How do I Extend a Short Nap?

Before trying to extend a nap, first make sure you have read over the post Short Naps and have ruled out some of the common causes of short naps (hunger, over tiredness, light etc.). Take note that if a baby has slept for 30 minutes or more the chances of him
falling to sleep again are decreased (especially unassisted) because he has had some of the tiredness "knocked off".

How to extend a nap
  • As a mini-nap is nearing it's end you can attempt to go to your baby and soothe him back to sleep. You can either go in shortly before your baby normally awakens and begin the soothing routine, or go in as soon as you hear your baby awaken. It is sometimes better if a dad rather than a breastfeeding mom does this as baby may smell mom's milk and want to eat (even if he isn't very hungry). Also, this method is sometimes stimulating to a baby rather than soothing, it just depends on your child's personality. How will you know the mini nap is coming near an end? Well, if your baby is waking up after the first sleep cycle (see Sleep Transitions) then most likely you will have figured out, almost to the minute, how long your baby will sleep before arousing. If your baby is waking up at random times, then listen in for arousal sounds of your baby. The soothing method you choose do do depends on you and your baby's preferences. You could do the shush-pat, hold your baby quietly, rock your baby, do part of your wind down routine, place a hand on your baby's back and offer comforting words or whatever seems to work for you. Sometimes all baby needs is a firm hand on his tummy/back as he goes through the sleep transition to prevent his body from jolting awake.
  • You can put your baby in the swing (if he likes it and it is soothing to him) to help soothe your baby back to sleep. If you want the swing to work, you need a decent one or baby will just be uncomfortable or aggitated. IMO, this is the best one out there right now.
  • You may want to try The Baby Whisperer's method of shush-pat, wake to sleep or P.U./P.D. (if over 3 months of age and shush-pat doesn't work).
  • You may leave your baby to CIO (well, some babies may actually play instead of cry at this time) when they wake early from a nap in hopes that they will eventually be able to put themselves back to sleep and no longer fully awaken when they reach light sleep. Generally, the less time they sleep during a nap before awakening the more time you should leave them alone to CIO after the awakening. How long should you let them CIO? This depends on which method of sleep training (see index) you choose to follow and what you are personally comfortable with. Generally, if baby isn't asleep after 20 minutes, he won't be falling back asleep. Make sure your baby doesn't have any needs such as hunger or gas when attempting this and that you are not expecting too much from your baby (e.g. 3 hour naps).
    • I am generally not a fan of doing CIO at this time (at least not for more than a few minutes) for very young babies because with many young babies it doesn't work very well and can even take months to work. Often, if you soothe baby back to sleep he will over time (assuming you are putting baby to sleep awake) be able to make it through this sleep transition by himself. If not, you can try some form of CIO to lengthen naps when he gets a bit older. Four to six months is a common time that many babies start to extend out their naps, either on their own, or with some form of sleep training. So this is a good time to try out CIO for short naps either for the first time, or again if the first time didn't work. If it doesn't work at this age, then wait a while longer and try it again. The right timing (which trial and error helps you figure out) is often all you need to end this "problem" in a matter of days.
  • If you are trying to stick with a schedule like eat/wake/sleep you could 1) leave your baby until the next feeding time (he may stay happy or you may have to do CIO--see above) or 2) get him up and either shorten your routine for the day (go to 2.5 hours instead of 3.5 hours etc.) or 3) play with him for a bit then put him back down for a short nap after which you feed him and start your routine over again. Keep in mind that babies that are awake instead of sleeping are probably going to get hungrier sooner, especially if they breastfed and by their food source--good ole mom.
  • If you normally get your baby from a nap after so much time, sometimes leaving him to sleep as long as he wants for all naps for a few days can 1) help make up some sleep debt and 2) help him get out of a troublesome waking pattern with naps.
  • You can leave baby for a few minutes to see if he'll go back to sleep by himself. If he doesn't, then you can go in and help baby go back to sleep. This method's effectiveness depends on the baby. Some kids will become wide awake and not easily go back to sleep if they try (and fail) to go back to sleep by themselves.
Something to keep in mind
Extending a nap doesn't always work.  As it mentions in the short nap post, some babies are simply short nappers. There are also quite a few babies that have a hard time with nap transitions (going from one sleep cycle to the next) while they are young but are able to get through them on their own when they get older (often closer to 6 months of age), which allows them to sleep a longer stretch.

If your baby is able to sleep a long stretch when you help him out (hold him, use a swing, are on a car ride), then I wouldn't consider him a chronic short napper. He has the potential right now to be a long napper, he simply has a hard time with sleep transitions on his own. You can help him get through the sleep transitions by using the methods above. Keep in mind that this isn't always successful. Sometimes you have to try these methods out again when baby is a bit older. And remember that consistency makes all the difference :)

Don't get too worried if you have to use some sleep props (swing, etc) to help your baby take a long nap right now. Yes, it would be great if baby could do it on his own, but right now, the most important thing is a good sleep. And often, the naps will extend on their own without any interference from you when baby gets older (assuming baby can fall asleep on his own). IF your baby is older than a few months of age, you may want try a more aggressive method listed above (cio) to see if it helps baby take a long nap without a sleep prop.

If your baby is a short napper no matter what you do, please try not to stress out too much about this. I know it is frustrating, I know it makes you daily schedule hard, but if you can't do anything about it, then you have to try to accept it and be happy with it. Fighting it and being upset about it just makes things harder. I know, I've been there!

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Related Posts:
Short Naps aka waking early from naps


  1. My 3.5 month old has been waking from naps at the 20,30 and/or 35 minute mark (mostly 20) since he was VERY young. I feel I've tried EVERYTHING. He was very fussy/gassy/colicky when littler and so we had some accidental parenting of rocking/nursing him to sleep. It has only been the last several weeks that we have even been able to put him down asleep. We are going on 1.5 weeks now putting him down awake and sometimes he does well, other times it is pure agony. I worry so much because basically we spend the whole day just trying to get him down and stay down. He gets about 3 20-30 minute naps a day then is so exhausted by 3 or 4pm it takes forever for him to fall asleep (on his own) it's a huge battle, then he does stay down pretty much for the night besides his feedings, which he still wakes every 2 hours for! I know this is not a good pattern for him...or me! Is it possible that as he matures and also gets better at going to sleep by himself he will also get through the sleep cycles? PS: Love your blog. It's the best I've found! Thanks!

  2. The Beagles!,
    He sounds like he is probably overtired, hence the super short naps. Gas often ends up being less of an issue with waking them at this age. Here's a post on waketime that might help:

    He definitely needs more naps than 3 if they are that short. I know that sounds terrible since it is so much work for each nap, but hopefully if he sleeps more he'll be less tired and go down better. Can you give me an idea of your daily schedule and what techniques you use to put him to sleep and keep him asleep. I'll (hopefully) be able to help more with that info.


    1. Hi Rachel,
      I have been combing thru posts on your site for over a week trying to find someone who has a similar situation and the Beagles are the closest I've found. I have a 16 week old who has been getting worse at nap time. She was a great napper and then started dropping the number of naps she would take in her crib. Not wanting to start a bad habit, but she needs sleep so I would rock with her. She would wake up every time I would put her down. She would sleep 2-3 hours at a time before in bed but now it's usually with me rocking. Well, now we have got her putting herself to sleep and that's great and all but she seems to have a hard time transitioning at the 30 minute mark. Every nap she jolts and is awake. I could get her back to sleep for a while, but now I can't seem to do anything to help her calm back down. She is so sleep deprived it's not even funny!! She can get back to sleep during the night, but not the day. Any suggestions?? I need my good napper back. She was staying up for 2 hours at a time, but i bumped that back down to an hour and a half hoping that helps. She has never been a cat napper and not one to fall asleep just anywhere. So, it's her crib or my arms and as much as I love to cuddle her it needs to stop! No more napping in my arms for 2 hours. Unlike the Beagles she was not colicky or anything...just a funny napper!
      Any help would be great! I'm so glad I found your blog! I have found a lot of useful info:)

    2. Sara Smies,
      Sometimes putting a baby to sleep a little less sleepy will help with the transition. If she's waking up really upset, then she's very likely overtired (as you've said) and I would try a very early bedtime for several days at least as well as reducing the waketime before naps. If you haven't tried already, maybe holding your hand firmly on her before she jolts would help. Make sure you go through that short nap check list to rule out other causes too (like the room being too light). Make sure you are consistent with your methods. Some babies are very sensitive to change and if you hold them to sleep once it'll mess up sleep for weeks. Also, sometimes giving baby several minutes (whatever you feel ok with) to see if she'll go back to sleep can be helpful. Many babies will and they'll wake up later feeling much more rested and happy.

    3. Rachel,
      Thank you for your quick reply. I'm pretty sure her room isn't the issue with it being dark with blackout curtains and a sound machine. I have tried leaving her in bed for a while to see if she will calm down and go back to sleep, but she doesn't. It's even harder to get her back to sleep if I leave her too long because she'll be so worked up and mad. I tried holding a firm hand on her back before she jolted with no success, but I will keep trying for a few days to see if it will eventually work. She has been in bed by 8pm the last couple nights, but now she wakes up before her dream feed. She goes right back to sleep on her own, but then is up more often during the night instead of her normal one time. I know a lot of her growing developmentally has a part in that as she is rolling both ways are discovered her she's chatty and on the move even at 2am. I'm hoping that gets old real fast and she gets back to her one wake time soon!! We all need more sleep in this house! I wil try what you suggested and see how it goes.
      Thanks again:)

    4. This is EXACTLY what I am going through with my 4 month old son. He was a great napper (2 hours) and all of a sudden he is catnapping (20-30 mins) and no matter what I can't get him to go back to sleep. He is SO overtired that bedtime is also becoming difficult even though before I would just put him down awake and he would fall asleep on his own. Is it because I pushed his bedtime to 7 from 5:30-6? A

  3. Hi Rachel
    My baby boy is just over 5 months old and naps great at home in his cot. 1.5-2 hrs each nap. However when we are out and about he never naps for more than 40-45 min, one sleep cycle. (naps in his buggy. What can I do to try get him to nap longer? Is it worth trying wake to sleep?

  4. Mathew,
    I definitely think it is worth trying wake to sleep. But many (probably most) babies will not take long naps outside their beds (or something similar to a bed) at this age. At least not if they are used to sleeping in a bed.

    I know it is inconvenient and I've totally been there (actually, I'm still there!), but you have to keep reminding yourself that things are easy in regards to sleep most of the time. Those kids you see sleeping anytime and anywhere are more often the ones who are very difficult when it comes to sleeping at home by themselves or through he night. There's always the good and bad that goes with every situation :)

  5. Matthew,
    Forgot to mention that a lovey might help as well as trying to go to a quiet dark place when you know your son is about to go through a sleep transition. Sometimes a dark blanket over the buggy will do it.

  6. Hi Rachel
    Thanks for your replies- by the way, this is Matthew, but this post is down as duongo75 (my other account). i do use a shade cover over his buggy when we're out and he's napping, but doesn't seem to work. think i'll just have to accpet he's a 40min napper when we're out- not surprised with all the outside noise. I have another issue which has cropped up and wonder if you have any ideas. Joshua (yep same name as yours), is a good napper in his cot as you know. He's always woken up at 7am but some days 6-6.30am. he's always shown signs of tiredness at 8-8.15 so put him down for a nap then, and he sleeps for 1.5-2 hr. In the afternoon his awake time is 2hrs. However, something has changed in the last 2 mornings which i'm baffled about. He has shown signs of tiredness at 8/8.15, so put him down for a nap (i always do a very short settling routine which has been working fine). But for the last 2 mornings he's not been falling asleep easily like he has done. He doesn't cry, but makes noises in his cot. I have gone in 30-45min later to see if i can soothe him to sleep. After a time, he gets fussy,cos he's getting overtired...first morning he fell asleep 9.30. 2nd morning (this morning,) he got very fussy and didn't fall asleep til 9.45....i'm not sure what has happened. I know babies can have a shorter awake time in the morning, but do you think his one has extended and i'm putting him back to nap too ealry. If so, why does he show signs of tiredness then still? Do you have any ideas? Thanks Rache;

  7. Hi again Rachel

    Just to add: do you think Joshua is showing sleepy signs out of habit, and that he's not in fact tired?

    BTW, love your blog!

  8. duongo75,
    Kids can really get stuck into a pattern of sleep, some more than others. For example, my 8 month old, Jacob will start to act cranky at 9 am for his nap even if he woke up late that morning. If I put him down then he will not sleep well because he needs a longer waketime. His body is fighting between needing to be awake longer but feeling sleeping because he is usually napping at that time. I didn't really have much of an issue with this with my son Joshua though. So yes, he very well might need to be put down a bit later even though he is acting a bit tired. be sure to rule out other stuff though---teeth, him getting up super early and actually needing an earlier nap etc. The best way to see if it works is to try it for a few days. Sometimes kids go through phases too and they start sleeping great again even when you do nothing.

  9. Hi Rachel! First off, I would like to say that you have a lot of great information. Thank you for sharing! My son Jacob has been napping between 1-2 hours for his first 4 months and sleeping through the night (8pm to 7am) since 2.5 months. All of a sudden he won't nap for longer than 30 minutes. We were on a really great 3 hour EASY routine and for the past 3 weeks now, we are all over the map. I will be trying the wake sleep method tomorrow again, but it so far today has not yielded any results. I think it might be teething but of course, I am not 100%. I have also read that sleep patterns change around 4 months. Any ideas on why the sudden change in behavior? If it is teething, what can I do to help? I have tried giving him baby tylenol before his 2nd nap of the day and that didn't seem to help either.

  10. Kelli,
    Maybe try extending the routine. It is surprising how much that can help sometime.

    Is his room dark and quiet. Maybe he is getting more interested with his surrounding.

    If he is used to falling asleep by himself and staying asleep without help then the sleep patterns that happen around this age probably won't cause too many sleep issues. at least this is what I've noticed.

    Is he starting to roll or doing something else developmental? This can cause some bad naps for a while.

    You might want to consider an earlier bedtime to see if it helps. It can make a huge difference for a lot of kids and sometimes they start to need it more when they get past the newborn stage. It is probably especially important right now since he is likely overtired from short naps.

    Have you given him a few minutes to see if he'll go back to sleep by himself?


  11. Rachel,

    I have put a black sheet on the window to block out all light. I got in the habit of putting him to sleep at night while he is still awake so he can definitely get himself to sleep on his own. In my experience with him, once he gets rolling with the crying, he becomes too agitated to fall back asleep. Not rolling over yet, but we practice that and sitting unassisted during playtime often.

    For naps, he has been taking them in his swing and I have been moving him to the crib over the past month or so as he will soon outgrow the swing. I thought this might be the issue, but when I finally give up and let him back in his swing, the naps are still only 30 minutes.

    Today, I paid close attention to his tired cues, fussy, yawning, rubbing eyes and I took him to his room and rocked and sang to him to calm him down from playing. He went into his crib no problem and I tried the wake to sleep at 20 minutes. He cried out a bit when he stirred. I heard him sucking his fingers to get back to sleep. Just when I thought it had worked and he was going back to sleep, he started wailing. I had to go in and rock him back to sleep. Poor little guy is so tired, he has almost rubbed his eyebrows clean off!

    I will definitely try to put him to bed a bit earlier. Dad doesn't get home until around 6:45 -7 from work so I have always tried to give him at least an hour to visit before putting him down for the night, but that will have to take a back seat for a bit until we can get this figured out.

    Thanks for the reply!

  12. Hi there,
    This blog has been so interesting to read and very helpful on understanding what may be going on with my 5.5 month old. I am wondering if you can help me figure out when exactly to go in and stir my baby!

    He is 5.5 months old and is on a 4 hour feeding schedule and does really well with it (Well, he WAS)...this is our "planned" schedule:

    7a wake, feed, awake time
    9a-11a nap
    11a wake, feed, awake time
    1p-3p nap
    3p wake, feed, awake time
    3p-5p awake
    5p-6/6:15p nap
    6:15p- bath, massage, see daddy
    6:30/6:40p- bottle
    7p- bed

    For some background info, our nap routine is to read a few nursery rhymes, put him down awake, turn on his mobile and he rolls over after a few mins of watching the mobile and falls asleep, 90% of the time with no crying at all. The problem I am having, and really have always had but lately it's gotten REALLY bad, is that he wakes up 35 minutes, on the dot, in every single nap. Usually in one of the 3 naps he will go back to sleep. I have always just left him there since I know he can self soothe and he usually isn't crying, just talking and playing until I come to get him.

    My question is, how would I implement the wake to sleep method? He usually starts moving around 30 minutes but doesn't fully wake til 35 minutes. Occasionally it will be 40 minutes but usually it's 35 on the dot. Would I go in after 25 minutes or 30?

    Also, he is a great sleeper at night. We are in the process of weaning from a 10p "dreamfeed" and he goes until 6:30 or 7a and very rarely wakes during the night. Maybe once in the past month, and only for a few minutes.

    So, he is often awake for an hour and 20 or 30 mins in his crib before I get him to feed, then of course he's pretty tired during his play time and I usually end up winding down 30 mins or so before his next nap.

    Any advice you can offer would be SOOOO helpful. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!


  13. kelli,
    Let me know how things go. And it isn't uncommon for babies to stop napping well in the swing as they get older.

  14. Nas,
    When a baby normally takes good naps and they suddenly get shorter I think pain, sickness, need to extend routine, developmental stuff going on.

    I would try the wake to sleep around the 20 minute mark. You'll have to test the timing to see what works best. I think he might be overtired. maybe try working with only waketimes for a few days (means more naps) instead of nap times and see if you can get him for rested. Then go back to more of your schedule (making sure to put to bed early if a nap is short) and see if things get back on track. In the least, you might want to do a super early bedtime to make up for short naps. Like 1.5 hours earlier.

    Hope that helped! At leas the is a happy baby in the crib :)

  15. Thank you so much for your reply Rachel!

    I am going to attempt the wake to sleep at 20 minutes today. The last 2 days I've done it at 25 and some naps he stays asleep and others he wakes, so I think it may be coincidence that he stays asleep in some. The reason I think this is because he is still moving all over the place at his 35 minute mark even after I stir him - and when I do stir him it seems that I have done it right b/c he will turn his head and let out a sigh. Do you think I haven't stirred him enough maybe? I will try it today at 20 minutes to see the difference...or do you think it is worth a try to wait until he stirs and try relaxing him by holding him still? I'm nervous about this one b/c I foresee him waking up the moment he senses me in the room...

    Another problem I think that has occurred is that he really isn't making it to the 7a wake up time, he has been waking up at 6:15a and just stays in his crib content talking to himself. I usually will go get him to start his feeding at 6:45a since he is awake anyway. But I have still been keeping him awake until his "scheduled" nap at 9a which may be part of the problem since it is longer than 2 hours at this point? Maybe I need to make his start time 6:30 until he sleeps past this point?

    And I will follow the advice on earlier bedtime if his naps aren't good. We have been doing this but only about 30-45 minutes earlier. Do you think if we do 1.5 hours earlier he will wake up that much earlier or is that not really how it works?

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! I can't tell you how helpful this blog has been, I have felt so lost as to what it is that I am doing wrong and I have found some pearls of wisdom on here so I really appreciate you doing this blog!! I am sure it has helped so many of us first time moms!


  16. Rachel,
    If I stir him at 20 minutes and he still moves around a lot at 35 minutes does that mean I didn't do it right?

  17. Nas,
    You really just have to test out different times and intensities with the stirring to know if it is working. If he is moving at the 35 minute mark it might mean the stirring didn't work, but it also might mean he is just an active sleeper. Once again, trial and error. Sorry, not the best answer.

    You might want to try starting the day at 6:30. If you don't, then I would at least make the first nap a bit early. Maybe 20 minutes or so.

    A much earlier bedtime helps a lot of kids. Sometimes it can make them wake early. This may be short term or long term. It is hard to tell at first when you have an overtired child. It may take several days to really know what is going on once your child is less overtired. If the wake ups keep happening early in the morning (earlier than previously) with a super early bedtime then you can try slowly moving that bedtime later until you get to a time that doesn't cause those super early wake ups.

  18. Hi Rachel!
    So, things have taken a nose dive for naps :( The good news is we decided to drop the dreamfeed to see how he does at night without it - and he started sleeping 11.5-12.5 hours straight and usually sleeps til 7a or even a little past! His nights are much better without that feeding.

    The problem is still naps - he's gone from taking 1 good nap (1.5 hours) and 2 short ones (35 min on the dot) to all three naps being 35 minutes. Even though he wakes up happy, he is drowsy again soon after, of course. He wakes at 7a for the day- and I've tried putting him down for his first nap at 8:30a, 9a, and 9:30a to try different waketimes but with all of those he still takes the short cat naps. It doesn't seem to be so dependent on how long he's awake. I wonder if I should put him down at 8a?

    I haven't given the wake to sleep a fair try b/c the first few days even though he stirred a lot when I went in to do that, he still moved around a lot at 35 mins and 90% of the time woke up anyway. But maybe I wasn't doing it right or maybe I did...not sure!

    Just wanted to see you have any other suggestions here...or if you think I should push the wake to sleep a while longer to see what happens...

    I know you are out of town, hope you're enjoying your vacation & I look forward to hearing from you again!


  19. Nasreen,
    When I hear of 35 minute naps I think overtired. And it might not just be overtired for that one wake period, it might be overtired from days of difficult nap periods. This isn't always the case though. you might want to try an earlier bedtime or shorter wake/eat/sleep periods for a few days to see if it helps.

