Israeli sleep coach, Batya Sherizen is taking questions from Kveller readers. Send your problems to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oy…where do I start? My 7 month old has never slept well. I put him down drowsy but awake for his naps and he will fall asleep but will generally only go up to an hour…is there a way to extend at least one of those naps to 2 hours?
Our biggest problem is at night. He has yet to go more than a 4 1/2 hour stretch…What can I do to get him to at least do an 8 hour stretch?
OK-it seems like there is a lack of consistency here, which can be extremely confusing for a baby. The fact that he already knows how to fall asleep on his own is great, but the problem is that he can’t resettle back to sleep when he needs to, for both naps and night time. To fix this, first tackle the naps, try not to keep him awake too long between naps, because this actually makes it more difficult for him to transition easier from sleep cycle to sleep. (It’s a common misconception that if you keep a baby awake longer, he’ll be more tired and sleep better.)
At the same time, you need to offer a clear message when he wakes up at night to teach him how to resettle. If extreme methods like CIO (crying it out) haven’t worked, then his temperament clearly can’t handle it. I would recommend continuing to put him to bed no later than 7:30 pm, and when he wakes up simply reassure him, let him know that you’re there so he feels secure and loved, but allow him to resettle himself on his own. A baby his age still usually needs 1-2 feedings at night so pick times to feed him that you feel comfortable with and do not feed him before those times. If he wakes up, repeat your reassurance process. It should take about a week or so but if you stick with it, he’ll learn how to soothe himself and become a much better sleeper because of it.
Contact Batya and mention you saw her on Kveller for a free phone consultation! www.BatyatheBabyCoach.com