Author Topic: Teaching Sleep to Newborns and Young Infants  (Read 140085 times)

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Offline Charlie's Mummy

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Teaching Sleep to Newborns and Young Infants
« on: February 17, 2007, 23:35:34 pm »

Title: Teaching Sleep to Newborns and Young Infants
Post by: Matthew's Mommy on August 18, 2005, 05:57:07 PM

Hi everyone.. I've created this thread as a resource area for parents to gain information on how to teach sleep to newborns and young infants.

Please don't post questions or situations on this thread.. this is primarily a resource area. If you have questions or need support, please feel free to post a new message.


Title: Teaching Sleep to Newborns and Young Infants
Post by: Matthew's Mommy on August 18, 2005, 06:01:38 PM


"I have a 10 week old son that I cannot get to go to sleep on his own unless I am holding him or he is in the swing. I have tried gradually putting him in the cradle partially awake and he wakes right up and rarely will go back to sleep. If I wait 10-15 minutes after he is asleep and put him down sound asleep he does fine (until he wakes 30-45 minutes later, but that is another issue!). I have tried pat/shush alot and usual end up getting an incredibly overtired and cranky and screaming baby that hasn't napped in 2-3 hours.
I am finding he can go about an hour between naps and that he gets overtired easy. He also uses a paci to go to sleep and spits it out shortly after getting into a deep sleep. When I can catch him before he wakes completly and get him back to sleep (usually with just a hand on his chest) he doesn't need the paci to go back to sleep and never uses it at night except to fall asleep intially.
I feel like I am getting nowhere with the pat/shush but is he too young for the PU/PD?
Any advice or suggestions would be wonderful."


"What's happening is that he is starting to settle into sleep, the light sleep phase, and once you put him down during this phase, the weight of his body wakes him up. When he's in your arms, he feels weightless.

The key is to catch him before he enters the sleep phase, and to lie him down before it. So, when he's looking drowsy, sucking away on his soother, but his eyes are open (you know that heavy, staring off into space look), that's when you gently lie him down. Keep your hands on him, and shield his eyes from visual stimulation. You will need to stay with him for the first 20 mins.. as newborns and young infants learning how to fall asleep, will wake up at the 10 min. mark and jolt at the 20 min. mark.

Take a look at Tracy's sleep interview at the top of the Nap board menu. She discusses it.

If pat shush is working for you, then continue to pat shush in the crib.. to be successful (and comfortable) with this, lower the crib rail down and stand up (or kneel) on a stool or chair. (I removed the crib rail and lowered the mattress as far as possible, so that I could kneel on the ground and be comfortable-- Brendan wasn't going any where.. he was tightly swaddled, side sleeping and had a sleep positioner on his belly and back! He wasn't moving!) Swaddling is very important as it helps minimize the body jolts, which tend to wake up a newborn from falling into a deep sleep. Keep working on it, if he wakes up at the 10 min. and 20 min. mark.. that's typical for a newborn learning how to fall asleep. He'll get used to these jolts/partial awakenings and learn how to continue to fall asleep past it.

It does take time.. so be patient. "

Title: Teaching Sleep to Newborns and Young Infants
Post by: Matthew's Mommy on August 18, 2005, 06:04:02 PM


"I have a 7 week old daughter. Right now we are battling some nap problems. We wind down and then I put her down in her crib. I try for drowsy but awake - but most of the time she closes her eyes within a minute or two of being in her crib (I am trying to put her down more awake) and falls asleep with her pacifier but then spits it out and stays asleep. Sometimes she'll let me know when she'll want it back.
The problem is she does not stay asleep. About half hour in (I guess when she comes out of deep sleep) she wakes up. I have tried pat/shush which works sometimes. She then goes into dreamstage at which point she wakes up again. I try pat/shush to soothe her back to sleep, sometimes it works, other times it does not. Sometimes she wants her nummy and then will fall asleep again other times she is just fidgiting and hard to calm down. The last couple of days I have spend in her room during all of her nap time to soothe her back to sleep. Basically for an hour I'll of and on pat/shush as she wakes up and try to start before she fully wakes up. Other times like this afternoon I got her past dreamstage, she started squirming I gave her her pacifier and she fell back asleep for another couple of hours (wow). I did not wake her up b/c she she seemed pretty tired after the last nap.
She sleeps fairly good at night. She puts herself to sleep sometimes with and sometimes without her pacifier but it takes her 1/2 hour to 45 minutes (without the pacifier). She wakes up at night but also puts herself back to sleep - it might take her 1/2 hour or so but she does not fuss or cry she just groans and grunts and makes baby noises then closes her eyes for a few minutes, then opens them, grunts etc and finally falls back asleep. We don't respond to soothe her at night unless she cries.
Anyone have similar experiences or advice? How do you keep your baby asleep? I don't know if I should continue what I do and hope that soon she'll learn to put herself back to sleep after deep sleep and dreamstage? I have tried to just let her be like at nights but she'll start fussing and then crying and then it's really hard to sooth her. I know Tracy says it takes 3 days and I am committed but I am also worried that I am teaching her to only stay asleep with help of pat/shush. Right now I don't mind staying with her at every nap time for an hour and half to soothe her every time she wakes up but I know I'll mind if I'll still be doing it in say a month. "

Right now, her brain is working on learning how to stay asleep during the day.

Day sleep is much different from night sleep. Completely different process.

When she fall asleep, the first 20 mins are light sleep (with partial awakenings every 10 mins.. looks like a jolt of her body, or some babies will open their eyes completely) After 20 min, the body enters a deep sleep. Another jolt around the 30 min mark, and then out of the sleep cycle at 40 mins. So basically jolting every 10 mins.

When she's learning how to fall asleep, she may completely wake every 10 min. This is normal and she is just learning.

