Gentle AP Method for Teaching Your Baby to Sleep |

Gentle AP Method for Teaching Your Baby to Sleep

admin May 31, 2013

I have had four babies.

I have had babies who slept well, and babies who slept terribly.  There have been crazy sleepless night, and restful sleeping most nights.  And I have learned a lot about teaching babies to sleep.

The first thing you should know is that I generally subscribe to “Attachment Parenting.”  I don’t let my babies cry.  I co-sleep with them and enjoy every snuggly minute.  So, if you’re looking for someone to tell you how to get them to sleep in 3 – 4 hour stretches in their own rooms from day 1, or someone who advocates that “a little crying never hurt anyone,” you are not going to hear it from me.

If you are desperate for a decent night’s sleep but don’t believe in letting your baby cry, or don’t want to stop co-sleeping (or maybe want to start a slow and peaceful transition), I can help you.

What Does “Teaching a Baby to Sleep” Really Mean?

When most people hear that phrase, they think about cry-it-out (CIO).  That’s what “sleep training” is, right?

It doesn’t have to be.  When babies are born, the entire world is confusing to them.  They are not sure what is good and what is bad.  Not sure what they need to get rid of their bad feelings (like being hungry, wet, or tired).  Not sure what is day or night, how to move from asleep to awake, or really how to make sense of anything around them.  These are unsettled newborns, and they need help learning about the world.  They need a loving parent to teach them what life is about and how to manage their most basic functions.

The more intense and loving work you do in teaching them to sleep in the early days and weeks, the more sleep you will both get later on.  This is entirely without crying, and actually involves quite a lot of sacrifice from you.

Your baby relies entirely on you to unlock the “secrets” of the world.  When my fourth was born, I could sense his confusion and his worry in the first couple of days.  He didn’t know what was going on or if the world was okay.  I held him almost constantly and nursed him every 10 – 15 minutes, whenever he wanted to.  By day 3 or so, he began to relax a bit more, nurse a bit less often, and seemed like he had decided the world was okay.  Still, his unsettled newborn behavior and fussiness continued until he was around a month old, at which point he relaxed a lot, started smiling, sleeping fairly well and consistently, and being a very “easy” baby.

Whereas with my other three, I breezed through the newborn period in a fog of uncertainty and sleep deprivation, this time I knew what I was doing — and it shows, in that I have my calmest baby yet.  Yes, that is partially just his personality, but this early “training” helps.

teaching babies to sleep

Goals of Training

Your goal is to first convince your baby that s/he can trust you completely to meet his/her needs.  Then, you need to convince your baby that the world is an overall good place.

Once you have done these things, you will teach the baby gently how to calm down and fall asleep in a variety of ways, and how to develop a general routine.  Babies thrive on routines.  I don’t believe in rigid schedules, and would never put a baby in bed because “the clock says so” even if baby doesn’t appear tired, or wake a baby for a feeding for the same reason.  We all ebb and flow and baby will be the same way.

The goal is not to make baby easier for you to deal with.  It’s not to teach baby to be independent.  It’s not to teach baby who’s boss.  It’s to gently, lovingly help your baby trust you and learn to manage himself, in time.  You manage him, carefully and joyfully, until he is ready to take over the job.

Baby Sleeping Phases

There are a few things you need to know, first, about how sleep happens.

Days 1 – 2: Baby sleeps almost all the time, unless he is eating.  It’s not uncommon for babies to be awake for 1 – 2 hours after birth, then sleep 12 straight hours.  Baby will not do this again for several weeks at least!

Day 3 – 1 month: Baby is very unsettled and may have trouble falling asleep, especially if he gets over tired.  Some days baby may sleep all day, some days baby may be rather wakeful.  Baby may be awake for stretches in the middle of the night and asleep all day.  There is very little pattern to baby’s sleep, and they usually wake and sleep randomly throughout the 24 hour period.

Months 1 – 4: Baby now has some sort of rough routine, and is much more settled and roughly predictable, but still needs help sleeping.  This is a crucial period for teaching baby to sleep in a more “traditional” sense (though still without crying).

Month 4 – 12: Baby is now capable of “sleeping through the night,” which means a 5 – 6 hour stretch, not 12 hours!  Baby should also take 1 – 3 somewhat regular naps each day.  At some point in here, some babies may begin to sleep 10 – 12 hours a night; others won’t until age 2 or 3.

Ages 1 – 2: Toddlers go from still unpredictable and often having interrupted sleep from teething, colds, etc. to sleeping pretty consistently and often (but not always) 10 – 12 hours through the night, plus one 1 – 3 hour nap in the afternoon.

Knowing what to expect will help you know how to help — and also help you not to feel frustrated when your baby doesn’t sleep as you wish!

How to Teach Baby to Sleep

The nitty gritty!  How do you help your baby to learn to sleep?  Ideally you would be reading this before your baby arrives.  If not, see below….

The Early Days

Your only job is to hold your baby and respond to his/her every whim.  Baby is not capable of being spoiled or demanding anything that isn’t a need at this age.  Hold your baby constantly, and baby will root when he is hungry, squirm when he is wet, and fuss a bit, then sleep when he is tired.  Mostly, baby will sleep.  Your body will regulate his temperature, breathing, heart rate, and more.  Your baby’s nursing and also oxytocin released by snuggling skin-to-skin will contract your uterus, helping you heal faster.  You shouldn’t be up and about now anyway, let everyone else take care of food, dishes, etc. and let them wait on you hand and foot.

The First Month

Once those first few days are over, and things are starting to feel a little more normal, and you’re stronger, and baby is generally convinced the world is an okay place and you will meet his needs, do more of the same: hold him.  A lot.  But, start to vary the tactics that you use to help him fall asleep.  If he’s starting to show signs of tiredness (yawning, stretching, not making eye contact/glazed eyes, fussing), then quickly check or change his diaper, make sure his clothes are comfortable, and feed him if he needs it.  A comfortable baby sleeps far better than one who is not.

During the day, keep windows open or lights on, and at night, keep lights off.  The lights signal the baby’s natural rhythms and teach day vs. night.

Allow the baby to fall asleep in a number of different ways:

  • At your breast
  • In your arms, with a pacifier
  • Without a pacifier, in your arms
  • In a swing or other “curled” place, with and without a pacifier
  • Held in someone else’s arms (Dad, Grandma, older siblings)
  • In a bed or “flat” place (can use a swaddle blanket if desired)

Figure out if your baby is a back or tummy sleeper.  I have had two of each.  Place the baby in the position in which he is most comfortable.  Be smart and don’t add a bunch of loose blankets or sheets if baby is on his tummy (or ever).

