)? My fourth also gave me trouble with sleep at the beginning of her life. I’ll just mention this, don’t know if it will make a difference for you, but we switched her to a Rock N Play and it changed everything! It might make a difference for your little girl since she clearly likes the security of being held close. Also, I would recommend a baby carrier for those mornings that she refuses to sleep in her bed. That way she can sleep (if she will) cuddled up to you and this will keep her from getting into the “over-tired downward spiral”! Here’s an article about the different kinds of carriers if you don’t already have one that you love.

      One other thing that I have found to be true (especially with #4!) is that it is very easy to miss those first sleep cues and keep baby up too long. I recommend trying an hour play time in the morning instead of 1 1/2 hours and see if that helps. If she gets backed up though and misses a nap, go ahead and let her sleep a little longer than 2 1/2 hours. It won’t be a problem as long as it doesn’t become a habit (usually that takes 3 days in a row or so). Hope this helps! Congratulations!

  39. Hello,
    A few places you said, unless the baby has reflux. My 9 week old does have reflux. What amendments to your tips would be made?
    Thank you!!

    1. Great question Jennifer! If your baby has reflux, you want to adjust this schedule a little bit. For example, you may want to move the feedings up 30 minutes, so he eats, has 30 minutes to sit up, and THEN goes down for a nap. (Waiting 30 minutes can help prevent him refluxing while he’s sleeping.) You may also want to incline the crib slightly (instructions in this article). Reflux babies tend to better not sleeping on their back. Right now I would focus on helping he/she with the reflux symptoms. If you’re breastfeeding, discuss cutting out dairy or adding probiotic drops with your doctor. The more help and comfort you can give while he’s sick, the better everything else will be. Hang in there friend!

  40. i am working on getting my little one on a loose schedule. She is a preemie, so I’m working off her corrected age of 10 weeks. What I’m wondering is if she doesn’t self wake between 7-8, should I wake her so that we can begin a routine?

    1. Lisa,

      I wouldn’t wake her unless your doctor is concerned that she’s not gaining fast enough (I know that sometimes this is a factor with preemies). Just focus on the Sleep/Eat/Play (repeat) and less on the time right now. She is still quite new so that’s all you need to worry about! Congratulations!

  41. I was wondering if you could help my baby is 16weeks old he was sleeping through the night but now he doesn’t. We used to put him to bed awake in his crib around 10 when I went upto bed, but he would always sleep around 8-9:30 so I started putting him to bed at 8:30 he sleep until his due his next bottle but then he has me up every 2hours and sometimes he will drink an oz of a bottle and carry on crying, until he eventually falls back to sleep then it’s the same 2hours later. I have tried everything to help him sleep through the night as he is not in his own nursery yet. If you could give me any tips I would be very grateful as I am desperate for a nights sleep now.

    1. Sophia,

      It sounds like your little one is going through his 4 month milestones. They often mess up our perfect (or better, if not perfect) sleeping world! The good news is that now he is old enough to try a little sleep training. I recommend you take a look at Heather’s article about the Sleep Shuffle. If he continues to give you “up every two hours” nights I recommend that you consider Heather’s Sleep Workshop. She will help you come up with a sleep plan that works for your family. You can find more information about it here.

      Hope this helps you both get more sleep!

  42. Hi!
    My daughter just turned 8 weeks and our routine have been all over the place the last two weeks because I’m guessing of a growth spurt 😉 anyway I have some questions. It says here that feeding should be longer then 5-10 min, I have a lot of milk, thank god, and my daughter drinks fast and is mostly done in 5-10 min, she lets go on her own and is happy and content and lasts about 2,5 h until she wants food again is this ok? If I try to give her more she screams and she’s gaining weight good. With the napping is it ok to let her have a pacifier? I put her down and sing and she has a pacifier and falls asleep mostly and it falls out after a while.
    Thanks for a super website!

    1. Maria,

      Of course! It’s wonderful that you have such a great supply and you mentioned all the signs that show she is doing well. Way to follow your mama instincts on that one!

  43. Hi Heather, thanks for the advice. I have an 11 week old who naps well during the day. I always put him down drowsy but awake and about 80% of the time he goes to sleep by himself, the rest of the time I use a dummy or a bit of patting. The problem is he ends his third nap around that 5-6pm time and then we have a terrible time trying to get him to have another nap before 10pm bedtime. He inevitable ends up asleep on me by 8.30pm but then wants to stay asleep. If we try to get him to sleep in his cot he isn’t interested (he always sleeps in cot during the day unless we’re out) . If we keep him up he’s very much overtired come 10pm bedtime.  He usually sleeps until 2-3am when he has a feed and then straight down until 7-8am.  We’re happy with his night sleep as he’s only 11 weeks but would like to have a slightly more relaxed evening rather my husband or I spending half the evening trying to get him to have even a catnap! Your advice would be much appreciated thank you. 🙂


    1. Catherine,

      Now is kind of the awkward sleep stage (especially napping) for babies! They aren’t old enough to sleep train because they can’t really self-soothe until after the 4-month milestones have passed.

      I recommend looking at the things you can control at this point… Take a look at this article. Even though it’s aimed at Sleep Training (coming soon!) take a look at the bedtime routine, #2 and the notes about the nursery, #6. Also, keep in mind that the wake window is only 1 hour at this age, smaller than you might think!

      Hope this helps your evening routine! Congratulations that he’s sleeping so well in the night!

  44. Thank you so much for responding, Danielle! Our baby is actually 12 weeks, not 12 months. I’m sorry for the confusion! So I was looking for schedule guidance in the 3-6 month range. Also, I noticed the sleep shuffle starts at 4 months. Does this mean they should be out of our room and in the crib by this time. I saw the article said to transition to crib at the end of 3 months.

    1. Paige,

      That’s a general guideline (I won’t mention that I just transitioned my 5-month-old to her crib). 🙂 The reason the sleep shuffle starts at 4 months is because before that age your baby is too young to be able to self-soothe. When your little one reaches 18 weeks, and has passed 4-month milestones (your little one will be a lot more alert and moving around quite a bit more too), you can start sleep training. Basically, sleep training is when a parent emotionally supports and encourages a child who hasn’t quite learned the skill of how to fall asleep (and stay asleep) on their own. The sleep shuffle is great for this! So, start the 2-3 month old schedule and that will carry through the 4-5 month transition. When you get settled on the other side of that you can take a look at the 6-9 month schedule. Just keep in mind that all babies have their own special schedule! 🙂

  45. Heather- I love you- This post and the newborn sleeping posts have saved us! Our baby is turning 12 weeks on Saturday. do you have a reccommended schedule for the next phase? The next one I could find was for 6-9 months.

    1. Paige,

      I’m so glad Heather’s site has been a help to you!

      Take a look at this post for a schedule for 9-12 month olds to get you started. I also recommend you get your hands on a copy of Good Night, Sleep Tight by the Sleep Lady (Kim West). She will help you get to the next stage with your 1-year-old. Congratulations on your baby turning 1! It feels like such an accomplishment, doesn’t it?!

  46. Thank you for posting this article. I found it to be very  helpful. Im trying to get my little girl who is 3 months old on a sleep schedule. She sleeps through the night and is doing great weight wise. But im trying to get her to sleep more during the day. She takes 3 pretty short naps max 2.5 hours total for the day. I cant wait to try some of the ideas for letting your baby self sooth to sleep. Im still nursing her to sleep everytime and I think that could be the reason she doesnt sleep that long during the day. but I dont want her to stop sleeping through the night. any sugjestions?

    1. Esther,

      Your little one is still pretty young. At this point you can work with her surroundings to help her sleep but we don’t really recommend sleep training yet. If you want some specific training on naps I highly recommend Heather’s Napping Know-How Webinar. You will learn a lot and it’s reasonably priced ($20 for the two hour class).
      I also recommend this article for some more wonderful information on sleep, what we all want more of! 🙂

  47. Hi,

    My son is 3 months and overall I’m quite happy with his routine, he’s napping roughly when he should and sleeping through the night apart from one feed (I am breastfeeding). My main issue is that every time he gets sleepy he gets really frustrated and angry, he cries, bashing his head around and tries wildly to suck on his fist or anything close by. I’ve tried to catch him sleepy before it comes to this but when I put him down awake he starts screaming which wakes him up fully and I have to start over again. Most of the time I end up cuddling/rocking him to sleep which during the day only takes several minutes but at night can take an hour or more. I am conscious I am a massive sleep crutch to him so need to break this pattern particularly now because I’ve tried to go out twice at night and he can’t be soothed without me. I admit when he was newborn I did let him sleep on me a lot and co-slept at night but he’s been sleeping in his Moses basket for at least 6-8 weeks now and I always put him down for his naps. He’s generally a happy baby and rarely cries so this is new. Any help gratefully received!

    1. Vicki,

      Congratulations on your little guy! Sounds like he might be getting too tired before he goes down. At three months the wake time is only 1 hour (shorter than you might expect!) so it’s easy to miss that window.
      Another thought, notice if he is fussier 30 minutes after a feed. Notice also if he seems to have a little stuffy nose all the time. Sometime acid reflux starts to show up at the three month mark. If so, you should talk to your doctor about whether your little one does have acid reflux and how he would recommend treating it.

      I do want to reassure you that at the end of the day, if you need to rock your little guy to sleep right now, it’s ok. He will transition to a better stage before you know it and be ready to sleep on his own!

  48. Hi Heather,

    I just discovered your site a few weeks ago, and I love it!  Thank you so much for taking the time to do this.

    I am a first-time mom, and my little girl is 13 weeks old.  However, she was born at 36 weeks.  I have two questions.

    1) I am trying to get her on a schedule of eat/play/sleep.  For the last 12 weeks, she has been eating at 3 1/2 hours.  Being a preemie, she just wouldn’t eat any sooner than that.  Recently, I think she’s getting hungry sooner, so I’m trying to adjust to 3 hours.  For instance this morning, she woke up and ate a 8, had an hour of play, and then went down at 9.  She woke up at 9:30, and by ten, she seemed really hungry and ate for twenty minutes (her average).  How do I proceed to get her on a new schedule?

    2) Sleeping – She just started sleeping in her crib for naps and at night. She gets congested a lot (I use the Nosefrieda and we have a cool-mist humidifier) so she has to be propped up. When she goes down for naps, she has a routine of swaddle, sing, sit, and then goes down.  She will sleep for anywhere from 15-45 mins and then wake up, still sleepy, but upset. My routine is to wait five minutes to see if she’ll go back to sleep, then pick her up and pat her till she quiets and put her back down. However, a lot of times she just wakes up again in ten minutes and the whole thing begins again. What am I doing wrong? She takes a pacifier sometimes, but always spits it out. At night after her dreamfeed, she’ll sleep till 3 or so and then again till 7:30-8:00. It is inconsistent.

    Thank you!!!

    1. Bekka,

      Congratulations on your new little one! Having a preemie is a lot of work so you are a campion already in my book.

      First of all, don’t forget to subtract the weeks that she was early when figuring things out developmentally for your little one. So thinking that way, your little one is about 9 weeks. At such an early age you really don’t need to worry too much about a schedule. That is, if you can, pay less attention to the clock and just focus on getting into the Eat, Play, Sleep rhythm that should help.

      I do have a few recommendations for sleep. First, have you tried a Rock N Play? They are great for little ones who need the head elevated and it also gives them a feeling of security they might not get in a crib (my 5 month old, slept in her’s from 2 weeks until just a week ago when we transitioned her to the crib). Also, do you have a baby carrier? Preemies often just need more cuddle time (they missed out on the extra 4 weeks inside mama!). A baby carrier can be a great way for her to get that if she’s having a hard time sleeping in the daytime and you can have your hands free to get things done too! She might be better able to sleep when she is snuggled up to you at least for a time. I like this one but can also recommend this one (and it has a better price tag). I hope this helps!

    2. Thanks, Danielle! I really appreciate your help!! The Rock N Play is definitely a lifesaver! Thanks so much! My other question is about feeding.  She seems to be all over the place as far as timing goes.  Up until a week ago, she would only eat every 3.5 hours.  Then she had a growth spurt, but now that the growth spurt is over, she goes anywhere from 2-3.5. If we go out after her feeding, when it’s her naptime, she’ll go 3.5 hours to the next feeding.  However, when sleeping in her crib or rock n play at home, she’ll go anywhere from 2.5-3. Is this normal?  Will she put herself on an eating schedule or will I have to work her into that?  I know you said to try to get e/p/s down, but is it normal for her to be so inconsistent?

    3. Bekka,

      The one question you want to ask about feeding is “Is she gaining consistently?”. As long as the doctor is happy and she is happy then you can be happy! It’s really ok for her to go back and forth as much as you have described. She might be showing you a bit of her personality (miss flexible?). 🙂

  49. Hi,
    I’m looking for advice for my 11 week old daughter. She was diagnosed with silent reflux at 2 months old. We have it under control with prevacid and thickened formula. We currently have her sleeping in the rock and play. She goes to bed around 8:30pm with little to no fussing. Some days she will sleep until 7 or 8am. Other days she is wide awake at 5am and won’t go back to sleep (even if I feed her and put her back down, she’s awake). Throughout the day she cat naps, but I can’t seem to get her napping for more than 30-45 minutes at a time. I have been trying to get her into a routine but I find it difficult since she is waking up at all different times in the morning and doesn’t nap well. Any suggestions? Any and all advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    1. Jaclyn,

      I know it can be tricky to get a reflux baby to settle and sleep! I recommend you try one more thing for the acid reflux (I see you have the other things I recommend going for you already!). Have you tried probiotic drops? They have been proven to help reflux in babies.
      I can also recommend Heather’s Nap Know-How Webinar. It’s very helpful and reasonable priced ($20 for the 2 hour class).

  50. Hi there,
    So my baby is now 11 weeks and I’ve been trying the rough eat, play, sleep schedule. I’ve noticed that she sleeps well at night, but not well during the day. Could it be that after eating so long ago before the nap she wakes herself up because she is too hungry? She’s not a snacker but seems to get cranky after an hour of play so I put her down. Then after an hour or less she’s up again…

    1. Sara,

      I would recommend putting her down sooner, try it before she seems cranky. She might be getting a little over-tired which makes it hard for little ones to sleep well when they do sleep (counter-intuitive, I know!). It always amazing me how much sleep infants need!

  51. I am finding this really helpful! most sites don’t tell you how to really do it step by step or even get into detail and be so honest. I do need help when it comes to letting her cry. last night we let her cry for about 10 minutes (shes 6 weeks) and she truly worked herself up so bad that it took about 15 minutes to calm her down. I don’t want her to think that if she cries hard enough I will get her 🙁

    1. Stephanie, I’m glad you’re finding it useful! I wouldn’t let her cry much at all at this age. If she doesn’t stick tightly to this schedule, that’s okay. These are just rhythm and routine guidelines. Every child will “interpret” them in different ways. When she’s old enough and ready to sleep coach (minimum of 20 weeks), THEN we can help her learn some of those sleeping skills. At this moment, though, she’s too young to self-soothe. So go ahead and pick her up without feeling guilty or like you’re creating bad habits. 🙂 There’s nothing that you’re doing now that we can adjust later when she’s older. You can’t spoil her at this age.

      When she gets a little older (maybe around 10-12 weeks) you could start working on her sleeping environment. You could put up darkening shades and make the bedroom as dark as you can get it for naps, then lifting the shades when it’s playtime (to help her begin to understand the difference between playtime and sleeptime, day and night). Also getting a 24/7 noisemaker like this one is a good idea to help drown out distracting interesting sounds that could stimulate (and cut naps short).

      You’re doing great, Stephanie. I hope these little tidbits can help!

  52. Hi there, I cannot believe how many comments have been posted and how you’ve managed the time to respond to them all. You’re amazing. I was hoping you could offer advice to me. I have an 8 week (almost 9 week) old. He does have a nasty case of reflux. Since the day we brought him home he’s never slept well during the night. Recently his naps during the day are cat naps and last only 30 minutes but I can usually get him back to sleep another 30-45 just by placing him next to me so he’s touching me while I use the computer. He eats very often. No more than 2 hours. And only takes 1.5-3 oz at a time. Never more. This is a real struggle. I’m exhausted with the snacking and I’ve tried everything to fix it. He goes down for bed around 8/8:30 and nothing I can do will wake him for a Dreamfeed. Diaper change, light tickles, taking his clothes off. Boy is passed out cold. He will have a 3.5-4 hour stretch usually waking around or just before 1 am. He eats but only for a few minutes (never more than 10) and falls asleep. I try and try to wake him again doing breast compressions, diaper change, anything and he will not eat anymore. I’m assuming only an ounce to two ounces. Then he will wake again at 3:45/4 am this time seeming fussy and gassy. He’s wide awake now trying to toot. I do leg pumps and tummy massage. Have tried gas drops, gripe water and colic calm. He won’t go back to sleep without nursing so we do another feed that lasts only 5 minutes again. I’m frustrated at this point. He will now be restless from this point on until he wakes at around 7:45/8 am. Usually fully waking up several times during those last hours. Nothing I can do will soothe him besides the breast but it’s so frustrating because he just snacks for a moment and I cannot convince him to stay and eat more. For the first few minutes it’s just grunting and some fussing and I’ll give him a few minutes. Then he begins to cry and I try to soothe him. I’ve tried shushing and patting. I’ll walk around with him. He is swaddled for naps and night. I’ve tried the paci and he spits that thing out. Finally I’ll try to gently bounce him. Nope. Then the boob and he takes it and enjoys a nice 1 minute snack in my arms and passes out. If I slightly move to try and put him down he waks up to cry. Im a walking zombie. This has gone on for almost 6 weeks now so I can’t say it’s a growth spurt. Can you help?? Thank you so much.

    1. Crissy,

      Sounds like your little guy is having a tough time and I can understand why you feel like a walking zombie! The first thing I would recommend is probiotic drops. This should help with the gas in his intestines which might make him more willing to take a full feeding (!). Secondly, do you have a way to keep his head elevated when he sleeps (besides your arms!)? These two options work well: the Rock N Play and the Baby Bean Bag. In the mean time, until his little intestines mature and settle down I recommend a baby carrier so you can give him the comfort he needs and still have your hands free! I love this one but this one also gets good reviews (without the high price tag).
      My last thought is to recommend that you find a lactation consultant. It would be good for you if you could have your latch checked just to make sure that he is getting a deep enough latch. A shallow latch can keep your little one from getting a full feeding as well. Hope some of these ideas do the trick for you two. This is an intense time, not getting the sleep you need and always wondering if your little one is thriving! You can do it, though. This time will be past before you know it. Don’t forget to enjoy those extra snuggles. 🙂

  53. Hi there, just sat up feeding my 9 week old (again)& stumbled upon this page whilst doing some research on how to get this little man started on a sleep schedule. Lots of great tips & tricks! However I have an almost 2 year old as well. She sleeps great, typically 11-12hrs at night and 1.5-2hours in her afternoon nap. I did a lot of the things mentioned above to get her to self soothe etc because I only had her to worry about. My question is this: how do I do the sane with my son when u have a toddler (almost 2) with a busy weekly schedule? A typical week for us sees us out & about a lot at various baby clubs/mum & toddler groups throughout the week & unless the weather is really bad we walk, because my toddler has so much energy to burn off , with new baby in his carrier on me so he falls asleep almost as soon as we leave the house. Because if this his naps are very irregular and I’m worried I’m setting myself up for a nightmare as he eats older. Any advise much appreciated.

    1. Sarah,

      Congratulations on your new little one! Going from one to two can be a huge adjustment (I remember how that felt!).
      I think you will find this article written by Heather to be so helpful. Some of it is geared toward preparing before the baby arrives but keep reading because there is a lot of information that applies to your situation right now. Blessings to you as you all adjust to your new little one! P.S. Just a side note, your 2nd born will probably grow up to be a more flexible person because of having to adjust to the rest of the family’s schedule right from the get go, it’s a good thing. 🙂

  54. Hi Heather,

    As a fellow social worker who has worked with kids in foster care, I was excited to stumble upon your website.  You do a great job of being encouraging yet honest.

    I have a nine-week old son Walter and have been trying to implement some sort of schedule with him, using the eat/play/sleep structure.  I started about four weeks ago and it really seemed to help me feel like there was some routine and predictability.  When we started, we were using a three-hour cycle (with some flexibility when needed) and that seemed to work.  In fact, I was often waking him up from naps sometimes and was starting to toy with the idea of going to a 3.5-hour cycle.  However, something changed and for the past couple of weeks his average nap length is 40 minutes.  He doesn’t stay awake terribly long yet, which I think is typical for his age, so now we’re on more of a 2.5-hour cycle, which involves me staying very engaged with him during his playtime so that he doesn’t start getting sleepy sooner (because then we’d be on more of a 2-hour cycle) and also trying my darnedest to stretch his sleep time.