    Some babies seem to do good with wake to sleep while others don't do as great, especially mid nap. I think it is worth trying longer bc it might end up working. Something else you might want to try (not sure if I already mentioned this) is going in, withoug baby seeing you, and putting firm pressure on baby's tummy (or back if he is a tummy sleeper) during the sleep transition. This works well with some babies to prevent the jolt that wakes them. Double check the room is dark and quiet during the sleep transition. Also, keep in mind it might be a short phase--something developmentally might be going on that you are not aware of. Good luck!

  20. Thanks Rachel, I haven't tried pressure on his back (he's a tummy sleeper)..maybe I should try that. What I've been doing lately just to get him through the day is going in and rocking him back to sleep which usually takes about 15-20 minutes and this way I can get him another 35 for each nap. Of course, this is NOT ideal and probably not very restorative for him anyway but at least it's something to help get him through the day. He still seems tired all day though...

    I agree with you on being overtired. I definitely think that's what it is only b/c he seems sooo drowsy throughout the day. Maybe I should go back to a 3 hour wake eat sleep pattern to see how he does. I just wasn't sure if that was appropriate at his age...

    Thank you for your help :)


  21. Nasreen,
    Do you have a swing? Maybe that could substitute for rocking to sleep and give you a bit of a break.

    Often times I don't think going back to a 3 hour routine will help, but this of course depends upon the baby and people will have varying opinions on this. Keeping to your normal feeding time right now with a possible eat/play/sleep/play/sleep routine, or something similar, is what I prefer at this age. The play period may be somewhat shorter than normal since he is taking short naps, but you don't want it to be so short that he doesn't have a chance to extend out the nap. Make sense? When you move to a 3 hour routine at this age you sort of get yourself into this short nap pattern. Best of luck!

  22. Thank you so much for your post Rachel :)

    We do have a swing but he's such a large baby (over 20 lbs and 28 inches!) so he hates being in it so we've finally packed it up. But I do agree that the rocking to sleep has to stop b/c i noticed that sometimes it upsets him even more b/c he's so exhausted and I think me trying to make him sleep stimulates him more. Today i darkened his room even more (he now has 2 sheets hanging under his curtains!) and I'm going to try the pressure on his back during his transition to see if it helps.

    I also think I will try the eat/play/sleep/play/sleep vs eat/play/sleep/rock back to sleep, etc

    The challenge we've had with an early bedtime is that he wakes pretty early - last night he went to bed at 6p (last feed 5:45p) and he woke up at 5:15a- he was visibly still tired but fighting it so after feeding him I finally was able to get him back down from 6:20-7a. So then I started his day at 7a but he seemed even more tired than when he goes from 7p-6:30/7a. What do you think about that? Keep with the earlier bedtime?

    And thank you for the advice on the 3 hour routine, I will not go back to that! I am willing to try anything and everything at this point so lemme know if you think of anything else! and THANK YOU so much for your guidance :)


  23. Rachel,
    Could you also give me some idea of what an eat/play/sleep/play/sleep would look like?

    As a reminder, our "desired" routine would be the following:
    7a wake, feed (bottle & solids), awake time
    9a-11a nap
    11a wake, feed (bottle & solids), awake time
    1p-3p nap
    3p wake, feed (bottle), awake time
    3p-5p awake
    5p-6 nap (he rarely falls asleep for this one overtired!)
    6p- feed solids, bath, massage, see daddy
    6:30/6:40p- feed bottle
    7p- bed (lately he has been in bed by 6/6:30p because he's just so tired.

    Thanks again,

  24. Nasreen,
    Sorry it has taken me a few days to respond!

    I just want to mention that your goal is to have long naps because they give baby better, more restorative sleep than short ones. But you do what you can. If you can't get them extended, then you can't. Hopefully time will fix the issue though.

    Early bedtimes can be tricky because they can cause an early wake up. If this keeps happening (sometimes there are just fluke days and sometimes baby is having issues with early morning wakeups regardless of bedtime) then you might want to slowly move bedtime to a later hour and when it stops effecting morning wake up stop moving it later. If he wakes early I'd try to get him back to sleep as quickly as possibly to get his body used to sleeping at this time (it might include a feeding which may or may not backfire), or you can leave him to go back to sleep on his own. I have done both methods before and they have both worked. But it depends upon your baby and what you feel comfortable doing.

    Here's an example of the e/a/s/a/e routine that I am just making up this second. I'll go with 45 minutes being a nap length since that is common.

    7 eat and play
    9 nap
    9:45 wake up and play
    11 eat and nap (not feed to sleep, just feed before sleep)
    11:45 wake up and play
    1 nap
    1:45 wake up and play
    3:00 eat then nap

    I am just guessing on wake time. It is going to be less than the normal 2 hours since there will be mini naps. But it might be longer than 1 hour 15 minutes (I'm guessing maybe 1.5 hours). I just used this time in the example because it make the numbers easier :) Much luck!


  25. Hi Rachel,
    Thanks so much for your sample schedule, it definitely helped me get a better idea of what I can try. I'm going to follow something similar today, except he woke up at 6a so even though I didn't get him up til about 6:40a I put him down for his first nap at 8a.

    Is the goal with a routine like this to break the overtired cycle and then gradually extend these naps? I know he is as desperate for more sleep during the day as I am, he has never been a fussy baby and lately has been cranky about 60% of the day :( It's awful seeing him stuck in this cycle...

    I am hoping doing this will help him...

    Also, he was consistently making it to 7am for about a week (after daylight savings) but now has resorted back to waking at 6am. He usually falls asleep around 6:45/7p. If he is happy and awake in the evening would it be worth trying to get him to bed at 7:30p instead so that he makes it to a later morning start of 6:30/7a?

    Thanks again for all your help, I truly appreciate it so much


  26. Nasreen,

    Often it is a good idea to break the overtired cycle before trying to work on other things. But some kids do fine even if they are overtired. And with some kids that don't know how to sleep by themselves and don't sleep well with help, it is almost impossible to break this cycle before beginning sleep training. Besides adjusting to work with his short naps, you might want to consider letting him sleep as long as he wants during the day to get over the overtiredness. There is always the chance that this will backfire, but I think most likely it will not at this age.

    You could try moving bedtime a bit later. But I would do it very gradually and keep good notes of what is going on. It might make no difference. He might be an early morning riser no matter what (in which case, I'd personally get him used to hanging out in his bed for a bit before you get him each day!). He might start to sleep worse. HE might start to sleep better. Make sure to give it enough time to see if it is really working. A day or two might just be random luck, or bad luck. One thing I also suggest (not sure if I have suggested this to you yet) when trying to get a routine figured out is to go with baby's early morning waking so you can get your day figured out. WHen the day is figured out, THEN try to move the waking to a later time by slowly moving the whole day later...going in a bit later each day etc.

  27. Thanks Rachel, I'm taking all your advice. I'm not gonna mess with the bed time just yet, and I will start the day when he wakes up if it's past 6a. This morning he was up from 5:20a fussing up til 6a but the few times this has happened and I go in to feed him, he wants to play and not go back down. But if I leave him and it's this early, he usually goes back to sleep. Which he did from 6-7:15a. But all day long he's been fighting his naps. I wonder if he's not tired enough with the shorter awake times, but he looks visibly tired. He's been playing in his crib for about 30 mins before going to sleep, or just fighting it and fighting it until I go in and rock him (which I have done twice today...yikes). I hope this doesn't create another problem for us! He just gets to a point in the day where it seems he's incapable of falling asleep, like he's too amped up even though he's sleepy. So by the time he actually does get to sleep, it's been 2-2.5 hours of being awake...

    I'm gonna keep working at this and trying very hard to break the overtired cycle. Although it really does seem impossible right now!!!

    Thanks again :)

  28. Nasreen,
    Maybe try a longer waketime and see if it helps. If it doesn't you can always go back to a shorter one. Oh, and I would definitely do a long wound down routine for him if he is overtired. Overtired kiddos often have a hard time settling to sleep even if they are ready for it.

  29. Hi Rachel,

    I stumbled upon your blog while looking for help online with my almost 16 week old. I have read Babywise and am generally following its principles of Eat, Wake, Sleep. My son used to be a great sleeper until he hit about 10 weeks. Then he started waking up at 30-45 mins into every single nap, throwing off our entire day's routine and messing up all his feeds, to the point that I'm not sure I'm really able to follow Babywise properly anymore. I think at this stage, I'm supposed to be dropping one more of his feeds, but haven't been able to do so because he won't nap long enough to get us to the next cycle, so I am currently stuck on a 3 hour feeding cycle, and would so love to move him to a 3.5 cycle soon.

    Recently, as in, just last Friday, he began sleeping 1.5 for his two morning naps, but his afternoon naps are still only 45 mins long. It gets to the point that he is quite cranky in the evenings and doesn't feed well, so I have been hesitant to drop his late night feed.

    Right now, he is 15 weeks and 4 days old. His routine is very loosely like this, but it's still changing from day to day!! I'm desperate for a more predictable routine!

    - 7 am Feed (usually wakes up around 6:30 am, and I try everything I can to get him back to sleep for a bit more, but he just won't, so I usually feed him around 6:50 am)
    - 8-8:15 am Nap
    - 10 am Feed
    - 11:15 Nap
    - 1 pm Feed
    - 2:15 Nap (usually wake 45 mins into this nap)
    - 4 pm Feed (is usually awake long before this time, and I either try to rock him back to sleep or if he just won't sleep, I leave him to sit in his bouncer till feed time)
    - 5:15 Nap (usually also 45 mins nap)
    - 7 pm Feed (again, up prob around 6:00-6:15 pm, so I try to rock or leave him in a bouncer--usually does not fall back asleep)
    - 8-8:15 pm "Bedtime", but I have still been waking him up at 11 pm for 1 final feed
    - 11 pm Feed (no diaper change/no talking etc)

    I skimmed the other posts on wake to sleep etc, but I am not familiar with any of these techniques, as I've never read Baby Whisperer. I'm also quite scared to go in and "wake" him because I'm so exhausted that whenever he's asleep, I just want to keep him that way! I know I need some courage to try these methods out, but out of curiosity, do you know if he can ever outgrow these short naps on his own? I have tried hanging dark towels up over his blinds now, and pretty much keep them up there all day, except for his wake times, I'll pull them down.

    Thanks for any help at all!

    - Clarissa

  30. Also, I forgot to mention that we only use 7:00 am as the start of our day, not because it works for us, but because he hasn't been able to hang in there any later, maybe due to hunger. Ideally, if I could start him at even 7:30-8:00 am, that would make a world of difference to our family. Is there no chance of this happening until he stops waking up hungry in the mornings on his own? Thank you for your help!

  31. Hi Rachel,

    Sorry to post so many times before you've had a chance to reply yet. I just wanted to say I just read the post on "early morning awakenings" and understand that my current start time of 7 am is pretty reasonable, so I'm fine to keep it that way and not try to force my son to sleep longer if he can't.

    However, one thing I forgot to mention that has been troubling me the most is that he is waking up consistently earlier and earlier every couple of days. Before Daylight Savings, his first feed of the day was at 8 am. He was not consistently sleeping through the night yet at this point, so I would usually give him a feed around 4-5 am.

    After Daylight Savings, he started to be able to somewhat sleep through the night, waking up at 7 am hungry, so we started his day at 7 am (Daylight Savings Time, which I guess would've been 6 am for him internally), sometimes 7:30 am. However, for the past week, he started waking up around 6:40 am and I thought it was hunger, so I would try to hold him off about 10 mins and then would feed him to try and stay as close to 7 am as possible. Today, he woke at 6:20 am, and I am concerned this is going to become a pattern. Have I done something wrong to cause him to wake earlier and earlier? Unfortunately, we still do not have a good bedtime routine yet, as he keeps waking up early out of his nap before his 7 pm feed, and I let him play before feeding. By the time I feed him, he's usually pretty hyper and doesn't nurse well. Then he has trouble going to bed afterwards and has been up for as long as 1-1.5 hours after we set him down around 8-8:15 pm. Could his inability to sleep when we put him down for this bedtime be the cause of him waking earlier each day? Thanks for any help, and also for this blog. It's been immensely helpful.

  32. Clare,
    It is hard to say what is causing the early morning wake ups. I have had to trouble shoot this with both of my kids. It is possible that overtiredness is causing this. It is possible it is hunger or noise or even still light. Some kids will go back and forth with waking for hunger for a while at night. I wouldn't say you have necessarily done something wrong. Kids are tricky! One thougt I have is that you might want to consider increasing his waketime during the day. It is hard to extend a routine if he isn't awake long enough to give him a long nap. And I wouldn't worry too much about not having his routine extended out yet. Every baby is different. Just go with what seems to be best. What others are doing can help give you something to reference to guide you, but certainly don't feel like you should be doing just what they are doing. You and your baby are your own separate thing with different needs and challenges. Let me know if I didn't answer all your questions. good luck!

  33. Clare,
    It is also a good idea to keep a sleep log (see post) when trying to figure out why early morning wakings are happening.

  34. Hi Rachel,

    Thanks for your comments. I do keep a sleep log, but it is all over the place, even though I try to keep his feeds regular at approx 3 hour intervals. It's difficult to figure out what's going on because I feel like there are so many different things "going wrong" that I can't pinpoint just one area. I would really appreciate any help you might be able to give me to troubleshoot.

    In terms of the early wake ups, I agree that it might be overtiredness, as he doesn't cry anymore from hunger, but will hang out in the crib for up to an hour just talking or even being quiet. Unfortunately, I don't know how to fix his overtiredness. I do try to put him down earlier for naps, but that means I am never able to extend his wake time, and it also means he wakes up earlier and earlier from each nap, and it makes it difficult for me to reach the next 3 hour feed unless I rock him back to sleep for a longer nap or let him get up and play/lay in his crib awake, which again, makes me shorten his wake time after feeding.

    When he turned 10 weeks, he stopped being able to sleep more than 30-50 mins on his own. He would sleep so badly all day, and then crash at night and actually be a really good sleeper from about 9 pm - 7 am or so. However, during the daytime, I decided that I would "help" him transition by holding him for the remainder of his naps because he would not complete them in a swing.

    About a week ago, at 15 weeks, he began to randomly transition through 1-2 naps (out of 4) on his own, so I stopped "helping"/holding him, but he consistently would not sleep his last nap before the bedtime feed. He would wake 45 mins into the nap, but I didn't want to feed him early so I tried giving him a bath before feeding or letting him sit in a bouncer to buy some time. He would become too hyper to feed well by the time it was nursing time, and then he would consistently wake around 45 mins into his bedtime.

    My husband and I were so concerned that we'd have to hold/rock him for the whole evening that we'd just go in to check if it was gas (occasionally it was, even at 45 mins!), and then we'd leave him to CIO, hoping the night time tiredness would make him sleep faster, but he has cried about 1-1.25 hrs for the last 3 nights, falling asleep around 9:30-10:00 pm. I would then give him a dream feed around 11 pm, and while he used to wake up closer to 7 am, he now wakes shortly after 6 am.

    For the past 2 days, he has not cried when waking up around 6 am. He hasn't seemed hungry at all, and I hung up dark towels to cover his windows. There might be a little noise, like birds singing, but it isn't much. I tried to leave him in his crib to see if he would fall back asleep, but he never did, so I would feed him at 7 am, his usual wake time, but he would be so tired by 8 am that I'd have to put him down without giving him the sufficient wake time I'd like to.

    I think that I am now placing him down for his naps overtired too, because I can't quite judge when to put him to bed after he's been up for so long in the morning before his first feed. I feel like I am perpetuating his overtiredness, but I just don't know how to end it, unless I "help" him again through every single nap, which I obviously don't want to do. He is one of those babies that go to sleep on his own initially without any problems whatsoever. It has always been a problem with his transitions.

    I'm sorry this is so long winded! I have been trying to figure him out for so long, and just don't know what to do. I'm not sure what the priority is now--to ensure he sleeps every nap, regardless if I have to be a "prop" for him right now, which I obviously don't want to be, or start "sleep training" him, even though he doesn't always CIO.

    Thanks for listening and for any help you can provide.

  35. Hi Rachel,

    I also wanted to ask if you think this could be a possibility with my son waking up around 6 am and talking for almost an hour--could it be that his internal clock thinks it is still 5 am?

    I am a babywise mom, and I know that around this age (16 weeks), PDF babies tend to wake around 5 am and talk it out. I used to start his day at 8 am, prior to daylight savings, but when he began sleeping through the night, he could only make it till 7 am until he was very hungry. After daylight savings, the "new" 7 am is actually 6 am from his old schedule, which means the "new" 6 am is actually 5 am from the winter time. Sorry, I hope this makes sense.

    Anyway, if he is not crying from 6-7 am anymore, should I ever try changing my start time with him back to 8 am, and ignoring him till then to see if he can fall back asleep? Thanks for your help!

  36. My son is 5.5 months and he has taken 45 min naps for what seems like forever. Probably since maybe 5 weeks old? It's horrible. I put him down for four naps a day and people think I'm nuts but otherwise he's a fussy mess! He can't last over 2 hours. he wakes up crying sometimes and I know it's because he's overtired and unrested.

    I only recently began (as in I started yesterday) putting him down drowsy, (then he wake sup fully and screams) I stand there and keep a hand on his chest and sing or shuuush. I leave after he calms down and then he cries for about 10 minutes. Then he's out. 35 minutes later...he's up. I tired the wake to sleep thing and he didn't move till the 35 minute mark then POP his head came up off the mattress and he was wide awake. Nothing I did made any difference.
    Any advice?

  37. Hi Rachel,
    Quick question- Tracy Hogg discusses using te PU/PD method when a baby wakes up early from a nap. Is this a method I should try even though My son doesn't cry when he wakes up? He does fuss a lot but not really a cry...what do you think?


  38. Sorry- one more question. I've tried wake to sleep during his naps today. As a reminder, he usually wakes at 35 mins. I went in at 20 mins, in his morning nap he slept through after moving a lot at his 25 min mark (this is when he's normally fast asleep) and in his afternoon nap he actually woke up at 25 mins. Do you think 20 mins is too early?

    Thx again :)

  39. Claire,
    It isn't uncommon for the last nap of the day (if you have at least 3) to be short. Some babies will not take longer ones or will for a while, then drop to a shorter time and won't go back. Usually you just have to do an early bedtime to work with this so they don't get too overtired. So they wake after nap number 2, you feed, they have waketime, take a nap, have waketime then feed and go to bed for the night (or something like that). You might have them up only 2 hours in the evening before bed. That is a long time to cry before bed! Really take a close look at this waketime and any trends with it to make sure it isn't too short or long for him. Both can cause the crying before bed. The waking shortly after being put to bed is usually due to overtiredness assuming he isn't put to sleep with a sleep prop and he has his nights and days down which he probably does (doesn't think bedtime is nap time).

    At this age I might try to see if they will do the nap transitions on their own. If you attempt it several days and they can't then I would try to help them through their naps and try again with the transitions at an older age. BUT, that is just what I have done. And if he sits in his bed happily the rest of his nap but still won't sleep it can make sleep training success a little difficult to come by. If you are feeling too overwhelmed then I would say go ahead and just sleep train. I personally think he is at an ok age for this. But you want to make sure you have a good idea of his waketimes and you might want to help him get well rested before you start (even if you have to rock him to sleep in the middle of a nap). One thing I do is consider bed time while not sleeping 50% of waketime. So if they have been up in their bed for an hour before you get them, I consider them up for about 30 minutes. When they get older I move this to something like 25%. I still do something like this with my 3 year old. It isn't perfect, but I have found it to work well for me (past the newborn stage at least) and others I have talked to.

    "After daylight savings, the "new" 7 am is actually 6 am from his old schedule". I assume you are in the southern hemisphere since this time change was actually good/easy for me in regards to kids and sleep. It is possible his body is stuck with the old time. THe best you can do here is just act like it is the new time, or slowly move his schedule to the new time. It can be tough to do this though without overtiring him. Some kids are really sensitive to this and it can make sleep training difficult. Sorry! It is worth leaving him in his bed when he wakes to see if he'll fall back asleep. Can't hurt.

  40. Colleen,
    Teaching him to go to sleep on his own is a first, great step which will likely continue to help him sleep better. It can take time though. And with short nap sometimes all you can do is wait it out. If you need to do 4 naps to help your little one not get overtired while you work on extending out the naps, then do it. Besdies being inconvenient at times, I don't see any problem with it. Long naps are better, of course, because the continuity of sleep is better for baby, but if you can't get long naps to happen, then you can't. I don't really have much other advice I can think of right now besides what I mentioned. I will mention to keep the room dark, maybe try a sound machine, go in before the nap ends and try to get him through the sleep transition soothing him to sleep or keeping a firm hand on his back/belly during his startle that happens when he wakes. I would try to get him back to sleep when he wakes, if possible too. you have probably already tried this, but I thought I'd mention it. Good luck!

  41. Nasreen,
    Generally it is suggested to not do pu/pd unless baby is crying. But it is possible that if you leave him he won't go to sleep, and if you go in to try and soothe--he will probaly cry if you go in and don't eventually pick him up--then do pu/pd he will be able to then fall asleep. Sorry, bad answer, I know.

    As for 20 minutes being too early, I don't know. It could have been total coincidence. I would try it again at that time, keeping track of how he reacts. It might vary with how overtired he is too.

    Sorry, not a very helpful response all around!