Sometimes, let the baby sleep on or with you.  Other times, put the baby down to sleep.  Sometimes, wear the baby in a carrier while sleeping.  The idea is to show the baby gently that there are lots of ways to fall asleep.

This lesson is a good one to try when the baby is just starting to feel tired.  But, sometimes you will miss the early cues.  Sometimes you will see them, but baby is uncomfortable for another reason and you will still miss that window.  Whatever the reason, baby becomes overtired and very unhappy, and cannot seem to calm down enough to fall asleep.  There are a few things you can do at this point.

First make sure you have checked all sources of discomfort:

  • Hungry (some babies will not sleep without that last 1/2 oz.)
  • Hot/cold (go for around 70 degrees)
  • Clothes scratchy or constricting
  • Tummy upset/gassy
  • Wet (babies pee a lot at this age, sometimes every 20 – 30 minutes, and some are very upset by feeling wet)
  • Pain (weird things can happen, like a loose thread getting wrapped around a toe or diaper being on too tight, so check)
Once you have determined that all of these issues are solved, try these.

Bounce and Pat

Hold the baby over your shoulder, curled against you.  Make sure baby is well-fed, changed, not in pain, etc.  Bounce the baby gently but quickly as you pat his back.  Some babies like to have a small blanket wrapped around them, especially if it’s cooler.  Babies don’t like to be too cool or too hot.  Keep it going constantly until baby relaxes, quiets, and begins to sleep.  Slow down once you are sure baby is asleep but keep patting.  Then stop patting.  Then just snuggle.  Do not move the baby until s/he is in a sound sleep, or you will have to start over.

Swaddle, Swing, Suck

I didn’t make this up, I got it from Dr. Harvey Karp’s “The Happiest Baby on the Block.”  You can read the book to find out his theories on colic, sleep, and so on.  To help an overtired baby fall asleep, wrap the baby tightly so he can’t flail arms or legs (this will probably make the baby really mad at first, fighting to get his arms loose and arching back — ignore this, it’s part of being overtired).  Offer a finger or pacifier to suck, if

Offer a finger or pacifier to suck, if baby will take it.  Stand up and put baby on his side, curled against your body.  Lean over him and start saying “shhh” very loudly in his ear, continuously.  Then start to swing your body back and forth in small, rapid circles.  The baby should be tightly curled against you, so this will not hurt him.  At first the baby may fight, but will slowly quiet down and begin to relax.  Keep doing it until baby’s body has been relaxed for awhile.  Stop or slow one thing at a time, starting again if baby begins to wake.  This will probably take 5 – 10 minutes to work.

Basically, try different combinations of cuddling, rhythmic movement, sucking (fingers, breast, pacifier), swaddling, white noise, or positioning until baby calms down.  Sometimes reclining and setting the baby facing out on my lap worked.  Try different things until you find what your baby likes best.

If you can get through these few weeks and help the baby fall asleep, you will be well-set for the next phase.  Note that I said nothing about scheduling in this time frame.  Your only goals are to notice the baby’s tiredness signs and help him figure out how to get from awake to asleep in different ways.  That’s it.

teaching babies to sleep

Months 1 – 4

If you have done your job, your baby is more settled in the world, adjusted to life, and can fall asleep in a variety of ways.  This gives you a good framework for the next step.  If you have not done all the things I outlined above, it may be that your baby sleeps “fine” until towards the end of this period, at which time he begins to wake frequently and sleep much less.  This is what babies seem to do when they do not know how to fall asleep, yet they are older and aware of the world around them and are distracted by it. (My second baby did this!)

Starting a bedtime routine would be a good idea at this age, if you haven’t.  Keep it simple, they are still little!  Ours at this age basically consists of changing into PJs and nursing while rocking or lying down (which we don’t usually do at other times of day; I typically just sit on a couch).    Look for signs of tiredness and move towards a bit of a routine.  It is still very common for babies to nap sporadically, in 20 – 40 min. stretches throughout the day.  This will change usually by 6 months.

You can help encourage longer stretches by taking the baby up to “bed” when you see signs of tiredness, checking diaper and nursing before laying him/her down.  It is fine to nurse the baby all the way to sleep now if s/he prefers.  Babies will sleep better — longer and more soundly — if put to bed, instead of staying downstairs in the chaos of the home or in your arms.  You will start to see a pattern emerge, but it won’t be extremely steady yet.

At bedtime you will probably see a longer stretch emerging by the end of this time — baby may go to bed at 8 or 9 and sleep until 1 or 2 before needing a feeding.  Some will then sleep another long stretch, and some will need to be fed every two hours, and many will go between the two.  But, you should be getting some decent sleep.

Since we co-sleep, we usually choose to put the baby to bed in a bassinet next to our bed to start the night, and baby joins me when he wakes the first time.  Occasionally he goes back into his bassinet, if I need to get another child or use the bathroom or if he seems uncomfortable (but isn’t wet/hungry).

Baby may sleep in later than other kids, if you have older ones.  My older ones are usually up around 7, but the littlest one sleeps until 8 or 9.  I put him back in his bed when the other kids get up.

teaching babies to sleep

Months 4 – 12

By now you should have some semblance of a routine.  If not, go back and start with the newborn tips again.  Teach your baby that, first, he can trust you to meet his needs.  Help him learn a variety of ways to fall asleep on his own.  You may need to enlist Daddy’s help here.

We struggled with our second baby (when my first baby was born I didn’t have any friends locally yet, and she was easy, so all I did was stay at home and respond to her cues) because I took him on the go and never created any sort of routine or helped him learn to sleep at all.  That created a nightmare situation where he woke every 40 minutes, all night long, for almost a year, and never really took naps except in the swing or a carrier.  We still got him in his own room and sleeping fairly well by 18 months and great by age 2.

So, there is hope.  If you say “We didn’t know and now my baby has terrible habits!” you can break them, gently and without crying.  We did a multi-step plan that involved having baby fall asleep on Daddy’s lap, then next to Daddy, then across the room from Daddy, then on his own, over several nights (weeks).  But it worked.  Daddy fell asleep some nights laying on the floor in front of the crib, but it worked.  What he needed was to know it was okay to fall asleep and someone was there.

If baby is on the younger side (much under 9/10 months), go back and spend a few days being extra responsive, noting early signs of tiredness (squirming, slight fussing, yawning, eye-rubbing) and taking baby to rock/nurse and then laying him down.  Try a swing, a pacifier, a swaddle, darkened room, whatever will work.  Re-teach baby that sleeping is good and sleeping alone sometimes is okay too.  Treat baby like a newborn again.