In the beginning of learning how to fall asleep I recommend the following:

-- keep awake times short, act on the first yawn, careful not to overstimulate and overtire
-- swaddle swaddle swaddle
-- have a consistent wind down routine
-- some babies, particularly spirited, need a dark environment. Also white noise will block the outside sounds.
-- some babies respond to pat-shush, some respond to either pat or shush
-- make sure they are falling asleep in their beds.. they can start the stages of falling asleep on you, but in bed by stage 3, if not, then they will jolt awake because of the weight of their body.
--I'm a side sleeper fan, APA says it's okay
-- Hand pressure helps to settle into sleep, and helps with the jolts.. hand on the thigh, top arm, and other hand shielding over eyes to block visual stimulation. Some pressure (not over eyes of course) but not hard.
--and in the beginning, stay at least 20 mins.

Have you read Tracy's sleep interview? I found that helpful as well.

Hope this helps!

Title: Teaching Sleep to Newborns and Young Infants
Post by: Matthew's Mommy on August 18, 2005, 06:19:48 PM


My 8-wk-old had her 2nd nap today (should have been 10am to 11:45) interrupted and proceeded to scream for 45 minutes as I tried to get her back to sleep. Finally I gave up and fed her, had activity, etc. Then her next nap was affected, though. It took an hour to get her to settle down, then she woke up after 15 minutes, went back down for 30 and then it was all over. The whole day went like this because she was so exhausted.

I really need some tips on breaking the cycle of getting overtired for a spirited/touchy baby.


"Hi! This happens to me sometimes also. If my daughters first nap is short, I usually try for about 20 min to get her back to sleep. If she gets hysterical, I take her out of the room to distract her and stop the out of control crying. After about 20 min, I go back in and do the whole wind down routine again. If this doesn't work, I do some very low key activity until her feed time. Then feed, diaper change and right back in to do the wind down. The feed usually really relaxes her (we bf) and she will usually sleep for about 2 hours as she is REALLY tired by this point. I know you're not supposed to feed before sleep, but when it comes to this, I think you have to pick your battles. Sleep (and your sanity) is more important. After she sleeps, you can get back on schedule. Hope this helps! "

"Hi there,

When my lo was doing her infamous 45min naps and was tired, she would scream, too. I would do everything & anything to get her back to sleep, pat/shh, rock for a bit, pick her up and hold her over shoulder, etc. One day, I put her in my sling because I was tired to leaning over or picking her up. I gave her the paci & lovey as she likes to put the lovey on her face, then I would pat her bottom in the sling and walk around the room. She went to sleep within mins. This worked almost every time!! It might be worth a try if you want to break that viscious cycle of being overtired. I would only use the sling when she would not go back to sleep & cried really loudly or screamed. "

"Your baby sounds just like mine - spirited / touchy and I'm almost at the end of my tether. he sleeps really well at night - mostly I think because he screams for most of the day! I've been trying to persevere with the pat shush thing but I feel that once his first nap is only 45 mins and he gets cranky I spend the whole day in his room trying to soothe him. After that he never has any happy wakey time - he just cries. I'm really worried that I'm doing it wrong because I feel like he should play a little bit at this age - he's almost 8 weeks - but he just seems permanently tired and miserable.

If anyone has any ideas I'd love to hear them too! "

"I find that if DS gets off his schedule and things start to go downhill I won't struggle with him to try to make him sleep. I will get him up and give him an extra activity time - maybe only 5-15 minutes. I watch for his sleepy cues again, and then put him down the minute he rubs his eye or yawns. This has worked well for us and I have found that DS will usually be able to get back on track."

"I survived Brendan's early 45 min napping ways (he started around 7 weeks), by focussing on helping him to learn how to fall asleep at the beginning of his nap (pat shush), if I could get him back down at the 45 min. mark (I would go in early, somewhat a wake to sleep method) then I would use some accidental parenting and lie down with him, take him out for a walk or car ride.

When he was 3 months old, then I changed methods. Since he was old enough to begin self soothing, then I tackled things differently, going in early, applying pressure ( he was a side sleeper) on his arm, legs to stop the jolts, shielding his eyes from visual distraction. And I stuck to it.. he would get upset and cry and cry because he was soo tired, but I just continued to help him resettle. As he progressed to 4 months, then I went into pu.pd.

A few things that helped-- a very dark room, making sure he fell asleep independently (assisted independently prior to 4 months), keeping awake times short (under 3 months) and ensuring overstimulation doesn't occur, and of course.. keeping myself calm! and just knowing that it's developmental and he will get through it.

Typically, infants go into a morning and afternoon nap pattern by 6 months of age, with consistent 1.5-2 hour naps. Some need more guidance, where you need to tweak habits and lenghten awake times (after 3 months of age.. NOT prior). "

Title: Teaching Sleep to Newborns and Young Infants
Post by: Matthew's Mommy on August 18, 2005, 06:24:20 PM


I am a new mommy and this is my first time on the board. A friend lent me BW's book at my baby shower and I read it before I gave birth and thought it was great advice. I have been re-reading it over and over since my Emile was born. But now, I have some questions!! Will someone please help me?
Naps and nights
My 6 wk-old son has been on easy since birth. He is on a 3-hr routine, day and night. The shush-pat method works well at night but I've tried it for his naps and it doesn't seem to help. I don't know what I'm doing wrong but he seems to resist going to sleep during the day. I've tried doing it many times for up to an hour and most of the time I just give up and put him in his swing - in which he eventually falls asleep but then he only has about 1/2 hour left before the next feed. I watch his sleepiness cues and start the 4 S as soon as I see the first yawn... could it be too quick? I also try to block out any visual stimulation but it's a bit difficult while holding him and patting his back. Sometimes, he'll just have one nap during the whole day... I know it's not normal and he must be extra-tired. Any advice?

I do 2 cluster feeds (I breastfeed) in the evening plus a df at 11 pm (sometimes 11:30) but he still wakes up every 3 hours (usually 2 am, 5 am and 8 am). BW says a 1-month old would typically wake only once at 4 am and then at 7... I know all babies are different but it would be nice if I could sleep more than 2 hrs at a time. If I gave him a bottle of formula for his df, does anyone thing he would sleep more? Also, should I still wake him at 7 to start the day?