  42. Hi Rachel,

    Thanks for your comments, esp. about baby being awake in bed and how to factor that into his wake time later. That is super helpful to know.

    About my son crying 1-1.25 hours, it is not actually before bedtime. He usually goes down easily and quickly before every nap, including "bedtime" but he consistently will wake at 45 mins even at bedtime, and it is then that he will wail for at least 1 hour. Does this mean he thinks bedtime is a nap? Or is it because I have been a sleep prop for him during the day because I have to rock him back to sleep during naps?

    We have been rocking him at naps and sometimes have to hold him for the remainder of a nap, because he keeps waking every time I set him down in the crib. How do I make bedtime different, so that he knows it is not a nap? Or what should I do if he continuously cries at 45 mins into his bedtime? What is the priority? To make sure he gets his naps, thereby aiding him to get through the transition like I am now, and risking that he thinks bedtime is also a nap, or forgetting about helping him with naps, so that he knows he will not get help at bedtime and must get through it by himself?

    Yesterday was the first time that I misjudged all of his wake times. He had a poor night's sleep the day before, and then he took forever to fall asleep at each nap, which has never happened. He normally goes to sleep very quickly after I place him down, after approx 75-80 mins of wake time. Yesterday though, when I did our normal thing, he would talk for ages and ages and was up even 2 hours after his feed. Does this mean I should be extending his 3 hour cycles to 3.5 or 4 hours?

    He has been on a 3 hour schedule all this time because we are not sure he is considered to be STTN yet as he cries so late into the night and does not fall asleep until around 9 pm, even when I have put him to bed at 6:45-7 pm. I try to give him a dream feed between 10-11 pm, and he normally wakes around 6:30ish. Given this, should I just extend his days now before I have completed extending his nights properly?

    Thank you for all your time and help.

  43. Hi Rachel,
    Thanks for your reply. I posted something on here a couple days ago but I don't see it so I'm wondering if it ever came through! I was using my iphone so maybe it didn't!

    I just wanted your opinion - the wake to sleep doesn't seem to be working. And when I try holding him through the jolts at his 35 minute mark he wakes up and keeps trying to look at me and once he does he starts smiling and laughing and, well, you know how that goes. He just wakes up more.

    So, what I've resorted to doing again is if he wakes up at 35 mins, I go in and rock him back to sleep without making any eye contact and no talking. This can take about 15 mins to get him to stop trying to play and finally give in and go to sleep. Once he's asleep I have to wait about 15 mins before putting him down or he will just pop his eyes right open. So all in all the process is about 30 mins and he will sleep for another 50-60 so he's getting his 35 min nap, and then another 50-60 mins.

    This is the only way I've found to be able to get him through his day. Obviously this is less than ideal, and I'm worried that I will become a sleep prop for him. He falls asleep on his own for the nap, but can't fall back to sleep on his own. He's also sleeping awesome at night. We are having to do an early bedtime of 6:15/6:30p b/c of his short naps but he has been sleeping til anywhere from 6:15-7a. When I put him to bed later, at 7p, he wakes up earlier. So I figured it is best for him to at least get more night sleep since he isn't getting good day sleep.

    What do you think?

  44. Clare,
    My opinion on the extending days before STTN (12 hours) is a bit different than some bw moms and it has evolved. A lot of the time extending the day routine can acutally help nights, and it can also simply help the day. So while I strive for STTn (df ok) before going to 3.5 or 4 hour routine, I do not think it is necessary. Probably why I strive for this is more than it usually naturally occurs before this. And I also try to have no more than one night feed before extending day, but, again, it usually comes before this naturally (although I really don't think it is necessary at 4 months so I wouldn't suggest dropping it but I'm off topic!).If you extend, do it slowly.

    Often helping babies mid naps doesn't hurt at other times, especially bedtime which babies can tell is a different things from naps. But every baby is different, and I wonder if that holding for the entire rest of the nap instead of just helping out some is the big issue. At this age most babies do a lot better with overtiredness and can sometimes get themselves back to sleep by themselves after short naps so you might want to attempt that. I think it is probably ok to attempt some method mid nap to extend naps that might cause overtiredness to see if they work. If not, then I would continue the method you are doing if it isn't causing issues. It sounds like yours might be though, so you might have to try something else instead.

    Try to go by your instinct a bit when he wakes at night. I know that is kind of hard to do! It is possible that wake to sleep might help at this time. Maybe rushing in the second he wakes and putting him right back to sleep (even going in before he fully wakes to make the wakefullness very minimal) might help him get out of the habit of waking. Maybe it seems that just leaving him will help him the most.


  45. Nasreen,
    He's around 6 months now right? I don't think it is a big deal to help baby get back to sleep after a mini nap assuming it doesn't seem to cause other problems. It is a good idea every so often to see if he can do it on his own. Often it is something they grow into being able to do either they suddenly do it one day, or you try some kind of method and it works when it didn't work before. Have you left him to fuss for a couple minutes? Have you tried pu/pd? (maybe we've alreayd discussed this, sorry if that is the case, I am known to forget things at times;) Anyway, trying out things like that every so often is a good idea. But maybe since you just got things settled, leave them as they are right now so you can get some rest yourself and try to relax for a bit.

    best of luck,

  46. Hi Rachel,
    Yup, he just turned 7 months. I've tried leaving him and the challenge we have is that he starts playing after a little fussing when he wakes up. I have left him for over an hour before and he just plays and fussed and doesn't try to go back to sleep!

    On another note- I think I finally had some success with wake to sleep this morning. We'll see if it continues- is it best to start with one nap
    For this or all naps?

  47. Nasreen,
    You can either try wake to sleep with one or all naps. It can be hard to tackle all at once, but it should give you results quicker--assuming it isn't just a developmental issue that you can't change the timing of.

  48. OMG, Rachel, I just typed a book in response to your response to me and blogger kicked it out! Oy... :(

  49. Hi Rachel, Just wanted to mention that my son has begun to "accept" bedtime and is now sleeping through most of his naps too, which is amazing! You were right that at his age, 18 weeks, he should be able to start transitioning on his own, so I just let him be and he has done just that.

    I'm still not sure when bedtime should be though, as he wakes at slightly different times from his 4th catnap each day, and ideally, I don't want him to go to bed any earlier by getting rid of the catnap because I actually really need his first morning wake time to be slightly later for the whole family's schedule. Do you have any tips for that? Thank you so much!

  50. The Beagles,
    UGH. Hate it when that happens!

  51. Clare,
    Great to hear things are improving!

    I always adjust bedtime depending on how naps go. I have a time I shoot for, but if they don't nap like normal, I will move it a bit earlier. Keeping it at the normal bedtime hour even if they nap badly usually won't make a later morning waketime--in fact, it may be earlier than usual. You really have to try things out and see though as kids do things from the unexpected. When he is ready to drop the catnap, he may do so by refusing to sleep for it no matter what you do. And there isn't tons you can do about that. But not having it doesn't necessarily mean he'll wake earlier in the morning. He may sleep more at night. Having kids sleep in later than a reasonable time (often 7ish) is a difficult thing to do and often almost impossible to change. You can try stuff (look at the early morning waking post) but it often doesn't work. What does work sometimes is severely sleep depriving them (you'll notice that the parents you talk to who have kids that sleep in are usually extremely sleep deprived) which is obviously not the best way to go :)


  52. Hi Rachel,

    Just out of curiosity, what are the reasons that contribute to a short nap again? If my LO exhibits tiredness and when I set him down, he falls asleep within a few minutes, that would seem as if I have timed his WT correctly right? If he then only does a 45 min nap, and he isn't a chronic short napper, what could it mean? Could it be he was not tired enough or that he was too tired? He is 20 weeks old, and he does not usually display sleep cues, but I find the more vocal and alert he becomes, actually the more tired he is, and that his excitement is a manifestation of his tiredness. Is this normal? Thank you!

  53. Clare,
    Look over the short nap post. There is a link to it in the first sentence of this post. It goes over all the possible reasons. Sometime es it can be hard to tell though. Babies always have off days, just like us.

    Yes, that is normal for some babies. It sometimes is a sign of over tiredness though.

  54. Hi Stella,

    First of all, let me say that this is quite a blog! I really enjoy reading many of your entries. It's very informative, & encouraging :)

    My 3 month old son is an excellent night sleeper ever since he was just a newborn. He would sleep for 9-10 hrs sleep at night, divided into 3-4.5 hrs stretch, wake up for 2 feeding sessions & go right back to sleep after feeding. (bc he's truly hungry, not bc of a sleep association. This I know bc sometimes I can hear him waking up cooing & making light sounds, & he would go right back to sleep in just a few minutes. So in other words, if he's not hungry, he's able to soothe himself back to sleep). He always falls asleep on my boob, but as soon as he's finished, he'd let go, & I'd put him in his crib with no problem.

    That was the story of his night time sleep. Naps, in the other hand, is a totally different story. It's like an everyday battle. FYI, when he was a newborn (up to about 3 weeks), he slept a lot during the day (I have to make some efforts to wake him up for feeding), with the same story goes for night time sleep.

    When he was 1 month old, I thought he's had his routine. He would've had 2 naps, a short one (about 30-60 minutes) around 10am, and a longer one (2-3 hrs) around 1pm. But it only lasted a week! Soon after, everything became uncertainty.

    Now he's an expert catnapper when he sleeps in his crib or our bed, only for 15 mins mostly, sometimes 20 or 25 if I'm lucky. He's definitely not awake from hunger, I'm very certain of it. & we can rule out other problems like gas etc. as well. I think we're having 2 problems: 1 is sleep transition trouble, & the 2nd one is sleep association (he really needs my boob to fall back to sleep during the day). I read that sleep association sometimes affect daytime sleep or night time sleep only. I think this is what's happening.

    I've tested this theory by sling nursing him to sleep 3 times, & he would stir around 15th minute, but didn't wake up. And then he would wake up after 45-60 mins, comfort suck and fall back to sleep.

    I've also tried the 4S + PU/PD method, it worked for putting him to sleep, but still, sleep lasted for only 15-25mins.

    So, if I want to apply the W2S for the 15 mins nap, at what point should I do it? & how much rousing are we talking about here? Any specific suggestion?

    Also, do you think there's another problem that causes the cat nap?

    Thanks so so much! xx


  55. Karpet Merah Wedding Videography,
    Overtiredness often causes naps that short. And if he is only getting tiny little cat naps, this is likely the case. Be sure to look over the waketime post and the total sleep posts.

    Wake to sleep will be tough when he wake at just 15 minutes. It may not work. It is worth a shot though. You'll have to work with the timing to see what works. I'd try maybe 10 minutes after he goes to sleep and do only enough rousing that he seems to register something going on by showing some kind of movement (even minimal) etc himself.

    You might want to try the pu/pd when he wakes early from naps. Make sure his room is dark and quiet. Maybe try a sound machine for naps to see if it makes a difference. The nursing at night might be making day time things worse. You may want to try having him fall asleep at the breast a little less over time at night and see if it helps the daytime sleep.

    Good luck!

  56. Hello,

    Thank you for this blog! Lots of great information and the knowledge that teaching a baby to sleep well takes lots of work!

    I have a 4 month old son and have been changing to the 4 hour feeding cycle (starting at 7 AM) and still including a dream feed around 11 PM. It's coming up to two weeks and I'm feeling like I'm spinning my wheels with trying to get the longer daytime naps in the morning and early afternoon. I've been using the baby whisperer techniques, which worked well with my older daughter. My son goes down well, and very quickly for naps. But after 30 to 45 minutes, he wakes. I've been going in to and using the sshh pat method to calm. It is fairly successful for about 10 minute intervals, then he wakens again. It's not always from a jolt, he'll just let out a cry and re-start the whole process. Very frustrating! So far I've been spending the remaining 45 minutes - hour of his nap doing this. Somedays are better, but I feel I've made only slight progress. Do you think it will get better with time? Am I becoming a "prop"?

    I've been reading about overtiredness possibility and have been keeping it calm (as much as possible with a 2 and 1/2 year old around). Any insights or suggestions are greatly appreciated. I just don't want to feel like I'm wishing aways these days until he's a better sleeper. Thanks!

  57. Hi, my son is 6 months old and just started finally putting himself to sleep in his own crib. He had been sleeping in the bouncy seat bc of reflux, which is now doing much better. He is perfectly fine sleeping on his back and falls asleep easily every night around 8 pm. However, he has been waking at 3:30 or so each night and will not go back down for almost 2 hours! Even if I nurse him, he does not go back to sleep after I lay him down, no matter what I do or how I do it. He always wakes up. I've tried the seat and the crib. I don't really want to dreamfeed because I can't lay him down without him waking and I'm afraid to get him hooked on eating in the middle of the night again. He has gone days without eating at night already. Any advice?
    -Jen, one tired mom

  58. Hi Jen, Not sure if you have gotten replies. My Advice is to try putting him down at 7:30p. If that goes well, and your schedule allows, I would even do 7pm. He may still wake around the same time the first couple nights of earlier bedtime, but he will extend! You would be surprised. You would think the later bedtime would equal more tired which would equal longer sleeping, but this is usually not the case at all...

    also, how is his napping? If you have a schedule and would like to share it with me I might could help further.

    ((HUGS)) ~ Brandi

  59. Mrs. Jex-Lewis,

    I think that 2 hours of wake time is a little too much for most 4 month olds. I know The baby whisperer suggests it, but I think 1.5 hours is usually where most babies are at this age, at least during the wake times in the morning/afternoon. Maybe try cutting back a bit on the wake time and see how it goes. I don't jump form a 3 to 4 hour routine. I move slowly and do some with 3, some 3.5, maybe one with 4 depending on how baby does and the wake time and naps he usually does.

    Yes, you may be turning in to a bit of a prop, but the problem sounds more than this since it sounds like he isn't sleeping well even with you there. Maybe try shush-pat continuously (no stopping to see if he will wake) to see if he will actually sleep with help or if he won't sleep no matter what. That will let you know if you are likely a prop. .If so, you might want to wean.

    Look over the short nap post for some ideas.

    THings might get better with time, but they might worsen if it is over tiredness or a prop addiction. you'll have to monitor.

    " just don't want to feel like I'm wishing aways these days until he's a better sleeper"

    Totally know what you mean there. It is hard to find a good balance with worrying and working on stuff and just enjoying stuff.


  60. Fullagrace33,
    Along with The Beagles! great advice, you might want to evaluate when all this waking started. Was it right when you moved him to a flat position? Did anything else happen? If a child has reflux (even pretty well controlled) it can get a bit worse if they go several hours without eating, especially if lying down. This happened with my second son (my doctor and I think). It resulted with him waking very early every morning after a long period of no food and not being able to fall asleep.

    I wonder if he is now in the habit of being awake then. If this is the case, wake to sleep might help and even a df might help to get him off his pattern (of course, it is possible it might mess stuff up more, this happens with some babies). Maybe you need to nurse him and hold him for a while so he'll sleep and his body will get into the habit of sleeping at this time again. SHouldn't take too long. Make sure distractions are low. Make sure you don't play no matter what. Also check on naps. Sometimes too long of naps can create a period of sleeplessness at night. OF course, too little naps can do this too, but usually it results in multiple wakings at night, not just one long one.


  61. The beagles!
    Thanks for the helpful comment! It is great to have others suggest things since it sometimes takes me a while to get to questions and I also don't always remember every useful thing for a particular situation.


  62. Thanks everyone! Today I did tap his little behind about 10 minutes before he usually wakes from his nap (at the 30 minute mark) and he slept for 2 hours! Now, I'm not sure if that's totally why - he has had 2 naps recently, about 2x/week - but I was happy. :)
    His nap schedule begins at 11 am. THe rest depends on how he naps at 11, but it's usually about 2 hours between each nap with 2-3 naps total. If he's having a great day he'll get 2 hours of daytime rest; if not, he might get 1 hour and 15 minutes or so. It makes him very fussy. He's just getting over acute teething and sleeping better at the start of his night, so that seems to be helping his naptime. Ironically, he was an EXCELLENT napper until we moved and our in-laws stayed for 2 months. It's been bad sleep ever since.

  63. Sorry, I meant he has had 2 HOUR naps recently. Regardless...I'm hoping to use your advice tonight, and I'm hoping he sleeps better.

  64. fullagrace33,
    I was about to say that you might want to increase his nap time :) That is great the he did a 2 hour nap. Hopefully that will continue more often, but try not to get too discouraged if it doesn't. Good luck with tonight!


  65. Hi Rachel

    Thanks for the advice about being overtired. I've been putting him down for naps earlier and have had some success. Today he took two naps for about 1hr 20min each - with a little cat nap in the late afternoon. Result! I feel like we are starting to make some progress with TBW ways! Still working on the night time, but think day sleep is a big part of it.

    I end up feeding him every 3.5 hrs. I honestly don't think he can go much longer. He's a large 4.5 month old baby. ( in 12 month clothing - I'm 6ft and dad is 6ft7in). So I run into a little trouble in the evening with his cat nap ending around 4:30 - 5:00. It seems a little early for his last meal of the day and a lot of awake time before his 7:00 bedtime. I'm toying with the idea of feeding him again at 7ish and still keeping the dream feed. I've also thought about starting solids...

    Anyway, before I completely ramble on, I wanted to say thank you for the response to my post and this blog. I will continue to check back here because of all of the great information and links you've assembled together. Thanks again!

  66. Mrs. Jex-Lewis,
    I don't think there is anything wrong with doing an average of 3.5 hours during the day at this age. Most babies I know can't make it to 4 ours until closer to 6 months of age, especially if they are trying to keep to the easy routine.

    Many people (myself included) will feed after a couple hours in the evening when that is what works best with the routine. I always feed before bed with kids under a year (usually do longer, but at least do this long). I don't think you have to for some kids, but for most I suggest it. Going 12+ hours without food is a long time. My oldest wouldn't have cared, my 1 year old would have.

    I doubt solids will help your situation. I can almost guarantee you that the extra wakings are not related to not having enough food, they are sleep problem related. They might be the difference between a baby waking 1 or 2 times at night at this age per 12 hours, (compared to 0-1 times), but more than that and I believe it is usually sleep or comfort related, not food related.

    Good luck. Glad there have been some improvements!

  67. Hi Rachel are u still responding to comments?

  68. fabulous.fabi,
    Yes, I am responding to comments right now.

  69. If u are I have a few questions. First of all I've loved all I've read on this site. Very useful info!
    My questions are about my 15wkold son.
    For his first 2mths of life he had everything u can think of....colic, reflux(currently on medicine but has improved greatly) etc. he has come a long way. However, his sleep depended solely on me, obviously because I'd come to his rescue at every cry. Now that I know he's okay, sleep has obviously become and issue. I have tried various methods n the past mths and nothing seems to work quite well, except routine which he's responded to very well. His only routine we had was same bedtime at 7:30-8p with a bath, singing and changing into pjs with swaddle. He sleeps until 4am usually but can vary. Sometimes he wakes at 12,3,5, ....his awake times change as well so it's very hard to mk a daytime routine. I've tried to implement same nap times everyday...buuut, his naps vary in time too. One day he may nap 2hrs, the next just 30-40mins, or in one day, one nap of an hr and the next of just 30 mins. And as soon as he wakes I feed him n change him and the next thing you now he's tired within the hour! Sometimes 1.5hrs. But he is so very inconsistent and it's hard to do a routine. About a week ago I began un swaddling for naps bc he's not sleeping anyway and he is very into his hands m fighting the swaddle so I figured I would give him a chance. He can go down awake and fall asleep and sometimes does fall asleep when he wakes, with his hands but not always. I have tried control crying but perhaps I'm not consistent with it. Maybe you have sum suggestions?
    His "schedule" is as follows:
    6/7wake feed chng
    10/11wake feed chng
    2/3 wake feed chng
    4/5 nap
    6 wake ...playtime
    7 feed bedtime routine starts... bed by 7:30/8

    I have tried non cry methods for so long they dnt work and r very frustrating. He responds very well to routine but it's hard to keep one when his sleep is so inconsistent. When he wakes n the a.m, I don't think he always let's me know and by the time I get him he's already ur rubbing eyes etc. I already put him down awake and he rarely protests, depends how tired he is. I have tried to read him and put him dwn when I see the signs. Oh and another thing, due to his reflux, he slept n carseat and later swing...I began to transition when I realized naps in swing made no difference in lengthening his naps nemore, so I started napping back in his bassinet and he's done fine, and he's swaddled frm the chest down with free hands. But for bedtime it's still swaddled with the swing. Naps in bassinet vary in I mentioned before. Can you give me suggestions? And as far as CIO, he only cries about 5mins and stops...then starts later again about 5 mins and can I help with that. Thank you I hope to hear from you soon. We are desperate bc our son is so cranky and very tired n cries :(

  70. Fabulous.fabi,
    I'm happy you have found the site useful!

    I would keep doing what you are doing focussing on the eat/play/sleep then repeat routine (or eat/play/sleep/play/eat then repeat if he has short naps), a good sleep environment and wake time. At his age I would avoid a wake time of more than 1.5 hours. Maybe 2 hours right before bed, and likely less than 1.5 hours first thing in the morning. Many babies start to only show overtired cues when they get older so it is hard to judge when they are really for a sleep. You will need to keep a sleep log (see post on this under the index page) to see what wake times seem to help the most. Also, this will help you see what wake times are needed after short naps and long naps. You will then be able to figure out his sleep based on wake time length as well as how tired he is acting. I would look over the posts in the sleep environment to make sure they are conducive to sleep. Many babies start to get much more alert at this age and need a darker and quieter room than previously to sleep well.