    For his naps, we have gotten into a good habit of putting him down drowsy but awake, and he usually goes down without much of a fight if I time it right.  And as long as we’re home, I always put him in his crib for naps.  (A side note is that if we’re out and about, he will generally sleep quite a bit longer either in the car/stroller or in someone’s arms).  I used to have more luck with trying to stretch his naps out either by rubbing his tummy, picking him up to calm him then laying him back down, or as a last resort just holding him to put him back to sleep and keep him asleep, either in my arms or a baby carrier.  But this week those attempts have all been futile.  One time I was able to get him to sleep in my arms but otherwise the best I’ve been able to do is rock with him and calm him somewhat, but he hasn’t fallen back asleep.  I’ve tried different approaches such as letting him fuss for a while (usually my limit is 10 minutes unless he seems to be calming a bit), or going in there right away to try to calm him before he gets too worked up, but neither seems to be working.  He sleeps with a sound machine, (for the past week or so), but I’m not sure that has helped at all.  We haven’t used a pacifier with him yet because I’m afraid he’ll just spit it out and we’ll basically be in the same spot we’re in now, plus I’m trying to avoid having to break him of that habit.

    He is a good nighttime sleeper–he usually has one stretch of 6-8 hours, and last week he had three nights in a row of 8-9 hours straight.  So I can’t really complain.  I would love for him to sleep for longer stretches during the day for my own selfish reasons (it would be nice to be able to get something done around the house while he sleeps), but mostly I’m just worried that he’s not getting enough sleep.  When he’s not napping, he’s a happy baby once he’s eaten, so am I worried for nothing?  Do you have any tips? I’d appreciate any words of advice, even if it’s to say that I am worrying over nothing!  Thank you!

    1. Julie,

      High fives for foster care social workers! 🙂 The first thing that came to my mind is that you’re doing AWESOME. The second thing was that he’s probably hitting the 8-10 week growth spurt, which explains why things have changed so much. He’s waking up more to eat. If you’re breastfeeding (Did I miss that somewhere?) this is good because it will send a signal to your body that you need to make more food to support his growing appetite. You’ve not done wrong, this is just his body and brain gearing up for the next major shift in his development.

      I think he’s doing very well, actually. I think this is a normal hiccup, and you’re handling it perfectly. Let him guide you for the feedings, etc. There is a time for formal sleep coaching, but it’s not until he’s older and can understand the things you’re wanting him to do differently. If you try to coach him now, it will just mean a LOT of crying for little learned. That said, it’s hard to know what’s normal unless someone tells you. 🙂

      Here’s a free download of a chart that can help you understand what’s normal at the various ages. In particular, at this age you’ll see that his “waketime window” is only 1 hour long at this age. This means he’s going to be ready for a nap after only an hour of being awake. See if you can’t put him down a little earlier than you may have before to see if that helps. You’re doing great! Hang in there friend! xo

  55. I found this post very helpful. I have a 8 1/2 week old. His napping during the day is all over the place and can range from 30 min to 2 hours. At night he usually sleeps at 8.30 til about 1-1.30 then wakes at 3 straining for a couple of hours because he needs to poo. I change and feed him, but feeding takes forever because he is straining in between feeding him. Then he doesn’t sleep until 8 or 9. Is there something I should be doing to ease the discomfort? Also I have been trying to stretch the distant between feeds as he was feeding every 2 hours. He usually only drinks 100ml of formula at feeding time because he gets sleepy. I try and wake him to feed him more. During the day he goes to sleep with a dummy, should I try to avoid this? I also rock him to sleep and put him down when he is half asleep. Should he be drinking more? And how can I get him to sleep for a longer stretch at night?

    1. Renee,

      So many things to think about as a (sleep-deprived!) mom of a new baby, I know. I recommend you take a look at Heather’s article on sleep found here. I can personally vouch for trying a Rock’n Play. We tried it out with our 2-week-old and it worked wonders! She is still sleeping in it at 3 1/2 months (you can use the Rock’n Play until your baby is 25 lbs or sitting up).

      Good instincts on trying to get more food in his little belly. This may mean stripping him to his diaper and wrapping him in a blanket. It may mean gently blowing on his little cheeks to keep him focused on the “task” of eating. It may even mean using a warm washcloth (warm!) to dab his cheek every now and then.

      Hope these ideas make a difference and you get better sleep soon! Just remember, the goal at this age is to give him lots of tender cuddles, plenty of food, and steal sleep whenever you can! This stage will pass in a blink. Hang in there!

  56. My son is 7 weeks old and for the past two weeks he will only nap while laying on my chest or falls asleep breastfeeding. If I move him and lay him down in crib, bassinet or pack n play he wakes up after 5-10 minutes. Our schedule seem to be wake/change, eat, play, change, eat sleep while eating. he also doesn’t want to spend much time with at unless it’s on my lap or in my arms. I try to put him down in a bouncer, swing or on a play may and he cries to be picked up within 5-10 minutes. He eats every 1-1 1/2 hours during the day and sleeps 6-8 hours straight at night without waking to feed, even though he is breastfed. I am getting frustrated that he wants to be in my arms almost constantly during the day.

    1. Michelle,

      Oh this is tricky, I know, that feeling that you will never get anything done ever again! A couple of things come to mind, have you tried wearing him? He’s still pretty young and might just need to be close to you right now. Also, take a look at Heather’s sleep articles here

  57. Hi Heather,
    Your blog is so informative and helpful – thank you for all of the great advice you provide to new (and clueless) moms like me!
    My son is 11 weeks old (born 1.5 weeks early though) and I’m trying to figure out if I should make some switches to his nighttime routine. Currently he gets a bottle somewhere between 7-8pm and naps on and off in his swing until his “bedtime” which is between 10-11pm where we change him into his pajamas, swaddle him, feed him and put him down for the night. From there he usually sleeps until somewhere between 3-4am when I feed him and he goes back down until 7-8am. I’ve been doing this routine for awhile now, hoping that his nighttime stretch will last longer than 4-5 hours, but nothing has changed. Do you think I should move his bedtime up to the 7-8pm time frame and do a dream feed at 10-11pm instead? I often wonder if he’s meant to go to bed earlier since he usually gets sleepy then (and is often half awake throughout the 10-11 feeding) and I feel like I am just keeping him awake until that later bedtime. Or should we keep doing what we are doing until he sleeps longer through the night and then, as you suggest in your schedule, slowly move his bedtime back to the 7-8pm range? I know it may be too early to see changes and results in his sleeping but I often wonder if getting him to sleep earlier will result in better/longer sleep overall. My doctor suggested starting the CIO method for the middle of the night feeding at closer to 14 weeks but I’d love to avoid that if there is a better way to approach his sleep schedule altogether (we live in a tiny apt so CIO will be TOUGH for us and our neighbors ha!). Thank you!

    1. Jennifer, I think your idea to move the bedtime up and do a dreamfeed at 10-11 is a good idea. He’s starting to outgrow this schedule, and will need to move towards an earlier bedtime. Perhaps start by moving things back by 30 minutes every day – if you think the move would be too abrupt? I totally understand what you mean about CIO – it works quickly with some kids, and is pure AWFULNESS with others. The sleep shuffle is one of my favorite alternative methods. You can read about it here. Hope this can help!

  58. Hi Heather,

    This post was truly helpful for me to understand my baby better at this stage of his life. He is now 8 weeks old and has a very erratic sleeping pattern at night. He will go for a 2, 3 or sometimes 4 (when we’re lucky) hour stretch at the beginning, but then will wake up every half hour or hour after that until morning (starts off with whimpers, then crying). We have a bedtime routine and put him down at the same time every night (my husband rocks him to sleep). Should we start the “drowsy but awake” at bedtime? I’m wondering what’s causing him to wake up so often after his mid-night feed (I breastfeed). I’ve tried the pacifier without taking him out of his crib. Maybe I am too quick to get up and see what’s wrong? Any advice would be extremely helpful, as I only get about 3 hours of sleep some nights… Also, he naps pretty well during the day, he’ll have two longish naps in the morning, and one in the afternoon. Thank you!

    1. I’m glad to hear it was helpful Juliette! I would start practicing “drowsy but awake” for the morning nap – because that’s usually the easiest. Check his naps during the day – to see if he’s possibly overtired when you’re putting him down at night. (I know it seems crazy, but an overtired baby will sleep WORSE at night.) Usually at this age you only have about an hour as a waketime window. If he’s awake longer than an hour (or hour and a half) you may be risking him being overtired. If you’re thinking you may be getting up to soon, watch the clock and see what happens if you wait a minute or two after you would normally go in. I think your instincts sound good – feel confident in trusting them. You know your baby best! 🙂

    1. Rachel, I don’t right now have a post for the 3-5 month age range. Mostly because that’s a HUGE period of adjustment and so it’s hard to write a post that’s generic enough to be useful to a lot of people. I would recommend picking up a copy of Good Night Sleep Tight. That book does a great job covering all the sleeping/schedule changes over a pretty lengthy chapter – much longer than I can write in a blog post! 🙂

  59. Heather, thank you so much for sharing all of this information! I’ve just spent the last couple hours navigating your site and all of you articles, but I’m still a little confused about the “sleepy not sleeping” rule. Does this apply to naps? I have a 15 week old and until now I’ve been nursing her to nap and bed at night. She has slept about 10-11 hours a night since about 7 weeks, until recently. Now we’re fighting bedtime, and waking up in the middle of the night so I think she needs to learn to put herself to sleep. Sometimes when I nurse during the day she falls asleep and I lay her down for a nap, so my schedule is diaper change, play, nurse, nap, but I’m guessing I need to switch the nurse to after the nap? If she falls asleep nursing do I wake her a little to lay down sleepy? Also, my other question is: she’s been trying to roll over so when lay her down sleepy she tries to roll and wakes herself up getting all worked up about rolling. Is this where I’d follow your Sandman’s School of Sleep article? Thank you.

    1. Courtney, that’s a great question. Yes, I do recommend it for naps, but for older babies mostly. At 15 weeks, you’re in “Survival” mode. If you can start practicing putting her down drowsy but awake (so she can see you’re putting her down and she can learn the feeling of falling asleep without having something done to her – like rocking, nursing, or patting) once a day at this age, that’s a great start. Usually the first nap of the day is the easiest at this age.

      That said, if you really want to work hard on the “sleepy but not sleeping” thing (aka “Drowsy but awake”), you can either move the nursing until after the nap, yes. Or it might be easier to go ahead and nurse her before nap, but then do something else before putting her down. For example, you could nurse her, then burp her or read her a book, or change her diaper or something to break the “nursing = sleeping” association. (Does that make sense?)

      As for the rolling, you can put little rolled up towels under her armpits and underneath the crib sheet to act as an anti-rolling blockade. I create something similar in this article by creating a “seat” for inclined beds. I wouldn’t start the Sandman’s Shuffle article for a little while longer. You need to know for certain that she doesn’t need extra calories at night, and that she’s old enough to start to self-soothe. Usually that’s at around 18-20 weeks. I hope this can help!

  60. ahhhh. i’ve been doing this all wrong. 🙁 I’m a new mom of 8 week old twins. I started feeding them every 3 hours (formula fed). 3, 6,9,12, etc. Then at 6 weeks we started seeing how long they can sleep at night. 9pm, midnight, 3:30 or 4 pm….and then what? They can go about 3.5 to 4 hrs now between midnight and 6am but we haven’t been able to skip/merge feedings. we are still somewhere between 7 and 8 feedings per day but probably b/c i haven’t upped their formula? (right now now we are at 3.5 oz for her and 4 oz for him) And then how do i adjust how much formula they get at which times? They are gaining appropriate amount of weight so far and are healthy but now they are 8 weeks, we need them to sleep longer at night but i assume we need to give them more formula at night? not sure what i’m doing!!! ahhhh! your site has been the most helpful so far, so i’m asking for help! 🙂

    1. Amee, firstly you haven’t been doing anything wrong. Are you kids being fed? Are they being held? Are they sleeping once in a while? Then you are ACING this parenting thing. 🙂 Secondly, there are some important things to remember: 1) Were your twins premature? Then you should be looking at their adjusted age for all this (let me know if you don’t know how to do that, I’m happy to explain!) 2) Your twins are barely eight weeks, so it’s possible they aren’t ready to merge or drop anything. All those suggestions in this article should be taken very lightly. Your babies are barely two months, so they may still need to feed like a newborn for a little while longer. 🙂

      Feeding them more at night isn’t going to solve the sleeping issue, and can actually lead to more sleeping issues later on. Feed them when they are hungry, make sure when they eat they are getting a full feeding (and not snacking). They will wake up at night a lot right now because their sweet little tummies are too small to last all night without filling up again, and the only thing that can fix that is time. In the meantime, sleep as much as you can during the day. I have a few articles I think you may find helpful (if you haven’t seen them already). The first is on scheduling twins, and the second is about how to spot baby cues. Hopefully they can help. You are doing a great job, Amee. 🙂

  61. Our daughter is almost 8 weeks and from 5-9 pm is extremely fussy and can’t settle, she appears to be overtired. We have tried blacking out the room, white noise, pacifier, breastfeeding, rocking, swaddling, you name it I feel like we tried it. It takes her hours to go to sleep but when she does she sleeps very well, usually 5 hours. She naps well during the day although we haven’t started naps in her crib yet so she’s usually in the swing, Ergo or laying with me. Any advice as to how to help her get down quicker at night?

    1. It’s very common for there to be a “witching hour” at night with babies. See if this article helps. It’s also possible that she’s an alert baby, very sensitive to being stimulated. If you can start your bedtime routine a little in advance, perhaps in the blackened and boring nursery, you may find that helps as well. She may be getting overstimulated with all the activities of the day and need some time (15+ minutes) in a VERY boring, unstimulating room to help her settle. Give that a try and see what happens. You are doing a great job, Gigi!

  62. Hi Heather,
    your website is seriously wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing what you know. I found this article on a Google search and have since read most of your entries on sleeping. I started implementing your advice (most importantly, no naps longer than 2.5 hrs) five days ago, and last night my son slept for nearly 8 hours straight (at just 9 weeks)! My sanity thanks you. Lots of love & gratitude from across the pond.

    1. Yay! I’m so glad to hear that Annemarie! I’m happy to write the articles, but YOU are doing all the work so let me reflect all that “good sleeping praise” right back on you. Well done friend! Always so happy to hear from my “across the pond” sisters! Thanks for posting!

  63. first of all i love this article. very helpful and reasonable.
    i have a 7 week old and a 20 month old, and am trying to get the 7week old on a schedule/routine. our 20 month old is a great sleeper (sleeps 8-8 with one nap in the early afternoon, goes down so easily) and i attribute this to getting her on a schedule w a bedtime routine from age 6 weeks.
    my issue is that i cannot figure out a schedule for my 7 week old! i am trying to go by the schedule you have listed above (w a few changes, he eats every 3.5 to 4 hrs not every 3hrs (and is gaining 1/2 lb a week so this is working for us) but i cannot get the bedtime schedule to work out! i have tried the early evening nap then up at 830 for a while but he sleeps that whole hour between 830 and 930pm despite jiggling, singing, lights, etc. tonight i finally just put him down at 730 after a bath (but no feeding as he had just eaten when he got up from a failed early evening nap at 6) and will dream feed him at 930 (which is esentially what he got last night as he wouldn’t wake up).
    what do you think? he sort of naps 9-1030/11, has a usually reliably great nap 1230-230, and sometimes a good nap 5-630 or so.

    thank you so much for any insight / help!

    1. Caroline, since he’s right at the 8 week mark, I would hope over to the newborn schedule article and see if that matches him better. Btw, I think it’s WONDERFUL that you’re taking these things as suggestions and doing all the tweaking. I’m always concerned when I write an article like this that parents will assume it’s “gospel” and try to force a round peg into a square hole. So it’s great to hear that you’re paving your own path, using suggestions when helpful, but NOT using those that don’t seem to apply. Well done!

  64. Hello, I have twins that are almost 11 weeks and need help! They still only seem to last 3 hrs at night and drink about 5 oz all through the day and night. They rarely will give me a 4-5 hr stretch. They were born 4 weeks premature. I feel like they get sleepy during almost every feeding (yawning, heavy eyelids). I try to keep them awake but then a lot of times they get overtired and then I really have to fight putting them to sleep. They fall asleep on their own, easily every time (well almost). Their naps are inconsistant but can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hrs, but generally around 1.5 hrs. I tried to follow your schedule and their short evening nap turned into 1.5 hrs. Should I wake them? Any advice of how to get them to sleep through night is helpful! Thanks!!!

    I also wanted to ask, after the night nap I noticed that there is supposed to be a period of play and then bedtime routine. My babies always wake from nap screaming and are used to feeding at that point. What do you recommend? I couldn’t really do story time or play before bed because they were screaming. During feed they both fell solidly asleep so it’s impossible to do anything after feeding. It’s difficult during the day since they get sleepy during the feed, but even more so at night. I don’t know how to establish a bedtime routine or get them to sleep. Some nights I have gotten them to last 5 hrs between feeding but that’s because I’m replacing pacifier and rocking them like crazy (and losing sleep in the process). Any suggestions would be great :). Thanks!

    1. Christina, the important thing to remember here is that since they were 4 weeks premature, their brains are still playing catch-up. You shouldn’t expect them to be at the same level as 11 week old full term babies. You should assume they are developmentally at a 6-7 week level. (Not to worry, they will eventually catch up!) If you look at their symptoms/situations through the lens of a 6-7 week old baby, they are right in line with the average. Instead of using the rhythm on this page, I would encourage you to look at this one instead – and see if that helps. Also, I recently posted an article on scheduling twins…you may find that helpful as well!

      As far as a bedtime routine goes, it can be as short as you want – it just has to be somewhat consistent so they start understanding the sign “now we are winding down to go to sleep”. I would make it short – feed them, rock a little, maybe read a song, then bed. Don’t feel it has to be a 30 minute affair. 🙂

    2. Thanks so much for quick reply. As I understand it I should basically feed and get them to sleep before getting overtired even if it is shortly after feed? During the day should I let them nap as long as they want (my pediatrician isn’t worried about weight gain)? They were sleeping for 2.5 hrs so I woke them up and fed them. They were sooooo grumpy and overtired. I had to fight them to stop crying. I’m not sure what is best. I want to try to encourage a good nighttime routine and get consistent longer stretches (last night I got one 5 hr) and I’m so afraid of them getting days and nights mixed up if I let them sleep too much. I go back to work in 2 weeks! How will I know when to follow your advice for 2-3 month schedule? I’m just so confused as to how to find the right balance! Thanks for your help 🙂

  65. How do you recommend getting past the 45 min arousal during naps for a 7 week old? If I pick him up, he falls asleep in my arms. If I try to soothe him without picking him up, he cries harder and harder. Night time doesn’t seem to be a problem. However, he only sleeps 4 hours at once. Mostly 3 still

    1. At 7 weeks, I would do whatever helps him sleep at this age. Go ahead and pick him up. Remember, babies at this age don’t have self-regulation. This makes it very hard for them to self-soothe. That’s not a problem for some temperaments, since they don’t get as angry. But with the sensitive babies, that’s a challenge. Also, be encouraged by the fact that nothing you are doing now cannot be re-taught and adjusted when he’s older and he CAN self regulate! 🙂

  66. I forgot to mention that my son is 9.5 weeks old and nurses every 2 hours (not 3 – 3.5). Any recommendations? Thanks!

    1. I would adjust everything down to a 2-2.5 hour schedule. Try to make sure he’s not snacking, but is getting full feedings at every sitting. This may mean trying to keep him awake during the process. Otherwise he’ll eat a little, then fall asleep, then wake because he’s hungry, rinse repeat. Does that make sense?

  67. My son is 7 weeks old and I want to start a instilling good sleep habits. As of right now, he naps in my arms. I want him in his crib but his eyes pop open the second I lay him down. Should I try and soothe him with him in the crib or pick him up? Also, is any amount of crying okay? What if he falls asleep in my arms five minutes later, do I put him back down? I read your post on the crib and really want my son to start sleeping there!

    1. Elaine, I would start with a few things 1) Making sure the nursery is very dark, and do all your “getting sleepy” stuff in that room. 2) creating a routine before sleep that helps him begin to adjust from “playtime” to “sleeptime”. 3) Try putting him down drowsy but awake at least once a day. If he wakes up and cries, go ahead and pick him up to soothe. Babies this little don’t learn anything by CIO – they just get so exhausted they fall asleep – which is no assurance you won’t have to endure CIO every day for months. You want him to learn to fall asleep on his own, not have him fall asleep because he’s screamed himself to sleep.

      Another option, is to help him fall asleep somewhere else, like the swing, or a bassinet, or a car seat, and then after a few weeks transition him to the crib. At this point, he’s used to hearing your heartbeat and feeling your touch while he’s sleeping. The first task will be to put him down and then be really close to him so he can feel you’re there. So perhaps put him down in a bassinet, or some place where you can hold his hand, stroke his face, leave your hand by his face, so he can still feel you’re closeby. Then eventually you can move him from that spot to the crib. It may be that the “from mom-to-crib” adjustment is too big a leap. Start smaller and see where that goes!

    2. Thanks for your response and insights. I will try what you recommend. Our nursery is super dark (I love a dark room for sleep so I assumed my baby would too) so at least I have that going for me! Also, my son isn’t alert much this week. One feeding blends into the other with naps in between. Growth spurt?