Pumping milk
I 've had to supplement a bit with formula in the beginning because he had trouble getting back to his birth weight (6 pounds 11 onces) but I usually don't do it anymore. I give him my two breasts each feed because I don't think my supply is sufficient for him to feed on only one side at a time. Also, he usually starts fussing after 8-10 minutes at breast and I thing it's gas but giving him the other breast usually calms him. Then I go back to the first one and so on. If I want to pump milk, when should I do it? I don't really have time to do it between two feeds since I try to put him to sleep for so long and I don't seem to have enough to pump just 1.5 hour after a feed.

Can anyone please help me? Thanks in advance!!"

Strategies and Support:

"Congrats and welcome to the boards. i can offer you advice on a few points you mention and hope they help.

1. you say he is on a 3 hour EASY - at 6 weeks it might be too soon for him... and he may be overtired by the time you are putting him down for naps in the day - how long is he awake for each cycle?? i know that my dd2 rarely yawned when she started getting tired - she usually did it when she was IN the cot and already put down (usually by the time she yawned i had already missed her "window" so the first 8 weeks we had few naps ) what i did was (at 7 weeks when i got some help) start putting her in her cot at 45 miin since waking up and 80% of the time this led to a nap with minimal struggle, soon (around 9-10 wks for us) i was able to extend to 1 hour awake time because i got better at learning her cues for when to put down (in her case she got hyper animated - most would think she was happy, but it was accompanied by jerky limbs which is a clear tired sign)... and we built oit up from there over the next 2 months.

2. he is waking a reasonable amount in the night - some would say you are lucky. 2am is his real night feed. 5am is considered early morning and for some is the start to the day, but usuallu is just a feed and back to bed for almost all babies. 8 am is a morning feed. in a matter of weeks you will find the 2 am feed will push out to 3-4 am and the 5 am will push out to 6-7am and you will then only have 1 night feed. you could also find that with the DF he goes through the night (or not!) it is reasonable for a baby to feed 1-2 times a nigt in the first 6 months. some stop earlier and some actually need 1 night feed for longet than that.

3. i don't recall ever seeing in BW that a 1 month old would only wake once in the night, but remember as you read anything in the books that it is not true for a MAJORITY of babies who fall on either side of "average" - some have to be earlier and some have to be later for there to be an average...KWIM? the key aim of BW is to get to know YOUR baby so that you can adapt the techniques that Tracy wrote about. what is your baby's temperament? you might not have a clear answer yet, but can usually tell a bit by now if he is angel/touchy, etc and then you learn what that type might benefit from (ie - spirited babies will need less stimulation during awake time, fight the swaddle and need a dark room to sleep, etc)

4. if you want 7am to be your start time then do it every day (you could do earlier or later depending on what suits your household). it does help them to develop an internal clock and get the rythms of the day established because if he starts at the same time every day you at least have an idea of when his feed and sleep times will be, allowing for hungrier or sleepier days.

i hope some of that helps you out. it sounds like you are on the right track."

"Deb gave you some excellent advice on naps for your young one!

If you need more help on the other issues, you can also post in the other forums. But regarding your question for pumping, I too had trouble w/ enough milk and my Lactation Consult recommended that I pump for 10-15min immediately after each feeding.

Also that I take an herb called Fenugreek - 3 tabs x3s a day (for a couple months) I read a great deal about this and all feedback was positive. Only side effect is you smell like maple sweet - your hubby may think your sweet "

Followup from parent:


Thanks for all of your advice.
It usually takes Emile 45 minutes to feed so putting him down after 45 min of awake time would leave no time for activities. But I am thinking he is a Spirited one so maybe I was stimulating him too much (15 min to 1/2 hr of activities after feed). Today, I have tried feeding him in his room (contrary to the living room) which is quieter and half way through his feed, I swaddled him and shut the blinds. He didn't fall asleep on the job but was pretty tired. I put him down right after his feed and he's been sleeping a bit more (maybe 1 hr). I might just do that for now so that he gets used to napping and then, as you say, extend slowly his awake time. I'll also try to slow down on the errands with him. Regarding his night sleep, for the past 2 days I've been breastfeeding at 10 pm for the df and adding a little 2 onces of formula right after to make sure he is full. He's been sleeping longer stretches (till 3 am and then at 6 of 7 am). I am thinking of continuing with that.

Meg's mom : thanks for your advice re pumping - I will try that. I am also already taking greekfenu but my husband hasn't said anything about my smelling sweet... I will ask him tonight"


Title: Teaching Sleep to Newborns and Young Infants
Post by: Matthew's Mommy on August 18, 2005, 06:28:22 PM


"Help! I am trying to do shush pat with my 3 month old, who resists going down for naps and typically wakes up 20 mins into a nap. The problem is that, when I try to hold her and pat her she squirms and arches her back and struggles against the swaddle so much that she gradually winds herself up into a screaming frenzy. So it seems that I'm winding her up instead of down. I have tried continuing with the shush pat regardless, but she can continue screaming (full-on, red face) for over 1.5 hours, by which time nap time is over. I've tried leaving 1 or 2 arms out of the swaddle, but this doesn't help either. The only thing that seems to calm her is vigorous rocking and dummy (but even this isn't very reliable).
Has anyone else had this problem? How do you hold a baby and do shush pat when they struggle so much? Do you try to hold them more tightly to stop the struggling? (This would be difficult if I needed to leave one hand free for the patting, and I also find I need to use a vice-like grip which is hardly very comforting).
I am pretty sure that I'm catching her at the right point. When she does her first yawn, she's pretty calm. It's the shush patting which then drives her into a frenzy. But I've aso tried putting her in the cot pretty quickly, without much shush patting, but she still winds up screaming.
I would really appreciate some advice. Nap times are definitely getting worse and worse and I'm now at a point where I'm lucky if I can get her to sleep for 20 mins each nap and she's definitely overtired. Help!

