How to Get Baby to Fall Asleep on Their Own?

Posted on: November 6th, 2012 by Violet 140 Comments

Imagine putting your baby down to sleep awake and she just dozes off, completely on her own. You don’t have to do any work. Just lay her down, and walk out of the room as “self soothes”. She doesn’t cry, whine, or get upset, just peacefully falls asleep. You would probably tell me that I’m nuts, and that this is impossible, right? I don’t blame you. I didn’t think it was possible either. When I had my first baby I just nursed and rocked her into deep sleep every single night…for hours on end! I had no idea how to get a baby to fall asleep on her own. But now both of my girls fall asleep that way. I helped them learn to self soothe and fall asleep on their own, and this is exactly what they do every night. No crying, no fighting. The best part of teaching a baby to fall asleep on their own, is that they are able to fall back asleep in the middle of the night, in between sleep cycles. Meaning no unnecessary nighttime wakings.

how to get baby to fall asleep on their own, how to get baby to self soothe
Getting a baby to fall asleep on their own is an amazing accomplishment, that will solve most, if not all of your baby’s sleep troubles. However, it is probably the hardest part of sleep training.

One of the most common questions I get as a sleep consultant is “How do I get my baby to fall asleep on their own?“. This question can be tricky to answer because there are many different components to teaching your baby to sleep well. Age appropriate sleep schedules, knowing how to respond to wakings, which wakings are due to hunger vs comfort and other important components all factor in teaching your baby to fall asleep on their own.

Consistency with an appropriate approach is also key. Trial and error may lead to lots of crying. I recommend picking a method that you are comfortable with, and have a really good step by step plan to follow to avoid unnecessary tears. If you need help with this please take a look at my  Sleep Packages Here–> I would be glad to help!


baby fall asleep on their own My breastfed baby is now sleeping through the night for 12 hours and his naps have greatly improved thanks to Violet and her customized plan! After 7 days, my usually fussy baby is smiling, cooing, meeting milestones and I actually heard him laugh for the first time yesterday–I think I’m a better mom because I’m also getting some much needed rest. It’s amazing what a little sleep can do! I will be telling all of my other mom friends about Violet and plan to give her services as a gift to all of my pregnant gal-pals. ~Christine, Canada


Teaching a baby to fall asleep on their own, is such a great feeling. Especially when you are finally able to lay your baby down without a struggle. You get to enjoy a happy bedtime routine together, give your baby kisses and cuddles, and she drifts off to sleep without a peep. I don’t think there’s any better feeling when you’re a parent that has been struggling with getting your baby to fall asleep and stay asleep. So here are some of my best tips for helping your baby fall asleep on his or her own.

  • Solid Bedtime Routine. Make sure you have a consistent bedtime routine for your baby. Same routine, same time each night. This is very important, I can’t stress it enough. You can’t expect a baby to cooperate when her sleep schedule is all over the place, or the routine is always different. A consistent routine gives your baby predicability. When your baby knows what to expect, she is more likely to accept it.
  • Move Feeding or Nursing. If your baby requires a feeding until she is asleep or is waking for constant comfort feedings, you are going to want to break that sleep association. So what you want to do is move the feeding to the beginning of your bedtime routine. This way your baby has the opportunity to fall asleep on her own and not in your arms. If your routine was jammies-book-feed. It should now be feed-jammies-book.
  • Put Your Baby Down “Drowsy but Awake”. I know you have probably heard this a million times, but this is really a biggie. Laying your baby down awake is not easy and you will have to follow that up with some sleep training methods. Making sure your baby is drowsy but awake before you lay her down, is very important.
  • Pick a Sleep Training Method and Stick to it. It’s always a good idea to have a plan to stick to and a method that you are comfortable with. This way you are not trying one thing, then another, and completely confusing your baby. Inconsistency can lead to many, many, tears. Being consistent and following through with your plan is the only way to be successful.
  • Get Help When Needed. If you have tried different methods, and nothing is working, it may be a good idea to get some help. Some parents need a step by step plan, and there is nothing wrong with that. Getting help from someone that knows what they are doing and is able to provide you with guidance and support, is invaluable when it comes to teaching your baby to sleep well. If you would like more individualized help based on your baby’s unique situation, I offer Personalized Sleep Plans and support. Teaching a baby to self soothe and fall asleep on his or her own is one of my specialties!
  • Stay With Your Baby. Some babies feel more at ease knowing Mommy or Daddy is right by their side. Since your baby needs to learn the skills to self soothe and fall sleep on her own, she may fall asleep easier, if you are by her side. Don’t worry, once your baby gets better at falling asleep on her own, you won’t have to stay with her at all. You will be able to lay her down after bedtime routine, and she will smile and drift off to sleep.
  • Don’t Give Up! Many times parents see how difficult and overwhelming the first couple nights can be. They give up, and don’t get to see that it gets easier. Each night is just a little bit better than the previous. As you progress, it gets better and better. By the end of the week your baby will most likely be falling asleep on her own in under 5 minutes. Even if it takes 2 weeks, that’s a great accomplishment. Don’t give up! Here are some sleep training stories  from parents like yourself, that didn’t think it was possible either, and now the entire family is sleeping well.
Remember that you don’t have to stop nursing, rocking, or cuddling your baby, to teach her to self soothe and fall asleep on her own. In fact I encourage an abundance of that. You can incorporate nursing, rocking, or anything else your baby enjoys into your bedtime routine.

If you need more advice, or a step by step plan of how to get baby to self soothe and fall asleep on his or her own, please take a look at my Baby Sleep Consultation Packages–>

Violet Giannone

Get tips. Ask questions. Connect.

140 Responses

  1. hey, just wondering what you do when little one wakes in the night? i posted earlier about my 13 week old on the sleep regression blog, and i wondered what i do in the night when he wakes? do i feed or should i leave him? or should i let him have his dummy or do you recomend breaking this habbit now?? my partner works in a dangerous environment so ideally dont want him crying in the night and waking his daddy up! but if it has to be done then we will manage

  2. If he is waking and going back to sleep as soon as you give him the dummy, then that's a clear sign he has a sleep association with it. My suggestion when he wakes, let me stir around for a bit. If you go in too fast you may not be giving him a chance to figure out how to settle. If he starts to cry go in and try any of the sleep training methods that I talk about in my "Sleep Training: No Cry Methods" post. Try everything you can first. If all fails, offer a feed as a last resort. If it is taking him that long, and he is still protesting, chances are he is hungry. But do not make the mistake of letting him fall asleep during the feed. You wan't him "drowsy but awake". I also have a 13 week old:) and I have been putting her down awake since I brought her home from the hospital. She is an awesome sleeper and sleeps 8hrs through wakes for a quick feed and back to sleep for another 4. I didn't do this with my first born and she was waking multiple times a night until 8 months old when I started doing things right.

  3. Tonight hes actual gone down without a dummy and only an hour of shhsing and tummy patting it did – feed bath musical light thing on his cot then started sleep time, started of using dummy but every time it fell out it disturbed him and he got upset so left it out he cried lots but I just kept reassuring him. My partner took over as I needed the loo lol and after 15 mins or so he was asleep with no dummy in his cot for the first time ever! This was 20 mins ago so fingers crossed he stays asleep

  4. That is wonderful news! What great progress you are making. Keep up the great work, and keep me posted. I can't wait to hear how you guys do:)

  5. Eeeeeek hes past the 30 min mark which is when he wakes from naps dont suppose you have any tips on that? No matter what I do unless he sleeps on me or the pushchair if were out he wakes bang on 30 mins!

  6. The same exact method you are using at bedtime, you're going to do at nap time. SO if you are putting him down awake and then using shush/pat to comfort him, do the same at nap times. What you are essentially doing is sleep training for naps and bedtime. He is waking because a sleep cycle typically lasts about 30min so he is waking after one sleep cycle and doesn't have to skills to self soothe and fall back to sleep on his own. As long as you put him to sleep awake, and don't give him the dummy to fall asleep, this will all be fixed. He will begin sleeping longer stretches at night ,if not all the way through. He will also take much longer and better naps. Consistency is key so stick to your guns. If you have decided to take away the dummy for sleep, that is what you have to do EVERY time, not just sometimes. The number one reason sleep training fails is inconsistency, because only confuses your baby.

  7. He was fab barely any tears all night! But she still woke at 10:30 1:30 both for feeds at 3:00 just for a quick shhh and pat 4:00 for a feed and 6:00 for a feed he then came in with me until 8 for sleepy snuggles only used dummy once so getting rid! just attempting his first nap without dummy hes just using his fingers intead hes in his bouncer downstairs with the curtains drawn and the tv down low do you think this is okay for naps

    jess & george

  8. Good job with the dummy progress. As far as naps go, if he falls asleep on his own without your help, it is fine to have him nap somewhere other than his cot. As far as the multiple nighttime wakings, once he learns to completely fall asleep on his own (usually takes no more than a week), without the dummy or you nursing him to sleep, he should only be waking to eat because he is truly hungry. If you are doing everything right and he still continues to wake multiple times, try to pump in the morning and save an extra couple of ounces that you can add to his night feed. This little trick alone was the difference between my daughter sleeping 5 hours to 8 hours at only 6 weeks.

  9. its taking alot of tummy patting and shhhsing for his naps so dont know if you can class it as falling asleep alone and im sat next to him on the carpet, i may try the cot tomorrow and see if this helps as hes still only going 30 mins thankyou so much for your help

  10. Violet–This is Emily again. Sorry for posting questions all over your site! I think it's so amazing you offer this kind of advice free of charge. I am still trying to decide what approach to go with because I want to be consistent. In your honest opinion, do you think I could use the following recommendations with my 4 month old: consistent bedtime by 8 with bedtime routine starting at 7:30, sleep in crib, unswaddled, lay down awake (using no-cry method as needed), anything you would add? Or should I go with a more regimented approach like sleep sense? If I use the above plan, how long do I give it before I decide I need to change something? I am most anxious about trying to lay him down awake because he has never had to do that before and typically cries pretty ferociously when he wakes up accidentally as I lay him down. Again, I really appreciate your responses! Makes me feel like I'm not alone! I hope to get started with some kind of change tonight.

  11. Not a problem, I don't mind the questions:) That plan sounds perfect and is exactly what we do. I'm not sure what type of pj's you are planning on putting him in, but he may have a hard time if he was swaddled this whole time and now you are going to put him in a big open space without it. I recommend something like the Carter's Sleep Bag. Take a look at it on my "Recommended Sleep Items" post and see what you think. Other than that your plan sounds great. Try doing it on your own and see how it goes. The first 3 nights will be really rough, with you probably not sleeping much, but after that it starts to get better and I would say within a week, you should definitely be able to put him down awake and he falls asleep on his own. You will be measuring your progress by how long it takes him to fall asleep on his own each night. So if it takes an hour for him to fall asleep on his own the first night, and 45 minutes the next night, that's progress, keep going and don't give up. If you see no progress after a week I would then get the sleep sense program. What's great about the program is that its a step by step process that gets you through it. It also gives you examples of different scenarios that might happen along the way. Either way, good luck and let me know how you do.