If baby is older, try the other method (multi-step mentioned above) and you may have to get a little “tough” if you are ready.  Our second son did cry a little bit, but never alone.  A parent was in the room, soothing him, but would not get him out of his bed.  It only took three nights of that.  It felt so mean and I hated every minute, but he was never alone.

Daddy would sit in a chair and talk quietly to him, pat his back, etc. but would not get him up.  (He was over a year when that happened.)  He was pretty stubborn though — our oldest son never cried as long as there was a parent in the room.  Our oldest would pop up briefly to check that someone was still there, and if so, would lay himself back down, satisfied.  Depending on the personality of the kid, they may or may not cry at this method.

It’s important to know that many babies have a “sleep regression” around 9 months.  They are going through a growth spurt, teething, making physical and mental developmental leaps, and more.  It’s a time to hold them close and help them through it — it’s hard on them.  If you are responsive, they will begin sleeping better again in a few weeks.

teaching babies to sleep


Years 1 – 2

Finally, some decent sleep!  Even if the toddler is not sleeping through the night, you will have something predictable.  Hopefully. 🙂  If not, see above and try the “older baby” trick.  We found it was best for us to transition from co-sleeping to separate rooms around the 1-year mark.  At that point, they were waking up more than they needed to just because we were all disturbing each other.  They did not “need” much at a year old, maybe 1 – 2 times per night if that.

Yes, they may still need to wake at night.  I continue to feed my babies on demand until about 18 months, both nursing and food.  We offered our boys plain yogurt as a bedtime snack many, many times between 12 and 18 months.  This is an age of massive physical and mental development!

We found it was very important to keep bedtime consistent in many ways during this period of time, in order to get the best sleep.  Here is what we typically did:

  • Yogurt for a snack — as much as baby wanted/would take
  • Soft PJs, not too warm (my kids like to sleep in sweat pants and t-shirts and refuse sleepers after a certain age)
  • Room at around 70 degrees (add fan in the summer and small heater in the winter if needed)
  • White noise (to drown out siblings)
  • Soft sheets (has to be jersey knit or flannel — once Jacob woke over and over and over until I changed the sheet)
  • Teething tea (catnip + clove — helps him relax and relieves teething pain)
  • Rocking/nursing/snuggling in the bedroom
  • Consistent routine (saying good night to each older sibling first, always around 8 PM)
  • A cup of water (mine wake up thirsty if we don’t leave one with them, so we always do)

These helped us to get decent sleep.  If any of these was slightly off — a little hungry, a little too warm or cold, etc. then he’d wake up frequently (every 40 – 60 minutes).  If he was sick he’d end up in bed with my husband while I slept on the couch, especially once I was fairly pregnant.

The teething tea was a great discovery for us.  It eliminated most of the waking.  The remaining waking has usually been for a new diaper.  My babies do not sleep with wet diapers, typically — if they can feel it *at all* they will wake and ask for a new one.  Jacob (almost 2) still wakes a few nights a week, once, calling “Da! Help!”

We also occasionally use magnesium lotion on them.  A few times, especially around growth spurts, if I had tried everything on the list above and Jacob was still waking frequently, I put magnesium lotion on him and he would sleep more soundly almost immediately.  It also helped my oldest son with growing pains, and me with minor insomnia.

I have to say that I believe that there is always a reason why babies cry, even if we don’t know what it is yet.  I tried CIO a couple of times with both my older two (they never did fall asleep and I eventually went in), but I always discovered there was something going on.  It was sometimes as simple as a wet diaper, and other times as complicated as undiscovered food allergies.  I always realized later there was a reason.

Babies from day 1 are communicating with you as eagerly as they can.  Even now, with Nathan just shy of 12 weeks, I know he is communicating.  When he is on my lap and squirming and frowning/smiling earnestly, he is trying to tell me he needs something without crying.  If I don’t “listen” then he will eventually cry.  It seems “sudden” but it’s not — he’s crying in frustration because his message wasn’t understood!  Babies are so smart and they will guide you to what they need if you listen, and you can show them it’s okay and that they can trust you.  When your bond is solid, everyone will sleep!

By the time our babies are 2, they wake a few nights a week, usually very early (by 11 or so) or very late (4 – 5 AM) for a diaper change, but otherwise sleep through.  When they are potty trained, they sleep through unless something’s wrong (if they’re sick or something).  They go to bed easily and peacefully for both nap and night with no fight from several months old, too.  It’s not perfect, but no one’s exhausted!

This is getting very long!  I can’t cover absolutely everything here.  Basically, stay responsive but stay consistent as well, keep them comfortable, and gently help them to manage themselves.

If you have specific questions I can try to answer in the comments. 🙂

How did you teach your baby to sleep?

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  1. My 2 month old goes to sleep in all the ways you mentioned except the “flat” space. I’ve tried to be aware of his cues, be sure all his needs are met, & I still can’t get him to stay in his crib or co-sleeper & fall asleep. Because I have 3 other children, I’m guilty of just putting him in his swing when he wont fall asleep flat because he always falls asleep in there, even when overly tired (which is what happens when I’ve let him try to fall asleep flat. Any suggestions?


    • She might be a tummy sleeper or need a swaddle blanket to feel more comfortable on a flat surface. If neither of those work, wait a few weeks and try flat again. If she can fall asleep in many other positions, I wouldn’t worry too much.


      • We are struggling to get her to sleep thru the night. She is 9 months and has had acid reflux since birth and is still on medicine for it. I don’t do the CIO method. When she does cry for a long period of time her reflux acts up and she throws up. She goes to bed around 9pm and we rock and feed her and it’s not hard to put her down. She sleeps for at leat 3 hrs and then she wakes up. She will either wake up whining in her sleep, tosses and turns while sleeping or she she’s having a night terror and she’s crying with tears. She feeds about twice a night. She has good night’s and bad nights. So my question is are doing something wrong? Or is she going thru sleep regression ? Keep in mind she has never slept thru the night. When she was younger she was dealing her reflux, so we had to hold up right for at least 30 mins, and then she was I’ll a lot. Also when she does wake at night on a good night it’s twice and on a bad night it’s every hour or so. But what we do is we try to pat her to sleep which works and other times when she’s really upset we will pick her up, rock her and then put her down. What do you think?