Strategies and Support:

"I swear it could have been me writing your post. My 3 month old does the same thing. She hates pt/shush. She hates being on her side, and the shushing seems to make her much more upset. I don't have a reliable solution yet, but this has worked for me in calming my DD down. I do the windown routine, and i've made it a bit longer because my daughter is a bit touchy. Sometimes pt/shush for touchy babies is too stimulating, which is what I think is happening. Anyway, I swaddle her downstairs, talking to her and letting her know it's naptime, and pick her up to go upstairs. She starts squirming in the swaddle and before I would try to calm and hold her down. We would sit in the rocking chair in her room, but she would start fussing and getting worked up and arching. Now, instead of fighting with her, I tell her in a calm voice, I'm not going to fight with you and I get up and lay her in the crib. I take my hands off of her and see if she is getting more or less worked up. If she is more worked up, I pick her up, pat her on the back for a couple minutes but if she fights me, I put her right back down and repeat to her that I won't fight with her. I try my best to calm and soothe her in the crib by patting her tummy, leaning over and whispering in her ear. The past couple of times I haven't had to pick her up more then once, she will calm and eventually go to sleep in 10-15 minutes in the crib. I think the key for her is that she now knows that if she fights me, she goes into the crib. She has even let me hold her in the rocker without fighting me for a little bit and then I can put her in the crib drowsy. I don't know if this will help you, but I wouldn't do pt/shush for your dd if it's making things worse."

"I used to lay my forearms across his back and legs with gentle pressure instead of patting, because sometimes the patting was too stimulating. That helped us.

Also...some babies by 3 months are ready for PU/PD instead of pat/shh, I've heard. We didn't ever have to use PU/PD so I can't really give you any insight on it but I do know that the books talk about 3 months as a possible time to start using it."

"I have found Caeden seems to like just my hand on him rather then the patting as well, especially going back to sleep"

Title: Teaching Sleep to Newborns and Young Infants
Post by: Matthew's Mommy on August 18, 2005, 06:30:46 PM


"It has been taking us a good 30 minutes to get Caeden down for a nap and he has been going about an hour, maybe an hour and 15 minutes between naps. When should I start trying to get him to settle down and go to sleep - at the time he should go to sleep or a half hour before that? He is still crying alot as he goes to sleep - even with me holding him. Cries and SCREAMS even more if I try putting him down and pat/sh him there. Not sure what to do - but I am trying to get the naps more regular and longer then 45 minutes.
Thanks for any advice you may have!"

Strategies and Support:

"I would start the wind down 20-30min BEFORE sleep time. If he can only handle 1hr of awake time then it will be 20-30min for feed, 5min diaper change, and then straight to wind down.

Keep an eye on his sleep window.. literally for some babies, this magical window is very brief. Once you see the first sleepy cue, do the 4 s wind down routine immediately. Also, keep his awake time at a minimal, and beware of overstimulation.

The crying is normal, YOU try and relax...that will help some. Does he use a paci? If not, that may help also.

Hang in there, sounds like you are on the right track - he will adjust soon. Although my LO still cries before nap time, it is just their way of letting off steam - so don't let it worry you too much."

Follow-up from parent:

"Thanks for the advice - he does use a paci and usually takes it to go to sleep. I have tried starting earlier this morning and he went down much better! Now if he will just stay alseep I will be thrilled!
Some crying I can handle okay - it is when he is going on 45 minutes or an hour of constant crying that it gets hard. I think I do need to be careful not to overstimulate him - I think sometimes that is his problem and plus when he gets overtired it doesn't help.
We will try earlier wind down and nap routines this weekend and see how it goes - I'll keep you posted!
Thanks again!"

Title: Teaching Sleep to Newborns and Young Infants
Post by: Matthew's Mommy on August 18, 2005, 06:33:50 PM


"My DD is 12 weeks, and cries when I try to put her down for naps or bed. She doesn't wail, she just cries and squirms and kicks and spits out her paci even though she wants it. When she fusses I put her down in the crib and pick her back up, and she has eventually settled down. But why is she doing this? I swaddle her, and immediately she starts to fuss. But I've tried unswaddling her, and the squirming and kicking is worse. I dread naps every day because I know I will have to deal with this. Not to mention that I might only get a 30 min nap out of her. Any advice?"

Strategies and Support:

"what is her schedule like?? is she overtired when you take her up to bed?? do you have a winddown routine for her???
do you place her in bed and do pat/shush until she is settled???

a little more info and i would love to help"

Follow up from Parent:

"I've had a really hard time trying to keep her on any schedule. She was eating pretty good, and every three hours or so until yesterday, when she decided she wasn't hungry. She hasn't eaten very good all day long. I've ended up feeding her when she wakes up, and then towards then end of activity time try to feed her again because she's not eating that much. She doesn't wake up consistently at the same time, though she seems to be starting to wake up around 6:30-7:30. I am trying to keep to 3 hr easy, but she's such a bad napper that I never know when she will wake up.

I have a hard time reading her tired signs most of the time because she sighs a lot and yawns. But the first yawn, I try to put her down and she still fights me. I think she has a very tiny window and I must be missing it. Also, I'm not sure what to do for the windown routine. So far, if I think she's getting tired, I swaddle her and carry her upstairs to her room. By this time she's getting worked up and I have tried to sit in the rocker with her for a bit but she fights me. So I end up putting her down in her crib, and waiting to see if she fusses which she usually does and picking her back up. I just don't know what else to do as far as windown, because by her first yawn, I'm afraid that if I keep doing stuff, even reading a book it will overstimulate her. Thanks, I know I'm complaining but I'm really tired and I feel kind of hopeless, like it's never going to get better.


