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Ali Landry’s Blog: Does Your Baby Sleep Through the Night?

05/10/2012 at 03:45 PM ET
Me and my boy – John Russo

Thanks for welcoming celebrity blogger Ali Landry!

A former Miss USA, the model and actress, 38, most recently starred in and executive produced Hollywood Girls Night on TV Guide Network.

Landry is also the founder of Spokesmoms, a product review platform for mothers, and is a supporter of SafeKids.org, which works to prevent childhood injuries.

Married to director Alejandro Monteverde since April 2006, the couple are parents to 4½-year-old daughter Estela Ines and 7-month-old son Marcelo Alejandro.

You can find Landry on Facebook and on Twitter @alilandry.

All parents of young babies suffer from lack of sleep — that’s a given!

I was fortunate enough not to experience the full devastating force of sleep deprivation until my second child because Estela was a remarkably good sleeper.

When I was pregnant with her, I got really into Dr. Harvey Karp’s The Happiest Baby on the Block book and DVD. When she was born, we applied Dr. Karp’s methods and let me tell you, they worked like a charm!

We loved them because they allowed Alejandro to be an active participant in the process instead of just sitting by the sidelines, and they gave us confidence as parents that we could soothe our baby and get her to sleep easily.

Dr. Karp’s advice — coupled with the Miracle Blanket we swaddled Estela in — resulted in her sleeping through the night at two weeks old (don’t hate me). Little did I know how easy I’d had it until Marcelo came along.

Helping edit Daddy’s movie – Courtesy Ali Landry

I don’t know if it’s because he’s a boy or what, but he is still waking up repeatedly throughout the night. We’d also been swaddling him, but as you’ll recall from my last entry, we then discovered that he had somehow learned to flip over onto his stomach.

The first time I found him like this, with his head up in the air and his arms bound at his side, I PANICKED! So needless to say, this meant even less sleep for me because I was so scared.

Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit has been a big help — it prevents him from flipping over but it still gives him that feeling of coziness and safety that he gets from being swaddled.

However, the biggest difference has been made by Dr. Karp himself. I had the privilege of meeting him at an event, and he was kind enough to come to our home and do a one-on-one sleep session with us.

He taught us how to apply the wake/sleep technique, in which you basically adjust the baby’s sleep cycle by attempting to pull the baby from a deep sleep (about an hour before he usually wakes up) into a semiconscious state, then letting him go back to sleep in order to restart a sleep cycle without him ever completely waking up.

You do this by moving him around a little, gently stroking him or even changing his diaper. It depends on what works best for your baby. Then at around 6 or 6:30 a.m., I “dream feed” him, which is basically breastfeeding him while he’s still asleep to hold him over for a couple more hours.

Snoozin’ in his suit – Courtesy Ali Landry

We’re also using Dr. Karp’s CD of sleep sounds and music, which helps with different situations. There are sounds specifically designed for when the baby is just about to fall asleep, or for when you want him to stay asleep, and so forth.

We’ve had some great nights when I think we’ve finally solved this issue, but then there are other nights when it’s back to square one. So we are not out of the woods just yet, but all in all Marcelo is sleeping so much better (and so are we!), and I can honestly say I couldn’t have done it without Dr. Karp.

I am incredibly grateful for his help, but I would also love to know what your tips and techniques are. How did you get your little ones sleeping through the night? Did any of you deal with this “flipping” problem, or is my baby some kind of weird acrobat?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts! Leave a comment or Tweet me @alilandry.

– Ali Landry

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Showing 57 comments

meme on

What a beautiful pic of her and baby—- love the dress. No, my ten month old does not sleep through the night grrr… He is my third, and none of them slept through the night until about a year. Oh well, they are only babies for a short time, this will eventually change. Hopefully sooner than later! Lol

denise on

mine did sleep through the night at 8 weeks. but it’s nothing you can influence at all, at least from my point of view. you can do your best to provide the perfect situation but sleeping through the night has to do with the development of certain parts of the brain. he just didn’t wake up for night feeds any more. at almost 3 years he’s still a good sleeper so I guess it’s just his personality and he loves to sleep.

but I do like ali’s approach that she didn’t use a method like ferber but just helps her son! who’s a cutie btw!

