This past Friday I had my friend Lori Strong as a guest on my Live Facebook “show” called The Lunch Box. Shortly after we recorded ourselves, the video disappeared and Facebook was unable to recover it. We were really sad because we talked for about 45 minutes on baby and toddler sleep and I know it was so important to many of you. I’ll try my best to recover what we chatted about and include a ton of resources and information.
First let’s go over the questions.
My six month old goes to bed at 7 pm and used to wake up around 2 am to feed and then back to sleep until 5 or 6 am. Over the past few weeks he has been waking up more often and is now waking up for the first time by 9 pm and then every two hours after. He is 19 lbs. and I’m not sure if it is necessary for him to have multiple feedings during the night. How do I get him back to sleeping through the night?
Your kiddo sounds like he’s healthy, but before making any changes to your routine at night, I’d recommend getting the a-ok from your pediatrician that it’s okay to drop your nighttime feedings. At this age, many babies can sleep without eating providing that they are getting enough calories during the day. The key to helping your little sleep longer will involve a)making sure he is going to sleep independently at the beginning of the night b) when he eats, make sure he stays awake for the feed and then put him down awake so he can fall back asleep in his crib. Once that is happening, you can aim to stretch his first feed to midnight or later (since he used to eat at 2 you can be confident that he can do this). Have Dad help with soothing at other wake up times so that your baby doesn’t smell you and think it’s time to eat.
My 1 yr old is still breastfeeding and still waking up once or twice at night and she sleeps in our room, what is the best way to get her to stop waking up will moving her to her own room make it better?
Moving your baby away from you may help her sleep longer, but we also need to make sure she knows how to fall asleep independently. We also want to make sure that any sleep space is conducive to sleep (dark and cool). If you want to move her to a new sleep environment, make sure to spend time in the new space reading books, playing, etc, so that you can make some positive associations. Pay attention to how much your little one is nursing. You can begin to decrease the amount you feed (timewise) each night until you are no longer nursing or you can drop feeds cold turkey. If you’re unsure which way is best, start gradually and then go from there. If she can fall asleep on her own and then fall back to sleep after the feed, she will then start to sleep longer stretches.
My sleep question is why does my 19 month old suddenly get wired at bedtime? He used to wake up at 6:45am, nap from 12-2pm, and go to sleep at 7:30pm. For weeks he has been waking up at least 4 times a night. He goes into the crib drowsy but awake but the minute he gets in there he is energized. He wants to talk, sing, walk around, etc. His room is dark, he has wind down time leading to bed and a pretty good routine. Could it have something to do with a language burst? I thought we already went through the 20 month sleep regression. We slept trained him at 10 months but I have been apprehensive towards re-training because it seems so much harder. He screams mama, shrills, thrashed around the crib, this mama may not be able to handle that?!
This definitely could be related to a language burst- lots of babies will wake up and just start talking when they learn new words! There’s nothing you need to do to stop this. Once the brain has moved on, things will settle down. You may want to try using a slightly earlier bedtime to make sure your little guy isn’t overtired at bedtime. When we know that they are going to take some time to wind down, we want to help keep them from becoming overtired. Starting your bedtime routine a little earlier can help that. Remember that if your little one has words, it’s okay for him to use them and it’s okay for him to have an opinion about bedtime! He may not want to sleep, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t need it. Be consistent with our routines and remain calm if he starts to shriek and yell. Also be consistent with your response (boring is best) so he can know it is bedtime. If you give extra stimulation when he wakes up or if he’s in his crib trying to sleep, it will be harder for him to settle down.
Strong Little Sleepers – download our child sleep expectations guide!
Strong Sleep School – (online Strong Sleepers: Baby course)
Important sleep info:
The Sleep Sisters have a great image on when your child should go to bed and why.
When you need immediate help and don’t mind going through a few blog posts Precious Little Sleep is an amazing resource if you want to try and do the bedtime thing all by yourself.
Lastly, my own blog post “All of the Sleeps” in which I talk about why we decided sleep training was best for our family and how we did it on our own. If I had known Strong Little Sleepers existed I would have called Lori!!