"oh hun it will get better... sounds like she may be a bit touchy.. try to follow the clock more so than follow her tired signs.. with gina she was overstimualated by the first yawn

my suggestion is to write down a day and see if you can see a pattern for her...

in the meantime if you are doing 3 hour easy a half an hour before bed go up into her room and quietly lay on the floor or sit in the chair never talking above a whisper and read her books or sing to her or just hold her and kiss her what ever you want to do just remember to be quiet.. then about 15 min later swaddle her and hold her then do your winddown but i wouldnt rock-- esp. if she is touchy-- i would sit in the dark room and hold her close you can feel when they start to relax.. once she is relaxed place her in her crib and pat/shush or just hold your hand on her until she is almost asleep or if at first until she is all the way asleep

let me know how it goes/

good luck you will do great "

Title: Teaching Sleep to Newborns and Young Infants
Post by: Matthew's Mommy on August 18, 2005, 06:37:10 PM


"When DS takes a nap it usually doesn't last longer than 1 hour. Should I be picking him up then and feeding him (after only 2hrs)? Or putting him down back for a nap?
He's 5 weeks old and 10lbs, 4oz so I don't think he needs to eat every 2 hrs!

Also, for this size should he be going 3.5 hrs?

Thanks! "

Strategies and Support:

"Hi there and welcome to the board!

What he is doing is typical of a newborn. Could you give me a bit more information ie. awake times (how long between wake up to first sleepy cue) how does he settle to sleep

I'll check back!"

Follow-up from Parent:

"Thanks for your response!

DS will normally feed (btwn 15-25 min) then he'll normally be awake for about 35-45 min. He starts to yawn sometimes during the feeding and sometimes 20 min after feeding him.
Alot of times he's waking up after an hour of napping so it's only been 2 hrs since his last feeding.
It seems like he doesn't eat as well (probably since he's not that hungry) and I also don't want to get into the habit of feeding that often if it's not necessary.
Should I try putting him back down to continue his nap? Activity time for a bit? Walking around the house?

Thanks! "

Strategies and Support:

"Could you describe what happens when he wakes up? Is it a cry or just his eyes open and he looks around?

If you can't get him back to sleep.. don't worry or stress out. This is so common for newborns. What you will find is within 10-15 mins of being awake, he'll let out a yawn or show another sleepy cue.. you can either put him back to sleep like before, or use a bit of a prop ie. stroller walk. To be honest with you, my little guy started the 45 min napping at a young age (5 weeks as well) so I would use a prop discriminatory.

Title: Teaching Sleep to Newborns and Young Infants
Post by: Matthew's Mommy on August 18, 2005, 06:39:59 PM


"I have heard really good things about these blankets and I was just wondering if anyone here had any experience with them. I was also wondering if anyone tried using them to extend 45 minute naps successfully.
My 8 week old dd manages to wriggle her way out of any swaddle we try. She is very long. I tried the Aussie swaddle but she still hits herself in the head with that one."

Strategies and Support:

"DS has been in the Miracle Blanket since 6 weeks old. He's 6 months now. He loves it. In fact he only does 45 minute naps when he's dropping a nap or when I get adventuresome and try to loosen the blanket or leave one arm out in the name of weaning. He's been in it at night too until a few weeks ago when we weaned him. He sleeps through the night and still does even though he's no longer swaddled. I don't know why he still needs it for naps, but he does so we're going to keep using it for now.

I would recommend that you give it a try. DS is a 1.5-2.5 hour napper when he's in the blanket. "

"My ds has used the miracle blanket since about 2 months old. He would get out of every swaddle we tried. So, we stopped swaddling, because I was afraid of him getting the blanket over his face. He was waking like clockwork at night every 3 hours. I ordered the miracle blanket, and I'm not joking, the first night I used it, he slept the entire night. I mean, from around 10 pm to about 6 am. I thought it was a miracle!

Now, we still use it (although it's getting much too small), although I do leave an arm out for him to suck his thumb. He's also gotten proficient at rolling over, and when he does that the other arm comes out. But he falls asleep with both arms out on his tummy, and his body and feet are still in the blanket.

I would definitely get one! In fact, I asked my MIL if she could "copy" the one I have, only make it a bit bigger! "

"what is it and where do you get it? i need it today!"

"I don't know if you can get them anywhere else, but I ordered mine directly from It came within a couple of days! "

Title: Teaching Sleep to Newborns and Young Infants
Post by: Matthew's Mommy on August 18, 2005, 06:42:18 PM


"This could also go on the Night time board as well since dd does the same thing before her night time sleep but I thought I would start here.

DD is 9 weeks old. She has been on EASY since 2 weeks old. Her nights are wonderful (once we get her to sleep) 8pm'ish (df at 10pm'is) and sleeps through until 7am'ish. She takes a quick feed and goes back to sleep until I wake her around 10am. This seems all ok, maybe a little too long but she is still tired and falls right back to sleep during her morning feed. After I wake her at 10am our day is pretty inconsistant. She seems to have a bit of a pattern in the sense that she eats and goes back down for a 45 minute nap in the morning. The problem is, she's screams before every nap. Am I missing her window or taking her in too soon. It doesn't seem right that she needs to cry and scream for up to 1/2 hour before she falls asleep. Even if I'm holding her she screams. Before bed it can be up to two hours before she finally gives in. Dh and I tag team until she finally falls asleep from exhaustion. Something is not right but we can't figure it out. When I do pat/shhh she screams even louder. Am I doing something wrong?"

Strategies and Support:

"My baby does the same thing - i'm glad we're not the only ones. i think he's just not mature enough to fall asleep - we're trying to persist with pat shhh but i can't say it has made much difference so far - the only thing that keeps me going is that everyone says they grow out of it eventually.

Sorry that's not much help!"

"mine cried before every nap too until about 3 months. it WILL stop. hang in there."

"My dd cries, but it's a mantra cry. She does it for a short time, and it seems to be part of her winddown. But something that does help sometimes is the routine. I slowed down her winddown routine. Mainly she starts fussing when I start to swaddle her. So instead of laying her down and swaddling her, I lay her on the blanket and talk to her a little bit. Smile, let her get used to what's going to happen. Then I slowly swaddle her, and if she starts to get fussy, I reassure and stop what I'm doing for a second and let her get used to it. It has helped a bit. She still fusses a bit, but it's better then before."