Amy on

The longest any of my 1st 5 kids slept thru the night before I stopped nursing them was 6hrs (consistently – we always have nights here and there where they’ll sleep longer). #6 just turned 1 and I’m still nursing her, but she’s now sleeping 12hrs! So many of my friends (and my sister too) had excellent sleepers their 1st time around and their 2nd kids were not so great.

It’s completely normal for a baby to continue waking in the middle of the night til they’re a yr old. My best friend’s pedi told her (when she asked about her 2nd one not sleeping thru the night) if it was her 1st, she (my friend) wouldn’t even be concerned about it b/c that would be what she knew. Don’t worry, it won’t last forever! :)

Kara on

My first was a terrible sleeper. He didn’t sleep longer then 2 hours until he was a year old. He had reflux until 9 months (medicine didn’t help) and by the time he was better he developed a bad habit of waking up. At 6 he is a fantastic sleeper.

My daughter slept 12 hours without waking up from the first night I brought her home.

My third is inbetween. At a year old he wakes up once or twice (he goes to bed at 7:30 and wakes up at 7) but there are so many changes in the first two years that it really does vary. We just went through a 4 week period of waking up every 45 min because of teething.

Amanda on

My daughter slept through the night right off the bat too, so no suggestions, but wanted to tell you that he is adorable!

Andrea on

I think it needs to be said that the medical definition of “sleeping through the night” is one 5 hour block of time. Most babies do that by about 3 months. I found that as long as I made it a priority to take a nap at some point during the day then I was never really sleep deprived.

Holiday on

My son was 3 before he did on a regular basis. My daughter just turned 2 this week and has never slept a stretch longer than 4 hours. Not ever.

kjc on

My baby was sleeping through the night at about 2 months, and we were swaddling him with a miracle blanket (think baby straight-jacket). He loved being swaddled, but at 6 months we decided it was time to stop the swaddle. He slept really poorly for a few weeks, and then was up usually only once a night after that, sometimes twice. He just turned one, and we have more full night sleeps than not now, thankfully, but I am looking forward for ALL full nights.

Danielle on

My son was an amazing sleeper, and was so still that I kept him in his bassinet until well over 6 months. He slept through the night starting at around 8 weeks.

My daughter on the other hand was waking up for a 3am feeding until almost 18 mos. Nothing I did could get her to quit her 3am feeding, she was just hungry. She was eating 3 full meals plus snacks throughout the day and 3 bottles but still woke up, and it was because she was hungry not a comfort issue. Now at 2 she will still sometimes get up at 3 and ask for something to eat and go back to sleep afterwards.

I think all babies are just different, and the key is to adjust to their rhythms. That being said I have a 2yr old and a 4yr old and I am pretty sure I havent slept in 4yrs….

mamato3littles on

my 1st was a terrible sleeper! He woke up once or twice a night until he was 3! My 2nd was a great sleeper and he slept through from 8 weeks. My 3rd is only 3wks old and she’s waking a few times a night still :)

Amanda on

My son is almost 17 mos old and has never completely slept through the night. And that’s normal, so don’t worry, mamas who deal with this…it will eventually stop, but it’s completely developmentally normal for babies to wake throughout the night. It’s an evolutionary thing…they wake up, make sure they’re protected, their needs are met, and keep us on our toes regarding predators.

Babies have had the same instincts for thousands of years…it’s only in the past few decades that society has started pushing on parents what is best for them instead of their babies. This whole “babies past a certain age should sleep twelve hour stretches” is just one of these things. It’s okay if they do, please don’t misunderstand me…but it’s also perfectly okay if they don’t. :)

Hen on

Why would you want to prevent your 7 month old from rolling over in his sleep? Don’t most 7 month olds roll into a comfy sleep position themselves? Just a question. I never had any of these sleep suits and my babies slept with blankets on them, I know, I know call Child Services now. LOL..Not right for everyone but it is what worked for us. So I’m wondering..do parents do this, I mean want to buy a suit to prevent babies from rolling?? Is that why she bought a “sleep suit”? Maybe I need to go back and read the article again, but that freaked me out a little bit.

Melanie on

Hen, she is saying they always swaddled him (so his arms would be pinned over his chest and just head peeking out) but now that he’s learned to roll over (and apparently learned how to do it without use of his arms) that it scares her and she can’t do it anymore because it’s a suffocation hazard. That’s why she freaked out when she found him swaddled and facedown. The sleep suit is not swaddling, it’s an alternative to blankets.

sherbear on

My 6 year old was a terrible sleeper, until about a year ago. I tried EVERYTHING! She was always happy and calm during the day so I feel she just doesn’t need as much sleep as the dr.s and books tell ya.