  12. Well we tried laying him down awake last night (in a sleep sack). We all lasted an hour and half, but he still didn't seem to have intentions of sleeping, so I swaddled him and off to sleep he went. 4 hours later, I woke up and checked on him and found him completely rolled over (still swaddled) against the side of his crib! So I quickly went from elation that he actually slept 4 hours to total panic! So, I guess that's my "official" sign that it's time to lose the swaddle. He did manage to sleep 2 hours (with arms out of the swaddle in case he rolled) and 2 more in just the sleep sack again. However, I can't say that I put him down fully awake that time, since I nursed him. I think he woke up some because he rolled onto his belly as soon as I put him in the crib, but I'm not sure.

    Which brings me to another question . . . Assuming your baby is young enough to need a feeding or 2 during the night and he falls asleep during or after you feed him, do you wake him before laying him down and is there a way that you would recommend of waking him that might not be too upsetting?


    P.S. I have regular sleepsacks that I am using. Is the Carter one better?

  13. Sounds like you are making some progress since he is sleeping longer stretches. He made it through multiple sleep cycles and was able to sooth himself to sleep. I think he will eventually get use to sleeping in the wearable blanket, but if you want to buy the Carter's one for now, that might be helpful because it's alot more snug (the bottom is not as wide and loose).

    When you feed him at night try your best to keep him awake. It's hard, I know, but what you can do is sit him up and burp him for a while before laying him down and that should wake him a bit. He will be drowsy but at least aware of where he is falling asleep so he doesn't wake frightened after a sleep cycle.

  14. Hey its jess & george again 🙂 progress on night time has been fab hes gone from two hour wakings to roughly 4 hour with the odd bad night, but hes still learning, the problem is naps! its a constant fight and i feel like my days are spent either watching for tired signs or doing endless pu/pd if he even stops crying for the pd part! then all this only equates to about 30-45 mins sleep! he knows how to self settle as he always goes down awake and i often hear him wimperig in the night until he nods back off, we have the routine of… into sleep sack, cuddle down stairs, cuddle in darked bedroom with lullabies playing, but he still screams until eventually he gives in. Really hope you can help! couldnt have done the night times without you!!!

  15. I'm glad he's sleeping better at night, that's wonderful news! Contact via the contact button below and tell me what your daily schedule looks like. I realize it may vary greatly from day to day, as your baby is still young, but I would like to see an example of how his day looks. I want to see if he is following appropriate wake times for his age, and try to get this baby napping for you! :):):)

  16. So I was nursing my daughter to sleep until it just got REALLY bad, so I started putting her down awake. Being as she was 7.5 months when I started she put up a mighty fight. Well it seemed to be helping, she was down from 10 or more times to about 3 times to eat but then all of a sudden everything just went to hell in a hand basket and I'm not sure why! At bedtime we do bath, quiet play in her room, eat (nursing is the ONLY way that I can get her to hold still long enough to calm down and get drowsy)and put her down awake and then stand there and rub her tummy until shes just about asleep and then leave. Now she is up every 45min-2hours and as soon as I put her back in her bed she freaks out. I even had to bring out the swaddle again to get her to nap today :S (She is normally really good with naps, they are always at least 1.5 hours).
    Ps. Sorry if this dragged on, no sleep makes it very hard to concentrate lol.

  17. Hi Jamie! Around this time there is a really bad sleep regression that occurs. Babies that have been rocked nursed to sleep usually completely stop sleeping at night because it's just not working anymore. Teach her to fall asleep on her own, it's the best thing you can do for her…and yourself! Good luck, hang in there!

  18. Hi Violet,
    its just taken me 2 and half hours to get my daughter down for her morning nap by trying the ssshing and patting apporach, plus picking up when she got too upset. She needs feeding or rocking to sleep so Im trying to break that association but by the end of this session (and some feeding and rocking!) she was almost so drowsy that even when i roused her a little and put her into her cot Im not sure she will remember going off to sleep on her own.
    she then slept for 50mins. She is only 19 weeks but Im now wondering whether I should still aim for her next nap time at the usual time or whether it needs to be delayed (as otherwise she will only have been awake about 30mins before i start trying to get her to sleep again!)
    Id be very grateful for any advice. This is only day 2 of trying but yesterday was very similar.

  19. Great question! Keep in mind the maximum wake time for a 4/5 month old is 2 hours. So when putting her down for the next nap make sure she's been awake long enough so that she is going to be sleepy. So you may want to start trying after her being awake 1.5hrs, to ensure she is not over tired since it's taking her that long to fall asleep. Another tip, if you have already feed her before nap, there is no reason to re-feed, that's back tracking your progress if you really want her to learn to fall asleep on her own. Good luck!

  20. Hi there, my little one is 3 1/2 months old and he was fine as long as he was swaddled. We stopped because he started turning onto his tummy and we got scared. He sleeps fine after we initially put him down, like 2-3 hours. But then the time he is asleep gets shorter and shorter. I've seen him startle and reflexive crunch up and turn onto his belly and then he fully wakes and gets upset. What are we supposed to do about it? Babies are supposed to sleep on their backs, but he can't turn back yet. Also, I nurse him to sleep, which was fine as long as he didn't wake as often due to the turning. But now around 2/3am it seems impossible for him to stay asleep in bed and he wakes every 20-30 minutes. So mostly I end up co-sleeping with him so he can settle.

  21. I have a 6 months old son and putting him to sleep has become very difficult. I started a bedtime routine very early, singing a certain nursery song at about 9pm. And maybe 2-3 months ago I was able to lay down with him in the bed, sing for a couple of minutes and transfer him to the crib while still drowsy and he fell asleep. Then we started to have a long journey of trush and giving him medication every second feed, having to take care of my breasts right after feeding etc. caused our great little routine to go out the window. Now I am fighting harder then ever trying to put him asleep each night. I have to sing and rock for an hour or longer and wait for him to be fully asleep, otherwise he will cry and throw a fit. What can I do to ease him back into our routine?
    Also, he used to fall asleep with his pacifier, but when waking up in the night to feed, he would fall back asleep without it. But during the fight with the yeast infection my husband put him back down after feeds, with pacifier and now he's become quite addicted to it. Is there a way to go back to the old routine?
    Oh, and I know you say consistency is the most important thing. How do you deal with nights out. Like tomorrow for instance, we have to travel to pick up my parents. The only thing I can keep consistent is the time and singing. Should I put him in the car seat when drowsy as replacement for his crib?
    Thank you so much for your help!

  22. You might have to do a little "sleep training" at this point. Pick a method you are comfortable with and help him learn to fall asleep on his own. You can refer to my article about No Cry Sleep Methods for some options. Pick week that you know you will not be traveling or going through many schedule changes and start the training then. One day out of the week will not influence the training much, but if you anticipate many travels or outings, then just hold off until you can devote your schedule to this. The movement in a car or stroller can also be a sleep association and your goal is to teach him to fall asleep completely on his own

  23. Hi ~ I have an 8 week old who already can only fall asleep with a dummy, the problem being she wakes every time it falls out which happens regularly throughout the evening and night so it tends to end up with me co-sleeping with her so I can hold the dummy in for her to go back to sleep after a night feed. Is she too young to start sleep training? For the last 2 nights I have tried to lay her down to go to sleep without the dummy but she cried for about 1 hour each night whilst frantically trying to suck her fist which only seemed to make her more upset! In the end I gave in and gave her the dummy which I know is not the right thing to do – do you have any advice?

  24. Hi, thank you for great advices! I have been breast feeding my 12 week old daughter to sleep until two nights ago- she then woke up every hour to comfort nurse! That's when I decided enough is enogh and found your blog!

    So last night I fed her at 7pm, put her in her jammies at 730pm, but she still seemed awake. A new feed at 8pm and by 840pm she was asleep. She calmes herself while beeing carried, but at least she's not on the boob! When she became really sleepy I put her down in her crib and voila-she slept until 1am! She has never slept for so many hours straight!

    But after that, she woke up for a feed at 1am, 3am and 5am, and then she woke at 645am which she usually does. She falls asleep after each feed still in my arms – she just releases the latch and is zonked! I now lift her over my shoulder so that she awakes a bit (to burp), and put her down in her crib. And she doesn't even cry. First time ever!

    But heres is my question: how do I cut down on the night feedings? I know now that she can sleep for over 4 hours straight, but when she breast feeds at night she doesn't eat as much as before she goes to bed (because she is sleepy), so when she woke up, she wanted to eat. So now she wakes up hungry. And she eats for like 5 minutes before she fell asleep compared to before she went to bed which took about 20 minutes (she emtied both boobs before bed time).

    Do you have any advice?

  25. I'm glad I could help! Sounds like you are doing great! Unfortunately at this age it it very typical for a baby to sleep a long stretch and then up every 2 hours after that. Milk has a sleep inducing effect, this makes our babies really sleepy in the middle of the night while they feed, and it's hard for them to stay awake for a large feed. After a 4hr stretch they also usually fill up on the watery fore milk, making them hungry only 2 hrs later!. So try your best to keep her awake, move her around during the feed, tickle her, whatever you have to do. She would probably sleep longer if she could feed from both breasts, but I know sometimes this is impossible. If she's anything like my 4mos old she probably just zonks out completely! But don't stress too much, this situation will improve because the first stretch will also start getting longer, so you wont mind as much if she's up 2 hrs after that. Good luck!

  26. Hello, we are going through a 4 month regression. Our daughter does go to sleep with the dummy, we are trying to break that habit because we are up all night replacing it! We are making the transition right now out of the swaddle, one arm out then we will do two and a sleep bag. I read earlier as shes drowsy take the dummy out, we have tried that and she wakes up screaming. Any other suggestions? I am a police officer and work until midnight and this up all night is killing me!

  27. Hi there! I wouldn't suggest any major changes during a regression, it could only make things worse. Wait a few weeks (yes it could last up to 6 weeks) and then start a little bit of "sleep training" once the regression subsides. Who knows the dummy may not even be an issue once the regression is over. If it still is look into some sleep training methods that you are comfortable with, and start with putting her down to sleep awake without the dummy. I have several articles about sleep training as well as regressions. Read through some of them, and let me know if you still have any questions. Hang in there, I know the feeling. I am a nurse who has to wake up early morning to take care of patients and I just went through the 4 month regression with my daughter. It lasted a long 6 weeks, it was hell, but it's over now. So there is light at the end of the tunnel. Good luck!