Title: Teaching Sleep to Newborns and Young Infants
Post by: Matthew's Mommy on August 18, 2005, 06:44:23 PM

Here are some good links to Pat-shush threads

Pat-Shh- How to
Pat/shush for babies under 3 months old

Title: Teaching Sleep to Newborns and Young Infants
Post by: Matthew's Mommy on August 18, 2005, 06:53:47 PM


"Ok, so apparently this is a 3 month thing huh? I thought I was so lucky b/c ds always took great 1.5-2 hour naps and I didn't have the 45 min. nap problem. Then all of a sudden last week it started. He is 11 weeks today and while it was only happening a nap here and there it is now full fledged every single nap... still sleeping good at night though thank goodness. Now I have a couple of ideas for working on it... and would like advice on what you think.

First, here is his schedule right now and I see a few problems in it.

6:00 am eat then back to sleep (used to be until 9:00)
7:45 wakes screaming, been getting him and he will play and smile for a little while in my bed Yes, I know this is a problem. He usually then goes back to sleep in my bed until about 9
9:00 wake, eat, play
9:45 to 10:00 start getting sleepy and fussy
10:00 take to bed goes to sleep with no problem
10:45- 11:00 wake up screaming, try to resettle but usually end up getting him up.
11:15/11:30- 12:00 sits in bouncy or swing grumpily with paci
12:00 eats, plays
12:45-1:00 starts getting sleepy and take to bed
1:45/ 2:00 wakes up screaming (see above)
3:00 eat, play
4:00-4:15 nap
5:00/5:30 wakes up screaming (see above)
6:00 eat then to swing while I make dinner and we eat. Usually catnaps during dinner and then often wakes and visits with dad or neighbors outside or whatever.
8:30 bath
9:00 dinner
9:30 bed

Now, obviously the sleeping in my bed thing is not a good idea and that is purely my laziness and I know how to fix that.

Also, I'm pretty sure he needs to stay awake longer at a time but he starts getting so fussy and then won't settle well. how do you balance this?

Also, what about after that 6 am feeding. Should I try to keep him awake for a while first and treat it as the first feed of the day. He is usually sound asleep after it.

The problem... if you count that sleep after the 6 am feeding as a nap then he is taking 4 naps a day plus a little catnap (not in his bed). How many naps should he be taking? Should he still be sleeping every feed cycle like that. I'm confused. I had started trying to wean from swaddling and thought that was the problem but have found it doesn't really matter.. swaddle or not he is not napping well. Does anyone see how I should adjust his schedule to help besides all the techniques already being mentioned to try to extend his naps. I just feel like maybe he is ready for his schedule to change a little and that may be the problem."

Strategies and Support:

"Could you try putting him to bed earlier then offering a DF around 10 and see if that helps him during the day?"

"I know that whenever dd wakes up crying, it is b/c she didn't get enough sleep. Have you tried going in at 40-45min to extend the naps with either pat/sh or wake to sleep or a firm hand? Is he falling asleep independently?

As for the start of the day, it really is your call as to when you want to start the day as you know you lo best. I tend to break the 24 hr day into 12 hrs for daytime and 12hrs for nighttime sleep."

Follow up from Parent:

"Thanks for the input. We were doing bedtime after the 6:00 feeding and doing a dreamfeed, but he wasn't going to sleep easily at 6 and we were fighting it until around 8:30 and then he would be so sound asleep for the dreamfeed it was hard to wake him. We kept missing dinner or dh was having to run out and get it so we didn't have any family time together. The later bedtime works better for us right now, I figure it will get earlier when he can drop another feeding or move to a 4 hour routine.

I have tried everything to extend the naps, but it just doesn't work. I just spend the rest of the time trying to get him back to sleep. He does go to sleep independently, just not going back to sleep independently.

I am beginning to think now it is due to a growth spurt b/c he has woken every morning this week at 4. I have not fed him, just gave paci and he went back to sleep but then I started thinking about the growth spurt. Yesterday when he woke early from morning nap I just went ahead and fed him 30 min. early. He then slept great for his next 2 naps and got himself right back on schedule by sleeping 30 min. longer at one nap. So, at 4 this morning I offered a feeding too and he gulped for 25 min. He then went back to sleep until 7, ate and played for a while then slept until 9:30. I went ahead and offered a feeding at this point. He played and went down for nap around 10:30 and is still sleeping now at 12:30. I may have found the solution. I remembered Babywise that I read a long time ago mentioned the 45 min. intruder happening at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months. That book reccommended treating it has a hunger issue first and then looking at it as a sleep issue if it is not a hunger issue. Thanks for the help and we'll see how this works out. "

Title: Teaching Sleep to Newborns and Young Infants
Post by: Matthew's Mommy on August 18, 2005, 06:59:16 PM


"My sweet LO (at 7 wks old) has started taking much longer than 20min to enter deep sleep and usually has to suck on something to settle down (our finger or a paci).

She also startles awake easily, though in other respects she's not a touchy baby at all. Despite doing a good, consistent wind-down routine, holding her still (but sucking), and then lying her down and shhh-patting for up to 45 minutes(!!!) and not leaving until she is good & droopy, she still startles awake about 45 minutes later. This is consuming our day!!!

Thankfully she sleeps great at night.
HELP for daytime is much appreciated! "

Strategy and Support:

"Hi there..

This is typical at this age, to start the 45 min. nap.

When she falls asleep, you mentioned that she is sucking.. does she use a pacifier or your finger? If she's sucking to sleep.. let's encourage her to use the soother instead of your finger, and then have a look at the Sticky, "How Tracy helped Josie..""

Title: Teaching Sleep to Newborns and Young Infants
Post by: Matthew's Mommy on August 18, 2005, 07:13:33 PM

Situation: (well not really a situation anymore! More like a "there's hope! post!)

(Just a short note.. pu.pd is mentioned in this thread.. Pu.pd is an excellent tool to use for infants older than 3 months. Under 3months, Tracy advises to use pat-shush)

"THANK YOU!!!!!!!! I just bought the Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems as my 3 month old wasn't napping in his crib well and tossed and turned all night..up for comfort I thought. He snacked all day long..just in a couple of days he is napping 1-2 hours at a time in his crib, eating 4-6 ounces at one time and had a better night's sleep, although going through a growth spurt up once between 11 and 5. I can see this is what I have been looking for! He was being overstimulated during the day and not sleeping enough at one time!!!"