    3. That’s great Elaine! Good instincts! That definitely could be the case. There’s a growth spurt that hits around 8 weeks. Keep your eyes peeled for milestones being mastered! (FYI, if you haven’t seen it, you may find my Milestone Marker ebook helpful!)

  68. I have 8 week old twin girls (who were born at 38 weeks). I was wondering if it’s too early to start getting them on a schedule? Sometimes they will go 4 to 5 hrs between feedings during the day and at night. Nap times during the day are not consistent. Some days they go right down after they eat and will sleep soundly for hours. Other days they fight their naps until it’s time to eat next. I’m wondering if they do sleep soundly during their nap during the day, do I wake them up if it’s the next time to eat on the above schedule? Or do I let them sleep until one of the twins wakes up on their own and is ready to eat?? I’m very confused with what to do with my twins in terms of eating, sleeping, and getting into a schedule.

    1. Krystal, have you seen my scheduling article for twins? You may find it helpful. 8 Weeks is too early for a strict schedule, but that article talks about simple ways you can start slowly morphing their waketimes together. Check that out and then let me know if you have further questions!

  69. What do you do if they wake up early (only 30-45 min nap) and you can’t get them back down but they also aren’t hungry yet since it’s only been 2.5 hrs.
    Then their wake time is first, the eating then nap & it messes up the routine. Advice? Also- you say baby would be awake around 2 hrs. Obviously if I see sleepy signs before then i would put her down… But she only sleeps for 45 minutes at best. The whole routine is then.. Eat, wake, sleep, wake (for awhile), eat, sleep… It gets so confusing!! Is it ok to eat and then sleep since she’s been awake for a while? She doesn’t fall asleep eating I just try and put her down with the 4 s’s afyer she eats since she’s been awake sometimes for 1-2 hours. I still haven’t found how long she should be awake typically before she’s overtired 🙁 also she is 8 weeks.

    1. Alisha, if you see sleepy signs on your 8-week old, go ahead and put her down. Then you can adjust the routine for the rest of the day. Are you writing down her sleeping/eating times? That’s a good way to see if there are some natural rhythms you could be unaware of. Also, there’s typically a growth spurt around 8 weeks, so if you feel like things are “off” that could be why. Feed her whenever she seems hungry, even if it’s only been 2.5 hours. If your breastfeeding, her desire to eat a lot more during a growth spurt is how your body knows to make more milk for her growing body. Hope that makes sense…

  70. Hi heather sorry for the confusion . She well nap for 2hours wake up and want to go right back to sleep for another 2hours. The 45min- 1hr sleeps would be at night when I would like her to sleep through the night besides feeding. I follow your schedule but like you said what fits her and she did fairly well last night waking up for feeding and right back to bed. I want her to get use to some routine.

    1. Okay, I understand now. I would do some tummy time play as soon as she wakes up and see if you can’t get her interested in a few items or toys. If you’re feeling a little lost with the whole “play with baby” aspect (I always was!) this book lists baby games that worked well with my kids! Hope this can help. 🙂

  71. Heather, I’m in need for some advice. My 10 week baby girl takes her naps fairly well, as I read your article I realize I’m letting her sleep too long on her naps, which is causing major sleeping problems at night. She well go to sleep for about 45min – 1 hr then she’s right back up. I was wondering if you have a good technique on keeping a baby wake through out the day.

    1. Angela,

      Firstly, make sure you don’t try to force your baby to fit this generic schedule. Your baby’s natural rhythm and your doctor’s feeding recommendations should always take precedence. I’m a little confused by what you mean about sleeping too long. 45 minutes – 1 hour for a nap is on the shorter side, not the longer side. A 10 week old is probably only going to stay awake for an hour or so before needing to sleep again. Re-read through the article again, just to make sure you’re reading it right. Then let me know if you still have questions.

  72. Hi Heather,
    I just wanted to start off by saying how much of a lifesaver your website has been for me and baby F! We were lost until we found your 2-3 month old baby sleep schedule! Now he is a happy, well rested little guy and we couldn’t be happier! He is now about 14 weeks (he was born 5 weeks early but he seems to be catching up quickly!), and he seems to be outgrowing this schedule. He is now getting hungry every 3.5-4 hrs instead of every 2-3hrs, his nap are getting longer sometimes upward of 2-2.5hrs, and he is now sometimes sleeping about 8hrs at night. I’m still exclusively breastfeeding, and am hoping to continue until he’s 6mo, although I’ll be pumping starting on Monday as I go back to work. Do you have an article or suggestion on how to start adjusting his schedule so I can start getting him to bed earlier and consolidating his sleep? Thanks in advance, I’m already telling all my pregnant friends about your wonderful website!!

    1. Catherine,

      I’m so happy to hear this! I love that you were able to find some encouraging help. And, of course, thanks so much for sharing me with your friends! It’s a little website, but I’m hoping it will grow! 🙂

      Firstly, expect some regression when you go back to work. It’s very normal for his sleeping to seem a little “off” for a few weeks as he gets used to the “Mom working” schedule. Just wanted to give you a heads up, so you don’t feel shocked and discouraged, if things seem haywire for a little while. 🙂 (Also, if you haven’t seen my “Pumping at Work” article, you may find it interesting…)

      I haven’t done an article on scheduling the 4-5 month old yet, mostly because there are so many things going on at this age, that it can vary widely from baby to baby. That said, you could move the bedtime up to 7pm for the evening (instead of 10pm.) Then try doing a dreamfeeding at around 10pm. (Go in before you go to bed and feed him while he’s still sleeping, no diaper changes, no lights, no talking…you want him to sleep straight through the feeding.) Does this help?

  73. Heather love your blog I really need your help.. My dd is 7 weeks this week and does not sleep well. I have tried a schedule she seems to vary as expected during the day. At night she will not sleep in her crib, refuses to be swaddled and will not stay sleep more than 2 hours at night.. Sometimes less. I’ve tried the CIO method due to her only wanting to sleep on me or my husband, she cried for 8 hours with me checking in on her several times during that night. i tried for 4 night to train her in her bed with no success. I keep her up during the day, in hopes that she will do better at night…. No such luck. She will not stay in her crib and I just do not know what to do. I have even tried the swing she sleeps a little and then wants out…. Please help me….

    1. Tamiko,

      I don’t encourage sleep coaching or using CIO at this very young age. That’s mostly because with babies this young, there are a lot of factors when it comes to sleeping. If she’s waking because she’s hungry, it’s very important she gets fed. That’s probably why the sleep coaching isn’t working. Since she’s not ready yet, she’s going to scream a lot more – because she’s not waking out of habit, she’s waking for another reason.

      The first thing I would adjust is letting her sleep whenever she needs to during the day. I know it seems backwards, but overtired babies sleep WORSE at night. So helping her get rest during the day may help with some of the night wakenings (and you can sleep too, during the day). AT this age, you may find that she’s ready to sleep after being only awake for 1-1.5 hours. That’s very normal, and healthy at this age.

      When she cries, go quickly to feed her (if she seems hungry) and help her get settled. For the first nap of the day, I would help her get drowsy, and then try putting her in the crib. It’s possible that she likes the pressure on her tummy, and that’s why she prefers being held to sleep. My Elena was like that. If I had Elena right now, I would pick up the Magic Sleep Suit,. It gives some pressure to her tummy, to help her feel like she’s sleeping on her tummy when she’s really on her back. The second thing my Elena liked was feeling something light next to her cheek. So when we put her in the bed, we tucked a blanket under the crib mattress and let just the corner brush up against her cheek. Just the corner, so she couldn’t pull it over her face. It was a tricky way of helping her feel contained and close. Finally, we slanted the crib mattress using this trick. She always preferred sleeping on an incline.

      The name of the game at this young age to is to comfort her quickly when she cries, but to try little things and see how they go. She’s not going to sleep more than a few hours at a time (especially during the day) because she needs to eat every 3-4 hours. I’m glad you’re enjoying the website, I hope this can give you some tips and encouragement!

  74. My 12 week old likes to snack between the hours of 10-12 pm taking short naps in between. Trying to keep her up at night is difficult because she is constantly trying to go back to sleep and will get very cranky. I started giving her a bath around 8 after her nap but she wants to sleep after and will get up around 930/945 ish every time, how can I get her to have better nighttime habits?

    1. India,

      It’s common for babies at this age to be ready for a nap after only being awake for an hour or an hour and a half during the day. I would perhaps do a bath around 6pm and then feed her and start her bedtime routine so she’s ready for bedtime around 7pm. She will probably wake multiple times still at night for a feeding, but doing this consistently for a week or so should help her to understand the difference between day and night.

  75. Hi,
    This schedule sounds very helpful and i cant wait to try it. my daughter is 8 weeks old and shes sleeping well at night. how important is a consistent naptime during the day at this age? She seems to be falling asleep at all different times. also she always fall asleep in the car and on walks. should i put errands off until my husband is home to be with her to get her napping regularly?

    1. Amanda,

      What a great question! At this age it’s not vital. It’s more important than she naps than WHEN she naps. (Does that make sense?) That said, eventually it will be important for her to have dedicated sleep time, so you’ll have to decide whether you should put of the errands now or later. Eventually you’ll notice that her sleeping patterns change, as she starts interacting more with the world. If you see that she’s not getting good sleep because you’re taking her with you on errands, and so is getting really grumpy at the end of the day and not sleeping well at night, that may be your sign it’s time to run errands during other times.

      Eventually you should start to notice a rhythm, but don’t worry if it’s not there yet. You may want to keep a feeding/sleep log (like the freebie I give away for the Milestone Marker) to see if you can spot those rhythms over a week.

  76. Hi Heather — What are you thoughts on waking a napping baby? My daughter (breastfed) will sometimes sleep longer than the recommended 3 hours between feedings. Thanks!

    1. I would wake her to feed. This way she won’t throw the whole day off and you know she’s getting the calories she needs. This way you can keep the day (and the night) on a pretty consistent rhythm. 🙂

  77. Hey Heather,
    My little guy will be 9 weeks in 2 days will only sleep for long periods of time if he is sleeping with me. I don’t want to create a bad habit but sometimes its the only way I can get more then 3 hours of sleep at a time. How do I get him to sleep longer without me? He is not a good nap taker and will sleep no longer then an hour but if I take a nap with him he will sleep for 3 hours. Help! He is colicky and has a bit of acid reflux. Am I trying to sleep train him to early if he has these issues? I go back to work in 2 weeks so I have started trying to get in the every 2 hour nap routine while I can be consistent with it. Any advise would be wonderful!

    1. Kelsie, the first goal you should focus on is to get his acid reflux/colic under control so he’s feeling better. You can’t properly and gently sleep coach with a sick baby! If you haven’t taken him to your pediatrician to discuss treatment ideas, I would do that first. Secondly, 9-10 weeks is still too small to sleep coach – but you CAN do some sleep shaping.

      1. Make sure that he is sleeping with you in a safe way. I highly recommend you read through Dr. McKenna’s advice on cosleeping. It’s great (potentially life saving) stuff.

      2. Try to put him down in his crib or in a safe nursing area once a day where he is drowsy but not yet sleeping. Don’t make him fall asleep, if he cries, pick him up. But try it at least once every day to see what happens.

      Start with those things first, and then let me know how it goes!

  78. Hi! you helped me many months ago with my twin girls. They started sleeping through the night and followed the schedule exactly and did great. Right now these last two months they hardly take naps…they do some days and some they don’t. They may sleep one good nap and the others not so well…its like a timer, as soon as it hits 30 minutes they are wide awake. Today they are 7 months old. And for the last two months they have been waking up through the night either getting un-swaddled (which I need to start trying to figure out how to break this swaddle business) and/or waking up just so we can give them their pacifier. Please help me again. Also they aren’t teething just yet….no red gums, no fevers, no cutting teeth.

    1. Krystee,

      Regarding the swaddle, you can start weaning them off by doing one-arm-out for two nights, then 2-arms-out for to nights. I’ve also heard that the magic sleep suit is very helpful in getting older babies to kick the swaddle habit. 🙂

      The pacifier: start having them practice picking up the pacifier and putting it into their mouths during the day. Then leave a “stash” in the cribs. (Another reason to ditch the swaddle, so they can replace their own binky!).

      Nighttime wakenings: Have you read my post on using the Sleep Shuffle at night? Not sure if we discussed that months ago… If you try that for a few nights and seems like your presence is stimulating them (rather than calming them) you could try something called “Timed Checks”. Basically you put them down drowsy but awake into the crib, and then leave the room for a certain number of minutes (usually starting at 8 minutes, then 10 minutes) before coming in again and soothing them with your voice (or picking them up if they are starting to move into “hysteric zone” to calm – before putting them back down drowsy but awake). “Timed Checks” are different than Cry-it-Out because you are responding to your babies cries, just in timed increments. So instead of “cry for 45 minutes and then fall asleep exhausted”, it’s “cry for 8 minutes, get soothed by mom or dad until calmed down” then repeat.

      Naps: Naps are actually the hardest thing to work on, so you’re in good company. I recommend working on nighttime sleep FIRST for this very reason. If you haven’t already, I would recommend signing up for my 2-hour “Napping Know How” webinar. It’s pretty gosh darn detailed about nap coaching, and gives a more specific description on using timed checks and other methods. Click here to see when the next webinar will be offered. I hope this can help, Krystee! (hugs!)

  79. Hi Heather,

    My 8 week old sleeps okay at night, but we are still having trouble in the day unless she’s in her car seat and we are out for a walk/drive or she’s in my arms.

    She starts her day around 7am, and we follow the eat-play-sleep routine, as outlined above. It rally works for us. My family Dr told us today to keep up with that routine, but the issue comes at the “sleep” part in the daytime. I watch her cues, usually 1-1.5 hrs after she ate (she’s formula fed, and already takes about 5.5oz per bottle! She’s an eating machine!), and I try to lay her down in her crib or playpen. She sometimes makes it about 5-10 mins and then she wakes herself up. I try to soothe her as much as possible without picking her up, but find after 10-15mins she’s crying so hard I feel like I need to calm her down and then she falls asleep in my arms and we start all over.

    At night, she has a bottle around 7/730pm, and at those feeds we put on her pyjamas, maybe have a bath if it’s needed, etc. and then we hold her til around 8/830 and try to lay her down. She’s up around 9/930 for a smaller bottle then goes down usually without a fight til 1-2am (last night was 3am!) But after her 3am bottle, she was awake off & on til 7am, not sleeping for longer than 15-20 mins at a time. She would cry, I would go put her soother back in and rub her tummy. She’d settle but we’d do it all over again 20 mins later.

    My Dr told us today we can start sleep training her, in the day and at night, trying to keep to a routine that looks very similar to the one you’ve outlined above. I guess I’m a little concerned that 8 weeks is too early for CIO (which is what he recommended). He said it worked with his kids, and that if she cries for 1.5-2hrs straight thru a nap, so be it, and get her up for the next feed and try again, unless it’s the middle of the night. If she’s sleeping thru, let her sleep until she wakes up, but always start our day again fresh at 7am, which is her usual wake-up time.

    I guess my questions are:
    1) if she’s really finished a nap after only 30 mins, do we play until the next feedtime if she’s not showing cues of being hungry, or do I feed her as soon as she’s awake again in the day, even if it’s only been 2.5 hrs? (For example)
    2) is she too young to not go in every 15-20 mins if she’s crying to try to soothe her into some sort of nap? I think I’m sort of nervous about letting her cry, I feel likes bad mom when I don’t/”can’t”go to her to calm her down and start crying myself because I just want to hold her/comfort her
    3) at night, she sleeps well for the first “shift” (as my husband and I call it) then is hard to put down the rest of the night, is this when the CIO would happen?
    4) if I have to run errands, etc in the day (we’re moving at the end of June and have lots going on!), do I try to do them in the morning, and if she falls asleep in her car seat while we’re out, do I leave her in it when we get back or try to transition her into her crib for the rest of the nap?
    5) how does this routine stuff work when we do have to be out for the day, with family gatherings, etc? (For example, we have a baby shower in her honour next Saturday afternoon/evening)

    1. Lauren, as for the naps – I would definitely double check that you’re burping her well before bed. That 10-15 minute thing sounds a little like gas to me. Your doctor is right that CIO is usually the fastest way to sleep coach. However, it’s BRUTAL with some kids. I don’t know that many moms who can listen their kids cry for 2 hours! 8 weeks is, to me, a still very young for sleep coaching. I would go with your “mom gut” on this one. I agree with the “don’t wake her up if she’s sleeping” thing, though. 🙂

      1. Yes, if she doesn’t seem hungry. First see if you can get her to go back to sleep, then if not, go ahead and get her up and feed her when she starts showing that she’s hungry again (which will probably be between 2 – 2.5 hours)
      2. You know, Lauren, if she’s crying and she wants comfort – go ahead and give that to her. 🙂 I think the earliest you should start REALLY working on sleep coaching should be 16 weeks, and the “Sweet spot” for sleep coaching is really between 6-8 months (but anytime after is still good too!). This is the time to bond with her, to encourage her, to love her. Nothing you’re doing now can’t be retrained later, so don’t worry about “creating bad habits”. If you can do the drowsy-but-awake put down once a day to practice, great, but right now you’re working on “daytime/nighttime”, getting all the feeds in, and enjoying her sweet little face, cuddling that little thing whenever you think she needs it. 🙂
      3. One thing you could try at night is something called a “cluster feeding”. Basically it means you feed her a few more times in the late afternoon and early evening. No guarantee that will do anything, but you could give it a try. Babies this little could wake as often as every 1.5-2.5 hours at night to try to get their calories in. If you’re not pumping, you may want to pump for at least one bottle a day so your husband can do a nighttime feeding (perhaps the early evening?) so you can get a bigger block of sleep.
      4. I would leave her in the car seat if she’s sleeping when you get home at this age.
      5. Do your best with the routine when you’re out, but know it’s okay if it goes out the window. Some babies handle schedule disruptions just fine…others hate it. Just brace yourself for the possibility of a few rough days afterwards as she tries to adjust back to the “norm”.

      You are both (you and your husband) doing a TERRIFIC job. She is getting lots of food, she is sleeping (even if sporadically!) and it sounds like she’s getting plenty of cuddles. That’s your job right now – those three things. If you want to work on sleep shaping, I would A) read this article’s advice on getting the nursery “sleep happy”. B) try putting her down once a day drowsy but awake (so like a 7 out of 10). If she starts to fuss really bad about that though, don’t push it. There’s plenty of time for that when she gets a bit older.

      If she were mine, I wouldn’t use the CIO approach right now. I’m working with several 5-6 month old babies who clearly still need one feeding at night (and one 10 month old who’s mom just still wants to keep one feeding to help her supply). So don’t feel pressure to drop feedings and make her CIO right now. When you do feel it’s time to sleep coach, there are more gentle ways to help her learn those sleeping skills! 🙂

  80. Hi, my son is 5 wks (yesterday). For the last 3 days he is sleeping from 7:30pm – 6am without waking for feeding. But his naps are horrible 20 mins naps. Max I can get is 30-40 min. Unless I hold him then 1-1 1/2 hrs. He is getting only breast milk. Is this ok? Should I wake him up to feed or just get a bump so my milk supply doesn’t go down. I keep waking up to see if he is ok. So I’m not fully resting. My oldest was colic baby and woke up 3 times a night until 12 mo and slept thru the night w/o eating at 14 mo. So this is all new to me.

    1. Eva, I would definitely run this by your pediatrician. Babies this little should really try to eat every 4-5 hours, so your instincts to wake him are good at this point. Without eating more your milk supply will definitely start to dip. You may also find that his naps approve a little more if you do this. At this very young age, I would just do whatever it takes to get some sleep, making sure that you’re using safe cosleeping guidelines. (Don’t fall asleep with him in a chair or on a sofa – he could slip, get wedged against the arm, and suffocate.)

      After a few more weeks you can start putting him down drowsy but not sleeping – this will also help him learn to self soothe. But for now, feed on demand, sleep on demand, and I would talk to your doctor about his evening eatings. It seems to me that 10.5 hours of sleep (although perhaps wonderful) is too long for a baby this little to go without eating. 🙂 Hang in there friend!

    2. Thank you for your reply. He sleeps in the crib at night. Just the nap I have to hold him. If I don’t then it’s 20 min nap.

    3. You’re welcome Eva! Go ahead and enjoy those snuggles for now. When he gets a little older, you can start getting him used to napping without you. But for now…enjoy it! 🙂

  81. My son is 9 weeks old ( he was 3 weeks early) so i’m not sure if this makes a difference in his actual age.. He likes to sleep all morning and is up for 1+ hours at night after feeding. He was originally sleeping in his playpen for 3-4 hours and then up for 1+ hours in the middle of the night. He doesn’t seem to like his crib at all. We have started putting him in his crib and cannot get him to sleep through the night. He will wake up between 1-2 am and then down again between 3-4am. Up again arond 6-6:30 and then down by 8 and sleeps until 11 am. He is fed both breastmilk and formula. Any suggestions on how to change his sleeping habits to help him sleep through the night and have him be awake in mornings? Any advice or suggestion would be highley appreciated 🙂


    1. Jenn,

      Being premature does make a big difference when it comes to sleeping and reaching milestones. The calender may say he’s 9 weeks, but his brain may only be as developed as a 6 week old. This developmental gap will close eventually (so don’t worry!), but it should be considered when you’re thinking about your baby’s sleep and other milestone achievements.

