Baby Sleep FAQ

We’ll be putting more questions about helping baby sleep up on this page as they come in. Please feel free to ask your questions. Contact details are on the contact us page.

Question

I read your article as I am trying to get my baby to sleep through the night. He is 4 months old and has slept through for about two weeks. However a week ago he started to wake again between 3 – 6am. I tried feeding him but he wasn’t interested. He doesn’t seem like he is in any pain. I think he has just got into a habit and I do not know how to get him out of this. Do you have any suggestions?
-Joanna

Answer

Hi Joanna

It does sound like he might have got into a habit. Does he go back to sleep after you have been into him? If not he may have had enough sleep for the night and there are a couple of things you can try: Make bedtime a little later if possible, or…
Shorten his nap time slightly.

If this doesn’t work, try hardening your heart and delay the time before you go into him. If he becomes really agitated try offering some water or a pacifier.

I hope this helps, getting baby to sleep can be ‘work in progress’!

Good luck & all the best.

Wendy

Question

Cristen writes:

“I am a mother of 3. My recent newborn daughter, now 2 months, does not seem to think sleep is a necessary thing.

I mentioned it to the doctor, and he does not seem to think it is a big deal because she is not crying all the time, but I am concerned.

During the day the baby takes about 3 10 minute naps – THAT’S it! We are very relaxed parent, the house is always calm, and nothing is out of the usual. At night, I believe in routine for all the kids… with her she has a bath at 7pm, then a warm bottle with music on, then at 730 -745 I lay her in her crib awake and she falls sleep.

So she sleeps pretty sound from 730pm-1030 pm – HELL she should after a whole day with no real naps! Then she wakes crying and only wants about 3 oz, and falls back to sleep about 1115pm. (45 minutes awake!) So from 115 she is up again at 130 – again not too hungry but crying, takes about 2 oz. back to bed and up at 3.

Now at 3.30 she is up until about 5am. Then at 5am I put her to sleep in her swing where she sleeps about another 2 hrs then is up for the day.

THIS IS NOT NORMAL – newborns need about 15 hrs sleep a day. I don’t care about my sleep or sanity, I just want to be sure my daughter is alright.”
— Cristen

Answer

Hi Cristen,

Is your daughter lively and energetic during the day? If so she is probably getting enough sleep for HER.

We are all different and even infants need different amounts of sleep to what is considered normal.

You are doing everything right, try not to worry. Although it must be frustrating to be woken up so many times your daughter is probably a light sleeper. Hopefully things will settle down as she gets a bit older.

When I was a baby (so I’m told) I slept very little and yet I’m still here and healthy. I’ve learned to accept my sleeping habits.

You’re right it’s not “normal” but it’s not too unusual either!

Take care
Wendy

Question

“Hello Wendy,

I have reviewed some of your articles, and others online yet still wish some specific advice.

My boy is 23 months old and has slept “through” the night 5 times to date. He does have problems with periodic night terrors and still wants his bottles at night. He consistently wakes 4-5 times per night.

To say that our sleep life is disturbed would be an understatement since he not only craves his bottles but asks to be rocked, or go play or whatever excuse he might find to get out of his bedroom.

I wonder about the use of any medications to help sedate or make drowsy and, am apprehensive to limit bottles at night since he will barely drink 6-8 oz of liquids from his tippy cup during the entire day.

I do run the house fan at night for some “white” noise and turn-on some piano music at every waking.

I fear he may have inherited my genes wherein I myself have always woken-up around 1 a.m to eat since I can remember, and still do.

Any ideas?

Many thanks,
Mr. Weber”

Answer

Dear Mr Weber

Some sleep problems are genetic and it sounds like your little boy may have inherited being a light sleeper.

Have you tried a small night light to help him feel more confident? Another thing to try is wait a little longer each night before going into him. Eventually he may decide to go back to sleep on his own.

The piano music sounds like a good idea if it’s not too loud. I would turn it on at his bedtime and leave it playing all night if this is possible.

Also make sure he has no chocolate or cola drinks from lunch onwards as these contain caffeine.

Hope this helps!
Wendy

Question

My little daughter is a restless sleeper and won’t sleep unless I rock her, sing to her or go into her room several times a night. Please help! (Anne)

Answer

Teaching your baby to go to sleep on her own is one of the best things you can do for the following reasons:

  1. It will teach her good sleep habits, something that will last her the rest of her life
  2. It will make your life so much easier!

It’s important that baby doesn’t associate you with going to sleep. If she does she will have difficulty falling asleep if you aren’t there. You may want to have a night out now and then and leave her with a baby sitter, or you may be feeling unwell not want to transfer germs or viruses to her.

Have a favourite toy such as a teddy, a blanket or anything that’s not hard or sharp that she can take to bed with her. This will then become her “security” and will comfort here when she wakes up at night, helping her to go back to sleep on her own.

Babies do need to feel secure however and if she has plenty of attention during the day she will be a well adjusted bub. A happy baby is more likely to settle well at night and cry less during the day as well.

However no matter what you do, there are going to be times when she will have a restless night. All you can do at these times is to check that there’s nothing else wrong – she’s not hungry, wet or uncomfortable, and soothe her the best you can.

Try not to rush into her every time she starts to whimper, this will send her the message that you are “on call” and will be a hard habit to break.

The best resource I’ve found on helping baby sleep is a book called Sleepytime Secrets”

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