Baby sleep questions and answers by the BabyPillars community
From the BabyPillars Community – what other parents are saying about their baby sleep problems and how they cope.
Megan .T. Question: Any tips on how to get a newborn to go to sleep at night?!
Camelia .A. Make sure to keep them up a good bit during the day. Rock them, wear them out by playing. Tummy time really works! Lavender incense calms them. And sometimes just letting them cry it out just keep giving binky.
Jennifer .R. don’t sleep at night when they are one week old ?? I can laugh about it now but it was horrendous to go through at the time. There is just no schedule at this time and still have their days and nights mixed up. Just find a good tv show to watch at night and get some naps in during the day. It will get better.
Annabelle .P. My baby girl loved to be swaddled when she was a newborn!
Tiana .G. My baby girl is two months today and her schedule is mint. I let her feed and sleep when she wants and she made her own schedule. Ale sleeps from 11:00 pm to 8 am then feeds and goes back to bed before 11 and wakes and hangs out for a while till 2 pm feeds sleeps wakes up around 6 feeds sleeps till 8 and then I bath her and keep her up till 11 sometimes 12 sometimes 1 but she sleeps all night.
Taylor .P. My girl is 2 1/2 months and she doesn’t even has a schedule. She eats and sleeps when she wants.
Sarah .K. She is going to be on a whacky schedule for a short bit, but she'll start to figure out days and nights are different. Try establishing a night time routine now, even though she probably won't stay asleep it's good to start establishing a clear indication of bedtime. With my daughter I turn all the lights off, change her diaper, give her a bottle, turn on her Relax Melodies mix and rock her until she's asleep. Sometimes I speed hours picking her up and rocking her again until she's really asleep, sometimes she falls asleep before I even get started on the routine... Point is, it's going to be a while before you have a defined "go to bed and slept" routine.
Also, keep in mind if she's NOT waking up to feed at night at 1 week old you NEED to be waking her up to feed. She'll starve... She's too little to go for too long without a feeding. My daughter is almost 10 weeks and she goes to bed at 7pm, wakes up at 11pm, 4am to feed. (That's why I'm posting this at 4:30am lol) Some nights when she's in a growth spurt she'll wake every 2hrs to feed.
It's just life now. Dont fear though. Sleep will return. For now feed her as much as you can, you want her to grow grow grow! The beginning is the hardest.
More baby sleep questions and answers
Jessica T. Swaddle and cuddles, paci if you use one, warm bath, baby massage, chamomile, diffuse lavendar but only for 10-15 mins and make sure you dilute it. Babies shouldn't cry it out as newborns. They do not have the capability to self soothe as infants. Remember, baby went from being in your warm and cozy tummy to a big scary world with new sounds and sights. My LO is almost 9 weeks and we do a bed time "routine" of a warm bath and massage, bottle, fresh diaper, snug swaddle. He has no routine but we try and be consistent at least. Good luck! ??
Rhiannon .J. I had a bassinet mine slept in at night. After a couple of months i started put her in the cot during day for naps so she got used to it.
Shes now 5months and sleeps in her cot full time which is at the other end of our house ?
I also have one of my partylite scentglo warmers in there to act as a nightlight for her ?
Gemma .R. I made my son stay awake longer during the day and woke him up when I was ready for bed to play or change bath feed and soon as he was ready to sleep I put him down I found after a week or so he was sleeping threw the night but still having sleeps during the day I just woke him up after 4 hrs in one stint instaid of constant broken sleeps he would eventually go from 8-9pm to 5-6am then 11am to 1-2 pm.
Tanee'se .C. I think they are ready in their own time, my daughter(11 weeks) has just started sleeping in her cot. I just put her in the randomly one night last week and she has slept in it (at night ever since), she still sleeps the same.. Waking ever 4-5 hours. We are still yet to get her to sleep in there during the day as she only wants cuddles, be in her carseat on car rides or be in her bouncer on vibrate.. I believe though if it becomes a problem for you/her being too big for bassinet etc. after 3m+ try the cry it out method(5mins cry, 5 mins cuddle, and repeat until it works). Good luck mumma, you got this!
Silma .G. Asked: Has anyone tried the sleep drops for babies? Did they help at all? Nothing seems to settle him down and im burning out. Hubby gets frustrated with the crying all night.
Cindy .R. We tried the drops but no luck; Try magnesium cream for babies we find that works great.
Nicole .S. Tried the sleep drops on miss 4 . For the 2 weeks we used them she would be awake till around 10 stopped using the drops and she’s went back to being asleep by 8.
Caitlin .Platz. I found they settled my son, but didn’t help with the multiple wake ups so stopped spending money on it. I’ve just bought that magnesium cream that’s mentioned above and have tried it for the first time tonight on my now 2 year old and he fell asleep so fast tonight, don’t know if it was a coincidence, but here’s hoping ?