      Much of what you’ve described is very normal for a 6 week old baby, at this stage you just do whatever you can to get him sleeping (and yourself sleeping). These things will change and adjust as he gets older. (And if it doesn’t, I’m always here to help!) That said, here are some suggestions that may help. Just remember, though, that your baby is too young to sleep coach. Your goal is to sleep shape. It will be important that he feeds and sleeps on demand (when he tells you he’s hungry, not when the clock says) at this age, but you can tweak things (like the nursery) and practice putting him down drowsy-but-awake at least once a day to see how that goes.

      This would also be a good time to start watching and learning his baby cues. You may want to keep a 48 hour feeding/sleeping log to see if you can uncover what his natural rhythms are during the day. I’m giving away a free copy of my Newborn Tracker with the Milestone Marker, if you’re interested. (The Milestone Marker also includes a worksheet to help figure out what the adjusted age for your preemie should be.)

  82. Hi Heather-

    My little man is 11 weeks old. He started sleeping thru the night at 8 week old (9pm-7am). Amazing, right? However, the last few days, he’s been waking at 2am. I’m guessing that he’s hungry, so I feed him and he goes straight back to sleep until 7am. I know he’s capable of making it all night, should I not feed him? I don’t want to make a habit of it! I know it’s a transitional phase for him!! Thoughts? How would you handle it?

    1. Catherine, he’s right at the “growth spurt” stage, so I would continue to give it to him. At this age, I would let him set the pace. We can always do some weaning off and adjusting when he gets a little older. There’s no habit we can fix later on. 🙂 Congrats on such a good sleeper, btw! What a blessing!

  83. Hi there….I’m a first time mummy to a 10 week old baby boy………he eats every 3 hours in the day 4-5 ounces a time…..he’s in bed between 6 and 7 any later us just not suitable for us…..after few attempts at settling him using dummy,and head stroking he goes to sleep…….he can wake up anytime between midnight and 2.30 am yet only ever has 2 ounces no more…..should I try to nit feed him as he never has a good feed in the night?????Is this him not really hungry just wanting to get soothed back to sleep ???? He then drops back off fir another 2.5 hours after this…..it’s so confusing as to what to do for the best…..

    1. Natalie, I think you’re doing everything perfectly. He’s still too little to try to cut back on those night feedings (unless your doctor says he’s ready). So for now, if he wakes up feed him, and then put him back down to sleep. During the day, I would start to practice putting him down drowsy but awake. You’re doing a great job, he sounds very normal and healthy. 🙂

  84. Hi Heather – thanks for your reply! I’m getting better at recognized my baby’s tired signs (I realized that they’re easy to miss, as he goes from playing happily to fussy/overtired very quickly) and it seems about 2-2.25 hours is a good amount for him to be awake. He’s getting pretty good at falling asleep. However, we’re still encountering problems with the 45 minute intruder 🙁 I’ve tried going in to shh/pat him at the 30-35 minute mark, or going in right away when he cries, or going in after 5 minutes or so, but the result is always the same: as soon as I go to the crib, his eyes fly open and his cry escalates. Usually I try to calm him in the crib, sometimes this works and I go out again, but he has never fallen back asleep, always starts crying again. Other times calming in the crib doesn’t work at all and he starts screaming, at which point I pick him up and try to shh/pat while holding him. At this point things get dicey – he seems to have a ‘point of no return’ where I can’t even comfort him anymore. Today we shh/patted for 25 minutes, me shushing over his screams until I was hoarse; then it took another 20 minutes to calm down after I had given up on naptime and taken him into the living room!
    I don’t think he’s just a “chronic short napper” because he will nap happily for 1.5-2 hours in the stroller or baby carrier, and when he wakes after the 45 minutes in the crib, he’s always still tired/grumpy. I just can’t seem to help him back to sleep! Am I making things worse?
    Is it worth letting him be and see if he can cry his way to a longer nap? Or should I get him up after 45 minutes and hope that he will grow out of it? Also, if I settle for the 45 minute naps, should I try giving him more naps (say, 4?)? Or if I put him in the stroller or carrier so that he gets at least one longer nap each day, am I going to undo the progress of getting him to sleep in the crib?

  85. Hi Heather! Thankfully Google sent me your way — I’ve found this entry particularly useful for my 12 week (10 week, corrected for being born early) son. I was wondering if I could get your input on something.

    Following my son’s sleepy signs has led to nap problems this week. I finally gave up trying to force him to stay awake just a little bit longer after each nap and found that I had an extremely happy and well rested baby. Only this week, it’s seemingly backfired with extreme nap resistance and a bizarre schedule. He’s getting between 16-17 hours of sleep a day, I think.

    He sleeps from about 8pm to 7am (with some shushing and patting typically between 4-5:30am… when I tried starting the day around then, he didn’t really care for it), and then shows sleepy signs about an hour after getting up. Back to bed he goes, and he’ll go to sleep with minimal fuss (he’s started crying while getting into his swaddle sack, doesn’t want soothing from me, and calms in the crib for a few minutes before passing out) for 1-2.5 hours. Then he’s up again only for about an hour before glazed eyes/yawns and back down (again, with some fuss) for another hour or so. Then up for an hour, down for an hour. When he wakes up from this 3rd nap, he starts showing sleepy signs again about an hour later. But this nap is met with MUCH protesting… he looks like he’s tired, but then he screams. Yesterday we just went with it and he stayed up (happily) for about 2.5 hours. Then another nap from about 5-6:30/7pm (back to the normal fuss before this nap), bed around 8 or 8:30 when those sleepy signs show up.

    Is it OK for him to be up so long in the afternoons? Once we quit trying to force him to nap after those afternoon sleepy signs, he was a pretty happy kiddo. Should I try forcing him to stay up a little bit more between those earlier naps to try to spread this out? Other than the 4am wake-up, he’s pretty good at night. Or should I just roll with it for the inevitable next 2 weeks until he (likely) changes it all up again? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Laurel, since he’s still so little I would just go back to the “whatever works” side of things. The schedule above was meant as suggestions, but if your baby isn’t following those suggestions…well that’s just fine. Once he gets a bit older (16 weeks) you can start trying to move things around a bit – but you’re right about the “changes is up all again” comment. 🙂

      The most consistent thing about babies at this age is that they are inconsistent. 🙂 Go back to whatever you were doing before, give it a few weeks, and then adjust again (if you feel it’s necessary or his nighttime sleep is being negatively affected). I hope this can help! Let me know if I can do anything else!

  86. Heather,
    I feel trapped by a schedule. I feel like I can never take my daughter (16 weeks) out of the house because I’m so afraid of missing her sleep cues or her missing a nap. For example, she eats at 9:30 and is done by 9:45 and then I have her sit upright (for the reflux) for 15-20 minutes (which I even shorten from the recommended 30-45 minutes because I take into consideration that she’ll be sitting upright in her carrier), by the time we get where we are going, say around 10:15, then we have 20-30 minutes before we need to leave so I get her back in time for her 11:00 nap.
    I think it’s important to get her out of the house and as she gets older I’ll want to take her out even more. Even when she gets older and can stay awake longer (2 hours), I wonder if I’ll still feel as trapped? Will it get easier? I also worry that I’m going to make her high strung from being in such a rigid schedule, instead of relaxed and easy going.
    When does it become possible for her to dictate when she naps instead of me doing it? I struggle with all of this because I want her to be happy and sometimes think that would be to let her do what comes natural for her.

    1. Bridget, firstly thanks so much for subscribing, reading, and then writing me! I haven’t had my coffee yet, but it’s waiting for me, which is an emotional boost. 🙂

      1. If you feel trapped by the schedule, ditch the entire thing. Go for a few weeks without it and test the waters. If she goes back to her previous sleeping schedule, and eats and sleeps well, there’s no need for it. Especially if it’s setting off your Mom Radar. You can always try a looser schedule later on (or not!). That said, it’s normal to feel trapped in the house with a baby. As she gets older and she’s napping less, you WILL have more freedom to do things, but until then things are going to be more home-based than usual. (I can still remember my first “afternoon out” after my youngest dropped her afternoon nap. It was surreal!) Sleep is just as important as nutrition in your baby’s growth and development. How you choose to give her that good sleep is up to you, but it is very important she gets it.

      Also, she should be dictating her naps now – not the clock. The clock is meant more as a “watch her for the signs of sleepiness”, and less as a checkbox to put her to bed, does that make sense?

      2. You are handling it just fine. If you want her to expand that time, try to do a dream feeding around 4:30 for a few days (it’s risky, since if you’re not careful she could stimulate completely awake). Sneak into the room and feed her (no talking, no changing, no lights, no nuthin’) then put her down again. The hope is she will sleep right through the feeding, and since her tummy is full, keep sleeping in.

      3. Regarding the swaddle, if you feel it’s not helpful, I would try leaving it off at night and testing to see what happens.

      4. See if you can’t re-create the feeling of the the lambie inside the crib – with a few well placed items and slanting the crib mattress. Have you seen this post on how to do that? I would try making that transition at night first, and then eventually little by little to naps. If you have a sound or vibrating thing on the lambie, do a day or two of sleeping in it without any of those noises/feelings, first. That way it won’t be such a huge difference (hopefully) from the crib.

  87. Just wanted to say thank for all the tips in the past my daughter now almost 12 weeks is putting herself to sleep at nap times and bedtime fussiness has reduced. So thank you. My question is I’m stuggling with her napping during the day. She will only nap in 30 min periods like a timer on the dot. So she’s only up for about and hour before she starts getting tired again. I’m wondering what I can do to help her sleep longer. I have left her in there for longer times after she’s gotten up tosee if she’ll go back to sleep but by then she’s hungry. I’m feeding her every two hours I’ve tried stretching her a little during the day but she gets quite upset. At feelings sheseems to be quite full when she’s done. Lol I’m only feeding her twice at night like around 1 or 2 and then 4 or 5. She’s gone 11 hours one night with no food which is great so I know she can do it I’m just new to breastfeeding so don’t know how it works. Thanks for the tips.

    1. Sarah, she’s very young, so some things are just going to need more time to get worked out. Be as patient as you can, getting rest any way you can squeeze it in. That said, I’m going to be teaching a webinar on napping called Napping Know-How: Learning to Coach Your Baby Towards Better Daytime Sleep. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, subscribe to the newsletter. I’m KILLING myself to get everything finished up, and I’m going to shove open the registration doors sometime tomorrow LORD WILLING. I’ve had some technical issues that have delayed everything, but I’m really pushing!

  88. Hello Heather! I absolutely love your website. I’m certain that you’re the reason my 10 week old son is such an excellent sleeper!

    I’ve followed a lot of your advice up to this point – dark room, white noise, bedtime routine, he’s never nursed to sleep, etc. He is a great sleeper when it’s night – he typically sleeps 6-7 hours at a stretch the first time, nurses and then will go down for another 3-4. One day a week he’ll have a rough night where he’ll wake 4-5 times, but it’s very rare now.

    The problem I’ve encountered are his naps. Although he goes to sleep easily once I put him in his dark room with white noise and a sleep sack and I shush pat him for a few minutes (I always leave the room when he’s drowsy but awake). He continuously wakes 20-45 minutes into almost every nap of the day, with the exception of maybe one nap per day. He settles if I go in and shush pat for a few minutes, but my question is – what am I doing wrong? Why can he settle himself back to sleep at night, but not during the day? Is it possible that he may only need 3 hours of sleep per day and 10 hours at night? He seems to sleep best at night when he only sleeps 3-4 hours during the day versus the recommended 5, although he is much fussier up until bedtime.

    I must note that he also suffers from pretty severe reflux, but he is on medication for it.

    This is his schedule right now, give or take 30 minutes –

    6am wakeup – diaper, clothes, medication

    630am – nurse, lap time, mat/tummy time

    8am nap (usually 45 minutes)

    845 mat/tummy time, art

    930 nurse, read books

    1030 or 11 nap

    12 or 1230 wakeup – nurse, diaper, mat/tummy time, get ready to run errands

    Now this is where we have an issue – He usually naps for twenty minutes in his carseat or in the stroller while we’re out running errands (which can’t be prevented because I have things that need to be done), and then doesn’t sleep again until 330 or 4pm.

    3pm Nurse

    330-4pm Nap

    430-5pm Wakeup

    7pm begin bedtime routine – bath, infant massage, medication, nurse, sleep sack

    830pm bedtime

    1. Yay Brooke! I’m so glad I’ve been helpful so far! That looks like a pretty good routine, well done! The afternoon nap is almost always the hardest nap of the day, so you’re in good company there. I would suggest this: try to see if you can combine your errands on certain days and then be home the other days. This way you can test and see if he shows any difference in napping and attitude between them.

      Secondly, I’m going to be teaching a webinar class on napping in the next week to 10 days *Fingers crossed* and catnapping is one of the things I’m going to be addressing, since it’s so common. You may want to subscribe so I can notify you (if you’re not already a subscriber) when registration opens for the class. I’m really looking forward to the talk, I think it will be really helpful. 🙂

  89. Hi there, thanks for the tips and encouragement. My baby is 12 weeks, and we started working on sleep last week when he outgrew/fought his swaddle, so we got rid of it and have him in a sleep sack. He was having a lot of trouble falling asleep, and that was when it became apparent that I was inadvertently feeding him to sleep and he didn’t actually know how to do it himself. He also started waking every 2 hours at night, although he used to sleep 5-6 straight. He’s a big guy and seems to have the reserves to not need food at night, we really think its more of a comfort/emotional habit to wake up.

    So after his bedtime routine (bath, diaper change, pajamas, story, feed, lights out), we started putting him in the crib “drowsy but awake”. We also started doing this for naps (three naps a day, at least two at home in the crib). For about a week, we used the “put-down-pick-up” method, where you pick up the baby whenever he’s crying and put him down once he’s calm – but it seemed like he would just get angrier whenever we picked him up and take longer to calm down. Finally two nights ago we decided to go “all in” and not pick him up; instead we check on him every 3-5 minutes as he falls asleep to reassure him. The first time it took 39 minutes, the second time only 17, and last night he fell asleep after 8 minutes and slept from 8:20-4:00AM! We’re excited by the progress and plan to keep going, but have two issues:

    #1: He doesn’t stay asleep for naps. He wakes after about 40 minutes and is very fussy (probably still tired?) If we get him up, he will be fussy/tired again after about an hour. But if we try to get him back to sleep, he continues crying for pretty long (what good is a 1.5 hour nap if he cried for half of it?) While he’s improving on the initial falling asleep, any advice for getting a waking baby back to sleep?
    #2: He’s been very fussy during waking hours. He has always been a very easy, smiley baby, but now he’s often waking up grumpy. Could he be overtired from the short naps? Could he be annoyed with us for the whole sleep training thing? Should we take his change in temperment as a bad sign, or plow on as we’ve been doing? I think I’ve heard him cry more this week than in the past 12 weeks combined, so it’s hard not to think we’re doing something wrong….

    Thanks for all the ongoing posts, and good luck to everyone out there! Last night was my first night sleeping for 8 hours since July and it was AMAZING, so hang in there!

    1. First of all Kristen – you are ROCKING the parent thing! Way to go on trusting your instincts and your knowledge of your son to help problem-solve. That’s just great. 🙂

      #1. There is typically a partial awakening period of the sleep cycle around that time. So it sounds like he’s partially waking, but not going back to sleep. Don’t go in right away, but give him a minute or two to settle back down. If it’s obvious he’s NOT going to settle back, go in and see if you can soothe him back to sleep, without picking him up if you can. If it’s been an hour and he hasn’t fallen asleep, leave the room for a minute (I’d count to make sure), and then go in all smiles “Nap is over!” and then get him up for the day. This makes a distinction that naps are over when mommy decides. Then watch him closely for his next nap window (which could be within 45 minutes).

      #2. My guess is that you may be missing his napping window, since he’s catnapping, and so he’s overtired. For now, I would ditch the routine and just watch him like a hawk after the catnap. Then pounce on that yawner and get him tucked in ASAP, no matter what time it is. Then after a good long nap, you can adjust the routine from there.

      FYI, I’m going to be teaching a webinar on napping, if this is something you think would be helpful, I’ll be discussing the catnapper, and all sorts of other things. If you’re not already, subscribe to my website and I’ll send out a notification when the registration doors open! (I’m really excited about it! It’s going to be informative and entertaining at the same time!)

      So glad that you got some sleep last night! Praying it continues for months and months! 🙂

  90. Hello,
    My son is almost 12 weeks old and has lots of trouble napping during the day sometimes it’s 30mins twice a day but a week ago he was doing 1-2 hours three times a day… I can go on and on about what he does and doesn’t do, but at the end of the day my son will do what he wants that day! No child is the same. Some sleep more, eat more, are crankier and some are the opposite! And yes some methods work for “most” babies “some” of the time, but instead of trying that method and wasting time, read your baby and his needs. Little by little you will know exactly what he needs to be able to sleep For a long nap, or the night! Anything can be posted online and by anyone (no offense to this blogger), if its serious ask a doctor, don’t google it! Lastly, the only thing necessary for ftm’s to remember is that your needs are important too! If you are trying your best with your child, but he doesn’t follow “this schedule” or “that book” or the other lady’s child’s routine, don’t worry or drive yourself crazy, you are doing a great job and all u need is patience! Once a week treat yourself to a few hours or if lucky, the whole day of relaxation, because you deserve it and need to take care of yourself! Children are a blessing but good parents are too! Trust your instinct and intuition, it’s going to be okay 🙂

    1. Roxy, this is definitely a great reminder! (No offense taken. 🙂 ) Every baby is unique, it’s my hope that parents can see these as suggestions to consider and use (or reject) as they see fit. A wonderful comment, thank you so much for sharing it. Parents need to hear other parents give such encouraging words. Thanks so much for taking the time to post it!

  91. I have a 9 week old breastfeeding infant. I believe she is suffering from colic/reflux. Besides the fussiness she sleeps well during the day. Unfortunately anywhere between the times of 8p-11p she likes to wake up and after being fed wants to stay up until 1-3am. I return to work in a little over 3 weeks. My work schedule is 7am-7pm 3x a week. Is there anything I can do to avoid that huge gap of her being so wired? Also she is very picky where she sleeps. She hates the napper in the play yard. She used to sleep in the bouncer thing now she hates it and she currently only sleeps propped on her boppy pillow and 90% of the time on my chest. Is there something else I can find her to sleep on? Is there something I can do to break her out of sleeping on me or is it too late? I just found this site today and I just want to say you guys are so comforting. I catch a lot of heat for her crying and am constantly being told that at 2 months I have spoiled her and no one is going to want to babysit her when I go back to work and you guys give me hope.

    1. Teyana, I’m so glad you’ve been encouraged! Nine weeks is very little, so I wouldn’t try to structure her day TOO much, use the times aboveas guidelines that can help you catch her sleepy cues a little easier. I’m not sure if you’ve seen this, but you could try some of these crib tricks to introduce her to the crib. Also, you may want to have a few “playtimes” in the crib, where you lay her down and then play with her, while she’s inside the crib for 10-15 minutes in the morning and 10-15 minutes in the afternoon. This will help her to learn the crib is a happy place! 🙂

      It’s not too late! You’re doing exactly what you need to be doing at 9 weeks, don’t worry. (hugs!) Try some of those crib tricks for a few days. You can also start working on putting her down to sleep “sleepy but not sleeping” and singing and rubbing her and soothing her while she falls asleep. Also, I would wake her if any naps go over 3 hours. If she sleeps too long in the day, she won’t be reday to go to bed at night. The one exception is the putting to bed at 8pm isn’t considered a “nap”, so you can let her sleep as long as she can after that. Perhaps going in to feed her before she wakes up, at 10:30 and then letting her sleep through the feeding (no lights, talking, unnecessary diaper changes) may help her break that 11pm habit. Hope that can help!

  92. I need help! My baby just hit two months. He’s been eating every 3-4 hours exclusively breastfed. He will nap consistently in between feedings. He has always woken around 3am to feed. In the past two weeks he has been waking at 3am usually feeding for half the time he does in the day before falling asleep. When I put him back down he has been waking every 1.5 hours! Am I doing something wrong?!

    1. Danielle, you’re doing everything perfectly. There is usually a growth spurt around 6 to 8 weeks, that can really screw everything up! He will get hungry more often, triggering some tough nights! .

      When he wakes, try really really hard to get him to get in a full feeding. If he only snacks a little and falls asleep, he’ll be hungry again in no time. Don’t let him suck for 5 minutes and then snooze, and you put him to bed because you’re so tired, you’re hoping “that’s it”. (I was always guilty of that!) Try to keep him just awake enough to completely fill up, but not TOO awake that he won’t go back to sleep. Gentle strokes on the cheek or the bottom of his feet can help you keep that balance. It sounds like he’s not getting completely full (and add that to a possible growth spurt) to help him fall asleep for the next 3-4 hours. See if you can get him to feed just a few minutes more than he did the night before, etc. and then build on that. Right back if that doesn’t make sense!