"congratulations...feels good doesn't it? Don't you just want to tell every mom you see to try it all out??! "

"Yes, I want to tell everyone! I feel so much better about things. The "cry it out method" is not part of my philosophy, so I didn't quite know what to do. HJ is different from my other 2 kids (they are 21 and 18 years of age!) and they slept all night from 6 weeks and 4 months of age, so this one is a very different personality! It's fun parenting a baby again though!!!! "

"Hello! How nice to see your post as I have a 3 month old who is having a terrible time napping! I'm very careful to watch his sleepy signs and not let him stay up for more than an hour before his first nap and for more than 2 hours later in the day. But he still usually fights his naps and every time it is a struggle to get him to sleep - I usually have to rock him. And then right on the dot he will wake after 30 minutes and only if I pick him up and bounce him a little can I get him to go back to sleep, and this too, comes with struggle and crying. (Putting his paci back in, etc. usually doesn't work) It is all EXTREMELY frustrating and I feel like I spend my whole day getting him to sleep a decent amount!

I have Tracy's second book on order, which it sounds like has more details to help with these kinds of sleep issues and helping him to learn to get back to sleep without my help. You give me hope that perhaps it could work!!

It's interesting that you mention overstimulation as both my mom and husband thought that could be part of the problem, although I try not overstimulate him too much. Can you tell me more about what you were doing and how you thought it affected your babe?

Thanks so much! "

"Hi! I only have a sec, as Hayden will wake up very soon...I just started this, so it is all very new to me. In order to get him down, I need to be very aware of his very first sign of fatigue..usually he yawns or rubs his eyes (only briefly), so you need to be really in tune. I take him quickly to the crib and swaddle him..only the bottom part of his body, as he moves his hands and fingers alot now. He does struggle a bit (sometimes) and I stay with him..I sometimes have to touch his legs to help him to calm down..I have used a pacifier as well (not sure it's part of the plan). Yesterday it took almost exactly 20 minutes for him to fall alseep and today it took about 5-15 mins each time. My husband missed his early signs once today and he was very difficult to put down. We will see..I think the key is to just stay with them to help them through and they will get it on their own eventually. Patience, I guess. The second book is much more detailed, so you may want to wait and read it. I hope this helps. Keep in touch and good luck. (he is going through a growth spurt this week too, so that adds to it!) "

"PS - as for the overstimulation question you had..I was keeping him awake too long at one time..he's a very interested little guy and has been interacting with people since he was 3 weeks old, so it was easy to be talking to him and him to us..taking him from mobile to toy to swing, etc, thinking he needed to be stimulated to be happy, but come to find out, he was tired!"

"That was a quick response - thanks! I hope to get the book by Monday and I will wait until I read it, especially since we're going away for the weekend. I am desperate for a more concrete plan of action because I've tried everything short of letting him cry it out which I just can't bear to do. (And I've read all the sleep books!)

How long does your son sleep for when he finally goes down for a nap? As I mentioned I'm also struggling with getting him to sleep longer than 30 minutes at a time.

And can I ask another question about the overstimulation...besides watching for his sleep signs carefully and not letting him stay up too long (which I've been careful to do) have you stopped letting him look at his mobile for too long a period of time and things like that? What do you do differently now? - because I'm doing the same things you were doing!

Thanks for your help! "

"I still let him look at his mobile, but when he gets fussy about it, I remove him and just let him take in the natural surroundings of the home and yard. I don't put him in an overstimulated environment right away again. It's seems to be working. By the way, he slept for 71/2 hours at one time Friday night (which is absolutely amazing!) and last night only 5 hours at one time, but yesterday was a very, very hot day and he didn't do all that well with his naps later in the day. Can't blame him..I was grumpy too from the heat! overall, I think once we get the real hang of this, it's going to be good for all of us! "


Do you mind if I refer other parents to this post? I'm sure it will help them feel hopeful!"

"Thanks for the reply...and can you tell me if you used PUPD with your son to achieve all this success? I just read another post about someone with a 3 month old and she said she tried PUPD and it didn't work at all but she did use pat/shush and it worked great. I am suspecting that pat/shush wouldn't work that well for my son and so I'm wondering which method you used?

"Hahahahaha..I'm laughing at my son and I today! We were doing sooo great and then the heat hit yesterday really badly..couldn't swaddle him, so we were up alot during the night and I didn't push things with him. He is "wild child" today..snacking and napping about 30 mins at a time. I just put him down again, so hopefully we can get back on track! It's cooler today, so we should be able to. I cannot stop laughing about it though. He's just sooo out of control! He knows it too, I swear!
Anyway, I haven't had to to PD/PU, as he has been going to sleep with just a little help with me gently touching his legs and being there. I'm sure once he realizes he can change things up, he will. He loves the swaddling right now, so it's been working quite well.
Anyway, going to grab a quick cup of coffee before the "wild child" awakens!
"Talk" soon! "

"This has been a great post for a new mum to read... Thanks ladies!

I'm having a little trouble with my 7 week old "napping" during the day and then being very grumpy by the afternoon from being overtired and then not sleeping well at night.

I also think that I have been making the mistake of overstimulating him and this is why he is not settling at night! He seems to sleep for about half an hour to an hour at a time and then by late afternoon is a nightmare to put down. He will then sleep for about 5-6 hours because he's exhausted himself (I think). I wish he would sleep those hours during the night.

Thanks for the tips, any more you have to offer would be greatly appreciated. I also have my book on order and am patiently waiting for it to arrive...