Gaynor .H. Sleep drops didn’t work for us.
Anne .C. Had the opposite effect on mine. Talk about bouncing off the wall not fun at all.
Jayy .K. I've just started my 11 month old on some and she seems more settled having solid day nap now and wakes a couple times a night but a few extra drops and a pat on her bottom and she's out again with out the crying.
Sarah .W. Sleep drops never worked on my son I tried using kids calm and that seemed to calm him down that he slept.
Kelsi .S. Perawiti Theres a body lotion from lush called sleepy i use it most nights on myself and kids, it helped my 7year old stop tossing around and chilled my very active 2year old out.
Tj .S. tell him to f*** s*** it up it's all part of been a dad.
Rhi .S. Interesting to see how some people have said it’s had the opposite effect! I’ve been using them on my baby for just over a week and I swear he’s sleeping worse! And the first night he was awake for 2.5 hours in the middle of the night ?. I’m still using them because I said I’d give them a good go but maybe I’ll have a look at that magnesium cream too.
Collette .B. I recommend colic calm - it helps relieve a lot of different things, such as bloating, wind, irritability, etc. it’s natural and very gentle. Always worked so well for both my two and helped them sleep so well. Very calming for them. Couldn’t recommend it enough ???
Stacey .K. I’ve started using essential oils with my kids (10mo/7mo corrected twins and 2yr old). Sleep drops hyped my boy up. My premmie twins I’m reluctant to have them ingest anything that I don’t know all the ingredients/or ok’d by paediatrician. I make up a nighttime blend diffusing in their rooms and have gone from no one sleeping through to 2/3 and reduced night wakes by 10-12 times (between all of them) to 2 (for my most medically fragile babe). Been a bloody godsend!
Amie .S. You need to work out what the issue is,not mask it with drops.
Lucinda .T. My new baby has reflux. The best things we have discovered (she is 3 months now) are probiotics and white noise. She is on omeprazole to try and stop the projectile vomiting which stopped the burn and lessened the extreme gushing. If you go the medication route make sure it is a brand name (Losec or Dr Reddy’s) because there is a proven 30% difference in effectiveness.
The probiotic has helped her tummy a lot. Instead of the constant poop she goes once a day now. I still can’t get her to sleep properly in her cot but in the Ergo carrier she will sleep for 3 hours happily in the middle of the day. During the night I start her in her cot and then for the rest of the night we co sleep in her room. The way the whole household gets sleep.
Michelle .B. No, unfortunately they didnt work at all.
Someone said that they only work if you "place your trust in it more and have a more open mind"....
It emptied my wallet, but it did.
Rachelle .G. Question: Opinions and thought on the "cry it out" method for babies?
Heather .B. 6 months is when I started. Never more than 10 minutes. Alot of times my daughter cries for attention or just because she doesn't want to go to sleep. I was on the fence about it at first. Heard both sides. Ultimately I kade the decision I thought was best for my daughter. As of today she is 15 months old sleeps in her own room in her own crib and tells me "nigh nigh" when she is ready for bed. Most nights besides when she is teething she sleeps 12 hours. I make sure ALL her needs are met. Fed, clean, burped, warm and has a pacifier if those things are done I will let her cry for up to 10 mins. I know the difference in her cries though. She has her "somethings wrong" cry and her "I just want attention and to be heard" cry. I will always go to her immediately for her somethings wrong. I also have video monitors in her room so I can see her and what she is doing.
Amy .R. I never did it. I researched it and found it wasn't good for them. Plus my daughter has always cried for a reason and she's 1 year. I was told if she's fed and changed ignore it. One night she was crying for whqt seemed like no reason turned out her mouth hurt. That's when I realized CIO just wasn't for us. Cause if I hadn't sat up with her she'd been crying in pain and I wouldn't have know it.
Bree .P. I started at 4-5 months. Id let her cry after her needs were met and if she was uncontrollably crying id calm her and start the process over again. Took about a week to get down.
Caitlin .K. I won’t start letting my daughter actually CIO until about 9 months or so, after I’ve done everything to calm her, or make sure she’s okay. For now, 5-10 minutes of crying on her own, in my opinion is okay, if I rush to her, she’ll expect me to always rush right to her . I also know when my daughter is crying, and when she’s fussing.
Alyssa .D. I wouldn’t use the cry it out method. Studies are showing it has the potential to cause permanent negative changes in the baby’s brain chemistry. Babies need to be loved and held. They are not crying to manipulate. They just want comfort, food and security!
Stephanie .H. No , I personally could never let my son lay there and howl for me and just not respond to him. That baby needs his momma. I carry my son, everywhere. Its exhausting at it sucks sometimes but he's just the sweetest little thing when hes cooing and spitting all over my shoulder haha.