At one point when I was beyond exhausted and on the verge of tears, I had an a bit of an aha moment….as a special education worker I have had the sadness of dealing with families losing their children, I realized that all of those moms would do anything to hug their children again….even if it as 4am, and it was the 5th time that night.

Hen on

Ahhh, Okay I get in now.. Thank you Melanie.

Nic on

Sherbear, thank you so much for your comment regarding parents who have lost their children and would give anything to be able to hug their kids again – even if it is 4am! My 2.5 year old daughter has never slept through the night and my 9 month old son still wakes atleast twice a night to eat and it can get exhausting. I would be saddened to think that I wasted their entire infancy being frustrated. I’m thankful for your reminder to be grateful for the time I spend with my children no matter what time of day/night it is.

cat on

my baby slept through the night at the third month and has been a great sleeper ever since. She is my one and only so i guess i got lucky. If i ever have another i hope it’s the same but every baby is different.

I think maybe some babies are gassy and haven’t been burped enough or they have a wet diaper or are just hungry. Those are usually the suspect issues for babies waking up. So make sure before you put them down to sleep they have fed enough and are burped a few times and check in on the diaper when they are sleeping. Don’t be afraid of waking the baby to change a diaper, you wouldn’t sleep wet so don’t let the baby sleep wet. They will eventually wake up and cry because it’s cold and uncomfortable. Usually a sleeping baby will go back to sleep after a gentle diaper change.

Also sticking to a feeding and sleeping schedule really helps. It’s all trial and error. But eventually us parents get it right.

Courtney on

My baby boy is 6 months old. He started sleeping through the night at 14 weeks and hasn’t looked back. He sleeps from 7:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. and takes 3 one-hour naps a day, sometimes more.

He is also a tummy sleeper, which at this age is fine. If they can move their head to the side, it’s safe for them to sleep on their tummies. It was alarming at first, but my daughter slept like that too after about 3 months. I would never prevent a 7 month old from sleeping how they want to sleep – it’s totally safe, and I would let your little one try sleeping on his tummy.

Courtney on

And yes, Hen, the sleep suit is not normal for a 7 month old. Let the baby sleep how he wants!!!! He needs room to root around the crib and find the most comfortable position for HIM!

MammaDucky on

My twins slept 12 hours (7-7) from about 10-12 weeks. An occasional night waking was not unheard of (mostly when they had colds) but for the most part slept solid. They are still rockstar sleepers at 6 1/2. My son, on the other hand, not so much. He’ll be 5 in August. He’ll go weeks or even months where he’ll sleep through the night, then he’ll start showing up in our room at 4am.
It doesn’t really bother me as he’ll be our last and I enjoy cuddling him. But all kids are different.
It irks me when new parents lecture seasoned parents about how their method works perfectly. Nothing works perfectly or else every child in the nation would sleep through the night. Whatever works for you and your family is good enough.

lyn on

I was very lucky that my son started sleeping through the night at about 6 weeks. I don’t remember when he started flipping over onto his stomach but he started sleeping even better when he could get himself into a comfortable position on his own. Every baby is different. I never read any books on sleep or tried anything special. The kid just likes to sleep. He is now 2 1/2 and still loves his sleep, he goes to bed at 8 and wakes at 7.

RJL on

My son (now 13.5 months old) has been sleeping through the night ever since he was 7 weeks old. His bedtime is 7 pm (it took awhile to get to that, though, that happened well after the 7 week mark!) and he wakes up between 5:30-7 am every morning.

bob on

I have used the Magic Sleepsuit with all my kids. Its a great way to transition from the swaddle when your baby starts rolling over. Don’t want baby swaddle on their stomach. Sleepsuit provide the swaddle affect and helps keep baby sleeping better and longer – teaches good sleeping habits.