        • I must admit that this is quite a specific case. Maybe I’m the lucky one because my baby is already sleeping peacefully (1 year, 2 months). Initially I tried the CIO method, but after a month I found that it won’t work. I read some guides, especially stuck in my head these fromm book by S. Urban – short but concrete. I chose the HWL method and got it. The youngest has already learned how to peacefully fall asleep and it is one of my greatest successes.


          • I used the HWL method as well with my son. The method is perfectly described with step-by-step instructions on ‘how to teach a baby to fall asleep alone’ guide by Susan Urban. Made my son sleep! I’m in the eighth month of pregnancy and I’m definitely going to follow this guide again 🙂

          • Susan Urban’s guide ‘how to teach a baby to fall asleep alone’ is PERFECT!! The guide is not that easy to find, I got it here
            I’m loving this guide and I can recommend it to anyone!

          • I got this from amazon but it’s the same method I think: It really is amazing that it doesn’t involve CIO at all! HWL is so gentle I couldn’t not to try. That was a blessing!

          • I also used Susan’s method with my second daughter. With older one I’ve tried Ferber’s but it was horrible both for me and my baby, we gave up eventually and I did not want to try anything else for a long time. This time I did much better research, found this Susan Urban’s method and fell in love with it! It worked perfectly and ever faster that I thought it would. Great choice.

          • That is the method I used few months ago to stop rocking. It became really exhausting, lasting hours instead of minutes and I just had no idea how to stop when I popped onto this guide online. It’s the great one! Thanks for the author so much!

  2. This is great information! Our first baby is 6 weeks old, and so far is an amazing sleeper, thankfully. We’ve experienced great results from using these same methods. I can tell she becomes more content and secure by the day as we respond to her needs. It’s great to hear from an experienced mom that responding gently to a baby’s needs, holding them a lot, not letting them cry, etc will really pay off in the long run (and won’t spoil them!).

    I noticed you said two of your babies were tummy sleepers. I’m just curious what your thoughts are on tummy sleeping and SIDS? So far, I only let my baby sleep on her tummy if she’s sleeping on me, because I’ve been terrified by all this talk about tummy sleeping being linked to SIDS. I noticed, though, that she sleeps wonderfully that way….her best nap of the day is the one she takes with me.


    • As long as they are on firm mattresses with no loose blankets, I don’t worry about tummy sleeping. I was scared, yes, when I realized I had my first tummy sleeper (my second baby). I checked on him a lot. But there are risks to back sleeping too — choking on spit up, for example (which actually happened to a friend’s baby recently; thankfully she happened to wake up and pick up the baby in time!). As long as you are smart about it, it really is not a problem. A bassinet designed for her, no bumpers, open sides, no loose sheets or blankets, firm mattress, and tummy sleeping should be just fine.


    • Please look up report on SIDS and BabeSafe mattress covers. Both my boys have loved their tummies, and I know they’re safe because I have wrapped the mattress. I spoke to a New Zealander and she concurred with the company, the research, and the results!


  3. I taught all my babies to sleep by 12 weeks old, and I’m NOT an AP parent, but I don’t believe in letting them cry it out, either. I have been pondering a blog post on exactly I how I did that for a while now. I think I’ll do it.


  4. I have a 5 month old. She goes to bed at night just fine, but naps are aweful. If I take a nap with her its not so bad. If I respond to the first signs of tiredness or wait until she is over tired she seems to fight falling asleep (I make sure clothing is comfortable, new diaper, etc.). I normally let her sleep on me because as soon as I move her she is wide awake. If I happen to be able to get her to lay down she is awake in 10 minutes and the whole process starts over again and half the time she won’t fall asleep again. I don’t know how to help her want to nap.


    • Would she prefer a different type of surface? A swing as opposed to a flat surface? Or nap better on her tummy than her back? Or in a swaddle? Any of these can help her stay asleep longer during the day. Room-darkening curtains and a mini-bedtime routine may help as well at nap time. With anything you try, give it a week or so so that she can adapt before deciding it doesn’t work.


  5. Thank you for these tips! Mommypotamus has a couple good posts about SIDS and their relation to mattresses and vaccines. I have heard that the back to sleep campaign started when they required mattresses to be sprayed with toxic flame retardants. Sensitive babies on their tummies were/are at risk of their neurologic system being shut down by the toxins. I’m not worried about SIDS anymore, but we will get a mattress without flame retardants when we get a bed for our daughter.


  6. My son just turned 6 months old and still wakes often during the night, especially towards morning. He usually wakes every hour starting at 4. He usually goes down fairly easily between 7-8 for bedtime but that is the only time it’s easy. Naps are awful. He wakes up after 40 minutes (sometimes only 20) and I can tell that he’s still tired but he has a lot of trouble staying asleep or going back to sleep. The other main issue is that we are still tied to the swaddle. He won’t sleep without one of the the swaddle devices but he also breaks out of them and wakes himself up. We tried weaning him by leaving one arm out but he just wakes himself with that arm. I’m eager to get him out of the swaddle because we live in Florida and he’s just so hot in there. Also, I’d like for him to be able to resettle himself when he’s uncomfortable (like turning over onto his stomach or sucking his thumb or grabbing the paci) which he can’t do when swaddled. Any tips?


    • At 4am, after having gone to bed at 7-8pm, he may have had “enough sleep” by that point and is ready to wake for a while. 8-9 hours is a good block of sleep! Are you keeping the sleep environment as dark as possible and minimizing distractions? Do you have white noise in the room? 6 month olds are also quite nosy and are afraid they might “miss something” if they sleep 🙂 And yes, by that age it is difficult to keep them in a swaddle due to size and strength. Does he cry or is he just restless? If just restless, make sure he can get to his pacifier and ride it out for a few minutes. Maybe try keeping him up a little later in the evening so he will sleep later than 4am? Thse are things that worked for us with my middle kiddo… he was a very restless sleeper until about 8-9 months and now at age 6 is the BEST sleeper in the house.


    • Have you tried on of those swaddle zipper things? I think they are called sleeper sacks?


  7. What an excellent article!! Thank you! I WISH I had read this before my oldest was born (I have 4 and one on the way)… this is what I have slowly learnt through finally listening to my instinct and what works and what doesn’t, but wow, so wonderfully summarised!


  8. Thank you so much! I’m not a parent yet, but am definitely bookmarking this page for the future–what a load of wonderfully helpful information in one spot!