You're their whole world, the safest thing in their whole lives, you cant just ignore that
Kirsty .S. CRY IT OUT (CIO): 10 REASONS WHY IT IS NOT FOR US
Cry it out can cause harmful changes to babies' brains
Cry it out can result in decreased intellectual, emotional and social development
Cry it out can result in a detached baby
Cry it out is harmful to the parent-child relationship
Cry it out can make children insecure
Cry it out often doesn't work at all
Even if cry it out does "work", parents often have to do it over and over again
Cry it out is disrespectful of my child's needs
Deep sleep from cry it out is often a result of trauma
Our World Needs More Love
Nikki .S. I wouldn’t. Here in the UK we are told all through pregnancy that comfort, closeness and soothing boosts babies brain development and help them in so many ways. I could never let my little guy cry it out, if he needs his mummy snuggles to fall asleep to then that’s what he can have
Cortney .A. My son is 13 months old and I let him cryout once for about 2 minutes it was horrendous I felt as upset as him!! I just feel like if they want their mum and it settles them then why stop that that’s what we are here for , they aren’t babies for long. ?
Teagan .J. I'm currently sleep training my 2 yo at night because he still struggles to put himself to sleep.
Sleep training shouldn't begin before 4 months of age, but after that there is no evidence of it causing harm. There are methods that involve more or less crying, depending on what you are comfortable with. I'm hoping no 2 is going to be better with sleep but I'm also going to avoid creating the same awful sleep habits I did with my first.
Danielle .P. With limits... hun everyone is different every mother knows the difference of their babies cries.. I personally can’t go over 2 mins without going in.. but I don’t do it anymore as everything changed when my babes got sick so it’s just snuggles til they fall asleep then they go to bed...
Carol-Anne .O. i use to let my daughter cry it out till she screamed.
i needed housework to be done and in summer it got too hot.
i did it little time to let her cry. 2 mins first go. 5 mins afterwards then she just lays down and sleep. still cries but when tired, you can't do anything else. she's safe till she works herself up. i started at 4 months.
Brooke .K. I went to a sleep school in Brisbane with my oldest cause he wouldn't sleep for more than 20 minutes. The method they use is to let them cry but by listening to the cry. If it's just them whinging, you leave them. Once they start to become distressed you go in and calm them down by patting or rubbing them. No picking them up or talking to them and try to avoid too much eye contact so they don't suddenly think it's play time. Once they are quiet you leave the room and repeat the process until they fall asleep. We were at the school for three days and by the time we left my son went from 20 minute sleeps to sleeping through the night and having nearly 2 hr day sleeps.
Jessica .D. My mum and husband tried to get me to do the cry it out method. It wasn't for me or our son.
They're only little once and I enjoyed my snuggles during the day. He's 2 now and doesn't sleep with me unless he's sick. They grow up so fast don't feel pressured into doing anything you're not comfortable with.
Chloe .J. I do CIO but only as a last resort when my son won't go down gently or any other way usually when he's overtired. I do itbecause it works! I'll take 20 minutes of crying over 2 hours of patting/rocking/shushing any day.
Brianna .R. I set a timer for 20 minutes and listen and watch from the other room via baby monitor so I know exactly what he's doing. The first 2 nights were the hardest but he was never able to get a good deep sleep while being held and I work full time so itwas draining me. Now after his bed time routine I'll rock him and read a book till he starts rubbing his eyes than bottle to bed, he may whine a little but as soon as the door is closed he lays down and sleeps.
Sharon .D. I was stuck with a bub who didn’t nap unless she was on me, so I started baby wearing. I have used the cry it out method and it still makes me very very anxious, but I assure her that when she wakes from her nap she can play and see daddy and we can do fun things like paint and stuff. She’s 2 now, but I still wear her on bad days x.
Alexandria .N. I would let him fuss, but any screaming would need to be tended to. Babies of 5 months don't understand that you are trying to teach him. All they see is "mom has always been here at bedtime and now she's ignoring my cries"it will be confusing and exhausting
Ayme .G. It works as long as you dont leave them til they've overwhelmed/worked up. ?thats just distressing for everyone involved.
Corinda .W. No, I tried with my first and couldn't do it for more than a minute so he figured his own routine and my second when I finished breastfeeding and she got comfortable with the bottle I put her into bed with her bottle and her dummy and she just went to sleep, if she cries I give her a cuddle and put her back down with her dummy in her mouth and she is fine. My personal opinion letting them cry causes unnecessary distress for both parent and baby. Now both my kids age 6 and 19months both go to bed at 7pm and sleep all night no hassle not make mine sleep at all... maybe it was because my mind wasn't open lol.
Sara .G. Question: Day sleeps... What age did you go from two sleeps to one sleep? What time do you put them down and how long do they sleep for? DD is 13 months and is resisting her second sleep at daycare. She's been doing this for maybe a week. Before that she was fine. Is it time to change her sleep times? On a side note... She's almost walking, taking more steps each day. I wonder if this developmental milestone is impacting on her day sleeps and she'll come right once fully walking. Thanks ?