Melanie on

Courtney, sleepsuits are totally normal for babies. My son was in one until over a year because he constantly wrapped a blanket over his face as he fell asleep and it scared the crap out of me. They can crawl, stand and move around their crib just fine in one. It’s just an alternative to a loose blanket.

catchmemummy on

I was very lucky. My little man slept through the night from 9 weeks until 4.5 months. He then started to wake for 1 feed. I weaned him off this night time feed at 7 months. He is now 9 months and sleeps 7pm-6:30am every night, with 2 sleeps during the day of 1.5 hours each.

My secret? I taught him to self-settle. At times this meant me staying in the room with him and patting his tummy. As he got more comfortable with his lovely bed, he was able to go to sleep completely unassisted. I started teaching him this at 6 weeks old. I know it sounds young, but I was able to gradually pat him less and less, and he felt completely loved, safe and cosy.

Also pair this with communication. He knows ‘time to go to sleep’ means he needs to sleep. Also introduce playtime in the cot. This makes them feel very positive towards their own ‘space’.

I definitely took a respectful approach, but didn’t allow him to think that sleeping was an activity that he needed me for.

Tara on

I would be happy to answer any of your questions! I am a certified pediatric sleep consultant and love the Magic Sleepsuit. I actually posted about it earlier today on my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/tulsapediatricsleepconsulting

katie on

gosh! i wish people would just stop looking at a baby that doesn’t sleep through the night as something that needs to be fixed. babies wake. its normal. its supposed to happen, if its needed to happen. my 2 yr old doesn’t sleep through, would be nice sure, but i am not doing any sleep training because its not a problem. i just deal with it. yes i work part time and have 2 under 4, i just don’t see it as a problem. its normal.

amw on

bottom line there is very little that you can do. you have to learn how to adjust to what you are dealt. tips and tricks will get you a little ways, but some children just need attention at night. my daughter is 2 years old and has only ever slept through the night about 4-5 times, EVER. once you remove the goal of having them sleep through the night and draining your energy stressing about that, your body will actually learn how to be woken up 1-3 times a night and still give you enough energy to make it through the day. i dont do coffee and i can still have a very pleasant productive day after she has woken me up once or twice.

kat on

Our little boy did the same thing and we freaked out too. We went cold turkey on the swaddle and put him in a fleece sleep sack. He woke up a lot the first few nights and eventually started flipping himself over on his stomach to sleep. Once he figured this out consistently he had no problems and at 6 months now typically sleeps from 8-8. We just followed his cues and he dropped his 4/5 am feeding about a month ago. I was worried at first since he rolled over pretty early, but the doctor said we were ok if he was getting himself onto his belly. We are lucky and have a good little sleeper though and have not had to sleep train or anything along those lines. I did jump to get him at the slightest grunt and was getting up every 2-3 hours. When we moved him to his own room I realized he was not always making noises because he was hungry, but because he was finding a comfortable position. I am sure there will be hell to pay with baby #2 though!

4mom on

I am the mother of an 8yr., 4yr., 21 month and 7 month old. My first slept with me every night because she never slept otherwise. The other three have been great sleepers in their own beds with the occasional night with me. They were/are all breast fed and when I weaned them at a year they slept all night in their cribs. Every baby is different and not all babies are open to being “taught” to sleep thru the night. My oldest would scream until she threw up. No matter how much reassurance we gave or how many times we tried it, she NEVER calmed down. I am most alarmed by the idea that a baby should not roll over in their sleep. If you are concerned with a blanket just put him in a warmer sleeper and don’t use a blanket. I do not understand why people freak out if their child rolls over in the night. If they are physically able to do it then why do you stop them? My son will fuss and then roll over and go right back to sleep. Also why are you still swaddling a 7 month old? He is much too old for this. Does his pediatrician recommend this? Most babies outgrow swaddling at around 4 months when they become physically more active and in control of their bodies. It sounds like you are trying to tie him down in his crib. Let him become more active and stop trying to control him and while he might be at the other end of the crib and on his tummy in the morning, you might get a full night of sleep.

Lisa on

That’s great that Ali’s daughter slept through the night so early on, but I hope she realizes that that was just her baby’s disposition; not as a result of anything they did. I also followed Happiest Baby on the Block to a T and used a miracle blanket, and my daughter was up several times a night until she was a year and a half old.

Some people get very lucky, but for those of us who don’t sleep solidly for a year or two, it’s not abnormal, and we’re good parents too.

Triplet mama on

Swaddling & Happiest Baby on the Block technique were lifesavers for our triplets to sleep.