  93. Oh my goodness! Thank you for such a speedy reply! I really appreciate your time and expertise.

    I tried something a little different last night with pretty good results. (this was before getting your response) I put Sawyer to bed at 730. He went down without any problems. I had been going in to his room to do a dream feed at around 10-1030, but read somewhere that this could perhaps disrupt his sleep cycle. So, last night, I skipped the dream feed and I knew that he would be hungry when he woke up. Well, he woke up at 1230 and seemed to be hungry. He took about 5 ozs and went straight back to bed. He then awoke at 445. I fed him but it was somewhat of a struggle… taking only a few ounces. He then went right back to sleep and stayed asleep until 830. Overall, I’m satisfied with that. I’m a night owl anyway, so 1230 works great for me. 🙂

    As for your questions, Yes, he will fall back asleep almost immediately if I feed him. The 4am feed used to give me a little grief because it would take him about 30 minutes to really settle back down… but since stretching out the feeding times, he goes right back to sleep.

    Thank you again! I really appreciate all of your time.

  94. Hi Heather,
    I stumbled across your blog searching for an answer to getting my 11 week old son back to sleep in the middle of the night. My kiddo is on the EASY schedule (Eat-Activity-Sleep-You time). He does very well. Naps are usually 1 1/2 hours 2-3 times/day with a couple of short catnaps thrown in, to keep me honest. I learned with my first son to ALWAYS put him down while he is still awake, so I have done this since bringing him home from the hospital. He can easily put himself to sleep for naps and at bedtime. He eats every 3 hours during the day. Unfortunately, he continues this lovely schedule throughout the night. For the 1am feeding, he barely takes an ounce or two. I assumed that he is just habitually waking and doesn’t need this feed. I attempted to try the “wake to sleep” method but only managed to be successful in the “wake” part. 🙁 I attempted this for approximately a week. I am able to get him to calm down without picking him up or feeding him but the little guy just won’t go back to sleep and stay asleep. He will sleep for approximately 15 minutes then we start the whole routine over again. This goes on until it is time for the next feeding around 4am. After the 4am feeding, he goes back to sleep immediately. Do you have any suggestions? I have found that putting a pacifier in his mouth is the easiest way to soothe him (he is swaddled) but am hesitant because I don’t want him relying on a sleep prop. Other background info, he is combo breastfed/formula fed and weighs almost 14 lbs. Big, healthy baby that has slept in his crib since the first day. I have read a stack of books on different methods but can’t seem to find the “answer” to this lingering problem. Thank you for taking the time to read over my post. I look forward to your reply…I’m sure I’ll still be awake.

    1. Ashley, I can see your dilemma! Ugh! The first thing that popped in my head is to use that pacifier and don’t feel guilty! 🙂 He needs to suck on something, and the pacifier allows him to do that. (Plus pacifiers have been linked to reducing SIDS risk, which is a definite bonus!) So pop that thing in and don’t worry about a sleeping crutch. A sleep crutch would be him requiring you to nurse him or he can’t fall asleep. The pacifier is a sleeping aid, and you can use it guilt-free.

      At 11 weeks I’m not too surprised that he’s still eating every 3 hours through the night, some babies take longer to drop those middle-of-the-night feedings. I would still give him that 1 am feeding for a few more weeks. Then try to drop that feeding. I would be more confident on the “doesn’t need that feeding” if he were just a tad bit older. It’s very tough to tell at this age.

      Is it possible for you to hold off on dropping that feeding for a few more weeks? If you feed him at 1am will he fall back asleep right away? Or will he do the whole every-15-minute thing regardless whether you fed him or not?

  95. Hi Heather,

    I just started following your schedule for my 10 week old twins this week and it has been awesome for the daytimes!! This was my first week alone with them and I knew I had to implement a sync’d schedule or I would go crazy. Anyway they are responding really well to it in the daytime and are able to go down for a nap sleepy but not asleep every time as I’m paying close attention to their cues. But…for night times it is not going so well. They used to be able to do at least one long stretch in the night. Now it’s been 10pm, 2am and 5am!!! feeds for a couple days. They used to sleep to 6 or 7 am. The 5am feed is killing me. If I sync them (which is logistically hard) it takes 1.5hrs. If I do them back to back (in the scenario where one baby wakes first), it takes 2.5hrs. This includes 30 min pumping afterward and no diaper changes. Obviously doing this at 2am and 5am is killing me!! Any advice?? Help!

    Thx, Claire

    1. Yikes Claire! That’s not what we want!! In this case, Claire, I would perform a test. Go back and do whatever you were doing before for a few days. Then see if that affects their nighttime sleep. (Yes, I’m suggesting you ditch the schedule!) You’ve got to fix the nighttime sleep, or you’ll go batty. We can always work out a daily rhythm later…but you need your sleep! What do you think of that idea? Think it may work?

      You have to walk a delicate line and make sure they’re not over-tired and not NOT tired at the same time. Make sure they’re A) not sleeping longer than 2.5 hours at any nap and B) not sleeping shorter than 45 minutes for any nap. You’ll need them to be ready to sleep at night, but not overtired…it’s a delicate line to walk!

      If they continue to wake at 5am for that last feeding, try to slip in and do a dream feed. Go in just before they normally wake and feed them in the dark. No talking, no diaper changes (unless it’s an emergency), no lights…you want them to sleep right through the feeding. Then put them down again to sleep. The hope here is that they will get over that after two days of this, they will sleep right over the 5am feeding hump and you’ll break that habit. The danger, of course, is that if they do get stimulated at 4:45…you’re day has started.

      If that happens, move everything up. Start looking for sleepy cues at 6-6:30 for the first nap. (And then you also crash!) Does that help at all?

  96. Hi Heather! Thank you again for all the advice! We have been doing better sleeping longer at night however getting to sleep is a monster. My son is now 3 months and will nurse before bed. After he’s been nursing awhile, I will notice him start to get really sleepy so I make sure he isn’t sucking anymore, try to burp him, and then try to put him in bed. (We found out he is a tummy sleeper and since he’s doing great at picking up his head and turning it to both sides, I’m ok placing him on his tummy to sleep.) When I put him to bed he falls asleep for a nanosecond then wakes up full force. He will kick and scream and do the angry fussing. He isn’t crying so i know he’s just fussing. So i will try to shhhs him and get him to calm down but nothing seems to work. 15 mins later it’s obvious he isn’t going to sleep so I will pick him up and he will immediately go for my chest (or my husband’s) So i will let him nurse again and he will for another 15 mins and then go down after another 15 min battle of shhshing and back patting. I don’t know if i’m doing something wrong of if we are messing up allowing him to sleep in our bedroom. But I only see things getting worse before they get better.

    Also we are due to move within the next month. We are in Alaska and the military is moving back down south. It is a 2 week drive and 3 day boat ride. the co sleeper we have will be with us the entire time but i’m worried about his sleeping and napping since we will be spending a good chunk of the day in the vehicle. Any advice?

    1. Firstly, Jessica, a giant thanks and hug for being a military family. I’m personally very thankful for your service and sacrifice.

      Okay, something to try: when he starts showing signs of getting sleepy while you’re nursing him, don’t let him fall asleep. Keep him awake during the entire nursing session. You need to be able to tell that he’s completely full – and since he’s waking up so quickly and nursing again, it looks like he’s not finished. Strip him down to a diaper and wrap him with a blanket, dab his cheeks with a warm washcloth, blow gently on his face….anything to keep him awake during the nursing session. Then after he’s finished eating, rock and burp him and try putting him down again.

      The best advice I can give in “napping on the go” is to make sure you have a baby blanket or something you can put over the top of the car seat to help block out some of the light and commotion. You’ll have to try it though, some babies love it, some babies just get mad they can’t see all the action. You may find your baby will sleep better in the car – do the motion.

      As a rule, however, I would throw out all the books and do whatever you have to do (include nursing to sleep) to help him sleep. You can always work on it again when you get settled. Think “survival”, and then don’t beat yourself up. 🙂

  97. Heather – Our daughter is between 12-13 weeks. We have been trying to put her down between 6:30 and 8 for the last week or so. The best we have had is an 8-10 sleep, so two hours and then she is up until between 1 AM and 2 AM. We give her a bath, quiet down, create a calm, dark, quiet environment with a white noise machine, shush, we lay her down drowsy (and asleep after drowsy doesn’t work), we sing gently. She won’t sleep. When she does finally, it is only for about 4-5 hours and she wakes up to feed then goes back down for 1 1/2 to 3 hours for a total of 5 1/2 to 8 hours. Napping has been okay the last couple of days a total of 2-3 hours throughout the day (before she was only doing 1-2 hours. She is breastfed. It feels like our whole day is centered around getting her to sleep. We walk her for hours, after laying with her trying to soothe her with massage and shushing and then her becoming inconsolable. The room we do her naps and nighttime in has blackout curtains and is quite dark. There is a nightlight so we can see what we are doing. At nap times we draw all of the curtains in the house and shut off lights. We don’t know what to do at this point. We are exhausted as she hasn’t been a good sleeper since the beginning. Any advice?

    1. Adam & Njeri, I know that it feels frustrating that your whole day is centered around getting her to sleep, but you’re doing a great job as a parent. She is still REALLY little, so be patient and hang in there. I would start keeping a log of how she goes through the day – to see if there are any patterns. Use the “Schedule” above as a suggestion on when to look for her cues, then write down what happens so you can see if they are lining up with what she’s showing you. Sounds like napping is doing really well, which should be encouraging! As a breastfed baby, she may need to be up a few times at night to fill that tummy. When you do get up with her at night, work hard to not stimulate her as much as you can. See if you can skip a diaper change (unless she has a bad diaper rash or is about to burst), and don’t talk or anything. Just rock and feed, then burp her while she starts getting sleepy.

      If she gets really fussy and moves into that inconsolable stage when you put her down, go ahead and hold her for a while until you get her to sleep. This age is tricky, because every baby is different and some babies just need a longer time of cuddling before they’re ready to start the Sleep Shuffle. Hang in there. I would work on helping her get in a complete feeding before bedtime. No breastfeeding to sleep if you can all help it. Help her stay awake during the breastfeeding, then do whatever you need to do to help her sleep. Then we can move to the next stage as she gets older and stronger. Things will improve!

  98. Hi, my DD is 6 weeks but her sleep patterns have really changed. She only sleeps well between 1pm and 7pm, i give her a bath around this time as well as a massage but she will only sleep for 30 minute intervals until 2am when she will sleep for 4 hours then wake up to feed. She also wiggles, moans and grunts herself awake when i put her down.

    1. I would try to do something called a cluster feeding between 5 and 7 and see if that helps. Feed her at 5pm, then again at 6:30 or 7pm, and then again at 8:30 or 9, and then let her go and see how long she sleeps. Also, I would make sure she’s not napping for more than 3 hours during the day, otherwise she’ll have a hard time sleeping for you at night. Give those things a try and see what happens. 🙂

  99. Hi there!

    I have really enjoyed reading your site! You are very good at breaking things done and making these puzzles of little creatures make a bit more sense, so thank you 🙂
    But I’m having some new sleeping problems that I am wondering if you could help me troubleshoot!!

    So my baby is now just about 12 weeks(next Tuesday)…when we first brought baby home baby was sleeping through the night…(wowee)…then in the past few weeks or so he started to get up once typically around 4am in which I would feed him. My little guy has not always been the best napper so the other day I up and decided that he needed to get on a better routine that included an earlier bed time (from 9 to 7:30) consistent napping (2-3/day) in hopes that he would start sleeping through the night and not require that 1 feed…so I turned to the Baby Whisperer book and tried the dream feed…well let’s just say all that is going through my head now is “what did I do!?!?!?”. His sleep has now been a mess getting up every 1-2 hours!!! So last night I eliminated the dream feed and did what we normally do. his naps have been abit better…last night I got him to bed at 8 :30 as we were unable to get home for the 7:30 mark. So I fed him then put him to sleep around 8:30…he woke up at 1am…we tried to calm him but he wouldnt…so I fed him…really confused as im hoping I’m not developing new habits…overall my little guy falls asleep well on his own when he is calmed for bedtime…naps are getting a wee bit better but now he’s waking up more in the night…I did finally get a noisemaker that doesn’t shut off which is a godsend…any ideas!? Could he be going through his growth spurt early!? Is he getting confused!?

    1. Wow Kylie! That’s really interesting about the dreamfeed…never heard of that response. Your baby is an original! 🙂 Just a good reminder that every baby is a unique little person with unique tastes and preferences!

      My advice is to “survive” during the day, doing your best to get him to nap however you can, and concentrate on his nighttime sleep first. At 12 weeks, (assuming he wasn’t a preemie) he should be good to go all night without feeding. Have you seen my article on the Sleep Shuffle? I would start going through those steps at night as best as you can. Give it a solid 4-5 days and see if anything improves. My guess is that he could be a little confused or perhaps gotten into the wrong sort of rhythm. The Shuffle will help you gently correct those.

      As for napping, I’m going to be teaching a webinar on that topic in a few weeks. You may find it helpful. You can sign up for me to email you when registration begins inside this article on stress relief. (Good sleep is a big help with stress relief!!)

      BTW, way to go on “ditching the book” and going with your gut. As much advice as people can give, it’s no substitute for the “on the ground” knowledge of parents and child!

  100. we started a variation of the sleep shuffle last night. we are in a one bedroom apartment at the moment and so he is sleeping in our room next to our bed in one of those cosleeping bassinet things. I have banned him from our bed except for his before bed meal and the middle of the night feeding if absolutely needed. last night went ok for the most part. i laid him down at 830, he cried, i shhhed, he passed out. Until 11 he cried i shhhhed he past out. Then 2 am hit. 40 mins of the crying/shhhing wasn’t working out so I did a hunger test and he latched and ate for 30 mins. then he slept until 6am. yay!! Oh the small victories. Here’s to attempting naps today. His morning nap didn’t really happen. I put him down sleepy and he woke up instantly. How long should I do the shhhing? if he’s fussing the whole 1.5 hours like he did, do we just call it quits and skip that nap in order to try and keep the other naps on track? We should be allowed to hibernate in order to prepare for the sleep deprivation.

  101. thank you so much for this blog! it has helped tremendously! my son is 12 weeks and won’t sleep unless he’s rocked or nursed. the moment he touches the sheet he’s up and fussing. we’ve tried a pack and play in our room to a co sleeper next to the bed but as we go through the night he ends up sleeping with us in bed. He likes to be on his side next to me. for the last couple of days he has been waking every hour and wanting to nurse. we’ve tried shhhing him back to sleep but he starts the rooting and gumming my husband like a toothless TRex. I read about the other moms that have their babies sleeping through the night or for more than 5 hours at a time and all i can do is pray that this too shall pass. help! Please?

    1. I’m so thankful to hear that Jessica! I don’t think he’s hungry when he wakes, unless he’s teething or sick, that little guy is very able to sleep all night without waking. My guess is that he’s stuck in the “partial wakening” part of the sleep cycle, and hasn’t learned how to get past it without sucking. The little man will need to learn how to self-soothe, or it’s going to be a rough few months. The good news is that there is a way to gently teach this.

      1. You can certainly continue to co-sleep if you wish, but I’ve found parents and babies past a certain age sleep better if they’re not waking each other up all night. I’m sure there are exceptions to this, but I wanted to mention it anyway. If you choose to start putting him in a crib, here are some suggestions on how to adjust the crib safely to meet his sleeping preferences. For example, I show how to make the “U” shape with a towel, I would just adjust that to a line under the crib sheet, so he’s propped up on his side a little. (Does that make sense?)

      2. This is a great time to start the Sleep Shuffle with him. It’s a gentle way of helping him to learn to self-soothe past that hiccup in his sleeping cycle. You provide your presence, voice, and occasional touch to comfort him as he learns how to get over that bump and fall back asleep on his own.

      Try these things, Jessica, and let me know how it goes! This doesn’t have to be forever. You can make small steps that can make a big difference later on. 🙂

  102. Hi! As a new mom would live your thoughts. My 9 week old son is a great daytime napper (averages 1.5 hrs) and overall very happy baby, but since birth has rarely slept over 2 hours at night without waking. He is exclusively BF and is feeding every three hours so is not waking because he is hungry. He is on a flexible routine (eat, activity, sleep) and naps every 1-2 hrs when I see the cues, but would love any advice on why he may be waking so frequently at night and if you have any advice for extending his nighttime intervals. We put him down when drowsy but awake for naps and bedtime and he sleeps in his crib- so hopefully off to a good start- but a bit worried that we aren’t seeing improvements on the length of his nighttime wakings. Thank you!

    1. It sounds like you are off to a great start Sarah! I would slowly start to try the Sleep Shuffle.. Normally I recommend waiting a few more weeks, but if you think he’s ready, it doesn’t hurt to try. He’s right on the cusp, but at 9 weeks he definitely able to go more than 2 hours at night without waking.

  103. This is fantastic advice for new moms! I am a big believer in baby”routines” aka schedules. I found that putting the baby down sleepy but not asleep was one of the best tips for helping my babies to sleep through the night. It is amazing how putting the baby down for his last feeding at midnight when about 6 weeks old or so and getting that longer stretch of sleep, eventually to 6 am really works. As you say, as the the baby gets older he can be put down a bit early as the weeks go by. This can have your baby sleeping from 7 pm til 6 am and mom feeling great too! Terrific advice in a terrific format.

  104. Hi there- I really like your schedule and started to try it… but it didn’t work 🙁
    My baby is 8 weeks old and just cannot stay up that long after feedings. I’ve tried so hard but she gets to fussy and basically begs to go back to sleep after about 15-20 min (if that) of play time. She does a great job at first- kicks, does tummy time, bats at toys on her playmat, etc… but it doesn’t last very long. I’ve tried the swing (HATES it), walking her around in her stroller inside (it was -15 degrees outside today), and anything besides just playing, singing, talking etc. She’s just wanting to sleep more. She eats every three hours- and usually is back down to sleep after an hour to an hour and a half- including feeding, changing, playing. She doesn’t sleep a long time (maybe an hour to an hour 1/2, but takes more than three naps. Nights are getting better- but not ideal- she can be very fussy from 9-11ish- won’t go down unless she’s already asleep- and tends to wake right up after we put her in her bassinet- crying. Once she’s down, she goes from 11 to 2 and then 3 to 6:30ish… She was born at 38 weeks so I was full-term, but she was very little- 4 lbs 11 ounces. She’s now 8 lbs, but I know that is still little for an 8 week old. Would this be normal? Any suggestions for keeping her up longer during the day? I’m just not into letting her cry if she really just wants to sleep! Thanks for the input!

    1. Sarah, since she was on the cusp of premature and so tiny, I would assume that she’s 2-3 weeks younger than she really is. So instead of being 8 weeks old, she’s really only 6 weeks. This way you won’t have expectations and assumptions she physically can’t fulfill. Using that new adjusted age of 6 weeks, your description makes total sense. I would use these suggestions for newborns instead for the next 4 weeks, and when she’s 10 weeks (really 12 weeks) then start using the schedule in this article. Try that and see if it helps!

  105. Came across your website while looking for some sleep solutions for my 8 week old daughter. We are having a terrible time getting her down in the evenings. She doesn’t have a schedule during the day and likes to be put to sleep in my arms with me patting her butt when ever she’s tired. I have watched and she does get tired around an hour after she’s awake. As soon as she starts yawning I try to take her to her room and get her sleeping then put her down. Or prob is that she will only stay asleep for a few min then cry. Ill let her cry for 10 min go soothe her then lay her back down, she sleeps a few min then the process is repeated until its time to feed her again. Needless to say she’s napping very little during the day which by 6 or 7 she’s super tired. I at a loss at when to put her down for the night. She’s gone 6 hour stretches before at night but not consecutively. I’m thinking earlier like 7 or 730 because she gets over tired at that point and it takes me at time 3 hours to get her to bed because she’s waking every 10 min wanting me to put her back to sleep. I only swaddle her at night and am wondering if it would help during the day although since she doesn’t take a paci she likes to suck on her hand at points. We use a good sound machine for all sleeping times. I know there’s multiple problems we need to work on I just don’t know where to start. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for all your tips and advice. 🙂

    1. Sarah, the good news is that she sounds very much like an 8 week old. 🙂 I think you’re instincts are perfect about the naps. I would make sure she’s completely finished eating before you let her sleep. Keep her awake throughout the entire feeding so you are confident she’s done eating, and not just falling asleep. Strip her down to a diaper and wrap her in a blanket, blow gently on her face, use a warm washcloth…anything to keep her awake until she’s finished eating. I think a swaddle is a good idea for naps. Start with those two things: make sure she’s completely full, and not snoozing at the breast, and swaddle her for naps. Then let me know how that goes and if you see any changes. Then we’ll come up with the next step. Hang in there, Sarah, things will get better!