  28. Hi 🙂 What a wonderful blog! I have a bit of a problem though…my 15 week old had recently cut down to 1 feed during the night. He would go to bed between 7 and 7.30 every night after his tummy/play time, bath and bottle and more recently at the advice of the health nurse he has a few spoons of baby porridge before his bath which he loves. He would stir around 2am for his dummy and then nothing until 4am when we would feed him and he would go back off to sleep until 6.30 / 7…however the last few nights he has been going to bed as usual but come 11pm hes waking almost every hour! Not crying as such but giving out and grunting and then he begins to cry. So we are in and out of his room all night to give him his dummy, or tuck him again or put him back on his side (he doesn't like to sleep on his back). I'm not sure if this is the sleep regression but we are exhausted. He's usually a playful baby during the day and has a god routine but today he is crying a lot and trying his hardest to get some sleep1 Any suggestions for us please??!

  29. Thank you for your advice!
    Putting my 6 1/2 months old to bed at night is working better with each night. During the day it is still a big challenge. I came up with the compromise of doing the sleep training during the day in our bed. That helped to get rid of the 30min day naps without fighting with him for 1hr or longer trying to lay him in the crib.
    I still have the problem of constant night wakings though. He wakes up at least every 3hr, if not more. By 3hr he wants to nurse again, even though I know he can last 5-6hr without a feed. I read your reply on the last post about night feedings having sleep inducing effects at night. My son always empties both breast though, even at night. I even tried giving him milk on top of it, but unless he sleeps with me in the bed, he wakes up quite often.
    Do you have any advice on how I could try to stretch his sleep periods at night?
    Thank you so much!

  30. I put him down awake. During the night feeds he is awake but he often falls right back asleep when I put him down or up on my shoulder for burping. I try to tickle him, give him a big kiss, or put him down a little rougher so that he kinda has that small wake moment, but I don't know if you could consider that being awake.

  31. Hi, Violet! My 14 weeks old girl is now falling asleep by her self for her day time naps after tips from your blog!

    During the day, she gets cranky when she is tired, so I put her down in her carry cot which is placed in my living room (because I want her to be able to sleep in the carry cot so that I don't have to stay at home for her to sleep during the day, I want her to be able to sleep where ever we are) awake. She almost always falls asleeps, but as she is almost asleep, she starts to cry. I pick her up, sing a song, and put her back in her carry cot, she still awake. She then always falls asleep (eyelids getting heavier and heavier, lol) watching me while I sing to her. She used to nap for about 3 hrs straight when she was younger, but now she naps about 2 hrs in the morning (after the 7 am feed), and then approx 1 hr nap after beeing awake for about 2 hrs, making up about total of 4 naps each day – always in the carry cot, and she always (after a round off pick up/put down) fall asleep on her own – no paci (which she hates) and no breast in her mouth!

    But the problem is at night…She is feed, then we play a bit, she is feed again, then gets changed into jammies, fed again (since she's breast fed I like to fill her up for the night) and I then take her into our bed room where her crib is and I put into her sleep sack. (She has slept in her crib next to our bed since she was 4 days old). I put her down in her crib awake, sing, and she tries to self settle. As she is going to sleep, she starts to cry (as he does during the day) But the crying is not like during daytime (which is a cranky sort of cry) she is really screaming like crazy (what does the neighbours think, I wonder). I pick her up, sing a song, and put her down when she is calm again, but almost immediatly she starts to scream like crazy. My husband does the same, pick up and put down, and this we repeat several times until she (sometimes) falls asleep.

    Last night she cried like crazy, and I sort of semi-nursed while carrying her to sleep. She ate some, and I unhooked her from the breast and saw that she was really zonked. I then put her down in her crib and she continued sleeping for 4 hrs before the usual night feedings (which comes with a 2 hrs++ frequency). After each night feed she starts to cry when I put her back in her crib. After a couple of rounds og pick up/put down, she falls asleep on her own. I used to wait for her to be really zonked before putting her back in her crib, meaning I think she never noticed that she had been moved from my arms and into her crib. But after reading your blog, I do now think she needs to learn to falls asleep on her own after each night feed, and not lay in my arms for 20 min after each feed – I also want to go back to sleep:-)

    So, do you have any advice? I think I'm sort of getting there for her daytime naps, but putting her to bed is now exhausting since she really screams and seem too stressed out to self settle. Should I maybe alter between the carry cot and crib for naps?

    This became a really long question, but I do appreciate your advice so that our little girl (and my husband and I) wont have to experiencing so much stress every time she goes to bed.

  32. I think you are doing great, it's a work in progress. As long as you are putting her down awake and allowing her the opportunity to fall asleep on her own. She is going to cry and protest and you are doing the right thing by respond to calm her down. Also, around this time the 4 month regression starts, so it may be a little difficult for her to settle. Refer to my "Sleep Regression" article for more information. Good luck, I'm glad I could help!

  33. My son will be 1 in a couple weeks and he used to sleep good until about 9 months when he started waking about 2 times a night. However, the last week he has been up almost every hour during the night. The only thing that calms him down is giving him milk. I do rock him to sleep at night after his last bottle which I know is not good but how to do stop that now. The times we tried laying him in his bed drowsy he would stand up in his bed screaming and crying and eventually we gave in and picked up him. Please help because my husband and I are so tired.

  34. I think at this point it would be a good idea to start some sort of "sleep training". Take a look at a few of my sleep training articles and let me know if you have any questions.

  35. My son is 7.5 months old, he use to self soothe to sleep but will now only sleep with a bottle. important trying to break he habit but he's very stubborn and knows what he wants. he wakes every hour to two hours each night and is extremely restless while sleeping, tossing and turning. How can i help him to sleep better. He gets 3 nap during the day but they only last about 30-40 minutes.

  36. Two suggestions: 1. Refer to my sleep regression article, if that doesn't pertain to your situation, then I would start some sleep training to teach him how to fall asleep on his own at all times

  37. I have been in the process of sleep training my 8 month old baby girl (on day 16). I decided to go with a sleep coach who provides me with what to do over the phone and email (very pricey but i was so desperate). I have seen changes with her sleep throughout the night. She was waking every 2-3 hours and I was exhausted and really frustrated. Now she wakes up usually once and sleeps a total of 10-12 hrs. Thankfully i am getting more sleep. My only concern is that it takes me forever to get her to fall asleep. I shhhh until my jaw hurts and stand over her crib until she falls asleep but it takes 1-2 hrs every night plus during the day to put her down for her naps. I am fed up and really angry with this process that i dread it. I put her down drowsy, she's even rubbing her eyes and yawning, but refuses to sleep. She just keeps rolling around in her crib, sitting up on her tummy and this drives me nuts!!! Not to mention crying, stopping, playing with her feet, etc. I can't handle this same craziness everyday for naps and for bedtime, it's draining me. Her sleep coach hasn't been very helpful to be honest and I am so frustrated and don't know what to do. What am i doing wrong? I would appreciate any suggestions.

  38. She could be going through the dreaded 8 month regression, I usually suggest waiting for the regression to subside until starting any sleep training. Take a look at my article about regression and see if that helps.

  39. Also, I now know that routine is extremely important for babies, so we've started a bedtime routine the last three nights including feeding, bathing, lotion massage, rocking and patting, swaddling, white noise, and a pacifier if she acts like she wants to suck on something. My question is this: how alike do the bedtime routine and the nap time routine need to be? Obviously I'm not going to bathe her and put her in her jammies for every nap. What about sleep location? The songs we sing?

    Oh, I just realized: you would say that my precious white noise is keeping her from falling asleep independently, isn't that right. Oops. Well we can turn it down and down until we don't use it anymore. I'll start now.

    Thank you for your time. 🙂

  40. We are just learning about this concept, and our little girl is six weeks old. The last two nights we've followed a bedtime routine and she's gone down after 0.5-1 hour of picking up and putting down, but tonight it's been more than two hours and the poor little thing has cried so much her throat is bleeding raw. We are not neglecting her; we pick her up each and every time she cries and gently soothe her as patiently as possible. I just don't know what to do at this point. Shouldn't it be getting worse, not better? (Background: the habit we are trying to break is breastfeeding her to sleep.)

  41. This makes sense, I thought i was going insane!!!
    In the last week and a half, she has learned mama, dada, hi, and waves, plus her second tooth on the bottom and first tooth on the top are coming in. As if that isn't awful enough, she has been sounding raspy since saturday, so probably fighting a little cold too, and trying to crawl. Apparently she wants to completely all milestones at once. She is back to waking up 5-6 times a night and not wanting to take naps anywhere but in my arms, we are just exhausted. It is frustrating, what use to work, the shhh and pat doesn't anymore and she won't stop crying and banging her legs on her mattress until we pick her up. She only wants to be on the breast and since i was trying to break that habit, i feel like i am falling back into it. I feel like i have no choice. She will not stop crying unless she gets it, she even pushes away her daddy which is so bizarre.
    Sorry for the long response, just frustrated and looking for some answers. Silly question, how do you know when this regression is over???? Will our old ways of rocking, nursing and pacing the halls back and forth create more problems once this regression passes? Any suggestions on how to help move this along quicker or more smoother?

  42. Hello!
    I am currently trying to get my almost 6 month old to get to sleep on her own. I read how you said to put her down when she is drowsy. When I do that, she immediately starts to fidget and whine. Do I pick her back up immediately and just do it again regardless of how many times she does this? Will she eventually settle when I put her down??

  43. Hi,
    I have a 3 month old baby boy who has never slept well. At night he has gotten better and now only wakes once or twice to feed and goes back to sleep pretty quickly. The biggest problem is napping, from day one has fought sleeping through the day, we even took him out in the car but the minute we stopped he would wake up, now he will nap most of the time but only if I am holding him the second I put him down he wakes up but he still fights naps alot so sometimes he doesnt nap in the afternoon at all.
    On a night we have a bit of a routine and again he will sleep if I am holding him, but I can put him down when asleep and he is fine.

  44. Help I am trying to sleep train my 18 week old, he did well last night he went down the first try with no tears! he woke up 3 different times, and they were all to eat.He stayed in there for 12 hours! Tonight is a different story every time I put him down he screams and cries, and I cant handle it15 minutes feels like an hour!

  45. Help! We have a 5 month old little girl and her sleeping could definitely use a fix. We put her to bed between 7-7:30 every night depending on when she woke up from her last nap. We have a very consistent bedtime routine and does not include being nursed to sleep. She does like being rocked to sleep but I am usually very good at getting her down to her crib before she's asleep. I sit with her, either patting/shhhh-ing if she's upset, or with a hand on her stomach, until she's just about out and then leave the room. We do this for naps too. She falls asleep without too much trouble. Usually though 45min-1.5hrs later (around 9) she wakes up screaming. She occasionally will settle after 10-15min of crying/squirming, but more often than not it is a lot of attention to get her back to sleep. Usually I can do it without picking her up, just a lot of ssshhh-ing/patting for up to an hour! She will then sleep until 2-3am, wake, and I feed her. This is the biggest problem, she won't go back down! She wants to nurse/suckle ALL night until 5-6am! I am partially guilty because I have fallen asleep during her nursing and woke up an hour-2hrs later so I think it reinforced this. If I pull her off after 30min or so, she screams. If I wait until she's almost back to sleep and then pull her off, she goes back down but wakes up an hour later, repeat, wakes an hour later, repeat, etc. It's driving me and my husband nuts. We had tried CIO afterwards but she will cry for over an hour and we didn't like that. I don't mind letting her cry off to sleep at the start of the night, but loads of crying in the middle of the night, I'm too paranoid that something is wrong (dirty, hungry, in pain, ?) Help!