    AS for the crying 5 mints then stopping, that is just how some babies do cio. Perfect timing with sleep, which will happen when you figure out the wake times better, will help with this. Do make sure you are consistent with your sleep training. ANd make sure hunger doesn't end up being an issue with short naps. THere are still a lot of growth spurts around this age.


  71. Thank you for such a quick response. I did not understand however the wake time part. All I know from his is that every time it's different. Even when he does take a 2 hr nap, his rubbing his eyes n yawning right away. I have tried to go off of just the 40min naps.....but that would mean he'd eat in less than 2hrs. He eats every 3-4hrs depending on his naps. What would be a good CIO method for this? How long before I know it's even hunger or bc he can't go back to sleep. He struggles, do you think he is noIt learning to self soothe bc he is in a swing swaddled at nites? I figured starting with naps first until I saw results? But it's been a week and sometimes he does fine n others no. I see him drift off to sleep all the time unattended, I don't see why he can't when he wakes. Yes he is in a dark room with a nite light by him and white noise. How can I set nap times when it's always different? Including wake times. I jus need more consistency bc it's hard to plan nething around this. His afternoons are the hardest to figure out. He always wakes crying either bc he knows it's time time to eat or bc he's still tired. If I go for him when he wakes after 30-40mins he is so cranky or very tired soon.

  72. Hunger n tired cries have thrown me off now as well. I nvr know if he's tired or hungry after naps. I have fed him, but he still cries bc he's tired....or I have took him out after a nap to play and he's still cries. So I'm very confused bc he always wakes crying. And where do I find this sleep log or info etc. thank uuuu. I am desperate!

  73. I'm also concerned that since everyday, things happen at different times....that he won't catch on to a routine. The day can get so thrown off that even his bedtimes can get thrown off. He is so sleepy all day. And when I see him sleepy, I put him dwn. I am trying to lengthen his naps. So that is why I also get lost....if I'm trying a little CIO so he can he can reach his next cycle, how do I know then if that's all e sleep he wants. Bc I have tried to feed or tk him out n he is still so sleepy and I end up rocking him back to sleep n he will I'm immediately. Sorry for all the posts

  74. Hi!
    My baby is 11 weeks old and I am having a hard time getting her to sleep for her daytime naps and down at night. Once she is down for the night she only wakes up twice and goes down really after feeding in the middle of the night but during the day she wakes up after 20 or 30 minutes and then doesn't go back to sleep. It is making sticking to a routine impossible. I try to put her down drowsy but awake but as soon as I put her in her crib her eyes open and she starts pumping her legs and moving her head around. I don't know what to do. Do you have any suggestions?

  75. fabulous.fabi,
    Babies will rub their eyes for a while after waking, and often when they get sleepy.

    Waketime will get more consistent with time. If it is different every time, then you are probably not reading sleep cues terribly well yet (no worries, he is still young). There should be some consistencies. It will vary with longer or shorter naps, but there should be similar lengths in there, especially in the morning. If there are not, choose a length that seems about average (start with morning nap) and go from there, adding or subtracting time depending on what seems to work best.

    Do the eat/play/sleep/play the eat again if naps are short and you cannot get him to fall asleep again for a longer nap. This would put feedings closer to 3 hours apart. If you can get him to take longer naps, even if you help, then I would probably do it at this age.

    There is no need for a night light. That will create more distraction at this age for sleep.

    You will not have perfectly set sleep times. It will be more of a routine right now. As you work at it, it will turn into sleep times rather than just wake times. You try to have times you aim for, but you can only do so much to stay around those times (i.e. have next nap be a bit longer than usual to make up for the last short nap)

    Babies at this age often wake crying, especially if they are not getting enough sleep. If he is napping less than 1.5 hours and it is not the last nap of the day, he needs a longer nap. He might be hungry after just a short nap. If you feed and he isn't very interested, it likely wasn't hunger. Trial and error needs to be done here.

    At this age, babies can still be sleepy for much of the day. He will stop acting like this soon.

  76. heidi n keith,
    With naps that short, I suspect gas or over tiredness. Make sure the sleep environment is conducive to sleep, that is more important at this age than previously (sleep post on this ).

    You may need to start putting her down less drowsy so she learns to put herself to sleep more. Sounds weird, but trying to put down drowsy at this age sometimes backfires in the way you mentioned.

    The moving the head around might be her way to settle to sleep. Maybe try leaving her to see if she drifts off.

  77. Thanks! Yes I have tried to feed him n it's not hunger. N usually he wakes before its even been 2hrs. Do you suggest a little cry it out since he is now 4mths? He just wants to sleep. Oh ok so what is a reasonable length at this age to go by? He wakes at different times do it is hard to stay consistent. I've read at 3-4mths u can mk same nap times but I can't. I have another question.....having him unswaddled for naps during day, will he learn to self soothe before I unswaddled him at nites? Or is nights something you have to tackle first before they learn to self soothe? Bc at nites he's swaddled. Naps he isn't and hasn't learned to self soothe yet? Je thank u for all the help

  78. Fabulous.fabi,
    You may want to try a ltitle cio when he wakes after short naps. I wouldn't do it too terribly long length wise and for too many days. Many babies wont' take longer naps at this age no matter how much cio so you only want ot do enough to see if it is effective. If it isn't effective, try other nap extending techniques. REasonalbe lenth for naps at this age is about 1.5-2 horus if you can. But like I said, some babies will only do 45 minute or so naps until a bit older. Reasonable waketime is around 1.5 horus (give or take 30 minutes depending on your child and the time of the day).
    If you really want to unswadle, I would probalby do day adn nights and get it over with for both. Some babies will be fine staying swaddled for one and not he other, but other babies might have issues.

  79. Yes I've unswaddled for 2wks now for naps band he sucks his little fingers more but still sleeps same amount of time. I don't know if it's worked or not really :p until what age do they nap longer, more or less? Also, how long do you need to try a nap extending technique before it wrks? If you can elaborate on the, wake to sleep. And p.u p.d. Plz? I didn't quite understand toooo well :/

  80. I also saw that you tried wake to sleep and it worked. When you slightly wake him, and leave, what does he do? If I were to wake my baby slightly and then leave he'd cry I'm sure hana. Also, if I may ask, how did you get your son sleeping 12hrs! No feedings or yes?

  81. Fabulous.fabi,
    He will likely get better at soothing himself with his fingers, or whatever, with time.

    Naps often lengthen around 6 months, not always though. Not sure if this is what you were asking. Check out the short nap post.

    I would try out a nap extending technique for 5-10 days before knowing if it works.

    With the wake to sleep and pu/pd there are posts on those with my knowledge on them.

    There is also a post on wake to sleep that describes how to do it. Generally you do it until baby rouses or moves a little, not wakes up. Some babies wake up over anything. If this is the case, then it might not work so well, or you it will not work so well until you have a baby that knows how to settle himself to sleep well and will go right back to sleep if this happens.

    I got my kids to sleep 12 hours by doing a eat/wake/sleep routine. This is found in baby wise and the baby whisperer, among other books. I encouraged full feedings. I worked on helping them to sleep by themselves without props from early on. I gave them a moment to settle at night when they woke to see if they were going to go right back to sleep rather than wake up hungry. I tried to extend feeds at night with a pacifier if they had eaten recently. It was all a process. They started sleeping longer at night without me having to do much more than these things and at a fairly early age.

  82. Well I've had him settle on his own, and sometimes he does fall asleep alone n others he won't so I do help him. How long do i allow him to settle b4 trying to help. Well I have been doing this but yet to see consistency. He is on a eat play sleep. He did it on his own, just not on a schedule. When could I create a schedule bc he's jus so inconsistent? I wish my son took the paci sometimes! :p u did not result to cry it out? Well, he only wakes once at nights but I think he is waking and not letting us knw because when he wkes in he a.m he's sooo sleepy and ready for a nap soon! Within an hr or less. And like I mentioned wakes at diff times. Evry a.m and night wakings. He had a lot of colc and reflux and etc, and I think that's y he's taking so long to be consistent. Yes I dnt think wake to sleep will work bc he sucks fingers but he gets frustrated n he's obviously not learning yet but getting there...but pantley suggests to go in 5-10 mins before his wake time n pat or jiggle him...which with him, he'd wake fully, so she said one need to be picked up again and rocked or paci etc, will tht wrk or just create a nap sleep prop? I'm concerned bout that..... "/

  83. Suggestions n pushing feeds to extend nite sleep beside a paci. Or how to wean one feed? What is your advice on moving from a swing to crib for nites? He's been in swing bc of reflux and swaddled but days I nap him unswaddled, recently, and in crib. I'm worried to tackle nights if naps are so short bc I wnt be rested bc he doesn't nap enough for me to get some sleep! So I'm a lil concerned. :p ! Wht suggestions on these questions? Ty so much!

  84. "How long do i allow him to settle b4 trying to help"

    That is totally up to you and what you feel comfortable with and how he responds.

    "When could I create a schedule bc he's jus so inconsistent?"

    He is 4 months correct? You could create some kind of schedule right now, but you will still have to take in account wake time and nap lengths and adjust for that, just not as much as you would if you were going purely by wake times and naps.

    I did some cio with my kids, but only after doing other stuff and I didn't have to do very much, especially with the youngest. With my youngest it was actually when he got older and had to do more with him crying because he wanted to play with me than crying to learn to self soothe.

    With wake to sleep, I'd go in a bit sooner than 5-10 minutes.

    With short naps at this age, it often doesn't create too many problems if you help babies go back to sleep when they wake. But it does sometimes. If you can get them to go to sleep themselves they often will learn to stay asleep themselves, but sometimes if they don't you have to help teach them more, especially at night. Keep in mind they may not be capable of this for naps for a while yet.

    Many babies are super sleepy in the morning and need a nap sooner after. But it is possibly he is waking and not letting you know. Maybe wake early for a few days yourself and see if that is the case.

    To push feeds I would decrease how much you feed or if pushing the night feed later, just comfort in any way you can. Baby may get a bit upset whatever you do. .If you move slowly it shouldn't be too bad for either of you.

    With moving out of a swing, if it is still swinging, then slow down the swing speed until it is off. After that you will just have to move him and he might or might struggle for a bit. And maybe first trying moving him to a crib when you go to bed at night and he is already in a deep sleep.

    Unfortunately he may not start sleeping better for naps until you do a more thorough sleep training for days and night. and his naps may not get longer for months. So you have to keep that in mind with when you want to tackle nights. And try to keep the end goal in mind when you are feeling tired and overwhelmed and maybe consider getting some outside help like family to help with the sleep training so you aren't so overwhelmed and worn out.

  85. Ty very much. Well I've read bout parents ho cionat 4mths all nite, extinction, and bby naps 2hrs twice a dy nd sleeps 12hrs! Is I possible that bc his nites r different, swaddle...swing etc, that he is expcing the same in the day w naps? I was hoping to get him to get his self oohing better in days first then I'd tackle nites. What s best? He's on a routine of eat wake sleep....but his times r o off and I have heard time nine again of baby's already on schedules. Well I have no1 to help w sleep training...jus me bc myhusband switches shifts every 4wks...all nite or all day etc. is it a sign of improvement when he cn sometimes go to sleep on his own, evn if it's not evry day or with evry nap? Well, I know u say at his age most can do only 30-40 min naps, but I watch him and he wants to continue to sleep. I've tried feeding or playing and he's tired way sooner or just cries. I'm just a little tired of bing confined to my house o he can sleep right and for swinging n sleep, when he wkes, he only wakes once at nights to feed but I've noticed he will et but b4 he eats he falls asleep while rocking so I knw he just wants help that one me, not necessarily eat.would tht be a slep prop if I rock instead!? Because he'll sleep all nite, thn again he's bing rocked. And when I turn off swing, should I do it when he's in a deep sleep? And if he wakes, which he will, how do I help him go bak o sleep! Bcc I rock him, it defeats the purpose. Oh good idea on moving to crib when he's in a deep sleep, and in tht case hen he wakes, what can be done, also to avoid props. Bc he will eke several times m sure. Could I bring him back to swing nd thn onc he's in a deep sleep, o it again? Ty for ur help, ur pretty much all the advice n support I have! (: ....I'm glad u ravailable to help us moms! Oh nd btw, wke to sleep I can't do yet bc he can't settle himself, rite? Not yet at least? ....he'll prb gt upset! Tuff lil attitude n this fellow :p! Also, hen I do go in yo help him sleep again during a nap, I usually rock, set bak dwn and pat....will this create a bad habit or help if I do it 5-10 mins b4? He will keep waking ms crying do I feel it's becoming a sleep prop o I try n only do it once or twice, n then I try o see if he can do it. Is tht a good strategy or is it jus confusing him w a sleep prop n moms inconsistency? Sry so long...Ty u soooooooooooooooooooooooooo much. I'm giving. A big hug fm a far! (:

  86. Fabulous.fabi,
    Often it is better to tackle nights first, or do both at once. Not being consisten between the two has potential to cause problems.

    Yes, it is a sign of improvement if baby starts to fall asleep for naps more on his own. Some days will be better than others though.

    I would work on extending naps with the methods suggested. I think it would help you tons to get the babywhisperer book.

    I would turn off the swing for now in deep sleep if turning it off at other times doesn't work well. To help him go back to sleep if he wakes, do what you usually do. Maybe you need new methods? You can see the slep training label for some babywhisperer, etc. The rocking will defeat the purpose a bit. you need to have some kind of method to help him go back to sleep that Isn't such a prop. Decide what you re comfortable doing and be consistent with it. You cold try going back to the swing. This may help or hurt the situation. You I'll have To try it to see. It likely is an approach that will take a while to work and you may want to consider more straight forward slep training or faster results if you re feeling too overwhelmed.

    With wake to sleep you can do it with any baby. Baby Isnt suppose to wake up. Only be touched a little, enough to change slep stage, not wake up.

    The rocking at night may be ok. Once babies stop waking and eating they often stop waking at all. But this is usually if they are half descent at going to sleep on their own, particularly right when being put o bed at night.

    Usually it is best not to pick up baby upon waking, especially if it is frequently rather than just to help go back to sleep with short naps. Not always the case though. Sounds like it might be backfiring for you. Maybe just try the shush pat (see post) and do it less over time. I would be consistent with the strategy.


  87. I read the wake to sleep but I think the shush pat has begun to be a sleep prop too. And I began turning off swing during deep sleep and so far he wakes at the same times usually. He's off by 30 mins or so. He will wake up earlier. Well my son is currently turning over a lot and it is disrupting his naps. The only way to get him to sleep us picking up and rocking, any other shush pat, he grabs my hands and hosnetly I have no patience or intent to do pu pd. I read the wake to sleep and feel that if I pat him a bit and he won't settle, I will end up having to pick him up again. I do to know what to do to help him fall back to sleep when he flips over. At this point he's so tired I just try to get him to sleep best i can and I know it has become an issue now. How can you sleep train, Ferber is wit I wan to try, with him turning over and reaching a new milestone?

  88. Also, won't the wake to sleep not wrk if he doesn't know how to settle down or self soothe back to sleep? I feel if I go in and slightly rouse him, he will just wake and then I will end up needing to rock again. Right now, he is rolling over so since he needs so badly, I just pick up and rock and put down asleep each time. I used to always put him down awake, always have, but now I'm at e point where I can't bc he will roll oer and wake or get frustrated. I roll him ove gently and pat, but he tries to grab my hands, if I talk he gets mad ;) ...only rocking. But if I pat for a bit and move back to where he can't see me, he just keeps rolling D:

  89. Fabulous.fabi,
    If you really want to improve sleep, you will need to probably stop the props. Possibly swing (you either drop it now or later) and defiantly rocking to sleep.

    With the rolling, you will have to try to practice rolling during wake time and wait it out. You can still sleep train at this time, but it wouldn't be ideal. In the least, he will learn to be content in his own company and will fall asleep after rolling around for a bit. Oh, something some peple do is hold their hand on their baby's tummy to keep him still on his back when he tries to roll and is also trying to fall asleep.

    With wake to sleep you do not actually wake baby up. you stir him. He shouldn't actually wake. So if the timing is right, it shouldn't matter if baby can put himself to bed or not. Some kids do better at this than others. He may easily completely wake up so it wouldn't work for him.

    Good luck,

  90. Ty ur help is appreciated! If i pat or put my hand on him he grabs at it n loses sleep :( ...if i ur dwn awake he will roll, n not sleep, but fuss! Then cry :(

  91. Also when I go in and rock him back to his nxt cycle, he'll go dwn asleep but wakes in 5-10mins. He wnt stay asleep. I have tried this method, pantleys, for over a week w no results. Going to rock back to sleep. Y is this?

  92. Fabulous. fabi,
    If you try to pat an he plays, try ignoring him and making sure the room is dark. May or may not work.

    As for the rolling (and often when doing sleep training ) baby will just be overtired for a while and there isn't tons you can do besides an early bedtime and sometimes some adjusted naps.

    If he wakes soon after putting him down you could try holding him longer so he goes into a deeper sleep. If this doesn't work, and it doesn't with some babies, you will probably have to try another method if you want him to extend his sleep, something that relies more upon him and less upon props since he gets upset and wakes whenever a prop isn't there the entire time.


  93. Well the patting just didn't work. It is dark in his room, what he does is grab my hands :) ...I had to hold down one, but then the other he would grab. He is a VERY persistent baby. Very. I have held him up to 30+ mins and he still wakes within 10mins sometimes. Usually. An early bedtime ....he resists too. Haha I tried to put him to bed at 7 last nite instead of 8 and he grunted until 7:50 he fell asleep. Didn't quite work w us. Aaand lately at nites he wakes and will not go back to sleep. We spent 3 hrs last nite trying to help him sleep. He kept waking. I think we are gonna try Ferber. Do you thnk he's to young for this? He's 18wks. Last night he had his hand out of his swaddle and sucking his thumb but just couldn't get the hang of it. I think he may be ready? I'm scared bc I dnt want to do something that he's just not capable of. But I been at this since he was 2mths. Tried several things. Now, just to be clear, wake to sleep for naps I go in and slightly wake him, but not fully wake....I'm nervous to try that bc I feel he will wake and just back fire and will need to rock him again. I am done though. 3hrs at nights for him to wake in 2hrs....or less. And no naps in the day. I thnk I need a more tuff method. I've tried the, going in when he stirs and help him back to sleep, or evn b4 he wakes I'm there patting or rocking and I tried for 2wks, I gave up. I tried last month...gave up. He's getting worse as far as naps and night time is going out the window, it seems he wants to just be rocked constantly. I am interested I wake to sleep. Pu pd ...I just don't have the patience for nemore. Me and my husband r thinking just Ferber in his crib...since he seems ready maybe?

  94. I think bc he's a post colicky baby tht his days are just a mess but he is almost 5mths here and I'm dying for sum consistency. I need time for things too. It's been very difficult. I'm scared of cry it out too.

  95. Hi sry again, on wake to sleep.....if my son is inconsistent with naps ranging frm 30-40 mins....i go n at 20 mins rite? My nxt question is, if I wake to sleep at he 20 min mark do I have to do It again to keep him frm waking at 40-45 mins? I'm confused n I dnt think I've been doin it right bc he still wakes. I've gone n slightly woke him to where he moves n sighs a bit or opens his eyes momentarily....but he still wakes...

  96. Fabulous.fabi,
    I think he is old enough for ferber in his crib. And it defiantly sounds like the sleep props are becoming more and more of a problem and making sleep much worse. I can't imagine how exhausted you are!

    I agree, pu/pd requires a lot of patience. And is physically draining as well as emotionally.

    Wake to sleep works so so with naps. But yes, the method you said is the way you do it. Make sure to read the wake to sleep post if you haven't already that is found in the index. Yes, I'd try like 20 minutes. You shouldn't have to go in again. But with naps under 45 minutes, it seems like it is less likely to work because normally you are trying to get over the 45 minute hump , not the super overtired 20 minute hump. If going in once doesn't do it, you could try doing it a bit later or doing it twice.

    Yes, the colicky babies can get a little more stuck on props because they've needed them so much to sleep and calm down the previous months. But my first was colicky. you can defiantly change things, and pretty quickly. I understand you being scared to do cio. And I don't want to pressure you to do it if you don't want to. It isn't fun. Just make sure to think it through and be committed beforehand. Get your husband to support you. Get something to occupy our mind with while it is happening. Remind yourself that you are doing it to help all of you and life will be much easier for everyone in the long run. Maybe go over to and go to the teaching babies and toddlers to sleep group. Or the baby wise group. They have posts about people who have done cio and the success that they have had. IT may help to see the other side of it.