Melodic Mom on

My youngest daughter didn’t sleep through the night until she was about 10 months old. She’s 16 months old now and she’s still not a GREAT sleeper. I think some babies are good sleepers and some aren’t- you just have to try to be consistent with your sleep routines and wait it out.

Kristine on

My first was a good sleeper. My second is not. She was still up 3-4 times a night at 9 months. Even at almost 2, I have to go in to settle her down 1-3 nights a week. It just means patting her a little bit and putting on her little musical doggy, but there are still times where she gets herself worked up past being able to go down again by herself.

She was also rolling over at 3 months, so at that point we just let her sleep on her belly if that’s what she prefers (most babies do). Prolonged back time leads to flat heads. So why force the baby to sleep on his back if he prefers his stomach? As our doctor says – once they can roll, you can’t stop how they sleep. I guess that’s not completely true – you can stuff them into a huge suit that keeps them from rolling. Totally not for me. There are sleep bags with/without arms to use as blankets, instead of constantly relying on swaddling – Woombie, Halo Sleep Sack, Carter’s, etc.

Jac on

My daughter was a terrible sleeper since day one. At 4 years, 2 months she had her tonsils and adenoids removed. Since that very night she’s been sleeping through the night! She had Obstructive Apnea, which made it heard for her to sleep. We had NO CLUE. She didn’t have the symptoms, aside from not sleeping through the night. I took her to the ENT for an ear cleaning for extremely built up wax and the doc told me within a second of looking into her throat that her adenoids were the biggest he’s ever seen. Also, she was in the 2nd percentile for weight since she was one. She’s gained 5 pounds in the last 4 months since her T&A surgery. She’s finally at a normal weight and doesn’t look sickly. She wasn’t eating a lot because her tonsils were very big and in the way and she couldn’t stand when food hit them.

SupportEachother on

CatchmeMummy I’m so happy you brought up self-settling. I’m from a European family (they all live in Portugal) and every baby in the family slept through the nite completely and fully at just a few weeks old. It’s a very common approach in Europe (one I know that has recently been pointed out in the book about the American woman in France, Raising Bebe) to teach children at a very early age to be content within themselves, to feel that they don’t need their parent every second of every moment. You basically LISTEN to what the baby is doing, is he just making noises because he’s still asleep? OR does he really need you to feed him or change his diaper? Most people start to figure out that they wake up their own children most of the time because they start to panic. This getting up every time the baby makes a sound is teaching the baby to wake up at those exact times, that his parent will show up and it’s time to wake up again. This self-settling or self-reliance method translates into when they’re older. We all knew how to behave in restaurants, to entertain ourselves when company was over (either sit with the adults and listen or go play in the other room, etc.) and I’m telling you I never saw tantrums of any kind. We just knew what to do on our own. We knew our parents were there for us naturally and they were very attentive, but they also treated us like we were smart and capable, that we didn’t need them to do every single little thing. This all starts right from the beginning.

Aunu1 on

I would have given anything to have been able to have a baby. An emergency hysterectomy at a young age . So, I don’t think I would complain on bit to have the opportunity to be waking up with a baby who isn’t sleeping through the night. I have enough Moms around me to know how frustrating it can be. Someone here made a valid point, that some women have lost their babies for whatever reasons, and would give anything to hold them again. So , on my side of this topic, just be greatful for those times in the middle of the night that you get to love, and comfort your baby.

Anonymous on

As women we should all remember to support eachother not judge. Each of you is doing your very best for your child and as we all know there is not one way to do things. Please respect and build eachother up not make snap judgements about eachothers sucesses and struggles. It takes a village to raise children. What you are all doing is the most rewarding and challenging job.

lisa on

Does anyone ever actually listen to their doctors? it is not healthy to let a 2 week old baby sleep through the night. they need nutrition at the very least every 4 hours during that first month. their bodies are growing so fast during those early months. there is no healthy way to get around that. please don’t listen to an actress tell you that you should be jealous that her baby sleeps through the night at 2 weeks. listen to your doctor, and hopefully you have a good one. wow, unreal!

