I am so happy to welcome back Leslie Black of A Kiss Goodnight. Leslie posted a couple of weeks ago on North Shore Mama and gave us her expert opinion on getting your baby to fall asleep. If you missed the post, you can read it here!
In her last post, Leslie invited North Shore Mama readers to write in with their sleep questions for her to answer! It was great to see the questions being posed and I am very excited to be sharing Leslie’s answers with you today.
We can all learn from these scenarios!!!
Here is Leslie:
Hi Leslie, I am just wondering how to deal with a 15 month old baby who won’t drink enough bottle to satiate himself before bed. Often he will jump around and play for at least a half hour until he finally will drink a bunch more bottle and THEN go to sleep. I have tried not going in to give it to him, but he just won’t sleep until he has it, which of course doesn’t help that I brushed his teeth ages ago. Otherwise, he sleeps great (teething problems and/or peeing through his diaper problems aside!). He only has one nap during the day, so I know it isn’t a problem with his bedtime or how much sleep he is getting during the day. He’s just naughty! Thanks!
It sounds like this may be a game that your son has developed to have you come back after bedtime. It will take some work to break the habit, but you can start with giving him a snack before bedtime (eg. yogurt or oatmeal) and then you can feel confident that he is full and doesn’t really need the rest of the bottle later. Of course, he will likely protest if you don’t give him the bottle after bedtime since he has become used to having it at that time. You will need to soothe him to help him through his frustration. You can try rubbing his back or tummy, letting him know you are there and reminding him that it’s “sleepy time”. Be sure that he still falls asleep independently, but help him calm down using these strategies. It shouldn’t take more than 2-3 nights for him to understand that the bottle comes before bedtime and not after.
How do I get my little one 5months to eat a full dream feed? We have a great bedtime routine, she drinks her bottle before bed around 730 and then I try to dream feed her between 10-11. However she will only have a small sip and then fully refuse. However around 3-4 she’ll wake up and refuse any consoling unless its a bottle however she will only have 2-3oz. I have diluted the amount of formula in the bottle and she still seems ok with this. I guess in the next few days we will try replacing just with water or get rid of the bottle completely.
Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.
I actually don’t recommend using a dream feed but instead allowing your baby to wake when she is hungry. When you dream feed a baby you teach them to be hungry at a particular time, making weaning more difficult in the future. It’s possible that she won’t drink during the dream feed because she isn’t hungry yet. If you discontinue the dream feed, you may find that she is able to sleep through to that 3-4am period on her own and be ready for a feed then. Over time, you can work to eliminate that feed.
My 10.5 month old baby will be starting daycare in 1.5 months and we are on a 6am-6pm schedule. I have tried so many different things to get him to stay up later- but his internal clock is just set for 6pm. This schedule is wonderful and our baby sleeps great BUT with daycare coming he simply cant be going to bed that early, otherwise the daycare will have to put him down for bed there! ( bedtime routine starts at 530) any tips to gently transition to a later wake and sleep time. BTW – he also still naps 3 x a day with max wake time of 2.5 hours…also not ideal for a daycare that does 1 nap / day. HELP!
You will definitely need to work on lengthening his awake time, as the daycare will put him on a one-nap schedule. I would start this process by getting him down to two naps by increasing his awake time by 15 minutes every 3 days (eg if his first nap is at 8:30, move it to 8:45 for 3 days, then to 9:00 for 3 days) until you reach the desired time of about 9:30. You will likely notice tired signs at his usual nap time, so you will have to help him push through with distraction or even a small snack of fruit. As you work on increasing awake time, you may find that his naps immediately increase in length, ideally being 1.5 hours each. However, if nap length doesn’t increase right away, you may need to squeeze in a short catnap (15-20min) later in the day to carry him through to bedtime. This process can take a few weeks, but once he can stay awake a little longer, it will allow you to move his bedtime to a slightly later time that will be better for his daycare schedule.
Our baby is a great sleeper. Lately though she has been waking around 5am, 6am, and 630 – she doesnt seem too upset she just stays in her crib and talks, laughs, shouts out and sometimes gives a big cry out but doesn’t seem upset…this can go on for upwards of an hour. I am not sure whether to go in and get her up or whether to leave her as its really too early for her to be up for the day. Trust me I have tried and she just yawns and rubs her eyes until the first nap. FYI- she is 11 months old, is teething & just started to trace along furniture.
It’s so great that your daughter wakes up happy! Often developmental milestones interrupt a baby’s sleep, so if your daughter has recently begun cruising, it’s normal that she is suddenly waking up early. If she is happy in her crib, you can leave her for a while and allow her to wake up slowly. If you get her up right away, she will get used to waking early and this trend will continue. You can pick a wake up time (eg 6:30) and get her from her crib at that time each day (no need to wake her if she sleeps longer). If she is upset and crying, you can go in and attempt to soothe her and then leave again. If she is happy, you can leave her until the determined time. Generally the sleep interruption from a developmental milestone passes in about 2 weeks.
Thank you to all those who shared their questions with the rest of us and thank you so much to Leslie for giving your expert opinion in response!
To connect with Leslie, you can find her on Facebook and on Twitter. Make sure you also check out her website to sign up for your FREE “Five Steps To Getting Your Baby To Sleep Through The Night” report!