  46. Hi there,
    Hoping for some advice please!?
    I have a 14 month old who I have been helping go to sleep without feeding. I now have a great night time routine and put her into bed sleepy but awake.
    But my worry now is that I have to stay with her until she falls asleep and worry I have just created another sleep association – ME!
    Do you know if she will just get used to falling asleep on her own or is there something I can try to help her?
    Do I just wait it out continuing to do what I am doing?
    By the way – I lie down next to her cot on the floor on a mattress and she lies down too – its very peaceful! 🙂

  47. Hello,
    great site, thanks for the advice.
    I have a 12 week old baby and have been breast feeding him to sleep as dont want him to have a dummy. Tonight is the first night where I bath, fed, read, cuddled and put down sleepy but awake and only took a couple of atempts. im luckly that when he is a sleep at night he will normally sleep for 10hrs but can take up to 3hrs to put him down. My problem is during the day i can only get him down for an hour nap in morning and 1hr again in the afternoon is that enough sleep? thanks

  48. Hi Violet,
    Lovely advice. I've a 12 month old BF dd. Over many months, I've managed to get her to happily nap during day and sleep at night in her cot. I bf her but it's not the last step and she goes down awake and can also go down for naps for my husband without being fed. So we don't have a sleep to feed association. She is night weaned since about 10.5 months at which stage she had weaned herself down to one feed at night anyway so it's wasn't very difficult. My problem is she has never slept a night thru. She becomes unsettled at around 11pm, 2.30am and 4am. Our daytime routine is roughly 7-7 with one short morning nap and a longer later nap. She sleeps about 2 hrs during day. She can resettle herself usually the firt tw times at night but she has neer ever restttled herslef at 4am and cannot. We've been consistent but she just can't resettle herself abd needs either DH or myself to do this with her. We won't do CIO but we have given her thetime and spae to resettle at this time but it doesn't work She is tired at this time and raelly trying to get back to sleep and once resettled generally goes back to sleep for another few hours. She's not cold, hungry, too warm, etc. I've had ample time to give plenty time to see if hing s work or try a new technique but to no avail. I have another 3 yr old at home with me as we.. It has been suggested to me at this stage to try putting her to bed at 9pm and once she's sleeping to 6/7am to gradually work back. Any ideas? She is tired at this time and she needs the sleep and she is not looking to be up for the day at 4am or anything like that. I know babies naturally transition to a light sleep around this time of night, How can I help her do this gently? Amng other things, I've tried Eliz Pantly and gradual withdrawal etc. I just can't stop her from fully waking and getting upset at this time unless I guess I set my alarm and calm her at 3.30 before she wakes at 4am?? It doesn't matter whether she's in room with ds or with me. Any help appreciated.

  49. How is it that she eventually goes back to sleep? make sure she goes down awake every time, even middle of the night wake ups. Otherwise the frequent wake ups will continue..

  50. Hi, I have a 10 month old who won't seem to stop moving long enough to let sleep overcome her. Have you ever encountered that? It is so frustrating! Every time I lay her down in her crib to sleep, and she is tired after our routine of stories, song and a cuddle, she instantly flips over, crawls to the edge of the crib and pulls herself up. She can get back down without issue, she's up and down and all around – playing with toys, sucking her thumb, she lays down and tricks me into thinking she's going to fall asleep but her legs are always moving and kicking. She was a very early crawler, starting starling 6-7 months and pulled herself up shortly after that. We do okay at night, but naps are absolute hell!!!! The only thing that seems to work lately is nursing her to sleep after she becomes hysterically overtired from her restless body. Any advice?

  51. Hello,
    I need a little help .. my little 2 months old baby girl is having some difficulty to fall asleep at 11 pm. she sleeps at 2 am or 3 am every night. she takes a bottle after 3 hrs of falling asleep, she eats it in her bed and continues sleeping till 6 or 7 am eat again change diaper and sleeps at like 8, eats at 10 and continues sleeping again till 12 pm. naps are not clear to her sometime she fall sleep while sitting in her relax chair. i know i need to put a schedule i don't know how to start and how. is it good to give her a warm bath at 8 pm, feed her at 9 and than play with her till she gets tired and put her in bed between 10 and 11 pm? what about her sleeping from 8 am till 12 pm how to get rid of it? (and i read that while eating she should be out of bed) how many times she should take naps per day?
    Thank u
    Sandra 🙂

  52. I have a question in dire need of advice!! I have a 5 month old who is a terrible sleeper. Recently we've switched her bedtime routine to bottle, bath, song then bed. She generally only fusses for 5-10 min then falls asleep by herself in her crib. It is the night wakings that are killing me!!! She will wake about every two hours from 6-6. I've tried letting her cio with checks and if she isnt due to eat for two jrs after waking she will scream the entire two hrs. If i go in and rock her back to sleep she then wakes every hr until I feed her and then sleeps and wakes again two hrs later. I dont know what I am doing wrong here. This has been three weeks and the night wakings are not improving at all. Help!

  53. Here's my problem. My 11 month old son still wakes every 2-3 hours at night. Sometimes he will let daddy rock him back to sleep, but most of the time he needs to be nursed. I do know that he has become dependent of rocking and nursing to go to sleep which we are in the process of working on now. At 6 month old we tried very light CIO. When he woke up, I would let him fuss and cry for about 10 mins, and he would usually fall back asleep. It was working great, he started somewhat falling back asleep on his own and was sleeping 4-5 hour stretches. And THEN he learned to pull himself up. That's when we had a backslide. Now when he wakes, he immediately pulls himself up and starts crying. He used to just roll around and eventually fall back asleep. Now that he's standing, it's almost impossible. He will NOT lie back down. So now we are back to me going in there right when he wakes up because he will just stand there and scream. Aside from not using nursing and rocking as a sleep crutch, what should we do when he stands up and screams? Ive tried laying him back down over and over but he just scurries right back over and stands up.

  54. How would I be able to do this with my two month old that has to pacifier me to self sooth? She constantly cries if I put her down. She either wants to be held standing up or sucking on me.. those are the only two ways to put her to sleep at this point. At night I've been letting her sleep with me because I found it to be the easiest thing to do to make her sleep. I'm fine with her using me as a pacifier during the day, but at night I'd really like some rest. I try putting her down after bouncing her to sleep on my shoulder, but she wakes right back up even though she's tired and unless I do it again she won't fall back to sleep. I want to solve this before she gets to old and keeps this habit going. I can't even put her down for a nap during the day unless she's on me. Help!

  55. My son is 3 months old now. He sleeps fine at night. Hardly ever wakes before 6 when I get him up to go to daycare. During the day however he does not sleep more than 40 minutes no matter what I try. There was a brief period about a month ago when wouldctake a good long afternoon nap but that has long ago ended. I put him down awake as much as possible and he can go to sleep fine that way some of the time. I tried keeping him up longer between naps (2.5 hours) that didn't help. I decreased the awake time to 1.5-2 (at the very longest) and it made no difference. He is in daycare now and I just don't see how this situation is goung to get any better for him. I don't know what to do for him anymore. Please help me help him.

  56. Sorry I haven't beed able to answer all of you. I'm getting really busy with consultations and trying to help all the sleepless momma's out there. I will try my best to help some of you when I get a minute. Thanks for visiting the site!

  57. Hi – I have a 9 month old now and she used to fall asleep on her for naps 80-90% of time and I used the drowsy but awake. But for last month she requires about 30 minutes and multiple attempts of me coming in and holding her. She is always standing up in crib after I lay her down and then she LOSES it. I come in a few minutes later, hold her, put her down. Eventually she goes to sleep but always after my 2nd or 3rd time going in to hold her again. I used CIO with my older son and to be honest I hated it, and it had mixed success with naps, although great at bedtime. I don't want to use it for my daughter and didn't think I needed o because she was great at falling asleep on her own up to 7 months or so. So what do I do? Just keep going in and pace the room until she is super drowsy? Her naps are usually at same time give or take 30 minutes based on when she woke up.

  58. Hey i was reading your blog and its very interesting, i have a 6 1/2 month old that keeps waking up every 2 hrs at night for feedings. I try keeping her awake during the day but she fights and gets cranky. Her dad works 12-14 hrs daily and id really like to help her sleep through the night so he can also have a good sleep. She sleeps in her basinett. Any advice?

  59. Hi – Could we ever use your help ! We are exhausted and fustrated ! Our 10 month old who has been rocked or swung since the start will not sleep on his own or sleep through the night. He can wake anytime between 1-4 times a night with either needing to be fed (most likely out of habit) or needing to be rocked or patted back to sleep where that could take a long time only to stop and he cries. I am so lost I don't even know where to begin on how to get him to sleep on his own ! Where do I start ?

  60. My two month old wants to feed every half an hour some he even ovefed himself. When i decide not to give in to him he cried done stop.

  61. Hi – I desperately want to learn how to make my 8 month Old daugther to sleep on her own . She wants to nursed to sleep or sometimes rocked . I ve tried laying her down when she s drowsy but she would get the whole house together but not sleep till she s held or nursed . Nowadays she sleeps only till she's nursed . She wakes immediately I put her down . Can u pls help me with . Her naps in the daytime don't last for more than half an hour n then again I have to rock her to sleep . Its getting very tiring to keep her on my lap all the time . I m totally against the cry it out method . Pls get me to a good solution .

  62. HI Violet, Your page is an amazing resource thank you!

    I have been trying to train my 4 1/2 month old to self sooth and fall asleep independently the past 2 nights & days. He's been waking increasingly often (only cat naps in the day and at night he will go down at 9pm, wake for feeds at 11, 1, 3, 4 and 5.30am) and I am not getting enough sleep myself. Sometimes he feeds properly, sometimes not. I've tried feeding him more through the night, even a bottle feed at 3am to see if he's hungry and he had the whole bottle (plus breast milk) but still woke soon after. I've also tried skipping the feeds and this has worked once or twice and other times really distressed him.

    At this stage I am just trying to get him sleeping longer and going down with the shush/pat method. Once he is drowsy I am able to get him asleep with the shush/pat in the crib. Our issue is not once he's in the crib, its getting him ready to go in. Once he's bathed, fed, wrapped, read a story and I start cradling him/rocking him to get him drowsy he starts screaming… and then doesn't stop, so the problem is before we've even hit the cot. I've been trying to get him down at 7pm for bed each night and it's taken me until 9pm each time. I've read that if you can get them down earlier (like 7) they will sleep longer and better through the night but 9pm seems to be his preferred bedtime. So my question is, should I persevere trying to stick to a 7pm descent time for bed… or should I switch to the later time?


