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Jan 7 2014

Ask a Sleep Coach: Managing Baby’s Daytime Sleep

By at 2:59 pm

sleep

Dear Batya,

My son is 3 1/2 months old. During the day, I can get him to take some short naps on me or in the stroller, but if I try to put him in his crib (even swaddled), he wakes up immediately. At night, he sleeps well in his crib, but I have to make sure he’s well asleep before putting him in it (he doesn’t self-soothe). Is he too young for sleep training? And what is the best method? (My husband isn’t a fan of the idea of “cry it out,” although he’s on board with an increasing time method for it, i.e. checking in at one minute, then three minutes, etc.). Thank you for your help!

Shira

Hi Shira!

The most important thing to keep in mind while addressing any issue with our children is that something is only a problem if you feel that it’s a problem. From what you’ve written, it seems that you don’t have any issues with your baby’s night sleep; as you said, he sleeps well in his crib at night. Is it safe to say that you really just want to improve his daytime sleep? I wouldn’t prematurely introduce any new methods, when in reality you just want some structure to your days.

That being said, there seem to be two main ideas to address here with your baby’s day sleep. Firstly, it is typical for babies this age to take such short naps during the day because their sleep cycle finishes at that 40-45 minute mark. The problem is, however that after your son completes this sleep cycle, he then wakes up and is unable to transition to the next sleep cycle on his own, hereby waking himself up. Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 5 2011

Batya the Sleep Coach: The Napless 2-Year-Old

By at 10:09 am

What, your toddler doesn't go to sleep with a smile on her face? Talk to Batya.

Sleep. It’s the problem that plagues all parents. We’re not getting enough of it because our children aren’t getting enough of it. Help is on its way! Israeli sleep coach Batya Sherizen is taking questions from Kveller readers. Send your problems to info@kveller.com.

Dear Batya,

Our 2-year-old seems to be in the phase where she is having difficulties falling asleep at night when she naps during the day. We tried taking away her naps completely, but after four days- she was exhausted and had caught a cold. The only benefit was she went to bed at 7 and slept until the next morning. Now, she naps, goes to bed most nights at 9:30 p.m. and still wakes up at 6:30 a.m. It just doesn’t seem like  enough sleep for a little one. Or for our little one. We would appreciate an earlier bed time so that she is better rested, but she just won’t fall asleep. I’m starting to believe 2-year-olds don’t sleep. Any thoughts?

Dear Gaela,

Each child is different in her own individual way, and especially in her sleep needs.  There are children who stop taking naps as early as 2 years of age and some who still need one at 4 years old.  Statistically, however, most children stop napping in the afternoon at around 2½-3 years old. A telltale sign that a child is ready to give up naps is when she starts sleeping less at night—which is precisely what is happening with her.  Instead of eliminating her nap cold turkey, however, I would recommend readjusting her sleep cycle by simply decreasing the amount of sleep she gets during the day.  If, for example, her nap is normally 2 hours, try shortening it to 1 hour or 1.5 hours.  By doing this, the lost sleep from the day will transfer to the night, and she will begin fighting bedtime less and sleeping longer.

Additionally, early rising with toddlers is most commonly caused by over-tiredness, so you should definitely aim for an earlier bedtime. Generally, most children her age need approximately 4-5 hours between waking from the nap and bedtime itself so ensure you space it out correctly.

Stick with these two ideas for at least week and then readjust accordingly – but don’t rush her and ensure that you follow her cues…you can most definitely get her back on track!

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