Thanks again, "

"My little guy is starting to get back on track. I had to do PU/PD this morning and it worked, eventually.
It sounds like your little one may have the days and nights mixed up with a 5-6 hour nap. Not sure what to do about that..I'll have to read up on it.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to respond "

Title: Teaching Sleep to Newborns and Young Infants
Post by: Matthew's Mommy on August 20, 2005, 11:38:36 AM


"Can you tell me roughly what naps my 9 week old daughter should have. Basically her routine is

7.00am wake her
7.15am feed
9.00am sleep
9.45am wake
10.30am feed but crying for food at 10.00am
11.30/midday sleep
2.00pm wake
2.30pm feed
3.45/4.00pm sleep
4.45pm wake
5.00pm give her 1oz of water
5.30pm go up and get her ready for a bath
5.45pm bath, (she loves bathtime, screaming when I take her out)
6.15pm feed
6.40pm bedtime story
7.00pm sleep
10.30pm feed (I have to wake her for this)
2.30am feed
5.30am wake (so I have to put her on my chest so she will go to 7.00am)

I have been doing this for the past 3 weeks. So she is basically having between 3.5 to 4 hours sleep during the day. "


"Bascially, there's a sleep during each feed cycle-- generally a feed cycle is 3 hours, but also depends on your infants individual differences (ie. birthweight)

So, when she has her feed, keep an eye for her first sleepy cue (a yawn) and then start her wind down routine. For a newborn, keep awake times short, or you're going to overtire and overstimulate your infant, which can result in short naps (45 min. naps) and difficulties setting to sleep. Newborns and young infants have a very short window of opportunity, in order to fall asleep with ease. If she's yawned more than twice.. then her window is starting to close, her body will release cortisol which is a stimulant hormone, and she will have a rough time settling to sleep, will be restless in her sleep and will wake up screaming after 45 mins (1 sleep cycle).

Most newborns/young infants will have a little cat nap after the 4 ish feed.. this is a short little nap, that will give her enough energy to get to bed time. It's difficult for a newborn/young infant to go from 4 pm until bedtime of 7 pm.. usually it will result in multiple nightwakings and difficulty settling into sleep. Also, it will show in her behaviour as her bedtime approaches.. if she hasn't had a brief rest to recharge, she will have episodes of screaming and crying, and fussy periods. The late afternoon short nap, won't interfere with a 7 pm bedtime.. it will make the bedtime better and more enjoyable for both of you. "

Title: Teaching Sleep to Newborns and Young Infants
Post by: Matthew's Mommy on August 20, 2005, 12:55:00 PM


"Ok, I have multiple questions as I have become very frustrated and perhaps confused too this week. Two weeks ago, when my lo was 12 weeks old, I stopped doing pat/shh and tried just laying him in his crib. He did some mantra crying and fussing and fell asleep. As the week went on, he seemed to get better, doing less of the mantra crying and falling asleep and naps were going OK. We would still have 45 minute naps but I would generally get a good morning nap out of him to start the day off. Well, then he got sick, and it all went downhill. Toward the middle of last week, things looked better again and in fact, one day, we had the "perfect" day, little or no fussing, and no 45 minute naps. Since then, the last 3 days have been horrible. He seems to be doing more and more mantra crying and generally cannot make it past 30 minutes and some times makes it to the 45 minute mark. I tried extending his awake time-- but then it seems he is too overtired to self-soothe. I tried doing exactly what I did on the "perfect day", and of course, that didn't work either. I am wondering if I have done something to make his self-soothing worse and what I can do to lengthen these naps. We generally follow the 3-hour easy plan and his awake time varies from 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours. I get him to bed on the first yawn and do about a 5 minute wind-down routine where we listen to a lullaby and I tell him a story while he stares at the dim light (we have a dimmer). I thought we were making progress and now I am getting concerned. Most of my concern stems from the fact that I go back to work in a few weeks and I was hoping that he would be able to self-soothe because i don't know if the daycare provider is going to have the time to be able to do a whole wind-down routine. It seems like his naps are getting shorter and shorter.

Sorry this is so long, but I am getting frustrated since I know he can self-soothe. He sleeps through the night.

Today, much like the prior 2 days, DS took 3 45 minute naps. I let him lay in his crib after he woke at the 45-minute mark and he fussed. He put himself back to sleep only 1 time and that was after 35 minutes of fussing. Then for what is supposed to be his catnap before bed, he made it past the 45 minute mark! This is the 3rd day in a row that this pattern has occurred and I don't want it to become a habit for him. So, here are my questions:

1. Should I be laying him down when he is more drowsy? Right now, I lay him down and he is usually pretty wide awake (although I know he is tired because he is yawning and showing other signs).

2. Should I go back to doing pat/shh to see if that helps to soothe him easier than letting him do the mantra crying and letting him get himself to sleep? I am concerned that the mantra crying is getting him worked up and that may be why he has the short naps?

3. If I do try to extend the awake time, now that he is 14 weeks old, how do I make sure that he is not too overtired so that he cannot self-soothe-- e.g., how do I strike that balance?

4. Will it eventually help to extend his naps when I have him lay there after the 45 minutes and let him fuss and/or play instead of taking him out of the room? (BTW: PU/PD really doesn't apply because he doesn't go into a "real" cry).

Thanks for any suggestions. I would like to get this licked at least a little bit before daycare starts so that I don't always have an overtired baby to come home to."

Strategy and Support


I think you need to make some changes in his daily routine.

From my experience (and we have lots as my LO is a reformed 45min several times over, she does them EVERY time she is ready to increase awake time) w/ the 45min naps I think you need to extend his awake time.

What I suspect is happening, is that he is catnapping because of the brief awake time.. it's like "I've only been awake for a short time, so I just need a short amount of sleep". This creates the 45 min nap. My LO was almost exactly the same age when she started this, she slept 1.5-2.0 every time before this.

If he starts to look sleepy after an hour (hour ), try to push his awake time a little longer by 15 min. increments. Take him out for a little walk.. but not in his stroller if he's a stroller sleeper. Give him a little carry around the neighbourhood or front/back yard.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 12:30:37 pm by amayzie »
Caroline :)

"Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to 'jump at de sun.' We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground." -- Zora Neale Hurston