Siti on

Hi Ali,

My baby girl’s sleeping pattern changes as soon as we stopped swaddling her. Matters got worse as I learnt that she prefers to sleep on her belly as every time she flipped, I would put her back on her back. This is where I was wrong. As soon as I stopped interfering with her sleeping habits, she started to sleep well, even though she would wake up once at night to eat. So, let your son flip as much as he would like, he would find his comfortable position, and you do not need to worry that he would suffocate. Simply do not put any blankets on him and make sure he is not overdressed and can easily change positions. That is the key! As soon as you hear him cry, it means he is hungry, feed him a bit and he would immediately fall back to sleep. Good luck!

DCwriter on

I don’t know what it is about People anymore, but their articles/posts always seem to leave me feeling alienated. I am the mother of a 13 month old who still wakes every few hours, and I certainly don’t have the option of having Dr. Karp over to my home for a personal sleep session, which the author touts as the thing that made all the difference.

Amy on

I had my twin boys sleeping through the night (12 hours) at 11 weeks 5 days following “12 Hours Sleep by 12 Weeks Old” by Suzy Giordano.
http://www.babycoach.net
Her methods were easy to follow and made sense. My boys are 16 months old and still sleep from 7:45 pm – 7:45 am every night.

Christina on

The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Panthey and The Baby Sleep Solution by Chris Towland worked like magic for me! In 10 days, I went from waking up 10-12 times in a night, to having my baby sleep through the night.

Ultimately, I strongly believe the key to getting your baby to sleep through the night is getting him/her to fall asleep on their own AND having them bond with a ‘lovie’ (stuffed animal/blanket etc). Once my son knew how to self soothe, we were golden!

catchmemummy on

@ SupportEachOther – thanks for your opinion! I’m in Australia, and it’s becoming more common to implement self-settling here too. The most successful sleep schools use it to solve all sorts of problems.

If anyone is reading this, and desperate for a bit of sleep – please, please, please get a hold of ‘The Dream Baby Guide’ by Sheyne Rowley. It’s an Australian book, and my ‘bible’ to parenting my son. Rowley looks at sleep as interconnected with play and feeding – and if one area is out of balance, it will affect the other areas. For example – if baby is overfed, they will wake during the night to play, because there is all that energy within her little body that needs to be expelled. Or, if baby is not confident to play and explore by themselves during the day, how could Mummy expect them to be happy to be alone, in the crib when it’s dark and they are tired? She teaches parents to instill confidence in their babies (older than 6 months) to relax and trust the parent to govern them through the day.

It’s truly brilliant – and makes so much sense (which I think any kind of parenting book should).

In saying that, I must emphasize that if you are happy with the way things are in your family, you mustn’t change them because of other people’s opinions. You are the mum. You know what’s best. This strategy was best for us, and I just wanted to share what worked. I think you are all terrific, and hope you had a great mothers day. xxx

ruby on

That baby has a flat spot on the back of his head. Parental negligence … so pathetic.

If you expect a baby to sleep through the night, you’ve just lost your mind. It’s a person, with a tiny stomach, who’s been surrounded by warm water for 9 months and now has to sleep in a cold, dark room alone because his/her parents don’t want to get up in the middle of the night to take care of her. Stupid.

Lisa on

I remember the pain of no sleep! My son woke up basically every hour up until he was 6 months old (and we also implemented all of Dr. Karp’s techniques as well as using the Miracle Blanket!). We were so desperate, we tried a modified version of the Ferber method (don’t judge unless you have been in my shoes), which kind of helped. My son is 22 months old and JUST started sleeping 10 hours straight about a month ago. Naps are still a struggle – he wakes up after about and hour and I have to rub his back in order for him to go back to sleep and he only sleeps an hour and a half total for a nap. I cannot believe what a difficult journey this has been for us (sleepwise). It really made us not want to have another baby. I am so envious of people whose babies sleep 12 hours straight and can also nap at the drop of a hat.

Annette Jarrett on

My twin boys slept through from around 6 weeks – the best advise i ever got was that the more they eat between 7am – 12noon the better they will sleep through the night…at 2.3yrs i still go by this and if they don’t eat a good breakfast i pay for it later in the night…

Tyler’s Mom on

Ahhh it’s soo refreshing to hear everyone’s stories. Well not the ones whose baby slept through the night immediately after being born!! I kid!

My son is 10 months now and out of desperation we are Ferberizing and it’s actually working. I don’t care who judges, we are tired!! It’s been 10 months of 3 wakes a night!! We did the Happiest Baby on the Block swaddling in the beginning but it started not to work and I couldn’t get down what temp it should be in my house. Every time I unwrapped him he was soaking wet so I gave up on that thing.