  9. I co-sleep with my 4.5 month old and nurse lying down through the night. He’s started to “demand” i nurse him laying down during various times during the day (especially when he’s over tired/teething/overstimulated etc.) by arching back and screaming when I try to nurse him in the cradle hold. Am I causing a problem by doing what he wants? He won’t nap more than 30 min at a time during the day if I’m not holding him, laying with him or have him in the Moby…


    • A lot of babies that age don’t nap long, whether worn/carried or not. By 6 months or so they usually start to learn to sleep on their own if you gently encourage it. Of course, since he will nap lying down for a short time, you can always keep setting him down for those 20 – 30 min. naps and then have him nap every couple of hours. Many of mine did this for months, finally settling into a more normal 2-hour nap pattern somewhere around 6 months. It’s not a big deal, even though it might be difficult for you to get anything done! And when overtired or upset it’s always good to snuggle. 🙂


  10. My children (3 yo, 12 mos, and #3 due Oct 2013) are almost the same. We don’t co-sleep but for first 4-6 months they sleep in bassinet/rocknplay next to my bed. They wake, change & breastfeed 2-3 hours. We then put them in crib in their room and after a month they start to sleep 3-4 hours at time, barring teething. Our routine: (bath 2-3x/week, diaper change, jammies, bible story, prayer, saying nigh-night, and then fall asleep nursing.) We don’t exactly sleep through the night even at 12 months, but she sleeps most of the night. My kids are grazers when they nurse, so they usually are just are wet (cloth diapers) and want some milk- then within 10 minutes they are back asleep. At 12 mos, she only wakes once most nights. Works for us, no crying out. I think a few years with lack of sleep are worth the trade of the time spent with my babies. They grow up too fast! PS- Sleep sacks or swaddlers (like the miracle blanket) depending on age are great for those colder months.


    • Heather – it’s comforting to read what you wrote because our routine and baby’s habits are EXACTLY like yours. My 6 month old wakes twice at night and only wants to be changed and nursed back to sleep. A lot of “sleep trainers” will say to not feed them to sleep, but it’s so natural for both of us and is the time when she gets her best feeds since she’s so distracted during the day. I usually fall asleep feeding her, then put her back in her crib when I wake up. Some nights are worse than others, but I would never be able to listen to my baby scream because she just wants comfort (or food) in the middle of the night. Pretty soon we’ll be dragging their tired teenager selves out of bed! By the way, we also LOVE the miracle blanket! A good transition sack after the swaddle or miracle blanket is called the Zipadee-Zip.


  11. I am trying to night wean my 10 months old since what i see is that he will drink only 3 oz of breast mill in the midle of the night and then in the morning he will not have a bottle he may take 2 oz in the morning so I am assuming he is not really hungry at night… What is your opinion? But in the last two nights he would be awake for an hour or two. We alda started to letting him sleep on his own on the crib and i am not sure if this is the reason he is waking up and not wating to go back to sleep. I feel confuse now.


  12. Is it safe to give the tea and magnesium lotion to a 13 month old? Thanks!


  13. I need help! My 14mo DS has slept in our bed since birth but now we are trying to transition him to sleeping the night in his room. Here is our story: I just found out we are expecting #2 so with my growing belly and a growing toddler we are all not going to be comfortable for long. We want to get him in his room well before baby comes so he does not feel pushed out. I did Dr. Gordon’s night weaning method with him at 12 months so he does not nurse between 11pm & 6am. Right now we nurse down about 7:30 in a rocker in his room and once asleep I set him in his crib. (He also goes down in his crib for nap) When he wakes about 9:30 he gets nursed down again and back in the crib. He will wake again between 11pm/12am and at that point comes into bed with his dad & I and will go down with a paci. He usually wakes again about 3/4am and goes down with a paci. At 5:30/6am when he wakes we nurse and will nurse again on demand until we are up for the day. 3 nights ago when he woke at 1am I went into his room and rocked for 20 minutes waiting for him to go back down, he would not fall asleep. It was like he knew at that hour I should be bringing him into bed with us and he would not fall asleep until I brought him to bed. The next night I sent hubby in. He rocked baby about 45 minutes and he would not fall asleep for us. I finally went in, got DS and got in his crib with him and he went down with his paci with me next to him. Last night when he woke I tried to get in his bed with him again but he would not fall asleep in there. I got out to rock him and he would not fall asleep. I have not offered to nurse him back to sleep for fear he will resort back to nursing every 45 minutes all night long and me having to walk across the hall to accommodate him… Finally after 2 hours last night of him not sleeping with me in the crib and not letting me rock him to sleep (and lots of screaming and crying) I brought him into bed with his dad and I… I need to know how to get him to sleep in his bed! I think he can not fall asleep on his own since we have always rocked him down and he has always slept in bed with us… Is he not ready? Should I not force it? Please help!


  14. Thank you so much for putting this out there. I am so glad that there is someone out there who has a similar point of view as my husband and I, both of our families are not supportive of many of our parenting decisions. Our son is ten months old and he co-sleeps with us at night. He has a hard time going to sleep any other way except when I am feeding him our when we are in the car. Occasionally he will fall asleep in my or (or even less often) my husbands arms. We have never been able to put him down and just have him fall asleep. I have noticed that he as well as us are starting to get woken up in the middle of the night for no reason. What should we do now? Lol. Thank you so much again for having this information it there.


    • Hi Lynzi,

      10 months is a rough age. They are starting to become mobile and learn so many new skills, plus teething too. It’s not uncommon to see some sleep regression now. Feed him lots before bed (lots of nursing, or offer foods like plain yogurt if he has had them already). Offer something to help teething. Catnip tea is a great remedy to help relax him and may help teething. Mostly, lots of patience and in a few months things will be different!


  15. My 18 month old is still sleeping in our bed and I would really like to start transitioning her to her own bed. We tried in the past but she despises the crib. I took off one side to make it a toddler bed and sometimes she will play in there with her dolls but that is about it. Can you recommend any gentle ways to get her used to the idea of sleeping in her bed? She still nurses during the night but I think its only for comfort and only because she can smell me or she rolls on me and half wakes. She’s a mostly decent sleeper but we wake each other a lot when we both move around. Her crib is still in our room because I thought that might make the transition easier but now I’m not so sure.


    • Hi Elise,

      Can your husband get involved? We always have Daddy do bed time as they get older. It also helps my babies, at that age, to sleep better if they are fed a lot before bed. We usually offer yogurt or something like that, as much as they want. We also have a crib or pack-n-play right next to the bed so they have their own space but are near us, and they go back and forth between that and our bed for awhile, before we transition to their own room. I hope that helps!