Tracey .B. Yeah that's around the age they drop a nap.
Cheryl .J. Have you tried making the morning nap shorter - 20-30 min and then a longer second nap? We did this and then gradually dropped the morning nap going to one nap only at 12pm by 15.5 months.
Deanna .E. My daughter has just turned 17 months and dropped a nap at 13 months. She has already gone a few days with no naps ?? not sure about the walking as my daughter was walking at 10 months and was still having two naps then.
Hayley .M. My boys both dropped to one nap at 11 months ?
Caitlan .C. 11 months both naps just weren’t going well so down to one nap at 12pm and sleeps for 2-2.5 hours so much better. Falls asleep in seconds at night too.
Anneke .B. I switched at 1yr and started putting them down between 11 & 11.30 and they slept up to 2 hours.
Sarah .F. Around 13-14 months my LO dropped down to 1 nap. Was a bit of an adjustment and at times his nap was only 60-90 minutes long, but he is now 23 months and has a good solid 3 hour nap every afternoon around 1pm.
Amanda .M. When they got to hard to get to sleep in the day, I just put them down for one at about 11 for about two hours till they start resisting that one also.
Claire .H. There is a sleep regression around 12 months which can make it harder to settle them for both naps. If you can persist until 15 months with two naps that’s awesome. My son is 15 months, we dropped the morning nap around 13 months but actually he still has a morning nap every few days because he still needs it. I wish I’d persevere with the two naps for longer.
Sinead .F. Day sleeps stopped at around 15 months, he wakes in the morning at 7am, naps for 2 hours at 11:30am and goes down to bed at 7:30pm. This totally works for us and the grumps have stopped.
Amber .Y. My 28 month old daughter still has 2 day sleeps ? but both my Bestie who is an early childcare teacher and my daughters experienced home based carer say this is unusual for this age.
Daughter sleeps through the night so I am not in any hurry to drop the naps if she willingly settles down for them and is a good sleeper. She’ll signal to me when she’s ready.
I do recall that sleep regression around age 1 though where she did resist it. I still keep the routine the same and persevere for a couple weeks, just giving her the opportunity and she took to it again.
Alle .R. Around 12 months is average for dropping to one sleep (as in some do it at 10 months and others by 18 months). Sounds like she's ready to, though every few days she might need a second nap during that transition.
Ashley .N. Question: How did you survive the 4 month sleep regression? LO is 3 months old and is now waking up every 1-2 hours at night again. I want to bash my head into a wall- this is miserable!
Heather .P. I feel you. My little turned 4 months yesterday & has been doing this every night for a while now. He was sleeping through the night just long enough to spoil me & now he goes to bed late, wakes up early & sometimes is so hard to get back to sleep. Then by time I pump & go back to sleep he's up like an hour later. It's why I'm awake right now...
Erica .P. If you are breastfeeding get some formula and give LO 2oz in a bottle. They may not drink it all but it will help top off their belly and help them sleep long. LO is probably going through another growth spurt. If you do just formula already, just do a thicker formula to water ratio.
My almost 4 month old (on the 30th) was born premie, and about once a month for a day or twonat a time goes through wantimg to eat more oz & more often than usual. My son has to do soy formula (dairy allergy) so it's a bit easier since I dont pump, but hang in there ladies. When I was pumping for him (when he was in the hospital) he was on a every 2hr schedule and I had to pump for 3 weeks every 2 hrs to meet his food demands and we still had to supplement formula bcuz I didn't now enough. It sucked switching to formula only after bring him home from the NICU(made me feel like a crappy mom) but got over the bad feelings and realized with his feeding demands his and my sleep life got a lot more regular and longer stretches of time doing formula. Good luck. I'm told things are suppose to get a bit easier in the months to come. Plus at 6 months we can start with baby food to help feel up their belly's!!
Nicole .D. Try reading the book Precious Little Sleep, it might give you some ideas. There’s also a blog version of it.
Tiffany .L. Yeah we get like 3-4 30 min naps a day and some nights he’s up every 11/2 but mostly just up once.. he’s restless tonight tho so hopefully he will make it they the morn but yeah it’s cray cray lol.
Michelle .C. With both of my kids id change them feed and burp them. I'd talk to them for a few minutes then tell them it's time for bed. I'd put them back in their crib and I could hear them on the monitor rolling and making noises. Pretty soon they would fall asleep. The first few sleep.regressions wasn't bad until my daughter turned 2. That was a nightmare. It seemed to last forever.
Chardonnay .O. Coffee and hubby taking him in the morning. He would want to play at 4am and i put him in his swing and he would either fall asleep or play until he started to cry. I was lucky and it was only like 5days.