    Good luck,

  97. Yes I go in at 20mins but he stays asleep and then after 45mins wakes again. So it is usually more successful at nights? At nights he doesn't wake at the same times everyday so I don't even know how I can go about that. :( yes I haven't interest in pu pd. how can I go about using Ferber for his naps? Yes he is almost 5mths and things have gotten worse! Also, at nights (he's in his crib now and has had no problems) ..the thing I am concerned with is tht, he tends to wake up around 4-5am, and we feed him but he can't go back to sleep but is clearly still very tired. The thing with him is, he doesn't cry at nights only to eat. He knows how to put himself to sleep. I've seen it several times over the past few days. I put him dwn awake at bedtime and he will fuss for awhile but nvr cries n then falls asleep. After his nite feeds, he also falls asleep eventually. So I don't understand y he can't for naps and after 5am. He wakes up overly tired. I think he moves a lot n stays up but he doesn't we leave him. He cries way more during naps.
    I do wna cry it out at this point. Or a little bit. I had mentioned b4 how he rolls over and wakes now. I started to swaddle and it works for now, and I figured if I leave one arm out he could try n self soothe? I have left him alone in his crib watching him w video monitor for a nap....and he rolls around and does fall bak to sleep but CONSTANTLY wakes. There is no noise in house n he sleeps w white noise. I just don't know how to go about teaching him when he is so inconsistent and doesn't really cry? ...leaving him be the past few days has not taught him much yet...but instead lost him a lot of sleep and being worse than before in his days. I have a question for you, how did you go about lengthening ur naps and when u say ur son slept 12hrs at nite, is tht w.o a feed? I dnt want tht yet bc jr isn't on solids yet n dnt want him to be until 6mths. So how do I go about tht w Ferber at nites too? :( ...sorry for so many questions. Ty for ur advice kindness and quick responses

  98. How did u go about changing things and quickly like u said w your first colic baby? :(

  99. fabulous.fabi,
    Naps and nights are sometimes very different things for babies. They will sleep well for one but not the other. over tiredness can often make things worse. And the early mornings are often a difficult time for babies for fall back asleep as the drive to sleep isn't as strong as it is for some of the other part of the night. Sometimes light and such are an issue too.

    He will get better with soothing over time. Which means that he will fall asleep sooner with time. But he needs to be put to sleep at good times and have an early bedtime. He needs to have a good pre sleep routine etc so that conditions are prime for him to learn to go to sleep well on his own.

    One arm out for the swaddle if fine if that works for him. The rolling phase will pass. But there will be more and more "phases" so the sooner he learns to sleep well the better at this age.

    Yes, my kids did the 12 hours without a feed. They did it at different ages because they were ready at different ages. I just nudged them in the right direction of longer sleep at night. My youngest had a feed sometimes until he was past 6 months of age.

    This post should cover the ferber at night technique


  100. FAbulous.fabi,

    I didn't really change things quickly with my colicky child. I tried to keep to the daily routine with eat/wake/sleep cycles when he was colicky as best I could. When he, almost overnight, improved, he improved in sleeping and eating at the same time because the foundation had always been there, he'd just had some obstacles. We still had to work on sleep, but that happened pretty quickly since he'd already had practice for months learning to sleep on his own, even if it didn't work out much of the time then. I'm sure it varies from baby to baby, this is just my experience. Some babies will stick to their sleep props more than others and have a harder time falling into a routine.


  101. I just feel with rolling over letting him cry is wrong because he can't roll back so he just gets frustrated

  102. He has always been on eat wake sleep, and he has also had the same routine for bed since 2mths. And his room has black out curtains and it's very dark. I wanted to try Ferber and we were ready, but he started rolling over and he just gets mad! And so here I'm trying to wean off rocking and I can't because he rolls and gets mad and screams, and I feel, I'm making him do sumthing he just can't do. I think if I were I his position, and I can't get up, I'd feel helpless, so I was hoping I could train after. It is getting harder and harder, I been doing wake to sleep for naps and it hasn't worked. He does successfully slightly wake....and it has worked once only.

  103. His bedtime is was 8. But lately all he does is flip and flip over...

  104. Fabulous.fabi,
    If you don't feel good doing cio while he is rolling, then don't do it. This is up to you. I am trying to give some guideance but you are the one that needs to make the decisoin based on your current situation and how you feel about things.

    You need to keep in mind that babies are going to have piles of developmental stages--crawling and walking and standing and talking etc. Much of the time baby will get frustrated or excited with these things and often during sleep times. So you want to support them, but it is my opinon that you offer some support but only so much otherwise you might be stuck in a rut for months on end. Once again, I'm not saying you should just leave him. Because you should do what you feel comfortable wtih and what you think he needs right now. But I'm letting you know that sometimes being left to figure things out on their own will help them more quickly work throught the frustration and learn to be ok with where they are at. Just someting to keep in mind in the future in case it seems like you are ever at this point. Sorry if that was confusing!

    Go ahead and train after. Sounds like a good plan right now.


  105. I'm sorry I didn't mean to say it tht way. My husband said we should let him figure it out too. But u r right tht I can be stuck in this for mths. I keep trying to encourage him to roll back. U said u nvr used CIO? I always wonder how ppl do it n during milestones :(

  106. Fabulous.fabi,
    I meant to clarify this after my last post, but didn't' get the chance until now.

    When I mention milestones and the need to continue things 'almost as usual' if possible through them, I am talking more about continuing good sleep habits rather than starting sleep training tactics at that time. It is hard for me to always get everything out the right way when I am answering questions here and there :)

    You will not likely be stuck with the rolling for months. It bothered my first for 1-2 weeks, my last for only a few days. Babies vary in how long it is an issue. It probably depends a lot on if they decide to try and roll when they are actually capable of the skill. My youngest tried skills later on, past the time he was probably capable of doing them, so he picked up on them in no time at all.

    I did some cio with my oldest. With my youngest I did a few minutes of crying here and there. I don't know if I would consider what I did cio with the timing of it, reason for it and the amount of it, but there has been a little here and there. My kids have had their sleep down well by the time milestones came so we didn't have any huge setbacks. They slept pretty well through the milestones, sometimes I had to comfort more, or check in on them more and tell them it was time to sleep and give them a little pat, sometimes they would cry for a few minutes in frustration/protest--but not usually anything more than that.


  107. Oh well Ty for clarifying you have been a lot of help. Well, he first rolled dec 24th, and still continues to roll n get stuck. If I put him dwn awake, like I used to, he would just roll n I'd roll him bak, and again, then he'd fuss n turn to crying. Now he's used to being put dwn asleep. Bad me. How can I sleep train (CIO, bc I need fast results, now!) n go about it? He is in his crib now and sleeps 5-6hrs b4 he wakes (I feed bc he is not on solids yet n tks it, although he used to sleep 8-7am) what can u suggest? Naps as well? He also has varying wake times and between 4-5 he has a very hard time going down n will wake n sleep (w our help) so I can't determine a wake time bc he doesn't always tell us. Ow can I fix tht? Here is a typical day...."typical"....
    "4-5" feed (not really needed) try n rock back to sleep
    5-7am, in n out of sleep
    7-8 "Wake" feed, play.
    9-9:30 put dwn for nap, nap routine. (used to put dwn awake n did well, since rolling, put dwn asleep after rocking)
    10-10:30 wake (after 40-45mns...I try wake to sleep or rock n SOMETIMES get more sleep..rare.)
    11-11:30 play n feed
    11:30-12 nap...(same, as all naps n I help again n again to get more zzz!)
    12:30-1...wake play n feed
    2-2:30 nap
    ...........same the rest of the day, very frustrating napping every 1.5 of wake time..! Sometimes less.....lately his last naps r the long ones, sumtimes I have to help n others I dnt. His bedtime used to be 8 it's 7-7:30....4-5am is still an issue, wake times still vary n after all these naps, he's still overly tired. Help w this? Nap lengthening? Early wake? Sleep train CIO or some controlled crying for help w self soothe now evn thru this milestone...? I'm losing it! He's already 5mths and know he s capable :(

  108. Fabulous.fabi,
    Many experts suggest you just leave baby in his crib to either figure out the rolling or to figure out how to sleep in the various positions they get themselves into. Obviously if they are stuck in the rails you would want to do something about that (I use a breathable bumper, which I have a post about, to prevent this). Some people will go in quickly and roll them back if they get in an upsetting position--but this can certainly backfire very quickly with some babies.

    He might not be sleeping at 4/5 because it is too late for his little body to nap when bedtime is so near. Many babies may sleep into this time if they are asleep from a previous nap, but will not go down for a nap at this time.

    I suggest an even earlier bedtime. You might want to consider reading the book Healthy sleep habits, happy child. It talks a lot about this and other issues you are having. .Here is a post on it

    Most babies this age who are getting appropriate sleep are napping as often as your baby, so try not to get too frustrated about that. Young babies need to sleep frequently. He will sleep less often as he gets older.

    I would start your day at almost the same time each morning. Maybe 15 minutes early, or 15 minutes later. If you are trying to get the routine and wake times down, it is especially important that this be consistent.

    You can wait until the rolling issue is done but it sounds like this might be too long for you. So I would do the sleep training now. Just make sure you are consistent so it is effective. You don't want to go through all that work for the two of you for nothing.

    You need to decide if you want to do straight cio or controlled crying depending on your preferences. There is a post on this that might help you decide:

    If you are overwhelmed right now I suggest you take a night off and have someone watch your baby. It helps so much to get a little time to yourself. And go ahead and choose your sleep training approach, make a plan, and do it! This post might be helpful too:


  109. Rachel,
    Thanks for all of your great and thorough advice.
    My son is 11 weeks and not a great sleeper. I was successful with Babywise with my first and am trying hard to follow it with my son but it isn't going as well. Anyway, he is a chronic short napper (30-45min.) The good thing is that most times after he wakes I can put him in swing and he will finish his nap there. I am scared that this is going to create a habit, what do you think? I know you suggest it as a way to extend naps and I hear they can't get "addicted" but I am still fearful he will. What do you think? Also, do you think there is a certain age I should stop using this as a crutch? Thanks!!!!

  110. Oh I meant his first wake of the day is 4-5 not a nap. Sry. So how can I wrk w him, if he's waking so early, not wanting to start the day tho, he clearly wants to keep sleeping!

  111. I want to wean off me as a prop too. I just dnt know he to go about this. Naps first, bedtime? All at once? Or 1 nap at a time? I actually just bought, the BW book "/'s hard for me to start the day the same everyday when his awake time n naps r diff each day! He doesn't want to eat or be up yet at 4-6am, he wants to keep sleeping! :( nites he doesn't cry but I think is waking n fussing or jus laying there? ...

  112. LJ,
    I certainly think that babies can get addicted to the swing, even if they are just finishing off their naps in it. But I still suggest it if it works at this age bc most babies seem to do ok without it later on without too much effort, often with no effort at all--they grow out of it. But if they don't grow out of it, you can deal with it then. You may have some tough days, but it shouldn't be too bad. And I find it worth it now, even if there is a chance you may have to deal with it at a later time. You could do cio mid nap now but it may not work, and, like I said, the naps may extend out by themselves later making that cio for nothing. I never like to do cio if I don't have to :)

    When to stop it if he doesn't naturally extend naps without it? He may stop falling asleep with the swing which would make this necessary. He may grow out of the swing. I'm thinking closer to 4-6 months. But I would just go along and see what timing end up seeming right for you guys, using the wonder weeks and bedtiming stuff as possible guides (see posts on them).


  113. Fabulous.fabi,
    So he is waking at 4 or 5 am and is having a hard time falling back asleep? Sometimes what works is doing anything possible to get them to sleep at this time to get them out of the habit of being awake then. Wake to sleep can work. Try and figure out, if possible, why the waking is happening. Does he want your attention? If so, try not to give it. Is something waking him up? Look over the early morning waking post if you haven't already.

    I would probably wean off at night or nights and days together. Just 1 nap at a time likely won't work too well.

    Yes, I see it can be hard to start the day at the same time if baby wakes early and sits there most mornings. Is reflux possibly an issue at this time? Overtiredness and a late bedtime are sometimes part of the problem. I would just start the morning nap around the same time each day, but a little earlier than usual when he wakes early.


  114. I dnt know y he is waking at this time.I used to rock but he'd be so frustrated or evn rocking wouldn't help, n he'd wake after a few mins. I would feed n he'd still not go to sleep...or he would be in n out of sleep. I fed him again today to see, and he slept an extra 2hrs, but not very well. In n out still. But he did eat all of it. This feed also interferes w his bkfst wen he wakes around 7. Reflux is not the issue. Its def a frustration cry of wanting to continue sleep n cant. His bedtime for a few weeks now has been earlier at 7 rather than 8 how it used to be. Also his first midnight feed is between 12-1 but noticed hes eating less of it. I know he can go longer stretch but wakes to eat at this time, but honestly i feel he can do 1 feed. I just dont knowhow to approach it? Ne suggestions?
    An update on weaning/independent sleep, it's working and he's napping longer. However, it seems he's reversed....his first nap of the day is a cat nap n nothing wrks well to get him back dwn. This also can throw off his routine of the day...the last 2 are the long ones. Ne advice on tht? Ty

  115. fabulous.fabi,
    Things will take to get consistent. Keep a sleep log and you will be able to see patterns over time.

    For night time, do the sleep training approach you have chosen to do. Pretty much any approach is ok at this age. Do it consistently. Get outside support. Sounds like, If I'm remembering right, you have done cio in the past. Do that consistently. You are trying for one nigth feed. So only offer that and do not feed prior to the feed time--whatever is normal now or stretch it later adn later each night to a reasonable time.


  116. Ty Rachel,
    And no I contemplated Ferber but he began to roll over n never went through w it. Do you think w2s or a df can work to extend tht feed and get a more usual wake time for him. We r still having issues w early wakes at 4-5am. Regardless of good naps n early bt. He wants to continue sleeping and can't. He is not up for the day yet at this time.

  117. fabulous.fabi,
    Wake to sleep may help with the early morning issues. I even have a post with this situation. Df probably woudln't help, but there is a small chance it might help. Decreasing attention at this time will likely help, as will getting a stable daily routine with good naps and not too little or too much sleep. Sometimes nothing you do helps and it will go away by itself in time.


  118. Ty
    He wakes and just has a harder time to go back to sleep. I dnt kno if tht would b considered at habitual wake. Now, his midnight wake I would say it is. Yst he actually woke up, and as I was ready to feed, he went back to sleep n he didn't wake until 3:30am (goes to bed by 7-7:30) when I fed him. So I was happy bout tht but dnt know If it was just a fluke D:
    Btw, once I weaned the rocking, he now tks 2hr naps and also extending his awake time helped as well. He now eats every 4hrs too. So I dnt know how tht happened but I'm pretty sure weaning myself as a prop gradually wrkd. I'm happy in the end I didn't result to cry it out (: tears were involved but, I was def there the entire time. Took me about a week to wean n another week to extend his awake time. I hope we can now fix his early wake as he is still wanting sleep at this time. I dnt go in his rm until he actually cries n I just pat. So I dnt evr give much of my attention at all at his time, so I wonder what it is. W2s, well the time varies thts y. 4-5 so how could I go about this? Ty (: 4 all ur help!

  119. Love your blog! Wonderful info!

    My son is 16 weeks and I spent the last week using the book "good night, sleep tight" to get him to self sooth. He is now putting himself to sleep at night and at naps. Some nights he still wakes up before I wake him to feed at 3:30. I now leave him to cio and he usually returns to sleep w/ in 15 minutes max. He does wake up some mornings early like at 5:00 but he is able to put himself back to sleep. When he cries again after 6:00 I go and get him up to start the day.

    Naps have been my nemesis though. I have a 3 year old home with me too so I have been out of the house in the am to give her some stimulation. Drew will sleep just fine on the go in my ergo so that is typically what we do now that he is older and isn't staying asleep in a stroller when it isn't moving. He will sleep for 1.5-2 hours this way. The afternoon nap is a mess though and so is a morning nap if I try to have him sleep in the crib. He will put himself to sleep w/in 10 minutes;however, he will only sleep for 45 minutes. I am assuming that he can't get past the sleep cycle and when I carry him he is lulled back to sleep. I have tried to go in and do the wake to sleep (I always end up waking him up) and going in as soon as I hear a peep and doing "shh" and patting but that doesn't help either. Out of desperation I let him cio but that was greatly unhelpful!

    I have found that if I go in when he wakes up, rock him for 3-5 mins, put him in the swing for 15 and then turn it off he will sleep for another 1.5-2 hours at which point I worry that it is too long of a nap.

    At this age what do I do? Accept short naps and do more? or rely on a crutch like briefly swinging and then stopping it to extend the nap. Will he eventually start to lengthen the naps naturally? I am just at such a loss. I don't remember my daughter being so difficult to keep asleep!

    Your advice is greatly appreciated!

  120. Fabulous.fabi,
    I'm so glad much of the sleeping has improved!

    If wake ups happen at 4 and 5, do the wake to sleep as if the habitual waking was at 4

  121. Thekel80,
    At this age I would help out to extend the naps. What you are doing sounds fine. I probably wouldn't do much more than a 2 hour nap. I wonder if wake time isn't too long and that is why naps are rough (see post in index). Also check out the sleep environment post in the index.


  122. I think the sleep environment is alright. I have a white noise machine and room darkening curtains and control the temp to be around 70.
    I read and read a ton of info on your site, and wow, I am so impressed! I was wondering too if he was up too long before naps. I am doing the eat, play, sleep cycle with a range of 3-4 hours between feeds. On average he gets 4 bottles at day and one at night with 32 total oz.
    I put him down in his crib after being up for 1 15 mins knowing that it would take him a little bit to fall asleep. We will see how it goes.
    Last night was my 6th night of sleep training. He seems to wake up ver frequently (sometimes every hour) at night like he did prior to sleep training although he needed me or the swing to go back to bed. He now seems to be awake but not cry and maybe a fuss here or there. I didn't go into the room but listened on the monitor and after his feed he was up for 45 minutes, awake, but happy. Is this normal? Do You think that maybe he is just working on figuring all of this out?
    Thank you so much for your a dice. It is incredibly kind of you and greatly appreciated!

  123. Ty for ur great site n support w fast responses. You think w2s will help or is it a case of not being able to go back to sleep? Will it work? I think it will wrk w his 12-1am I,d do it at 11 or 10:45 ...3 or 2:45?

  124. Uggg! Watching awake time hasn't helped so I think I am going to have to live with 45 minute naps! I however can't seem to make any consistent eat, play, sleep routine work to with a feed every 3-3.5 hours. I do not think he would go to sleep twice before eating like eat, play, sleep, play, sleep. Any suggestions? I want him to take at least four 45 minute naps.
    He is up at 6:30 and goes to bed between 6:30 and 7:00 with one night feed. I decided to turn the baby monitor off to stop hearing every little noise, etc. And just leave our bedroom door open and he seems just fine.
    One last q. Do you recommend waking to feed at night or just letting Jim wake up to feed? My fear is that he will wake up at 4 or 5 and then not return to sleep or not eat again when he wakes, thus throwing the day off. I never did the dream feed and think it is a little late to start that now.
    Thank you!!!!

  125. My 5 1/2 month old daughter sleeps pretty good at night (around 10.5-11 hours) with us only having to go in a couple times to give her the binky in the middle of the night. But her naps are only 30 minutes long, almost to the minute! She almost always wakes up happy from the nap, and when I've tried to keep her in the crib to extend the nap, gently trying to get her to fall back asleep,she gets really upset! So she's taking 4-5 naps a day with 2 hours of awake time in between (sometimes less awake time, never more than 2 hours). She was also very colicky from about 6 weeks to 14 weeks old. Does this affect how long it will take to get her on a nap schedule? Any suggestions on where to go from here? We have black sheets over her windows and white noise going,so I think her sleep environment is pretty good.

  126. Hi again Rachel,
    I didn't greet you or thank you in advance for your help,so sorry about that! I just got so excited about contacting you after finding this blog! One more question: how to get a consistent wake up time? She has been going to bed at night around 7, although we are trying for a little earlier (we put her down at 6:30 tonight). I feel like until we have a consistent wake up time it's going to be hard to get a consistent nap schedule! THANK YOU!!!

  127. Hi Rachel,love your helpful blog! This is my first baby he'll be 4 mnths in 10 days(2/11) & we've been following baby whisperer since 6 wks old and hes been sleeping from 7 pm to 7 am straight through with the 10 pm DF since 8 wks old!! His naps were all so great but the last month Ive noticed his first am nap is hard to get past 30-45 mins before he wakes. We dont swaddle his arms in anymore but I doubt hes waking up from that since he sleeps all night the same exact way. I do know he puts himself to sleep because occasionally I'll hear him stir in the night but I never have to ever get up he goes right back to bed. We used shush/pat in the beginning but haven't used anything for awhile because its easy to get him down at night and he stays down. Hes happy when he wakes up early from the nap but I know its not a restorative nap and he rubs his eyes. Be time his next feeding comes he pretty much conks out 10 min after we are done and that's when he'll sleep for 1-2 hrs. I follow his cues and wind him down with his first yawns and rubbing eyes but he still awakes after that time. What I find strange though is 2 days ago he was waking around 730am but wasn't fully up yet but was getting there so i went in & woke him but within an hour he was yawning instead of his normal 1 hr 45 min A time for his age-I put him down and he slept 1 hr 15 min the longest am nap since he was a newborn! I would like to work on this but not sure which method to use. Hes a happy angelic textbook baby! He has a constant crazy witching hour at 515-6 where he's inconsolable and that's a rough time in my house as Im trying to get dinner ready etc could these short naps contribute to that witching hour that I would love to kiss goodbye? HELP!

  128. thekel80,

    It is normal for kids to go and forth a bit with sleep training. And overtiredness and/or a too late of bedtime sometimes increases the night wakings. If he is up at 6:30 am and has short naps, you may need a bedtime at or before 6:30.

    So he is about 4 months old? The wake time post gives you some averages of waketime at this age. He will probalby be around 1.5 hours, less at some times, more at others.