  16. Hi! I’m so glad that you touched on this topic! My 10 month old sleep in a crib in our room and is still EBF (he’s not ready for solids). During the night, he still wakes up 3 times and I nurse him. He’s a great little mapper and goes to sleep well on his own. I’m going back to work soon and I worry about getting up so often to nurse. Do you think it would be best to continue nursing on demand? Or could I try and cut 1 or 2 out? Will he understand if I nurse him at 11pm and 4pm, but cut out the 2pm feed?

    Thank you!!


    • Hi Hannelle,

      At that age, I would probably try to feed him extra in the evenings before bed (solids and/or nursing) so that he doesn’t “need” the middle of the night feed — he may even drop it on his own! My 14 month old will sleep a 4 – 5 hour stretch if I give him enough for dinner.


  17. Hi, thanks for this great article, t’s the reassuring read that I needed. My 14m.o sleeps great for the first 4 hours or so (while I’m still up catching up on housework!) and then wakes every hour or two while in bed with me to breast feed back to sleep. Sometimes she can be wide awake for 1-3 hours during this time! I’m exhausted, but feel that there is something unsettling her during this last part of the night. I’d really like to try your teething tea and the magnisim lotion but I can’t find them via the links (too old?). Also I’m in New Zealand … Thanks so much


  18. On number 5 (he is almost 5 mths) and this is so spot on!!! 🙂


  19. I love this! I feel like I have definitely done most of this with my daughter (second child) because I’ve listened to her more intently instead of what I wanted to do for the day or night (like with my first).

    But my question now is about my 3 year old. He turned 3 in September. He was an awesome napper and sleeper at night. At least the whole second year of life. Now, he will not take a nap. Cries so much even after talking about it, I leave him with books to read to get sleepy, sometimes he can do cars in bed until he is tired. This is what I’ve tried after the whole “you can’t have anything and you must lay ok your bed until you sleep”. That didn’t work either. And now bedtimes are a nightmare with him. We have had the same routine for a very long time. Tweaked it a bit as he got older but now it’s meltdown city every night. We moved bedtime earlier, we added one on one time before bath, we read books, sing songs, etc etc. We do have a 4 month old. So is this something from having another baby or is it just his age? Any thoughts accepted!


  20. I’m sitting here its 5:43am as I’m writing this and I’ve been up since 3:30am with our 1 1/2 yr old twin. My husband fell asleep on the couch and we have the tv on which I know is a no no but this isn’t the norm. What is is our twins 18 mos old wake 4-8 times a night we give them a bottle and they fall back asleep. they drink all of the bottle too. We change diapers multiple times a night and if they do end up sleeping longer they are awakened soaked from peed through diapers and wet bedding. I’m beyond exhausted and suffering from adrenal fatigue and my throat is swollen and neck wide, sigh. Our twins don’t sleep well through the night at all. We have a solid bedtime routine. We also have a 3 1/2 yr old that sleeps like a champ. We power down at 7pm and keep play calm. Then at 8 get jammies on, brush teeth, prayers, story and then we put our kids to bed. I’ll explain that in a sec but first our explain we live in a 700 hundren sq ft apt. One room is shared with the girls I have an 18 yr old too. So the 3 1/2 yr old shares a room with her. The twins are in with my husband and I, two cribs.
    So when it’s time to go to bed I put our son twin A down with his bottle and he falls asleep no crying although this last week right after his bottle he’s been crying/fussing so my husband will go in and re assure him he falls asleep pretty much immediately. This is new though and not the norm and last night he didn’t do that, so he is probably just needing tlc. Our daughter twin B is rocked asleep by my husband and has a bottle with him and then he puts her to bed. All pretty quick not drawn out. Our 3 1/2 yr old falls asleep with me singing her to sleep sitting next to her bed.
    Twin A wakes after 2 hours wanting another bottle and will suck the whole thing down. Twin B goes longer and starts waking at 12-2am and they flip flop back and forth through waking. We switched them to coconut milk because I think our daughter twin B was having stomach upset. We made raw formula from cows milk and even though raw it was bugging her I think after a year we fortified the milk but didn’t make the full fleged formula. We add brewers yeast and some oils and black strap because she was constipated but after switching to coconut milk no more constipation. We don’t forify it. I don’t know the answers but feeling really desperate. it’s like we’ve had 2 newborns for a year and a half.
    They are active during the day. Have a 2 hr nap at the same time 11-1 or 12-2. Yesterday. (Note my daughter can have a bottle in her crib during the day and fall asleep but at night she has to be rocked my husband. It doesn’t work with me lol just my husband.) I don’t agree with cry it out. I’ve been reading about sleep association but even if she’s in bed with us which we do when she’s so irritated she still doesn’t sleep soundly. She thrashes alot and doesn’t sleep soundly. She also has some sensory issues going on I think where when she’s over tired she bangs her had on mattress and starts humming. She does this when I carry her on my back in Ergo and when she’s in her high chair during dinner when she’s just about finished she started hitting her head with the back of her head. So back to my son he’s a sounder sleeper but wakes frequently as well wanting the bottle. So in short our daughter wakes seeming uncomfortable and our son wakes hungry. This is all so jumbled but was trying to give all the information I could from possible questions you may be thinking as you read this. Help any advice is welcomed. We’ve tried sleep herbs but not sedative ones. Ones geared for babies, homeopathic, we have teething necklaces, essential oils I’ve used, we’ve tried tart cherry juice. We want to get black out curtains as it’s been really cold in our room lately so it will help with insulation and keeping it dark longer. But this happens in warmer weather too. We’ve tried so many things and think we are on to something and then its a no go. Sigh thanks for reading.


  21. my almost 15 month old and I sleep together on the couch and have since her birth. She still suckles throughout the night using me for a pacifier.
    It has been fine but now she wants to stay attached all night and I’m ready to move her to a bed.
    She has never slept in a bed. For naps she is held by my mother in law. How can I get her to sleep without suckling and how do I get her in a bed without waking up. She’s a very light sleeper.


  22. Glad to run across this blog post.

    I have a 15 month old who still wakes up 2/3 times a night to eat. I have been feeding on demand for months but we are at a place where I need more sleep at night. I’m fine with nursing once a night but would like to eliminate the other feedings.

    We have a good bedtime routine, bath, quiet play, nursing, prayers, rock, and lay in crib awake. She goes to sleep great. It’s when she wakes up in the middle of he night.

    Thoughts? Tips?