  63. My little girl is 3 months and is a great sleeper. She has been sleeping from 930pm to 800am but recently started waking up at 6 or 630am. I thought that she just may be ready for the day at this time, but I noticed when I get her up and out of the room she still seemed tired and would be back to sleep once I fed her and went back into the room. So anyway, i thought she might need to have an earlier bedtime but that didnt work and she thought it was just another nap and slept 45 min. Im not sure if i should just keep feeding her at 6-630am and let her go back to sleep or should i try to keep her up? Also when i put her down to sleep drowsy…it usually takes her 30 minutes not 5 minutes. Is that typical?

  64. I have a 15 week old who seems to form a sleeping pattern then gets out of it every week or so. He had two nights in a row at 13 weeks when he slept for 7 or 8 hours straight (it was amazing!), but just as quickly he reverted back to waking 2 or 3 times a night.

    At the beginning of this week, he was waking only once, at 3 a.m. and was legitimately hungry so I fed him.

    He has never had a problem falling asleep at night. We have a routine of taking him into the bedroom with the lights very low or off, a humidifier and white noise machine on, and I'll rock him and sing to him while he nurses. I am planning on moving the nursing part of the routine up front as per the suggestion in your article.

    His newest issue is that when he wakes at night, almost always actually hungry, after he nurses and I try to lay him back in his cradle, he starts shrieking. He's not a big crier, so if he's doing this, there's a problem of some sort. Sometimes, he'll burp and will seem to calm down and go back to sleep in his cradle. Other times, he simply won't burp, even after bouncing him and patting and rubbing his back and walking around the house. At 3 in the morning, this is not an ideal solution.

    I'm not sure it's always gas, because twice, when I just couldn't keep walking around trying for a burp that wasn't coming, I finally laid down in bed with him and he fell right asleep. We've always room-shared but had not planned on doing any co-sleeping, as it makes my husband incredibly nervous and it's not a habit I was to build. My little one, however, seems fine with this solution, so something tells me it's not an issue with gas, because if it was, wouldn't he still fuss laying down, next to me or not?

    He's obviously capable of sleeping through the night, and I just want to help him to make that a habit. Any suggestions would be most welcome to help us all get some much needed sleep.


  65. Hi,
    I am having issues with my 3 month old falling asleep on his own at nightime. During the day he won't fuss as much but when it comes to bedtime he will cry till 12am and I rock him to sleep. It is driving me a little crazy and I usually give in because my husband needs to sleep for work in the morning. It is a challenge for me since my 1st son was not like this. Please help me get my sleep back and help my baby sleep better!
    Thanks, Alexsandra

  66. Hi was just wondering if you could help me pleaseeeeeee lol , my 18 month old has suffered with silent acid reflux due to milk allergy up until she was 10 months. As she was in such pain she would only sleep if i.bounced her or rocked her. Shes Never fallen asleep by her self im still pushing her bqckwards and forwards un her pram for up to an hour sometimes and ahe will have 20 minute nap. . . And the evening she has a bath first dinner then I take her bottle up to a dark room and she fall asleep in my lap after that than 2-3 hrs late and another about 1ish. Iv tried shush patting shes not intrested gets up and starts jumping up and down in the cot. Iv tried a mini cry it out . When I say mini I mean 7 or 8 mins. Other wise she gets histerical and have many of times nearly taken.her to a n e. Shes now started being sick if I leave her the cot for a couple of mins….im a single mum soooo its evan more difficult. Pleaseee reply
    Thanks in advance. Anne

  67. Any method that you try has to be continued for a minimum of a week, before assuming it's not working. For older babies as yours it can even take up to 2 weeks. My advice, pick a method, stick to it, stay committed and consistent. Good luck!

  68. I have an 8 month old that I cannot get out of my bed. This is my first child. When he was born he had terrible reflux and spent a week in the hospital before he was one month old. His doctor prescribed Zantac and suggested that he sleep at an incline.He had to sleep in his car seat for a couple of months. I was so scared at night. He moved to a pack and play in our room. We just recently moved and he started having trouble sleeping through the night. I work a full time job and this was making me crazy. I started picking him up at night and putting him in the bed with me. now he sleeps in the bed with me every night and I can't get him out of my bed. He won't even sleep in the pack and play anymore. I don't know what to do. How do I get him out of my bed and into his own room? ( Party of the problem is I'm scared to have him sleep in a different room. I have serious separation anxiety at night.)

  69. I have a 13 month old baby girl…and she used to sleep so great but the last 4 weeks have been hell she recently discovered how to pull herself up in her crib and now she wont sleep at all…for instance….she has been awake since 7am..
    Never napped…and its 7pm….now that she pulls herself upm so easily…its impossible to get her to sleep how do I stop this

  70. Just keep reminding her it is time to sleep and not play by using a key phrase like "it's sleepy time". In the end there's not much you can do but just ride this one out. She will get back to sleeping like she did before, she just has to master this new skill. Once practicing this over and over gets boring, she'll just doze off to sleep as she did before. Good luck and hang in there!

  71. Hi violet I have an 18 m old little boy and 32 weeks pregnant and we made the mistake of having him sleep with us when we lived with my partners mum so when we got our own place he still slept with us. We finally got him into his own room in 3/4 bed as we tried the cot the cot into a bed a toddler bed and a single bed and no luck but seems to love his 3/4. But since we put him into his own bed either me or my partner have been sleeping with him. Because he wakes up loads through night and really cries if we arnt there. Me and my partner both sat down and said it needs to stop. The sleeping in bed with him I cant do as im to big get so uncomfy and dont have a proper night sleep and my partner works so he needs sleep to. This we we have been trying to get him to sleep alone. So my partner has an idea that if he sleeps on the floor tils lb gets used to the idea of having the bed by him self then moves out. Also when he wakes he tels him to lay down n go bk to sleep to which he does do but still doing it 3/4 times from going to bed at 7 which he does with a bottle and falls asleep with the bottle he may drink it all or just enough so do u think this plan is a good idea? I have been reading that he needs to self soothe so I was thinking if he had a bottle down stairs with us and then I take him to bed and read a story then tel him its bed time and get him to go by hime self today he had a nap and I didnt let him have a bottle because I no he only uses that to help him sleep he cried for 5 min not a bad cry just a winge cry and then 25 mins later he had him self asledp with me laid at side of him. Is this a good sleep routine I shoukd start as I need to see if I can get him not needing us before baby arives in 6 weeks time sorry for a long onexx

  72. hello violet my little girl is one in afew weeks and i have no bed routine as she just screams when ever i try to put her to bed she still wakes in the night screaming to be picked up and wont go back to sleep i cant remember the last time i had a full nights sleep

  73. My daughter is 5 1/2 months. We've been trying to get her into a sleep schedule since she was 3 months and it's just not working. We have a routine, but to be honest, we are not consistent with it. Some nights it's bc she seems to be getting tired earlier than usual. Others bc we were by family (we go to my parents for supper a lot and spend weekends by my in laws. However, we always feed her first, then cuddle her while singing her lullabies. Then we out her in. That's when the fun starts. Up until then she seems drowsy. Once we put her in she perks up. We rub bet, give her a paci, and once she seems calm move away from the crib. Then she starts whining, then crying. Then we sooth her, and start all over. This takes close to 3 hours. We're at our wits' end.

  74. Hi there. I've read every book and blog about no tears method but I am getting no where. My son is 6 months old and when I lay him down when he is very sleepy but still awake, his eyes pop open and either he rolls over and smiles or cries his head off. I'll either pick him and start over or pat his belly and shush but that only makes him cry harder. Last night I tried really hard, kept patting him to the brink of sleep and then put him in his crib and he'd pop up as soon as he touched the mattress. After an exhausting 2 hours, I put him in my bed and laid next to him. He opened his eyes, stared at me for a second and then closed his eyes and went to sleep and slept for 6 hours. Best night of sleep I've had ever! But I want him to sleep in his crib.

  75. Hello, I could really use some expert advice 🙁 my husband is insisting we do the cry it out method but it breaks my heart to even consider it. My son is 7 months old and has never been a good sleeper. He has slept the entire night just twice and on a good night he would go for 4hrs without waking. Most nights he wakes up 4/5 times. We have a bedtime routine that's very consistent. He usually goes to sleep either while taking his bottle but often I need to rock him to sleep. Even if I hold him asleep for an hour, he's wide awake crying the second I lay hom in his cot. I'm really lost as to which technique would be best for him. What should I do when pickinv him up us the omly way to stop his cries??

  76. Hello, I've been using the settling techniques and putting my four month old daughter down to sleep is definitely getting easier. She is waking a lot in the night still but this was happening the week before I started the sleep settling techniques so I think she is going through a sleep regression phase. However since I started the settling her daytime naps have decreased to 30 mins. She was only taking hour naps previously. I do try to resettle but she is wide awake and does not respond. Douyou have any advice? Thanks

  77. Hi, I know you've been helping a lot of people I was hoping you could do the same for me. My daughter's 6, almost 7 weeks old and she just won't stay asleep. She's always been difficult to put to bed but it's just been getting worse the last few days. I understand the whole "drowsy to bed" thing but the problem is as soon as I put her down, she wakes up completely. I'm trying to estaish a routine for her but she's just not having any of it. Any advice would be extremely appreciated.

  78. Hello, I'm helping my 9 months old to quit the pacifier and training him to sleep on his own. He has been co sleeping with us since born and now without pacifier he can't soothe himself to sleep and cried for more than an hour and eventually he will sleep on my chest. Am I on the right track or should I just train him to sleep in his own crib as I'm afraid sleeping on my chest would be his new sleeping habit. And he's learning to stand now when I try putting him in his own crib he tends to stand up and cried instead of lying down and soothe himself to sleep and if I put him down on his back and he will stand up again and cried and this never ends. This is the third night we are training him and we gave in every night and just let him sleep on my chest. Please help thank you 🙂

  79. Hi, my daughter is 13 weeks old and she had a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep from afternoon onwards untill she is exhausted then she will be staying asleep at the moment, she only wakes up once at night for a feed then she will sleep through till morning and wakes up at around 7 or 8am. She is quite a gassy baby and had problem falling asleep for her afternoon and usually wakes up after 30 minutes. She is constantly tired but I dont know ehat else I can do to put her to sleep.sometimes when I am desperate I will nurse her to sleep and it seems the only way to put her to sleep in the afternoon and early evening and she always wakes up after 30 minutes. She can fall asleep on her own in the morning, and I just need to lay beside her to sleep with her but this doesnt work in thr afternoon. Please help.