  106. Hi
    Thanks for the article and I love reading all the posts and your response. So, my 10 week old was sleeping consistently from 7p-2/3 am then right back to bed and up around 5-6 for feed and then up for day around 7/8am. Now…..he will go down around 8 pm (with lots of help) and up at midnight. I have tried not taking him out of crib and using acifier but he seems to really want to feed. The real problem is from then on, he will not go down! He may sleep in crib for 15 min but wakes up super agitated, the only thing to keep him asleep is if he’s on my chest. I don’t want to start a bad habit but it’s the only way for both of us to get any good sleep.
    He naps for about 30-45 in a.m. About an hour around noon (on our walk) and afternoon nap just depends…….
    Thnks for your advice

    1. Kim, I’m wondering if he’s getting overtired. Have you tried putting him down for a morning nap around 9-10am? See if you can catch him earlier in the day for a nap. It sounds like he’s getting too tired at night, and so is having a hard time falling back asleep. Try the earlier nap, and space out two other naps in the early afternoon and then around 4:30. That may help you with the midnight issue. If that doesn’t work, let me know and we’ll go to Plan B. 🙂

  107. My baby is just turning 3 months old. She was doing somewhat good sleeping and that changed over night! She was getting a bath 630-7 ish. Bottle after then bed about 730-8 ish. Get a bottle at 11 before we went to bed and sleep on and off till 530-6 ish. Two days ago she went to sleep and woke up at 9 pm and hasn’t been regular since. She’s super fussy and won’t go back to sleep for more than an hour or so at night. Has anyone ever delt with this kind of change?? I know she has been teething and i gave her Tylenol before bed also. I don’t know what else to do I feel like I’m going to lose my mind! It was hard enough to get her on somewhat a schedule and now this! Please help FTM!!!!! :-/

    1. Sarah, this is prime “growth spurt” time. This will get better, but it’s a pain in the tushie to get through. First of all, make sure she is completely done eating. It’s very common for babies going through a growth spurt to eat more than normal. Just in case it’s teething, have you tried these other home remedies? Finally, I would start working through the Sleep Shuffle when she wakes up at 9pm, soothing her without picking her up and getting her to go back to sleep on her own. It may take a while, but it’s definitely something to work towards! Try that and let me know if we need to brainstorm a new plan. 🙂

  108. Hi Heather, Happy New Year! My 11 week old baby has begun sleeping well – she goes down at 7:00pm, up at 3:00am, and then goes back down until about 6am. In your opinion, when do you think we should be dropping the 3:00am feeding? Is she old enough? She’s got good weight on her; about 14 pounds, so I don’t think she needs the calories. How would you recommend us to wean her off that early morning feed? I go back to work in 2 weeks, and would love to be able to drop the 3am!
    Thank you!

  109. Heather, my third daughter just turned eight weeks and I am having a hard time getting her to sleep during the day and at night. I sleep trained my other daughter but this baby is harder for a number of reasons. I have two other daughters who are just so excited to have a little sister…I think they are over stimulating her when they are home. Naps sometimes happen but often they are short since she still startles and either gas or her sticky boogers wake her. I am running a fan and a humidifier in the room and she has a mobile that used to turn on lay her under and walk out…she used to take naps like a champ. Nights are are tough too. She usually has a meltdown and a fitful nursing session after a bath and getting a massage. I try and put her down between 730 and 830….sometimes she will go down and sleep til 12 or130 am. Then she is up again around 4 or 530 and then usually sleeps til 8/830. But many times she isbgruntingband groaning and restless most of the night. I have given her gas drops but she is in a bassinet next to my bed. Am I jumping up to get her to early? I have seen her sleep soundly in her car seat. We could have a war and she wouldn’t wake up. We are on holiday break right now. Will this get better in a few weeks? When my other two go back to school will she nap? I feel like I have no idea whAt I am doing even though this is my third one…

    1. Jamie! A fellow three-daughters mother! *highfive* Is your husband as terrified about puberty as mine? hehehe Honestly, that third baby totally kicked my butt. It was a toughie for sure. Have you seen my shameful shoplifting story? You may find it encouraging. 🙂 Isabella would be nearly inconsolable from 7-8:30, crying and crying. I think it had a lot to do from disrupted sleep during the day. We called it “the witching hour”. Getting her to bed was a challenge for several months until she got older and we got into a better daily swing.

      Here are some thoughts: 1. Do you have a noisemaker in the nursery/sleeping area? That may help with “Excited sisters”.

      2. You may want to keep a food log. It sounds like she’s reacting to something and her tummy is upset. Or you could cut out dairy for a few weeks and see if you notice a change. Have you tried gripe water? I think if we can solve her upset tummy her sleeping would improve. Does she seem constipated?

      3. You may want to consider moving her to the crib soon. I found that around 8 weeks I would accidentally wake the girls as they went through their sleep cycles. They would start to go through the “partial awakening” part of the cycle, and I would jump the gun and think “she’s up and ready to eat”. I’m a light sleeper, so we found moving them helped with the wake ups, since I wasn’t there to pounce. Something to try!

      I know what you mean about “not knowing what you’re doing even though this is your third”. My kids are 3 years apart, and everytime I had another one I had to relearn everything again. In fact, that’s how I started writing online back in 2007 – I had just had my 2nd and was trying to relearn everything again! 🙂

  110. Heather,
    I have a 10 week old. He struggled with acid reflux but it’s now under control. He is feeding around the clock every 3-3.5 hours. With the exception that usually once at night (early evening like 7ish) he will have a 4.5-5 hour time between feeds. He wakes for the day between 6:30-7 am and feeds around 9 am. I try to follow the eat play sleep model but in the am he needs his medicine 30 minutes before his feed at minimum. During the day I’m placing him in his swing to nap…. Night time he’s in his crib. I’m worried I’m creating a monster by not having him nap in his crib…and not helping him learn that night is sleep time…..
    How can I extend his feeds at night? What should I do about napping during the day? Do I wake him if he naps longer than 2 hours during the day?
    I feel lost and beyond exhausted. Any recommendations are really appreciated.

    1. Lisa, if you’re worried about the swing napping, I would take the morning nap (which is usually the easiest) and try putting him in the crib for that one and see how it goes. Just for a few days. As for the sleeping, it’s very normal for him to feed every 3-3.5 hours during the day. At night, I would go in and just sit with him and see if you can get him to fall asleep without feeding at all. He’s right at the cusp between being able to make it all night, and needing to eat. If he’s not finishing his bottle (or the nursing time) during the night, it could be that he’s waking out of habit and it’s time to start the Sleep Shuffle.

      Btw, just a little “Secret Heads Up”: I’m working on a webinar that is a “nap training know-how” lesson I’ll do on the phone with whoever is interested. I haven’t even named it yet, but I’m working on the outline and everything, and thought mentioning it may be helpful. So watch for an announcement on this napping webinar soon. 🙂 The webinar will be later this month.

  111. I have an 10 wk old who was doing really well with night sleep, 5-6hrs at the start, and has since gone backwards. She is now waking every 3hrs or less. We feed her a bottle around 7pm and she takes 4-5oz so I know she is full. My husband puts her down when she is done eating, sometimes still a little awake, and she will settle herself to sleep. She wakes up every 3hrs or so and cries out. I always go to her and try to nurse her but it seems she isn’t always that hungry and is back to sleep in 5 min or so sometimes. Is she just toying with me and not really hungry every time? Should I try not to feed her everytime she wakes? Thanks!

    1. Grace – that age is notorious for growth spurts (which ruin all your good previous efforts!) I would start working through the Sleep Shuffle at night to get her used to going to sleep without being nursed. Give that a try for 4-5 days and then let me know if we need to adjust!

  112. Hi Heather,
    My LO is 11 weeks old and not sleeping more than 3 hours at night and wasn’t taking naps during the day or only if we went on a walk or car. I finally found your site and the “schedule ” two days ago and started to put him in his room during his naps instead of staying in the living room but he is not sleeping more than 30-35 minutes. What can I do to make him sleep longer ? And also is it normal he is not sleeping at night ? I give him a bath around 5:30-6:00pm, he falls asleep at 7:00pm and sleeps until 10:00pm. Wakes up at 1:00am-4:00am and after that every hours until 8:00am. Any suggestions on how I can make him sleep longer at night or at least after 5:00am.. We do breasmilk and formula. We usually do formula at night. Thanks

    1. Marie, I think you’ve started down a good path! Firstly, make sure you’re not making any of these sleeping mistakes. Especially the ones about making the nursery a sleep happy place. Then start working through the Sleep Shuffle at night. Once you’ve got his nighttime sleep more stable, we can work on the napping issue. Try those things, and then let me know if we need another plan. 🙂

  113. Heather,
    Again I appreciate you taking time out of your day to respond to my questions! I promise this is my last question (s). Well as per your recommendation I got the Kim West’s book and am diving into it. Regarding your #1, I have been trying to lay him down awake but sleepy starting at bedtime and have seen small improvements- mainly with me! I feel a little more empowered knowing that a little bit of fussing doesn’t make me a bad parent and i can see that he fusses with a purpose! I was so afraid to have him even whimper before that I prevented it, hence the sleep crutches!That being said I was hoping for a little advice regarding these strategies. The first night after eat,book,song-there was 15 -30 minutes of fussing and intermittent full cries. I did not pick him up just sat soothing (earplugs) some patting. He did fall asleep on his own- first time ever! I was amazed! 10pm. The issue I had was that he woke up 30 minutes later crying. I tried again the same process. He did eventually go back to sleep with a little more patting. He did not sleep long again (1.5 hours) At this point he didn’t seem to calm down and i decided to pick him up to feed him ( This is where I don’t know if I went wrong but he fed rigorously… then again he doesn’t usually turn down food.. so
    confusing) He finally slept from 1am -7am. I was really surprised and happy to see immediate progress :). The next night was not as successful. There was a wakeup after 10 bed at 11pm again then again at 3:30 and again at 6:30. (I fed him at 3:30.) This is where it gets tough. Im not as strong in the middle of the night with sticking to it and again I start thinking/wondering if he is hungry even though I have seen him sleep longer stretches- or just protesting after waking up from a transition.
    How long is too long to try the “not picking up”. I start losing faith that it is working and start doubting myself because his cries say “pick me up”. I start worrying about the crying.Is that normal?
    Also In Kim’s book it seems she says do not pick up or feed if possible. To only feed once between bedtime and morning- maybe that is for 4-6 months?
    He is almost three months and a big healthy boy. I know you may not have answers to these questions ultimately but perhaps can give some encouragement that I am on the right track or that I should be more rigid with not feeding at the am wake ups.
    Thanks Heather

    1. Firstly, you ARE on the right track. 🙂 Some days it will seem like you took 2 steps back, but in the bigger scheme, there are little improvements that will eventually lead you down the sleepy path. 🙂 My initial guess is that he’s still hungry when you put him down – so double check that he is completely refusing the bottle/breast before you lay him down. Kim’s book is very helpful – but it’s also written in generalities, because it’s not one-on-one. So you should feel guilty if you change things up once in a while, as long as you are sticking with the greater principles of helping him self soothe as much as possible. (That’s my disclaimer for what I’m about to say…)

      If he is eating like a horse in that middle-of the-night feeding, than he NEEDS that food, so you should start mentally preparing yourself for that feeding every night. If he was 6 months, I’d say he’s toying with you and can sleep through just fine, but 12 weeks…? It could be his a growing healthy boy who’s really hungry! Keep letting him have that feeding, as long as he’s really eating and not just sipping for a minute or two before falling asleep.

      I would say “pick up” if he’s getting so hysterical that you feel NOT picking him up is going get him so worked up he won’t sleep for hours. Then walk him, calm him down so he’s not doing the “shudder cry” thing. Loving on that little guy for little bit. Then lay him back down. He’ll probably protest, but that’s okay because you’re in charge.

      If you see that your presence is making him ANGRIER, step out of the room for 5 minutes and see what happens. My brother and SIL did that, and they found out their little girl was an introvert and was angry because they wouldn’t leave. She calmed down and slept within a few minutes. Babies. So complex!

      Don’t let these hiccups shake up your confidence. You are a good mother. He is a loved little boy. You will try things and they’ll work great, and you will try things and they won’t. Just keep at it. And of course, let me know how it goes. In the middle of the night, wake with confidence that you’re going to feed him and see how he eats, then put him down again.

      One thing that always helped me with my crying babes, was to go through my checklist of reasons why they could be crying and mentally check them off. If I’ve taken care of the ones I can fix, I would sit back and know that my little girls are safe, healthy, and they know they are loved. This is just “I’m annoyed with your plan mom” cries that I would tell myself “I can outlast this.”

    2. Heather,
      Thank you for replying. It has been a busy month, what with the holidays and so on so I didn’t get a chance to reply. Since your last message things have been getting progressively easier and I have been getting progressively more confident (sometimes thats half the battle right?) I want to thank you for all the advice and encouragement. Since reading your comments and other posts I feel equipped and am much more informed about this sleep ‘thang. I kept with that 1 am feeding and suddenly My boy is just started sleeping through it one day and then the next night and the next etc. Now he sleeps from 10 or 11pm to 6 or 7. Now to get him to bed a bit earlier! That has been another challenge.
      I am so happy he is getting more sleep (and me too) I feel like a new woman! We are heading down the ‘sleepy path’ as you say with more success than before. Of course the holidays shook things up a bit and he is a bit harder to put down (more /longer protesting) but all in all I feel we are in the RIGHT TRACK! The first nap is established as well. The next ones are a bit inconsistent in that sometimes they are 45 mins and other times 2.5 hours…I don’t know…. wake time issue? But I have high hopes that he will be getting the sleep he needs and become more consistent as we move forward. Yey! Thanks again soo much, I will continue to enjoy your writings.

    3. Hooray Jo! I’m so glad to hear that! It is very normal for the afternoon nap to be more challenging than the morning nap. But it sounds like you’re being flexibly consistent. 🙂 So happy to hear that you’re getting more rest, it makes such a big difference!

    1. They are worth trying, Ashley! Those look really cool – I especially like the waterproof option and the velcro to keep them from getting pulled off. Another option is to get a straight-jacket swaddler like the Woombie. Hopefully one of those will work!

  114. They were born at 38 weeks…I will try that and read the above suggested. And I will be in touch with you. Thank you.

    Like last night they ate stayed awake for close to 2 hours and we put them down, slept for an hour and woke up crying and wouldn’t go back to sleep. Finally got them back to sleep and would only sleep 20 minutes wake back up and cry…finally went to sleep and slept till late this morning. I wish I would had found your site months ago lol, but so happy I found it now!!

  115. Hello! My twin girls are 11 weeks and do pretty well and may have a day or two each week where they wont sleep…will cry for several hours or just not sleep at night and sometimes during the day. My question is, above you said let them nap for 1.5 hours well they nap about 3.5-4 hours during the day and eat. I can keep them awake after for the longest is an hour…sometimes after a rough night they will fall asleep right after eating and I am unable to play with them like you have above. Some night they will lay in their crib and fall asleep fine other they will just scream and scream no matter what we do. Any help would be great!

    1. Krystee, where they born prematurely? If so, you have to find their adjusted age (how old their brain thinks they are) to determine what they should (or should not) be doing. (I teach parents the formula to do that in my Milestone Marker, btw.) Secondly, have you seen my article on the Sleep Shuffle? That could help you calm them at night.

      Try to keep them up a little longer during the day in between naps. Start with a simple goal of 10 minutes, keeping them awake with strokes, or even stripping them to the diaper and wrapping them with a warm blanket. Try that for a few days, and then follow the Shuffle steps. If it doesn’t work, we’ll work out another plan. Hang in there, it will get better

  116. I have a now 11 week old DD. A few weeks ago she would nap fine after her mid-morning bottle but that h for some reason has changed. I have stopped nursing her but find she has become obsessed with her soother now when tired. This is my current regime for naps. About an hour after we wake she seems tired (ie yawning) so I bring her to her room (which is dark with a fan for noise). I swaddle sing or hum until she seems drowsy and then down, meanwhile she has the soother in her mouth. She drifts off and spits soother out but wakes 20-45 min later for the soother. I sometimes wait to replace it hoping she will fall back to sleep or go back in and give it to her and so on until I get fed up and decide she isn’t sleeping well and take her downstairs. So I feel I need to get rid of the soother cause it wakes her but understand babies need to suck. Anyways do you have any advise as to what I should do about the soother ? She gets quite upset/ fussy if we do t give it to her. And what to replace the soother with?

    1. Instead of replacing the soother, Danielle, I would try to figure out ways to keep the darn thing in place. (Weaning the soother at 11 weeks is possible, but really REALLY hard.) With Elena, I would tuck the edge of the binky slightly under her swaddle blanket to hold it in place after she’s fallen asleep. Another option is to use one of these stuffed-animal soothers that can sit on her chest and hold the soother in place. Plus, those are a lot easier for a child to grab and put back inside their mouth. Do either of those seem like an option? or do we need to keep brainstorming?

  117. Hi Heather,

    My 6-week old seems to be doing pretty well according to your guidelines and is overall a very happy baby with just one exception. For the last several weeks he consistently wakes up at 4:30 or 5 a.m. He goes down for bed around 10 p.m. and usually wakes up around 2:30 to eat. I am quite confident he is not hungry at this time, so I do not feed him when he wakes at 4:30 but he is still waking up every day at this time. (He is a healthy baby and plenty big for his age…no issues with weight gain, etc.) Is there any way to break this habit? Am I wrong to try to break this wake up time? Thank you for your help!

    1. Laura, if he’s not crying, I would let him “play” in his crib until you declare it “up time”. Another option is something called “dreamfeeding”. It’s when you wake yourself up at around 4:15, before he usually wakes up, sneak in there and feed him when he’s pretty much still sleeping, and then put him down again. No diaper changes. No talking. No lights. Nothing. This helps “fill his tank” while he’s still sleeping and helps him learn to sleep later.

      I did this with all three of my kids and they are ALL late, great sleepers. That said…it is also risky. If you rouse him, he may decide he’s up for the day. Still, I would risk it for a few days and see if after the second or third day he skips that 4:30 wakeup. Just remember that you want to move him and stimulate him as little as possible, so he dreams and sleeps through the whole thing.

      Give that a try and see if it helps! 🙂

  118. Hi! I never post things but I really like your site and your insight as your approach and views seem to match mine. I’m a new mom to a 10 week old boy. I have read and used some of your tricks in posts about do’s, don’t etc.. It has been SO helpful. I have decent days/nights and then terrible ones where I feel so discouraged. What I am focusing on right now is Laying him down semi-awake and have had ZERO success. I have been trying for a couple weeks and will try at least once a day and give up after a few attempts to hours of attempts-at which point I just have to nurse , bounce etc to sleep. (Day and nighttime, although he will nap in the swing but im tryjng not to make it a habit) I don’t know how to fix this not to mention when he does go to sleep he may wake up 30 mins later or 3 hours – it’s never consistent. My sleep deprivation mixed with my determination is making me go crazy and become obsessed with what I can change?, do I feed him ? Do I not feed and just sooth to sleep ? crib or not crib? Is he overtired? As you can see I’m over thinking everything ! Do you have any tips for this situation? Should I keep trying or try a little later and just try to so what (sortof)works? :S Thanks!!

    1. Jo, thanks so much for reading and commenting! I’m glad you’ve found things helpful so far. I’d love to keep that track record going, so let’s see what we can do about this sleeping issue. Things that are popping off in my brain…

      1. Have you tried these crib tricks?
      2. Look over this list of reasons baby cry and tweak a few of those.
      3. The inconsistent naptimes at this age are pretty common – he’s trying to self soothe and some days he does better than others. It will improve with time. (Promise.)
      4. Have you introduced him to a lovey? A little stuffed animal or something that he can associate with you, and can help him go back to sleep when his sleep cycles rotate. Pick something cuddly that he can hold, and then use it when you rock him, let him hold it while you feed him, carry it with him in the car seat, etc. Then tuck it under the mattress (if it’s a blanket) and let him touch the fringe while he’s sleeping, so he can’t pull it over his face but can still smell and feel it.

      At this point, Jo, he’s still pretty little. So I would ditch all the rules and work ONLY on the sleepy-to-bed thing. As for cues, at this age you should start to see a pattern of sleep/eat/play/sleep/eat/play every 2-3 hours. Start writing down on a piece of paper the times you’re doing things. After a few days, you may start to see a pattern. Start there, Jo, and let me know how it goes!