Katharine on

Once your baby can flip back/forth, get comfortable, spread out he will sleep through the night. Letting go of the swaddle will lead to a few bad weeks (as he adjusts), but it will also train him to deal with his body at night (and finally get really comfortable!).
I would also recommend a light Ferber method. Around 5 months, when he was out of the swaddle and didn’t need to eat!, but was getting himself finally comfortable, we let him cry it out in 10-minute intervals. I would go in and pat him and reassure him after 10 minutes, then he’d pass back out. After a couple of weeks of this (and it seemed to time up with the discomfort of swaddle “withdrawal”), he was sleeping 12 hour blocks. He is 10 months now and sleeps like a rock all night. We practiced this same Ferber method with my 3-year old, and she walks herself to her bed and turns her light out.
You have to train your child to put himself back to sleep; to soothe himself back to sleep. As adults we wake up at night, but are able to go back to sleep without a fuss.

Jessie on

All babies are different. They have different personalities. And if you’re opposed to sleep training or cry it out like many of us are, you can’t do anything to change that. It’s biologically normal for a baby, even a toddler, to wake at night. My first woke every 2 hours until 18 months. At 2.5 she still wakes once a night several days a week. My second is 3 months and sleeps from 9 PM – 4 AM or later more nights than not. Both slept in our room, both are breastfed on demand, they’re just different babies. Number 1 was (is) more high needs all around. Colicky, etc. Nothing wrong with either one. Just different babies. On the flip side, #1 was a much better napper than #2.

andii on

I tell you what my daughter slept through the night from day one in the hospital I’d feed her on schedule the lay her down in her crib andbshe would either already be asleep or fall asleep on her own by 8 weeks my doc saidm ifshe sleeps through a feeding so be it feed her at the next she is now 6 and healthy but as shes gotten older, she’s become a horrible sleeper she’s on a strict routine and still has a hard time falling asleep I was told she’s inherited my chronic insomnia but we shall see. Every parent knows what is best for their baby what works for one doesn’t work for another no one here should have room to judge other peoples parenting skills.

Kara S. on

Our son had reflux and he was on medicine from 2 weeks until 15 months. He was an awful napper- about 20 minutes was all I would get out of him at any given time. I put him on a feeding schedule immediately and did not stray from it even if we were out of town, at someone’s else’s house etc. I got a lot of flack about it from other people but truthfully it worked for us. By 6 weeks he was sleeping through the night even with reflux and even though he still didn’t nap. He just wasn’t a napper. Yes he still had fussy time around 8 at night, but it was so worth it for us to have 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night. He has always slept through the night since then unless of course he gets sick or has a bad dream. Good luck to you. Your children are gorgeous and such a blessing.

mommyof3boys on

I just had my third baby boy in 4.5 years, and he started sleeping for over 10 hours, up to 13 hours straight every night by about 12 weeks. By two weeks, he would sleep about 6 hours straight. I’ve always had really good sleepers… But, I’m old school.

I encourage them to find their fingers to self soothe. I also let them sleep on their tummy when they stop wanting to be swaddled. My middle and third baby both are thumb suckers, so they couldn’t sleep well if they were swaddled, but if they were on their back, they would get that startle reflex where they throw their arms out as if they were falling, then they would scream and wake up. When they sleep on their tummy, they have better access to suck their thumb and self soothe, and my babies also have really strong necks and can hold their own heads up at birth.

Don’t worry, I don’t use bumper pads and take loose blankets away when they start wiggling around and rolling over and switch to a sleep sack. My mom had 6 kids, and we all slept on our stomachs and were just fine. I check on him all the time, and also listen to him on the baby monitor. For some babies who don’t sleep well, I suggest trying their tummy to sleep on!

(I also use the Babywise Method, of feed time, awake time, then a nap time during the day, and it helps them to regulate their sleep cycles and sleep better at night time!)