  80. Hi I'm trying to wean my 13 week old off the dummy at night as I am sure it is causing so.much of his sleep disturbances. So far I have resorted to cuddling/ rocking him instead of giving him his dummy, and eventually he drops off. But I just don't know how to get this balance right because I used to put him down awake with his dummy which he was fine with but would wake loads in the night for it, but now I'm ending up rocking him to sleep because if I put him down awake without a dummy he goes crazy! Any advice?? Thank you

  81. I have a nine week old Who slept really well in her rock and play. Our pediatrician is telling us that we now need to transition her into her Crib and we have been doing that the past week. In her rock and play she will sleep solid from 10 to 5 or six. In the crib however she will wake up every couple of hours and I cannot get her back to sleep besides giving her the pacifier. I'm not sure what to do because she sleeps so well not in her crib

  82. Hi, I read almost all the comment hoping there one similar to my situation. I have a 4 month old who's been falling asleep by herself since she's 2month. The last 2 week she's waking up at 3am. wide awake. It's take about 2hr to put her back to sleep. She's having a 2hr nap in the morning and 2hr nap in afternoon and go to sleep a 7pm to 7am. I'll give her last feed a 10pm. Her night routine is bottle, bath, book and than I put her in her crib. It take about 10min before she fall asleep. Maybe it's because her nap are to long? She maybe teething she drool a lot and put everything in her mouth but doesn't seem to be in pain. Sorry for my english since I'm french.

  83. Hi I'm trying to wean my 13 week old off the dummy at night as I am sure it is causing so.much of his sleep disturbances. So far I have resorted to cuddling/ rocking him instead of giving him his dummy, and eventually he drops off. But I just don't know how to get this balance right because I used to put him down awake with his dummy which he was fine with but would wake loads in the night for it, but now I'm ending up rocking him to sleep because if I put him down awake without a dummy he goes crazy! Any advice?? Thank you

  84. Sounds like she is getting too much overall sleep, try limiting naps to see if that helps. At this age she should be getting about 14-15hrs of total sleep in a 24hr period. Good luck, let me know if there is anything else I can do to help!

  85. Hi my 15 month old son sleeps with a dummy and I also put him in his cot after he has fell asleep in my arms. My question is do I break one of these habits at a time or do them both together?
    Tonight I took his dummy away and he cried himself to sleep in my arms and then I put him in his cot. He has since woke up twice and both times I have had to hold him until he is asleep again. Usually during the night he would go back to sleep once he had his dummy.

    Should I hold him until he gets used to no dummy and then deal with him going to sleep in his cot, or should I let him learn to fall back asleep in his cot at the same time as learning to go without a dummy?

  86. My 9 month old hasn't been wanting to sleep in her crib. She has been sleeping with us, that's the only way I'm sorry to say she's been able to get sleep. But just two days ago, she started climbing on top of me to sleep. She won't even to go her dad. It seems as though she's formed an attachment to me in particular at night. Well this morning, I just tried to put her down for a nap and had the same issues we had last night. Yesterday we went to her check-up and the doc told me to do the whole, put her down wait three minutes after she starts crying and go in. I have to be honest, it was the worst thing I've ever done and seemed to agitate my daughter very much. She seemed overwhelmed. I'm not sure I agree with that method but what do I do now that she has this attachment? Do I just let it ride for now and go with it or will that hurt her in the long run? Feeling so confused.

  87. Hi Kaitlin, sounds like your little one would benefit from some sleep training. As far as your question about letting it "ride out". Well that depends whether or not her sleeping with or on top of you is a problem. This is not something that is going to magically stop on it's own if that's what you are thinking. So if you see it as a problem, I would suggest picking a sleep training method and sticking to it. It might be hard at first but both you and your baby will be so much better when it's done. Good luck, let me know if you need anymore help!

  88. Hello Violet –

    my 8 month old has begun waking up almost every hour in the nights. He used to sleep through the night at 5-6 months, and then suddenly from last month onwards its been getting steadily worse and now its really bad. He also used to sleep in his crib till he was 6 months old but since things started getting bad hes been co sleeping with me. Last night he was up (and by 'up' i mean really really sleepy but not able to sleep) almost the whole night, he would fall asleep in my lap and then when i put him down he would turn over and try to crawl which would wake him up. I still swaddle him though of late hes been kicking off the swaddling…its also turning a bit hot where i live (India). Ive rocked/sung him to sleep always, is that a problem now? Is this a normal 8-month thingy that will pass? What advice would you give me to get him to sleep better?

  89. Hello Violet,

    First of all I have to say I think your site is an amazing resource, so thank you! I have been working on sleep training my 10 week old daughter for the past week. I am not trying to wean her off of night feedings as I know she is too young for that, so I still respond to her at night and feed her since she generally sleeps well- I put her down drowsy but still awake at 8 after bed routine and she usually falls asleep within 20 minutes or so with no crying just her putting herself to sleep. She is usually up around 12:30, 4 and then around 7:30. Because she is only awake for such short times at each feed and back asleep instantly, I believe she is probably getting close to 11 hours overnight. The trouble for us is during the day. I have a nap routine for her and put her down drowsy but awake, and she has been falling asleep on her own after anywhere from 10-30 mins depending on how relaxed she is when I lay her down and also what time of the day (late afternoon is worst). She doesn't seem to cry at all, maybe an odd protest cry here and there and then she puts herself to sleep. But she wakes up on the dot at 30 mins from every nap. She does not fall back asleep. I have tried leaving her afterwards for up to half an hour to see if she will fall asleep again and she doesn't she just stirs around in her crib. Occasionally she cries, but still will not fall back asleep. I would say that I don't think she needs more sleep but she is usually yawning right after I pick her up, and then I end up having to put her back down for another catnap after 45 mins to 1 hour. My question is how can I help her to extend these naps, as she clearly needs to sleep longer at a time? By her being able to fall asleep on her own I would have thought this self soothing skill she is learning would help her fall back asleep when she wakes up after 30 mins, but it doesn't seem to be working for us. Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated!



  90. My sweet little 5 month, wakes after every sleep cycle during the day and night to have to dummy/pacifier put back in and sometimes some patting and resettling. He is nighttime weaned by his own doing. i dont want to get rid of the dummy/pacifier as i like it as a soothing device and would prefer it to thumb sucking, but during the night waking every 30min-1 hour is making me crazy. What should i do? is this a sleep phase?
    THANK YOU, any advice would be much appreciated.

  91. Violet we are trying to train my 9 month old to sleep in her crib. She likes to sleep in her swing. We will put her down to sleep in the crib when drowsy and she rolls right over and starts bawling. She likes a bottle to get her to sleep. I have had some success with her sleeping in her crib a month ago, but now she refuses. She also wakes at least one to two times a night. Please help!!

  92. I have been trying to do the put the baby down 'drowsy but awake' thing since my baby was 3 months old. She's now 8 months old and it does not work! I get her to that point and try to put her down and the instant her head touches her bed she shoots up wide awake and ready to play! Then it takes me another 20 minutes to get her to the sleepy drowsy awake state and same thing. I try not to let her get overtired, I watch for her sleepy signs and start her nap or bedtime routine. I have a consistent nap routine and bedtime routine. I don't want to do the CIO method because the one time I tried she puked after only 2 minutes of crying. I feel like all I do all day is try to put a baby down to sleep. When she does finally fall asleep she sleeps for 30minutes max. At night she wakes up every hour. I am so frustrated and I don't know what to do. What do I do when I put her down sleepy but awake and then she instantly wakes up to play?

  93. Hi, I'm needing of a little help. My 9 month old baby boy been breastfeed and held during naps up till about a month ago. I just started putting him down when he's fast asleep. Now when i try to put him down he hangs onto my neck or shoulder and cries. He doesn't sleep through the night and I'm trying to stop nursing to sleep.

  94. Hi Violet, Lianna is 4.5 months old. Until a few weeks ago she was falling asleep on her own at naps, I would breastfeed her at bedtime (sometimes she got asleep while still in my arms, sometimes when I transferred her to bed). We have a consistent routine, she eats and naps in the same time slots every day. At 11pm I do a dreamfeed, then she would eat around 6 or 6.30 am (no night feedings). She naps very well during the day. A few weeks ago she started waking quite frequently at night, different hours each night, 2-4 Times a night, although there's a pattern in that every night she fusses (being asleep) around 3.30 or 4 am and wakes us up. We calm her down with a shhh (sometimes it takes 3', sometimes 40') or a combination of shhh and a dummy. But then she wakes up again. Also, she will not sleep after 5am when she wakes up all cheerful and kicking and moving in her bed emitting funny noises (we attend to her when the funny becomes irritated or close to cry). I try not to feed her before 6am though, hoping she would learn there's no point in waking up so early:)
    Ah, for naps we have to shhhh her too most of the time(+block her hands+give a dummy, she would also cover her face with a cloth), there are still naps when she talks to herself and then falls asleep). How to get our nights back?? I understand she may be waking up at night because she became much more mobile, emotional and aware of the surroundings but I'm wondering if I'm doing anything wrong as she doesn't sleep past 5am. I fill her up in the evenings and do the dreamfeed but it doesn't seem to work. I know she is able to hold 6 hrs without eating – in her very early months I did not do the dreamfeed and she woud sleep from 8pm to 2, 3 or even 4am. Can you suggest what my be going wrong please?

  95. Hi there! Have you read my article about teaching your baby to fall asleep on his own? That would be a good place to start, if you have any questions please contact me so I can help further. Good luck!

  96. Hello mere here. Your blog sounds like my dream come true. Please help me I'm at the point of pulling my hair out, my daughter is 20months old I've been co-sleeping with her since she was much younger 10months old and iv had enough of soothing sneaking out of room and doing it all over the next night. I really need help she hates her cot because iv recently been using it for time out. I feel like such a bad mum. I'm trying to co sleep with her in her room on a matress, so she can get use to her room and once she gets use to that I will be letting her sleep by herself on matress, should I then introduce cot or go to a big girls bed? Please don't judge, I'm simply crying out for help.

  97. Hi my son is 4 months and has never been a good sleeper in the day . he has never fallen asleep on his night I try and follow the same routine ,feed bath bed but its a battle ti get him sleepynever mind asleep. he wakes constantly at night getting out of his swaddle sometimes crying but sometimes just waving his arms all over. I tuck him in and he justdoes it again. refuses to sleep on hi back so goes on his Side with a rolled towel behind him. if I pick him up he cries so after this all night he is wide awake at 5am-5:30am. I'm so tired!

  98. Helo there Violet,
    I enjoyed reading the informative article you have published on measures to get rid of sleep associations for babies. I need help badly, my little one is 5 months now as since the last 7-9 days he has started waking up almost after every 2 hrs. First thing first I must tell you is that he has never slept at night since 2 months, he sleeps for long 8-10 hrs only after 3am. First he started sleeping at 1:30am, after a couple of days it went on to either 2am or 2:30am, than again after a couple of days he made a routine of sleeping at 3:30am and later after few days he started sleeping at 3:45am, 4am or 4:30am and now it's been almost 10 days he sleeps at 5am and even 6am and wakes up every 2 or 3 hours.
    I have never witnessed a day when he had fallen sleep on his own, I always have to bottle feed or breast feed him to sleep and that's because he is hungry. I never cuddled or swinged him. To be continued below*. Read full please.