    2. Thank you so much for responding! I really appreciate you taking the time to help. I have looked over the posts you entered and have gotten some tips off those. I am glad that you said that he is still little and it will still take some time because I was beginning to feel like a failure for not getting it to work right away. I like the idea of the lovey and I started with that right away. He refuses a pacifier unfortunately. I have made sure that his room is dark and that the crib is comfortable by utilizing some of your suggestions. I have him on a bit of a schedule now which seems to be working really well. I now know when he is tired/hungry/…etc. I think I’m experiencing two major issues : him wanting to nurse sleep and not being able to go down drowsy and fall sleep on his own. [They maybe one in the same thing]. The main issue I have is when it comes to putting him down to sleep. I have a bedtime routine that seems to work with winding down but despite my efforts to disassociate nursing with sleep,[I begin with nursing and end with singing and rocking] He still will kick up a fuss to nurse even after he may have just nursed 30 minutes ago or 15 minutes ago because from what it looks like he wants to nurse so that he can fall asleep. I have tried putting him down drowsy every nap and every that bedtime with little to no luck. As soon as I lay him down good and sleepy his eyes open right up as if to fight the sleepiness and fight being placed in a crib by himself. Here is what I’ve been trying after he wakes up and starts to Fuss:
      1.Picking him up and putting him down several times until 30-40 minutes have gone by. At this point I feel as though it’s not going to work and begin to sleep to avoid keeping him awake too long.
      2. I wait and let him fuss for 15 minutes before going in reassuring him and going back out. I will do this for approx 30-45 minutes.
      3. Shush- Pat until he falls asleep in his crib.
      Most of the time none of these work in terms of him falling asleep on his own. I have had a little bit of success with the shush -pat because it seems as though he just gets so tired that he finally falls asleep. If I try these methods for too long it seems he gets very very angry and then just fights and fights. in these moments nothing will seem to calm him until he nurses. There are times where I can just rock or bounce him and he will get drowsy again and falls asleep but he will often wake up 10-30 mins later:(
      I suspect he’s using me as a pacifier. I also suspect he may be overtired. I also believe that he prefers a swing as he can get more sleep when sleeping in his swing. I don’t know if I’m giving up too quickly or not sticking with one method for long enough but I feel as though I have been giving these strategies a good effort with (almost) no results. I really believe you’re right when you say the key is falling asleep on his own. That would solve our early wake ups and frequent night wakings and also the bedtime drama. The problem is, how do I get him fall asleep on his own? ( Without nursing) I feel so stuck, because i cant see a way around this and i am the only one who can put him to bed. Maybe you can see something I’m not or see where I’m going wrong. He is 11 weeks. Sorry this is so long! Thanks soon much for your insight!

    3. Jo, the whole “Sleeping thing” is really a series of adjustments and re-do’s, so don’t worry that you seem to be taking steps forward and back all the time. That’s normal. 🙂 Regarding your #1 I would try VERY hard not to pick him up at all – otherwise you’ll be confusing him “sometimes when I protest being in my crib she picks me up and sometimes she doesn’t.” You need to be as consistent as you can. Do the shush-pat thing with him, next to his crib – by doing the Sleep Shuffle method – that will gently help him learn how to fall asleep on his own. I’m guessing it will probably take a week or two of using that method every night before things really click – he has some sleeping crutches (you) and it’s going to be difficult for him to get used to doing things a different way (sleeping on his own). He WILL learn, it’s just going to have to take some persistence, perseverance, gentle corrections, and (most importantly) corded (non-choke hazard) ear plugs. 🙂

  119. Hello, I’ve never posted anything before on a blog either, but definitely would like to get your opinion on my baby’s sleep schedule. As first time parents, my husband and I are the blind leading the blind! My baby is 6 weeks old. How much is she supposed to sleep? I feel like she sleeps a lot as compared to some blogs. I feel like all she does is eat and then sleep. There is very little playtime hours, and if she is awake, she gets cranky fast. How many hours should she be awake every day? is this effecting her nighttime sleep? Should we actively be keeping her awake during the day? Also, our night time routine looks like this:
    6:30pm Bathtime, changing
    7:00pm Feeding
    7:45 – 8:00pm Sleep (hopefully)
    10:30pm – Wakes up for feeding
    11:15pm – Back to sleep
    between 2:30am -3:00am – Wakes up for feeding
    4:00am – back to sleep
    6:00am – wakes up for feeding
    Is this normal?
    Also, she has been sleeping in her swing since the day she was born. She has not slept in a crib or a bassinet. we don’t set it to swing back and forth. we have tried to move her to her crib, and she screams bloody murder. Any thoughts on that?
    Thank you SO MUCH!! – A tired first time mommy

    1. Yvonne, thanks so much for taking the plunge and commenting! At six weeks, this doesn’t sound too terribly abnormal to me. Some babies most past the sleeping-all-the-time stage faster than others. If she’s still sleeping constantly in 3 weeks, you should run that by your doctor.

      That said, you can try to keep her up a little more (shoot for 5-10 minutes at first), and see if you can hit the rhythm of wake-eat-play-sleep that I outline above, repeating until the end of the day. I would also try, for one nap of the day, to move her to the crib or bassinet. (Here are some tips to help with crib-sleeping.)

      It’s exhausting, but you are really doing a great job. Try something, then try something else…that’s the way parenting goes. 🙂 As long as you keep trying things, you’re bound to find a solution!

  120. Hi Heather,

    I have never ever posted on a blog like this, but I am desperate. I have a daughter who is 11 weeks old, and I could only dream of having a schedule like the one in your post! She takes short naps and wakes up 4-6 times throughout the night. I am exhausted. Absolutely exhausted.

    Getting her to go to sleep is no issue at all. She lets me know when she is tired – yawning, a little fussing… I will nurse her (before bed… she doesn’t always need or want to eat before naps), swaddle her, turn on the white noise, and lay her in her bassinet and she’ll fall asleep within a minute or two. She usually takes a pacifier for naps, but spits it out either right before she falls asleep or right after. She doesn’t use the pacifier at night really.

    Here’s our napping problem: she will wake up after 35-45 minutes. Every time. And when she wakes up, I can’t get her back to sleep. She will play a little bit or eat after waking up, and then it’s back to the yawning and fussing. She only stays awake for 1-1.5 hours during the day and then she’s practically begging to be put down for a nap.

    Here’s our night time problem: she wakes up to nurse every 2-3 hours or so. A typical night might look like this:
    Bed 7:30
    Wake to feed 10:30
    Wake to feed 1:45
    Wake to feed 4:15
    Fussy, won’t go back to sleep unless fed 5:45 or 6:00
    Wakes again 7:30
    Wakes up for good 8:30ish

    Our mornings are always exhausting. After about 5:00 or 5:30, I don’t get much sleep. She tends to wake up every hour or so. She has also started to wiggle her hands out of her swaddle to chew on them. This usually wakes her right up and of course she wants to nurse before going back to sleep.

    I have tried to soothe her without feeding at some of those wakings, and it just doesn’t work. She wants to eat!

    During the day, she will nurse every 1.5-2.5 hours usually. I can rarely get her to go 3 hours without eating.

    Do you have any suggestions? What am I doing wrong? I am ridiculously exhausted and am willing to try anything!


    1. First of all, Katie, you’re not doing anything wrong. Trying things and having them work or NOT work, is the name-of-the-game at this stage. You are STILL the best mom for your little girl.

      So, since we’re talking about things you can try, here are a few suggestions:

      1. Make sure she is FULL when you’re done breastfeeding. Some babies take longer to nurse. (Here are the different nursing personalities.) So make sure that she is completely full before taking her off the breast. I’m guessing that if she’s eating every 1.5-2.5 hours that she’s snacking, and not getting a full tummy. Try to extend her nursing sessions if you can.

      2. Napping. Double check that her napping environment isn’t breaking one of the sleep-happy nursery rules. Things like making the room pitch-black and having a noisemaker can make a big difference.

      3. After she wakes after her nap, don’t go in right away. Wait until she’s making enough noise that it’s clear that she’s totally done with the nap. Maybe make a goal to wait 5 minutes, seeing if you can extend the nap a bit more.

      4. As for the swaddle, have you seen ? It’s wiggle-proof.

      I hope this can give you some encouraging hope. Thing will get better, Katie! It’s just a matter of trying different things until you find what clicks. My job is to help parents think of things to try. 🙂 Thanks for your comment! I hope you continue the trend! 🙂

    2. I promise that I read your reply immediately! We have had some craziness go down in our house over the last couple of weeks, but now we are back to some degree of normal…

      So in response to your ideas –

      1. She has been able to go a little longer in between nursing sessions lately, but how do you extend nursing sessions? She will get down to business for about 5 minutes, and then she pauses to look around the room (she is incredibly observant and alert and wants to completely take in her surroundings wherever she is). Then she wants to coo and giggle and smile at me for a while. Sometimes she will eat a little more, but it always seems fairly snack-y. If I try to force it, she will gag and spit up. She has a very sensitive gag reflex. So I’m not sure what to do there.

      2. I’ve been trying to get her to nap in her crib in her room, which is much darker. The darkness and noisemaker doesn’t seem to make a huge difference. However, this may also be due to the fact that she’s napping in her crib, and not in her bassinet. Once she gets used to her crib, maybe the napping sessions will lengthen?? We decided to move her to her crib last night so hopefully that will be soon.

      3. I usually wait about 5-10 minutes after she starts to stir and grunt before getting her. By that point, she is crying and most definitely awake. She tends to wake up fully very quickly. She’s not very good at settling down once she wakes up, unfortunately.

      4. I had a similar swaddle for her when she was born, but she could still get her hands out of the top. However, that was 3 months ago, so maybe she would be better with it now. I’ll have to look into it! We use the Miracle Blanket at the moment. We were using the Halo Swaddle Sleepsack before, but she got too long for the newborn one and can wiggle her hands free of the next size up. The Miracle Blanket is quickly becoming too small for her, though, so I’m glad to have another suggestion for a swaddle! Thank you!

      Since we are transitioning her to her crib, I may have more questions for you in the next few weeks. Thank you so much for your help already! I really appreciate it!

  121. Heather, you’re incredible with your quick replies!!

    Haha, certainly ROCKIN’ – thighs and arms getting a nice workout ;). When you say at the cusp, I am assuming the beginning of sleep training (not the end haha)?

    Looking forward to seeing the next post (will definitely get on your email list).

    Started the sleep training this morning and have had success so far – she has fallen asleep in her bassinet!

  122. Hi Heather,

    Love your advice!
    I have a 7 week old who is a great sleeper at night but will only catnap during the day (30 min naps then wont be able to self settle after). I have always rocked, swayed, bounced, shh’d her to sleep and getting exhausted hence I did go to a Childhood Centre for the day today to try to teach her self settling which involved:
    1. putting her to bed when she is drowsy (i have always put her down when she is asleep hence never learning to sleep in bassinett on her own)
    2. Then standing at the door listening to her cries (max 10 mins)
    3. Going in and patting her belly, shh’ing and not making eye contact
    4. If still crying, then picking her up and settling her
    My 7 week old didn’t self settle at all today and I am just wondering whether you think 7 weeks is too early? Should I just allow her to have me as her sleep pacifier until 12 weeks?

    Thank you 🙂

    1. Alicia – first of all it sounds like you are ROCKIN’ the sleeping techniques. Well done! Seven weeks is at the very cusp of sleep training. Some babies take longer, so keep doing what you’re doing and be patient. These things take some time. Secondly, I’m currently finishing up a post that will go out later this week with more suggestions on how to help with the sleeping transitions. It’s similar to what you’re doing, but you may find it helpful. (Hopefully!) If you haven’t subscribed yet, get on my email list and I’ll let you know when it’s posted. Consistency here is key. Doing great there Mom! 🙂

  123. We have set a nightly routine for our 11 week old beg at 7:10 bath, massage, & bottle, sleep by 8. She wakes at 2:30 am. She eats & then back down. I’m pretty sure she wakes bcs of hunger bcs the times I’ve tried holding off on feeding she goes crazy & won’t go back to sleep. However, then she is not that hungry for her 6:15 bottle before we head out to daycare. In your opinion, Is that an indication that she really doesn’t need the 2:30 bottle? I like your schedule but she gets super fussy if we try to keep her up longer than 8. Would you recommend dream feed at 10:00 & see if that helps her get through night…maybe I’m expecting too much ? Thanks!

    1. Lindsay, 11 weeks is a tough age, because they’re RIGHT on the cusp between stages. Try to MAKE SURE she’s good and full on that last feeding, and yes, I do recommend you do a dreamfeed at 10:00. From what you’ve written, it sounds like she may need that for a few more weeks. Then if she wakes up at 2:30, try to soothe her without the bottle. Do your best, knowing some nights will rock, and others…will be good practice for improvements. 🙂 Hope this can help.

    2. Thanks Heather! I also used your crib tricks & crib sleeping is going well 🙂 Thank you so much! Cusp of it, could you explain? It seems I kind of flip flopped things…we lost the late feeding before middle of night feeding…right? I didn’t do the inching back like your article states & like most books I read.

    3. Lindsay – so glad to hear this! Thanks for writing back to ask for an explanation – I’m often guilty of “brain typing” whatever pops in my head (like we were talking face to face), but sometimes that means people have NO IDEA what I mean. lol. – What I meant was he’s sitting on the fence between two life transitions. There’s often a growth spurt at 12 weeks, and things go all haywire for a while as you try to get his rhythm back on. (I’ve got “talk about growth spurts” on my posting schedule…) Does that clarify things? Did I answer your question?

    4. Yes, you answered my question…thanks so much. It has worked all last week & then much like you said ..the cusp…not only a growth spurt, but she is teething, & I go back to work today (I’m a teacher 🙂 ) . She was up every 2 hours last night. So there is a lot of adjustments going on for my little one. I loved all the info on teething! Truly love your blog, I was unsure if it was actual teething but after reading your posts & seeing th pic of baby with adult hand in the mouth..I knew she was ! Your blog is just the best, now I go to this before any book if I need more information, need a laugh, or need some extra assurance to go along with my gut instinct. thAnk you!

    5. I’m so happy to hear that Lindsay! Thanks so much! I’m glad to hear things are helping you. Let me know if there is anything I can help you with. I have a post coming out this week with sleeping tips. Hope that can help for the post-teething adjustments! 🙂

  124. So my baby has been sleeping through the night since 5 weeks old. His last feeding will be around 10 or 11 ish. Then he wakes up anywhere from 530-9am. He turned 3 months yesterday and I started him on a new formula 2 days ago. I notice he’s having less feedings now and he’s not always hungry. I’m guessing gerber gentle formula is more filling than his old formula gentlease? I’m looking at your schedule and I see it only having 5 feedings for the day and that puzzles me? I went from 8-10 feedings a day 27-30 ounces to now 6-7 feedings 20-24 ounces a day with the new formula. I always try to push for 24 ounces a day. It’s freaking me out that he’s only drinking 24 ounces. So if I went by your schedule he will only be drinking 20 ounces, it’s rare to get him to drink 5 ounces a feeding. He does 3 or 4 ounces a feeding. I read you are suppose to multiply 2.5 ounce by your baby’s weight and that’s that amount you should feed him. Is that true or not? I’m freaking out about the whole feeding thing. I just want to make sure he’s not being underfed. Thanks oh btw is gripe water better than using prune juice if he’s fussy and has back up stool?

    1. Mel, I wouldn’t worry too much about the specific numbers if he’s eating well and still growing. You will know if he’s underfed because he’ll start to loose weight. To check that, weigh yourself, then weigh yourself holding him, and then subtract. Check his weight once a week and you’ll have a good idea of how he’s growing. If he’s fussy because of gas, I would try the gripe water. If his poops are little pebbles, use a teaspoon of the prune juice once or twice a day until his poops are soft again.

  125. Thanks for the advice! You know, just reading your “sleep, eat, play” comment turned a light bulb on for me. When he was home with me, that was the schedule I had for him. He would wake up, have a bottle and we’d play for an hour or so until he was tired again. Then he’d go down for another nap. Now that he’s at his grandmother’s house during the day, I think she often feeds him and THEN puts him down for a nap, rather than feeding him when he gets up. I’ll have to check with her on this and make sure she changes the routine if that’s what she’s doing.

    I feel bad, but I didn’t even think about the possibility of separation anxiety. I guess I assumed he was too young for that. When I get home with him, I’m often in a hurry to get things put away and pump again, that I probably don’t give him the attention he needs and wants, after spending the day apart. I’ll definitely have to work on that.

    When he wakes up at night, you say to try and soothe him without feeding him. This might be a silly question, but how long should I let him go without a bottle at night? I’m guessing the hope is that if he doesn’t feed when he wakes after only a few hours, he’ll eventually stop waking up so often, correct?

    As to the lovey – I always hear people say I need to keep stuffed animals and blankets out of the crib, to avoid suffocation. At 3 months, is he old enough now that I don’t need to be concerned about that, and/or are there certain loveys that are safe? ( Can you tell he’s my first? I’m completely clueless on these things! LOL )

    1. That’s great Naomi! Try that routine at Grandma’s and see if it helps. Don’t worry about the separation anxiety thing, you can never tell if (or even when) it will happen. Every child is different. Don’t feel guilty or bad, these are things you get more aware of things as time goes on. As for the time in the evenings, check the schedule again in the article – that will give you some estimates to work around. You are correct about not having a bunch of things in the crib. However, at 12 weeks he should start being able to move his head and so a little stuffed animal or blanket shouldn’t be a problem. We always tucked their little crocheted blanket under the crib mattress, just letting the tip brush her hand and face, so she could cuddle it, but not pull it over head. Does that help?

  126. My 3 month old son used to sleep 4 hrs at a time (and occassionaly 5 or 6!) Then about 5 weeks ago I went back to work. My mother-in-law is doing daycare and says that he’ll give her 2 small naps during the first half of the day (about 30 minutes each) and one long nap from around 11:30 or noon until 2pm. I pick him up around 3:30 and he’s happy until around 4:30. Then he gets fussy. He won’t go down for a nap, and will SCREAM if we try to put him down. Eventually, he ends up falling asleep on one of us around 5:45 or 6pm which isn’t very convenient, since we try to put him to bed at 7. He’ll go back to sleep at that time, but then is up every 2.5-3 hrs all night. He wakes up for the day around 5:30 or 6, and we’re out the door by 6:20am. He had difficulty latching, so I’m pumping and bottle feeding. (He’s currently eating 5 oz every 3 hours or so.) He used to sleep longer on less milk, so I know he’s capable of doing it. I’m just not sure why he’s not anymore. Do you have any advice for getting him back on track to sleep longer at night, or do you think this is just a phase he’s going through? (I had a taste of those few 5-6 hrs of sleep and I miss it!) 😉

    1. Noami, firstly I would make sure that you (or your MIL) is not making any of these common sleeping mistakes. Secondly, I would encourage your MIL to try to stick to a steady rhythm of “sleep, eat, play, sleep, eat, play, etc.” That pattern will make sure he’s getting a fully tummy and he should be good and tired by the time naptime comes around. Even if he only sleeps 30 minutes the first time, try to keep him awake to complete the cycle, make sure his sleeping area is dark and has a noisemaker. That should help him take longer naps.

      It’s possible that he’s screaming for his 4:30 nap because of some separation anxiety. Have you tried cuddling him until he’s drowsy, then putting him down and sitting next to him in the crib, rubbing his tummy and singing to soothe him? Don’t just put him down and think you can walk out of the room. My guess is that he’s still getting used to the new schedule. You may need to put him down and sit there (with earplugs!) comforting him with your hand through the crib slats or singing or humming for 20-30minutes. Then get him up and pretend he “napped”. Do this roughly the same time every day for 4-5 days and see if you can tell any improvements.

      Next, if he doesn’t already have one, get that boy a lovey. A little stuffed animal that he can bond with. It will REALLY help him sleep better when you’re not around. Some kids pick their own loveys, some kids will let you pick, just try things and see what he bonds too. Take that thing everywhere he goes. When you rock him, always have it in his little hand.

      Finally, regarding the late-night sleep, make sure’s he’s completely full to the brim during that last feeding. Then, when he wakes up (he’s probably a little anxious), go sit with him like you did for the nap and calm him back down to sleep (try not to feed him, don’t change his diaper, don’t turn on the light, nothing to wake him even more) Sit with him while he falls back to sleep. First 1-2 weeks may be hard, as you coach him into sleeping – reassuring him that you are there, even if he can’t see you, and then letting him get bonded to a little lovey. But after he starts “getting” those things, you should be good. If not, comment back and we’ll try something else! Hang in there Naomi, you are in the trenches, but there IS a light at the end of the Tired Tunnel. 🙂

  127. My 10 week old son gets up every 3-4 hours at night. I’m going back to work in 2 weeks, is there any ways to stretch out his sleep a little longer at night? I dont want to get fired for falling asleep at work! 🙂

  128. My sweet girl will be 8 weeks old in 3 days. She just recently started staying awake up to 6 hours at night sometimes less ( but not every night). She eats great 3.5 ounces every 3-4 hours. She naps during the day for up to 6 hours at various times. Is she not sleeping enough during the day? She usually naps during the day in her swing in the living room ( I’ve heard so many different opinions on where she should sleep during the day). I just feel like im doing something wrong and she is paying for it. I’ve also tried the “night time routine, not changing her diaper and keeping her swaddled at night when she eats. I’m just lost 🙁

    1. Whittney, you’re not doing anything “wrong”, these things are constantly changing and adjusting. So don’t beat yourself up about it. Firstly, she’s still REALLY small. 8 weeks is at the very VERY beginning of the sleep through the night thing, so really, she’s just perfect. 🙂 And I say at these early weeks, let her sleep whereever she wants. My newborns all loved sleeping in the swing.