  23. My babe is just over 5 months old. We are currently living at my in-laws but just bought a house and will be moving in 2 months. Since our baby has been born and until we move, we have shared a room. My husband and I decided to co-sleep with her in the bed. Her crib is in the room but when we move she will have her own room that I want to have her using. Ok. So she will fall asleep with other people holding her if she is tired, but in general, she usually falls asleep nursing and in our bed. I then leave her in the middle and she’ll nap and sleep there. I want to start transitioning her into her own crib and I tried a few times just for naps and OH MAN! she was not having it. I stood next to her and patted her but she was freaking out. On seldom occasions, if she is VERY tired, she will fall asleep awake in her crib, and if she is out I can move her into the crib and she doesn’t seem to freak out when she waked up. Let me also add that when I nurse her to sleep, she is usually out in less than 5 minutes. The worst part is that if I nurse her and she is in the bed but still a bit awake and I leave her, she is fine. But if I have nursed her in the rocking chair and then move her to her crib, she freaks out. I have tried to lay my arm under her as if we were snuggling still, I have patted her, “shhh”-ed her, put on music, followed our going to sleep routine to make it seem like its the same. She is still waking up every 2 hours and I nurse her with us both lying down, tummy to tummy. I think that because I’m next to her, she is waking up more often because I know many babies can sleep for 5-6 hours by this age. What else can I do?? Please help.


  24. I’m a stay at home. My daughter is about to be 10 months. She’s been taking her nap in a carrier since I started staying at home when she was 4 months.

    Today, she rubs her eyes. Early nap cue so I put her in the carrier to nap. She’s almost at the point where she’s full out. She usually talks and gets slower and slower and finally is quiet and out. She gets quiet and then all of the sudden shoots up and starts crying and pushing away from me. She fights it and fights it and keep crying and pushing away. She’s now overtired. So I take her out of the carrier to try and get her to sleep in the bed (Which has happened a couple of times. We also bed share)She keeps crying and fighting, so I get a pacifier to try and help sooth her and she sits up, plays with it and is fine. She literally went from perfect nap time to overtired to second wind in 45 minutes.

    Any advice/help?


  25. Hi Kate
    Thanks for this it looks like great advice
    I’ve been practicing AP with my 9 month old since she was born, we co sleep and she comes to work with me.
    I’m struggling now with our routine as she never sleeps in a pram/basinette/cot. She only sleeps 2 ways- in the Tula breastfeeding to sleep. Or with me lying with her breastfeeding to sleep. In the evening I’ll bf her to sleep, she’ll stir about 3 times and need to be bf back to sleep until she’s in a deep sleep. I love our co sleeping arrangement however the fact she never sleeps unless she’s on/with me is starting to become really hard, I can’t leave her with anyone, she hates other people, never settles for anyone but me on the breast. Please say that I haven’t built a rod for my own back and there’s hope! I am against CIO but I’m at my wits end. (Please note I sleep with a breast out at night and she helps herself so our night sleeping is no issue it’s purely the way she sleeps)


  26. We followed the “early days” suggestions and now are at 6 weeks. My daughter doesn’t want to sleep on any flat surface, only me or the swing. Not eve next to me in bed. I need more rest, she’s squirmy on me a night.. I’ve tried putting her completely asleep into bassinet and only once has it worked for 30 minutes. Other times she cries and gets so worked up that by the time I resettle her I get LESS sleep so I give up and lay her on me. Tips? I travel for work and need to get her in a better situation so my hubby can survive when I’m gone (she also loves to nurse constantly still but won’t take a passie)..I think she prefers belly sleeping.


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  29. I simply stuck my babies into the sling or Manduca or such until they were asleep then was able to gradually put them down onto the sofa or into the pushchair once asleep. Each baby is different so any sort of age indication seems useless to me. Especially when you have other toddlers and older kids to look after it’s not really possible to pay attention to baby’s signs of sleepiness etc.. My littlies also don’t need special clothing to sleep or any special bedtime. All they need is lots of hugs and love, breastfed or not (my youngest was not able to breastfeed).
    Smiles, single mother of six (9, 7, 5.5, 4, 3, 1) – 5 of them born at home sweet home.


  30. Would love some tips on getting my 2.5 yo to sleep in his bed all night like he used to a few months ago in his crib before he started climbing out and we transitioned him to a toddler bed.
    He shows up at various times in the night to sleep in our bed and when I try to return him, most times he yells and only wants daddy (who is usually completely oblivious in deep sleep).


  31. ThankYou!! For your loving and understanding approach to parenting and this advice is invaluable! I could relate to certain things you had mentioned and found I had already done some of what you had proposed. Adding a lot of other advice and tips that I had thought of and missed. You are so right in saying they are little beings wanting reassurance and understanding and that their cries are all for good reason. Being intuitive with your own child is so important in gaining and understanding of what they need. I’m sure you are a wonderful mother of 5! Super woman!! Thank you for this post!!


  32. Great gentle sleep advice. Thank you!!! Been using your sleep method of sitting with bsby and cuddling or talking to him but not taking him out of crib. He is almost 8 months old and finally able to put himself to sleep, so long as im there with him. This is after nearly 8 months of him waking every 40-90 minutes at a time or more!

    My question is: what about night waking? Bedtime has gotten easier and he just requires that he is able to see me as he falls asleep, but during night wakings, there are times that he could cry and cry until i give him my hand to hold, then he calms…but cries if i remove my hand. And nursing at night…do you believe in scheduled nursing times at night? I do a dream feed at around 11, then if he wakes before 3, i dont nurse him…i wait for him to go back to sleep. Which he is able to somdtimes within minutes, but not always!

    I just dont know what to do…i want to be a warm, responsive mommy but need to find the right balance! If there is one. Thank you!!!


  33. How did you transition from cosleeping to cot?

    My 10months and naps in her cot starts the night in her cot till 10pm like clockwork comes to our bed to spend the rest of the night. Her cot is in her room



  34. Megan, I would like to get your take on our situation. My daughter is almost 9 months old and getting up 5-8 times a night. We are trying to figure out why and what we can do to help her consolidate some sleep cycles and get more rest for us both! I am dragging…..we have a solid bedtime routine of bath, pjs ( zippadee zip), noise machine and fan (she is a light sleeper), nursing then walk her to sleep with songs and we put her in her crib asleep. She has never been a good sleeper and has always fought it. Rarely does she fall asleep nursing when going to bed. Since we added a nightly bath, we are getting her to bed around 8:00pm (9:00pm if she is super fussy) which is a big improvement from a couple months ago. Each time she wakes in the night, she gets nursed back to bed and generally goes back down easily. Occassionally, she will be too awake to go back down and it takes 1.5-2 hours of walking, singing, soothing until she falls asleep again, I am vigilient to respond quickly to her cries overnight so that she will go back down as quickly as possible. Most nights after we get her down, she wakes again within 45 minutes.Then after that second putting down, she sleeps for a couple hours before waking. Sometimes she will let her Dad put her down for round #2 without nursing but most times she cries so much and for so long that I give in and nurse her just so she can get some sleep. She gets very little naptime during the day, not for lots of trying but usually gets around 2-3 30 to 45 minute naps a day. She is eating solids and EBF and gets plenty to eat before bed.

