Vicki Kuper, Infant and Child Sleep Consultant, sat down with Redsbaby to help Our Community of tired parents help with their little one’s sleep.
For those who missed having their questioned answered during the Instagram LIVE, Vicki has answered them below. For some of you there were some more details needed, so Vicki’s details are below to ensure you get the right advice and plan in place for a restful and calm parenting journey.
Laura: My 5-week-old, sleeps alone during the day but at night only sleeps facing me. How do I transition him to a co-sleeper next to the bed?
Advice from Vicki: Bed sharing is not recommended by the SIDS Foundation, but I don’t have a problem with it as long as you follow strict guidelines for safe sleeping. If he can sleep on his own during the day then he can do it at night. Often babies of that age are unsettled in the evening due to the day of stimulation, so it does take them a while to settle. Cuddle him, rock him and cluster feed (if you are breast feeding, or a small top up bottle). Place him in his bed once he’s settled. It will be easier to do this now than in a few months’ time, as babies of this age adapt very quickly.
Christina: My 11-week-old is only sleeping for 40-50mins during the days and feeding every 2 hours during the day, is this normal?
Vicki’s Advice: Catnapping is normal at this age. 45 mins is one sleep cycle, so you need to be resettling your baby back to sleep by patting, shushing or rocking - it’s also ok to hold baby for the second part of the nap. This is teaching baby to sleep longer (they take a while to learn to link sleep cycles). Try stretching out the feeds day by day until they are 3hrs apart otherwise you do tend to get into a habit of snacking and napping.
Vicky: My 14-month-old co-sleeps in our bed, can you help with the transition to his own bed, as he currently screams non-stop alone or has to be patted to sleep and wakes when the patting stops.
Vicki’s Advice: You need a good plan for the transition from your bed to his own cot in his own room. It’s a big thing at this age when he is used to sleeping next to you and of course that’s where he would rather be. You need to be very present and reassuring. Make sure he has something to cuddle (a special soft toy), even your top you have slept in so he has your smell next to him. Stay with him, explain to him what is happening and expect tears because when there is change there are tears while he learns to sleep independently.
Sarah: How do I get my 3-month-old to link sleep cycles during the day?
Vicki’s Advice: Short sleep cycles at this age are normal. Encourage baby to resettle after one sleep cycle so she learns that she needs to go back to sleep. This can be done by shushing rocking patting whatever works.
Kate: My 18month old has always been a wriggler and moved so much in her sleep. She doesn’t keep a blanket on. How do I calm her?
Vicki’s Advice: I need more information here. Is baby in a sleeping bag? How is the day nap? What’s her nutrition like? Does she snore? What are her activity levels like during the day? Does she wake screaming at night or sleeping through? Please contact me if you need support.
Ella: How much sleep/how many naps should an 8-week-old have in a day? Bub is sleeping well overnight but seems to hate sleeping in the day.
Vicki’s Advice: Babies of this age need quite a lot of sleep. Make sure she’s awake approx 75-90mins between sleeps and sleeps approx 1hr to 2 1/2 hrs max per nap in the day. The sleep/wake windows change as they get older. Make sure your sleep environment is conducive for sleep in the day and it’s fine to help her by rocking, patting, shushing or even rocking off in the pram.
Lily: I'm having trouble getting our 5month old to settle in his cot during day sleeps. We have tried putting him down when drowsy & rocking, but this always seems to wake him more and he thinks it’s fun.
Vicki’s Advice: Cheeky boy!! You need a solid routine, so he knows what is happening next. Talk to him and tell him what’s happening. Make sure your awake windows are on point so that your timing is right when he is ready for sleep. You can try walking out and then going in and settling him. It’s better to settle him in his cot but if you need to help him that’s fine too.
Louise: My 8-month-old is still waking every 2-3 hours through the night for a feed. Is this normal!?
Vicki: I'd need more information here. What’s her weight? What’s her milk and solids intake like? What else have you tried other than feeding? Have you tried any consistent sleep methods to help her sleep other than feeding? She should be sleeping at least one long stretch through the night, so it is the way you handle her wakes. If you feed each time that is her way of getting back to sleep and waking after a couple of sleep cycles, she again needs your help to fall back to sleep so this becomes habitual waking.
Ang: My baby is 4 1/2 months and still wakes in the middle of the night for a feed. So, he wakes every 4 to 5 hrs during the night. How do I get him to sleep through please?
Most babies of this age still need 1-2 night feeds. Waking once a night is great at this age. If you want, you can try resettle baby 2-3 times before you feed to stretch out the night. Have you started solids? What’s his intake of milk in the day? If he has one feed a night and goes straight back to sleep that’s great.
Vickey: How to stop 6 months old baby using dummy to fall asleep and not waking up with 30 mins naps?
Is the dummy a problem? If baby is waking repeatedly to have the dummy replaced, then you can get rid of it. It takes 2-3 nights and some tears but with love and support it gets forgotten quickly and your baby will learn to self soothe in other ways. The catnapping in the day is normal but now is the best time to teach your baby to resettle by either patting shushing or picking them up and rocking them back off to sleep teaching them it's not time to wake up. Good sleep environment is important at this age and this age is the when baby learns to link their sleep cycles.
To contact Vicki Kuper:
DM on Instagram: @vickigraykuper
Follow on Facebook: Vicki Gray Kuper