    With the routine. I ended up having some feeds that were three hours apart and some that were a little more than 4 hours apart (but I moved to 4 hours ish at a slightely later age). So move things around to see what will work. And if you have short naps, you will obviously not being doing a strict eat/wake/sleep routine but have some eat/wake/slee/wake/eat etc in there. If you have to feed shortly before a nap, then do it. Try not to feed to sleep and as long as you don't always feed rigth before a nap, he will probaly not develop some habit with this. Write down your first morning wake time. Then write the wake time then the nap then the next wake then nap. AFter doing all this, figure out how to add feeds in to work around this. And like I said before, if you can extend the nap easily then I'd reccommend it.

    Hmmm, I would probably let him wake to eat at night. Waking him up can end up causing additional issues. But you could always try it and see what happens. It is possible that he could wake very close to the morning wake time and not falla sleep and you'd have to get up then. But hopfully by putting him back in his bed he'd eventually fall asleep, even if that happens after days of doing this. Most babies will fall back asleep as long as it isn't too close to the normal morning wake time.

    Good luck!

  129. fabulous.fabi,
    I can't say for sure if wake to sleep will work, but it often works so it is worth a shot. It seems that he is able to put himself to sleep at other times so these wakings seem more habitual.

    Yes, just try out times and adjust them if he doesn't respond well. An hour before should be fine.


  130. BAC812,
    Colicky behavior can make it take longer to get the nap schedule going, but it doesn't seem to take much longer. The difference in children's personalities seems to be a much stronger predictor :)

    As for extending naps, see if there is some technique like rocking etc that she doesn't get upset over that will help her fall back asleep. It is possible that she might get upset with everytihng you try to extend the nap, but that is what is going to happen with kids with some of what you do for the rest of their life :) It is part of their way of expressing their frustration etc. Anyway, my point that I'm tryign to make is that to extend out the nap, you may be able to figure out a way like rocking that she doesn't get upset with (although, even with that, she may), but she might get upset at everything you cry. ANd being present makes some kids even more upset or makes the process last longer.


    You might want to consider less waketime with such short naps--overtiredness will defiantly make longer naps difficult.

    This may help you with the morning wake up time. I agree, it is important to try to get this consistent. Glad you like the blog!

  131. christina marie,
    As for how to extend naps, I would look at the waketime first. you are doing close to 2 hours? The baby whisperer sugests this around 4 months but most babies seem to do better around 1.5 at this age. So maybe try reducing the waketime a bit. see if extending the presleep routine (4 s routine) helps at all.

    I would try the methods above like going in to soothe back to sleep right when baby wakes or right before baby wakes, among other things.

    Yes, I think the short naps and overtiredness could be contributing to the witching hour.

    I'm glad you like the blog
    good luck

  132. Hi Rachel,
    Thanks for your response. Today he woke at 715 and was in his crib eyes closed on his way to sleep at 845 and was up by 915. I tried to soothe him back to sleep as he was still yawning and rubbing eyes and it was working I saw him in his light sleep smiling etc. but after 10 min of that he just woke smiling and wide eyed so I took him out of crib and now hes been up since then and hes on a 4 hr easy so next feed is at 11. His A time at 3 1/2 mnths is around 1 hr 45 min. Ive heard if you put him to bed under tired that also can cause a short nap either way im getting them even when I cut back and extend the time. Not really sure what to do as I'm pretty frustrated! If you have a suggested game of plan I will designate days in to get this going normal

  133. Christina Marie,
    Yes, you can defiantly get a too short of nap by too little or too much waketime. You have to use trial and error.

    If you have tried the things I've suggested above and looked over the short nap post then you may have to accept things as they are and try to have a postive attitude about it. Some kids will have short naps no matter what until they are a bit older.


  134. Thank you so much for your insight! I've come up w/ a pretty good schedule for a 45-50 min nap routine. Extending naps has been a little difficult as of late so I think I am going to just go w/ what he does. I do wait 5 or so minutes before rushing in just in case. I hope that since he is learning to put himself to sleep at night and back to sleep that this will transfer to day time sleep since he is able to put himself to sleep at the beginning of his naps.

    The night is interesting though. I wait until he wakes to feed, which is about 4:30 and today was 5:20! I tried feeding at 4:30 (only ate 4 oz) and he assumed it was time to be up for the day ;-) I just let him be and he played for a while and then fell back asleep just in time for our morning wake up. Today he slept until 5:20 and since he wasn't crying I decided to leave him be since I knew that he'd be up for good if I fed him then. He did go back down and I woke him up at 6:15 to start the day. I think it's okay for him to go w/ out night feeds this young since he is getting 5 (6oz) bottles during the course of the day but I am going to run it by the ped. at his 4 month appt. tomorrow.

    Thank you again for your advice and wonderful blog! I've been passing it on to a lot of my friends. what a wonderful resource!!!!

  135. Collateral Peace,
    Hopefully naps will extend. Just don't be too upset if it never happens :) You seem to be having a good attitude about it.

    Well, that is great if he will sleep through the night, especially if he normally has a hard time falling back asleep when he wakes. I would probably let him sleep an extra 30 minutes if he falls asleep close to morning wake time, but maybe that isn't an option in your situation. If he is growing well and seems satisfied food wise he should be fine, but it is always good to ask your ped.


  136. Hi Rachel

    Your blog is fantastic! I came across it last night and have been trying to read as much as i can today in the time i have spare.

    I have so many things going on i don't really know where to start! My LO daughter is 12 weeks old and for about the past 5 weeks she seems really unsettled and unhappy. I can only get her to sleep for 45 minute cycles during the day. I dreamfeed at 10pm, she wakes at 0400am then has a very fitful sleep until 6.30am - 7.00am.

    She is now exclusively bottle fed and has been since 6 weeks. We started doing the DF from around this time too.

    She is mostly on a 4 hourly feed cycle during the day but even that is a struggle. She generally seems uninterested in food. On the very rare occasion i can get her to sleep for longer than 45 mins (likely due to her being in my arms) then she tends to feed more.

    I'm trying to follow an EASY routine but most days its a nightmare. As she only sleeps for 45 mins it tends to look like EASASAE!!I beginning to feel a little frazzled and don't really know what i should be tackling first.

    I wondered whether i should drop the DF one night to see how long she would sleep naturally. I wondered then if this would make her more inclined to eat at the 0700am feed, which then might set up the day a little better???

    Sorry for such a long ramble...i'm so confused about what to do. Any thoughts?


    1. Nicky,
      If she will only sleep 45 minute naps (not too uncommon but I would try to extend them any way you can, outside of feeding again, if possible) then I would relax and just try to fit your routine around that. Yes, you'll end up with eat, play, sleep, play, sleep, eat... or whatever, but that is ok. The point of the easy routine is to try to not have baby feed to sleep and to help you be able to recognize when baby will likely be hungry and sleepy and to kind of get them and you on a routine. So just change it up if you need to. No worries.

      I would re-evaluate the wake time. See the post on that in the index. I'm guessing she can't do much more than 1.5 hours, with short naps, likely less. If you are much different than that, see if changing it helps.

      So it sounds like she might not be eating well because she is overtired. Well, you will just need to try to remedy that with extending the naps out if possible, giving her extra naps, and putting her to bed early.

      So she eats at 10 pm and not until morning? I wonder if she is having a fitful sleep because she is hungry at at 4? Does she have any reflux issues? Is her bedtime early enough? Maybe her issues with over tiredness during the day are causing issues at night? You could always drop the df and see what happens. Maybe she'll wake for a feed instead. Honestly, I'd consider waking once for a feed better than sleeping fitful from 4 am onward--none of you get any sleep that way. But that is just me. And maybe she isn't eating at 7 because she's overtired.

      The uninterested in food might have something to do with her being more interested in her environment. Try feeding her in a dark environment or a place where not much is going on. Maybe give her a toy to hold while you feed her.

      There is a recent post on the top sleep tips. Look over that and see if you are doing the things that apply to you.


  137. Hi Rachel,

    I've been trying the Baby Whisperer technique for my 11 week old son. We've been doing it for 5 days and I've had some success. Nighttime sleep and putting him toned have both gotten much easier. We are struggling with naps! He can fall asleep for naps, but he cries steadily for 5-10 minutes during the sitting phase. Is this normal and ok for him? He does go down quite easily after the crying and we put him down drowsy.

    He then wakes up crying after 45 minutes. And sometimes pat and shush works (after 20-45 minutes!), but often it doesn't and he's exhausted but can't fall asleep. Today, I tried to get him back to sleep for 15 minutes and then gave up and put him in his sling, where he loves to sleep. Will this kind of inconsistency hurt our progress? How long is it ok to let him cry while trying to stick to the method?

    Finally, I'm wondering if there are two ways to do wake to sleep. One for naps, where you pat and shush to ease the transition between sleep cycles and one for nighttime where you gentle stroke a cheek to extend sleep. So far, the book Is kind of unclear...I've tried both and so far, he starts crying and has real trouble getting into the next cycle. How long do I try with him crying?

    1. Suzanna,
      Totally normal for him to cry during the sitting stage. Some babies seem to need this to settle themselves to sleep and often interfereing with it too much (working hard to soothe them) extends the time it takes them to settle--and overtires them more. I would double check to make sure that he isn't overtired as this can increase the crying before sleep.

      The baby whisperer is very anti any short of sleep prop. So she'd probably say to keep up with the shush-pat until baby falls asleep or close to the next feed. I feel that an overtired newborn isn't going to sleep well at all and is likely going to have a very hard time falling asleep. And with short naps, many babies will not improve with them for a really long time (=very overtired baby and a worn out and frustrated mom) so after trying for some time I suggest helping baby go back to sleep when he wakes then try to see if he'll go back to sleep on his own once he is older (if he doesn't start to do it on his own). If you can help it, I would see if you can get him to fall back asleep by maybe holding him until drowsy then setting him down. If that doesn't work, you can try rocking to sleep then setting him down. If that doesn't work well, there is the swing and the sling. Non-movement will be better for sleep and sleeping outside of your arms/sling may help to reduce any sleep prop habits from forming.

      This posts has links at the bottom to posts that may help out, including wake to sleep

      Naps and night are a little different. With both you will try to not wake baby at all. If he wakes, it kind of failed you could say. Going in to help during baby's jolt is a little different and more of a shush-pat technique which you can also look at on the post I mentioned and in the blog index

      Let me know if any of that was confusing :)
      Good luck!

  138. Hi Rachel,

    Thank you so much for this awesome blog. I seriously think I have read every single post at least once! Most of them much much more! :)

    So my little guy is 4 months old. We're on roughly a 3.5 hour schedule. He wakes around 6:30, takes three naps, and goes to bed at between 6 and 6:30 (depending on his naps). At about 2.5 months he started having problems transitioning at the 40 minute mark for all of his naps. I decided to tackle his morning nap first and did a combination of wake to sleep and cio to extend it. He always wakes up at the 40 minute mark and cries out but then settles back to sleep until about 1 hr 20 min - 1 hr 30 min.

    So he can get himself through the transition for the morning nap, but he can't for his two afternoon naps. With both he wakes up after 40 minutes. I've tried wake to sleep and cio. When I was working on extending his morning nap I would rock him back to sleep if he woke during his afternoon naps. But that doesn't even work anymore. He just will not go back to sleep when he wakes.

    I've also tried both extending and shortening the waketime. 2 hours is the absolute max he will go but he always starts fussing around 1.5 hours or sometimes sooner if he had a short nap.

    I guess my question is, do you have any ideas about why he can transition through the 40 min mark in his morning nap but not his afternoon naps?? And do you have any suggestions of things I might not have tried??

    Thanks so much!! You have been a great friend to me as I learn how to do this mommy thing. ;)

    1. Jess,
      Kids are usually more sleepy in the morning so they often fall asleep more easily and stay asleep better then compared to other naps.

      Make sure the room is dark and quiet. Consider trying out a sound machine. Offer a lovey if he does't have one. It seems that over tiredness may be playing in here.

      The short nap post has pretty much all i know about it,

      Sorry I don't have much more to offer. Nothing extra comes to mind that may help. In a handful of weeks he may get it down. It often improves with age (and a sometimes after a little practice once they get a bit older). You may want to accept the short naps for now, offer more of them throughout the day and try to extend them out in another month or so.

      I'm so glad you like the blog!

    2. Thanks, Rachel. I guess I'll just have to be patient, right?! ;) Looking forward to future posts!

    3. Jess,
      Ahh, patience. Easier said than done!

  139. Hi Rachel!

    I am on week 2 of using pu/pd to sleep train my 8 month old. Around 7 months, she started habitually waking at 2 am then it became 12 and then 11 pm. At around 6.5, I started putting her in crib for naps instead of holding her and teething begin in month 5. The problem was that I nursed her to sleep but I could always time it right and she would stay asleep with just one night-waking. Naps were a different story....she might nap for 45, an hour maybe 2 every now and then. I decided to sleep train when she started the habitual night-waking (she had been sleeping through for the most part), I lost my timing touch for putting her down after I nursed her to sleep, and her naps became 20 minute mini-naps, every one of them.

    Pu/Pd worked awesome for bedtime...after about the third night she has been sleeping all night, putting her self back to sleep when she wakes, except for early wakings at 530. But, for naps it is not working at all. I try placing my hand on her around the 25 minute mark since she has been waking at 30-40 minutes, but she wakes anyway and I can not get her back to sleep with pu/pd, not in the allotted naptime.

    We do not have a set schedule but I do use wind down routines to prep her for sleep. She recognizes these cues and they just upset her. Luckily I can still get her down initially for naps and then to bed. I want to set a routine, but it is hard when her wake up times are erratic and I never know how long she is going to nap for but it is never the 1.5-2 hours most routines work on.

    I guess I am just looking for any advice you have based on the above info on how to get her to nap longer. I watch for cues and think I am reading her right but I guess I will start waiting for the actual yawn/eye rubbing even though she seems tired to me without those cues. Also, I try to use a wake time of about 2.5-3 hours if I can.

    I just don't understand why, when she is tired, she won't put her self back to sleep when I know she can do it. She won't even try to (she sucks on her fingers). Can you tell by how hard or easy they are to put down if they are over or undertired. Sometimes she goes down with a minute of whimpering but still wakes after 30-40 minutes same as if she went down with a fight. Oh, and no matter little or how long she has slept even after sleeping through, she always wakes up whimpering and crying if I don't go get her quickly.

    Here is specific scenario that occurred today that I would like your opinion on. It was, of course, a bad nap day...30 min. early morning, 30 min. mid. morning (basically two separate naps though it was the same pu/pd cycle) and then I got an hour out of her mid afternoon. But, she woke at 2 so her bedtime was going to be early. My plan was to start getting her ready for bed at 530. At 430, she yawned so I fed her and started her bedtime routine at 5, she was asleep by 530. She woke at 7 and I waited to see if she would settle but she worked herself into a frenzy. She was so out of sorts I could not pu/pd. I got her up, nursed her and then sang to her a bit before putting her back down. Should I have put her down for a nap at 430 when I saw the yawn? I thought it was bad to take such late naps. But, if I did put her down like it was a nap, when would her bedtime have been. When things go semi-ok, I have been putting her down starting at 6 and she is usually asleep before 7 and sleeps through until at least 530. I'd like to extend this wake time, but I don't think I can until the naps are under control.

    Sorry this is so long, but I have been surfing the Net and reading about baby's sleep for a month now and I have appreciated your knowledge, experience and the time you take to answer everyone's questions.


    1. Look over the pu/pd post if you haven't already. You could also try wake to sleep for naps if you haven't already.

      She recognizes these cues and they just upset her. This isn't uncommon at all. Much of the time it means your comforting measures aren't helping anymore or they are actually bothersome. So if you aren holding her for a while before sleep, you may want to decrease this time. I found that if I started the routine outside the bedroom and walked around for a minute to calm baby it helped when I got into the bedroom.

      At this age, the sleep cues are often overtired cues. Keeping a sleep log and especially keeping track of waketimes may help you out a lot with getting more consistency. I like to work with wakeitme a lot with this age, but some people do have more success working more with set nap times (with some slight adjustment for waketime).

      If she is waking up upset, it is likely because she is still tired and cranky or she isn't yet comfortable in her own company without mommy.

      There is a stronger drive to sleep at night so a lot of kids will be able to go back to sleep then but not during naps. Naps may require more practice or just time. Overtiredness will likely make things worse. If she has a short nap, she probably needs less waketime than you are giving her.

      Can you tell by how hard or easy they are to put down if they are over or undertired. With a lot of kids you can. If they fight more they are more overtired. But with my youngest it is the opposite. So you really have to find out for sure what your child does, mainly by keeping some sort of log. My guess is that she keeps waking up soon regardless because she can't get herself through the sleep cycles during the day, overtired or not.

      At 8 months she is going to be able to handle some over tiredness. So you will probably be able to keep her awake later in the evening to make up for short naps so that she doesn't go to bed too crazy early. But she may end up 1)being so overtired she wakes crying once if not a few times 2) waking up a while later thinking the bedtime was a nap 3)waking early in the morning, each child will only sleep so long. They each have a point where the early bedtime hour starts to cause early wake ups. Sounds like she probably woke from 1/2 above. I might try to do an extra nap, but do it sooner than when she started to yawn. She is getting some short naps in there and probably can use a shorter wartime because of them. Hopefully this won't put bedtime late. I like to keep bedtime early, but if you have to have a slightly later bedtime to prevent extreme overtiredness (and night wakings) and an early morning wakeup then that might be preferable.

      If she is up and going for the day at 5:30 then you might need to do more of a 5:30-5:30 routine which would mean an even earlier bedtime than you are doing on bad nap days. I'm guessing you have tried to move the morning wake up time later by nursing her back to sleep etc. If not, I'd definitely try that. And you can even do wake to sleep again here.I would make sure not to rush into her in the morning when she wakes. You can of course shift the whole routine forward once you get over tiredness and naps under control. I hope I didn't end up confusing you more! Keep in mind the mantra cry and the amount of attention you are giving. Only give it when needed otherwise you reinforce the waking. At this age your really don't want to hold too long with pu/pd and making sure to not go to baby when she is fussing and trying to settle or is playing is important.

  140. Thanks Rachel!
    I have read over and over about pu/pd and wake to sleep here and in the Baby Whisperer's Book, but will definitely revisit them to see if I have missed anything. I was going to try w2s for her 530 wake ups the other day, but she ended waking at 4 and then at 3 the next night.
    I do think I have become somewhat bothersome to her, but I don't know how to time my exit from her room after pu/pd. Sometimes she starts crying again and other times she is pushing my hand away or, when I reach for her, she stuffs her fingers in her mouth because she knows I won't pick her up then (she is self-settling). I also think I am a distraction just standing there waiting to shush her if she gets upset again. Do I head for the door as soon as she quits crying and let her fuss if she is going to and see if she self-settles. I know the Whisperer says to not let them cry without contact from you but I just wonder if she wouldn't settle.
    Yesterday I thought we had a breakthrough....first of all she woke at 4 and with pu/pd got her back to sleep- it was after 5 before she went back to sleep and she got up at 620ish. But, by placing hands on her through the transition and then being there to pu/pd as soon as she woke, I got her to sleep an 1.5 in the morning and then with no interference, she slept almost 2 hours in the afternoon. I thought, Great! She can go to bed about 630 and have more time with dad. Well, she finally slept at about 7 but was restless all night. Woke up at 3 and after an hour, I got her back down. She woke at 515 so we started out day. She just woke from about an 1.5 nap with no interference from me. So we will see how the other naps go, she will definitely need two more since she woke so early! I will stick with a 6 bedtime no matter what from now on I think, no matter how much sleep she gets!
    I will try to change up my how I get her ready for bed too....and maybe shorten it some?
    Thank you for your help! I am sure that as soon as I get it figured out, her patterns will change :)

    Question about light sleeping since you mentioned your son is one....Once they are getting better sleep so they sleep better through noise? I have a machine in her room but hate tiptoeing around.

  141. Hi Rachel! Just an update...I was reading over your wonder weeks post and it just so happens that on the very day I wrote a desperate message to some of my Mom girlfriends for sleep advice, Paige was 34 weeks. So, is it possible that not only is her sleep being affected because of this, but beginning sleep training while she obviously must have something else important going on is making the progress more difficult?

    Again, sleeping through the night is still pretty good and she is putting herself back to sleep at the early early wakings...just not the 530 one. (I'll just live with that for now) But, we have regressed in naps today. She had been getting an hour to 1.5 without intervention for two naps but then 30-40 for the 3rd. Today, however, she napped 30 minutes for her early morning nap and would not go back down and then a 40 min. mid-morning nap and would not go down. In fact, she completely lost it and after 40 minutes of pu/pd, I fed her and kept her up. It was very stressful for us both and I just felt at the end of my rope. I quietly cried myself, I felt so overwhelmed. I just feel like I/we spend most of our day in her nursery trying to go to sleep and then to get back to sleep. After two weeks, I guess I was hoping I'd be able to wind her down, give her a kiss, say good night and enjoy some of my "me" time I so desperately need.

    We start ISR swim lessons tomorrow so I am hoping that her 10 minutes in the water will wear her out so that she sleeps a good 2 hours or so after each lesson! I just really hope it doesn't make matters worse.

    Thanks for listening!

    1. Melissa, be careful with that first wake time of the day. Make sure it isn't too long since it can cause a domino effect for the rest of the day.

      I bet you are overwhelmed. Most people would be. sleep training is hard work, especially pupd. Remember that there will always be off days. You can't judge progress by that. And try to get some help through this. It is a lot of work!