  99. So I was telling you that he goes cranky and cries as if he is hungry & most of the time his eyes go drowsy so that shows he is about to sleep. At that point of time ofcourse I bottle feed him or breast feed depending on the last feed he took, than in my lap he sets to sleep after finishing his doze of milk, I lay him down in his cot & he sleeps for next 8-10 hours without waking up, but suddenly his sleep routine of sleeping for next 8-10 hours has changed, rest all being the same he wakes up after every 2 or 3 hours, this has started to happen since 7 to 10 days from today. What should I do? Every time he wakes up at the middle I feed him, he goes to sleep after that, just by laying him on my lap makes him go to sleep too but if he is hungry he would wake up again. Please I need your advise badly?
    You say put your baby in cot & he ll sleep himself, how? Mine never does it. Plus he doesn't sleep at nights he sleeps after 4am or 5am. I haven't made him dependent of any sleep prop but I do feed him especially breast feed to make him completely sleep. My name is Maggie Walter and I need your assistance on this please.

  100. Hi Maggie, your situation sounds a bit more complex and would need some more investigating. I would be glad to help, have you considered one of my sleep consultation packages?

  101. Hey I have a tricky dilemma. Since 8 weeks old my now 5 month old has been self settling at night, just recently he uses a blanket/comforter thing to help him which he always finds in the night to self settle with, BUT when he was 8 weeks old he also started dropping his night feeds, one night (the dreaded night that I now regret with all my heart!) he woke at 5:30 and was due for his breakfast at 7am. I thought if he feeds now he's not going to want his breakfast and it will throw the whole routine out. So I gave him his dummy, which he sleeps with during the day. EVERY single night since then he has been waking around the same time for his dummy. Even though he sleeps the whole night up until then without it. (He has a dream feed at 10 and self settles after that too) I've tired everything to get him out of this habit as it's not just a case of rolling over sticking his dummy in his mouth then falling asleep, sometimes he can be up for an hour just constantly spitting it out for him to just cry out for it back. Last night I was determined to not give him his dummy. He woke up at 5:20 and I left him like I usually do because it was not an emotional or stressful cry, just moaning, and a little broken cry. Then when he was getting upset and stressed I would hold his hand, stroke his head ect but nothing worked. I would then pick him up to calm him down then put him down again. I did this 3 times over the period of an hour and a half with NO success!!! he refused to go to sleep and I eventually gave up because it was past 7 and he was due breakfast and it was light outside and the melatonin would have worn off. PLEASE HELP he is such a good sleeper at night apart from the dreaded 5am wake up call, I have no idea what to do and no one I speak to can help.

  102. Hi there! Sounds like your little guy needs some "sleep training' just for that 5am waking. Have you looked into any methods or techniques? I would be glad to help. Paci's are tricky little thing:)

  103. Hi my lo is 11weeks, n wakesup 8-10 times at night for his bottke feed, tried giving hin a pacifier but didn't work for me, he starts crying or getting irritable. Even at day time he needs 1-2 0z every hour or two. I'm badly sleep deorived. hel

  104. Hi! I could use some help. I have an 8 1/2 month old and she is always rocked to sleep and then put in her crib. Even after she falls asleep, she wakes up as we are putting her down in the crib and we ha to put her paci back in to get her to stay asleep in the crib. Now that she's bigger though she it is getting more difficult to rock her to sleep because she's heavier and it takes a lot longer! But whenever we try to put her in the crib awake, even drowsy, she perks up right away, stands up, and cries like crazy! How can I put her down if she doesn't stay down? Any advice would be great, thanks

  105. Hi Natalie, sounds like your little girl would benefit from some sleep coaching, so that she could learn to fall asleep and stay asleep on her own. Have you looked into any sleep training methods, techniques, or programs? I would be glad to help:)

  106. We just try to use a set schedule and set sleep time but we still find ourselves rocking her to sleep because she won't even try to lay down, or stay down when we lay her down. I don't like the idea of the CIO method because it breaks my heart mostly and when she cries, she CRIES! Lol she isn't easily soothed, she basically only stops crying if we pick her up. For the most part she is good at getting herself back to sleep if she wakes up in the middle of the night, she'll cry a few minutes, look for her paci and goes back to sleep. Just don't know how to get her to do that at her naps or bedtime :/

  107. Hi
    I have made a mistake and have only just started sleep training my almost 11 month old. She can be so tired but will not go to sleep on her own. The daytime naps i no longer nurse her but rock her in the pushchair and a couple times she has gone off by herself on laps. Everytime i put her in her cot she just plays. Also in the last week or so she has stopped taking her bedtime milk and just throws it on the floor amd im getting to the pulling hair out stage! Thanks in advancd if you are able to reply 🙂

  108. Please don't feel like you "have made a mistake". As parents we do what's best for our children and what our heart tells us is right. There's no "mistake" in that 🙂 Think of it as a learning experience. You have now learned that what you have been doing for your baby doesn't work. So time to find something that does:) I would be glad to help. Are you using any particular type of method?

  109. Hi Violet,
    Love your blog and that advice you are giving!

    My baby is 7 months now, she used to be a great sleeper. She dropped her night feedings when she was 4 months (on her own), however I do feed her before I go to work around 5am – 5:30ish. She used to wake up 1-2 times a night, with the help of pacifier and/or sound machine will go back to sleep shortly after. Sometimes, she will even sleep through without wakening for 7-8 hours. Anyway, something happened the last 2 weeks….she is not the same baby (not teething) …now LO wakes up every 1-2 hours and around 3-4am will not go back to sleep…I had to rock her for 1.5 hour last night, falling asleep and waking up as soon as I put her in the crib, at the end …I had to give up and nurse her to sleep.

    At this point I think is time for sleep training, since I've always nursed her to sleep she can't fall asleep very well on her own @ night.( She is fine during the day thought…it doesn't take long to put her to sleep at all)

    Please give me advise what should I do, where should I start with ST. I'm so overwhelmed with reading about it..Where should I start?

    P.S. I've tried to let her go to sleep on her own (twice) , however she kept rolling in the crib and screaming for about 30 min and I gave up.

    Thank you in advance.


  110. Hi Violet,love your blog! My 16 weeks old baby girl is going through sleep regression (I think). After putting her to sleep ( still falling asleep on my breast at nights) around 19.30-21 she can sleep anything from 4-8 hrs.Well lately only around 4-5 hrs.Last night she fell asleep around 9 pm woke up at 2.20 for feed and couldn't settle her down until 4.20 and then she woke up at 5.30! Exhausting! I want her to start falling asleep on her own at night ( working on this during day naps) but at night I just don't want to leave her crying in bed 🙁 another think is she always stays on my breast at night anything from 40 mins to even 1,5 hr if I try break her early than this she cries…what can I do? It's so hard to stay awake for that long…thank you! Paula

  111. Definitely sounds like she is comfort nursing and having a hard time falling asleep on her own. Have you considered any sleep training methods or programs?

  112. Hi
    My daughter is 7 and a half months old and I am trying to sleep train her. She often falls asleep having her bedtime bottle but when she doesn't she's getting too heavy to rock to sleep so I decided it was time bit I need a little help!
    The first night I put her down awake I sat next to her cot sang to her gave her my hand to hold and when they she finished having a play so held my hand and went to sleep which took about 4G minutes….I was really chuffed! However, the next night I did the same but this time she started crying and got herself worked up so I picked her up and she fell asleep…same problem the third night!
    I'm going to try moving her bottle to before her bath/massage bit if she cries which I think she will in the end what do I do? I don't believe in letting them cry which I can see you don't either but if I pick her up she falls asleep in my arms? ??


  113. Hi Violet,
    I loved reading your blog. I just have a question re my 9 month old son. Until recently he was sleeping 10-12 hours at night. And now it has changed to 5-6 hours at a time. I thought it had something to do with needing either a cuddle from me or a bottle to fall to sleep. But now I'm not so sure, I can't put him down awake in his cot otherwise he will sit up and pull himself to a standing position and then fall and cry because he has hit his head. But if I lay him on my bed within 1 minute flat he will be out like a light without any help from me. Then I will pick him up and put him in his bed, I do this for day naps and he will have a good 1.5 hour sleep. But night time I give him a cuddle for half an hour and put him back to bed, usually that works and he will stay asleep but sometimes he won't stay asleep without a bottle, so these occasions I know he is genuinely hungry. His current night time routine is at 6 have dinner, 7:30 is a shower and then 8 he has a bottle then 8:30 he is in bed. Is there something I'm doing wrong? How can I get him to fall asleep in his bed like he does mine?


  114. My daughter is 9 months old and still needing a pacifier and swaddle in order to go to sleep. At night time we have an established routine. 6-630 is bottle. 7 bath. 730 swaddle. I pat her butt and usually in less than 5 minutes she's asleep. I want to start putting her down without the swaddle and need to be patted. She has slept through the night since she was 7 weeks old. I would like now for her to do it on her own. So my main question is, can I still use the pacifier if she's drowsy when I lay her down? Or does that need to go along with the swaddle, since she associates them with sleep?

  115. hello

    I'm writting to you from Poland. My english it's not so good but I'm so desperated and I found your website so helpful that i decided to ask you for help.
    My daughter is 5 months. She is really bad sleeper just from the beginning. Her naps take always exactly 30 minutes. During the night she wakes up2-3 times for brestfeeding. But from1 week she has sleep regresion and she wakes up every 1 hour. I'm sure that she has problem with the cycle that she can't go through
    the next one. I rock her shhhushh every day and she has soother. I know it's the problem and she needsto fall a sleep on her own but from the beggining she was so difficult baby. She was crying so often. She was crying before every single nap and night so badly. I can see that she can't self sooth herselfe. I think she is high need baby. I don't know if u belive in that but it match her perfectly. She is very sensitive and overstimuleted very easy. I put her to sleep every 2 hours I try to don't play with her too long. I know that I have to put her to bad when I see her window. If I miss it It's really bad:( She can sleep longer on my chest only not next to my just on my what It's not easy and safe because I'm really tired. I rock her just from the hospital. I think If I don't she wouldn't sleep at all – seriously. She was tiny (a little more than 2 klios) and my priority that time was give her some sleep no matter how. I think that she has problem with her self – control that why is so difficult for her to fall asleep even in my arms. she is crying every time. I never leave her to CIO. But I feel that I really need to learn her how to fall a sleep on her own. It will be helpful for everyone especially for her. She must to know that she can sooth herself and she can pass to next cycle and her parents will be always next to her. She needs to learn how to switch off herself and her big emotion. What is more she is swaddeling. She needs this because she moves her legs and arms a lot during the night especially in her last cycle about 4 am. This motions wake her up also. Without swaddeling I'm sure she will scratch her eyes:) She wake up about 5 am:( I heard that babies know how to soothe themself after 6 months? And that HNB doesn't know how to do that cause they have diifrent nervous system? Sorry for my mistakes;) I hope U can understand me and will advice me sth:)

  116. Hi Ola,
    Your English is not bad, I understood what you were saying perfectly. Maybe that's because I was born in Poland 😉 (Wroclaw) and understand the dialect:) Great job for being so understanding of your baby's sleep situation. She is definitely relying on your help to get through sleep cycles, and using props to fall asleep and back asleep during the night. Teaching her to fall asleep on her own will solve most if not ALL of her sleep troubles. Please take a look through my articles, I have written many on this topic. Have you considered any sleep training? Also to address your question about a baby not being able to self soothe until 6mos, I disagree. I have seen babies as young as a few weeks old self soothe and fall asleep on their own. Self soothing is a skill, it's not a developmental milestone that is reached at a certain age. Hope this helps:) Please let me know if there is anything else I can do.