Lisa on

So interesting the sleep issue. I was obsessed while pregnant that I need sleep so I prayed for good sleepers. I believe the saying is “Be careful what you wish for…” My daughters all slept great, the first even slept 7-8 hrs regularly starting at 6 days the second by 2 weeks. i was so proud and bragged like crazy. Fast forward 15 YEARS and my house is a nightmare in the morning and it can take up to 45 minutes to wake them for school and the moods are horrible. I have questioned the pediatrician because they actually border on unconscious when they sleep but he laughed like crazy. They both come home from school their usual pleasant selves and don’t even remember how crazy the morning was! Go figure.

guest on

omg hes cute

Kat on

I LOVE the picture of daddy and son!

Jacqueline on

Hi Ali, I have to say you look fabulous! And all your pictures are very accurate. You are just as gorgeous in person! I met you at Harvey Karp’s happiest baby seminar in April/may of this year in NYC. You were such a doll to my husband and I as we asked you so many questions about the whole journey of motherhood. You were fantastic and SO patient! So thank you! And all your suggetions and ideas about products you enjoyed were spot on for us. We have really enioyed the miracle blanket and i always remember how you said your home looked like a stroller parking lot….. you loved them all for different activities/ days/reasons. Best suggestion…. its nice for us to have the variety depending on where we go! so thank you again! Oh, and the ergo carrier….. Spot on. You truly know your stuff and have awesome ideas. So I always remembered that and wanted to check out your blog (now that my mommy brain is less fried!) and ask you about the wake/sleep technique you used.

It sounds great and I am desperate!
I gave birth to our delicious baby girl in June and she is almost 6months! Time is truly flying! She is wonderful, edible, and so full of life! Thank god! We waited so long for her so we feel unbelievably blessed. We have a good routine for her sleep in that she goes down, bathed, swaddled, book and nursed at 730-8pm every night. Wakes up at 7am. Only BC I nurse her from 6-7am in bed. Big difference between 6am and 7am! Naps are good too….. 10am and 2pm. Each for almost two hours. And maybe a small power nap at 530pm. Problem is, or what I think is the issue is that I nap nurse with her during the day and will nurse her to sleep at night. So recently she has started waking up at 11pm, 1am, 3am and 5am. I am Exhausted! And, sadly, baby girl is pooped too! I only had a 5-6 hr stretch going prior to this, from 730pm-1or 2am. With no wake up or feeding sessions. Then she would wake at 3am and 6am. Doable. Really doable actually…. looking back. But lately it has been what feels like every 2-3 hrs. I am aware of teething, growth spurts and developmental milestones, so I have ruled them out…. doctor confirmed, she could do longer stretches without constant night feedings at this stage. I think it may be the nap nurse situation I developed….. Which while it was a fabulous idea then…..( yay! Everybody sleeps!)…..now it feels like she can’t self soothe back to sleep. I am planning on trying the wake technique you described in your blog. Excited to try it really. My concern is as soon as I take the boob out ( and I have been breastfeeding exclusively so long now I am not scared of the pacifier ) and place the paci in ( if she lets me! Sometimes it just wakes her up completely….but if I don’t use it she wakes up too……. Tough) she usually wakes and stirs a lot either way. Sadly she can’t fall back asleep an wakes up fully ready to hang out and play and I always feel that’s worse these days. Leaving her to play, which I have tried, results in major fuss and crying fits….. Which I will admit are a struggle for me more than her perhaps.
I love when she gets those long naps…. She is less fussy and more bright eyed and happy all day. So, inevitably I remain nap nursing even though I really want to encourage her to learn to soothe herself …… A slight predicament. I even thought of sleep trainers or a baby nurse… BC of how hard it is to watch her struggle, when the shhhhing, rocking, patting, paci, don’t work. We are in this mode where I inevitably jump in so at least she will sleep a good stretch. i have digested Countless books on sleeping methods also….. Just not sure yet how to proceed. Main concern is when i finish breastfeeding and she is past out….. she wakes as soon as I unlatch. I have tried waiting for her To unlatch organically and I have tried to put her down drowsy…. All trials lead to her waking up in a tizzy. 😩 Makes me sad. Sorry for the long arduous post….. But feeling so tired and sad with the sleep process…..would love to hear your thoughts or suggestions as you have been super helpful before! Did you nurse often at night? am i asking for too much? every 2-3 hrs seems more like a comfort thing than a true need to eat…. i just want to do the best for her…. Not keep her in this phase for me. i am really seeing her struggle to self soothe these days….. thank you so much!! ……..any thoughts would help!
Tired new mommy in NYC

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