    I am trying to figure out what to focus on first…is she waking so much b/c she can’t put herself to sleep( though I have seen her fall back asleep on her own overnight on the monitor), because she has developed a habit of nursing so frequently ( and needs to be night weaned?)or is it something else like an object permanence issue with her waking normally as a 9 months old and being upset that I am not there as I was when she fell asleep?

    I have read lots of books and blogs lately about helping her to fall asleep on her own and my brain hurts from it all.I don’t want to let her CIO and am searching for a solution that doesn’t wear me out even further ( I can’t take much more…)I have tried not picking her up when she wakes and soothing her from cribside. That was terrible-she just cried harder and harder until hysterical no matter what I tried, even if picked up. I feel so conflicted and am not sure what to focus on to be able to help her. us. Thanks for your time.


  35. We have 21 month old twins and have always nursed them to sleep. We started ℅-sleeping to try and get some rest and now we are in a situation where they can’t go to sleep on their own at nap time, bedtime or during the night and they crawl all over us during the night and no one is getting any sleep anymore. Is it too late? We can’t leave them to cry, it’s too hard for us. Any suggestions?


  36. Hi! I love all the information that you’ve posted but am hoping maybe you or someone can help me figure out how to use it. I’m desperate at this point and want to avoid crying it out at all costs. My son is almost 10 months old and only naps for 30 minutes at a time during the day (he used to nap for 45 minutes at a time which isn’t great either). Anyway due to a rough beginning for both of us (prematurity plus PPD is a bad combo….) he’s been nursed to sleep and was held for his naps pretty much his entire early life. Now he doesn’t sleep long unless he’s being held by me. I know there’s a lot of bad habits to break and have no idea where to start but something needs to change. I get NO breaks during the day and it’s wearing me out. And he wakes multiple times in the night (we do co-sleep which I don’t want to change unless I have to). Any suggestions on where/how to start changing things? There’s just so much we’re doing wrong I don’t honestly know where to begin…..


  37. […] Baby Sleep I did a post on this from S’s first six months here. Here are some thoughts on the second six months. This is the most helpful thing to me for baby sleep, along with the average awake time lengths below. And following are lots of helpful links: – Baby & Toddler Sleep Regressions – How the Wonder Weeks Affect Sleep (I’m on the fence about Wonder weeks. most of the time S was not in line with them but other times she was and this helped a lot then). – Managing Nap Transitions (4-3 and 3-2 were very smooth for us, mostly thanks to basing her sleep times off of wake time lengths and being flexible with bed time when we needed to be). – Cheater’s Guide to Sleep Training – Timeline of Baby and Toddler Sleep – Average Awake Times (most helpful thing for us troubleshooting sleep, helping us know if she might be undertired or overtired and that causing short naps/crankiness/night wakings/early wakings). – we love our sidecarred crib! – 10 Reasons other than hunger a baby can wake at night – Eat Play Sleep Fail – Gentle Tips for Teaching Your Baby to Sleep […]


  38. I totally agree with your methods and I want them to work for us so badly! I tried the “CIO” method one night and it took an hour of her crying and she only slept for an hour. It was so not worth it. I hated every minute.
    My baby slept great by herself her first month in a bassinet next to me then had trouble at month 2 due to reflux. I started co-sleeping with her in my bed at that point which kept her calm. She is now almost 6 months and Her Reflux has been under control with medicine but I cannot get her to sleep without me laying with her for naps or night time. Occasionally she’ll fall asleep in her car seat or her swing, but not for long, and you hear things about them having trouble breathing when sleeping in the car seat, so that scares me.
    At night, I have to go to bed when she does, which means at 7 or 7:30 pm. She only wants mama and has seperation anxiety even when daddy holds her. She naps about 3 times a day and I can’t get anything done. I love my snuggle time, but I do have things that must get done like doing the laundry or making dinner! She cries if she’s tired and I’m not holding her, even if I’m right next to her. Help a sister out!


  39. Maybe instead of tips, something wider – a method. There are several methods of learning to fall asleep – meontessori, CIO, HWL. Personally, I liked the HWL method very much and used it on my two children. Works with a little good will and cooperation. You can read about it, for example, in the book S. Urban: “How to teach a baby to fall asleep alone”.


    • I love the HWL method as well. I also followed the Susan Urban’s guide and this technique gave my family desperately needed sleep in just a few nights 🙂 I really recommend it!


  40. […] him, rocking him, nursing him, and showing him various ways to settle himself.  We shared our Gentle AP Method to Teach Your Baby to Sleep a couple of years ago.  It’s worked on all our kids so far (who co-sleep with us for a year, […]


  41. What would you recommend for a 5 week old? I feel like in the first month, if she wasn’t nursing she was sleeping, there wasn’t much in between so I didn’t really observe sleepy cues. Although I guess that would’ve been her slowing sucking, etc. We cosleep at night & during the day I’m hoping to help her learn to fall asleep in places other than my arms/on me/nursing. What would you recommend at this point? Just continuing to observe & respond to her & keep trying? Haven’t introduced the pacifier yet but plan to to help w/this. I’ve tried swaddling but don’t do a good job, either that or she just doesn’t like to be swaddled.


  42. Hi Kate, I wish somebody had have told me about this 12 hour sleep thing after my hubs was born! I labored through the night and she arrived at 7am, then she slept all day while we spoke to family and then when I super needed sleep that night after a night of missed sleep she woke every hour to nurse and I never got more than a couple of hours of sleep at a time for at least a month! She is 21 months now and does sleep through other than teething, cold etc. but your teething tamer and goodnight lotion definitely help a lot too ♥️ love this post and thanks for all that you do. I’ll be in the know how for when babe 2 comes along now cheers, Cassie


  43. Any advice for a four year old who won’t sleep all night in their own bed? She coslept for the first 2.5 years and at almost 5, still wakes up between 12-2 to come snuggle with us. Not sure what to try at this point.


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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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