  117. I have a 8 month old and she wakes up 6-8 times all night. But she goes to bed at 8.30 , 9 everyday and sleeps mostly till 1 or 2 AM. But before going to bed she needs a bottle, and as I read your article understand that its the prop and thats the culprit, now the problem is when to offer her the bottle? I pump and feed her the bottle so is it better to offer her the bottle at 7 and make her sleep at 8.30? and alternate days we give her bath and I want to know when I should feed those days when I bathe her. I also have lot of questions but one thing at a time

  118. My name is Meghana and AnonymousOctober 27, 2014 at 5:12 PM is my question.

    1. I tried the method of making her drowsy and putting her to bed but looks like it did not work 🙁 as she can crawl and stand on her knees, the problem is as soon as I put her to bed, she stands on her knees inside the crib and its so hard to pat her or make her to go to sleep.

    2. I tried the method of not feeding her during the night. I gave her 3 ounces at 2AM and then thought of not giving any more milk till morning but next time when she woke up, I think at 3.30 she was crying a lot and I could not console her by not giving milk. Finally I had to give up and offered her the bottle and the same thing happened at 4.30 and 6 and 7.30 :(. I had to offer her the bottle to calm her down

    3. She sleeps next to us and both me and my husband have hard time getting sleep because she keeps rolling. If we put her to bed within 45 mins she will be uncomfortable and want to drink milk or may be she wants to pacify herself with the bottle.

    I have so many other issue but everything related to her night sleep 🙁 this has been going on for more than 3 months and we have gone crazy without any sleep and having to go to work 9AM to 6PM. With one last hope I read your article and I am commenting. Please read this and please please give me some suggestions and I will be really grateful to you in case they work for me and if I could get some sleep during night 🙁 awaiting your reply. thanks in advance.

  119. Hi there,
    I will try to answer your questions simply, some of them require a detailed explanation so without making this too winded, I will simplify:)

    1.Your first concern is about making her drowsy. Drowsy doesn't mean falling asleep, you want her completely awake. Drowsy just means calm and relaxed. Perhaps, you are putting in too much effort trying to make her "drowsy"? She shouldn't be that sleepy, again, she should be awake.

    2. Determining which feeding is necessary (if any) will be the key to her sleeping through the night. This is something that requires much more explanation, and something I work hard on with parents during a consultation. So it's not something I can help without knowing much more detail about her current sleep situation.

    3. Sounds like she is really reliant on you to fall asleep. Teaching her to fall asleep on her own will help her tremendously.

    Hope this helps. If you are having this much trouble. Please consider one of my sleep consultation packages, I would be glad to help:)

  120. Thanks for your reply, I will try the first point today and see how it works. I think I need to work on that point a little bit.
    I appreciate your reply.

  121. Hi. I need some guidance on the best way to help my great nephew sleep through the night. I was given custody of him on Nov 3. He was almost 11 months old. He was in foster care from 6mths till I got him. I've had him for 1 1/2 months now. He doesn't seem to know how toself sooth but the other problem is he flips out when put in his crib or playpen. He gets himself so worked up that he starts coughing non stop and sometimes throws up. Now, if I make sure he's really good and asleep Ican uusually lay him down without him waking but he'll wake up anywhere from 15 min later to couple of hours. How do I even begin since he reacts so severely to his crip or playpen? Any advice would be great. Thank you.

  122. Hi my son has stopped letting me put him down to sleep and the more we try to fix this the worse his sleep cycles get…

    he was sleeping in his rocking lamb/hammock just fine – went to sleep in my arms easily, I'd put him down without him so much as flinching, he would sleep until about 2, wake up and we would nurse, he would fall straight back to sleep and I'd set him down no problem, repeat at 6, and then snuggle and sleep lightly with me in my bed until 7. It was great. And then….

    At 6.5 months this all started going down hill, rapidly. First he had to be held for daytime naps, then he would only sleep in his rocker hammock for the first part of the night, then he would only let me lay him down on the bed beside me, and now he won't let me lay him down at all.

    We have a routine and he goes down fairly consistently but these day if I try to set him down he wakes up and instantly is in war mode crying like I have betrayed him and am giving him to a pack of wolves!

    We have tried cry it out, in the room and out of the room, checking on him at intervals to tell him he is ok, but over an hour goes by and he is in full war cry the entire time with no signs of slowing down. Additionally he can stand now so he stands against the crib and cries in this horrible way.

    We have also tried putting him down drowsy and the same scream crying reaction happens.

    in addition to various methods of putting him down not working (even over 3 + days) they cause him to sleep more fitfully at night, demand to sleep with my breastfeeding in his mouth so I can't try to set him down, and wake up around 3 am for 2 hours fussy and freaked.

    I am so tired and I don't know what to do. Thank you for any specific and detailed advice you can offer.

  123. Hi! Quick question. My son has been doing very well with sleeping and self-soothing. However, he has had a cold for the past week or so and will wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to go back down. We have been needing to give him the bottle a few times in order for him to calm back down and settle. It's as if he can't get comfortable (keeps moving side to side). If we let him try too long on his own to calm down, he starts to cry and his cough gets worse. Is it okay to give him the bottle to help him settle while he has the cold or are we reversing everything we helped him learn to do prior to the cold? Thank you!

  124. Please refer to my article about regression. Yes regression can wreak complete havoc on sleep, but there's no reason you can't help your baby sleep better during this time. As a matter of fact I encourage it, otherwise you may be instilling more and more bad sleep habits just to cope, setting your baby up for frequent wakings and other sleep troubles. Here's my article about regressions

  125. Any advice on how to get baby to nap when out and about? Am I really confined to my house forever or is there a way to get him to sleep outside of his usual environment? My baby is 5 months old & the idea of never leaving the house is depressing me. We don't get out much now because he is a nightmare when his schedule is off. Please help.

  126. Hello, I have a 7 week old who has to be bounced to sleep for naps and night time sleep. A lot of times as soon as I put her down she wakes up or will wake up in just a couple of minutes and start screaming. If she is able to stay asleep for naps she Will often sleep for an hour to two hours and at night 3-4 hours. What is the best way to have her put herself to sleep. I’ve started a night time routine of feed, bath, jammies and then I try to read a book but she usually starts crying as soon as I start reading. Any help is much appreciated!

  127. Hello everyone, I’m really exhausted of nursing to sleep and constant nights wakes. ((((( my daughter is 13 months old. I did sleep trained her when she was 11 months. Was hard , it took like 2 weeks. I did everything according the book ” “. She cried for 1,5 hours first few nights. After a little bit less… even after 2 weeks of training she was crying each time before falling asleep, around 10-15 mins. The book says it’s normal. I ,finally, got 8 hours of sleep. But there is a but… nobody could put her to bed, just me… and I think I did a mistake to nurse her until she is drowsy and after put her to sleep. She also got used to this and since she never took a bottle or pacifier I was the only one who could put her to sleep. One month after the sleep training she got sick, I did everything to comfort her and we coslept during this time. Now everything is back where it was…. I also want to wean, she is 13 months already. Because it seems like she doesn’t need to be breastfeed unless to fall asleep , the only time I breastfeed is when I need to put her down. I’m really nervous and kind of lost… sleep train again for me it also means (I think) weaning. And if so I would need to make sleep training for naps at the same time??? I really need your help… the book I read is great but it doesn’t say anything about weaning and not making her drowsy before putting down. The book also offers not to nap train at the same time… my ped recommended to do everything at the same time… night, nap, wean. And weaning not slowly but just stop breastfeeding at all. I just want to make everything right and not hurt my baby. I love her so much , I want to do everything right. Since we are students with my husband in US we don’t have family or friends to help us with a baby, we are exhausted and sleep deprived:( I New your help. Please!

  128. Hi Violet,

    My 7 month old son can fall asleep on his own when he initially goes down at night – we have a solid bedtime routine since he was 6 weeks old and we put him down when he is completely awake. But over the past few weeks, he has consistently woken up at 2am and can’t seem to fall back asleep on his own and will be up for sometimes an hour or more. He used to sleep through the night in his rock and play but he is getting too big for it and he tried to roll around in it so it is no longer safe. His naps at daycare are also pretty short (around 45 min three times a day) and I’m wondering if this is the same issue that when he wakes up from a sleep cycle he can’t fall back asleep on his own. He used to be a great napper and would nap for around 1.5-2 hours 3 times a day but that was in his rock and play. Any advice that you may have would be great. Thank you!

  129. Hi good morning

    My boy is going to be 3 months next Monday. Should I have started a solid bedtime routine yet or look to start it at the 3 month mark? Reason I ask is that he still feeds every 3 hours at the moment in the day. At night he can go for 4/5 hours without a feed which has been good. But these 3 hours mean that when it comes to a set time to send him to bed I.e let’s say 7pm each night – it varies each day so how can I a solid bedtime start time happen if it’s not the same each day? Of course I can try and feedingg him a little earlier or try later (but that would involve him crying) / do you have any suggestions on that?

    He also needs to get off to sleep on mine or my partner’s shoulder and sometimes either rocked or moved side to side. I’m guessing you say this is ok but only if they are drowsy but still awake rather than asleep? It takes a good 2-3 attempts to get him down.

    Any help would be gratefully appreciate.



  130. My youngest daughter is 5 months old and nearing 6. She sleeps through the night no problem 11-12 hours. Naps have become a nightmare because she is now rolling over onto her back and does not want to be layed down on her stomach anymore. She pulls out her pacifier and plays with it and then cannot get it back in and this causes her to get frustrated and then overtired. Even rocking her to groggy doesn’t work as she flips to her back and is then smiling and laughing at everything going on. How do you transition through this and get her back on track to fall out on her own. We’ve been through sleep training with our older daughter and she is fantastic now at 2! but this is a new problem we are facing.

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