      A lot of babywhisperer moms find it helps if they leave the room, even it for a short time. On my babywhisperer review post there is a link to the babywhisperer forum. There is a pupd section there that talks bout this. I am not on a device that I can easily give you the link. Sorry. I think if you read through the comments on pupd it tals about this too. Some kids easily Turn things into props and you have to wen them from things, like shush pat. She may be one that has a hard time transitioning out of your assistance without some extra help, even with pupd.

  142. Hi Rachel,

    I have twin girls who I just found out had a lactose sensitivity and just changed their formula. They are almost 7 months but since stopping breastfeeding they were eating every 1-2 hours. Since the new formula two weeks ago they can easily eat every 3! I've tried to get them on a set schedule but they have never done well and now I know it is because of the lactose issue.

    I was following the Baby Whisperer techniques and they went down super easy for naps and bed but suddenly over the past month or longer they've taken longer to put down and will ONLY go down with a bottle. I tried various things and my husband and I decided that we needed to just do CIO which we always said we would NEVER do. They've been doing great and only cry a few minutes (I hope they will some day be able to go to sleep happy again) :( but their naps are still consistently 30-45 minutes long. I've tried wake to sleep and shush-pat but if they do fall asleep they wake up five or ten minutes later and smile up at me and won't go back to sleep even if I rock them. They are able to take 1/5-2 hr naps- they take one a day maybe every other day. But the days that they don't take long naps they are SO tired!

    As I said we still aren't on a set schedule because I never know how long they will be awake because of their short naps. They used to have two hour long naps and a three hour nap in the afternoon.

    Any ideas on how to get them onto a good routine?

    1. Laura b,
      I'm so glad you got that lactse issue figured out!
      I'd keep a sleep log(see how in index) to see if you can see their patterns better like their wake times throughout the day and with certain nap lengths. Getting a god wake time will help out a lot Here so double check that post for averages.

      Remember that your twins are unique. I'd probably try to get them up from naps at the same time but they may need to go down at slightly different times.

      You may want to have them sleep in different rooms if they aren't already. This makes a huge difference for some kids even if they'd had practice getting used to noise and another chikd's presence.

      Evaluate sleep props. Do you do something right before sleep that they keep waking for? Are they being put down only slightly drowsy? Some kids will wake for something That happens right before sleep even if it doesn't actually put them to sleep.

      Start with a consistent morning wake time. Work on figuring out one wake time at a time, mainly from morning up. Sometimes it is even beneficial for some kids to have naps at set times regardless of bad naps but have a very early bedtime to make up for this. I'd personally adjust the nap time some, but maybe only 30 minutes with this method.


  143. Hi Rachel,
    I was wondering if you are still answering questions. If so I would like to ask you for your advice.

    1. I am answering some Aynur. It is just the luck of the draw right now ;)


  144. Perfect, then I will give it a try:)

    I have been desperately reading your blog! It is really really amazing, I dont know how you manage with 2 kids and running the household! Thank you for taking your time.

    I would like to get your advice on my babies sleep problem. My baby is now about 6 months old (turning 6 months in 4 days). Up until he was 4 month sleeping has not been an issue, he only did short naps of 45/50 min but at least a full sleep cycle and used to nap 4x a day and went to sleep for the night at around 6.30/7pm. Waking up 2-3 a night including the dreamfeed. He had nights where he slept 6 hours straight, but mostly it was 4.5/5hrs. And he would fall asleep without any help. I was feeding on demand although i did try to stretch and put him on a loose structure - but i didnt particularly follow the EASY structure. Simply because he had reflux for the first 3 months and needed to feed less but more frequently. It was very rare that he would feed from both breast, and usually he is done after 5/6 minutes. From a bottle he drinks anywhere between 60-120 ml but never more. I never managed him to accept the bottle though, there were times were he would simply refuse to take the bottle.

    Now, since he is 4 or 4.5 months old sleeping has become a nightmare especially for the past month weeks. He doesnt fall asleep without help, so 3 weeks ago we were rocking him to sleep but stopped doing that as I was afraid that he would get used to it. He was super cranky during the day, needing a lot of attention, needing to be hold in my arms, waking around with him etc. First I thought he might be in his wonder weeks, but that would mean he literally went from one into the next wonder week (19 to 26). Everytime we put him to bed after his bedroutine he is ok for 10 min laying in bed and playing with his lovey and cooing and then get frustrated as he cant fall asleep and then he starts crying and crying and crying until he is exhausted and falls asleep after 20-30 min with me patting his back/bum. We have tried PU/PD to get him fall asleep by himself, we have tried wake to sleep to try to extend his naps and nothing seems to work. The last 3 days have been the peak of the past weeks were he has been crying and crying like mad every time he went to sleep, 30 min crying and only 30 min napping. He also started waking up much earlier then before, no matter what time he would go to bed. We though he might be overtired so we reduced wake time from 2 hours to 90 min, starting the routine at 80/85 min, but then it usually took him at least 30 min until he was sleeping so that his wake time would be in total about 2.15. I am trying to have his bedtime around 7, but depending on how the day went or if he had an evening nap he would go down earlier or bit later (7.30/7.45). He is currently on a 2.5/3 hr feeding schedule, i have been trying to stretch it but he usually gets cranky after 2.5 hours so that I can only manage to 3 or 3.5 hrs by distracting him. It has been tricky to keep a fixed schedule since it takes him a long time to fall asleep. The crying making him even more hungry, so then he not only cries because he cant fall asleep but probably because he is getting hungry.

    continue in next comment...

  145. Continuation ...

    The crying is really getting on me, I dont think its normal to cry that much and I am afraid that this might damage something in him:( I am not doing cry out. The PU/PD was already quite a big test on me. Wake up to sleep worked 2 in 10 days, so i have given it up. He is probably also teething, although apart from last night he never woke up crying and not wanting to go back t sleep anymore (at 5am). He started biting a lot on his fingers, and on me whenever he can.

    His schedule is somewhat like this:

    6.20 am wake up, plays contently in his cot
    7.00 pick him up for the day, with a morning routine
    7.15/30 feed
    8.30/8.45 nap (40-50 min)
    9.30 awake/activity
    10.00 feed
    11.00 routine to go to bed
    11.30/40 falls asleep
    12.15/30 awake
    13.00 feed
    14.30/40 nap (started routine at 14.00, but it takes him about 20 min to fall asleep)
    15.15/15.30 awake/activity
    16.00 feed
    18.00 bedtime routine
    18.30/19.00 sleep
    10 pm dream feed

    I really dont know what i can do anymore to get him to fall asleep by himself without crying, to have longer naps and to sleep longer through the night without a feed. How do I deal with the teething and wonder weeks? How do i set up a structure when he is not comfortable? How can I extend his feeding schedule and his naps? I really need your help, my husband and I are super exhausted from his crying and from trialing to set up some kind of structure and routine, to such an extend that we started fighting over it...
    I just cant seem him being in agony...I so would like to help him by simply giving him my breast but am withholding to not become a pacifier. Oh yeah and btw he doesnt accept a pacifier.

    I know you cant answer all questions but am really hoping you can give me some sort of advice or suggestions.

    Thank you so much

    1. Aynur,
      If he is teething and you think it is making him really uncomfortable, you could try medicating and see if that makes a difference. I have a feeling that it won't with sleep though.And I bet sleep won't suddenly improve when he gets out of a wonderweek if he's in one. He needs to learn to sleep on his own which is what you are working on doing. It takes a lot of patience and perseverance. Try to keep the end goal in mind. It can certainly get stressful on a marriage to have a child not sleep well then to try to figure out how to get a child to sleep well. Just a child crying for any reason can be stressful on a marriage! You are not alone there. Try to do something to help you guys relax through this. Watch a funny show (funniest home videos always helps me), put on some nice music, have a babysitter watch him for a bit. Extending out feeds is hard if he is tired because he may want to eat when he is tired and he may also get hungrier sooner if he is tired. If you are between 3-4 hours, I wouldn't worry too much. Of course make sure he is growing well. With all of this, you have to make changes (often slow ones) and then have him slowly get used to it. That goes for sleep and eating. Naps or may not be able to be extended. Do what you can (I've listed what I know) and if it doesn't work, then you have to try to work with it instead of against it. Of course, once he gets better at sleeping on his own and isn't so overtired you'll get a better idea of if naps can be extended or not.


  146. Hi. My son is 4 months old and is on a pretty set nap schedule.we do a.bedtime routine of bath, bottle, bed at around 930pm. He usually wakes around 1230 and I can usually soothe him back to sleep. Then he wakes around 4am for a bottle then back to sleep until 730am. He refuses to take a long nap during the day. But he takes 30min naps every 1.5 hours until 8pm. He is happy and content when he awakens from his naps, and in the morning. If I try to make him nap longer, it is a fight and he wakes cranky. Is this routine ok? Or do I need to make him take longer naps? ,will longer naps help him sleep through the night? im a first time mom, and not sure how naps will affect night time sleep.

  147. Thanks for your blog! I have read "Babywise", "Happiest Baby on the Block", "The Baby Whisperer", and "Healthy Sleep, Happy Baby" because I was concerned my 6 week old was not getting adequate daytime sleep. Now that she is 8 weeks and I combined baby wise and baby whisperer philosophies, she puts herself to sleep within 15-20 minutes (sometimes 5 minutes!) after I put her in the crib awake. She fusses minimally. I am so thankful I got over that hurdle!

    However, now she seems to be waking at the 45 minute mark for almost every daytime nap. I have discovered that if I go in and put the pacifier in her mouth as soon as I hear her first cry, she will sleep another 30 to 60 minutes. She usually does not have this given to her to initially fall asleep, only during the transition on sleep cycles. Once in awhile I need to go in twice, but usually I only go in once. Should I be concerned that I am doing this? She does not need me to do this as night at all, however she still is awaking about every 4 hours to eat at night.

    Any of your thoughts would be great! I have watched her sleep cues and never let her stay awake for longer than 1 hr 30 min before I start the wind down ritual for nap time.

  148. Thanks for this post! I was almost content to let my nearly 5-month-old daughter be a short napper until I tried being there for her sleep transition. She's been a 45-minute napper for who knows how long now, and today, I finally thought I'd try waiting to see her transition so I could soothe her back to sleep. It really worked! She went back to sleep and actually completed two almost-2-hour naps! It was incredible! Now...the trick is to see if she can actually start doing this without me...anyone have any experience with this? Will she eventually get it on her own without me? **Fingers Crossed!!!***

    1. That's great to hear Anna! Usually babies, once they get used to sleeping through that transition, will start to sleep through on their own. So I'd keep up what you are doing for at least a few more days, maybe several, then hopefully she'll be able to do it on her own.


    2. Thanks so much, Rachel! You are a great resource!

  149. Hi Rachel. I have spent all day reading through you posts. You are amazing at helping people out with their sleep troubles. I am desperate at this point and would really like some advice from you. I have a 10 week old who started sleeping through the night (9-12 hours) at 6 weeks old. She was also taking 3-4 naps during the day. The first one being about an hour after waking she would sleep for an hour. Her second nap was usually around 3 hours and the third around 2 hours. I don't know what happened but 2 weeks ago she all of a sudden stopped napping during the day and will only take 30 minute naps, if I'm lucky. This has been very tough as I had her on the EASY schedule and she was doing amazing on it. Now all of a sudden I have an I can't that doesn't want to nap and 2 other children that need lots of attention as well. I feel bad for my other 2. It seems as though my days are now spent getting her to fall asleep for nap. She used to be able to be put down drowsy and fall asleep on her own. Now I have been doing the shush/pat method. The only way I got her to take a nap longer than 20-30 minutes today was nurse to sleep and hold her. She usually has no longer than 1 hour of awake time before she is getting ready for nap. I would really appreciate some help/ advice from you as I know you are very busy. Thank you!!!

  150. Hi Rachel,

    Great site - very helpful.

    My 4 month old is doing the classic 45-55 minute nap and it's not enough for him (he wakes cranky); I know its not due to being overtired as I put him down w/in 1 - 1.5 hours of wakefulness (he can't make it to 2 hrs yet, shows signs of being v. overtired). He also knows how to fall asleep on his own, as I put him down for naps & night drowsy but awake, we also follow a routine but it's kind of all over the place with this early waking.

    I have been going in and either shush/patting or putting him in the swing to extend the nap and it is sometimes successful, sometimes not.

    My question is: will he eventually learn to nap longer if I do the above or will he come to depend on me helping him make that transition? I'm comfortable doing CIO but not until he starts solids (6 months). What should i do in the meantime?

    Thanks so much in advance!

  151. Hi Thanks for putting together fabulous site. My daughter is almost 7 months. At 5 months she stopped sleeping well at night (waking every 2-3hrs). She has always been all over the map but mostly 6-6hrs at night straight. I realize now I didn't give her a consistent schedule but always tried to maintain a 3hr EWS. She's always been a 45 min napper but would occasionally but rarely go longer. We swaddled her up until about 6 months because she would flinch herself awake and we slowly weened. She would go down for daytime naps by herself but not night time.

    We started sleep training and she is now self soothing at night too and sleeping MUCH better, up to 6hrs straight at night. She is not taking much solids yet and is breastfed. We started wake to sleep for naps and I am not sure I am doing it right. The first few times I tried i went in at about 30 mins and she was sleeping so light she woke when I came in the room. She mainly just plays when I wake her and tries to self sooth back to sleep but can't. I tried at 20 mins today and she was out cold and I had to really budge her to get her to move. She did and I held my hand on her chest (is tummy better?) for at least 20 mins or through her normal 45 min wake time. She ended up waking after an hour (so I got another 15min). But I could not get her to sleep again after that. Should I try to rock her? She is playing but finally started crying and I tried PU/PD and we finally got to an hour with no result so I got her up nursed her and put her down for a nap an hour later but she was so overtired she only slept 20 mins, bed time shortly after. So I think I will try again at 20 mins tomorrow and wait it out to see what happens when she wakes up and hand on tummy again. Is it okay to rock her back to sleep? She starts wanting to touch my face even though she is tired. She does okay but the 4hr cycle is new to her. She can go 4 hrs but I think part of the problem is when she woke after an hour she may have expected to eat. She didn't cry right away, and wasn't crying when I carried her but did each time I made like I was going to put her down. So I left her cry for about 3 min and picked her up and soothed her and put her down. I didn't put her down right away each time. after three tries I left the room for 3-5min. I was hoping she would get tired enough from crying that we could get there but didn't. She is one tired baby. May just try to get her rested tomorrow and early bedtime. Right now we've been doing 6:30 but today was 7 and she didn't fall asleep until almost 8. Thank You!!

  152. Rachel, I love this site, although I probably need to stop stressing out about sleep so much! My daughter is 10 weeks today and sleeps well at night, although she uses sleep props for both night and day. She usually falls asleep nursing at night but usually doesn't need to be rocked. She wakes up to eat once in an 11 hour window. Naps are awful. She goes down for naps fairly easily but must be rocked. It is hard to get her to stay down when I put her in her crib, though (by the way, she hates swings, carriers, pacis, bottles, you name it). Then she can't make it through to the next sleep cycle, hence the short nap. Although, right now she is just hanging out in her crib (as been for about 15 minutes). I am just allowing her that time. Anyhow, I know she needs to fall asleep on her own, but I really don't get how "put her down drowsy but awake" magically happens without crying it out. Any thoughts at this age?

  153. Hi Rachel. I refer to your blog almost everyday.y son is 7 months now. I started training him using PU/PD 10 days back. Initially I only did it at night (5 days) then started with naps too. I basically want to tackle multiple problems (order of priority) - cradle habit, night awakenings, short naps.

    My husband is helping me out. But I seem to be loosing patience now. He cries a lot, so when i PU I start rocking him cause he doesn't stop otherwise. Once he drowsy I put him down. But he keeps wakin up and eventually (after 30-45 mins) he falls asleep in my arms while I have him picked up. My arms n back are killing me. 'm wondering if his crying will ever drop? Do babies that get trained, sleep on their own on putting them to bed - without fussying? I'm afraid my son will associate crying with sleep and fight sleep altogether.

    He wakes up every 2 hrs at night since he's use to feeding. He's well fed during the day so after feeding him at 10pm I send my husband in at 12, feed him at 2 and again send my husband in at 4am. I'm at loss of what to change or do to improve his sleep. Btw his naps dont ast more than 45 mins.

    Would really appreciate some advice.


    1. Radhika,
      The think with pupd (or any method) is that it isn't going to work if you end up giving in after a period of time. So if you have him fall asleep in your arms or end up rocking him back to sleep, he's going to keep waking up and needing you to do that because he isn't learning to put himself to sleep on his own. With pupd, he relies on you a lot at first, but eventually you are able to decrease your attention so he's putting himself to sleep. I'm not trying to sound harsh, I'm just trying to say it like it is so you can have more progress :)

      When you have feeds at night, it makes it more confusing for baby with sleep training. I'm not saying it doesn't work with feeds bc it does, but if baby doesn't need them, then I don't give them to help st out. at 7 months, he need 0-1 feeds. If I were to give a feed, something like a dreamfeed would probably work best where you wake baby up. This way he doesn't get confused with why he's getting fed sometimes and not at other times. Dont' worry about the crying to sleep association. He will likely have period of time where he protests going to sleep, but so will most children. Crying out of frustration going to sleep doesn't just turn into a habit. He learns how to go to sleep and then the frustration crying stops. If you were trying to ride a bike and frustrated, once you learned how to do it, the frustration (and crying if you were a baby) would stop. Night wakings and nap likely won't improve until he learns to put himself to sleep initially and put himself back to sleep. You can keep up the pupd, but if you feel you can't be consistent with it, choose another method. Consistency with whatever you do will be the most important.


  154. Hi

    I have been reading through these post and have them very helpful. I have a 5 month old who sleeps really well at night. My challenge is he only cat naps when we put him down in his crib. If we hold him he will sleep 1-3 hours. I feel like we have tried everything and still no success. How do I get my baby to nap longer than one sleep cycle without being held?

    thank you

    1. JJLO2,
      It's a combination of age and practice that will help with that, assuming the sleep environment is top notch :)

  155. Hi

    Is this blog still active please? I need som guidance

    1. Cheryl Grech,
      This blog is active, but I am just one person who does this in my free time so II do the best I can answering questions.


  156. I also need some guidance...I have tried the shh/pat on my 3mo old as we are not FINALLY transitioning to napping in the crib--previously, he would only nap while held but would sleep in his crib at night just fine. My question is if the shh/pat doesnt extend the nap, do I do whatever it takes--holding--to get him to take a longer nap? or will this confuse him? I feel like if I only use the shh/pat method he gets overtired and then I fight him all day long and we are both miserable...


    1. Mary Nguyencong,
      At this age if he's getting overtired and unable to fall back asleep for a longer nap, you are likely fine to try something else. Ideally do not have it a feed bc that often ends up with later issues. Rocking him to sleep quickly or putting him in the swing to finish up the nap usually doesn't cause later issues (as long as it doesn't go on for month after month).


  157. Hi there,

    I have a 3 month old who sleeps really well at night - he is usually awake just one for a quick feed between 7pm and about 6:30am - however, he only ever sleeps for 40 minutes for naps. He goes down awake and self settles almost always (sometimes he needs a pat on the tummy but he's not picked up) and he's only awake for just over an hour between naps so I'm pretty sure he's not over-tired. He usually has 5 short naps a day. He is a real vomity baby and often has a little (or big!) spit-up when he wakes. Do you think it could be this that's bothering or do you think he might grow out of the short naps or should I try to actively do something about it?

    Thank you so much for any advice you may have - with a 2 1/2 year old as well it is really tiring when he is up and down all day!

    1. Laura Prince,
      If he's getting some spit up by him when he naps, see if making sure to hold him up after a feed for 30 ish minutes helps or if raising the bed slightly helps. It's hard to know if that is the thing bothering him. If he sleeps well at night (even early in the am) without spitting up then maybe that is it. It's always good to trouble shoot other stuff and maybe try some gentle/easy methods to help extend the nap out. It can't hurt.

  158. Hi Rachel,
    Awesome site - thanks for keeping it up, it sure seems to be helping lots of people! I'm interested to see what you have to say about the previous entry (Prince) because I'm in a similar situation. My daughter is 3 months old tomorrow and my main issue currently is the short naps. Without help she'll only sleep 30-45 mins at a time during the day. Sadly I fell into the habit of helping her fall asleep by walking and shush/patting her, so when she wakes up after one sleep cycle I don't think she knows how to get back to sleep... although she has slept as long as 6.5 hours overnight, so she must do it sometimes. Anyway I'm thinking of doing some form of CIO pretty soon, for bedtime, through the night and naps as well, but I'm not so sure it will work for her during the day because after 30-45 mins she won't be so tired anymore. I also have a 3 year old, so I don't have the luxury of spending a lot of time with her to get her back to sleep. One other thing is that she has had some gas pain issues, but Ishe seems to be improving as she gets older.
    Looking forward to hearing your perspective and any tips you can think of :) Thanks

    1. Jen,
      Once you work on having her learn to put herself to sleep at bedtime and for naps, many baby with short naps will start taking longer ones after some days/weeks. but look over the short nap post to make sure there aren't other variables that could inhibit her sleep once she's got the sleep prop issue changed up.