      One thing you could try slowly working on is her napping during the day. She should be sleeping for 6 hour stretches during the day. I would go back to my newborn suggestions for a few weeks more. Have you seen that article? If not, I’ve linked it here. Give those things a try, and let me know if you have any questions. You’re doing great there Mom! You will get these things ironed out, we’ve got plenty of time.

  129. Hi Heather
    My little one is approaching 3m and is still sleeping in her rock-n-play… I’m not sure if you familiar with the product but its fantastic! My daughter is placed on her side in the RNP and sleeps like a champ! The few times I’ve tried getting her to nap in her crib on her back… Her startle reflex kicks in and wakes her up! It’s almost as if the open space of the crib is too much for her… But she hates being swaddled and fights if I even attempt it (which then wakes her up fully too).

    The RNP keeps her slightly inclined and “contained”… Any ideas on how I can safely recreate this in the crib?

    1. Have you tried using a sleep positioner? We found that it helped Elena feel more secure, since it was a gentle wall of fabric on both her sides. If she’s not quite rolling over, you could try rolling up two handtowels and sticking her in between. Same principle, a little less solid, but free. 🙂

  130. Hi Heather,
    Please could you give me some advice as I’m really struggling.
    My baby boy is 12 weeks and when he needs to sleep he just screams and nothing I can do will make him sleep unless on boob and when he is full he doesn’t want to feed but wants to use as pacifier and when he still gets milk he gets frustrated and screams and in the end I rock him for over an hour on me until he falls asleep and then doesnt sleep for long and I start all over again. He will sleep instantly if I take him in car. When I go through this process at night he still screams but when he is down in cot he will sleep pretty much all night. Also he is very smiley and happy when it’s playtime inbetwren. There is no routine as I can’t establish one when he cries so much to get to sleep. At night I take him up at 7 and after crying and getting him to sleep on boob or rocking he goes to sleep by transferring him about 8. I am also trying to wean him to bottles so give bottle before bed too. If he has bottle in day he doesn’t seem to want to feed for rest of whole day, even boob then that makes sleeping even harder if no boob so stopped daytime bottle. Any advice is much appreciated as I feel like I need someone to come and live with me for a week day and night just to see if there is something I am doing wrong. Husband at work in day and helps where he can but that’s usually when it’s playtime and only sees one struggle a day at night and then he’s asleep for night. Please help I’m at my wits end.

    1. Karen, you are in the trenches my friend. This is one of the hardest seasons of your life. Take a minute to realize that it’s not that you can be doing something better, or that you’re doing something wrong. It is this way because you have a baby. Even “perfect” babies can struggle around bedtime. My husband and I called it “the witching hours” between 6pm – 9pm, when suddenly our angel babies turned into monsters. It WILL GET BETTER. But for now, all you can do is put in some earplugs (I can’t tell you what a help they are) and keep trying things to get through, day by day.

      Okay, so let’s talk about some things you can do. The “instant sleep” in the car is very interesting. What is it about the car that comforts him? Is it the car seat? the soft bumping movements? How can you re-create that for him? I know of one swing that has a “car bump setting” – it’s called the Mamaroo swing, but it’s pretty expensive ($200 USD). Try to figure out what is calming him about the car and see if you can recreate it.

      Have you tried putting him to sleep on his tummy? I know this is not recommended, but some babies just prefer this. We could never get our #2 to sleep until we figured this out. See if you can get him to soothe with a soother, or your finger, or even his hand if you have to, to try to move away from requiring your breast. Also, pick out a lovey for him – a small stuffed animal or little blanket or anything that you comfort him with. The sooner he bonds to a lovey the easier it will be for him to soothe himself to sleep without you.

      As for the routine, at this point, do your best to find a “Flow” rather than a routine. Think of the day in terms of “first this, than that” and however long those things take, it doesn’t matter. He’s still really small, so you have plenty of time. Try different sleeping things – if you put him down in the crib and walked away, how long and how intense would he scream? Some babies actually prefer being left alone. My niece would scream and scream if my SIL was holding her, but if my SIL put her in the crib and left her, she’d calm down and sleep within a few minutes. Test different things, and in time you’ll start to see your baby’s preferences (like the car!) show up. Then you can start tweaking those preferences and figuring out how to use those to your advantage. Does that make sense? Hope this can give you some ideas to try. Please let me know if you have questions or if I can help you further!

    2. Karen, my baby girl is exactly the same as yours she will only sleep in car or buggy, she wants to suck to sleep and gets frustrated that she can’t get her thumb in properly and won’t take a dummy, she will only sleep if I rock her for an hour usually crying or let’s her feed to sleep. I’m trying to break the feed to sleep habit but it means she gets so overtired and groggy that it takes even longer to rock her to sleep. I’m exhausted! Most of my day is spent rocking a crying baby that won’t sleep longer than 30 mins then wakes tired so I have to start the process again! Did you find something that worked for your little boy?

      Thanks leanne

  131. My LO is similar to Amy’s. He is 8 weeks old anf he doesn’t seem to stay awake longer then an hour, to one and a half hours. Sometimes I manage to keep him up for two hours. He not really fussy, and sleeps well through the night. Goes to bed at 10:00 and wakes up for 12 or 1 o’clock feeding. I aim for last feeding before bed around 8, for now that is. Wakes up again at 5 or 6 o’clock feeding and will go back to sleep till 9. He does seem to sleep an awful lot, but again he’s not really fussy about much when he’s awake. Should I just feel lucky that he’s a sleeper and take advantage while I can, or is there perhaps something more serious going on? He is on a fairly good schedule and there are days when he will refuse to nap. I think I’m might be worrying too much about something that isn’t a problem. I realize all babies are different and that perhaps though it might be easy now, that could all change next week. Yes I realize there is no real question here, just wanted your common sense feedback.

    1. I think your momma sense is spot on Corinne! Sounds like you have a good sleeper. At this age, babies sleep a LOT. More than half the day. At this point I would just enjoy the quiet. 😉

  132. I love this blog! I found it via Pinterest and read it almost daily! I have a 9 week old that just recently stopped napping during the day but started sleeping thru the night (8hrs). I know napping is important but my little seems to fall asleep while breast feeding and as soon as I transition her to the bassinet (aka rock-n-play) she wakes up and is fussy. The last feeding (9pm) she is so exhausted from not napping she has no problem with the transition. Any ideas how I can keep her from falling asleep while feeding and with the transition of moving her from boppy to crib. Thanks so much!

    1. Thanks Jennifer! It’s so encouraging to hear you say that! I think the key here is to keep her awake through the feeding session, and then put her down for her nap when she’s drowsy, but still awake. Techniques I used to keep my babes awake was stripping them down to the diaper and covering them with a blanket (naked arms and neck helped keep them awake, but not chilled), blowing gently on their little faces when I felt they were getting drowsy, I even used a warm wet wash cloth to brush their cheek. Try these and see if they help!

  133. My 11 week old sleeps pretty well at night (usually 5 hours and then 3 hours after feeding). He doesn’t sleep well at all during the day though. Usually 30-45 minute naps if that and wakes up fussy. He finally has started eating every 3 hours instead of more often (formula fed) but is fussy shortly after eating. It seems like the only thing that soothes him sometimes is me holding him standing up. He also will not stay awake for more than 1 hr or possibly 1 1/2 hrs at a time. I see that by now he should be awake for more like 2 hours or so. He’s just so fussy all the time when he’s awake too. Any suggestions?

    1. Eating every three hours is just fine at 11 weeks, so don’t worry about that. If he’s fussy due to gas, I would give him some gripe water. If he’s ALWAYS fussy after eating, it’s possible that he may have a little reflux going on. In this case, it doesn’t sound to terribly severe, so it’s possible that switching to a thicker formula may do the trick (and avoid a doctor’s visit). Something you could try, anyway.

      As for the napping, take a hard look around his sleeping area and see if there are any differences between the room now and at night. Is it too light? Do you have a a noisemaker to drown out daylight household sounds? Thinking through that may give you some clues.

      Finally, if he tends to like the “sitting up position” during naps (another sign that reflux may be an issue), I JUST discovered these really interesting baby bean bag sleepers. They let him comfortably sleep in an incline position. However, I would never put this inside a crib (it could turn into an entrapment hazard), and I wouldn’t use it once your baby starts to get more active and roll over. That said, for his age and for his “like to sleep in an upright position” issue, it may be just the thing.

    2. Just thought I’d share somethingI found that finally works for painful gas. Our preemie had horrible gas that would leave him crying and screaming, and simethicone drops did absolutely nothing. We discovered something called Tummy Calm. It uses activated charcoal to take care of the gas when it reaches baby’s intestines. simethicone only works on gas in baby’s stomach, but once it hits the intestines, it’s useless. You can check out the website for tummy calm and they also make a product called colic calm and we are on our third bottle of it. The Colic Calm also can be used to help with reflux, which our baby also has. You can order it online or its available at CVS and Walgreens. the company’s website has an extremely extensive and informative write up about infant gas. after reading all of that, it makes perfect sense why the Simethicone drops did absolutely nothing for our little guy. it works so well that I would pay a hundred bucks for a bottle of this stuff! Don’t worry, it’s only about $20 a bottle, and I’ve even found it fot $15 on sale. hope this helps at least one mom!

  134. You said the exception to the “sleepy but not sleeping” rule is the middle of the night feeding. So you should make sure they are totally asleep before you put them down? Why is this the exception? Thanks!

    1. That’s a great question Amanda! What I meant was that you don’t have to wake them up during that feeding, that if they fall asleep during the feeding, that’s okay. The rest of the time you should try to keep them awake until they are completely done, sleepy but still awake. But at night, if they fall asleep during feeding time, that’s fine. Does that make sense? Thanks for asking this! I should have been more specific. 🙂

  135. I stubbled upon this website as I was researching info on formula. Thank you for all the wonderful tips and advice. I look forward to reading more.

    My daughter just turned 2 months old. She has been doing good during the night. She typically wakes up for 1 bottle around 2:30-3:30am and wakes up 6:30-7:00am. It depends on how she’s feeling. I will be going back to work in 3 weeks and I need to put her on a routine that works with my schedule. Heres my dilemma… My normal work schedule is Mon-Fri 2am-10:45am. My husband will take over when I leave for work and drop her off at my mothers house at 7am. Do you have any tips on how I can get her to bed early enough for me to go to sleep by 8:00pm? I have no idea how I’m going to make this work, other than going to work with no sleep.

    1. Anna, you could try to move the sample schedule above up an hour. So instead of waking her at 7am to have a bottle, you wake her at 6. (I’m guessing you do that anyway, since your hubby drops her off at 7am.) Then see if your mother would write down the approximate times she goes down to sleep and wakes up. (You could even send her this article, if she’s up to it.) With that adjustment, she can take an early evening nap at 6:30 until 7:00, and then go down again at 9pm. If she seems tired at 8, by all means put her down and head to bed! If you’re lucky, she’ll wake up right at 1 and you can feed her before you head off to work. I guess that’s my best suggestion, try to move everything up and see if you can catch her eating/feeding times in a 3-hour loop.

      The good news is that the older she gets, the bigger her tummy grows, the longer she can go between feedings…the earlier she will go to bed. 😉 Soon she’ll be sleeping at 7pm and waking at 7am like a champ! (At least that’s a good goal to shoot for around 6-9 months!)

      Hope this can give you some encouragement! It may be a rough few weeks as you adjust, but you’ll get into a good rhythm in no time.

  136. From your schedule it seems as if you’re saying if the daytime naps are longer than 1 hour than you would keep the baby up from 5:00 until his/her 10:00 bedtime? Am I reading that wrong? I ask because my 11 week old wouldn’t ever last that long. She is a preemie so is 5 weeks adjusted, but still…that amount of time seems excessive.

    1. Martha, I can see why that’s confusing! Thanks for bringing that up. Reading over the post again, I think that section was poorly written. I’ve adjusted it. For those older babies who don’t seem tired enough to nap at 7:30, but can’t make it until 10, I would just try to keep him up until 8:30 or 9 and go from there. As always, this is subject to your baby’s temperament. No baby is going to follow this timeline exactly, it’s just a general guideline to help you spot your baby’s cues. I hope that makes sense! Thanks for bringing this up! A very good comment!

  137. thank you! this is such a helpful post! i actually copied your tables & made myself a little cheat sheet log…my babe is getting to a routine, but your outline helps me to see what he is doing on a daily basis, and it makes sense! love your delightful little blog 🙂

  138. This was a great article! I just don’t know what to do about a few things.
    1) My 3 month old baby will not go to bed earlier than 11:30 p.m if i try she will just scream and scream(shes super hard headed and has to get her way and will scream till she does). I obviously want her to start going to bed sooner than this how should i go about it?
    2)She wants to eat every 1.5 hrs it seems no matter the amount(i feed her 3.5-4 oz every feeding)and again will scream and scream till shes fed. I want to start getting her on a schedule to where she will eat every 2.5 to 3 hrs atleast and give her 4oz everytime. How should i go about doing this?
    3)she loves her paci but it never stays in her mouth and will scream the second it falls out. It seems like i cant ever leave the room because as soon as i do it will fall out and she will scream and i will have to go back and put it back in. Do you have any advice on what i should do about this?

    1. Rachel, I’m sorry to hear you have a screamer! Those hard-headed little infants are very difficult at the beginning (I had one, and it does improve.) First, think through what DOESN’T make her scream, and see if you can then deduce why she’s screaming. Is she a “hold me baby”? Does she quiet down when being touched? The constant eating sounds like she’s wanting to be soothed. Try to swaddle her best you can. Also, at this age, it is common for them to spit up pacifiers because they accidentally push it out with their tongue. Hold it for a few seconds, minutes until she has a really good grip and rhythm on it and/or is a asleep.

      If she is not napping well during the day, the 11:30pm screams could be that she’s overtired. Working on her napping rhythm during the day could help with this. See if you can ease her into a rhythm of eat/play/sleep/eat/play/sleep, and don’t worry too much about the clock. Just aim for the rhythm.

      At this age, a lot is going on, and so it’s pretty normal for your baby to be a fussy monster. Hang with her, get some earplugs (seriously, this helps soooo much) and love on her little face, reminding yourself every 10 seconds that by tweaking a few things, and holding on for dear life, both of you WILL get through this.

      much care,

  139. My DS is almost 12 weeks, he sleeps well during the night – either 10 hrs straight through or 6-7 hours straight waking for one feed then back to sleep for another 3 hours. My problem is I can’t get him to nap during the day for any longer than 30 mins at a time, then shortly after feeding/changing and playing he will get fussy and start crying again.. He’s like a ticking time bomb, I don’t expect him to go long without crying.. Could not napping long enough make him cranky and temperamental?

    1. Jackie,

      That is very interesting, Jackie that he’s such a great sleeper at night…but doesn’t do so well during the day. That would rule out reflex and other physical issues…I would take a good look at his sleeping area. Is it dark? Do you have something to mask daily sounds? My guess is that he is a light sleeper and sleeps well at night because it’s darker/quieter at night. See if you can add sheets to the window or get a noisemaker or something to provide a hum of noise to coverup other noises going on in and outside of the house.

      Yes, not getting good naps can make him cranky. If he wakes crying, go in and rub his tummy or see if you can soothe him back into sleep, working to keep him in “sleeping time” for at least 45 minutes, and build up from there (goal being 1-1.5 hours at this age). Feel free to report back. I’m happy to help you try different things and find a solution. 🙂 But for now, try adjusting his environment and shushing him when he wakes, helping him extend that 30 minutes if possible to 45 or more.

    2. I know this reply was written a long time ago, but Jackie described my daughter to a T! She napes for 45 minutes at a time, but can only be awake for about 1 hour before getting very fussy. This makes doing anything almost impossible and I am getting SUPER tired. Did you all find any solutions?

    3. Yes, my guy has been sleeping 10 hrs at night for about 2 weeks (he’s 12 weeks). Starting at 5 weeks I put him down sleepy but awake and he goes to bed well at night, around 6pm. There are some evenings when we have to go in a time or two to give him his bulky but lately that makes him more fussy so I stopped and he does better fussing himself to sleep, about 5 minutes. However, during the day he will not sleep unless he’s on me in a carrier. I’ve tried for 2-3 hours just getting him drowsy or sleeping and putting him in crib, bouncer, swing etc to nap. He wakes within minutes or if awake, he screams until I get him. The longest I let him cry it out was 35 min and he didnt let up the entire time. I try to recreate the night routine with music/sound machine, bath. I’ve tried nursing him right before instead of just putting him down. I don’t know what to so. I can read his cues and know when he’s ready to nap and I wish I could put him down like I did my first 2. How can a baby who does so well at night not nap at all on his own during the day? I’m not sure what else to do. I homeschool my oldest so I can’t spend every day working on it. About 1-2 per week I will take 2-3 hr in the morning and keep trying him but I eventually give up because without the nap he gets progressively worse through the day so I’ll put him on me and he falls right asleep.

    4. Kristi, first of all, so glad I can help out a fellow homeschooler! *virtual fist bump* Forgive me if you’ve already tried this, but have you tested putting him to sleep on his tummy? Perhaps he’s looking for that pressure against his abdomen. Elena was a lot like that, and we found that either putting her on her tummy or propped somewhat on her side with a sleep positioner helped a lot. Start there, and then let me know if we need to go to Plan B. 🙂

    5. Yes, I have tried the tummy and side since my 2nd (Elaina 🙂 liked her belly and I started that when she was just 4-5 weeks. He doesn’t like the tummy at all, he likes to be on his back with hands up. He’s never liked swaddling either. I have that positioner but don’t use the ‘ramp’, just the side things. It’s so bizarre that he can put himself to sleep every night and last night he was awake at midnight and fussed on and off for almost an hour before putting himself to sleep. However when its day time he will not sleep in crib or other chair. Today I actually got him to fall asleep in his crib at nap time but it only lasted 20 minutes before be woke up. For some reason, during the day he can’t fuss/put himself back to sleep, he gets hysterical unless you go get him.

    6. Kristi, I am at a loss at this… I guess the best encouragement I can give is to keep trying. Twenty minutes could grow with persistence! Perhaps it’s my optimism speaking, but I think that if you are persistent, over time this will improve. 🙂

    7. Kristi- have you found anything to help? My guy (11 weeks) does the exact same thing- sleeps 10-11 hours a night and can put himself to sleep and back to sleep but will not nap longer than 30 minutes!!! I don’t get it???

    8. Not really, although with age he’s definitely gotten better at naps, but he’s not great. He sleeps an avg of about 1.5 hr a day (total) but then is ready for bed by 5-5:15. Today he gave me about an hour in the morning and then 60 min in PM, which was awesome. I have to work a little to get him down though, he doesn’t go right down like he does at night. Not sure why but this is still an issue for him during the day. At least he is taking naps in his crib now. I wore him in the boba when he wouldn’t sleep in past months (continue trying to use the crib daily but the cry it out does not work for him so I’d move him to carrier after so long) but around 4 months he started going to sleep. First it was just 10-15 min, but seems to be getting longer with each month. (He’s 5 months now.)

    9. Janelle and Kristi,
      Any luck for either of you and your little ones? My daughter is 16 weeks and does well at night, sleeping on average 10 hours, but her naps lately are pitiful. She will absolutely not nap longer than 30-35 minutes. I’m not sure if this has anything to do with it but a couple weeks ago I began trying to schedule her and she started out like a dream but then suddenly would not nap long. Prior to this issue she would nap like a champ. So good, in fact, that I’d usually have to wake her up almost every single nap (naps would average 1.5 hours).
      Is this just a phase (please tell me it’s just a phase!)? What worked for you?

    10. I’m just discovering your website with the birth of my first kiddo, and yup Jackie just described my LO 🙂 I think part of the problem is living in a city in an apartment building — there’s no escaping the noise! Plus he also seems to wake up with gas pains. The gas pains are getting taken care of little by little, but we can’t do anything about the noise. You suggest getting a noisemaker. My question is, will babies get too used to the noisemaker so I’ll have to wean him off it eventually? How will I go about doing that? The city noises are something we’ll be living with for a very long time…

    11. Kim, that’s a great question. I guess that’s a possibility, although if you lives in the city he should have an easier time of weaning, because they’re always noise in the background there. Whereas, if you were using a noisemaker and you lived in the very quiet middle of no where, I can see that potentially taking a little while. My kids have always had noisemakers, but now they are older I’ve found they can go either way. Since they’ve got their sleeping skills down, it’s no longer an issue. The can fall asleep in the midst of street-noises or even trains. That said, I do usually use an app when we travel, just in case.

      All this to say, use your Mom instincts. If you feel uneasy about the noisemaker, you don’t have to use it. You’re still a good mother. 🙂 Only if it helps. Perhaps try it for a while without and if things don’t improve, introduce it later. (Or not at all.) You can’t screw this up, Kim! xo

  140. Delightful and filled with lots of memories from a grandmom’s perspective! Of course, all five of MY babies slept through the night from day one (just kidding)! 🙂

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