  159. Hi Rachel! Thank you so much for your helpful blog! Our LO just turned 7mos and we have been fighting short naps for months now. She is an awesome sleeper at night and has been since about 12 weeks. We have read The Baby Whisperer and Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Baby and have been trying to stick with those principles. What we have ended up with is a baby who sleeps from about 6pm-6:30am and then takes 3 30min naps throughout the day. She goes down super easy for her naps after a little soothing. But then will wake up usually 20-35min after she is put down, often times screaming and upset. About 3-4 times/week she will give us an hour long nap or more, otherwise every nap is about 30min. Anything stick out to you about what we are doing and how to help? We have black out shades, noise machine... she does sleep at my mom's home a couple days/week but she sleeps just as poorly there as she does at home. We do mostly the eat, play, sleep schedule, so sometimes I wonder if I feed her before bed will she sleep better, but the couple times I have tried it, it hasn't really made a difference. I wonder about pushing back her bedtime to 7-8 but it is like torture just getting her to make it to 6pm b/c she is so exhausted from not napping all day! Help please! :-)

  160. Hello Rachel,
    We have been ambushed by short naps again! This has happened before, but usually only last a few days, to up to a week at most. Our little one is 26.5 weeks old, and for almost 3 weeks now, has been waking every 30-40 min, and often times after only 20 min. Similar to Nicki above, we have good sleep habits in place, with calm time, dim light/dark curtains, white noise, and swaddling (although minimal at this point, she is just in a light sleeper with her arms inside, and the arms of the sleeper tied across her version of a homemade woombie). Typically, she has a morning nap 1-1.5 hours after waking, for 1.5-2 hours, then another similar nap after being up for 1.5-2 hours, and sometimes a 30-45 min nap in the later afternoon, 1-2 hours before bedtime. She sleeps contentedly through the night from 6:30-7pm to 6:30-7am, with a feeding at around 10 pm. She always wakes up happy in the morning and usually after naps, as long as she is rested. I had been nursing her before sleep, but she is usually awake when I put her down in her crib (for nighttime) or bassinet (daytime naps), and is able to soothe herself to sleep. Sounds pretty ideal, right? When she had nap disturbances before, she usually would at least sleep 45 min, and I just attributed it to growth spurts and her needing more to eat. However, this time, she is waking up fully alert/happy and does not seem hungry or interested in nursing. I have tried extending her naps by putting her in her swing or leaving her in her bassinet, with a quick diaper change if necessary. She will sometimes go back to sleep in the swing but it usually takes another 30-45 min of her talking to herself, and then she only sleeps for anther 20-30 min. I've also tried just starting her off in the swing, shortening wake times, extending wake times, not nursing before sleep, but none of those have been hugely successful either. I am trying to keep some semblance of a "routine," but man, I tell ya', I feel like I am spending my whole time, trying to finagle naps these days. I'm just at a loss of what else to try or how best to continue managing these short naps. After reading through your blog and various responses, I suppose this could be a lovely "wonder week" or "weeks!" I am still hopeful this is just a phase, but I worry about getting stuck with poor habits or relying on the swing to extend naps. Any thoughts/suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Many thanks!

  161. dear Rachel, I am wondering if you could help 16 week old daughter is constantly overtired and will only nap for pretty much exactly 40min at a time.she can only fall asleep if I rock her and whilst doing that she will self sooth using her thumb.I am trying to put her in her bed not completely gone which sometimes work and sometimes it doesn't. she starts crying or well screaming pretty quickly when she wakes too sometimes takes me hours to get her to sleep.she is then moaning all day wanting to go to night she wakes every 2-3 hours and often falls asleep during feeding,which I am trying to stop,but it is very difficult. she also tries to turn herself onto her tummy loads during sleeping and then wakes up once she has turned(she can't roll back yet).in the second half of the night,from about 2 or 3 o'clock onwards she is trying to is then very difficult to get her back to sleep if she wakes up (often only nursing will get her back to sleep).she would always prefer to sleep on the past we thought that she has silent reflux,so she had been on ranitidine until she was 10weeks old.we stopped because she was crying less and generally seemed happier.I'm not sure she actually has reflux,as the symptoms for over tiredness and reflux seem to be so similar. I'm seriously sleep deprived and my energy is slowly drifting away.everything seems to be getting more difficult rather then baby girl gets upset and worked up very quickly and is then very difficult to settle.the other thing to mention is that she is exclusively breast fed and only feeds for about 5min at a time.I can't get her to eat more.I know this is all very complex,but I really don't know where to start to make things you have any suggestions?thank you very much for your help in advance!

  162. Hi Rachel, I have an 11 week old who learned around 4-5 weeks to put himself to sleep. Lately, he's started fussing more when I put him down, but he usually still falls asleep pretty that's good! Although, pretty much ever since day 1, he's had a hard time transitioning sleep cycles. He used to do pretty well in the morning for the most part (usually would take a 2 hour nap or so), but now EVERY nap he wakes up pretty upset around the 35-45 minute mark. I've tried swaddling, not swaddling, warmer clothes, cooler clothes, pacifier...and the only thing that has seemed to work is putting him in the swing. Except now he finishes ALL of his naps in the swing. Do you have any suggestions, or do you think this is okay for now for him to sleep in the swing? Sometimes once he falls back asleep in the swing, I have to wake him to feed him because he's sleeping so hard. He eats around every 3 hours, and we're trying to do the feed-wake-sleep schedule (baby wise). Do you think he'll eventually grow out of this and won't need the swing?

  163. Hi Rachel, from reading the comment above it looks like we are having the same problem, except the swing does not work! My daughter is 12 weeks old and for the last week has been having a lot of problems going to sleep on her own and staying asleep. This is especially frustrating since she never used to have these problems, its as if they developed overnight and she is has been a totally different baby for the last seven days due to being extremely OT. I have been following the EASY since birth and was putting her down drowsy but awake at night and for 2/3 of her daytime naps with a lot of success. Now she fights going to sleep for 20-30 min and stays asleep for 32 min on the DOT. I dont rush in and have tried to allow her to soothe herself back to sleep, but its not working. There are times that I go in and pick her up and can get her back to sleep but other times she wont. We've tried the wake to sleep method youve described with no success. I am beside myself because by 4pm she is a nightmare and screams until bedtime. She has also started waking up twice per night around the 4 hour mark instead of her usual one time/night. Since looking through your info I have started implementing a pre-nap routine and have re-vamped our pre-bedtime routine. I have also started an early bedtime of 630 which seems to be working. She does much better at night generally than her daytime naps for the last week.
    My questions are:
    1. It seems like the dream feed is not working. She usually wakes up after 4 hours after the dream feed, when in the last week I just let her sleep straight through she slept for 7. Does the dream feed not work for some babies?
    2. Since I was putting her to sleep awake before this last week and she was sleeping for longer than 30 min stretches prior to the last week do you think this is some sort of phase? Associated with a growth spurt? I am worried that she has "forgotten" how to sleep!
    3. How can I teach her to get through the first sleep cycle without letting her cry it out???

    Thanks so much! I appreciate ANY suggestions you may have.

  164. Hi Rachel,

    This is a wonderful blog. It has been so informative and I have passed it along to every mom I know!

    I have a very bright 15 month old little girl. She is sleeping very well at night. We have a bedtime routine that ends anywhere between 7-8 pm. She wakes once or twice in the night (3-ish and 6 -ish if twice. 5-ish if once). Then she is up for the day between 8-9 am. It's not uncommon for her to wake once or twice in the first 2hours of her nighttime sleep which we nurse her to sleep as other meathods (sush pat) don't seem to work.

    Our issue though is naps. She wakes at 30-45 min. We have tried letting her cry with little success. I have tried going in her room at 20 min and wait for her to rouse then from far away shushing this has worked twice. I find that she is sensitive and that if I go to her and sush pat it wakes her up. Perhaps I'm too late in timing the sush pat. However, if we are out and she is in her carseat she can nap for a very long time (sometimes I have to wake her).

    She is a happy baby but in the afternoon when she only has 30 min naps she becomes more fussy.

    We do the EASY routine and I nurse her when I get her out of her crib from naps (generally every 2hours) with 1.5 hr wake times.

    I have read the info on sleep transitions and extending naps. Oh, and she is put down awake and soothes herself to sleep for naps. I don't understand why she can't self soothe during transition. I haven't tried the wake to sleep because I worry that it will wake her as she is a light sleeper but I will try next week.

    Do you think she will start to extend naps on her own? It is this something I need to help her with? If so what tips/ suggestions do you have for us?

    Thanks in advance!

  165. Oh my, my baby is 15 WEEKS! Not 15 months! Sorry

  166. Hi Rachel,
    Quick question about your technique "soothe him back to sleep".
    -What should happen if the baby responds well to this technique? Will the baby start to slowly fall back asleep faster every time, and eventually not wake up at all, and then no longer need the soothing? How long (in general) should it take to see improvement? Thanks. Karine

    1. Karine,
      When you soothe mid nap the main thing that seems to make baby suddenly not need to be soothed back to sleep anymore is age (getting older--things often, but not always, improve around 6 months) OR a combination or age and some practice (you leave him for 20 minutes or whatever every time he wakes early to see if he can get back to sleep on his own).

      As for how quickly baby is soothed to sleep, it will likely get faster with some practice over days/weeks, but babies also go through (many) phases where something that was effective before is no effective so that might make progress suddenly go backwards.

  167. Hi Rachel,

    Your blog has been very helpful and straightforward, I appreciate what you have created for us mamas!

    My 8 month old son was always a cat-napper when he was younger (It took me about 30 minutes to wind him down/get him to fall asleep by singing and rocking him continuously. Then like clockwork, he would wake up after only 30 minutes of sleep in his bassinet and I rarely was successful getting him back to sleep). I was exhausted just trying to get him to sleep, I dreaded his nap times.
    After doing some reading at the time, I had learned about sleep associations and also about how the length of a nap can effect nighttime sleep, function, etc (sleep begets sleep, etc, although even with 30 minute naps, he still woke up happy). I found myself stuck (not to mention exhausted) that I discovered I could take a nap with my son AND get him to sleep longer than 30 minutes (1-2 hours, wow!)...but this meant we'd co-sleep with him soothing on my breast the whole time. I knew I was creating a bad sleep association, but I was at my wits end. Well, here I am, still stuck in this rut. I have to lay next to him and let him soothe in order to get him to sleep. I've done the Pantley pull-off just so I can have some sanity at times, but then I have to sneak back in the room and throw him my breast after he wakes from his short sleep cycle just to get him down again. It sometimes isn't worth it, I just lay there and let him go to town.
    I want to try nap training, but am not sure how to go about it (I feel like I'm so far in the deep end with this sleep association I've created). He's also on the cusp of the age where Bedtiming says it's really not a good idea to try sleep training.
    I guess my question is, at this time, what would you recommend I try for his naps? Continue to offer him my breast until he's at a good "training" age? Let him just sleep 30 minutes or so with every nap and have a bunch of naps throughout the day (which will probably mess up the nice schedule we've fallen into)?

    You advice would be much appreciated!
    Thank you,

  168. Help! My boy sleeps like a legend at night (well except that he wakes like a little clock at 5am) but other than that he sleeps through. Its the day time naps that are killing me! 30 mins, sometimes 40 at the most and no matter what i do he won't go down again. I listen and listen and make sure I don't go in too early, or then I go in before he's up and try and get him through the next sleep cycle. Whatever I do, it doesn't matter - he wakes up super excited and that's it. If I try the pat/shush focus, that still doesn't work. I've even tried CIO and that doesn't work! Do I just have a mini napper?

  169. Hi rachel,
    thank u for the blog,its gr8,it helped so much in diff. issues,but i still have a question,my 3 mnths old boy is a good night sleeper,but during naps he always wakes up during sleep transitions,i tried to go to him after 30 min and put pressure on his stomache for about 25 min,some times it works,but most of the times it doesnt,i just have to hold him so he can sleep another hr,i'm on 3 hr EASY but cant be consistent because of his disturbed naps, what should i do to extend the naps(when he is up,he still wants to sleep)how long will it take for him to make the transition on his own?should i work on all the naps together,or begin with the morning nap for a week then transfer to another one?thank u:)

  170. Hi! My 16 week old daughter is sleeping through the night...on average about 10 hours, which is amazing! I can't seem to figure out how to extend her naps during the day though. She goes down easily and is up for about 1.5 - 2 hours between naps. I can read her cues very easily and put her down as soon as I see them. She wakes up, however, after only 30 - 45 minutes of napping. When she wakes up, she's not crying, so I don't know if the PU/PD method would work for her. She seems happy and well rested. Do I just let her stay in her crib resting quietly until the 1.5 - 2 hours is up? Or do I go in and try to get her to go back to sleep, even though she seems to be content and ready to go...?
    HELP!! :)

  171. Dear Rachel,

    First off, thank you very much for your blog, where we can get some useful and practical tips to solve some problems in our parenting. My wife and I, Hahn, have a big problem with sleeping of our baby, Hayden. Especially, he almost takes very short naps during the date time for about four months. So, having found your website is the best thing for us to get some advice; and I hope you don't mind helping us in this situation.

    Here is Hayden's routine (8months+4weeks):

    4:00 AM: morning wake-up
    4:00 AM - 6:00 AM: stay awake
    6:00 AM - 8:00 AM: feed & play
    8:00 AM - 8:30 AM: 1st nap
    8:30 AM - 9:30 AM stay awake
    9:30 AM - 12:00 PM feed & play
    12:00 PM - 12:30 PM 2nd nap
    12:30 PM - 2:30 PM stay awake
    2:30 PM - 5:30 PM: feed & play
    5:30 PM: bed time
    10:30 PM (awake for about 10 minutes, CIO then slept again until 4:00 AM)

    Some tips from your website that we already applied:

    1) We tried the method "Wake to sleep," but it seemed to us that he doesn't change his habit during the night.
    2) We are using the EASY (4hrs increment)
    3) For each nap, we tried to PAT him to extend his naps; however, after 30 minutes, when he wakes up, we no longer to keep him down.
    4) We know he is over tied because the waking time is too long, but we don't really know how to help him in this schedule.

    I kindly ask you some questions:
    1) Is our schedule suitable for our baby?
    2) Could you please give us some tips (as you knew) to extend his naps?

    I know you are very very busy now to answer my questions, but we have no choice to ask another one for help.
    When we take him to the doctors, they all say "good" :D.

    With my regards,


  172. Hello, i have a now 8 month old who i have struggled with naps for a long, long time! She is usually very good and settles to sleep on her own (wide awake-never shows any usual tired signs, may have an unusual one but i cannot spot it!) she has always been really alert and everything interests her, she is now sitting on own and commando crawling everywhere! i have stopped swaddling (only did for naps) and she did have couple of longer ones however, 2 weeks on and back to 30min naps, i have tried awake times between 1hr 45 and 4hrs 30, and all result in 30 mins naps!! At night does not stir so unsure why cannot do this through day! had a really bad week where would not nap at all, did everything as normal and would just like in cot playing with lovey for 45mins before i gave up and got her up then tried again a couple of hours later, screaming hysterically as obviously overtired (again is very happy playing, no fussing, only really upset when put in cot!) i had to give up and go for drive so she at least got a 30min nap, yesterday this was all she had at 4pm for the whole day (not for want of trying). i think main issue is cannot tell when she is tired so am putting her down too soon or too late! She does not get fussy either, stays happy and playing!!!! She never rubs eyes/yawns or definatley not go still/staring, in fact i have never seen her relax and stay still apart from on monitor just before falling asleep!!! i put her in sleeping bag, and tuck in with blanket so stuck on back as tried leaving loose and she just moves round cot, rolls over happily and generally plays around then starts screaming! i think she is trying to get into sitting position on own! She is in a dark room with white noise playing for all naps as will not go in pram and will go in car but only for 30mins! Everyone tells me she doesn't need the sleep if happy all day?!!! At night stirs but i never go in, she puts herself back to sleep. She goes to sleep around 7:30 every night and wakes anywhere between 6:10 and 8am?!! i think there is something i am not picking up on and if i did she would be perfect, however, don't know what it is for the life of me!!! obviously v stressed as thought by now would be past the 30min naps and she can get through sleep arousals etc. at night just not during day, she is very hyper all day and is never still, whether this is why cannot relax and have a proper sleep and then crashes at night?!! please help!

  173. Hello, i have a now 8 month old who i have struggled with naps for a long, long time! She is usually very good and settles to sleep on her own (wide awake-never shows any usual tired signs, may have an unusual one but i cannot spot it!) she has always been really alert and everything interests her, she is now sitting on own and commando crawling everywhere! i have stopped swaddling (only did for naps) and she did have couple of longer ones however, 2 weeks on and back to 30min naps, i have tried awake times between 1hr 45 and 4hrs 30, and all result in 30 mins naps!! At night does not stir so unsure why cannot do this through day! had a really bad week where would not nap at all, did everything as normal and would just like in cot playing with lovey for 45mins before i gave up and got her up then tried again a couple of hours later, screaming hysterically as obviously overtired (again is very happy playing, no fussing, only really upset when put in cot!) i had to give up and go for drive so she at least got a 30min nap, yesterday this was all she had at 4pm for the whole day (not for want of trying). i think main issue is cannot tell when she is tired so am putting her down too soon or too late! She does not get fussy either, stays happy and playing!!!! She never rubs eyes/yawns or definatley not go still/staring, in fact i have never seen her relax and stay still apart from on monitor just before falling asleep!!! i put her in sleeping bag, and tuck in with blanket so stuck on back as tried leaving loose and she just moves round cot, rolls over happily and generally plays around then starts screaming! i think she is trying to get into sitting position on own! She is in a dark room with white noise playing for all naps as will not go in pram and will go in car but only for 30mins! Everyone tells me she doesn't need the sleep if happy all day?!!! At night stirs but i never go in, she puts herself back to sleep. She goes to sleep around 7:30 every night and wakes anywhere between 6:10 and 8am?!! i think there is something i am not picking up on and if i did she would be perfect, however, don't know what it is for the life of me!!! obviously v stressed as thought by now would be past the 30min naps and she can get through sleep arousals etc. at night just not during day, she is very hyper all day and is never still, whether this is why cannot relax and have a proper sleep and then crashes at night?!! please help!

  174. This comment has been removed by the author.

  175. Hi Rachel,
    I have a 15week old and he is a chronic cat napper! He only ever sleeps between 30 and 45 mins (at the moment, it seems closer to 30-35). We wakes relatively happy and stays awake for between an hour and a half and an hour and 3/4. Recently (since keeping him awake a little longer) he has been going down quite well for his naps but still is only having short sleeps!
    We have tried going in before he wakes and trying to soothe him back to sleep (hand on chest, shushing, playing white noise etc.) we have also tried leaving him to see if he goes back to sleep on his own. Neither of these methods have had any success at all. The only way I have found I can extend his nap is if I go in before he wakes up and as soon as he stirs, put him on the breast and feed him back to sleep. He will then sleep in my arms for over an hour quite happily. Needless to say, this isn't sustainable! We don't want to put him down too late at night but with this type of timing/schedule, we always fall with the time of either needing to put him down to bed really too early (around 5) or quite late (we have found that he manages just 2 hours after his final nap before bed). Because of this, I have been doing a 'helped' extended nap each day just to get us to an okay time and ensure he isn't too tired. At nights, he sleeps about 5-6 hours first (used to be 7.5 then he had a growth spurt, was up every two hours and never fully came back from it! Still hoping that'll extend again!) then it varies - 2-3 hours and sometimes 1. He is usually up to start the day around 7:00. (He has had a couple nights waking after only a short time and staying awake for ages chatting to himself before eventually going back to sleep. Occasionally, I've had to feed him back to sleep again.) I'm really out of ideas! With the timing he's doing at the moment, he only has time for 3 naps but they're so short I think he's getting over tired which is perhaps why he's not sleeping as well at night! Any ideas?!?! Thanks!

    1. ....was your 15 week old any better earlier on. I am going through the EXACT same thing. At 15 weeks, my daughter started waking up every 2 hours (at night), then every hour. I started co-sleeping as it was the only way to not have to get up every hour. She also only has 30 min naps, but if I offer her the breast, she will sleep for 2-3 hours attached to me. This is not sustainable. I am keeping my fingers crossed that she will grow out of this. She is obviously overtired. Let me know if anything has changed for you. I need a light at the end of my tunnell.

  176. Hi. Thanks for the useful information you post in this blog. I apologize beforehand for my English skills :(
    I had read the explanations you give about many topics but I am still confused. I have a 9 weeks baby girl. For about two or three weeks she have had trouble napping. She wakes up after 10-20 minutes after I put her down. I control the environment she sleeps in by making it dark with a blackout, sometimes I use a sound machine, some others don't because it doesn't seen to make any difference, I also control the temperature.... Not too cold, not too hot. She has some reflux but the doctor said she doesn't need medication for that. She only naps for a two hour period when she is held (I know is not a good habit but since she is overtired I think this is my way to help her have some rest).
    Our routine is wake us at 5:30 -6, feed, nap (for 1-1.5 h), then feed, bath, play and try to sleep again. Sometimes I put her in the bassinet or the crib (with anti reflux mattress) and she can wake up the minute I put her down or stay asleep for a few minutes and wake up. I have tried to comfort and shush her but it works for another shirt period.
    At 12 aprox I feed her again and there the real problem emerges. She doesn't sleep until after the 8 pm feeding. When she sleeps st bedtime I can put her down with relatively less effort and she usually sleeps for five to six hours, feeds and sleeps again.
    I am against CIO. And I've tried to dream fed but it doesn't work because she is too asleep to eat.
    How can I help her ?

    A big hug from Colombia